• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for June 6, 2021


The Holy Eucharist

2nd Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 5B, Track 2)

June 6, 2021


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

Sunday, June 6, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)







The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


The Word of God



Hymn #50: This is the Day the Lord Hath Made

[Verses 1-3]


1 This is the day the Lord hath made,

he calls the hours his own;

let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad,

and praise surround the throne.


2 Today he rose and left the dead,

and Satan's empire fell;

today the saints his triumphs spread,

and all his wonders tell.


3 Hosanna to the anointed King,

to David's only Son!

Make haste to help us, Lord, and bring

salvation from thy throne.


Words: Isaac Watts, Public Domain.

Music: London New, alt.; harm. John Playford, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #39574. 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, 229]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


A Reading from the Book of Genesis (3:8-15)

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent,


“Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures;

upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;

he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 130

[BCP, p. 784]

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

1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice; * let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.


2 If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss, * O Lord, who could stand?


3 For there is forgiveness with you; * therefore you shall be feared.


4 I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; * in his word is my hope.


5 My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, * more than watchmen for the morning.


6 O Israel, wait for the Lord, * for with the Lord there is mercy;


7 With him there is plenteous redemption, * and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.



A Reading from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (4:13-5:1)

Just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke” —we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.


So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Mark (3:20-35)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

The crowd came together again, so that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.


“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”


Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

"Joy for the Liberated” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


This morning, we hear a story about Jesus going to visit his hometown and getting into conflict with two groups of people who you might think would be his biggest supporters: his family and religious leaders. Jesus’ family members try to take him away from all the crowds and “restrain him” because they are concerned that “he has gone out of his mind” (3:21). Next, scribes from Jerusalem accuse Jesus of being possessed by a demon. This all amounts to the same sort of accusation. They think Jesus is wilding out, that his behavior is so inappropriate that he must be stopped!


Why do the people in Jesus’ hometown think that Jesus is mentally ill or demon-possessed? What has he done that has so offended them, so disrupted the normal flow of life, that they think he must be restrained and/or defamed?


Mark presents this story in chapter 3, near the beginning of the Gospel. But Jesus has already done a lot of things in his relatively short time in public ministry. Here is just a sampling of what we know Jesus did shortly before this incident in Nazareth, his hometown:


(Note: I’m drawing on the stories from Mark’s Gospel that are assigned for the preceding Sundays in years where Easter falls earlier and we get to hear more of the Gospel stories in direct succession.)


  • [Proper 1] Mark 1:40-45 - Jesus heals a beggar with leprosy (skin disease) by touching him (putting himself at risk of disease and ritual uncleanliness). “[The healed man] went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter” (1:45).

  • [Proper 2] Mark 2:1-12 - Jesus forgives the sins of a paralyzed man and heals his paralysis when religious leaders question him.

  • [Proper 3] Mark 2:13-22 - Jesus eats with Levi, the tax collector, scandalizing most of the religious authorities

  • [Proper 4] Mark 2:23-3:6 - Jesus challenges sabbath rules by allowing hungry people to pick/harvest food to eat and by healing a man with a withered hand


What do all these stories have in common? Why are they so frustrating to Jesus’ family and to people who work for the religious establishment? First, they all involve Jesus bending or breaking religious rules. Many of these rules are intended to make it easy for the masses to understand what to do and what not to do. They are supposed to make it harder to mess up, to take some of the thinking and judgment out of the equation. But rules usually aren’t universal. If you take thinking away, we often end up in the wrong place. If we apply the “right rule” in the wrong setting, we end up doing the wrong thing. That’s what Jesus is highlighting through all of these actions.


That leads to the crucial second point: all of these stories are about Jesus including people who would otherwise be excluded! The beggar was sick and ostracized from social and religious life for fear of spreading his disease and contaminating the religious space. The paralyzed man was unable to participate in the workforce and was dependent upon others to satisfy his physical needs. The tax collector was considered too corrupt, too evil to be loved and honored by a rabbi like Jesus. The hungry disciples and the man with the withered hand were expected to wait for generosity, compassion, and healing because of religious rules.


