Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, June 13, 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 is the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Collect for the Day

Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, 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 Mark 4:26-34:

Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

The Gospel of the Lord.

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:  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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Pat and Christopher – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Church of Nigeria.

For all who have died: Hiola, Charles, Ruth. 

For one another.

Something to share

On the Parables of the Mustard Seed 

Who ever saw the mustard-plant,

wayside weed or tended crop,

grow tall as a shrub, let alone a tree, a treeful

of shade and nests and songs?

Acres of yellow,

not a bird of the air in sight.

No. He who knew

the west wind brings

the rain, the south wind

thunder, who walked the field-paths

running His hand along wheatstems to glean

those intimate milky kernels, good

to break on the tongue,

was talking of miracle, the seed

within us, so small

we take it for worthless, a mustard-seed, dust,

nothing.

Glib generations mistake

the metaphor, not looking at fields and trees,

not noticing paradox. Mountains

remain unmoved.

Faith is rare, He must have been saying,

prodigious, unique –

one infinitesimal grain divided

like loaves and fishes,

as if from a mustard-seed

a great shade-tree grew. That rare,

that strange: the kingdom

a tree. The soul

a bird. A great concourse of birds

at home there, wings among yellow flowers.

The waiting

kingdom of faith, the seed

waiting to be sown.

        – Denise Levertov

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 and Updates

Graduations (moving-Up)!

Maddie Schuldt is graduating pre-school  (although Bethany is still in denial about it! ha!)

William Olsen will be graduating from Van Antwerp Middle School this year.  William looks forward to attending Niskayuna High, in-person, in the Fall, following a year of full virtual study.

Congratulations to them both!

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – this morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9am on Sunday and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person this morning, June 13th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link:

The only exception is that we will begin limited singing.

And/or, this morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  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. https://youtu.be/hoK00Hf7yHg

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – this morning.  Join our parishioners for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 8 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Today’s full scripture readings

: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uVNxrwV84EinqUX-ps_Aa33HC7IwkkDh/view?usp=sharing 

Today’s music

: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RM6KRnjcOKfRygILoife-J-T35K_vng4C54P_1OSpp8/edit?usp=sharing

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, Saturday, June 12, 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

 Peace to the disoriented

Whose life has taken a sudden turn

To those who feel that

they should be devastated,

but are numb or even happy

To those who feel

that they should be happy

but are not

Peace to your feelings

Peace to your timing

Peace to your expectations

Peace

         – Jessica Kantrowitz

Jessica Kantrowitz is the author of the book The Long Night, Readings and Stories to Help You Through Depression, as well as many essays and nonfiction pieces included in publications like Sojourners and the Our Bible app. She holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The following prayer comes from her collection 365 Days of Peace: Benedictions to End Your Day in Gentleness and Hope, which brings together benedictions she originally offered on a nightly basis over social media.  

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:  Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen.

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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Harper and Jack – today is their baptismal anniversary!

For Sal and Diana – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Cashel Ferns & Ossory – The Church of Ireland (Dublin Province).

For all who have died: Alison, Charles. 

For one another.

Something to share

The Widening Road

All winter the road has been paved in rain,

          holding its form as if made of its own direction.

We have a lot of those days. Or not.

A woman in a car staring out, her hands going numb.

         When did the world begin to push us so quickly?

A blue jay flies low over her into the madrones.

    She can still see it—its bright movements rocking a branch—

    surely delighted that it matches the sky.

The honest clouds.

A tenderness grows like a fluttering in her hand.

She wants to hold it in her arms but not pin it down,

   the way the tree holds the jay generously

   in its willful branches. The spring is blowing

   through her, pulling the dead debris free from her limbs.

She cannot decide what she desires, but today it is enough

   that she desires and desires. That she is a body

   in the world, wanting, the wind itself becoming

   her own wild whisper. 

        – Ada  Limón

News and Updates

Tomorrow’s scripture lessons:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uVNxrwV84EinqUX-ps_Aa33HC7IwkkDh/view?usp=sharing

Tomorrow’s music:

 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RM6KRnjcOKfRygILoife-J-T35K_vng4C54P_1OSpp8/edit?usp=sharing

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9am on Sunday and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person tomorrow morning, June 13th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link: 

The only exception is that we will begin limited singing.

