Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, December 11, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church

Today’s Prayer

Lord, I am poured out, I come to you for renewal.

Lord, I am weary, I come to you for refreshment.

Lord, I am worn, I come to you for restoration.

Lord, I am lost, I come to you for guidance.

Lord, I am troubled, I come to you for peace.

Lord, I am lonely, I come to you for love.

Come Lord,

Come revive me

Come reshape me

Come mold me in your image

Recast me in the furnace of your love.

             –  David Adam, 2020

David Adam, who died last year, wrote a number of popular books – primarily prayer collections inspired by Celtic Christian tradition. He was also an Anglican priest, having served as a vicar in North Yorkshire, England, a rector on the island of Lindisfarne, and a canon of York minister.


From Our Prayers of the People
 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.  

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering the vaccination, 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Adrian, Andrew, Rosemary, Fritz, Regina, Joan, Isabella, Gus, Pat, Katie, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy, Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen, Don, Ruth.

For those who are homebound:  Janet and Marilyn. 

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith, Assisting Bishop; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

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

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Joe. 

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Missionary Diocese of Ijesha North – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Ibadan Province).

For all who have died:  Helbert Baum, Bertha Bellson, Irene Hutter.

Something to share

Advent Hymn

Christ whose glory fills the skies
Christ the everlasting light
Their some of righteousness arise
And triumph o’er these shades of night

And come thou long awaited one
In the fullness of your love
And lose this heat bound up by shame
And I will never be the same

So here I wait in hope of you
All my soul’s longing through and through
And dayspring from on high be near
And daystar in my heart appear

Dark and cheerless is the morn
And ’til your love in me is born
And joyless is the evening sun
And ’til emmanuel has come

So here I wait in hope of you
All my soul’s longing through and through
And dayspring from on high be near
And daystar in my heart appear

So here I wait in hope of you
All my soul’s longing through and through
And dayspring from on high be near
And daystar in my heart appear

–          Christy Nockels

News and Updates

Envelopes- Envelopes for 2022 are available at the back of the church for those who requested them.  Extras are available for those who haven’t yet requested them but would like to. Please contact Denise Crates kazkidsmom@gmail.com, if you want them.

Things of my Very Own – This Christmas season our church will be collecting new, unwrapped items for Things of my Very Own.  Items being collected are: 

·  Brand new twin and full sized bedding sets

·  Brand new undergarments (Many of the girls and boys that we serve are not comfortable wearing tight fitting undergarments after experiencing certain types of trauma. For this reason, we are always in need of all sizes of boxer shorts.

·  Hair Brushes (Simple things that allow you to feel good about yourself are especially important in helping children heal from the trauma they have endured).

·  Personal hygiene supplies

·  Brand new clothing for boys and girls, especially in children’s sizes 12-20.

·  Brand new toys

There is a display in the nave extension for “Things of my Very Own” where items can be left until tomorrow, Sunday, December 12.  If you would like to make a monetary donation instead of purchasing an item from the list, checks may be made out to Things of My Very Own, Inc. and left in an envelope with the other donations or mailed to the office (please be sure to note it is for the Christmas items collection). 

Thank you for your support in making these children’s Christmas (and lives!) more joyful!

Tomorrow’s Scripture Readings:

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 Prayers as best we can: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume next year.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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 God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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

Gracious God, kindle in your Church a zeal for justice and the dignity of all, that we, following the example of your servant William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, may have the grace to defend all the oppressed and maintain the cause of those who have been silenced; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868 – 1963) was an American civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian, author, and editor. Historian David Levering Lewis wrote, “In the course of his long, turbulent career, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted virtually every possible solution to the problem of twentieth-century racism— scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-determination, human rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics, international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity.” Du Bois was involved in religion and contributed to the sociological study of religion. He was raised as a liberal New England Congregationalist, contrary to the majority of blacks, who were brought up in the Baptist evangelical tradition. Du Bois’ polemical stance on prayer in school and his critical views on the church set him at odds with contemporary Booker T. Washington. Du Bois said that church “introduces the stranger to the community, it serves as a lyceum, library, and lecture bureau—it is, in fine, the central organ of the organized life of the American Negro.”

