• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for January 17, 2021


The Holy Eucharist: Liturgy of the Word

2nd Sunday After the Epiphany (Year B) January 17, 2021


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

Sunday, January 17, 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 when not speaking to the camera, and aim to keep the liturgy under 40 minutes.

  3. Therefore, all hymns will be trimmed 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 #7: Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies

(Verses 1-3)


1 Christ, whose glory fills the skies,

Christ, the true, the only Light,

Sun of Righteousness, arise!

Triumph over shades of night;

Dayspring from on high, be near;

Day-star, in my heart appear!


2 Dark and cheerless is the morn

unaccompanied by thee;

joyless is the day’s return

till thy mercy’s beams I see;

as they inward light impart,

glad my eyes, and warm my heart.


3 Visit then this soul of mine!

Pierce the gloom of sin and grief!

Fill me, radiancy divine;

scatter all my unbelief;

more and more thyself display,

shining to the perfect day.


Words: Charles Wesley; Public Domain.

Music: Ratisbon; adapt. attributed to William Henry Havergal; harm. William Henry Havergal, alt.; Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97757. 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, 215]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


A Reading from the First Book of Samuel (3:1-20)

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Then the Lordsaid to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.”

Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.” Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.”

As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God


Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17

[BCP, p. 794]

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

1 Lord, you have searched me out and known me; * you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 2 You trace my journeys and my resting-places * and are acquainted with all my ways. 3 Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, * but you, O Lord, know it altogether. 4 You press upon me behind and before * and lay your hand upon me. 5 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; * it is so high that I cannot attain to it. 12 For you yourself created my inmost parts; * you knit me together in my mother's womb. 13 I will thank you because I am marvelously made; * your works are wonderful, and I know it well. 14 My body was not hidden from you, * while I was being made in secret and woven in the depths of the earth. 15 Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written in your book; * they were fashioned day by day, when as yet there was none of them. 16 How deep I find your thoughts, O God! * how great is the sum of them! 17 If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; * to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours.


A Reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians (6:12-20)

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God


The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. John (1:43-51)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

“Samuel and Eli” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


  • Samuel is one of the greatest priests and prophets in biblical history. He judges and leads Israel before they have a king. He anoints the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David. He advises these kings and leads worship for the people of God, setting them on a path of righteousness (a path they only occasionally followed). But before all that, he was just a boy. Today’s Old Testament reading is Samuel’s origin story. Here we learn how a child grows up to be a faithful servant of God.

  • The biblical story begins with this ominous statement: “The word of the Lord was rare in those days” (1 Sam 3:1). That is very much like our own day. It can be hard for us to discern God’s word, God’s voice, and God’s calling in our lives amidst all the noise and distraction of life in the 21st century. Even in a time when the Lord’s word was rare, Samuel learned from a wiser, more experienced priest named Eli.

  • Samuel and Eli show us a paradigm for mentoring and being mentored in the faith. More specifically, Samuel and Eli help us understand the church’s work in Baptism. Baptism is a major theme of the Epiphany Season that we will return to more than once over the next few weeks. Samuel reminds us that we need help to grow up spiritually. And Eli reminds us of our responsibility as baptized Christian people to nurture and mentor the newly baptized in the faith.

  • The Scripture tells us that “Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” (1 Sam 3:7). All of us have been like Samuel at some point in our lives. Some of us feel like Samuel now. We are trying our best to be faithful. We are “ministering to the Lord” but still feel like God is distant and unknown to us (1 Sam 3:1).

  • Most of the time, we can’t get out of that kind of funk by ourselves. We need help from others. We need an Eli. We need somebody to walk alongside us and help us see God’s hand at work. We need somebody to pray with us and for us so that we can discern God’s voice more clearly. We need somebody to field our questions, confusion, and frustration, and remind us that God is big enough to handle all of that.

  • The truth is that everybody starts as a Samuel. Nobody is born knowing everything there is to know about God. Nobody starts out as a perfect spiritual guru. We all start as children. We all get shown the way of the Lord by parents, relatives, teachers, priests, and mentors. We all start out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, not knowing whose voice is telling us to go which way.

