• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for February 7, 2021


The Holy Eucharist: Liturgy of the Word

5th Sunday After the Epiphany (Year B) February 7, 2021


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

Sunday, February 7, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)


Preface


We at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. Under the guidance of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, the Vestry has decided to keep our church building closed for all in-person gatherings.


At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, I will broadcast the following worship service using Facebook Live at www.Facebook.com/StMattSav. After the service concludes, you can re-watch it at any time.


Today's service is the Liturgy of the Word (or the first part of the Holy Eucharist service we use on normal Sundays). This is for use at home while watching the live stream or reading the prayers when you cannot physically attend worship. Lay people may read the entirety of this service as printed.


This week, we will make some technological and liturgical changes to our live stream, which you may or may not notice while you watch. All these changes are intended to simplify the production process of these worship videos and be mindful of COVID-19 safety measures.

  1. This liturgy will be performed live on Sunday morning as you watch from home, rather than pre-filmed and edited together. In other words, you are looking at a live feed of what we are doing in the church. This means there will be fewer flourishes on the video, but it will look like actually attending church again.

  2. Due to the "live" nature of this video, there will be 3-4 people in the church on Sunday morning (Ms. Dandy, 1-2 lay readers, and myself). In compliance with the Diocese of Georgia's COVID-19 indoor worship guidelines, we will engage in social distancing, wear masks at all times, and aim to keep the liturgy under 40 minutes.

  3. Therefore, most hymns will be shortened (typically to 3 or fewer verses) and some portions of the liturgy that may be sung will be spoken.

May God protect you from this virus and protect the most vulnerable among us. May we be God’s hands and feet of compassion and service to all in need during this time. Amen.


Yours in Christ,

Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda





The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


The Word of God



Hymn #423: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

(Verses 1-2, 4)


1 Immortal, invisible, God only wise,

in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,

most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,

almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.


2 Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,

nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;

thy justice like mountains high soaring above

thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.


4 Thou reignest in glory, thou rulest in light,

thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;

all laud we would render: O help us to see

'tis only the splendor of light hideth thee.


Words: Walter Chalmers Smith, alt.; Public Domain.

Music: St. Denio, Welsh hymn; adapt. John Roberts; harm. The English Hymnal, 1906, alt.; Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84444. All rights reserved.



Opening Sentences

[BCP, p. 355]


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

And blessed be his 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 (Canticle 20)

[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, 216]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (40:21-31)

Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God


Psalm 147:1-12, 21c

[BCP, p. 804]

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

1 Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God! * how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!

2 The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; * he gathers the exiles of Israel.

3 He heals the brokenhearted * and binds up their wounds.

4 He counts the number of the stars * and calls them all by their names.

5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; * there is no limit to his wisdom.

6 The Lord lifts up the lowly, * but casts the wicked to the ground.

7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; * make music to our God upon the harp.

8 He covers the heavens with clouds * and prepares rain for the earth;

9 He makes grass to grow upon the mountains * and green plants to serve mankind.

10 He provides food for flocks and herds * and for the young ravens when they cry.

11 He is not impressed by the might of a horse; * he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;

12 But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him, * in those who await his gracious favor.

21 Hallelujah!



A Reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians (9:16-23)

If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.


For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law) so that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God


The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Mark (1:29-39)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After Jesus and his disciples left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.


That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

“God is God and We Are Not” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)


This passage from Isaiah is all about one simple lesson that we all ought to know: God is God and we are not.


And if you just get that, you’re on the right track for understanding what’s happening in this week’s Scriptures. God is God and we are not.


The hard part about that lesson, though, is not simply saying it or agreeing with it. The hard part is living like it’s true. So often we want to take control of our lives. We want to be in charge. We want to work as hard as possible and achieve as much as possible. We want things to turn out good for us and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there.


And some of us are really good at that kind of drive, passion, and motivation. We can sustain that for a good while. But eventually, all of us run out of steam. We all hit a point where our well is empty and we need something or someone to replenish us. We need strength from outside of ourselves in order to achieve our next goal or even just to do the bare minimum to make it to tomorrow. We all hit a point where, if we haven’t admitted it already, we are forced to recognize that I am not God. I can’t do it all by my own efforts.


