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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for Feast of St. Matthew & 166th Parish Anniversary + Baptism

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Holy Baptism & The Holy Eucharist

Patronal Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle & Evangelist

166th Parish Anniversary

September 26, 2021

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday, September 26, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)

About The Patronal Feast & Parish Anniversary

Our church is named after Saint Matthew, the Apostle and Evangelist. He is one of the twelve apostles (a.k.a. disciples) of Jesus. He is the former tax collector who left his post when Jesus called, "Follow me" (Matthew 9:9). St. Matthew is also remembered as the author of the “Gospel According to St. Matthew” in the New Testament; this account of Jesus’ life and works was likely written in the 70s AD to a primarily Jewish-Christian audience. The Episcopal Church celebrates St. Matthew with a holiday (a “Major Feast”) every year on September 21.

Our church was founded through the merger of St. Stephen’s Church (founded 1855) and St. Augustine’s Church (founded 1872), both in Savannah. Because the merger was formally completed on September 24, 1943, so close to St. Matthew's feast day, the Vestries adopted St. Matthew as their new patron. We celebrate our parish anniversary, dated to the founding of St. Stephen’s, every year on the Sunday closest to St. Matthew’s Day. Above is a photo of the stained glass icon of St. Matthew next to the pulpit in our church.

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church founded in 1855

St. Augustine's Episcopal Church founded in 1872

Merged to form St. Matthew's on September 24, 1943

Holy Baptism & The Holy Eucharist

The Word of God

AAHH #343: Renew Thy Church, Her Ministries Restore

[Verses 1-4]

1 Renew your church, our ministries restore: both to serve and adore. Make us again as salt throughout the land, and as light from a stand. 'Mid somber shadows of the night, where greed and hatreds spread their blight, O send us forth with power endued, help us, Lord, be renewed.

2 Teach us your Word, reveal its truth divine, on our path let it shine; tell of your works, your mighty acts of grace, from each page show your face. As you have loved us, sent your Son, and our salvation now is won, O let our hearts with love be stirred, help us, Lord, know your Word.

3 Teach us to pray, for you are ever near, your still voice let us hear. Our souls are restless till they rest in you, this the goal we pursue. Before your presence keep us still that we may find for us your will, and seek your guidance every day, teach us, Lord, how to pray.

4 Teach us to love, with strength of heart and mind, each and all, humankind; break down old walls of prejudice and hate, leave us not to our fate. As you have loved and given your life to end hostility and strife, O share your grace from heaven above, teach us, Lord, how to love.

Words: Kenneth L. Cober © 1960, Kenneth Cober, ren. 1985, Judson Press.

Music: All Is Well, J. T. White's Sacred Harp, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #OLOFOB581. All rights reserved.

Opening Sentences

[BCP, p. 299]

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And blessed be God's kingdom, now and forever. Amen.

There is one Body and one Spirit;

There is one hope in God’s call to us;

One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;

One God and Father of all.

A Litany of Thanksgiving for a Church

[BCP, p. 578]

Let us thank God whom we worship here in the beauty of holiness.

Eternal God, the heaven of heavens cannot contain you, much less the walls of temples made with hands. Graciously receive our thanks for this place, and accept the work of our hands, offered to your honor and glory.

For the Church universal, of which these visible buildings are the symbol,

We thank you, Lord.

For your presence whenever two or three have gathered together in your Name, We thank you, Lord.

For this place where we may be still and know that you are God,

We thank you, Lord.

For making us your children by adoption and grace, and for refreshing us day by day with the bread of life.

We thank you, Lord.

For the knowledge of your will and the grace to perform it, We thank you, Lord.

For the fulfilling of our desires and petitions as you see best for us, We thank you, Lord.

For the pardon of our sins, which restores us to the company of your faithful people, We thank you, Lord.

For the blessing of our vows and the crowning of our years with your goodness, We thank you, Lord.

For the faith of those who have gone before us and for our encouragement by their perseverance, We thank you, Lord.

For the fellowship of Blessed Matthew, our patron, Blessed Stephen and Blessed Augustine, our former patrons, and of all your Saints, We thank you, Lord.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty;

For everything in heaven and on earth is yours.

Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom;

And you are exalted as head over all. Amen.

Hymn S-280: Glory to God (Gloria in Excelsis)

[BCP, p. 356]

Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,

Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Words: Public Domain.

Music: Robert Powell, © 1985 Church Publishing, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #77081. All rights reserved.

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 300, 244]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Proverbs (3:1-6)

My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;

for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you.

Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

So you will find favour and good repute in the sight of God and of people.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 119:33-40

[BCP, p. 766]

Read responsively by half-verse (at the asterisk).

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, * and I shall keep it to the end.

34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; * I shall keep it with all my heart.

35 Make me go in the path of your commandments, * for that is my desire.

36 Incline my heart to your decrees * and not to unjust gain.

37 Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; * give me life in your ways.

38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, * which you make to those who fear you.

39 Turn away the reproach which I dread, * because your judgments are good.

40 Behold, I long for your commandments; * in your righteousness preserve my life.

A Reading from the Second Letter to St. Timothy (3:14-17)

As for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The People stand for the reading of the Gospel.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (9:9-13)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“The Bigger Story of Baptism” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Today, we are privileged to gather together to celebrate several important occasions in the life of our church. We are celebrating the feast of our patron saint, whose name we adopted almost 70 years ago: Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. We are celebrating the founding of St. Stephen’s Church 166 years ago, which later merged with St. Augustine’s Church to form St. Matthew’s. And, last but far from least, we are celebrating the holy baptism of Imani Ferguson, Jr., who is about to be our newest and (I think) youngest member.

It’s great to celebrate a baptism on St. Matthew’s Day and on the church anniversary because baptism reminds us who we are in Christ. Baptism reminds us that being a Christian is not about being perfect or getting everything right. It’s about trusting Jesus to help us be better. It’s about learning to say sorry and turn our lives around when we mess up. Baptism reminds us that the church didn’t start with us and it won’t end with us. We are part of a bigger story.

In the Gospel reading, we heard about how Matthew became one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles. It’s a familiar story so I won’t recap all the details. But it’s worth remembering just how unlikely this was. If you knew Matthew before he met Jesus he might be one of the last people you’d expect to go down in history for his good deeds or faithfulness to God. Matthew was a Jewish man working as a tax collector for the Roman Empire. That meant that he was considered a traitor to his people. He helped the Empire as they subjugated and oppressed the rest of the Jewish people. So Matthew’s brothers and sisters and neighbors looked down on him even as they had to pay him to survive.

Jesus asks Matthew to follow him despite knowing what he did and who he was. And remarkably, Matthew agrees. He gives up that old life and decides to follow Jesus both figuratively and literally. In the words of the Psalm, he turned toward God and away from “unjust gain” (Psalm 119:36). But first they had a big feast at Matthew’s house to celebrate his new friendship with Jesus. And they invited all of Matthew’s scandalous friends, the “many tax collectors and sinners” who the rest of the community looked down on.

But through Matthew’s decision to follow Jesus, he and his neighbors found love, acceptance, and healing. Through Matthew’s change, his repentance, we learn the value of mercy. We learn that nobody is too far gone for God. Everyone can change. Everyone can be healed, forgiven, and made new in God’s eyes.

We’re about to celebrate a baptism for Imani Ferguson, Jr., who is only about 16 months old. He’s barely had any time to do anything on this earth, let alone robbing and stealing from his neighbors like Matthew did. Right now, he doesn’t have a whole lot to repent from or be forgiven for. But, he’s human, so one day he will. Like you and me, he will have his good days and his bad days. One day he’ll regret something he said or did to hurt someone, and when that happens, we’ll remind him of today.

We’ll remind him that Jesus loves him and has welcomed him “into the household of God” (BCP, p. 308). We’ll remind him that he is always able to ask for forgiveness and be healed. We’ll remind him that he can turn from evil and do good “with God’s help” (BCP, pp. 304-305). And we will walk with him as he proclaims the Good News of Jesus by word and example. We’ll be with him as he learns to love his neighbors as himself. We’ll be with him striving “for justice and peace among all people” (BCP, p. 305). We’ll do this together because the church is made up of baptized people who know what it’s like to be forgiven and loved by God despite our faults. We, like St. Matthew, know that God will heal our brokenness so we can be the people God wants us to be.