  • Most of us were baptized as infants or toddlers. We could not speak, and if we could, we can barely remember any of it now. Most of us were unable to recite the baptismal vows from the Prayer Book. Instead, our parents and godparents spoke for us and promised two things before God and the church: First, that they would “be responsible for seeing that the child [they] present is brought up in the Christan faith and life;” and second, that they would “by [their] prayers and witness help this child to grow into the full stature of Christ” (BCP, p. 302).

  • In other words, the adults who surround a child getting baptized are promising to be their Eli. Whenever we witness a baptism, we are promising to point and guide the newly baptized to the word of the Lord. Even if you are not a godparent, everyone in the congregation promises to “do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ” (BCP, p. 303).

  • I was once a Samuel who needed many “Elis.” I was baptized when I was four months old in my grandparents’ Spanish-language United Methodist Church in New York City. Of course, I don’t remember that day at all. I’m not sure I have ever seen a photo. But I do know that the Methodist baptism service uses almost the same words as the Episcopal one, so I know that the people of that congregation promised to uphold me with their prayers and witness and to support me in my life in Christ.

  • And those people did it. Whether in English or Spanish, they taught me Bible stories in Sunday School, brought me to summer camp, and prayed for me. As a kid, I didn’t always enjoy or appreciate all the time we spent in church, but those adults--the friends of my parents and grandparents--loved me unwaveringly. Even if I didn’t visit for a long time (especially after we switched a church closer to my parents’ home), they continued checking in and offering their prayers and wisdom. They pointed the way, like Eli.

  • Years later, as a young adult, discerning my call to pastoral ministry, I turned back to that church for prayer, guidance, and support. We were lucky enough to have the same pastor for over 25 years, so that when I was in college, I could still meet with the pastor who married my parents and baptized me. I could ask Reverenda Dilca about her spiritual journey, and how she heard the voice of the Lord. And she pointed the way, like Eli.

  • As an adult, I know now that there were times when my grandparents, their fellow church members, and even Rvda. Dilca didn’t feel like Eli. They didn’t always feel confident and secure in their callings. They weren’t always sure that they knew the voice of the Lord. Like Eli, they certainly weren’t perfect. But that didn’t stop them from loving and mentoring the next generation. They continued to care for me and others like me, no matter what was troubling them.

  • And as I grew older, I was able to reciprocate. Because nobody is a permanent Samuel or a permanent Eli. These are roles we fit into for times and seasons. My Grandma was an Eli to me for my entire life. But there were times when she asked me to pray for her and offer her a word of encouragement. The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways and doesn’t always fit our expectations about age and social role. The mark of a strong Christian community is when the elders can mentor the young and the young teach the elders too.

  • Even during a pandemic, when we don’t get to gather in the ways we’re used to, the church is not closed. The church is certainly not dead. The church is adapting and alive because the Holy Spirit is alive in us. We can still embrace our God-given roles as Samuel and Eli.

  • If you need encouragement and prayer, then today you are Samuel. Take time to ask a trusted member of the church to pray for you or with you. Call me if you need to talk. We’re here for you.

  • And if you have some love and patience to give, then today you are an Eli. Think of all the people you have watched get baptized over the years. Reach out to somebody you haven’t spoken with in a while. Call someone you know has been struggling. Offer them encouragement, and point to the voice of the Lord.

  • And tomorrow, you may switch roles. That’s okay. It’s an ebb and flow. But no matter which hat you put on, God is with us as we try to answer the call and be the church God intended us to be. Amen.




Hymn #126: The People Who In Darkness Walked

(Verses 1-2, 4)


1. The people who in darkness walked

have seen a glorious light;

on them broke forth the heavenly dawn

who dwelt in death and night.


2. To hail thy rising, Sun of life,

the gathering nations come,

joyous as when reapers bear

their harvest treasures home.


4. His name shall be the Prince of Peace

forevermore adored,

the Wonderful, the Counselor,

the Mighty God and Lord.


Words: John Morison, alt.; para. of Isaiah 9:2-7; Public Domain.

Music: Dundee; harm. Thomas Ravenscroft; Public Domain.

