Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Sunday, April 5, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

Today is Palm Sunday.  The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer/Hymn

The Way of the Cross Leads Home

I must needs go home by the way of the cross,
There’s no other way but this;
I shall ne’er get sight of the gates of light,
If the way of the cross I miss.

Chorus:
The way of the cross leads home, (leads home,)
The way of the cross leads home; (leads home;)
It is sweet to know as I onward go,
The way of cross leads home.

I must needs go on in the blood sprinkled way,
The path that the Savior trod,
If I ever climb to the heights sublime,
Where the soul is at home with God. [Chorus]

Then I bid farewell to the way of the world,
To walk in it nevermore,
For the Lord says, “Come,” and I seek my home
Where He waits at the open door. [Chorus]

Baptist Hymnal 2008 #606

Jessie Brown Pounds was born in Hiram, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland on 31 August 1861. She was not in good health when she was a child so she was taught at home. She began to write verses for the Cleveland newspapers and religious weeklies when she was fifteen. After an editor of a collection of her verses noted that some of them would be well suited for church or Sunday School hymns, J. H. Fillmore wrote to her asking her to write some hymns for a book he was publishing. She then regularly wrote hymns for Fillmore Brothers. She worked as an editor with Standard Publishing Company in Cincinnati from 1885 to 1896, when she married Rev. John E. Pounds, who at that time was a pastor of the Central Christian Church in Indianapolis.

A memorable phrase would come to her, she would write it down in her notebook. Maybe a couple months later she would write out the entire hymn. She is the author of nine books, about fifty librettos for cantatas and operettas and of nearly four hundred hymns. Her hymn “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere” was sung at President McKinley’s funeral.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

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

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

For 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.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Stephen, Pauline, Janet, Marilyn, Joan.

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

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

For those in need of healing: the Guiles family, Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, Budd and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For Mary Frances – today is her birthday!

For Gillian and Sidney W – today is their wedding anniversary!

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean

The Most Revd James Richard Wong Yin Song – Archbishop, Province of Indian Ocean & Bishop of the Seychelles

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glenn and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

Palm Sunday

Where thy victorious feet, Great God, should tread,
In honor this green tapestry is spread,
And as all future things are past to thee,
The triumph here precedes the victory.

Giambattista Marino, 1625

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

Holy Eucharist from the National Cathedral

Live-streaming:  

Palm Sunday, this morning at 11:15am

Free Online Concert from The Washington Cathedral – Mozart’s Requiem – Sunday, April 5, 4 pm – Join us for an encore online presentation of last year’s Palm Sunday performance of Mozart’s Requiem, as we enter the drama and emotion of Holy Week. Featuring the Cathedral Choir and Baroque Orchestra. 
Watch Here

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call in the next few days from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Saturday, April 4, 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

And now to him who is able to keep us from falling, and lift us from the dark valley of despair to the bright mountain of hope, from the midnight of desperation to the day break of joy; to him be power and authority, for ever and ever.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1968

 After preaching at the National Cathedral on March 31, 1968, Dr. King went to Memphis in support of sanitation workers in their struggle for better wages. There, he proclaimed that he had been “to the mountain-top” and had seen “the Promised Land,” and that he knew that one day he and his people would be “free at last.” On the following day, this day, April 4th, he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet. The above benediction, Dr. King gave to his congregation in Montgomery years earlier as he left them to devote all his time to political action.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Pauline, John, Rick, Bob J., Arthur and Al.

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

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

For those in need of healing: the Guiles family, Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, Budd and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For Jack G –  today is his birthday!

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Melbourne (Australia) and West Missouri (The Episcopal Church).

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glenn and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

Connections

Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot always tell by looking at what is happening
More than half a tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden
Gnaw in the dark, and use the sun to make sugar.
Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: make life that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in, a thicket and bramble
wilderness to the outside but to us it is interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always.
For every gardener knows that after the digging, after the planting, after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.

