Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you.

Today’s Prayer

 Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

Book of Common Prayer, p. 240

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation

  Today’s feast commemorates how God made known to a young Jewish woman that she was to be the mother of Jesus, and how Mary accepted her vocation with faith and courage. Mary’s assent to Gabriel’s message opened the way for God to accomplish the salvation of the world. Mary’s self-offering in response to God’s call is reminiscent of Abraham, the father of believers. Just as Abraham was called to be the father of God’s people, and accepted his call, so Mary was called to be the mother of the faithful. She is God’s agent in the mystery of the Incarnation.

Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For the just and proper use of your creation; for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus, and for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

From the Parish Prayer Chain, let’s pray for Pauline, John, Rick, Bob, Arthur and Al.

For those who are homebound: Stephen Gray, Pauline Northrop, Joan Halstead, Janet Schlansker and Marilyn Causey.

Those who are imprisoned: especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing: Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie Trawick, Clark, Bud and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Matlosane (formerly Klerksdorp) (Southern Africa) Waiapu (Aotearoa NZ & Polynesia)

For all who have died:  especially Virginia, Louise, Theodore, Irwin, Glenn and Eleanor.

For one another.

Something to share

Mary’s Poem

When she heard infinity
whispered in her ear, did the flashing
scissors in her fingers fall
to the wooden floor and the spool unravel,
the spider’s sly cradle
tremble with love? Imagine

How the dry fields leaned
toward the news and she heard, for a moment,
the households of crickets –
When she answered, all things shifted, the moon
in its river of milk.

And when she wanted to pluck
her heart from her breast, did she remember
a commotion of wings, or the stirring
of dust?

Kathleen Wakefield

News and Updates

Archbishop of Canterbury backs worldwide call for Christians to say the Lord’s Prayer:

In response to a call from both Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be praying the Lord’s Prayer (via Livestream and Facebook Live) Wednesday, March 25, at noon Eastern Time. He invites you to join with Christians around the world to offer this prayer in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

To join Bishop Curry live, Wednesday, March 25, at noon Eastern Time, click here:

Livestream (click “Get notified” to receive a notification/reminder)
The Episcopal Church Facebook page
The Presiding Bishop’s Facebook page

What Kids Want To Know About Coronavirus – A couple of weeks ago National Public Radio had a podcast concerning COVID19, which was still being called the coronavirus, and a little booklet for explaining it for children. The information in the comic booklet is still valid, and you can visit the website by googling:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus

You can see the comic drawings and commentary on that website, and you can print the little booklet which is on one page that kids can turn into a booklet.   – Jo Adams

Reminders                                 

If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Daily Prayer as best we can.

Our church campus is closed. All parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you.

Today’s Prayer

Teach us, O God
to view our life here on earth
as a pilgrim’s path to heaven,
and give us grace to tread it courageously
in the company of your faithful people.
Help us to set our affections
on the things above,
not on the passing vanities of this world;
and grant that as we journey on
in the way of holiness
we may bear a good witness to our Lord,
and serve all who need our help
along the way,
for the glory of your name.

Frank Colquhoun, 1997

Frank Colquhoun was a vicar of the Church of England, religious instructor, and writer. He was a Canon Residentiary of Southwark and later Vice-Dean of Norwich. Colquhoun had patient, gentle and conciliatory character. He was a shy man who did not find a rapidly changing church in a rapidly changing world at all easy, but he was never confrontational. He wrote many prayers, was a collector of prayers, and he was beloved by many.

Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For the peace and unity of the Church of God; for all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the truth.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus, and for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

From the Parish Prayer Chain, let’s pray for Clark, Jim, Eunice, Mason, Millie, Jane and Bruce.

For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

Those who are imprisoned: especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing: Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, Clark, Bud and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Matana (Burundi), Wad Medani (Sudan) and Hyderabad (Pakistan)

For Travis – today is Travis’ baptismal anniversary!

For all who have died, especially Virginia, Louise, Theodore, Irwin and Eleanor.

For one another.