I came across an article this week while reading the News app on my phone. It was a lifestyle piece in HuffPost about burnout during the pandemic. The title of the article neatly summarizes the gist: “It’s Not Just You. A Lot Of Us Are Hitting A Pandemic Wall Right Now.”


The author, Julia Ries, discusses the mental health strain that we are all going through as we try to survive the pandemic. The pandemic has activated biological stress responses in all of us, and the human body can only stay in “fight or flight” mode for so long before that system is exhausted. As we approach eleven full months since the initial lockdown, we are growing weary about the uncertainty that lies before us. When exactly will these disruptions end? Will this ever end?


Ries concludes with some words of advice: (1) identify the biggest stressors in your life and set some boundaries; (2) if you can afford it, see a therapist or other mental health professional; and finally, (3) “Cut yourself some slack. … Have compassion for yourself and don’t belittle your feelings.”


That’s honestly very good advice, but not just because of modern psychiatry. It’s good advice because it is compatible with what we find in today’s scriptures.


Working backwards, cutting ourselves some slack makes sense theologically, because we know that God is God and we are not. We cannot create or control or manipulate our circumstances and surroundings. Only God is powerful enough to do that. And we cannot go and go and go without stopping and acknowledging our limits. God never needs to rest, but we do.


Seeking help from others makes sense theologically because God created us to live in community with one another. We see this clearly in the Gospel passage from Mark, chapter 1. Jesus, who is fully God and fully human, does care for other people, but he also relies on other people to care for him. In this instance, Jesus heals Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, but then allows her to give him hospitality and serve him a home-cooked meal. There is a back-and-forth in healthy, whole human relationships. I help you; you help me; we all help each other because we all have times of need.


It also makes theological sense to understand our stressors and address them. That’s part of what Jesus did when he took time to pray by himself on the mountain. He spent all that time healing the sick and preaching, but then he needed time alone to be restored. Like Isaiah said, “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (40:31). Jesus copes with his stressors by waiting for the Lord in prayer, and thus he is renewed and rejuvenated. The fully human side of Jesus could not go on without relying on God’s strength and mercy.


Right now, we’re all worn thin by the pandemic, by being apart, by having parts of our lives restricted, and more. And that’s on top of the regular, ordinary stuff that happens to us in life. (Just in the last couple of months we have lost 4 church members, only one of whom -- Raleigh Bryant -- died from COVID-19.) We’re exhausted and weary by the changes and chances of this life, but especially as life has thrown us for a loop in the last eleven months.


Even when we grow faint and weary, God does not. Even when we in our complete and utter human-ness, cannot imagine mustering up the perseverance to continue, God holds fast for us. God “gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.” God does not leave us to our own devices, but empowers us to carry on, even in our challenging times. The Prophet Isaiah insists that “those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.” So the key to steadfastness and perseverance and receiving strength from God is to learn to “wait for the Lord.”


That “waiting” can come in many forms. But it begins with us coming to grips with the fact that God is God and we are not. We need help from God and we need help from others. So please do not be bashful or embarrassed to admit that you can’t do it alone. If you need help, please ask. Talk to me, or to a fellow church member or relative or friend. If you think you need it, talk to a therapist or other licensed mental health professional. If you can’t afford that, let me know. We’re all in this together.


Asking for help can be hard for many of us. Some of us carry shame, grief, and guilt about needing others’ time and attention. But asking for help is normal. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. God knows our needs and wants to renew our strength. Even Jesus needed to ask God the Father and other people for help. So why not you and me too? Amen.


Bibliography



Hymn #411: O Bless the Lord, My Soul

(Verses 1, 4-5)


1 O bless the Lord, my soul!

His grace to thee proclaim!

And all that is within me join

to bless his holy Name!


4 He pardons all thy sins,

prolongs thy feeble breath;

he healeth thine infirmities

and ransoms thee from death.


5 He clothes thee with his love,

upholds thee with his truth;

and like the eagle he renews

the vigor of thy youth.


Words: James Montgomery, para. of Psalm 103:1-5; Public Domain.

Music: St. Thomas (Williams), melody Aaron Williams; harm. Lowell Mason; Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84256. 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

[Adapted from Form IV, BCP, p. 388]

Let us pray for the Church and for the world.


Grant, Almighty God, that all who confess your Name, may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world; especially for Michael our Presiding Bishop, Frank our Bishop, Guillermo our Priest, and all Christians in Savannah.