Marge Piercy

News and Updates

Free Online Concert from The Washington Cathedral – Mozart’s Requiem – Sunday, April 5, 4 pm – Join us for an encore online presentation of last year’s Palm Sunday performance of Mozart’s Requiem, as we enter the drama and emotion of Holy Week. Featuring the Cathedral Choir and Baroque Orchestra. 
https://cathedral.org/online/

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call in the next few days from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Friday, April 3, 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

Visit me not, O my loving Lord – if it be not wrong so to pray – visit me not with those trying visitations which saints alone can bear! Pity my weakness, and lead me heavenwards in a safe and tranquil course. Still I leave all in your hands – only, if you shall bring heavier trials on me, give me more grace, flood me with the fullness of your strength and consolation.

John Henry Newman, 1890

John Henry Newman was an English theologian and poet, first an Anglican priest and later a Roman Catholic priest and cardinal who was an important figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century. Originally an evangelical Oxford University academic and priest in the Church of England, Newman became drawn to the High-Church tradition of Anglicanism. He became known as a leader of the Oxford Movement, seeking to restore to the Church of England an awareness that it is part of a worldwide Church which is continuous with that of the first few centuries. Newman was also a literary figure: his major writings include the Tracts for the Times (1833-41), his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865-66), the Grammar of Assent (1870), and the poem “The Dream of Gerontius” (1865), which was set to music in 1900 by Edward Elgar. He wrote the popular hymns “Lead, Kindly Light” and “Praise to the Holiest in the Height” (taken from Gerontius).

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For all affected by the coronavirus around the world. Grant public health and government officials in our nation the strength and will to act swiftly and decisively, with wisdom and compassion in service to all. We pray especially for Donald, President of the United States, the Congress, Governors, elected officials in local municipalities, and Muriel, mayor of this City of Washington.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Sue, Art, Jeanne, Chris, Walter and Theresa.

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

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

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For June R –  today is her birthday!

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Medak (South India)  and West Lango (Uganda).

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glenn and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

Judy V shares this poem which hangs over her desk and reminds her to always seek God:

I Met God In The Morning

I met God in the morning,
When my day was at its best
And His presence came like sunrise,
Like a glory in my breast.

All day long the Presence lingered;
All day long He stayed with me;
And we sailed in perfect calmness
O’er a very trouble sea.
Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them
Brought to us a peace and rest.

Then I thought of other mornings,
With a keen remorse of mind.
When I too had loosed the moorings
With the Presence left behind.

So, I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way;
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day.

Ralph Spaulding Cushman

When we move with poetry and the imagination,
when we deal with symbols and images,
we become people
who are happy with mystery
and open to discovery.
To deepen the mystery,
to embrace complexity is risky.
We need to have courage
enough to be ready for an unveiling
which can be a startling process.

Rowan Williams as quoted in Lost in Wonder by Esther De Waal

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Thursday, April 2, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today’s Prayer

O Jesus,
Thou brightness of eternal glory,
Thou comfort of the pilgrim soul,
with thee is my tongue without voice,
and my very silence speaketh unto thee . . .

Come, O Come!
For without thee I shall have no joyful day
nor hour;
for thou art my joy,
and without thee my table is empty . . .

Praise therefore and glory be unto thee,
O Wisdom of the Father;
let my mouth,
my soul, and all creatures together,
praise and bless thee.

Thomas À Kempis, 1471

Thomas À Kempis wrote Imitatio Christi (Imitation of Christ), a devotional book considered by many the most influential work in Christian literature, second only to the Bible. Remarkable for its simple language and style, it emphasizes the spiritual rather than the materialistic life, affirms the rewards of being Christ-centered, and supports Communion as a means to strengthen faith. Thomas stresses asceticism rather than mysticism, and moderate – not extreme – austerity.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For all affected by the coronavirus around the world. For the leaders of the nations that they may work together for the common good as the outbreak spreads. May barriers that divide be brought down that bonds of trust may be strengthened to benefit the entire human family.