I’ve talked about why baptism fits so nicely with St. Matthew’s feast day, but not how it fits with our parish anniversary. See, Imani represents the next generation of the Church. I’m not just talking about St. Matthew’s, but the capital-C Church, the Body of Christ all over the world. I know most of you think of me as a young priest, but Imani is almost 30 years younger than me. One day, he may have children or nieces and nephews who get baptized here at St. Matthew’s (long after I am retired). New generations will emerge to follow the loving, liberating, and life-giving way of Jesus. And on and on it goes.

We are part of a much bigger story, God’s Story which began at the creation of the world. This story continued with Jesus and his follower Matthew; it continued with the founders of St. Stephen’s and St. Augustine’s Churches; it continued with the leaders of the merger as St. Matthew’s Church in 1943; and God’s Story continues every time we baptize, confirm, and raise up new Christians in our midst. Today we are witnessing history in the making. It may not all become world-famous history, but it’s the history of God’s Church growing and moving in the world.

As more people follow Jesus and learn to love God and love their neighbors, the world becomes just a little bit more like Jesus’ Dream for the world. In that Dream, all are welcome, the saints, the sinners, and everyone in between, those like Matthew himself who turned their lives around to follow Jesus. So let us gather together with all the saints at this “river,” the font where water flows from the city of God and makes all of us clean, whole, and new. There, we will celebrate God’s Great Story today and always. Amen.

LEV #141: Shall We Gather At The River

[Verses 1-4]

1 Shall we gather at the river,

Where bright angel feet have trod;

With its crystal tide forever

Flowing by the throne of God?


Yes, we’ll gather at the river,

The beautiful, the beautiful river;

Gather with the saints at the river

That flows by the throne of God.

2 On the margin of the river,

Washing up its silver spray,

We will walk and worship ever,

All the happy golden day. [REFRAIN]

3 Ere we reach the shining river,

Lay we ev’ry burden down;

Grace our spirits will deliver,

And provide a robe and crown. [REFRAIN]

4 Soon we’ll reach the shining river,

Soon our pilgrimage will cease,

Soon our happy hearts will quiver

With the melody of peace.

Words: Robert Lowry, Public Domain.

Music: Robert Lowry, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #150234. All rights reserved.

The Presentation and Examination of the Candidates

[BCP, p. 301]


The Candidate for Holy Baptism will now be presented.

Parents and Godparents:

I present Imani to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

Celebrant to the Parents and Godparents:

Q: Will you be responsible for seeing that the children you present are brought up in the Christian faith and life?

A: I will, with God’s help.

Q: Will you by your prayers and witness help these children to grow into the full stature of Christ?

A: I will, with God’s help.

Q: Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?

A: I renounce them.

Q: Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?

A: I renounce them.

Q: Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?

A: I renounce them.

Q: Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?

A: I do.

Q: Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?

A: I do.

Q: Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord?

A: I do.

The Celebrant addresses the congregation, saying

Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support this person in his life in Christ?

We will.

Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ and let us renew our own baptismal covenant.

The Baptismal Covenant

[BCP, p. 304]

Do you believe in God the Father? I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit? I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers? I will, with God's help.

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord? I will, with God's help.

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ? I will, with God's help.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? I will, with God's help.

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being? I will, with God's help.

The Prayers for the Candidate

[BCP, p. 305]


Let us now pray for this person who is to receive the Sacrament of new birth.

The Appointed Leader of the Prayers:

Deliver Imani, O Lord, from the way of sin and death. Lord, hear our prayer.

Open his heart to your grace and truth. Lord, hear our prayer.

Fill him with your holy and life-giving Spirit. Lord, hear our prayer.

Keep him in the faith and communion of your holy Church. Lord, hear our prayer.

Teach him to love others in the power of the Spirit. Lord, hear our prayer.

Send him into the world in witness to your love. Lord, hear our prayer.

