• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for August 22, 2021


The Holy Eucharist

13th Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 16B, Track 2)

August 22, 2021


Watch the Livestream at www.Facebook.com/StMattSav/Live/

Sunday, August 22, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)






The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


The Word of God



Hymn #408: Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

[Verses 1-3]


1 Sing praise to God who reigns above,

the God of all creation,

the God of power, the God of love,

the God of our salvation;

with healing balm my soul he fills,

and every faithless murmur stills:

to God all praise and glory.


2 What God's almighty power hath made,

his gracious mercy keepeth;

by morning glow or evening shade

his watchful eye ne'er sleepeth.

Within the kingdom of his might, lo!

all is just and all is right:

to God all praise and glory.


3 Let all who name Christ's holy Name

give God all praise and glory;

let all who know his power proclaim

aloud the wondrous story!

Cast each false idol from its throne,

the Lord is God, and he alone:

to God all praise and glory.


Words: Johann Jacob Schütz, tr. Frances Elizabeth Cox, alt., Public Domain.

Music: Mit Freuden zart, adapt. Pseaumes cinquante de David and Kirchengeseng darinnen die Heubtartickel des Christlichen Glaubens gefasset, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #107286. All rights reserved.



Opening Sentences

[BCP, p. 355]


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

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



The Collect for Purity

[BCP, p. 355]


Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. 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. 357, 232]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


A Reading from the Book of Joshua (24:1-2a, 14-18)

Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel:


“Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”


Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 34:15-22

[BCP, p. 628]

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

15 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, * and his ears are open to their cry.


16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, * to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.


17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears them * and delivers them from all their troubles.


18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted * and will save those whose spirits are crushed.


19 Many are the troubles of the righteous, * but the Lord will deliver him out of them all.


20 He will keep safe all his bones; * not one of them shall be broken.


21 Evil shall slay the wicked, * and those who hate the righteous will be punished.


22 The Lord ransoms the life of his servants, * and none will be punished who trust in him.



A Reading from the Letter to the Ephesians (6:10-20)

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.


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. John (6:56-69)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.


When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”


Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

"Following Jesus Everyday” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


“Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:66-69).


Jesus has spoken an uncomfortable truth. He taught about his own special place as Messiah and Savior, and how the path to life comes through him and his sacraments. He has taught his disciples about the importance of life and love, and some are offended. At that moment, many disciples gave up and left Jesus behind. He had gone too far for them and they could no longer follow. Here, Simon Peter spoke for the twelve apostles and reaffirmed their faith in Jesus. They stayed with him when others left. They were the faithful ones: “‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:68-69).


But that’s not where the story ends. This is only the sixth chapter out of twenty-one in John’s Gospel. And the twelve apostles’ stories will continue in other books of the New Testament. We know how the Gospel story ends. Jesus is arrested and crucified and most of the twelve apostles, including Simon Peter, are nowhere to be found. They run and hide. They are afraid to stand by Jesus during his most dangerous hour. Today, they decided to follow Jesus. On another day, they decided not to. But the story doesn’t end there either.


Many of you know that I’m a big fan of Marvel movies and comics, and I have been since I was a kid. One of my favorite movies of all time is 2012’s The Avengers, the first one -- light spoilers for a 9-year old movie. A central conflict in that movie is about trying to unite these heroes against a common enemy, in this case, Loki and an alien army that attacks New York City. But the Avengers work as individuals, not as a team. Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man (played by Robert Downey, Jr.), is especially selfish and arrogant, not really a team player. After learning to trust one another, Iron Man makes a dramatic sacrificial choice in order to defeat the army and save New York from a bomb.


