Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, September 14, 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

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

       – Book of Common Prayer, p.244

Today is Holy Cross Day

According to Christian tradition, the True Cross was discovered in 326 by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, during a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was then built at the site of the discovery, by order of Helena and Constantine. The church was dedicated nine years later, with a portion of the cross. One-third remained in Jerusalem, one-third was brought to Rome and deposited in the Sessorian basilica Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Holy Cross in Jerusalem), and one-third was taken to Constantinople to make the city impregnable.

The date of the feast marks the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335. This was a two-day festival: although the actual consecration of the church was on September 13, the cross itself was brought outside the church on September 14 so that the clergy and faithful could pray before the True Cross, and all could come forward to venerate it.

The Second Council of Nicæa of 787, drew the distinction between veneration of the cross and worship or latria, “which, according to the teaching of the faith, belongs to the Divine nature alone. It was noted that this cult must be considered as not belonging to the substance of religion, but as being one of the things not absolutely necessary to salvation.  Thus, the honor paid to the image passes to the prototype; and he who adores the image, adores the person whom it represents.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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:  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.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan and Craig.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Osun North East (Nigeria), Cashel & Ossory (Ireland).

For all who have died:  especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.

For one another.

Something to share

The royal banners forward go

The royal banners forward go,
The cross shines forth in mystic glow
Where He through whom our flesh was made,
In that same flesh our ransom paid.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
How God the nations’ King should be,
For God is reigning from the tree.

O tree of beauty, tree most fair,
Ordained those holy limbs to bear
Gone is thy shame, each crimsoned bough
Proclaims the King of Glory now.

Blest tree, whose chosen branches bore
The wealth that did the world restore,
The price which none but he could pay
To spoil the spoiler of his prey.

O cross, our one reliance hail!
Still may thy power with us avail
To save us sinners from our sin,
God’s righteousness for all to win.

To Thee, eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
As by the cross Thou dost restore
So rule and guide us evermore.

Amen.

Hymnal 1982, #162; Venantius Honorius Fortunatus

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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 Prayers, Sunday, September 13, 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 twenty- fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 The Collect for the Day

O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew: 18:21-35

Peter came and said to Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

The Gospel of the Lord

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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:  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.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan and Craig.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing:  Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For Allison – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Osun North East (Nigeria), Cashel & Ossory (Ireland).

For all who have died:  especially  Reginald and Mildred.

For one another.

Something to share

Forgiveness

It is impossible to compass life without suffering harm
from loved ones.
Wrongs that take the ground from under the feet.
Wrongs that hurt heart through and through.
Wrongs that make us distraught victim.
Does forgiveness immunize us for further injustices?
Does forgiveness soothe suffering?
One thing is certain, everyone has been hurt in life
and everyone once inflicted wound:
betrayal,
selfishness,
criticism,
unjust judgment,
bad word,
emotional abuse,
unfair reward.

Love that bears all things, and endures all things
shows the principle of overcoming evil with good.
We live in times where love is seen as pleasure.
When there is lack of fulfillment the connection ends
instead of support in moments of weakness,
jointly bearing burden,
willingness to give up the ego.
In relations underflow of virtues is worthless.
Every love at some point hurts.
The more we love the greater the suffering.
Remember, that you are also sometimes hard to bear.

One of the most important lessons in life
is non acceptance of evil.
Always we are entitled to protest and defense.
There is a difference between sagacious enduring of injustice
and permition for hard time and humiliation.
Defense against evil should be free from desire
for revenge, hate, wrath, punishment and anger.
Leave vengeance to God.
The point is love. It is she who shows the right path.
The cure for the human pain of injustice is forgiveness.

Man needs time to forgive,
therefore necessary at times of touch of hurt is compassion.
Does forgiveness mean to forget?
No, forgiveness is an act of will not of forgetting.
Great injury can not be erased from memory.
Forgiveness is duty that gives hope and strength for the future.
Forgiveness is the transition from helplessness to peace of heart.
Forgiveness is overcoming anger and grief towards acceptance of reality.
Is forgiveness reconciliation?
No, although it is a quantum leap in the direction of reconciliation.
There is no way to force act of reconciliation.
Forgiveness is one thing,
and to be mature for reconciliation is another thing.
Most important in forgiveness is not to rely
on gesture of compensation.