And/or, tomorrow morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  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. https://youtu.be/hoK00Hf7yHg

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow morning.  Join our parishioners for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 8 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, Friday, June 11, 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

Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well­being of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

       – Book of Common Prayer, p.241

Today is the Feast of St. Barnabas.

Although not one of the apostles recorded in the Gospels, Barnabas is often called an apostle because of his close association with the leaders of the early Church, starting with his extensive travels with St. Paul. His original name was Joseph, but the other apostles renamed him Barnabas, a name that means Son of Encouragement. What a wonderful name. Encourage means to give hope, and as a ministry, bringing hope to a hopeless world is doing the work of God.

Barnabas must have had a commanding presence. At Lystra, in Asia Minor, the people mistook Paul and Barnabas to be gods, supposing the gifted speaker Paul to be Mercury, the messenger of the gods, and Barnabas to be Jupiter, the chief of the gods.

Paul and Barnabas parted ways over a dispute about traveling with Mark, who may have been related to Barnabas. Having separated from Paul, Barnabas traveled with Mark to Cyprus. Tradition has it that Barnabas was martyred there at Salamis.

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:  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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Jean– today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Western North Carolina – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).

For all who have died: Alison, Charles. 

For one another.

Something to share

St. Barnabas

“Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand.”–Acts 21:3.

“We sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.”–Acts 27:4.

St. Barnabas, with John his sister’s son,

  Set sail for Cyprus; leaving in their wake

  That chosen Vessel, who for Jesus’ sake

Proclaimed the Gentiles and the Jews at one.

Divided while united, each must run

  His mighty course not hell should overtake;

  And pressing toward the mark must own the ache

Of love, and sigh for heaven not yet begun.

For saints in life-long exile yearn to touch

  Warm human hands, and commune face to face;

  But these we know not ever met again:

Yet once St. Paul at distance overmuch

  Just sighted Cyprus; and once more in vain

  Neared it and passed;–not there his landing-place.

        –   Christina Rossetti

News and Updates

SiCM SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM – Volunteers Needed! SiCM needs 5-8 volunteers each day to pack the meals in the mornings throughout the summer, Monday to Friday, 8-11 am.  If you are interested in helping there  – one time, once a week, for one whole week, or whatever fits your schedule – contact the Summer Lunch Coordinator at SiCM:  Camila Grande, camilag@sicm.us or 518-346-4445.  Respond by June 25.

St. Stephen’s will be a summer lunch site July 6 through September 3.  St. Stephen’s members will staff the site the weeks of July 6, July 12 and August 2.  Thank you to those who have volunteered to help.  If you would like to be a substitute for any of those days, let Richey Woodzell know by June 25.

Graduations and Commencements! – Are you or someone you know graduating this season? On Sunday, June 13th, we would like to recognize all who have graduated in the last academic year, from Pre-school to Post-Doctorate. Send us the names of graduates, so we can include them in the service. If you or someone you know is going off to pursue further studies, please let us know that too. Please contact me at: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, June 10, 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

You are wisdom, uncreated and eternal,

  the supreme first cause, above all being,

  sovereign Godhead, sovereign goodness,

  watching unseen the God-inspired wisdom of Christian people.

Raise us, we pray, that we may totally respond

  to the supreme, unknown, ultimate, and splendid height

  of your words, mysterious and inspired.

There all God’s secret matters lie covered and hidden

  under darkness both profound and brilliant, silent and wise.

You make what is ultimate and beyond brightness

  secretly to shine in all that is most dark.

In your way, ever unseen and intangible,

  you fill to the full with most beautiful splendor

  those souls who close their eyes that they may see.

And I, please, with love that goes on beyond mind

  to all that is beyond mind,

  seek to gain such for myself through this prayer.

        – The Cloud of Unknowing, late 14th century

The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century. It is a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages. The underlying message of this work suggests that the way to know God is to abandon consideration of God’s particular activities and attributes, and be courageous enough to surrender one’s mind and ego to the realm of “unknowing”, at which point one may begin to glimpse the nature of God.

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:  Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca  .

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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Upper South Carolina – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).

