• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for November 7, 2021


The Holy Eucharist

24th Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 27B, Track 2)

November 7, 2021


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

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







The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


Guest Organist & Choirmaster: Mr. Joel Morehouse



The Word of God



LEV #111: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

[Verses 1-3]


1 Come, Thou fount of every blessing,

Tune my heart to sing thy grace;

Streams of mercy never ceasing,

Call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet,

Sung by flaming tongues above.

Praise the mount, O fix me on it.

Mount of God’s unchanging love.


2 Here I raise my Ebenezer,

Hither by thy help I’m come;

And I hope, by thy good pleasure,

Surely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,

Wand’ring from the fold of God.

He, to save my soul from danger,

Interposed His precious blood.


3 O, to grace how great a debtor,

Daily I’m constrained to be;

Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter,

Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it,

Seal it from thy courts above.


Words: Robert Robinson, Public Domain.

Music: Nettleton, Public Domain; harm. Carl Haywood © 1992 Carl Haywood.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #79430. 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, 236]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


A Reading from the First Book of Kings (17:8-16)


The word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 146

[BCP, p. 803]

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

1 Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, O my soul! * I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.


2 Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, * for there is no help in them.


3 When they breathe their last, they return to earth, * and in that day their thoughts perish.


4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! * whose hope is in the Lord their God;


5 Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; * who keeps his promise for ever;


6 Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, * and food to those who hunger.


7 The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind; * the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;


8 The Lord loves the righteous; the Lord cares for the stranger; * he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked.


9 The Lord shall reign for ever, * your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. Hallelujah!



A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (9:24-28)

Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.


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. Mark (12:38-44)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


As Jesus taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”


He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

“Given, Not Taken Away” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


In this week’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about people in positions of power who “devour widows’ houses” (Mark 12:40). Then we learn about a widow who gave “everything she had, her whole living” (12:44, RSV) toward God’s Temple. Ironically, today is also the day when we conclude our annual Giving Campaign and plan to bless our giving estimates. I’m supposed to give a rah-rah sermon about how important it is to give to our church, and, to some degree, I will. But I have to keep it real and talk about what the Gospel is talking about, which is not simply inspiration to give, but also a warning to the church and others who might take advantage of people in need. So today, I want to talk about the difference between giving something and being “devoured,” that is, having something taken away from you.


In first century Judea, there were various religious leaders who built their careers in service to the Temple. The Temple obviously served many religious purposes, as a center for daily sacrifices to God and for the celebration of festivals and fasts throughout the year. But the Temple was also an economic center. We see this most famously in the story about Jesus turning over the tables of the Temple money changers. There were markets built within the grounds of the Jerusalem Temple and people made money off of these transactions in a way that Jesus said was unjust.


But then there were the more subtle forms of exploitation. According to the Law found in the Old Testament, the people gave a portion of their harvest and crops, their income, to provide for the priests and the Levites. The priests and the Levites did not farm for themselves because they had to maintain the Temple and other places of worship, so they needed assistance from the rest of the community. But by Jesus’ day, the Temple complex had grown (under the patronage of King Herod). Now there were all kinds of people who worked for the Temple to keep the operation going, not all of whom had jobs sanctioned by the Scriptures.


Among them were the scribes. Their job was to make copies of the Scriptures and to record all sorts of religious events in the Temple. They had an important job, but Jesus accuses many of them of getting too big for their britches, of becoming too enamored with power, respect, privilege, and wealth. He says, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation” (Mark 12:38-40).


They “devour widows’ houses” through persuading poor and vulnerable people to give all that they had. Jesus literally says that this widow gave “her whole life” (Brobst-Renaud; Davis). The system was trying to rob her of everything because it became greedy and self-important. It was willing to clean her out and toss her aside. But Jesus sees something different in her. Even though she still supports a system that seems compromised, he commends her for giving “more” than the rest. He sees that she has chosen to obey the great commandment that he taught about just a few verses earlier: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).


The point here is that two things can be true at the same time. People are flawed and the systems and institutions we build are flawed, even religion, even the church. But also, when people give sacrificially, when they have faith that God can work through even our imperfect efforts, God will bless it. So even though the scribes tried to devour and rob and steal, this widow, perhaps defiantly, did not allow herself to be robbed. She chose to give. She put her trust in God even while knowing that humanity isn’t always trustworthy.


These same dynamics can be at play in church communities today. We’ve heard about the churches out there where the pastors buy private planes or live in mansions that they use “for ministry.” People can always slip up and start to focus on building their own power, wealth, or privilege instead of caring for one another. Even ordained ministers aren’t immune to those temptations.


