• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for July 4, 2021


The Holy Eucharist

6th Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 9B, Track 2)

July 4, 2021


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

Sunday, July 4, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)






The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


The Word of God



Hymn #718: God of Our Fathers

[Verses 1-4]


1 God of our fathers, whose almighty hand

leads forth in beauty all the starry band

of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,

our grateful songs before thy throne arise.


2 Thy love divine hath led us in the past,

in this free land by thee our lot is cast;

be thou our ruler, guardian, guide, and stay,

thy word our law, thy paths our chosen way.


3 From war's alarms, from deadly pestilence,

be thy strong arm our ever sure defense;

thy true religion in our hearts increase,

thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.


4 Refresh thy people on their toilsome way,

lead us from night to never-ending day;

fill all our lives with love and grace divine,

and glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.


Words: Daniel Crane Roberts, Public Domain.

Music: National Hymn, George William Waren, Public Domain.

All rights reserved.



Opening Sentences

[BCP, p. 355]


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

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



The Collect for Purity

[BCP, p. 355]


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



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

[BCP, p. 356]


Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.


Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.


Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.


For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,

Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Words: Public Domain.

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

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



The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 230]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


A Reading from the Prophet Ezekiel (2:1-5)

The Lord said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 123

[BCP, p. 780]

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

1 To you I lift up my eyes, * to you enthroned in the heavens.


2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, * and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,


3 So our eyes look to the Lord our God, * until he show us his mercy.


4 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, * for we have had more than enough of contempt,


5 Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, * and of the derision of the proud.



A Reading from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (12:2-10)

I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Mark (6:1-13)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.


Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

"The Unpopular Truth” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


God tells the Prophet Ezekiel that he will speak the Word of the Lord to “stubborn” people who may refuse to listen (Ezek 2:4-5). St. Paul experiences weakness and a “thorn … in the flesh” during his missionary work to plant new churches and spread the Good News of Jesus (2 Cor 12:7). When Jesus himself visited his hometown to see family, friends, and loved ones, “they took offense at him” over what he said at the synagogue in worship (Mark 6:3).


Why do Jesus, Paul, and Ezekiel face so much opposition in their ministries? Why do so many biblical characters go through “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities” (2 Cor 12:10)? We often think that people “get what they deserve,” that bad things only happen to bad people. But these people are doing (or trying to do) God’s work. So what’s the deal? And what does that mean for us when we try to follow Jesus and do the right thing?


In each of these instances, we need more context to understand what is happening to these people. Ezekiel was a prophet during a very tumultuous time in Israel’s history. He lived after Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians and lived most of his life in Babylon. He lived in a community of Jewish exiles who were all ripped away from their homeland as prisoners of war and settled in the land of their imperial conquerors.


As you might imagine, many of Ezekiel’s contemporaries gave up on God. They didn’t believe God loved them or was with them because of all their traumatic experiences. Others believed that God was still faithful, and that God would quickly restore their kingdom to them and liberate them from their oppressors.


Ezekiel’s job throughout his entire life was to tell both of these groups that they were wrong. God still loved them. God never abandoned or forsook them. But, they weren’t going home any time soon. God sent Ezekiel to deliver the news to the exiles that God would allow the exiled Jews to return home, but only after about 70 years in Babylon. By then, many would choose to stay, having assimilated into the culture these future generations were born into.


Ezekiel’s prophecies from the Lord were therefore unpopular. People didn’t want to hear what they didn’t want to hear. Maybe the passage we just heard sounds harsh or unfair, but from Ezekiel’s perspective, the people were stubborn and disobedient. They didn’t receive God’s message as it was. They struggled to live justly in this foreign land, hold onto their culture and religion, and hold onto hope in God’s future salvation for their children and grandchildren. It was tough, but it was the truth. And the truth can make you unpopular. Yet God gave Ezekiel the power to persevere, filling him with a Spirit that set him on his feet so he could keep moving forward and obeying God’s call (Ezek 2:2).


