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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for January 23, 2022

The Holy Eucharist

3rd Sunday After Epiphany (Year C)

January 23, 2022

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday, January 23, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)

The Holy Eucharist: Rite II

The Word of God

Hymn #537: Christ For the World We Sing

[Verses 1-4]

1 Christ for the world we sing!

The world to Christ we bring

with loving zeal;

the poor and them that mourn,

the faint and overborne,

sin-sick and sorrow-worn,

whom Christ doth heal.

2 Christ for the world we sing!

The world to Christ we bring

with fervent prayer;

the wayward and the lost,

by restless passions tossed,

redeemed at countless cost,

from dark despair.

3 Christ for the world we sing!

The world to Christ we bring

with one accord;

with us the work to share,

with us reproach to dare,

with us the cross to bear,

for Christ our Lord.

4 Christ for the world we sing!

The world to Christ we bring

with joyful song;

the newborn souls, whose days,

reclaimed from error's ways,

inspired with hope and praise,

to Christ belong.

Words: Samuel Wolcott, Public Domain.

Music: Moscow, melody Felice de Giardini; harm. The New Hymnal (1916), based on Hymns Ancient and Modern (1875) and Lowell Mason, Public Domain.

All rights reserved.

The Opening Sentence

[BCP, p. 355]

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

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

A 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

[See also 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 #28331. All rights reserved.

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 215]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Nehemiah (8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10)

All the people of Israel gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. ... And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, "Amen, Amen," lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. ... So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep." For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 19

[BCP, p. 606]

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

1 The heavens declare the glory of God, * and the firmament shows his handiwork.

2 One day tells its tale to another, * and one night imparts knowledge to another.

3 Although they have no words or language, * and their voices are not heard,

4 Their sound has gone out into all lands, * and their message to the ends of the world.

5 In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun; * it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber; it rejoices like a champion to run its course.

6 It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens and runs about to the end of it again; * nothing is hidden from its burning heat.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect and revives the soul; * the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent.

8 The statutes of the Lord are just and rejoice the heart; * the commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light to the eyes.

9 The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever; * the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, * sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.

11 By them also is your servant enlightened, * and in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can tell how often he offends? * cleanse me from my secret faults.

13 Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominion over me; * then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of a great offense.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, * O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

A Reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (12:12-31a)

Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.

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. Luke (4:14-21)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“Many Members, One Body” by The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Today’s sermon is weird. As most of you already know, Fr. Arboleda is at home because his wife, the Rev. Kelly Steele, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Her case seems mild and we expect a full recovery, but for now, they are staying quarantined from St. Matthew’s and St. Peter’s Churches to avoid spreading the virus. I am reading these words that Fr. Arboleda wrote. He’s both here with us and not here with us. We love him, but we also don’t need him to be here.

And that’s kind of the point of this Sunday’s Epistle reading from First Corinthians. We are one Body of Christ made up of many members. We all need one another to function as a healthy whole. It’s tempting to act like bishops, priests, and other clergy are the center of the church. But that’s not true at all. They may be the leaders of our communities, but we are the community. All of us are essential to the Body of Christ. We each have gifts given by the Holy Spirit that we contribute to the whole.

So the church is still open and worship still happens, even when our priest (or any priest) is unavailable. Because Fr. Arboleda is still just one member of the Body of Christ, and he needs us just as much as we need him. We all work together to accomplish God’s purposes in the world. We all work together to share God’s love with one another, day in and day out. We should never put too much of the emphasis or focus on one person or one leader. That’s like the foot wishing it were a hand.

God very intentionally made all of us different. We all bring different gifts to the Body of Christ. We are all valuable in God’s eyes and in the eyes of the church community. The church needs people who are loud and talkative. We need people who are quiet and introspective. We need people who sing. We need people who listen. We need people who are good with computers and technology. We need people who are willing to show up and make a hot meal for someone who is sick. We need all those types of people in the Body of Christ and there’s nothing wrong with you if you can’t be everything to everybody.

Bishop Logue likes to say that God doesn’t give anyone all the answers. We all need each other. And as St. Paul says, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). Through the good times and bad, through thick and thin, God will give us all we need to get through everything we face in one piece. We’ll continue to be held together by Christ Jesus himself. The Holy Spirit will bind us together in love.

After worship, at 11:00, we’ll have our Annual Parish Meeting on Zoom. By the grace of God, we’ll gather as best as we can, imperfect as it is, and we’ll reflect on the last year of God’s blessings. We’ll give thanks for what God has done, grieve for what we lost, and look for hope in the year ahead. And we’ll do it together because God has taken all of us different and diverse peoples and made us one in the Body of Christ.

LEV #81: Jesus, We Want to Meet

[Verses 1-4]

1. Jesus, we want to meet on this thy holy day

We gather round thy throne on this thy holy day

Thou are our heavenly Friend, Hear our prayers as they ascend

Look into our hearts and minds today, on this thy holy day

2. We kneel in awe and fear on this thy holy day

Pray God to teach us here on this thy holy day

Save us and cleanse our hearts, lead and guide our acts of praise

And our faith from seed to flower raise on this thy holy day

3. Thy blessing, lord, we seek on this thy holy day

Give joy of thy victory on this thy holy day

Through grace alone are we saved; in thy flock may we be found

Let the mind of Christ abide in us on this thy holy day

4. Our minds we dedicate on this thy holy day

Heart and soul consecrate on this thy holy day

Holy Spirit make us whole; bless the sermon in this place

And as we go lead us Lord, on this thy holy day

Words: A. T. Olajide; translation by Biodun Adebesin, versification by Austin C. Lovelace © 1964 Abingdon Press.