For all who have died: Alison, Charles. 

For one another.

Something to share

Wisdom

The power of money moves man closer to God

You worship them

Illness is a luxury you couldn’t have missed

Wealthiest people have it too

Failure is a stepping stone to achievement

Success is like a dessert

A sweet finishing

A good leader is to lead what you could lead

The rest is history

Don’t say no when you know that the no is a yes

It could cost you a fortune

Religion is not an excuse to kill your enemy

Use them as a tool to foster friendships

Define love

Love is like the Earth and the gravity

Inseparable

A good actor could not conceal his true behavior

It shows on his face

Death is a place to rest

Without your flesh and blood

A man is rich when he has all in places

Love, respect, friendships, happiness, admiration, honor

Don’t be upset when you had failed to achieve something

You could still make it, before you die

Between a woman and a mother

Both are the same, a life giver

Sadness is not a failure

But an honor to make amends

True love is a scarification

To be or not to be

       –  Sulaiman Mohd Yusof

News and Updates

SiCM SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM – Volunteers Needed! SiCM needs 5-8 volunteers each day to pack the meals in the mornings throughout the summer, Monday to Friday, 8-11 am.  If you are interested in helping there  – one time, once a week, for one whole week, or whatever fits your schedule – contact the Summer Lunch Coordinator at SiCM:  Camila Grande, camilag@sicm.us or 518-346-4445.  Respond by June 25.

St. Stephen’s will be a summer lunch site July 6 through September 3.  St. Stephen’s members will staff the site the weeks of July 6, July 12 and August 2.  Thank you to those who have volunteered to help.  If you would like to be a substitute for any of those days, let Richey Woodzell know by June 25.

Graduations and Commencements! – Are you or someone you know graduating this season? On Sunday, June 13th, we would like to recognize all who have graduated in the last academic year, from Pre-school to Post-Doctorate. Send us the names of graduates, so we can include them in the service. If you or someone you know is going off to pursue further studies, please let us know that too. Please contact me at: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, Wednesday, June 9, 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

Alone with none but thee, my God,

I journey on my way.

What need I fear, when thou art near

O king of night and day?

More safe am I within thy hand

Than if a host did round me stand.

        – Columba, 597

On this day Columba is recognized with a feast day in the Episcopal Church. Columba was the abbot and founder of a monastery in Iona in the sixth century. He was considered an influential person in converting Picts, a Celtic people group, to Christianity. He also founded monasteries in Derry and Durrow. He is a patron saint of Ireland, in addition to Patrick and Brigid of Kildare. A fun fact about Columba is that many people argue his biography, Life of St. Columba written by the abbot following him, includes the first known report of the Loch Ness monster! He is recorded as making the sign of the cross at a water beast in the River Ness and successfully commanding it to turn back.

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:  Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen.

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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Kiely – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of South Carolina – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).

For all who have died: Alison, Charles. 

For one another.

Something to share

Iona Moment

Here

where God is sought out

not in simile of rock and sea

We say

this is how it will be

when we know him

But he is now

In this serene extravagance

he comes to me

Far from all we made

standing where our brethren prayed

he is here

Enough

for now

is now

The larks’ soliloquy

and waves hushing far below

say to me

he is here

        – Piers Denholm-Young

News and Updates

SiCM SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM – Volunteers Needed! SiCM needs 5-8 volunteers each day to pack the meals in the mornings throughout the summer, Monday to Friday, 8-11 am.  If you are interested in helping there  – one time, once a week, for one whole week, or whatever fits your schedule – contact the Summer Lunch Coordinator at SiCM:  Camila Grande, camilag@sicm.us or 518-346-4445.  Respond by June 25.

St. Stephen’s will be a summer lunch site July 6 through September 3.  St. Stephen’s members will staff the site the weeks of July 6, July 12 and August 2.  Thank you to those who have volunteered to help.  If you would like to be a substitute for any of those days, let Richey Woodzell know by June 25.

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, June 8, 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

“Take your sandals off, you are standing on holy ground.”

Joshua 5.14, 15

…[The people of Israel] all cross the Jordan and the first obstacle in the conquest is indeed a daunting one: there is the city of Jericho, walled, defended and barred. It is at this point that Joshua looks up and suddenly sees the ‘Commander of the Lord’s Army’. The figure before him is an angel.