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

For those on the frontline:  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:  Pauline, John, Rick, Bob J., Arthur and Al.

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

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

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For Patricia J and Joan M –  today is their baptismal anniversary!                            

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Meath & Kildare (Ireland), West Ankole (Uganda) and

West Buganda (Uganda)

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glenn and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

Jane T brought this to my attention years ago, during another crisis. It was written by Theodore P. Ferris, a former rector of Trinity Church in Boston. 

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring
forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I
am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still,
help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it
patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.
Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit
of Jesus. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 461

News and Updates

Count Each Person in Census 2020!  Our divinely granted dignity demands equal recognition of our belief that , “We believe that all people, regardless of race, religion, or immigration status, are made in God’s image…” When we participate in the Census, we claim our God-given dignity and declare that we are here. The Census only happens once a decade and it is our opportunity to declare that we are here. Unfortunately, too many of us are not counted which results in less funding for our local schools and hospitals. $800 billion of federal funds are distributed based on who is counted in the Census, so there’s a lot at stake! Our political representation is determined by how many people in our community are counted in the Census. When our neighbors are not counted it weakens our collective voice to make change.

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Wednesday, April 1, 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

Give us grace, almighty Father, to address thee with all our hearts as well as with our lips. Thou art everywhere present: from thee no secrets can be hidden. Teach us to fix our thoughts on thee, reverently and with love, so that our prayers are not in vain, but are acceptable to thee, now and always; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jane Austen, 1817

Jane Austen was an English novelist, best known for her six major novels, which interpret, critique, and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. What kind of Christian was Jane Austen? She was the daughter and sister of clergy. She grew up in a family that practiced their faith through regular worship and by helping people in need. From her surviving letters, one learns that she and her sister often sewed or provided clothing for her father’s parishioners. When she died at the age of 41, she was given the honor of a burial at Winchester Cathedral not because she was a novelist – her authorship was still anonymous at that time – but because of her exemplary life in her little corner of the world. This prayer is her only prayer that has survived. There may have been others. Jane Austen’s faith may not call attention to itself in her novels, but it is “everywhere present” in her work, just like the love of God.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they have access to medical care and regain their strength and health; grant them your healing grace. Give strength to all who are caring for loved ones.

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

For those on the frontline:  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:  Mary Frances, Clark, Jim, Eunice, Mason, Jane and Bruce.

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

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

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For Paul D and Harper G –  today is their birthday!

For Vicki H –  today is her baptismal anniversary!                            

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Mbhashe (Southern Africa) and Wernyol (South Sudan).

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glenn and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

And the people stayed home. And read books
and listened, and rested and exercised, and
made art and played games, and learned new
ways of being and were still. And listened more
deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some
danced. Some met their shadows. And the
people began to think differently. And the
people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in
Ignorant, dangerous, mindless and heartless
ways the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people
joined together again, they grieved their losses,
and made new choices, and dreamed new
images, and created new ways to live and heal
the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Kitty O’Meara

Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern.  Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise.

Rabbi Yosaf Kanefsky

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

Kalidasa

There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmer light, a hidden wholeness. . .
There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fountain of action and of joy.
It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being.

John Howard Griffin, A Hidden Wholeness, The Visual World of Thomas Merton

News and Updates

Count Each Person in Census 2020!  Our divinely granted dignity demands equal recognition of our belief that , “We believe that all people, regardless of race, religion, or immigration status, are made in God’s image…” When we participate in the Census, we claim our God-given dignity and declare that we are here. The Census only happens once a decade and it is our opportunity to declare that we are here. Unfortunately, too many of us are not counted which results in less funding for our local schools and hospitals. $800 billion of federal funds are distributed based on who is counted in the Census, so there’s a lot at stake! Our political representation is determined by how many people in our community are counted in the Census. When our neighbors are not counted it weakens our collective voice to make change.