Something to share

Hope

In these Lenten days,
O God, where we are called to empty ourselves of all that
distracts; of all that is not of you,
we find ourselves overwhelmed,
anxious and fearful of a future,
yet to be revealed.

By the grace of your Spirit,
send calm in the midst of panic,
wisdom in the midst of legislation,
creativity in the midst of confusion,
endurance in the midst of fatigue,
and your healing balm in the midst of all illness.

For you are our hope –
our Lenten Spring and Easter Joy,
and in these moments of deep despair
we will turn our hearts toward you,
we will rely on you, on whom we have set all our hope.

Amen

Lori True, Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Paul, Minnesota

The MoonCatcher Project is also making facemasks for area hospitals

The MoonCatcher Project is shifting gears to address the shortage of face masks in our community.  We are asking all of our sewers and non-sewers to join us as we construct these masks for local hospitals and health care organizations.  Can you think of a better way to be at home during this global crisis?  

For Local Volunteers:

·  If you sew, and have materials, please start working on the masks using these instructions.

·  We can get materials to you if you don’t have them.  Just send an email to make arrangements. 
If you want us to pick up completed masks and coordinate donation, please email us.

·  Don’t sew?  We need cutters!  Fabric must be 100% cotton. Please make a pattern out of cardboard or paper — cutting rectangles of exactly 9″ X 6″ for adult masks or 7.5″ X 5″ for children. (No guesswork please!)  

·  Each mask requires 2 matching rectangles.
If you need material, please email us and we will get it to you for cutting.

·  Please assemble cut rectangles in groups of 50 (25 sets of 2 matching rectangles) and email us to make a plan for pick up.

QUESTIONS?  Please send an email to: Ellie von Wellsheim-  ellie@mooncatcher.org

News and Updates

Habits of Grace; An Invitation from the Most Rev. Michael Curry:

As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invites you to join him each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’  A new video meditation will be posted on Mondays through May. It can be found at episcopalchurch.org

Offerings by Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage and Washington National Cathedral: 

Online: Listening for God @ 5:30 :   Hear the word of God in reading Holy Scripture, in silence and by sharing with others in prayerful listening during this time of Lectio Divina, or holy reading.

Online:  Centering Prayer @ 6 pm: Open your entire being to God’s presence during this time of silent prayer as you move beyond thoughts, words, and emotions into a quiet communion with the Divine. 

***Go to Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage Facebook and cathedral.org.

Reminders                                

If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Daily Prayer as best we can.

Our church campus is closed. All parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Monday, March 23, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you.

Today’s Prayer

O GOD, we who are bound together in the tender ties of love, pray thee for a day of unclouded love. May no passing irritation rob us of our joy in one another. Forgive us if we have often been keen to see the human failings, and slow to feel the preciousness of those who are still the dearest comfort of our life. May there be no sharp words that wounds and scar, and no rift that may grow into estrangement. Suffer us not to grieve thee whom thou hast sent to us as the sweet ministers of love. May our eyes not be so holden by selfishness that we know thine angels only when they spread their wings to return to thee.      

Walter Rauschenbusch, 1918

Walter Rauschenbusch is recognized with a feast day by the Episcopal Church on July 2nd, along with Washington Gladden and Jacob Riis. Rauschenbusch is known as one of the main leaders of the Social Gospel movement, which argued that Christians were obligated by faith to address the social problems of their day. In 1917, this Baptist pastor published his text A Theology for the Social Gospel, a key text for the movement. The above prayer is from his book Prayers of the Social Awakening, published in 1910.

Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For the peace and unity of the Church of God; for all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the truth.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus, and for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

From the Parish Prayer Chain, let’s pray for Clark, Jim, Eunice, Mason, Millie, Jane and Bruce.

For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

Those who are imprisoned: especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing: Cindi Love, Peter Nelson, Mary Frances Hatfield, Debbie Trawick, Glenn Kaler, Bud Mazurek and Joe White.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Matabeleland (Central Africa). Virginia (The Episcopal Church) and Huron (Canada).

For Marti – today is her birthday!

For all who have died, especially Virginia, Louise, Theodore, Irwin and Eleanor.

For one another.