Bring him to the fullness of your peace and glory. Lord, hear our prayer.

The Celebrant says:

Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

Thanksgiving Over the Water

[BCP, p. 306]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.

We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

At the following words, the Celebrant touches the water.

Now sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and born again may continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior.

To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

The Baptism & Anointing

[BCP, p. 307]

Imani, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Imani, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever. Amen.

Receive the light of Christ as a sign that you have passed from darkness into light. Shine as his light in the world to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin and have raised them to the new life of grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.

The Celebrant will now sprinkle the people with Holy Water as a reminder of their shared baptism.

Let us welcome the newly baptized.

We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood.

The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

The people greet one another with the Peace of Jesus Christ. Please maintain social distancing and refrain from hugging or kissing.

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]

Giving to St. Matthew's: We know that many people are feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The church is feeling it too. We still need your support to pay our staff, pay our bills, and provide for these online live streams. There are several ways to give, but the simplest are these:

  1. Mail us a check or money order at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1401 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, Savannah, GA 31415; OR

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at:; OR

  3. Text “stmattsav” to 73256 to make a secure online donation through your phone.

NOTE: Donations made online (#2 or #3) through Realm incur a processing fee of about 2.5%. Please consider adding an additional 2.5% to your online gift to cover these costs.

“Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.” [Ephesians 5:2; see BCP, p. 376]

AAHH #532: I Thank You, Jesus

[Verses 1-2]

1 I thank you, Jesus. I thank you, Jesus.

Jesus, I thank you, Lord.

Oh, you brought me, yes,

You brought me from a mighty,

A mighty long way, a mighty long way.

I thank you, Jesus. I thank you, Jesus.

Jesus, I thank you, Lord.

Oh, you brought me, yes,

You brought me from a mighty,

A mighty long way, a mighty long way.

2 You’ve been my mother, you’ve been my father, sister, my brother, too.

Oh, you brought me, yes,

You brought me from a mighty,

A mighty long way, a mighty long way.

You’ve been my doctor, you’ve been my lawyer, teacher, my friend indeed.

Oh, you brought me, yes,

You brought me from a mighty,

A mighty long way, a mighty long way.

Words: Kenneth Morris © 1948 Martin and Morris, Inc., admin. By Unichappell Music, Inc.

Music: Kenneth Morris; arr. Joseph Joubert © 1948 Martin and Morris, Inc., admin. By Unichappell Music, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #59465. All rights reserved.

LEV #78: Blessed Be The Name

[Verses 1-3]

1 Blessed be the name! Blessed be the name!

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Blessed be the name! Blessed be the name!

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

2 Jesus is the name! Jesus is the name!

Jesus is the name of the Lord!

Jesus is the name! Jesus is the name!

Jesus is the name of the Lord!

3 Worthy to be grand! Worthy to be grand!

Worthy to be grand is the Lord!

Worthy to be grand! Worthy to be grand!

Worthy to be grand is the Lord!

Words: Psalm 72:19, Public Domain.

Music: Camp Meeting Melody; arr. Ralph Hudson, Public Domain.

All rights reserved.

Eucharistic Prayer B

[BCP, p. 367, 381]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is right and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth through the great shepherd of your flock, Jesus Christ our Lord; who after his resurrection sent forth his apostles to preach the Gospel and to teach all nations; and promised to be with them always, even to the end of the ages.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who forever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

LEV #255:

Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts

Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, of the Lord

Hosanna in the highest, hosanna in the highest!

[Words: Public Domain; Music: Grayson Warren Brown, A Mass for a Soulful People © 1979 North American Liturgy Resources. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #98299. All Rights Reserved.]

The people stand or kneel.

We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.

On the night before he died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, "Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."

Therefore, according to his command, O Father,

We remember his death, We proclaim his resurrection, We await his coming in glory.

And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.

We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to that heavenly country where, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist, Blessed Stephen the Deacon and Martyr, Blessed Augustine of Hippo, and all your saints, we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation.

By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and forever. AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Fraction Anthem

[BCP, p. 364, 407]

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!