Jesus flies in the face of all these assumptions. Jesus sacrifices his own health and safety to heal the sick. Jesus sacrifices his own reputation to love and fellowship with someone considered irredeemable. Jesus ignores rules when they get in the way of love and compassion. Jesus shows with his actions that no one is too far gone to be welcomed back into God’s good graces. Jesus does not write anyone off, ignore anyone’s needs, or hide rigidly behind a rulebook. Love, kindness, and mercy are always his priorities.


But when you genuinely prioritize love, when you treat all people with dignity, when you respect the humanity, even the so-called lowliest people, you will ruffle some feathers. You will disrupt the status quo. You’ll show people that the way things are isn’t the way things have to be. You might start to gain a following because it turns out that loving people is very popular with the people. It just angers the wealthy and powerful ones who benefit from keeping marginalized people in their place.


So they called Jesus crazy. They accused him of having demons. They said he wasn’t a real man of God. They tried to discredit him. All because he loved people he wasn’t supposed to love. He stood up for people who had been dehumanized by the powerful and elites. Jesus walked in the way of love, no matter the cost.


And then, Jesus responds to these accusations with a very curious story about a divided household and binding up a strong man to plunder that house. He finishes by saying, “people will be forgiven their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness” (3:28-29).


Please don’t take this literally. I don’t think that it’s about literally cursing God or anything like that. But “blaspheming the Holy Spirit” can mean looking down on God’s loving, liberating, and life-giving work in the lives of others. All of Jesus’ actions leading up to this conversation help us to understand what he is saying. He is arguing with the religious authorities about the humanity of others, about treating others with dignity and respect, about liberating them from the oppressive structures in their lives. And these religious leaders can’t see past their own rulebooks to rejoice at the Good News God is bringing to each of those people’s lives. Juan Luis Segundo, an Uruguayan Catholic priest and scholar, explain, “The real sin against the Holy Spirit is refusing to recognize, with ‘theological’ joy, some concrete liberation that is taking place before one’s very eyes” (Juan Luis Segundo, quoted in Myers, et al., 36).


That’s where Jesus’ family and the scribes from Jerusalem went wrong. They failed to recognize God’s liberating activity in the world. As Christians, as Jesus-followers, God calls us to love our neighbors, and that includes rejoicing when others experience God’s freedom. As tempting as it can be to feel jealous, to look down, to nitpick about why such and such is really a bad thing because X, Y, or Z, if it’s filled with love, life, and freedom, God is there. God is there when people of every race, gender, religion, sexual expression, size and shape are honored and dignified. God is there when people are liberated from disease, from sin, from poverty, from suffering, and from all human-made oppression. And God is there when we rejoice alongside the liberated.


We’re all children of God. Jesus was killed for living out that truth. When we partner with Jesus to set the captives free, to honor the dignity of every human being, and to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, then not only are we children of God, but we can be siblings of Christ. As Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (3:35). Amen.


Bibliography

  • Curry, Michael B., and Sara Grace. Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times. New York; Avery / Penguin Random House, 2020.

  • Myers, Ched, Marie Dennis, Joseph Nangle, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, and Stuart Taylor. “Say to This Mountain”: Mark’s Story of Discipleship. Edited by Karen Lattea. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996.



Hymn #620: Jerusalem, My Happy Home

[Verses 1-5]


1 Jerusalem, my happy home,

when shall I come to thee?

When shall my sorrows have an end?

Thy joys when shall I see?


2 Thy saints are crowned with glory great;

they see God face to face;

they triumph still, they still rejoice

in that most happy place.


3 There David stands with harp in hand

as master of the choir:

ten thousand times would one be blest

who might this music hear.


4 Our Lady sings Magnificat

with tune surpassing sweet,

and blessed martyrs' harmony

doth ring in every street.


5 Jerusalem, Jerusalem,

God grant that I may see

thine endless joy, and of the same

partaker ever be!


Words: F. B. P. (circa 16th century), alt., Public Domain.

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

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #123007. 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; Al, 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 Bonaparte, Zavier Bradley, Myrtle Brow-Hollis, Jacquelyn Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Taylor Blue, Annie Colbert, Ana Columna, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Roland Dixon, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Karin Garcia, Colin Gentle, Yvonne 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, 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, especially for all visitors to this parish, for Judy Hunter-Dorsey (6/3), Rose Robinson (6/8), Dr. Janice Vaughn (6/8), and Patrece Grant (6/9) on their birthdays, Jewel and Emma Benford (6/1) on their wedding anniversary, 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.