The most important matter of all is the presence of God himself as the progress into the Promised Land is made. Here is a clear reference to the appearance of God to Moses at the burning bush, where God says to Moses, as he does here, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.’

Seeing the angel, Joshua knows that God is with him and the people in what they have to do. He prostrates himself in awe and wonder and in worship. At this critical moment he is touched by the presence of God himself: the angel speaks….

We come to our times of prayer not to invade….but rather to listen in a time of stillness and silence and contemplation. As we come, among our feelings are those of awe and wonder. What will take place is an encounter between the ordinary and the extraordinary; between the human and the divine; between the superficial and the deep; between that which is easily explained and the mysterious things of God.

Wherever you are praying, the place becomes holy ground. The presence of God is there: here it is that the angel speaks to you….

        – The Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer

The Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer is an association based in the United Kingdom, founded by the late Anglican priest Robert Coulson. The group promotes the practice of contemplative prayer, particularly contemplative prayer that draws on sayings from Scripture (typically words spoken by God or a messenger of God). Over 500 members from a variety of denominations are committed to a Rule of Life in which they practice this form of prayer daily. Many members participate in prayer groups to support them in this way of prayer. The above passage is a reflection on one biblical saying the Fellowship recommends using in silent contemplation. For more on this form of prayer, visit http://www.contemplative-prayer.org.uk/.

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:  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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of North Carolina – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).

For all who have died: Alison, Charles. 

For one another.

Something to share

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve

and we will all keep still

for once on the face of the earth.

Let’s not speak in any language;

let’s stop for a second,

and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment

Without rush, without engines;

we would all be together

in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea

Would not harm whales

and the man gathering salt

 would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,

wars with gas, wars with fire,

victories with no survivors,

would put on clean clothes

and walk about with their brothers

in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused

with total inactivity,

life is what it is about…

If we were not so single minded

about keeping our lives moving,

and for once could do nothing,

perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness

of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us

as when everything seems dead in winter

and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve

and you keep quiet and I will go.

        –  Pablo Neruda

News and Updates

Sunday Morning Nursery Care – We are looking to hire a new nursery manager.  The position will begin in September when we will (hopefully!) return to our normal service schedule. The position would be for 2 hours each Sunday morning, with a few additional days / times required throughout the year.  Pay is $25/hour.  If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Bethany Schuldt at office@st-stephens.church for more information.

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, Monday, June 7, 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

To the One who numbered my days,

I walk with you and you with me. There is nowhere I can go that you couldn’t find me. There is nothing I could do or leave undone that would separate me from your Spirit. How could I forget when there is so much good to name, so much kindness to remember?

And yet I do. I see myself through the eyes of the world and not through the eyes of Love. Help me shift my mind. Help me renew my mind with your words.

I proclaim that I was formed by you. I know that I am still being formed by you. I am becoming. And until the day that all is perfected, I live in the reality of Heaven on Earth, of the Kindom of God being established in me.

I live in the truth that I am Wonder, fully made.

Amen.

       – Kevin Garcia

Kevin Garcia has authored the book, Bad Theology Kills: Undoing Toxic Beliefs and Reclaiming Your Spiritual Authority. Kevin also creates web content such as a podcast and videos for progressive Christians and provides spiritual directing and life coaching services. He is a graduate of the Practical Theology program of Columbia Theological Seminary. This prayer is inspired by Psalm 139 and was included in a devotional available on the “Our Bible” app, which hosts a variety of devotional content. 

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:  Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca .

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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Joan – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of East Carolina – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).

For all who have died: Alison, Charles. 

For one another.

Something to share

Here We Are, Aging Together, Just Like We Said We Would

For your birthday, we pretend 

prehistoric. I fill our apartment

with inflatable dinosaurs, scaly ice 

cream cake, and raw meat. 

You have always wanted 

a birthday just like this: carbon 

dated back 

to before humans 

decided to chew 

all sorts of things. We play pretend 

so well you can barely smell the plastic, 

or remember anything about outside

and the blood moon that hangs there, 

red and wanting 

to become 

a whole new animal in your eyes.