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, especially all civic officials, such as Donald our president; Joseph our president-elect; Brian our governor; Van our mayor; Chester the chair of our County Commission; and Ann the Superintendent of our Public Schools; 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, and bless Kathleen Carrington (1/20) and Jackie Newton (1/21) on their birthdays and Daniel and Marva Harris (1/20) 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, Gary 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., Ronald Jones, Tonya Jones, Emmanuel Kelley, 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; 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 [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.



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

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 Price, as sung in Garo, Assam; Public Domain.

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

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97933. 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 - 1/17/21


A. Technological & Liturgical Changes in 2021: 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 when not speaking to the camera, and aim to keep the liturgy under 40 minutes.

  3. Therefore, all hymns will be trimmed to 3 or fewer verses and some portions of the liturgy that may be sung will be spoken.

B. Vestry Member Term Extension Resolution: Due to the disruptive nature of the pandemic in our church's life, the Vestry is considering a resolution to extend its members' terms for an additional year. The Vestry seeks feedback from the members of St. Matthew's Church on this proposal between now and January 19, 2021.


Please direct all written feedback to Office@StMattSav.org. The resolution may be read in its entirety here: https://www.stmattsav.org/post/extend-the-terms-of-current-vestry-members


C. Morning Prayer for MLK Day @ 9:30 AM: Join us for Morning Prayer via Zoom on Facebook Live at 9:30 AM on Monday, January 18, 2021, in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately, the 2021 Savannah MLK, Jr. Observance Day Parade was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that will not stop us from looking back on his life and legacy. The service will look and feel just like the weekday Evening Prayer services over Zoom. Login info for the Zoom meeting will be in the e-Newsletter.


D. Raleigh Bryant Burial Plans TBD: Mr. Raleigh A. Bryant, Jr., 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 Adama 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).


The total cost of all these upgrades is approximately $5500.00. 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. Virtual Annual Meeting 1/31 @ 10:30 AM: In place of our normal Sunday Coffee Hour, which is simply a social time to fellowship with one another, we will hold our Parish Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 31, 2021. The purpose of the 2021 Parish Annual Meeting is for church members to learn the state of the congregation via 2020 reports from parish leadership and to hold annual elections. Pending the adoption of the above resolution, Vestry elections may be suspended at the 2021 Annual Meeting, but Convention Delegate elections shall still take place.


If you lead a committee or organization within St. Matthew's and you ordinarily submit an annual report, please send those reports by email to Office@StMattSav.org by Tuesday, January 26, 2020.


The meeting will take place over Zoom, and may be accessed by computer, smart device, or regular phone using the information below. The meeting will be recorded and shared via a private YouTube link in the e-Newsletter afterward. That means that if you miss the meeting, you can still watch it later.


Topic: Virtual Parish Annual Meeting

Time: Jan 31, 2021 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/92179080112?pwd=S016K1lRSlBYVitlRVBqT0JZY2RHUT09


Meeting ID: 921 7908 0112

Passcode: Annual2021

One tap mobile: +16468769923,,92179080112#,,,,*8797313155# US (New York)


Dial by your location: +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 921 7908 0112

Passcode: 8797313155


G. T/W/Th Evening Prayer via Zoom: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, Fr. Arboleda will continue to invite parishioners to pray Evening Prayer with him over Zoom. The video will still stream to Facebook Live at 5:00 PM, but we'll see more faces and hear more voices. To join the Zoom call, click the link below at 4:45 PM on Wednesday. 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: Jan 5, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Every week on Tue, Wed, Thu, until Feb 25, 2021, 10 occurrence(s)


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. Virtual Coffee Hour 1/17: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom on Sunday, January 17, and again on every other Sunday at 10:30 AM. (Thank you to Mrs. Rachael Blue-Jones who is donating a professional Zoom login to the church for our use.) 


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: St. Matthew's Coffee Hour

Time: Jan 17, 2021 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175

Passcode: SEE e-NEWSLETTER


Dial by your location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175

Passcode: SEE e-NEWSLETTER


I. “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 or early March.


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.


J. 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, Gary 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., Ronald Jones, Tonya Jones, Emmanuel Kelley, 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: Kathleen Carrington (1/20) & Jackie Newton (1/21)

Wedding Anniversaries: Daniel & Marva Harris (1/20)


Deaths: Raleigh Bryant (12/18)

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.

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