Some believe that only weak people forgive.
Forgiveness requires tremendous effort and courage.
It is easier to sail away in anger
than creative dialogue which leads to remedy of the situation.
Without forgiveness you can not win
with guilt, abyss of past and human frailties.
Forgiveness is above all priceless gift for yourself.
Forgiveness frees you from inner poisons,
and also opens up new lands.
If we are able to injure,
we are also able to say the sorry and make amends.
Act of contrition allows for a true change of heart.
Act of forgiveness is the bud of heart at peace.

Liliana Jaworska

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

News & Updates

Worship for Sunday, September 13th 2020

Click on this post to view the instructions on returning to church, National Cathedral live stream and recorded Homily.

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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+

Worship for September 13, 2020

This morning, September 13th at 9:00am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist at Saint Stephen’s Church.  To help you understand what to expect please click on this link:

This morning, September 13th  at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

Rector’s Homily:

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, September 12, 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

Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
Thank you for your presence
during the bright and sunny days,
for then we can share that which we have
with those who have less…
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
For those who are lonely, we ask
you to keep them company.
For those who are depressed,
we ask you to shower upon them
the light of hope.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.

Maya Angelou, 2014

Maya Angelou was an award-winning American author and civil rights activist who died in 2014. Her writing spanned a variety of genres, including autobiography, poetry, and plays. Maya Angelou’s most famous book may be one of her autobiographies, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, but she was also often known as the “black women’s poet laureate.” Angelou’s poetry received more widespread public attention after she read a poem at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration in 1993, making her only the second poet in U.S. history to read at an inauguration.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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:  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.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan and Craig.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing:  Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Osun North East (Nigeria), Cashel & Ossory (Ireland).

For all who have died:  especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.

For one another.

Something to share

Wildfire uncontained,
stripping the hillside, raging
poker-hot: anger.

Haiku: Wildfire

we entered ancient forest: grand fir, mountain hemlock,
silver fir. On the forest floor we found the familiar:
wild ginger, twayblade, oak fern, bedstraw.
There was bunchberry, too, and twisted stalk, endless

thickets of red huckleberry, the trail overgrown,
sodden. Bracken fern, salal. As we climbed toward
Fall Peak en route to Top Lake, we entered
a blackness not mentioned in the book. When

had it happened: 2014? The year before?
Singed bark sloughed off in thick, dark sheets.
Not spooky or ghostly or haunting. It was more
like reverence. Here was the lecture on succession,

on fire suppression’s unforeseen consequence,
on the ways of those who tended the land before
white settlers arrived, those who knew the dangers
of letting the underbrush grow thick. An ecology textbook

brought to life, though brought to death is more precise,
though only the firs, the maidenhair and Queens Cup,
had lost their lives; the path now cleared for regrowth,
the canopy opened for seedlings. Even while

it was burning, it hadn’t been dead. Roots survived,
animals hid, then surfaced, brought uncharred soil
to the duff. Seeds had already taken hold in the ash,
begun to sprout. Acres of fireweed signaling disturbance,

the first seer. By now my partner far ahead, while I
lingered behind, listened to the tapping of a woodpecker,
another crash of bark from a wind-tossed snag. Took in
completely the botched message of Smokey the Bear.

Soon, but not as soon as we’d imagined, only a few trees
that had been licked by flames, scorched by winds
that had shifted. Lushness returned. Lousewort,
valerian, bistort. Likely, a lightning strike left to burn

because humans don’t live here, because there’s
so much fuel. Must’ve been the year before last,
one of the hottest on record. Firefighters built
a line it didn’t cross. The wind died down, the fall rains
doused it. All conjecture as we headed down, farther
and farther from having to see it, smell it, make up stories
of how it came and went. Out of the pitch, where we’d been forced
to confront it. All attempts to keep it from happening a mistake.

Martha Silano is the author of five poetry books, including Gravity Assist , The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, and Reckless Lovely. She also co-authored, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice. Her poems have appeared in Paris Review, Poetry, and American Poetry Review, among others. Martha teaches at Bellevue College, near her home in Seattle, WA.