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Tuesday, March 31, 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

Our brother Jesus, you set our feet upon the way and sometimes
where you lead we do not like or understand.
Bless us with courage where the way is fraught with dread or danger;
Bless us with graceful meetings where the way is lonely;
Bless us with good companions where the way demands a common
cause;
Bless us with night vision where we travel in the dark, keen hearing
where we have not sight, to hear the reassuring sounds of fellow
travelers,
Bless us with humor – we cannot travel lightly weighed down with
gravity;
Bless us with humility to learn from those around us;
Bless us with decisiveness where we must move with speed;
Bless us with lazy moments, to stretch and rest and savor;
Bless us with love, given and received;
And bless us with your presence, even when we know it in your
absence.
Lead us into exile,
until we find that on the road
is where you are,
and where you are is going home.
Bless us, lead us, love us, bring us home
bearing the gospel of life.

Kathy Galloway

Kathy Galloway is an ordained Church of Scotland minister. She was leader of the Iona Community until 2009 when, after seven years’ service, she left to become Head of Christian Aid Scotland. The main focus of her work since then has been humanitarian in nature, both in emergency and conflict situations, especially for refugees, as well as long-term advocacy work, addressing human rights issues. The main focus of her work has been climate justice, tax justice (campaigning for multinational to pay their fair share of tax) and gender-related issues.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For all affected by the coronavirus around the world. For the scientists and researchers around the world as they combat the virus, that their work may yield knowledge to develop a vaccine, treatments, and improved measures to reduce its spread.

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

For those on the frontline:  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:  Stephen, Pauline, Janet, Marilyn, Joan.

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

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

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For Lisa M –  today is her baptismal anniversary!                            

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Today is the focus of the Primates’ Task Group’s call for a period of prayer and repentance in the Anglican Communion.

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glenn and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

In the Morning

This is another day, O Lord, I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.  If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.  If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.  If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.  And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.  Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus.  Amen.                                                                   

Book of Common Prayer, p. 461

Give us a Pure Heart

GIVE US
A pure heart, that we may see Thee.
A humble heart, that we may hear Thee
A heart of love, that we may serve Thee.
A heart of faith, that we may live Thee.
Thou
Whom I do not know, but Whose I am.
Thou
Whom I do not comprehend, but Who has dedicated me to my fate.
Thou
Amen.

Dag Hammarskkjold

Give me Yourself

God, of your GOODNESS give me yourself, for you are enough for me.  And only in you do I have everything.  Amen

Julian of Norwich

News and Updates

Schenectady Clergy Against Hate holds a virtual service on Zoom with prayer and songs of healing on Thursday, April 2nd.  Due to the generosity of our virtual hosts the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady, up to five hundred individuals can zoom into the event in addition to various opportunities to call in or watch elsewhere online. Community members of all faiths and all those of goodwill are encouraged.  All you have to do is click on this link by 6:30pm, Thursday, April 2nd, and it should take you to the service.   https://uuma.zoom.us/j/199805063

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Monday, March 30, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today’s Prayer

Lord, thou art in me and shalt never be lost out of me, but I am not near thee till I have found thee. Nowhere need I run to seek thee, but within me where already thou art. Thou art the treasure hidden within me: draw me therefore to thee that I may find thee and serve and possess thee for ever.

Walter Hilton, 1396

Walter Hilton studied at the University of Cambridge before becoming a hermit and later joined the Augustinians at Thurgarton Priory, where he remained for the rest of his life. His major work was The Scale [or Ladder] of Perfection, written separately in two books. The first teaches the means by which a soul may advance toward perfection by destroying the image of sin and forming the image of Christ through the practice of virtue. The second distinguishes between the active, ascetic life and the contemplative, mystical life and describes the early stages of mystical contemplation, apparently from Hilton’s own experience. Because of its sober and methodical character, The Scale became and remained a popular devotional classic through the 15th and early 16th centuries and is regarded as the finest treatise on contemplation written in the late European Middle Ages.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For all affected by the coronavirus around the world. For the leaders of the nations that they may work together for the common good as the outbreak spreads. May barriers that divide be brought down that bonds of trust may be strengthened to benefit the entire human family.

