• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for October 24, 2021


The Holy Eucharist

22nd Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 25B, Track 2)

October 24, 2021


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

Sunday, October 24, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)





The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


The Word of God



LEV #207: We'll Understand It Better By and By

[Verses 1-4]


1 We are often tossed and driv’n

on the restless sea of time,

Somber skies and howling tempest

oft succeed a bright sunshine;

In that land of perfect day,

when the mists have rolled away,

We will understand it better

by and by, by and by.


REFRAIN:

By and by when the morning comes,

When the saints of God are gathered home,

We’ll tell the story how we’re overcome;

For we’ll understand it by and by, by and by.


2 We are often destitute

of the things that life demands,

Want of food and want of shelter,

thirsty hills and barren lands;

We are trusting in the Lord,

and according to His word,

We will understand it better

by and by, by and by. [REFRAIN]


3 Trials dark on ev’ry hand,

and we cannot understand,

All the ways that God would lead us

to that blessed promised land;

But He guides us with His eye

and we’ll follow till we die.

For we’ll understand it better

by and by, by and by. [REFRAIN]


4 Temptations, hidden snares

often take us unawares,

And our hearts are made to bleed

for many a thoughtless word or deed;

And we wonder why the test

when we try to do our best,

But we’ll understand it better

by and by, by and by. [REFRAIN]


Words: Charles A. Tindley, Public Domain.

Music: Charles A. Tindley; arr. F. A. Clark, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #OLOFOB491. 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, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; 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 Jeremiah (31:7-9)

Thus says the Lord:

Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;

proclaim, give praise, and say, “Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.”

See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,

among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.

With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back,

I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;

for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 126

[BCP, p. 782]

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

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, * then were we like those who dream.


2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, * and our tongue with shouts of joy.


3 Then they said among the nations, * "The Lord has done great things for them."


4 The Lord has done great things for us, * and we are glad indeed.


5 Restore our fortunes, O Lord, * like the watercourses of the Negev.


6 Those who sowed with tears * will reap with songs of joy.


7 Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, * will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.



A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (7:23-28)

The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but Jesus holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.


For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.


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 (10:46-52)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


Jesus and his disciples came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

“Great Things For Us” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


Psalm 126 is one of my favorite Bible passages. I had never thought much about it until I joined The Episcopal Church and started to pray Noonday Prayer sometimes. Noonday Prayer is a short prayer service found on page 103 in the Book of Common Prayer. All told, it lasts about 5 minutes if you do it with a group, and it’s even shorter if you pray it alone. There are three options for which psalm to recite and one of them is Psalm 126.


Because it’s featured in Noonday Prayer, if you pray it every so often, Psalm 126 is relatively easy to memorize. I can’t recite it, but phrases from the psalm get stuck in my head since I pray through it more often than most psalms. I’m not entirely sure why they chose these three psalms, but Psalm 126 and the others all focus on the same theme of restoration. As you pause your day around lunchtime to pray, you might need a reminder that God restores places and people groups and individuals. That’s who God is.


When I was a seminary student working on my master’s degree, I had a really striking event that I always associate with this psalm. I attended the Divinity School at Duke University, so there were thousands of other students on campus studying all kinds of subjects around us. One night, I was walking back to my off-campus home after class with my future wife. We had been studying and reading and writing all day, we had just left a night class, and I think we hadn’t eaten any dinner. We were tired.


As we walked, we saw a sign for an event happening right then, hosted by the South Asian Students Association. One of the ways my now-wife Rev. Kelly and I bonded was through our love for trying new foods. We have always been big fans of Indian, Pakistani, and Nepalese cuisine. And the sign had every university student’s two favorite words on it: “Free Food.”


So we went in to see what was happening. Usually these kinds of clubs had some kind of lecture or program and then appetizers available at the end. But apparently, we arrived just as the whole meeting was ending. There were hardly any students left, but they welcomed us with open arms. Not only that, but they strongly encouraged us to eat because they had more leftovers than they knew what to do with. While we made new friends and enjoyed a quick meal, the group leaders announced that they needed to clear out so the room could be cleaned for the next day’s classes. (At this point it was after 9:00 PM). That’s when they offered us a full tray of hot but unserved samosas to take with us.


If you’ve never had Indian or other South Asian foods, first of all, you should. It’s delicious! But second of all, samosas are probably the most accessible to someone who is new to all the flavors. They are fried pastries filled with savory vegetables (and sometimes meat). I thought of it like an Indian version of an empanada, a beef patty, or even a fried dumpling. They are just delectable. And we brought home about 50 of them to share with our two sets of housemates.


As we carried home our bounty, with the aluminum tray sitting on my shoulder, our minds turned to Psalm 126: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed. … Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves” (126:4, 7).