Autumn Embers

There’s smoke and panic in the air.
Our autumn landscape is now black and bare.
We’ve run away from the flames that taunt us.
To open arms our neighbors offer us.
We’ve found strength in numbers
And from the fallen embers.

Madelyn Burgo

News & Updates

Tomorrow morning, September 13th at 9:00am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist at Saint Stephen’s Church.  To help you understand what to expect please click on this link: https://youtu.be/2iu_mbwXF4s.

Tomorrow morning, September 13th  at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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 Prayers, Friday, September 11, 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

Lord, take me where You want me to go;
Let me meet who You want me to meet;
Tell me what You want me to say;
And keep me out of Your way.

Fr. Mychal F. Judge, O.F.M., 2001

Mychal Judge, OFM, was a Franciscan and chaplain to the New York Fire Department. He prayed this prayer daily; it was a guide to his approach to his pastoral ministry, a ministry rich in life-giving compassion. On this day, September 11, 2001 at 9:59am, at the time the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, Father Judge entered paradise. He is the first listed casualty of the 9/11 attack on the Twins Towers.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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:  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.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan and Craig.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing:  Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For Sid – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Osun North East (Nigeria), Cashel & Ossory (Ireland).

For all who have died:  especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.

For one another.

Something to share

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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 Prayers, Thursday, September 10, 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

We wait, watch, hope, and yearn
for the next steps of clarity and direction
in our personal, congregational, national, and global lives.
We might attend more deeply to the places of light and shadow
with a holiness of presence
even when the brightness blinds and the darkness darkens.
We might respond more deeply
to the invitation of birthing anew this life we love and cherish
even when the birthing includes dying.
We might accept more deeply
the mystery and unknowing of our day and time
in a stance of contemplative gaze
and embrace it, joyfully, even when it is most difficult.
We might listen long and lovingly
and answer faithfully and fearlessly even when the cost is great,
for the sake of the One Who Is.

Sister Carol Zinn, Reflections on Annunciation, inspired by Henry Ossawa Turner’s painting “The Annunciation”

Dr. Carol Zinn is a Sister of St. Joseph, a Roman Catholic religious order for women. This is the same order that has a house in Albany and the sisters have been active in ministry in the Hamilton Hill area in Schenectady for over a hundred years.

Zinn has served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group that gathers together leaders from about 80% of Roman Catholic religious orders for women in the United States. Zinn has also done interfaith work as part of the United Religions Initiative, which brings people of different religions across the globe together to resolve conflict and work for the good of their communities, and has represented the Sisters of St. Joseph to the United Nations, participating in UN meetings on human rights, poverty, education, and more. In addition, Zinn also has worked with individual congregations and led retreats. She holds a Master’s in Theology from St. Bonaventure University and a Doctorate in Curriculum Development and Education from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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:  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.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Luca, Brittney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel and Greg.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing:  Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Osun North (Nigeria), Cape Town (Southern Africa), Carlisle (England).

For all who have died:  especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.

For one another.

Something to share

Speaking in Tongues

This poem begins in 1987.
My grandmother dragged us to meet the Lord
under a tent in St. Catherine. From here
I trace the heritage of standing spellbound
as women worship. Always I am on the outskirts.
I remember my grandmother unbecoming
the kind of woman who sets her table each Sunday,
who walks up from the river, water balanced easily
on her head. My grandmother became, instead,
all earthquake – tilt and twirl and spin,
her orchid-purple skirt blossoming.
She became grunt and rumble – sounds
you can only make when your shoes have fallen off
and you’re on the ground
crying raba and yashundai, robosei and
bababababababba. Years later a friend tells me
tongues is nothing but gibberish – the deluded
pulling words out of dust. I want to ask him
what is language but a sound we christen?
I would invite him to a tent where women
are tearing their stockings, are on the ground
pulling up fresh words to offer as doves to Jehovah.
I would ask if he sees no meaning here
and if he never had the urge to grunt
an entirely new sound. The poem, always,
would like to do this, always want to break
from its lines and let a strange language rise up.
Each poem is waiting on its own Day of Pentecost
to thrash, to robosei and yashundai,
and the poem will not care that some walk past,
afraid of the words we try out on our tongues
hoping this finally is the language of God,
that he might hear it and respond.