St. Paul was also burdened with speaking the truth to people who didn’t always want to hear it. He had planted the church at Corinth, teaching these people the Good News of Jesus. Jesus’ Way of Love was compelling and led to the Corinthian church being filled with people from every social and economic background. But over and over again, they faced scandals and controversies, getting into fights and mistreating one another, allowing their old divisions to divide them within the Body of Christ.


Paul’s unifying message of God’s love broke down social, economic, ethnic, and cultural barriers everywhere he preached. This threatened many powerful people. Because of his ministry, Paul was arrested, beaten, imprisoned, and sometimes tortured. He had a lot he could complain about and often felt so weak he wanted to give up. The truth often made him unpopular. But God worked through that weakness and gave Paul power to persevere, to keep moving forward and obey God’s call.


Similarly, Jesus was rejected when he preached in his hometown. His friends and neighbors drove him away with their unbelief, and Jesus couldn’t do any miracles there. Then Jesus sends the disciples to preach the Good News of God’s love, and prepares them to be rejected sometimes too. Telling the truth -- that God loves everyone, that our divisions and hatred are not worth it, and that we can all come together -- that truth can make us unpopular.


And that’s something we can relate with today. Lots of people don’t want to hear the truth about social, economic, and racial inequalities. People don’t want to hear about the way racism is woven through American history, creating those inequalities we live with today. People don’t want to be challenged to face their own biases against people who are different from them. People don’t want to wrestle with the truth that God loves everybody unconditionally. Most of us don’t want to deal with what it says about us that so many people in our society are struggling to live and survive. The truth is unpopular, even among religious people, even among other Christians.


So many of our sisters and brothers in Christ in the USA are on the other side of political and social debates, trying to restrict the civil and human rights of others. So far as I can tell, that’s not the side of truth because it’s not the Way of Love. Jesus shows us over and over again that love is the way to life and freedom. And social justice is just love in public, love on a wider scale, giving others the opportunity to receive and practice love. So if standing up for truth, for what is right, for what is loving ever makes you unpopular, you are in good company. May God give all of us that grace that is sufficient, the godly power that is made perfect in our human weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Amen.



LEV #194: Lead Me, Guide Me

[Verses 1-3]


REFRAIN: Lead me, guide me, along the way; For if You lead me, I cannot stray; Lord, let me walk each day with Thee. Lead me, O Lord, lead me.


1 I am weak and I need Thy strength and power To help me over my weakest hour; Help me through the darkness Thy face to see, Lead me, O Lord, lead me. [REFRAIN]

2 Help me tread in the paths of righteousness; Be my aid when Satan and sin oppress. I am putting all my trust in Thee. Lead me, O Lord, lead me. [REFRAIN]

3 I am lost, if you take your hand from me; I am blind, without Thy Light to see; Lord, just always let me Thy servant be, Lead me, O Lord, lead me. [REFRAIN]


Words: Doris M. Akers © 1953, Doris M. Akers. All rights administered by Unichappell Music, Inc.

Music: Doris M. Akers, arr. Richard Smallwood © 1953, Doris M. Akers. All rights administered by Unichappell Music, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #92251. All rights reserved.



The Nicene Creed

[BCP, p. 358]


We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

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

and his kingdom will have no end.


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

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

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

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


The Prayers of the People

[BCP, p. 392, Form VI]


In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.


Silence.


For all people in their daily life and work;

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


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

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


For the just and proper use of your creation;

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


For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;

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


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

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


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

For all who serve God in his Church.