Time is passing. We can feel the second 

hand, gently carving 

new trails along our skin. 

I recently eroded the landscape 

of my body 

by choice, and you

drew a fresh map,

topographical and understanding.

My blood was outside

my body and you kept 

the carnivores at bay. 

This is what we’ve promised 

one another, to try and live

and live and live 

until the earth caves in. 

We have built a home

and the ceiling is so high

everything feels about to echo—

all the things we say

growing older, and quieter, and 

drifting further away. 

       – Kayleb Rae Candrilli

News and Updates

Asylum-Seekers Sponsorship Project (ASSP)  – Recent “Sponsorship 101” sessions continue to be

offered.  Regardless of whether sponsorship is the right fit for our congregation, they need our

help in letting others know about the program in case it might be the right fit for them! You can

find a flyer that you can post on social media at pdf-flyer or png-flyer.

Here are the registration links for the next orientation sessions: 

–         June 24 @ 5pm PST/8pm EST –  bit.ly/ASSP-June24

–         June 27 @ 1pm PST/4pm EST –  bit.ly/ASSP-June27

ASSP is helping us build out a bigger/wider network of folks who are opening doors and hearts to asylum-seekers each day! You may find out more about ASSP on their website at www.asylumsponsorshipproject.org. If you are interested, please let Richey Woodzell know.

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, Sunday, June 6, 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 is the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Collect for the Day

O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 3:20-35:

The crowd came together again, so that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

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:  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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma).

For all who have died: Alison, Charles. 

For one another.

Something to share

From After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging 

…our convening is always undomesticated, imbued with the realities of the crowd, driven by a God who reaches everywhere and particularly to those not seen by conventional ways of seeing. But that convening must be unleashed from controlling desire, which means our convening will always be dangerous.

It was the crowd that wanted Jesus crucified, but Jesus yet wanted the crowd. Western education and especially theological education have not been able to digest this truth…

The urgent work… is to touch the divine reality of longing, to enter into its power and newness as the logic inside the work of gathering and inside the formation that should be at the heart of theological education.

         – Willie James Jennings

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 and Updates

This Sunday’s music:  Sequence Hymn – #362 (first verse); “Closing” Hymn  – #608 (last verse)

Prelude               Psalm-Prelude II                        Howells

Offertory            Largo                                            Vivaldi

Postlude             March Triomphale                     Rawsthorne

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – this morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9am on Sunday and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person this morning, June 6th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link: 

  The only exception is that we will begin limited singing.

And/or, this morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  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. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – this morning.  Join our parishioners for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 8 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Today’s Full Readings: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B-ihfZpasxpKGkF9gpi4sxeKeaa-FqBZ/view?usp=sharing

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.

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 Holder for the link:   becky.holder@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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, Saturday, June 5, 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

O God,

teach us what it means to live in grace — not just for ourselves,

but for the collective whole.

We have been individuals for far too long,

and in that individualism, we’ve forgotten how to hold each other.

We need to return again to a love that holds together community —

A love based on the way we belong to each other,

the practice of Ubuntu, a return to our wholeness

based on compassion toward others.

And in that returning, we find that you are always bringing us back,

Not to a world in which we do not see color or class,

but into a world in which we see it and believe that

sacred love is the imprint on everyone and everything, anyway.

O God,

in a heavy world, we need to remember that we belong to each other,

And in that remembering, that we belong to you.

Teach us.

Teach us because the future depends on it.

Remind us, we pray.

Amen.

       –  Kaitlin Curtice

Kaitlin Curtice is an author and public speaker who focuses on Indigenous spirituality, Christian faith, and the process of decolonizing the church. Her books are NATIVE: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God and Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places.  She is an enrolled citizen of the Potawatomi Nation. This prayer is an excerpt of a longer prayer titled “A Prayer for A Heavy World” published in the magazine Sojourners.

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:  Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen.

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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Carlisle – The Church of England (York Province).

For all who have died: Carl, Elizabeth. 

For one another.

Something to share

If Eve Side-Stealer and Mary Busted-Chest Ruled the World

What if Eve was an Indian

& Adam was never kneaded

from the earth, Eve was Earth

& ribs were her idea all along?