Kei Miller

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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 Prayers, Wednesday, September 9, 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

Moments of great calm
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great role. And the audience
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
Prompt me, God
But not yet. When I speak
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting.

R. S. Thomas, 2000

R. S. Thomas (Ronald Stuart Thomas) was a Welsh poet and Anglican priest who was noted for his nationalism, spirituality, and dislike of the anglicisation of Wales. John Betjeman, in his 1955 introduction to Song at the Year’s Turning, the first collection of Thomas’ poetry from a major publisher, predicted that Thomas would be remembered long after he himself was forgotten. M. Wynn Thomas said, “He was the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn of Wales because he was such a troubler of the Welsh conscience. He was one of the major English language and European poets of the 20th century.”

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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:  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.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Sylvia, Irene, Jeanne, Chris, Theresa, Emily, Bridget, Josh, Amy, Sid, Edwina and her husband, Donald and Mark.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing:  Priscilla, Sid, Vicki, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Osun (Nigeria), Cape Coast (West Africa).

For all who have died:  especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.

For one another.

Something to share

Becky Holder shared this blessing:

May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it. And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, May it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God. And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.  

Practice

After three nights of rain
the singing river pushes forward,
pounds spray slicked boulders.
Beyond the hillside raises mossy
altars. Pick your way along the shore
Studded with pewter, dove and ivory
ovals, polished by the river’s grief.
Bow down, eyes level with the water,
dip your fingers in the icy rush.
Alive. Alive, you can forgive yourself.
Build a small tower of stones that
someone might find if she stops
at the same spot, if she is waiting
for a sign.

Gail Thomas, from the book, Waving Back

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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 Prayers, Tuesday, September 8, 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

God of life,
Surge through every cell of my being.
From my core through all that I am,
to all the world that surrounds me.
Through my fears,
My unknowing,
My dreams,
My detachments.
Let me know myself, and simply be.
And from that point, let me reach out to all my complexities,
gently,
lovingly.
I Am.
In the great “I AM.”

Donna J. Maebori

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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:  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.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank and Joan.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing:  Priscilla, Sid, Vicki, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Oru (Nigeria), Canberra & Goulburn (Australia).

For all who have died:  especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.

For one another.

Something to share

I Might Have Sung of the World

I might have sung of the world
And said what I heard them say
Of the vast and passing dream
Of today and yesterday.

But I chose to tell of myself,
For that was all I knew—
I have made a chart of a small sea,
But the chart I made is true.

Sara Teasdale

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. All other 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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 Prayers, Labor Day Weekend, September 5-7, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

This is the Weekend Edition, including the twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

 The Collect for the Sunday

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Prayer for Labor Day

Almighty God, Creator of the world, we give you thanks for the gift of stewardship and work. Deliver us, in our various occupations, from the service of self alone, that we may do our work in truth and beauty and for the common.

God of justice, we pray for all workers, that they would receive fair compensation and treatment in their labor.

For those who seek work, provide jobs — both citizen and immigrant alike. For those who cannot work, provide sustenance. Make those who lead the industries and commerce of this country responsive to your perfect will. Build up in the leaders of our country a respect for all labors. Deliver us, Lord Jesus, from the maligning evils of greed, sloth, and gluttony that we may lead lives of holiness in service to you and our neighbor.

We ask all these things for our good and your glory. Amen.

–          Bread for the World, September 5, 2016

The Gospel for Sunday

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew: 18:15-20

Jesus said, “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

The Gospel of the Lord

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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:  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.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Mark, Luca, Brittney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel and Craig.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing:  Priscilla, Sid, Vicki, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For Rebecca & Chris and Roseann & David – this weekend is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Pray for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

For all who have died:  especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.

For one another.

Something to share

In My Craft or Sullen Art

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

Dylan Thomas

News & Updates

Worship for Sunday, September 6th 2020

Click on this post to view the instructions on returning to church, National Cathedral live stream and recorded Homily.

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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+

Worship for September 6, 2020

Sunday morning September 6th at 9:00am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist at Saint Stephen’s Church.  To help you understand what to expect please click on this link:

Sunday morning September 6th at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. The link for this service has not been issued. Please visit this website on Sunday to obtain it:

Assisting priest’s Homily:  

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