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

For those on the frontline:  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:  Sue, Art, Jeanne, Chris, Walter, Theresa.

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

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

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For Daniel R – today is his baptismal anniversary!                            

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Today is the focus of the Primates’ Task Group’s call for a period of prayer and repentance in the Anglican Communion.

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glenn and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

An ‘old airman’ associated with the parish sent us this and said that it has helped him in the past! If you have a poem or any other inspirational writing you would like to share, please send it to us.

High Flight (An Airman’s Ecstasy)

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee Jr.

News and Updates

Schenectady Clergy Against Hate holds a virtual service on Zoom with prayer and songs of healing on Thursday, April 2nd.  Due to the generosity of our virtual hosts the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady, up to five hundred individuals can zoom into the event in addition to various opportunities to call in or watch elsewhere online. Community members of all faiths and all those of goodwill are encouraged.  All you have to do is click on this link by 6:30pm, Thursday, April 2nd, and it should take you to the service.   https://uuma.zoom.us/j/199805063

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let us know and share with us the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Sunday, March 29, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent

The Collect for the Day

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John:

John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

The Gospel of the Lord

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Sylvia, Peter, Irene, Barbara, Nick and Frank.

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

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

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Today is the focus of the Primates’ Task Group’s call for a period of prayer and repentance in the Anglican Communion.

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glen and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

Peace……Peace…….Peace…..Peace

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of peace to you.

The Iona Community, The Edge of Glory Prayers

Open Wide the Windows of our Spirits
Open wide the windows of our spirits, O Lord, and fill us full of light
Open wide the door of our hearts, that we may receive and entertain
thee with all our powers of adoration and love.  Amen

Christina G. Rosetti

News and Updates

This Morning – We have another opportunity to participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on this Fifth Sunday of Lent, at 11:15am live-streamed from the National Cathedral. As a virtual, communal experience we can watch the service from our computers or smart televisions.  All you have to do is click on this link by 11:15am today, and it should take you to the service.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDCsaJ56uog

Saint Stephen’s homily – Each week I will make a video available of my homily for that Sunday and a video of my reading of a bible story for the children. For today here is the link for the homily 

and here is the link for the bible story

Schenectady Clergy Against Hate holds a virtual service on Zoom with prayer and songs of healing on Thursday, April 2nd.  Due to the generosity of our virtual hosts the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady, up to five hundred individuals can zoom into the event in addition to various opportunities to call in or watch elsewhere online. Community members of all faiths and all those of goodwill are encouraged.  All you have to do is click on this link by 6:30pm, Thursday, April 2nd, and it should take you to the service.   https://uuma.zoom.us/j/199805063

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let us know and share with us the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Saturday, March 28, 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

Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath:
O my God,
Take the gentle path.

For my heart’s desire
Unto thine is bent:
I aspire
To a full consent….

Though I fail, I weep:
Though I halt in pace,
Yet I creep
To the throne of grace…..

From the poem “Discipline by George Herbert”, 1633

George Herbert is recognized with a feast day in the Episcopal Church on February 27th. Herbert, born in 1593, was both a poet and a parish priest in the Church of England. All of the poetry we have of Herbert’s today were first published after his death in 1633.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Sylvia, Peter, Irene, Barbara, Nick and Frank.

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

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

For those in need of healing: Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, Clark (still in the hospital), Bud and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Mbale (Uganda), Washington (The Episcopal Church), Ibadan (Nigeria)

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

For one another.