That said, my hope and prayer is that you don’t think St. Matthew’s is trying to devour your house. We have done our best to act with integrity in our finances and to be as transparent as we can about how we spend our money and where your contributions go. We do things like conduct an annual external audit of our finances in accordance with the guidelines of our Diocese. We are open to accountability. Our church administration isn’t perfect, but we try our best, and we’re always open to suggestions on how to improve. And if/when we fall short of that ideal, we want your help. Every member of the church can take part in helping us steward our finances. The doors are open, not closed. A few of us just spent time at the Diocese of Georgia Convention learning about their clean audit and finances, and it’s refreshing to see that transparency modeled for us.


At the end of the day, the lesson we have tried to learn from Jesus here is that “the house of God is not a place to devour widows. It is not a place where anyone should be devoured” (Brobst-Renaud). We encourage you to give generously, but never to feel as if we’re trying to take from you. Giving should come from a place of gratitude, not compulsion. We are building a community where faith in God and trust in one another is our foundation. So as we close the 2022 Giving Campaign today and bless our giving estimates, we invite you one more time to consider giving more of yourself to this church community. Please take time to fill out this giving estimate, but not just because I asked, not because anyone is twisting your arm, but because God is calling you to take a step of faith. And pray with me that St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church will continue to do all in our power to earn that trust and further the work of ministry in Savannah and beyond. Amen.


Bibliography



Hymn #707: Take My Life

[Verses 1-2]


1 Take my life, and let it be

consecrated, Lord, to thee;

take my moments and my days,

let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move

at the impulse of thy love;

take my heart, it is thine own;

it shall be thy royal throne.


2 Take my voice, and let me sing

always, only, for my King;

Take my intellect, and use

every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine;

it shall be no longer mine.

Take myself, and I will be

ever, only, all for thee.


Words: Frances Ridley Havergal, alt., Public Domain.

Music: Hollingside, John Bacchus Dykes, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97292. 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 our neighbors experiencing homelessness, that they may find safety and shelter, and 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, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Genelle Joseph and her children, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, Jameel Newton, Mackenzie Orth, Helen Scroggins, the Townsend family, and Gon Trimble; 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 Jacqueline Bryant (11/8), Nicholas Maiorano (11/11), Mattie Blake (11/12), and Beryl Dandy (11/12) on their birthdays; for those celebrating wedding anniversaries; and for any other thanksgivings 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 a prayer:

God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation and who laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war, whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day. We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harm's way. Shield them from danger and bring them home. Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace. Let the peace you left us, the peace you gave us, be the peace that sustains, the peace that saves us. Lord Jesus, hear our prayer! 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 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.

“Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.” [Ephesians 5:2; see BCP, p. 376]

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




LEV #84: King Jesus is a-Listening

[Verses 1-2]


REFRAIN: King Jesus is a-listenin' all day long, King Jesus is a-listenin' all day long, King Jesus is a-listenin' all day long, To hear some sinner pray.

1 That Gospel train is comin', A-rumblin' through the lan', But I hear them wheels a-hummin', Get ready to board that train! [REFRAIN]


2 I know I been converted, I ain't gon' make no alarm, For my soul is bound for Glory, And the devil can't do me no harm. [REFRAIN]

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Carl Haywood © 1992 Carl Haywood.

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.

Amen.

Words: Thomas Ken, Public Domain.

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

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84260. 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. ...


The Celebrant adds one of the appointed prefaces.


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, 407]


Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!


LEV # 269:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

Grant us peace.


[Words: Public Domain. Music: Lena McLin © 1972-1993 General Words and Music Co., reprinted from Eucharist of the Soul. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #100355. All Rights Reserved.]


The Gifts of God for the people of God.



LEV #89: My Jesus, I Love Thee

[Verses 1-4]


1 My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine,

For thee all the follies of sin I resign;

My gracious Redeemer, my Savior are thou:

If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.


2 I love thee because thou hast first loved me,

And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree,

I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow:

I ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.


3 I’ll love thee in life, I will love thee in death,

And praise thee as long as thou lendest me breath;

And say when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,

“If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”


4 In mansions of glory and endless delight,

I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;

I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,

“If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”

Words: William R. Featherstone, Public Domain.

Music: Adoniram J. Gordon, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #94922. 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. 2022 Giving Campaign: The 2022 Giving Campaign is the Vestry’s opportunity to check in with different members and your opportunity to reconsider your commitments to St. Matthew’s in the coming year. Following the trend of many churches, we are updating our language around stewardship and giving to make it more straightforward and easier to understand for people who did not grow up in church. The 2022 Giving Estimate Forms (formerly called "Pledges") are now available electronically. Physical copies were distributed at the A.S.K. Dinner To-Go. Giving Estimates and Giving Campaign Letters will be mailed to all members shortly. All giving estimates are due Sunday, November 7, when we will bless them and give thanks for God’s many blessings!


If you have not already submitted a giving estimate, keep an eye out for the 2022 Stewardship Letter in the mail this week.