The moral of the story seems like, now Iron Man is selfless and noble and will be a great leader of the team moving forward. But, it’s a credit to the writers that, like a real person, his story is more complex than that. If you keep watching these Marvel movies, it isn’t so simple. Iron Man is certainly more noble than he was before his choice in The Avengers, but he makes tons of selfish decisions along the way, many of which end up hurting people around him. He more or less creates the villain in the second Avengers film, Age of Ultron. He gets into such a bad fight with Captain America in Civil War that the Avengers team splits up. Without getting into too much story detail, Iron Man is a relatable character because he is not flawless. He makes a choice to do the right thing in a big way early on, but he doesn’t do the right thing all the time. He still messes up regularly. But he chooses rightly again at the end of his story arc in Avengers: Endgame, which I will not spoil this morning, but highly recommend you go watch or rewatch.


Likewise, being a Christian is not about one dramatic choice to end all choices. We dramatize the big choices through our celebrations of baptisms and confirmations, using the baptismal covenant and other prayers as ways of promising to be faithful. But we all know that we will fail at some point to uphold those vows. We won’t always “seek and serve Christ in all persons” or “respect the dignity of every human being” (BCP, p. 305). Human beings are not perfect. And we aren’t expected to be. Like Iron Man, you might choose the right thing today and choose the wrong thing on another day.


Instead, being a Christian is about a series of choices you make each and every day to follow Jesus. Every day when we say our prayers, we ask for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done and to forgive us as we forgive others. And we ask that every day because we know if we examine ourselves that yesterday wasn’t perfect. But we choose to try again. We choose to follow Jesus every time we choose to love someone, to show love and compassion to someone, to be loving in an unloving world. If love offends or if love scandalizes and we choose to love anyway, God is there.


In the same way, if you are married, your vows on your wedding day aren’t what makes the marriage work. The marriage works because every day you make choices to uphold and live into those vows. You choose to be faithful (or unfaithful) to your spouse today and tomorrow and the next day, and you deal with the consequences of those choices when they come.


In John 6, the twelve disciples choose to follow Jesus. On the day of Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, they choose to desert him. Peter chooses to deny him three times. But that’s not the end of the story. Because after the resurrection, Jesus forgives them and they choose to follow Jesus again. They have an opportunity for reconciliation and restoration. They can heal their broken relationship. And they choose to follow again. And they keep choosing to follow throughout the Book of Acts, preaching and teaching and healing and ministering to and loving people in Jesus’ Name.


Peter chooses to follow Jesus all the way to his own death and martyrdom. Tradition has it that Peter was crucified in Rome a few decades later, after years of ministering to churches across the Mediterranean world. He ended up following Jesus all the way to the cross, quite literally. The road was bumpy along the way, but Peter proved faithful in the end. Peter learned the lesson that you love people to the end, and you don’t back down from love just because it offends others. Even when loving people and teaching others to follow Jesus in the way of love put him in danger, he persisted. He continued to follow Jesus all the way there.


That’s part of why, in addition to the familiar rites of baptism and confirmation, The Episcopal Church has an underused service called “Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows.” It’s a public way of symbolizing that God is forgiving and will welcome us back into the fold no matter how far we have strayed. It’s very similar to the Confirmation service, but the Bishop prays this prayer over the person who Reaffirms their vows: “May the Holy Spirit, who has begun a good work in you, direct and uphold you in the service of Christ and his kingdom. Amen” (BCP, p. 419).


God has already begun a good work in us. We have chosen to follow Jesus. For some, that decision was big, bold, and dramatic, and for others it was small and mundane. Either way, I pray that we will continue to choose to follow Jesus every day, trusting that no matter how badly we messed up yesterday, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). God is ready and willing to forgive, and we can recommit to following Jesus again and again, all the way to the end. Amen.



LEV #136: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

[Verses 1-3]


1 I have decided to follow Jesus,

I have decided to follow Jesus,

I have decided to follow Jesus,

No turning back, no turning back!


2 Though no one join me, still I will follow,

Though no one join me, still I will follow,

Though no one join me, still I will follow,

No turning back, no turning back!


3 The world behind me, the cross before me,

The world behind me, the cross before me,

The world behind me, the cross before me,

No turning back, no turning back!


Words: Ascribed to an Indian Prince, as sung in Garo, Assam, Public Domain.