LEV # 269:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

Grant us peace.

[Words: Public Domain. Music: Lena McLin © 1972-1993 General Words and Music Co., reprinted from Eucharist of the Soul. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #100355. All Rights Reserved.]

The Gifts of God for the people of God.

LEV #129: I Am Thine, O Lord (Draw Me Nearer)

[Verses 1-4]

1 I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice,

And it told thy love to me;

But I long to rise in the arms of faith,

And be closer drawn to thee.


Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed lord,

To the cross where thou has died,

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,

To thy precious bleeding side.

2 Consecrate me now to thy service, Lord,

By the pow’r of grace divine;

Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,

And my will be lost in thine. [REFRAIN]

3 Oh, the pure delight of a single hour

That before thy throne I spend,

When I kneel in prayer, and with thee, my God,

I commune as friend with friend! [REFRAIN]

4 There are depths of love that I cannot know

Till I cross the narrow sea;

There are heights of joy that I may not reach

Till I rest in peace with thee. [REFRAIN]

Words: Fanny J. Crosby, Public Domain.

Music: William H. Diane, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #998342. All rights reserved.

The Post-Communion Prayer

[Enriching our Worship 2 [2000], pp. 56-57]

Let us pray.

For In-Person Worshippers:

Faithful God,

in the wonder of your wisdom and love

you fed your people in the wilderness with the bread of angels,

and you sent Jesus to be the bread of life.

We thank you for feeding us with this bread.

May it strengthen us

that by the power of the Holy Spirit

we may embody your desire

and be renewed for your service

through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

For Online Worshippers (i.e., Those Receiving Spiritual Communion):

Faithful God,

in the wonder of your wisdom and love

you fed your people in the wilderness with the bread of angels,

and you sent Jesus to be the bread of life.

Though we cannot consume now these gifts of bread [and wine],

we thank you that we have received the sacrament of Christ’s presence,

the forgiveness of sins, and all other benefits of Christ’s passion.

By the power of the Holy Spirit,

may we embody your desire

and be renewed for your service

through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

The Blessing

[Adapted from Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 17]

May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, to know the hope to which God has called you. Amen.

May God, who has given you an example of holy living and holy dying in the witness of Saint Matthew, bring you to share the glorious inheritance of the saints. Amen.

May God, who calls you friends and fellow citizens with the saints, give you grace to walk in the way of Christ. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you forever. Amen.

Parish Announcements

A. Congratulations to Imani Ferguson, Jr.: Imani Ferguson, Jr., was baptized today. We celebrate alongside his parents -- Imani Ferguson, Sr., and Amanda Greene -- and his godparents -- Vera Gardner, Maya Denmark, Rashad Denmark, Zikeevin Walker, Dana Jenkins, and Ja'wanna Pennamon.

B. 2022 Giving Campaign: The 2022 Giving Campaign is the Vestry’s opportunity to check in with different members and your opportunity to reconsider your commitments to St. Matthew’s in the coming year. Following the trend of many churches, we are updating our language around stewardship and giving to make it more straightforward and easier to understand for people who did not grow up in church. The 2022 Giving Estimate Forms (formerly called "Pledges") are now available electronically. Physical copies were distributed at the A.S.K. Dinner To-Go. Giving Estimates and Giving Campaign Letters will be mailed to all members shortly. All giving estimates are due by Sunday, November 7, when we will bless them and give thanks for God’s many blessings!

C. Vestry Adopts Revised Bylaws: This week, after months of work and deliberation, the Vestry of St. Matthew’s adopted the newly revised parish bylaws. The final version differs very slightly from the version mailed to members of the parish last month, based on some feedback from parishioners. The Vestry thanks the entire church for its participation and support through this process!

D. Care Packages for Needy Neighbors: As we all continue to struggle during the pandemic, and the neighborhood around St. Matthew's Church has been especially hard-hit. We want to respond to the immediate needs of our neighbors by building care packages we can distribute to anyone who asks for help, especially those experiencing homelessness. You can help support this initiative by donating individual size packages any or all of the following:

  • Gallon-size Zipper Bags

  • Bottled Water

  • Non-perishable snacks

  • Disposable Washcloths

  • Travel size First Aid Kit

  • Travel size Facial Tissue

  • Travel size Toothbrush and Toothpaste

  • Travel size Hand Sanitizer, 2 fl. oz.