What if Mary was an Indian

& when Gabriel visited her wigwam

she was away at a monthly WIC clinic

receiving eggs, boxed cheese

& peanut butter instead of Jesus?

What if God was an Indian

with turquoise wings & coral breasts

who invented a game called White Man Chess

played on silver boards with all white pieces

pawns & kings & only one side, the white side

& the more they won the more they were beaten?

What if the world was an Indian

whose head & back were flat from being strapped

to a cradleboard as a baby & when she slept

she had nightmares lit up by yellow-haired men & ships

scraping anchors in her throat? What if she wailed

all night while great waves rose up carrying the fleets

across her flat back, over the edge of the flat world?

      – Natalie Diaz

News and Updates

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9am on Sunday and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person tomorrow morning, June 6th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link: 

The only exception is that we will begin limited singing.

And/or, tomorrow morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  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. https://youtu.be/zx_CIxnw-rA

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow morning.  Join our parishioners for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 8 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Tomorrow’s Readings: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B-ihfZpasxpKGkF9gpi4sxeKeaa-FqBZ/view?usp=sharing

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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, Friday, June 4, 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

….Gather us in harmony – not a false unity but a

selfless and brave co-existence.

Give us hungry spirits to hear the diverse melodies

of our kin, to recognize the infinite shades of our

existence in and because of you.

We are proud of who we are because of who you are –

because who you are is refracted through us,

because who we are is a part of your body.

Pride – not the sin but the reclamation, the

reconciliation, the redemption; let that be our cloak

and your love our greatest treasure.

        – “Prayer for Pride” by Reconciling Ministries Network

This prayer was shared online by Reconciling Ministries Network, in recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride Month which is celebrated throughout the month of June. Reconciling Ministries Network is a United Methodist organization dedicated to pursuing justice and inclusion for LGBTQ people, particularly within the context of their denomination. 

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: 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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For David – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean & Aruba – The Church in the Province of the West Indies.

For all who have died: Carl, Elizabeth. 

For one another.

Something to share

Poplar Street

Oh. Sorry. Hello. Are you on your way to work, too?

I was just taken aback by how you also have a briefcase,

also small & brown. I was taken by how you seem, secretly,

to love everything. Are you my new coworker? Oh. I see. No.

Still, good to meet you. I’m trying out this thing where it’s good

to meet people. Maybe, beyond briefcases, we have some things

in common. I like jelly beans. I’m afraid of death. I’m afraid

of farting, even around people I love. Do you think your mother

loves you when you fart? Does your mother love you

all the time? Have you ever doubted?

I like that the street we’re on is named after a tree,

when there are none, poplar or otherwise. I wonder if a tree

has ever been named after a street, whether that worked out.

If I were a street, I hope I’d get a good name, not Main

or One-Way. One night I ran out of an apartment,

down North Pleasant Street — it was soft & neighborly

with pines & oaks, it felt too hopeful,

after what happened. After my mother’s love

became doubtful. After I told her I liked a boy & she wished

I had never been born. After she said she was afraid

of me, terrified I might infect my brothers

with my abnormality. Sometimes, parents & children

become the most common strangers. Eventually,

a street appears where they can meet again.

Or not. I’ve doubted my own love for my mother. I doubt.

Do I have to forgive in order to love? Or do I have to love

for forgiveness to even be possible? What do you think?

I’m trying out this thing where questions about love & forgiveness

are a form of work I’d rather not do alone. I’m trying to say,

Let’s put our briefcases on our heads, in the sudden rain,

& continue meeting as if we’ve just been given our names.

–  Chen Chen

News and Updates

This Sunday’s Readings:

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B-ihfZpasxpKGkF9gpi4sxeKeaa-FqBZ/view?usp=sharing

Sunday Morning Nursery Care – We are looking to hire a new nursery manager.  The position will begin in September when we will (hopefully!) return to our normal service schedule. The position would be for 2 hours each Sunday morning, with a few additional days / times required throughout the year.  Pay is $25/hour.  If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Bethany Schuldt at office@st-stephens.church for more information.

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.

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).

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 only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.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/ ; 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.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.

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 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.