The Online 2022 Giving Estimate: https://tinyurl.com/StMattSav2022


Click here to learn more about how and why to give to St. Matthew's.


B. Emmaus House Empty Bowl Fundraiser 11/7: Emmaus House is holding its 11th Annual Empty Bowl Fundraiser on Sunday, November 7 from 12:00-2:00.

Purchase a ticket, enjoy a delicious soup lunch and take home a beautiful locally handmade bowl! Proceeds will directly benefit the Emmaus House mission of providing vital services to the unsheltered homeless population. We will also host an online art auction, an Artist Spotlight series on social media showcasing the artists who donate to the event, and a fun recipe video featuring our Executive Chef Brandi! Tickets can be purchased in advance, at the door, or at the event. Credit cards, checks and cash are all accepted. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/11th-annual-empty-bowl-fundraiser-tickets-159677322169?aff=ebdssbdestsearch


C. Conversations on Relationships and Race (CORR) on 11/9: St. Matthew’s is partnering with St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Isle of Hope UMC, and Asbury UMC to hold a monthly book club and dialogue series on race and relationships that will focus on a different book about racial injustice every month. Our hope is to continue learning more about others and ourselves, while also building deeper and meaningful relationships with our greater community across the barriers of denomination and race.


Our second gathering will be held on Tuesday, November 9, 6:00-7:30 PM in person only at Isle of Hope United Methodist Church, 412 Parkersburg Road, Savannah, GA 31406. Dinner will be served. The December meeting with be on Sunday, December 12, at 4:00-5:30 PM at St. Matthew's.


Our current book is called Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho. Please read the Introduction through Chapter 6 (i.e., "Part I: You and Me") before the November meeting. Please do not read ahead so we can all be on the same page in the discussion. You can purchase the book online or in most book stores (Amazon link).


D. EYCS Scholarship Fundraiser: Episcopal Youth and Children's Services (EYCS) is a scholarship fund managed by the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia to help Episcopal undergraduate students afford their education. EYCS is a very valuable scholarship fund that any college-bound Episcopal youth can apply for. Many St. Matthew's students have benefitted from EYCS funds over the years as they pursued their degrees.


Ordinarily, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Women (ECW) hold the annual Silver Tea Fundraiser with the proceeds going to the EYCS, but due to COVID-19, the event is suspended. In order to continue our support to the EYCS we are asking for your financial support. Please make checks payable to "St. Matthew's ECW" and write "EYCS" on the memo line. The last date for contributions is November 30, 2021.


E. Choir Rehearsals to Resume on 11/20: St. Matthew's Music Director, Ms. Beryl Dandy, invites you to join the choir and help to grow our music ministry! Choir members commit to sing on Sunday mornings, arriving each week by 8:45 AM to warm up. Beginning on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., the Choir will restart its weekly rehearsals. As we prepare for Advent and Christmas, we look forward to many new members bringing their joyous voices to serve the Lord!


F. Care Packages for Needy Neighbors: As we all continue to struggle during the pandemic, and the neighborhood around St. Matthew's Church has been especially hard-hit. We want to respond to the immediate needs of our neighbors by building care packages we can distribute to anyone who asks for help, especially those experiencing homelessness. You can help support this initiative by donating individual size packages any or all of the following:

  • Gallon-size Zipper Bags

  • Bottled Water

  • Non-perishable snacks

  • Disposable Washcloths

  • Travel size First Aid Kit

  • Travel size Facial Tissue

  • Travel size Toothbrush and Toothpaste

  • Travel size Hand Sanitizer, 2 fl. oz.

  • Travel size Deodorant

  • Canned foods with pull tab

  • Packs of Gum

Some of these care packages will be kept on site at St. Matthew's for local distribution, but the majority will be donated to Emmaus House, our partner ministry for people experiencing homelessness in downtown Savannah. If you would like to serve our unhoused neighbors in other ways, Emmaus House is now accepting volunteers to serve breakfast on weekdays from 7:30-9:30 AM. Register today: https://www.unitedministriessavannah.org/volunteer


G. Upcoming Dates for Baptisms & Confirmations: Holy Baptism is available to anyone at any age who has not already been baptized. Confirmation or Reception is available for teens and adults who would like to make a mature commitment to The Episcopal Church. Baptisms can be performed on almost any Sunday or feast day based on your family's schedule. Confirmations, Receptions, and Renewals of Baptismal Vows must take place when a Bishop is present. The Right Rev. Frank Logue, Bishop of Georgia, will hold his next visitation to St. Matthew's on Sunday, January 16, 2022. If you are interested in taking any of these next steps in your faith journey, please contact Fr. Arboleda by cell phone or email (FrGAA@StMattSav.org).


H. T/W/Th Evening Prayer via Zoom: 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 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


I. 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 Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Let us go forth in the name of Christ!

Thanks be to God!