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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for October 17, 2021

The Holy Eucharist

21st Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 24B, Track 2)

October 17, 2021

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday, October 17, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)

The Holy Eucharist: Rite II

The Word of God

Hymn #492: Sing Ye Faithful, Sing With Gladness

[Verses 1-4]

1 Sing, ye faithful, sing with gladness,

wake your noblest, sweetest strain,

with the praises of your Savior

let his house resound again;

him let all your music honor,

and your songs exalt his reign.

2 Sing how he come forth from heaven,

bowed himself to Bethlehem's cave,

stooped to wear the servant's vesture,

bore the pain, the cross, the grave,

passed within the gates of darkness,

thence his banished ones to save.

3 So, he tasted death for mortals,

he, of human-kind the head,

sinless one, among the sinful,

Prince of life, among the dead;

thus he wrought the full redemption,

and the captor captive led.

4 Now on high, yet ever with us,

from his Father's throne the Son

rules and guides the world he ransomed,

till the appointed work be done,

till he see, renewed and perfect,

all things gathered into one.

Words: John Ellerton, alt., Public Domain.

Music: Finnian, Christopher Dearnley, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #992927. 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, 235]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; 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 the Prophet Isaiah (53:4-12)

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases;

yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way,

and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future?

For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.

They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich,

although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.

When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;

through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light;

he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;

because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 91:9-16

[BCP, p. 720]

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

9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, * and the Most High your habitation,

10 There shall no evil happen to you, * neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over you, * to keep you in all your ways.

12 They shall bear you in their hands, * lest you dash your foot against a stone.

13 You shall tread upon the lion and adder; * you shall trample the young lion and the serpent under your feet.

14 Because he is bound to me in love, therefore will I deliver him; * I will protect him, because he knows my Name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; * I am with him in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him to honor.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, * and show him my salvation.

A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (5:1-10)

Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

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 (10:35-45)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“The Greatness of Love” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

How do we recognize God’s blessing? It seems simple, doesn’t it? God’s blessings feel good and punishments or corrections feel bad, right? Well, the Gospels help us see that it’s not that simple. This week’s Gospel story shows us one of many times that Jesus’ disciples totally misunderstood what God’s blessings looked like.

Jesus’ followers repeatedly assume that God’s blessings, God’s measures of greatness, will appear as wealth, power, and prosperity. They are like most of us, with a pretty self-centered and short-sighted view of how God works in the world. So James and John approach Jesus asking to sit at Jesus’ right and left hand “in [his] glory.” They are envisioning sitting on thrones alongside King Jesus when he vanquishes Israel’s (and God’s) enemies and they are thus “glorified.” Remember that outside of church and worship contexts, the word “glory” just refers to people being celebrated and cheered. Musicians are “in their glory” when they perform a concert in an arena filled with thousands of adoring fans. Politicians are “in their glory” when they are inaugurated or give a powerful speech. James and John want to sit with Jesus when that sort of moment arrives.

But, of course, this was never Jesus’ plan. He never intended to create a Christian kingdom, nation, or empire. Jesus’ movement was about something much greater than political power or earthly dominions. It’s about agape love. Jesus explains to James and John that they will drink the cup of suffering that he will drink and be baptized in persecution. They will not get the worldly power and glory that they long for. Instead the glory they will receive will be the hard-won glory of God’s Kingdom, achieved through love and servanthood for others.

That’s what Jesus goes on to explain to all Twelve Apostles in the next paragraph: “You know that among the Gentiles [literally “Nations/Peoples”] those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).

From the beginning, Jesus’ followers have wanted to measure their worth through “their wealth, their power, or their prosperity here on earth” (Charles and Rah, p. 48). But that’s not how Christian discipleship works. We are not tyrants or lords of one another, no matter how elevated one’s position is in society. From the moment we are baptized, God calls us to be servants to all people, to love and care for others, not to dominate or destroy. It’s a simple lesson that I’m sure you have heard before, but it’s proven to be one of the hardest things for Christians to do over the centuries.

Since at least the 4th century, Christians have blended their spiritual ambitions with political and military ones. Almost immediately after Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire, it became a servant to the empire. The Church no longer stood up to greed, violence, and injustices if they were committed by Christian leaders. They were quick to excuse any action done by an emperor, king, or president who claimed the Christian faith, regardless of how they actually behaved. This is a heretical, sinful practice that is known as Christendom, trying to marry the Jesus Movement with imperialism.