Music: Indian Folk Melody, Public Domain; arr. Norman Johnson © 1963 Singspiration Music / ASCAP.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97933. All rights reserved.



The Nicene Creed

[BCP, p. 358]


We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


The Prayers of the People

[BCP, p. 392, Form VI]


In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.


Silence.


For all people in their daily life and work;

For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.


For Joseph, our president; Brian, our governor; Van, our mayor; Chester, the chair of our County Commission; Ann, the Superintendent of our Public Schools, and all other civic officials; For this community, the nation, and the world;

For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.


For the just and proper use of your creation;

For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.


For our neighbors experiencing homelessness, that they may find safety and shelter, and for all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;

For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.


For all the churches in Savannah, that we may be one as you are one with the Son, and the Holy Spirit; For the peace and unity of the Church of God;

For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.


For Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael, our Presiding Bishop; Frank, our Bishop; Guillermo our Priest; and for all bishops and other ministers;

For all who serve God in his Church.


For the special needs and concerns of this congregation, especially for our Day Care’s staff, students, and families, and for those on our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Ronald Baynes, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Gordon Moore, Willie Mae Robinson, Helen Scroggins, Paulette Sibert, Nia Simmons, Gon Trimble, and Leonard Villabona; and those we remember now…


Silence. The People may add their own petitions.

Hear us, Lord;

For your mercy is great.


We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life; for all visitors to this parish; for Keshia Cope (8/24), Jordan [Jones] Green (8/24), and Charles Tennerson (8/28) on their birthdays; for Anthony & Kathleen Carrington (8/26) on their wedding anniversary; and for any other thanksgivings we remember now.


Silence. The People may add their own thanksgivings.


We will exalt you, O God our King;

And praise your Name for ever and ever.


We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom, especially those we remember now...


Silence. The People may add their own petitions.


Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;

Who put their trust in you.


We pray to you also for the forgiveness of our sins.


Silence may be kept.


Leader and People:

Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; in your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things done and left undone; and so uphold us by your Spirit that we may live and serve you in newness of life, to the honor and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Celebrant concludes with an absolution:

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.



The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.



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: https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/-/give/now; 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.

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and make good your vows to the Most High.”

[Psalm 50:14; see BCP, p. 376]

Give online at: https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/-/give/now



Hymn #548: Soldiers of Christ, Arise

[Verses 1-5]


1 Soldiers of Christ, arise,

and put your armor on,

strong in the strength which God supplies

through his eternal Son;


2 Strong in the Lord of hosts,

and in his mighty power:

who in the strength of Jesus trusts

is more than conqueror.


3 Stand then in his great might,

with all his strength endued,

and take, to arm you for the fight,

the panoply of God.


4 From strength to strength go on,

wrestle and fight and pray:

tread all the powers of darkness down,

and win the well-fought day.


5 That, having all things done,

and all your conflicts past,

ye may o'ercome, through Christ alone,

and stand complete at last.

Words: Charles Wesley, Public Domain.

Music: Silver Street, Isaac Smith, Public Domain.

All rights reserved.



Eucharistic Prayer A

[BCP, p. 361]


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. ...


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 Soulfoul People © 1979 North American Liturgy Resources. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #98299. All Rights Reserved.]


The people stand or kneel.


Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.


He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.


On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, 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 we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: 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 for ever. 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]


Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!


The Gifts of God for the people of God.



LEV #146: Break Thou the Bread of Life

[Verses 1-3]


1 Break thou the bread of life, Dear Lord, to me,

As thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;

Beyond the sacred page I seek thee, Lord;

My spirit pants for thee, O living word!


2 Bless thou the truth, dear Lord, to me, to me,

As thou didst bless the bread by Galilee;

Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall,

And I shall find my peace, my all in all.


3 Teach me to live, dear Lord, only for thee,

As thy disciples lived in Galilee;

Then, all my struggles o’er, then, vict’ry won,

I shall behold thee, Lord, the living one.

Words: Mary A. Lathbury, Public Domain.