Something to share

Becky shares this poem which has been comforting to her:

 Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

Shalom: A Prayer from Many Spiritual Sources to Begin and End the Day

Let me be at peace within myself,
Let me accept that I am profoundly loved and need never be afraid.
Let me be aware of the Source of Being that is common to us all and to all living creatures.
Let me be filled with the presence of the Great Compassion toward myself and toward all living beings.
Let me always be an instrument of my own liberation and not of my own oppression.
Let me see the face of Jesus in others.
Let me be the face of Jesus for others.
Let me be at peace within myself. Amen.

The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Kaeton, Women’s Uncommon Prayers

News and Updates

Sunday Morning – We have another opportunity to participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, this Sunday morning, March 29th at 11:15am live-streamed from the National Cathedral. As a virtual, communal experience we can watch the service from our computers or smart televisions.  All you have to do is click on this link by 11:15am Sunday morning, and it should take you to the service.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDCsaJ56uog

Schenectady Clergy Against Hate holds a virtual service on Zoom with prayer and songs of healing on Thursday, April 2nd.  Due to the generosity of our virtual hosts the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady, up to five hundred individuals can zoom into the event in addition to various opportunities to call in or watch elsewhere online. Community members of all faiths and all those of goodwill are encouraged.  All you have to do is click on this link by 6:30pm, Thursday, April 2nd, and it should take you to the service.   https://uuma.zoom.us/j/199805063

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let us know and share with us the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Friday, March 27, 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 cannot dance, O Lord,
Unless You lead me.
If You wish me to leap joyfully,
Let me see You dance and sing–
Then I will leap into Love–
And from Love into Knowledge,
And from Knowledge into the Harvest,
That sweetest Fruit beyond human sense.
There I will stay with you, whirling.

Mechthild of Madgeburg, 1282?

Mechthild of Madgeburg was a thirteenth century German mystic. In 1235 she became part of a community of Beguines. Jane Hirshfield describes the Beguine movement this way in her book Women in Praise of the Sacred: “When, in the twelfth century, the Catholic Church refused to open new convents to house any additional women….laywomen with a genuine vocation for religious life banded together to create their own forms of practice…The women who entered these communities took no formal vows, and had no official connection to the Church, but for the duration of their stay they observed the rules of chastity and poverty and the practice of charitable work.” In that community she wrote her mystical work The Flowing Light of the Godhead. Eventually, she took formal vows at the convent of Helfta.

From Our Prayers of the People

Let us pray:

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Sylvia, Peter, Irene, Barbara and Frank.

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

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

For those in need of healing: Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, Clark (still in the hospital), Bud and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Mbaise (Nigeria) and  Warri (Nigeria)

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

For one another.

Something to share 

What Gorgeous Thing
I do not know what gorgeous thing
the blue bird keeps saying,
his voice easing out of his throat,
beak, body into the pink air
of the early morning. I like it
whatever it is. Sometimes
it seems the only thing in the world
that is without dark thoughts.
Sometimes it seems the only thing
in the world that is without
questions that can’t and probably
never will be answered, the
only thing that is entirely content
with the pink, then clear white
morning and, gratefully, says so.

Mary Oliver

Before we get to Easter, we go through Holy Week and Good Friday. This year, these holiest of days align with some of the darkest days of our modern era.  The COVID-19 Pandemic is testing us and our faith in ways that few imagined just a few weeks ago. The cost—human, economic, social—is huge and growing. It is easy to lose faith in these times.
But as the prophet Zechariah reminds us we are called to be “prisoners of hope.” That is the promise of Easter morning and the resurrection. Despair is not an option.  If there was ever a time to live out our faith, surely it is now. We can demonstrate faith, hope and love through our own acts every day. By doing so, we are not only united with Christ, but also with one another as siblings in Christ.  It is through that strength of unity that we can be of real service to those in need even as we face challenges like the COVID-19 Pandemic right now. We get through such difficulties together as one in the body Christ.

Robert W. Radtke – Episcopal Relief & Development

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let us know and share with us the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

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.

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

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. 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 in this time of isolation.

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

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

Peace,

James+

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