In Christendom, Christians became “tyrants” who “lord” over others. We allowed the allure of wealth, power, and prosperity to override our love and concern for our fellow human beings. Christians forgot their call to be servants of all, as Jesus was a servant to all humankind. Empires have radically different goals than Jesus does. Empires only want to expand and conquer; they don’t care about the cost in human lives and suffering. It’s all about growth, greed, and domination. On the other hand, Christian servants make room for others, they seek the good of all, not their own greed.

Unfortunately, this isn’t only an ancient story about Rome and Europe. The project of Christendom, of trying to marry Christianity with nation-building and empire continues in subtle and not-so-subtle ways in the USA. So many American wars have been couched in religious language, most especially the 21st century wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were often described by politicians and pundits as wars between the Christian West and the Islamic East. By portraying US interests as righteous, just, and even godly, millions of American Christians have supported war crimes and atrocities abroad. Thousands of Americans died in these wars, but tens of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis died, many of them civilians (Watson Institute). The humanitarian crises we witnessed in Afghanistan in August during the US military withdrawal were no accident. They were the result of foreign policies enacted by presidents of both parties, all of whom at different times defended their actions with religious or pseudo-religious language.

But as the wise, old Jedi Master Yoda once said, “Wars not make one great” (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back). Jesus agrees. Greatness does not come through tyranny, domination, violence, or power. Greatness comes through love, specifically servanthood. When we care about the interests of others (whether our neighbors down the block or on the other side of the world), we are not being weak, but strong in God’s eyes. We receive God’s blessings through giving and receiving this love, even if love leads us away from power, wealth, and prosperity. As Christians, we don’t look for pain or suffering. But God does ask us not to run away from it if love takes us there. So let us find Godly greatness through love, just as Jesus did. Amen.


Hymn #660: O Master Let Me Walk With Thee

[Verses 1-4]

1 O Master, let me walk with thee In lowly paths of service free; Tell me thy secret, help me bear The strain of toil, the fret of care.

2 Help me the slow of heart to move By some clear, winning word of love; Teach me the wayward feet to stay, And guide them in the homeward way.

3 Teach me thy patience; still with thee In closer, dearer company, In work that keeps faith sweet and strong, In trust that triumphs over wrong.

4 In hope that sends a shining ray Far down the future's broad'ning way, In peace that only thou canst give, With thee, O Master, let me live.

Words: Washington Gladden, Public Domain.

Music: Maryton, Henry Percy Smith, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97763. 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.


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, Helen Scroggins; 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 Dana Jenkins (10/17) on her birthday; for Martha Avery (10/19) on her 100th birthday; for Frank & Juray Brown (10/19) and Leonard & Dot Law (10/19) on their 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 offers a concluding prayer:

O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on your servant Martha Rebecca Martin Avery as she begins her one-hundredth year. Grant that she may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen her trust in your goodness all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.


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

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  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]

LEV #114: Every Time I Feel the Spirit

[Verses 1-2]


Ev’ry time I feel the spirit, moving in my heart, I will pray,

Ev'ry time I feel the spirit, moving in my heart, I will pray.

1 Upon the mountain my Lord spoke,

out of his mouth came fire and smoke.

All around me looked so fine,

asked my Lord if all was mine. [REFRAIN]

2 Jordan river chilly and cold,

chills the body but not the soul.

There ain’t but one train runs this track,

runs to heaven and runs right back. [REFRAIN]

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #95026. All rights reserved.

AAHH #651: Doxology

[See also Hymn # 380, v. 3]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Words: Thomas Ken, Public Domain.

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

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84260. All rights reserved.

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 #177: Standing in the Need of Prayer

[Verses 1-4]


It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer;

It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer.

1 Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer,

Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer. [REFRAIN]

2 Not the preacher, not the deacon, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer,

Not the preacher, not the deacon, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer. [REFRAIN]

3 Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer,

Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer. [REFRAIN]

4 Not the stranger, not my neighbor, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer,

Not the stranger, not my neighbor, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standin’ in the need of prayer. [REFRAIN]

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

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

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #95021. 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 by Sunday, November 7, when we will bless them and give thanks for God’s many blessings!