Music: William F. Sherwin, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #101335. 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 Enriching Our Worship 1, p. 71]


Live without fear: your Creator has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Go in peace to follow the good road and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.



Parish Announcements


A. 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.


B. Bishop Harris' Hallelujah, Anyhow! Book Study: Thanks to all those who participated in the Christian Education Survey! We reached a consensus to study Hallelujah, Anyhow!: A Memoir by the Right Rev. Barbara C. Harris (1930-2020), the first woman and first Black woman ordained as a bishop in the Anglican Communion.


Please read Chapter 2 before our next meeting on Wednesday, August 25, at 5:30 PM. The Zoom information is featured in the e-Newsletter. For now, you can purchase Bishop Harris' book from Amazon or Church Publishing for about $16. (If you need help ordering the book, you may contact the Office Manager at office@stmattsav.org or (912) 234-4440.)


C. Midyear Giving Statements Available: Thanks to the work of our new Bookkeeper, Ms. Pat Lanchester, we have midyear giving statements available for all people who have contributed financially to St. Matthew's in 2021. These statements reflect all giving from January 1 - July 31, 2021.


Some donors will receive a link to their personalized statement via email, if you ever inputted your email address into Realm, our online accounting software. You may also pick up hard copies of these statements up in church this Sunday. Otherwise they will be mailed to your address on file in the coming week.


If you notice any discrepancies between your records and ours, please contact Ms. Lanchester at Bookkeeper@StMattSav.org or leave a message for her at (912) 234-4440.


D. 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 St. Matthew's Day and the 166th Parish Anniversary (Sunday, September 26) and 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 (FrGAA@StMattSav.org). 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.


E. Parish Prayer List: In an effort to improve communication about the parish prayer list, the Office Manager and Rector launched a new format for collecting names beginning in August:

  • With the exception of members we know to be chronically sick and/or shut-in, the prayer list will reset every month.

  • If you would like a loved one to be prayed for publicly, please send the request to Office@StMattSav.org and/or FrGAA@StMattSav.org.

  • After one month, each name will be automatically removed from the list unless it is requested again.

This will help ensure that the list is as accurate and succinct as possible. You may begin sending names for August now.


F. 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 4:50 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 FrGAA@StMattSav.org 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


G. “Trip Around the World” Quilt Raffle: The Quilter's Guild, through St. Matthew's ECW, is raffling a "Trip Around the World" Quilt to benefit St. Matthew's Building Renovation Fund. This fund supports major extra-budgetary building improvement projects, such as painting, replacing the sound system, replacing the oven in Toomer-Walker Hall, etc.


This beautiful, jewel-toned quilt measures 103"x90" and will fit a queen-sized bed. This machine-stitched quilt in tones of deep violet amethyst, blue sapphire, green emerald, blue topaz, and green peridot will enhance any bedroom.


The winner will be announced on September 30, 2021. Winners do not need to be present to win. In addition to the grand prize of the "Trip Around the World '' quilt, there will be interim raffles of seasonal quilt-type projects for no additional ticket purchase. Interim winners will still be eligible for the grand prize.


Tickets are $15 each. Please make donations in $15 increments. Tickets may be purchased by:

  1. Mailing a check to St. Matthew's with "Quilt Raffle" in the memo line; OR

  2. Visiting https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/give/quilt

Expect your raffle tickets to be returned to you by mail or email within 5-7 business days of receipt. Direct any questions to office@stmattsav.org.



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit!

Thanks be to God!





The Parish Prayer List


Prayer List: Martha Avery, Ronald Baynes, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Gordon Moore, Willie Mae Robinson, Helen Scroggins, Paulette Sibert, Nia Simmons, Gon Trimble, and Leonard Villabona


Birthdays: Keshia Cope (8/24), Jordan [Jones] Green (8/24), and Charles Tennerson (8/28)


Wedding Anniversaries: Anthony & Kathleen Carrington (8/26)


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.


Image Credit: https://www.sideshow.com/blog/tony-stark-heart-mcu-moments