  • Travel size Deodorant

  • Canned foods with pull tab

  • Packs of Gum

Thank you for your generosity! If you would like to serve our unhoused neighbors in other ways, Emmaus House is now accepting volunteers to serve breakfast on weekdays from 7:30-9:30 AM. Register today:

F. Baptisms Available this Fall: After a long hiatus due to COVID-19, St. Matthew's is ready to resume performing baptisms and welcoming new members into the household of God. Holy Baptism is available to anyone at any age who has not already been baptized. We would like to hold baptisms on the Eve of All Saints' Day (Sunday, October 31). We are also willing to work around you and your family's schedule to find a day for these celebrations. If you or your child would like to get baptized, please contact Fr. Arboleda by cell phone or email (

If you would like to be confirmed or received into The Episcopal Church, or if you would like to renew the commitment you made at confirmation, you may do so when Bishop Logue visits St. Matthew's on Sunday, January 16, 2022. Again, reach out to Fr. Arboleda to make a plan for preparing for this next step in your faith journey.

G. T/W/Th Evening Prayer via Zoom: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, St. Matthew's invites you to pray Evening Prayer over Zoom. The video will continue to stream to Facebook Live at 5:00 PM. Please join the Zoom call by 4:55 PM. Otherwise, watch the prayer service as you have been on Facebook Live.

For security purposes, below is the Meeting ID only; please check your St. Matthew's e-Newsletter for the password (or email to request it).

Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer

Time: 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Join Zoom Meeting: See e-Newsletter

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter

Dial by your location: +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter

H. “Trip Around the World” Quilt Raffle ENDS TODAY: The winner of the quilt is to be announced at the 9:30 AM Sunday morning worship service, which is live streamed to Facebook. If the winner is not present, he/she/they will be contacted directly.

All raffle proceeds went toward the Building Renovation Fund. This fund supports major extra-budgetary building improvement projects, such as re-painting, upgrading exterior signs, replacing the sound system, replacing the oven in Toomer-Walker Hall, etc. Note that the Building Renovation Fund is not intended for regular maintenance or repairs in our facilities, only for intentional improvements.

Church members are still welcome to support the Building Renovation Fund through pledged giving (giving estimates) and/or additional gifts by:

  1. Mailing a check to St. Matthew's with "Building Renovation Fund" in the memo line; OR

  2. Visiting

I. Revised COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for In-Person Worship: On June 21, the Vestry authorized revised COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for in-person worship at St. Matthew's. Changes include:

  • Up to 100 people are now allowed in the church at a time (increased from 70)

  • People may stay in the building for up to 1.5 hours (increased from 1 hour)

  • One-way foot traffic floor arrows are removed and no longer necessary

  • Congregational singing is now allowed

All people in attendance are still required to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth at all times and maintain social distancing in their assigned seating areas. Click here to read the Vestry's June 2021 COVID-19 Safety Guidelines in their entirety.

For now, we will maintain the current worship schedule: one Sunday service at 9:30 AM. We will reevaluate and consider the congregation's feedback in the late summer or early fall, once we have tried this out for a few months. Note that even if you do not feel comfortable attending, in person, we will continue to live-stream services to Facebook permanently.

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Let us go forth in the name of Christ!

Thanks be to God!

The Parish Prayer List

Prayer List: Susan Arena, Martha Avery, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Federico Foster, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, George Layne, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, Jameel Newton, Terry Newton, Helen Scroggins, Monica Gray Williams

Birthdays: Alex Jenkins (9/27), Sigmund Hudson (9/29), Tracee Williams (10/1)

Wedding Anniversaries: Noel & Jocelyn Wheeler (9/29); David & Rachael Blue Jones (10/2)

Recent Deaths: N/A

May the souls of all the departed rest in peace; and may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

Note: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), African American Heritage Hymnal (AAHH) and other sources cited. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.

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