For the special needs and concerns of this congregation, especially for our Day Care’s staff, students, and families, and for those on our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Donald Baynes, Ronald Baynes, Shirley Clinton Bonaparte, Zavier Bradley, Myrtle Brow-Hollis, Jacquelyn Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Taylor Blue, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Roland Dixon, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Karin Garcia, Colin Gentle, Angie Glover, Charles Gordon, Amanda Green, Jocelyn Bryant Harden, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Enoch Henderson, Charles E. Hines, Kenneth Howard, Terri Howard, Anne Hudson, Lucy Hugging, Dale Hundley, Jared Hundley, Tracy Hundley, Janice C. Jackson, 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, Barbara McCary, Bette Milledge, John "Butch" Mitchell, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Jabbaar Newton, Jameel Newton, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Willie Mae Robinson, Paul Rockwell, Helen Scroggins, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Willie Stephens, Gon Trimble, Ed Vista, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, and Noel Wheeler; and those we remember now…


Silence. The People may add their own petitions.

Hear us, Lord;

For your mercy is great.


We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life; for all visitors to this parish; for Rachael Blue-Jones (7/4), Cheryl Rhett (7/7), Willie Mae Robinson (7/7), Whitney Kennedy (7/8), and Amanda Green (7/9) on their birthdays; and those people and things we remember now.


Silence. The People may add their own thanksgivings.


We will exalt you, O God our King;

And praise your Name for ever and ever.


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


Silence. The People may add their own petitions.


Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;

Who put their trust in you.


The Celebrant concludes with the following collect:


Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: [On this Independence Day,] give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



The Confession of Sin

[BCP, p. 360]


Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Silence may be kept.


Minister and People:

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 the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.



The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.



The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]


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

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

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at: https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/-/give/now; OR

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

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

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

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

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



LEV #226: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

[Verses 1-4]


1 Mine eyes have seen the glory

of the coming of the Lord;

He is trampling out the vintage

where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He has loosed the fateful lightning

of His terrible swift sword,

His truth is marching on.


REFRAIN:

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.


2 I have seen Him in the watch-fires

of a hundred circling camps,

They have builded Him an altar

in the evening dews and damps;

I can read His righteous sentence

by the dim and flaring lamps,

His day is marching on. [REFRAIN]


3 He has sounded forth the trumpet

that shall never sound retreat,

He is sifting out the hearts of men

before His judgement seat;

O be swift, my soul, to answer Him!

Be jubilant, my feet!

Our God is marching on. [REFRAIN]


4 In the beauty of the lilies,

Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom

that transfigures you and me;

As He died to make men holy,

let us live to make all free,

While God is marching on. [REFRAIN]

Words: Julia Ward Howe, Public Domain.

Music: Battle Hymn of the Republic, William Steffe, Public Domain; arr. Horace Clarence Boyer © 1992 Horace Clarence Boyer.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84139. All rights reserved.



Eucharistic Prayer A

[BCP, p. 361]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. ...


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


LEV #255:

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

Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

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

Hosanna in the highest, hosanna in the highest!


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


The people stand or kneel.


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


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


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


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

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


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



The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]


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

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



The Fraction Anthem

[BCP, p. 364]


Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!


The Gifts of God for the people of God.



Hymn #304: I Come With Joy

[Verses 1-5]


1 I come with joy, a child of God,

forgiven, loved and free,

the life of Jesus to recall,

in love laid down for me.


2 I come with Christians far and near

to find, as all are fed,

the new community of love

in Christ's communion bread.


3 As Christ breaks bread, and bids us share,

each proud division ends.

The love that made us, makes us one,

and strangers now are friends.


4 The Spirit of the risen Christ,

unseen, but ever near,

is in such friendship better known,

alive among us here.


5 Together met, together bound

by all that God has done,

we'll go with joy, to give the world

the love that makes us one.

Words: Brian Wren, alt., © 1971, 1995, Hope Publishing Company.

Music: Land of Rest, American folk melody; adapt. and harm. Annabel Morris Buchanan, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00455. All rights reserved.



The Post-Communion Prayer

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


Let us pray.


For In-Person Worshippers:

Faithful God,

in the wonder of your wisdom and love

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

and you sent Jesus to be the bread of life.

We thank you for feeding us with this bread.