B. PREPARE TO VOTE: Prior to Election Day, November 2, confirm your registration and poll location by calling Voter Registration at (912) 790-1520 or use the MY VOTER PAGE website at The voter registration deadline for this election was Monday, October 4.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS: A request for an absentee ballot may be submitted by mail, email, fax or you may complete the application in person at our office. Absentee request forms can be accepted 78 days prior to an election. Absentee ballots will be mailed between October 11-22.

EARLY IN-PERSON VOTING OCTOBER 12-29: Any eligible registered Chatham County voter desiring to vote in advance during this period may do so in-person. Saturday voting is available on October 16 and 23 and Sunday voting is on October 24.

C. Conversations on Relationships and Race (CORR): 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 first gathering will be held on Sunday, October 17, 4-5:30PM in person only at St. Thomas’ Church, 2 St. Thomas Ave, Savannah, GA 31406, outside under the pavilion. Light refreshments will be served. You will not need to prepare anything for this initial meeting as it will simply be a time for us to discuss logistics and get to know each other.

If you are interested, please register online: CORR Interest Form.

D. Martha Avery's 100th Birthday Drive-By Celebration on 10/17: Come celebrate Martha Avery's 100th Birthday on Sunday, October 17 after church. Mrs. Avery has been a faithful member of St. Matthew's since 1947 and we want to use this occasion to express our love and gratitude for her. We will hold a drive-by birthday celebration shortly after church. Please gather in your vehicles at 11:15 AM in front of Largo-Tibet Elementary School, 430 Tibet Ave, Savannah, GA 31406. Bring some decorations for your car, such as balloons or streamers and set them up once you arrive at the school. We will drive past Mrs. Avery's home in a car procession that will loop around twice. We look forward to seeing you there!

E. JUST Sacred Conversation on 10/26: Justice Unites Savannah Together holds an annual listening process in each of its member congregations. In 2020, this listening process led us to focus on affordable housing and the criminalization of poverty this year.

As we prayerfully discern the problem areas we will address in 2022, St. Matthew’s will hold a listening session called a “Sacred Conversation” on Tuesday, October 26 at 6:00 PM on Zoom. This will give us an opportunity to hear the voice of our people to bring before the whole organization and set a direction for the 2022 justice campaign.

Register for the Sacred Conversation using the following link, or contact Fr. Arboleda directly to get the call information:

F. Rev Up! Voter Education Day 10/28: Please join us Thursday, October 28 from 10:00-11:30 am on Zoom and learn how to make your vote count under Georgia’s new voting laws. St. Matthew's Episcopal Church will sponsor and host this event, organized by Rev Up GA!, which organizes for voters with disabilities.

REV UP GA will be sharing the stories and voting experiences of folks who are

figuring out how to vote now that we have new voting laws in Georgia. The event will have a special focus on how these laws affect voters with disabilities. Speakers at this event will include Gaylon Toottle, Vice Chairman of the Rev Up Georgia Grassroots Connectors; Jessica Mathis, Leadership Team of Rev Up Georgia Grassroots; and Vernanita Shannon of Grassroots Connectors.

G. 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:

G. Upcoming Dates for Baptisms & Confirmations: Holy Baptism is available to anyone at any age who has not already been baptized. We would like to hold baptisms on the Eve of All Saints' Day (Sunday, October 31). We are also willing to work around you and your family's schedule to find a day for these celebrations. If you or your child would like to get baptized, please contact Fr. Arboleda by cell phone or email (

If you would like to be confirmed or received into The Episcopal Church, or if you would like to renew the commitment you made at confirmation, you may do so when Bishop Logue visits St. Matthew's on Sunday, January 16, 2022. Again, reach out to Fr. Arboleda to make a plan for preparing for this next step in your faith journey.

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 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. 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.

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Let us go forth in the name of Christ!

Thanks be to God!

The Parish Prayer List

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, Helen Scroggins

Birthdays: Dana Jenkins (10/17) and Martha Avery's 100th Birthday (10/19)

Wedding Anniversaries: Frank & Juray Brown (10/19) and Leonard & Dot Law (10/19)

Recent Deaths: N/A

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

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

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