Silence


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace; guide especially 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 civic officials; that we may honor one another and serve the common good.


Silence


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Give us all a reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.


Silence


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as he loves us. Bless especially our Day Care Staff, Students, and their families; bless Jabbaar Newton (2/10), Janie Newton (2/11), Janise Wright (2/11), Harriet Brinson (2/12), Evadne Roberts (2/12), and Jaden Ward (2/13) on their birthdays; and bless Charles "Kirk" & Ja’Wana [Baker] Pennamon (2/10) on their wedding anniversary.


Silence


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation. We pray especially the people of our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Evelyn Arboleda, Charlotte Blue, Zavier Bradley, Myrtle Brow-Hollis, Jacquelyn Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Liam Clemons, Marquez Clemons, Taylor Blue Clemons, Teresa Blue Clemons, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Eduardo Espinosa, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Charles Gordon, Amanda Green, Jocelyn Bryant Harden, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Enoch Henderson, Charles E. Hines, Kenneth Howard, Terri Howard, Dale Hundley, Jared Hundley, Tracy Hundley, Milinda James, Alvin Jenkins, Dana Jenkins, David Jones, Frances T. Jones, Lori Jones, Robert L. Jones, Sr., Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law, Jr., Ralph Lovett, Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Marcus Marzen, Joan Maty, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Altheria Maynard Carmelita Maynard, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Jameel Newton, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Paul Rockwell, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Willie Stephens, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, Renee Watts, and Noel Wheeler; and all whom we remember now…


Silence


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


We commend to your mercy all who have died, especially Raleigh Bryant, Ronald Jones, Tonya Jones, [and _______], and those whom we remember now… ; that your will for them may be fulfilled; and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom.


Silence


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect.


O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



Confession of Sin

[BCP, p. 360]


Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Silence may be kept.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.


The Bishop, when present, or the Priest, stands and says

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord 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: Many people are feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including the church. 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.

“O Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power; because you have created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

[Revelation 4:11; BCP, p. 377]

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

AAHH #154: Oh, What He's Done For Me

[Verses 1-2, 4]


1 Oh, what He's done for me.

Oh, what He's done for me.

Oh, what He's done for me.

I never shall forget what He's done for me.


2 He took my feet out the miry clay,

That's what He's done for me.

He took my feet out the miry clay,

I never shall forget what He's done for me.


4 He picked me up and turned me around,

That's what He's done for me.

He picked me up and turned me around,

I never shall forget what He's done for me.

Words: Congregational Praise Song; Public Domain.

Music: Congregational Praise Song, Public Domain; arr. by Jimmie Abbington © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #95016. All rights reserved.



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 Blessing

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 9]


May Christ, the Son of God, be manifest in you, that your lives may be a light to the world; 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

[See below]



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.



Parish Announcements - 2/7/21


A. Annual Meeting & Annual Report ONLINE: Last Sunday, St. Matthew's held its 2021 Annual Meeting virtually through Zoom. You can read about the Annual Meeting and download the Annual Report here: https://www.stmattsav.org/post/annual-meeting-on-january-31-2021.


The entire meeting was recorded through Zoom and has been posted to a private YouTube link. If you missed the Annual Meeting and would like to watch it, please check your e-Newsletter for the link. If you have trouble accessing the e-Newsletter, please contact the church office (see below). If you would like a paper copy of the 2021 Annual Report to be mailed to you, please call or email the church office at (912) 234-4440 or Office@StMattSav.org.


B. Hybrid Ash Wednesday Service: Ash Wednesday will take place on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. This fast day marks the beginning of the Season of Lent and the 40-day journey toward Easter. It is typically observed through a worship service involving crosses of ash marked on the foreheads of all worshippers. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we will offer safer ways to participate in Ash Wednesday 2021.


For all participants, St. Matthew's will live-stream a short Ash Wednesday Liturgy on February 17 at 7:00 AM. This will be available for viewing any time on Ash Wednesday via our Facebook page. As a home worshipper, you have three options for how to "receive ashes."

  1. On Ash Wednesday, you can drive through the church parking lot between 7:30-8:30 AM or 6:00-7:00 PM, and receive ashes from your car window. This will look similar to Christmas Eve Drive-Thru Communion, but with imposition of ashes.