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


Silence may be kept.


Leader and People:

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


The Celebrant concludes with an absolution:

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



The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.



The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



LEV #20: When We All Get to Heaven

[Verses 1-3]


1 Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,

Sing His mercy and His grace;

In the mansion bright and blessed,

He’ll prepare for us a place.


REFRAIN:

When we all get to heaven,

What a day of rejoicing that will be!

When we all see Jesus,

We’ll sing and shout the victory.


2 While we walk the pilgrim pathway,

Clouds will overspread the sky;

But when trav’ling days are over,

Not a shadow, not a sigh. [REFRAIN]


3 Let us then be true and faithful,

Trusting, serving ev’ry day;

Just one glimpse of Him in glory

Will the toils of life repay; [REFRAIN]

Words: Eliza Edmunds Hewitt, Public Domain.

Music: Emily Divine Wilson, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97977. 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.



AAHH #686 / LEV #152: Let Us Break Bread Together

[Verses 1-3]


1 Let us break bread together on our knees, (on our knees,)

Let us break bread together on our knees, (on our knees,)


REFRAIN:

When I fall on my knees,

with my face to the rising sun,

O Lord have mercy on me, on me.


2 Let us drink wine together on our knees, (on our knees,)

Let us drink wine together on our knees (on our knees,) [REFRAIN]


3 Let us praise God together on our knees, (on our knees,)

Let us praise God together on our knees, (on our knees,) [REFRAIN]

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Jimmie Abbington © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #95817. 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. In-Person Worship Open to the Public Beginning TODAY: In consultation with the Diocese of Georgia, the Vestry of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church has approved a plan for holding in-person worship services that are open to the public beginning on Sunday, June 6. Click here to read the Vestry's COVID-19 Safety Guidelines in their entirety.


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


B. Bishop Curry Wednesday Book Study: In Easter Season, St. Matthew's will join with churches across the Diocese of Georgia to read Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times (co-authored by Sara Grace). Buy the book now at Amazon or Penguin Random House. The book discussion guide for the Diocese of Georgia's 1Book1Diocese read of Love is the Way is now online here: Discussion Guide PDF.


The discussion group meets over Zoom on Wednesdays after Evening Prayer, from about 5:30 - 6:30 PM. Please read Chapters 11-12 for the June 9 meeting. Check the e-Newsletter for Zoom information.


C. JUST Nehemiah Action Report: Justice Unites Savannah Together (JUST) has been hard at work since December doing research into the organization's first two problem areas: Affordable Housing and Poverty. On May 3, we held a community-wide "Nehemiah Action." Just as Nehemiah called the whole city together in front of Jerusalem's public officials to solve an economic crisis (Nehemiah 5:1-13), we gathered to demand action from public officials.


We asked Mayor Van Johnson and the Savannah City to invest $10 million from its American Rescue Plan Act grants into the Affordable Housing Fund over the next 2 years. Then, we asked District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones to end cash bail in Chatham County. So far, we have not received commitments from either official, but JUST representatives will continue to meet with them over the next few weeks and report back on their progress.


Stay up to date and learn more by liking JUST's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thejustorganization.


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 6/6 at 11 AM: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" fellowship hour over Zoom on Sunday, June 6 at 11:00 AM. Check the e-Newsletter for Zoom information.


Beginning June 6, Virtual Coffee Hours will continue to be held every two weeks, but the time will change to 11:00 AM, to allow for adequate transition time after in-person worship ends.


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 in late June in time for Independence Day (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, Zavier Bradley, Myrtle Brow-Hollis, Jacquelyn Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Taylor Blue, Annie Colbert, Ana Columna, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Roland Dixon, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Karin Garcia, Colin Gentle, Yvonne 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, 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: Judy Hunter-Dorsey (6/3), Rose Robinson (6/8), Dr. Janice Vaughn (6/8), and Patrece Grant (6/9)


Wedding Anniversaries: Jewel and Emma Benford (6/1)


Recent Deaths: Raleigh Bryant (12/18/20)

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