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.  

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering the vaccination, 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 all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sonny, Don.

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

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

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

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

  For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Doko – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Lokoja Province).

For all who have died:  Gloria, Anita, Elizabeth, Joanne, Joseph, Donald, and William.

For one another.

Something to share

Reader of dead words who would live deeds, this is the flowering of my logic: I dream of a world of infinitive and valuable variety; not in the laws of gravity or atomic weights, but in human variety in height and weight, color and skin, hair and nose and lip. But more especially and far above and beyond this, is a realm of true freedom: in thought and dream, fantasy and imagination; in gift, aptitude, and genius—all possible manner of difference, topped with freedom of soul to do and be, and freedom of thought to give to a world and build into it, all wealth of inborn individuality. Each effort to stop this freedom of being is a blow at democracy—that real democracy which is reservoir and opportunity . . . There can be no perfect democracy curtailed by color, race, or poverty. But with all we accomplish all, even Peace.

         – W. E. B. Du Bois in The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History (Oxford University Press, 2007 [1947]), 165.

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 Prayers as best we can: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church

Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com ) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health: https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; the Schenectady County Health Department: https://www.schenectadycounty.com/COVID19; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

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 God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, October 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’s Prayer

Mighty God, Father of all,

Compassionate God, Mother of all,

Bless every person I met,

every face I have Seen,

every voice I have heard,

especially those most dear;

bless every city, town and

street that I have known,

bless every sight I have seen,

every sound I have heard,

every object I have touched.

In some mysterious way these have all fashioned my life:

all that I am,

I have received.

Great God, bless the world.

       –   John J. Morris, S.J., 2012

John J. Morris, an American Jesuit priest who died in 2012, wrote this prayer before his ordination in 1962. Morris is known for founding the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, which provides opportunities for young people to do a year of service and live in community together. (The Episcopal Church has a similar program – the Episcopal Service Corps!) Morris also organized the Bethlehem Peace Pilgrimage in 1982 and 1983. The 7,000 mile walk was meant to be a call for peace and nuclear disarmament and involved walking from Washington State to Washington, D.C., flying to Ireland, and then walking from Ireland to Bethlehem, traveling through a total of eleven countries. In an article in Sojourners during the time of the walk, Morris explained their goals this way: “folks left family, wife, children, and jobs for war–and it was taken for granted. We need to go to peace–people need to be willing to leave jobs, families, sweethearts, and dedicate themselves to peace.” In the 90s, Morris worked in Uganda with refugees, and in the early 2000s, served as a parish priest in the state of Oregon.

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 those affected by the wild fires in the west and Hurricane Delta in the south: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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 all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.

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

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Rayalaseema (South India), Cuernavaca (Mexico), Curitiba (Brazil).

For all who have died:  especially Marilyn, Winifred, Norman, Sidney.

For one another.

Something to share

Earth

God is digging in the garden of my soul,

           the rich, moist dirt sticking under her fingernails,

           turning and blending the soil of my life,

           now and then adding the compost

           of tossed-out experiences

           that I believed were useless.

She seems to understand

           that this bed can sustain life,

           that the deadened seeds and withered sprouts

                   will not be all there is.

Like the herb jungle

           in my friend Elaine’s backyard,

my soul, under God’s care,

           will grow green and wild.

                      –   Rev. Helen C.L. McPeak

A Season of Prayer: For an Election

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.  Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

–    The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

Bruce Tatge wrote:

For the past ten years we have enjoyed a bird bath with a pump that makes a little fountain. My health is such that I cannot properly care for it and we would like to offer it free to someone in the parish. The pump requires an electrical outlet. For more information, anyone interested can call me on 518-243-6227.

News and Updates

Interfaith Pre-Election Vigil – No matter our politics, we all know this year’s presidential election has been perhaps the most divisive in our lifetimes. Fears of violence and disputed results abound and sometimes, even the closest of families and communities have been fractured by political differences. That’s why Schenectady Clergy Against Hate are calling all members of our local faith communities, as well as all those of goodwill, to join us for a multi-faith and non-partisan evening of lamenting divisions, praying for nation and sharing word of hope. All interested can either join us “in the room” on Zoom or watch on Facebook at 

www.facebook.com/clergyagainsthate

Our new office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

Messenger articles are due.  Please send anything to our Administrative Assistant at: office@st-stephens.church.