Something to share

Excerpts from Lenten Meditation (Lent 25)

“Regardless of whether you are on the front lines or in some form of home shelter or medical care, prayer is an essential means through which we stay connected to God and one another.  It is also a source of hope and strength in uncertain times. 

In her book Amazing Grace, Kathleen Norris shares this about prayer ‘The ancient monks understood that a life of prayer would manifest itself in relationships with others.  If prayer is a matter of concern to you,’ said the sixth -century monk Jon Climacus, ‘then show yourself to be merciful.’ As a ‘dialog and a union with God,’ he said, ‘prayer has the effect of holding the world together.’

We may not be able to see where all of this will lead, but we know that God will be with us. ‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not see.’ (Hebrews 11:1).”

The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope, Washington National Cathedral (cathedral.org)

The MoonCatcher Project is also making facemasks for area hospitals

The MoonCatcher Project is shifting gears to address the shortage of face masks in our community.  We are asking all of our sewers and non-sewers to join us as we construct these masks for local hospitals and health care organizations.  Can you think of a better way to be at home during this global crisis?  

For Local Volunteers:

·  If you sew, and have materials, please start working on the masks using these instructions.

·  We can get materials to you if you don’t have them.  Just send an email to make arrangements. 
If you want us to pick up completed masks and coordinate donation, please email us.

·  Don’t sew?  We need cutters!  Fabric must be 100% cotton. Please make a pattern out of cardboard or paper — cutting rectangles of exactly 9″ X 6″ for adult masks or 7.5″ X 5″ for children. (No guesswork please!)  

·  Each mask requires 2 matching rectangles.
If you need material, please email us and we will get it to you for cutting.

·  Please assemble cut rectangles in groups of 50 (25 sets of 2 matching rectangles) and email us to make a plan for pick up.

QUESTIONS?  Please send an email to: Ellie von Wellsheim-  ellie@mooncatcher.org

News and Updates

Schenectady Community Ministries Food Pantry, our county’s largest emergency food provider, remains fully operational and it’s volunteer base remains strong, a call has been put out to our respective faith communities to provide an additional three to five additional volunteers each day the food pantry is in operation. The food pantry is located at 839 Albany Street in Schenectady. Contact me james.ross.mcd@gmail.com if you are interested in helping.

Church Publishing offers Book of Common Prayer, other free resources for devotional use:
https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/pressreleases/church-publishing-offers-book-of-common-prayer-other-free-resources-for-devotional-use/

Reminders                                

If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Daily Prayer as best we can.

Our church campus is closed. All parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Sunday, March 22, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you.

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Today’s Prayer

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which giveth life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787

Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For the peace and unity of the Church of God; for all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the truth.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus, and for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

From the Parish Prayer list, let’s pray for Sue, Art, Jeanne, Chris, Walter, Theresa and Budd

For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn

Those who are imprisoned: especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail

For those in need of healing: Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, Glenn, Rick, Bruce & Jane and Joe

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui and Hong Kong Island

For Joanne – today is her birthday!

For all who have died, especially Virginia, Louise, Theodore, Irwin, and Eleanor

For one another.

Something to share

Lenten Meditation

We hear a lot these days about the need to shelter in place.  I would like to offer a little variation on that theme by encouraging us all to shelter in faith.  History has shown that the most powerful and effective tool any community has in confronting crisis is its spiritual resilience.  I know this is true because I come from a culture that has only survived because of its depth of spirituality.  Let our message to others be an invitation to join us in prayer, hope and determination.  If you know of others who are alone or anxious, please welcome them to join us here where we shelter in faith.  There is room for everyone beneath the wings of the Spirit.