Music: Nigerian Folk Song, tr. A. T. Olajide; harm. Carl Haywood © 1992 Carl Haywood.

Reprinted with permission under ONELICENSE #20662. 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

Let us pray to God, who is made manifest in Jesus Christ.

As the prophet Isaiah rang out, “Arise, shine; for your light has come”; empower your Church, O God, to ring out the Good News of the Light of your son Jesus, which pierces even the deepest darkness.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As a star rose high into the nighttime sky to draw the nations to the Christ-child; send your blessing, O God, on this nation, and every nation, and draw the whole world to your peace and truth.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As John the Baptist guided crowds of people to the edge of the wilderness and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, we pray that you would guide our country and our leaders to the ways of justice and righteousness.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Like the Magi who traveled from afar to bring gifts and celebrate the Savior’s birth; we pray for this community: for Sheila Jones (1/25) and Anthony Blue Jr. (1/26) on their birthdays, and those celebrating wedding anniversaries.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As Jesus climbed the mountaintop, and proclaimed blessings on the people of the world; we pray for the sick and the distressed, the poor and the lame. We pray for those on our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien Jr., Annie Bell Greer, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, and Helen Scroggins, Paulette Sibert, and Rev. Kelly Steele.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As Jesus called his disciples to leave their nets and boats, and follow him; we pray for the departed whom we love and have answered your call to follow Jesus to your Heavenly Kingdom... Give them your peace.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant prays:

Lord Jesus, Light of the World, hear our prayers, and make us reflections of your Light, that the places of darkness in our world would be pierced by your Light, and that all nations would be drawn to you and be overwhelmed with joy. Amen.

The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Parish Announcements

A. VIRTUAL Annual Meeting on 1/23/22 at 11 AM: The 2022 Annual Parish Meeting with Presentation of 2021 Reports will take place on Sunday, January 23, 2022 via Zoom only. We will begin the meeting at 11:00 AM so in-person worshippers have time to return home. We made this change to our plan due to various church members testing positive or being exposed to COVID-19. Thank you for being flexible!

We provided the Zoom details via the e-Newsletter and they are included in the printed Annual Report. If you need the Annual Meeting Zoom details, please contact Fr. Arboleda or a Vestry member. Remember that you can participate from a computer, smart phone, tablet, or regular telephone.

B. CORR on 1/23 at 4:00 PM on ZOOM: Conversations on Relationships and Race (CORR) is a joint Christian Education course with St. Matthew’s, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Isle of Hope United Methodist Church, and Asbury United Methodist Church. In January, we will begin to read a new book called How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. This is a great opportunity to join the group if you are interested but could not make the meetings in the fall.

Our next CORR meeting is today from 4:00-5:30 p.m. over Zoom. This was an in person meeting, but the leaders decided to change the format in light of recent COVID-19 cases in our community. Please read the Introduction and Chapters 1-2 of Kendi’s book before the meeting. You may purchase it from any major bookstore (such as Amazon).

Topic: CORR Meeting

Time: Jan 23, 2022 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 825 4366 1590

C. Epiphany Chalk Blessings: Following an ancient tradition, we are providing a way to bless all of the homes in our parish in the new year and the Epiphany Season. We will provide blessed chalk for you to bring home and mark the front door to your home. Traditionally, the chalking is done above the lintel and takes this form: 20+C+M+B+22 - The letters are the abbreviation for the Latin phrase "Christus mansionem benedicat" - "Christ bless this house" (A second meaning and mnemonic device is Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar traditional names for the Magi). The + signs represent the cross, and 20-22 is the year.

Blessed chalk will be available at church until the end of Epiphany Season on Shrove Tuesday (March 1, 2022). If you would like us to mail or drop off chalk to your home, please contact Fr. Arboleda or another member of the church.

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

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

Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer

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

Join Zoom Meeting: See e-Newsletter

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter

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

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter

E. 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. At the October Vestry meeting, they reaffirmed the use of these guidelines and the maintenance of this temporary Sunday worship schedule.

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.

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]

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

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

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

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

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

“From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered to my Name, and a pure offering: for my Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.” [Malachi 1:11]

AAHH #402: Walking Up the King's Highway

[Verses 1-3]


It's a highway to heaven

None can walk up there but the pure in heart

It's a highway to heaven

I am walking up the King's Highway

1. My way gets brighter, my load gets lighter

Walking up the King's Highway

There's joy in knowing with Him I'm going

Walking up the King's Highway

2. Don't have to worry, don't have to hurry

Walking up the King's Highway

Christ walks beside me, angels to guide me

Walking up the King's Highway

3. If you're not walking, start while I'm talking

Walking up the King's Highway

There'll be a blessing you'll be possessing

Walking up the King's Highway

Words: Mary Gardner and Thomas A. Dorsey © 1940 (renewed) Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. and Unichappell Music Inc.

Music: King's Highway, arr. Mary Gardner and Thomas A. Dorsey © 1940 (renewed) Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. and Unichappell Music Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #101219. All rights reserved.

AAHH #651: Doxology

[See also Hymn # 380, v. 3]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Words: Thomas Ken, Public Domain.

Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84260. 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 Grace

[BCP, p. 102]

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

The Parish Prayer List

Prayer List: Martha Avery, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien Jr., Annie Bell Greer, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, Helen Scroggins, Paulette Sibert, and Rev. Kelly Steele

Birthdays: Sheila Jones (1/25) and Anthony Blue Jr. (1/26)

Wedding Anniversaries: N/A

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

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