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

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. 

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic and Church School Ingatherings 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,

he 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, October 20, 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

…I think that nothing made is lost;

That not a moon has ever shone,

That not a cloud my eyes hath crossed

But to my soul is gone.

That all the lost years garnered lie

In this Thy casket, my dim soul;

And Thou wilt, once, the key apply,

And show the shining whole.

But were they dead in me, they live

In Thee, Whose Parable is—Time,

And Worlds, and Forms—all things that give

Me thoughts, and this my rime.

Father, in joy our knees we bow:

This earth is not a place of tombs:

We are but in the nursery now;

They in the upper rooms.

For are we not at home in Thee,

And all this world a visioned show;

That, knowing what Abroad is, we

What Home is too may know?

         –  George MacDonald, 1905 from “A Prayer for the Past”

George MacDonald was a nineteenth century Scottish author whose works included Christian apologetics, fairy tales and fantasy, and poetry. He was also a minister in the Congregational tradition, though he was not always well-received in this role. An article from the BBC describes MacDonald being accused of heresy in his first church position in Arundel, Scotland. He is described as an influence on many fantasy writers, including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. Lewis himself wrote this about MacDonald: “I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christ-like union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined.”

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 those affected by the wild fires in the west and Hurricane Delta in the south: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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 all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.

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

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: Budd,  Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Joe – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Raiwind (Pakistan), Cuba (The Episcopal Church), Kubwa (Nigeria).

For all who have died:  especially Marilyn, Winifred, Norman, Sidney.

For one another.

Something to share

The Song is You

Musical instruments sleep in the dark

for several hours a day:

the folks we belong to aren’t always at play,

so we can’t always be at work. 

Our silence holds music: an undiscovered bourne,

horizons which have never been viewed,

like undeclared love growing deeper in solitude,

or the crystalline heart of a stone. 

My sleep, however, was more like a death:

in the dark of an attic for years;

forgetting my existence, and my glorious career

with the best female swing band on the earth. 

I was the great love of my Sweetheart’s life. 

A man came between us. And soon

I was in the dark collecting dust and out of tune;

they were pronounced man and wife. 

Instead of the charts, my gal read Dr. Spock. 

We played once a week, once a year . . .

At first, from my closet, I was able to hear

her family’s coninuo of talk. 

My Sweetheart’s grandson brought me to the shop. 

Something has ruined my voice. 

Older, not riper, I’m a sorry old bass. 

But that doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope

 . . .that someone will hold me in a tender embrace, 

her arms will encircle my neck;

someone will press her warm length to my back, 

and pluck notes from my gut with her fingers’ caress.

           –   Marilyn Nelson

A Season of Prayer: For an Election

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.  Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

–    The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

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. 

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am and select family events.  Please see our website for further informationhttps://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,

he 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, October 19, 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, who inspired your servant Luke the physician

to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your

Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power 

to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus

Christ our Lord, 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. 244-45

Today is the Feast of St. Luke (transferred from October 18th)

Luke is first mentioned in the letters of Paul as the latter’s “coworker” and as the “beloved physician.” The former designation is the more significant one, for it identifies him as one of a professional cadre of itinerant Christian “workers,” many of whom were teachers and preachers. His medical skills, like Paul’s tentmaking, may have contributed to his livelihood; but his principal occupation was the advancement of the Christian mission.

If Luke was the author of the third Gospel and Acts of the Apostles, the course and nature of his ministry may be sketched in more detail from both texts. He excludes himself from those who were eyewitnesses of Christ’s ministry. He indicates participation in the Pauline mission by the use of the first person in the “we” sections of Acts. They suggest that Luke shared in instructing persons in the Christian message and possibly in performing miraculous healings.

In his Gospel, Luke helps us to know how concerned Jesus was for the sick, the poor, and anyone in need of help, mercy, and forgiveness. Luke tells us that Jesus came to save all people. Through Luke’s Gospel, we learn how compassionate and caring Jesus was. Some of the most famous stories Jesus told are found in Luke’s Gospel: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) and the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-42).