  2. On Sunday, February 14, from 11:00 AM - 12:00 noon, you can come to the church to pick up a small plastic bag full of pre-blessed ash. If you choose this option, you can mark your own forehead (or mark the foreheads of others in your household) with the ashes on Wednesday after watching the Facebook Live service.

  3. Believe it or not, you don't need ashes to observe Ash Wednesday. You can watch the Facebook Live service without receiving any ashes and still be a faithful Christian!

C. Tonya Jones Burial on 2/6: St. Matthew's mourns the death of Ms. Tonya "Lilbit" Jones, who passed away on January 26, 2021, at the age of 57. Ms. Jones was buried at Bonaventure Cemetery on Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 11:00 AM. The burial service was live-streamed to the St. Matthew's Facebook Page and may be viewed at any time. For a full obituary and other information, please visit: https://www.adamsfuneralservicesinc.com/obituary/MsTonya-JonesLilbit


D. Raleigh Bryant Burial Plans TBD: St. Matthew's mourns the death of Mr. Raleigh A. Bryant, Jr., who passed away on December 18, 2020, at the age of 96. Mr. Bryant will be cremated and buried at a future date to be determined. A graveside burial service will be announced once plans are finalized. For Mr. Bryant's full obituary and online guestbook, please visit the following link to Adams Funeral Services' website: https://www.adamsfuneralservicesinc.com/obituary/MrRaleigh-BryantJr


E. Donations for New Security System, Internet, & Camera: In the last month, the Vestry and Rector have planned several improvements to our facility using the Building Renovation Fund. The Vestry approved a wholesale replacement and upgrade of the burglary alarm system across our entire building and we have asked several members to contribute to the upfront installation costs. The Vestry also approved a complete upgrade to our internet and wifi equipment, such that there is universal hi-speed internet coverage throughout the building (Office, Parish Hall, Day Care, and Sanctuary). Finally, we are purchasing a new HD video camera for use during live-stream worship on Sundays and holidays (see above).


Now that the internet installation is complete, the total cost of all these upgrades has increased to approximately $6500.00. We thank all those that have already contributed designated gifts toward these projects. If you have not already contributed, please consider making an additional donation to the Building Renovation Fund for one or all of these building upgrades.


The Altar Guild invites parishioners to offer memorial gifts in honor of departed loved ones toward these projects in lieu of flowers. Raffle tickets for the quilt also go toward the Building Renovation Fund and can support this cause.


F. T/W/Th Evening Prayer via Zoom: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, Fr. Arboleda invites you to pray Evening Prayer with him 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.

The first interim drawing was on December 16, 2020. Sheila Jones won four Christmas potholders and Yavonne Taylor won a set of six Christmas placemats. The next interim drawing will be in late February.


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.


H. The Parish Prayer List:

Prayer List: Martha Avery, Evelyn Arboleda, Charlotte Blue, Zavier Bradley, Myrtle Brow-Hollis, Jacquelyn Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Liam Clemons, Marquez Clemons, Taylor Blue Clemons, Teresa Blue Clemons, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Eduardo Espinosa, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Charles Gordon, Amanda Green, Jocelyn Bryant Harden, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Enoch Henderson, Charles E. Hines, Kenneth Howard, Terri Howard, Dale Hundley, Jared Hundley, Tracy Hundley, Milinda James, Alvin Jenkins, Dana Jenkins, David Jones, Frances T. Jones, Lori Jones, Robert L. Jones, Sr., Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law, Jr., Ralph Lovett, Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Marcus Marzen, Joan Maty, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Altheria Maynard Carmelita Maynard, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Jameel Newton, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Paul Rockwell, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Courtney Watts Vista, Ed Vista, Willie Stephens, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, and Noel Wheeler


Birthdays: Jabbaar Newton (2/10), Janie Newton (2/11), Janise Wright (2/11), Harriet Brinson (2/12), Evadne Roberts (2/12), and Jaden Ward (2/13)

Wedding Anniversaries: Charles "Kirk" & Ja’Wana [Baker] Pennamon (2/10)


Recent Deaths: Raleigh Bryant (12/18), Ronald Jones (1/17), Tonya Jones (1/26)

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), and other sources cited. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.


Image Credit: https://eaglewings.org

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