Steven Charleston, Retired Bishop of Alaska

Make Facemasks for Staff/Patients at Ellis Hospital

Hi,
On behalf of Ellis and our community- thank you for offering to help make masks in this unprecedented time.
Below is the link to the information on how to make a mask.
https://www.deaconess.com/How-to-make-a-Face-Mask
Kathleen Morris will be reaching to you with additional information and mask making tips. She’s an expert quilter and a delight.
For Ellis- Packaging 20 in a bag would be ideal.   Delivery to the attention of the Purchasing Office at McClellan Street.  Please just let me know when you will be making a delivery and we will coordinate.
If you need any help at all or have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Be safe, be well.
Gratefully,
Marcy
Marcia (Marcy) M. Steiner
Vice President/Executive Director
The Foundation for Ellis Medicine
Office- (518) 243-4413
steinerm@ellismedicine.org

News and Updates

Schenectady Community Ministries Food Pantry, our county’s largest emergency food provider, remains fully operational and it’s volunteer base remains strong, a call has been put out to our respective faith communities to provide an additional three to five additional volunteers each day the food pantry is in operation. The food pantry is located at 839 Albany Street in Schenectady. Contact me james.ross.mcd@gmail.com  if you are interested in helping.

Church Publishing offers Book of Common Prayer, other free resources for devotional use: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/pressreleases/church-publishing-offers-book-of-common-prayer-other-free-resources-for-devotional-use/

Reminders                                

If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Daily Prayer as best we can.

Our church campus is closed. All parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Saturday, March 21, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you.

Today’s Prayer

O Lord…when I find no occasions, at least I want to keep telling You that I love You; it is not difficult and it keeps the fire of love going; even if that fire were to seem wholly out, I should throw little bits of straw on the ashes, little acts of virtue and of charity; and I am sure that, with Your help the fire would be enkindled again.

Thérèse of Liseux, 1897

Thérèse is a beloved Catholic saint who lived from 1873 to 1897. From age 15 onward, she lived as a cloistered Carmelite nun. She died at age 24 from tuberculosis. Following her death, she became known through her writings, including a spiritual autobiography, poems, prayers, and letters.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For the peace and unity of the Church of God; for all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the truth.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus, and for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

From the Parish Prayer list, let’s pray for Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Keith, Debby, Sylvia, Peter, Irene, Barbara, Al and Frank

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Masvingo (Central Africa) Virgin Islands (The Episcopal Church) Hpa-an (Myanmar)

For one another.

Something to share

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy.  Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us, from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen

Church of England

News and Updates

Lenten Meditation

While we have had other times of uncertainty, we are facing something unlike anything we’ve lived through before, so that the commandment to love has an even deeper meaning. As Christians, we need to reach out in tangible ways to let our neighbors know that they are loved, and part of loving our neighbors is reminding them that they are not alone.  We are in this together.
Loving our neighbors during this unsettling time can be reflected in a variety of ways.  It could be an encouraging phone call to those who are isolated and fearful or making a trip to the grocery story or pharmacy for sick or elderly family, friends, and yet, the neighbor next door.  It is buying supplies to share and not hoard.
Even in these times of social distancing, we can safely reach out in mercy and love. So as we and the entire world live into the weeks ahead, may we commit ourselves to the greatest commandment we’ve received as followers of Jesus; to love God and love neighbor and love neighbor as we love ourselves.

 The Rev. Canon Rosemarie Logan Duncan, Washington National Cathedral

Schenectady Community Ministries Food Pantry, our county’s largest emergency food provider, remains fully operational and it’s volunteer base remains strong, a call has been put out to our respective faith communities to provide an additional three to five additional volunteers each day the food pantry is in operation. The food pantry is located at 839 Albany Street in Schenectady. Contact me james.ross.mcd@gmail.com  if you are interested in helping.

Here is a video link from Samaritan Counselling Center that that we would like to share about managing anxiety https://youtu.be/RtvKhrdUSxQ.

From our Presiding Bishop:

“On March 15th the Centers for Disease Control recommended the suspension of public gatherings in the U.S. of more than 50 people for the next 8 weeks. On March 16th officials of the federal government asked persons in the U.S. to “avoid gatherings of more than 10 people” for the next 15 days.  It is reasonable to assume that some form of recommendations restricting public gatherings will continue for some time.
 
Considering this changing landscape, I believe that suspension of in-person public worship is generally the most prudent course of action at this time, even during Holy Week and on Easter Day.  I am also mindful that local situations vary. “

Reminders                                

If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Daily Prayer as best we can.

Our church campus is closed. All parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Peace,

James+