Luke’s unique character may best be seen by the emphases of his Gospel, which has been given a number of subtitles:

1) The Gospel of Mercy

2) The Gospel of Universal Salvation

3) The Gospel of the Poor

4) The Gospel of Absolute Renunciation

5) The Gospel of Prayer and the Holy Spirit

6) The Gospel of Joy

Tradition holds that Luke was a martyr, having been hanged from an olive tree. He is the patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, brewers, notaries, surgeons, students, and butchers.

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 those affected by the wild fires in the west and Hurricane Delta in the south: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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 all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane, Bruce, Pauline, John, Charles and Audrey, Bill, Stephanie, Hank, Nancy.

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: Budd,  Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Shirley & Herbert– today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Quebec (Canada), Coventry (England), Krishna-Godavari (South India).

For all who have died:  especially Marilyn, Winifred, Norman, Sidney.

For one another.

Something to share

Luke

His gospel is itself a living creature

A ground and glory round the throne of God,

Where earth and heaven breathe through human nature

And One upon the throne sees it is good.

Luke is the living pillar of our healing,

A lowly ox, the servant of the four,

We turn his page to find his face revealing

The wonder, and the welcome of the poor.

He breathes good news to all who bear a burden

Good news to all who turn and try again,

The meek rejoice and prodigals find pardon,

A lost thief reaches paradise through pain,

The voiceless find their voice in every word

And, with Our Lady, magnify Our Lord.

Malcolm Guite

A Season of Prayer: For an Election

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.  Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

–    The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

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. 

Our church campus is mostly closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  and Church School at various times. 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,

he 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, August 13, 2020

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, August 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’s Prayer

Though sin and death conspire
To rob thee of thy praise
Still towards thee I’ll aspire,
And thou dull hearts canst raise.

Open thy door;
And when grim death
Shall stop this breath
I’ll praise thee more.

– Richard Baxter, 1691

Richard Baxter is recognized with a feast day in the Episcopal Church on December 8. Baxter was a parish priest in England, ordained in 1638, who held a Puritan perspective. His Puritan views prevented him from taking a bishop appointment following the English Civil War, thereby ending his ordained ministry. He is known for his writing, including The Reformed Pastor, which describes his approach to parish ministry, and devotional writing that was exceedingly popular in his lifetime, such as The Saints’ Everlasting Rest.

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 (names are rotated daily from the “Prayer Chain List” – if you have people for whom you would like us to pray, please contact Suzanne Taylor- popage@aol.com or 518-393-9035; Louise – peakelouise@gmail or 374-0480).

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, Vicki, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe

For Marilyn & Donald – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Okene (Nigeria), Buhiga (Burundi), Bujumbura (Burundi).

For all who have died: especially Justin, Scott, William, Elmer, Marilyn.

For one another.

Something to share

I’ve spent many years learning
how to fix life, only to discover
at the end of the day
that life is not broken
There is a hidden seed of greater wholeness
in everyone and everything.

We serve life best
when we water it
and befriend it.
When we listen before we act.

in befriending life,
we do not make things happen
according to our own design.

We uncover something that is already happening
in us and around us and
create conditions that enable it.

Everything is moving toward its place of wholeness
always struggling against the odds.

Everything has a deep dream of itself and its fulfillment.

~Rachael Naomi Remin (composed as a poem by Meg Wheatley)

~Amen.

psalm

I am not lyric anymore
I will not play the harp
for your pleasure
I will not make a joyful
noise to you, neither
will I lament
for I know you drink
lamentation, too,
like wine
so I dully repeat
you hurt me
I hate you
I pull my eyes away from the hills
I will not kill for you
I will never love you again
unless you ask me

  -  Alicia Suskin Ostriker 

News & Updates

One thing we’ve been talking about as Schenectady Clergy Against Hate is that Schenectady’s census count is well under 2010 in the midst of COVID. The census that takes place every ten years affects all of us when it comes to government programs, representation and justice. If you haven’t already filled out the census for your household, please do so today at https://my2020census.gov!

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.

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.

Remember – Dennie and I are here. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

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+

James Ross McDonald
rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal
Schenectady, NY

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