May it strengthen us

that by the power of the Holy Spirit

we may embody your desire

and be renewed for your service

through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.


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

Faithful God,

in the wonder of your wisdom and love

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

and you sent Jesus to be the bread of life.

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

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

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

By the power of the Holy Spirit,

may we embody your desire

and be renewed for your service

through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

The Blessing

[Adapted from Enriching Our Worship 1, p. 71]


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



Parish Announcements


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

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

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

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

  • Congregational singing is now allowed

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


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


B. St. Matthew's Christian Education "Book Club" Survey: Please help us plan the next Christian Education Book Study by completing a short survey. We are collecting feedback on previous studies and asking for your input on which book or topic to study together next. All survey results are requested by Sunday, July 11. We will launch the next Christian Education offering in mid-August. Take the survey here: https://forms.gle/rStGwN7GHatLSZqw5.


C. Raleigh Bryant Burial Service on 7/17: The family of Raleigh Bryant, Jr., invites the members of St. Matthew's to attend a memorial Burial service at St. Matthew's Church on Saturday, July 17, at 11:00 AM. Mr. Bryant was a longtime member of our church and leader in the Savannah community who passed away on December 18, 2020, at the age of 96. Mr. Bryant's remains will be laid to rest at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery (Hunter Army Airfield) following the service. Read his full obituary and more at: https://www.adamsfuneralservicesinc.com/obituary/MrRaleigh-BryantJr.


D. Emmaus House Paper Goods Drive: Emmaus House provides hot meals, showers, and laundry to the community five days per week in downtown Savannah. Last week, they asked the community to donate paper goods to support their work. Several church members have already answered the latest call by giving this month.


Emmaus House seeks:

  • Bottled water

  • Takeout boxes

  • Cutlery packets

  • Grocery bags

  • Aluminum foil

  • Paper towels

  • Laundry detergent

  • Dish detergent

  • Bleach

  • Latex gloves

Bring any and all donations directly to Emmaus House at 18 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401 between 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM Mondays to Fridays.


Or, bring donations to St. Matthew's and we will deliver them to Emmaus House on your behalf.


E. Virtual Coffee Hour on Hiatus: Since our return to in-person worship gatherings, there has been less interest and engagement in the virtual coffee hour. For now, we will place this ongoing event on hold. Please let us know if you have any feedback on how to better meet the congregation's need for fellowship at this time. Direct all feedback to Fr. Arboleda at FrGAA@StMattSav.org.


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 next interim drawing will be announced on Sunday, July 4.


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

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

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

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



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


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

Thanks be to God!





The Parish Prayer List


Prayer List: Martha Avery, Donald Baynes, Ronald Baynes, Shirley Clinton Bonaparte, Zavier Bradley, Myrtle Brow-Hollis, Jacquelyn Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Taylor Blue, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Roland Dixon, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Karin Garcia, Colin Gentle, Angie Glover, Charles Gordon, Amanda Green, Jocelyn Bryant Harden, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Enoch Henderson, Charles E. Hines, Kenneth Howard, Terri Howard, Anne Hudson, Lucy Hugging, Dale Hundley, Jared Hundley, Tracy Hundley, Janice C. Jackson, 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, Barbara McCary, Bette Milledge, John "Butch" Mitchell, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Jabbaar Newton, Jameel Newton, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Willie Mae Robinson, Paul Rockwell, Helen Scroggins, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Willie Stephens, Gon Trimble, Ed Vista, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, and Noel Wheeler


Birthdays: Rachael Blue-Jones (7/4), Cheryl Rhett (7/7), Willie Mae Robinson (7/7), Whitney Kennedy (7/8), and Amanda Green (7/9)


Wedding Anniversaries: N/A


Recent Deaths: Robert Graham (uncle to the Dockery, Sanders, Newton, and Robinson families), Raleigh Bryant (12/18/20)

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




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


Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Healing_of_a_bleeding_women_Marcellinus-Peter-Catacomb.jpg

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