The psalm depicts people praising God for restoring them to their land. After decades in exile and bondage, the people of Israel returned home. There they were able to breathe a sigh of relief and declare together that God had done great things for them. And now that they were free to live on their own land, free from slavery and debt and conscripted labor, they could plant and grow and eat their own food without the fear that it would all be taken by oppressive overlords. They might have been weeping as they planted, but when the grain grew and was ready to harvest, they carried home the bounty with joy.


Now, we hadn’t exactly been weeping before getting this food, but we were hungry and exhausted. Our new friends from the South Asian Students Association received us as we were and blessed us with food for the evening and food for the days to come. Through them, God did great things for us. At that moment, I needed it. I needed a reminder that God is great and God does great things to bless people, even when times are tough. That’s the beauty of that psalm. It’s a reminder that even when things are hard, even if you’ve gotten to the lowest point you can imagine, God has not abandoned you, but is ready to restore you, just as God “restored the fortunes of Zion” (Psalm 126:1).

Restoration is a biblical theme that runs across both Testaments. In the Old Testament, we read that God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them into freedom. Centuries later, they were conquered and taken from their homes and brought into exile in a faraway land. But God restored the Jewish people again to the land of Judah. In the New Testament, we read that Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate and the religious leaders, but then God raised Jesus from the dead. We trust in God to heal and restore when things go poorly. We trust in God to raise us from death and save us from sin. We trust that God will restore us because God has been restoring people for generations. These patterns of God’s behavior in the world are promises that provide us with hope.


Part of why we are able to keep walking in love and standing up against injustice and oppression is because we have hope. Without the God-given hope in the power to heal and restore, I would give up, and I suspect many of you would too. We need these Bible stories to remind us that God is more powerful than failure, sin, disappointment, or death. God is greater than evil because love is the greatest force in the universe. With God all things are possible.


So carry on with hope that God will do great things for you, even if you can’t see those great things yet. And look for the ways that God has already done great things for you and take time to give thanks and praise. That act of thanksgiving will prepare you to see God’s hand moving and restoring in your life in the future. Because God is already at work, doing good, bringing life and healing, even when we can’t see it yet. Amen.



Hymn #411: O Bless the Lord, My Soul

[Verses 1-6]


1 O bless the Lord, my soul!

His grace to thee proclaim!

And all that is within me join

to bless his holy Name!


2 O bless the Lord, my soul!

His mercies bear in mind!

Forget not all his benefits!

The Lord to thee is kind.


3 He will not always chide;

he will with patience wait;

his wrath is ever slow to rise

and ready to abate.


4 He pardons all thy sins,

prolongs thy feeble breath;

he healeth thine infirmities

and ransoms thee from death.


5 He clothes thee with his love,

upholds thee with his truth;

and like the eagle he renews

the vigor of thy youth.


6 Then bless his holy Name,

whose grace hath made thee whole,

whose loving-kindness crowns thy days:

O bless the Lord, my soul!


Words: James Montgomery, Public Domain.

Music: St. Thomas (Williams), melody Aaron Williams; harm. Lowell Mason, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84256. 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; 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 Carmelita Maynard (10/25), Charles Dixon (10/25), and Yavonne Taylor (10/29) on their birthdays; for Reginald & Rose Robinson (10/24) on their wedding anniversary; 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.


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.

“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




AAHH #367: Come Out the Wilderness

[Verses 1-3]


1 Tell me, how did you feel when you come out the wilderness,

come out the wilderness, come out the wilderness.

Tell me, how did you feel when you come out the wilderness, leaning on the Lord?


REFRAIN:

I am leaning on the Lord,

I am leaning on the Lord,

I am leaning on the Lord who died on Calvary.


2 Did you get baptized when you come out the wilderness,

come out the wilderness, come out the wilderness.

Did you get baptized when you come out the wilderness,

leaning on the Lord? [REFRAIN]


3 Did your soul feel happy when you come out the wilderness,

come out the wilderness, come out the wilderness.

Did your soul feel happy when you come out the wilderness,

leaning on the Lord? [REFRAIN]

Words: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Evelyn Simpson-Curenton © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #49232. 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.



AAHH #649: Amen

[Verses 1-8, as needed]


REFRAIN:

Amen, good Lord-y, amen, have mercy,

amen, amen, amen. Sing it over.

Amen, good Lord-y, amen, have mercy,

amen, amen, amen. Sing it over.


*Leader:

1 See the baby,

lyin' in a manger

on Christmas mornin'.


2 See Him in the temple

talkin' to the elders

who marveled at His wisdom.


3 See Him at the Jordan

where John was baptizin'

and savin' all sinners.


4 See him at the seaside,

talkin' to the fishermen

and makin' them disciples.


5 Marchin' in Jerusalem,

over palm branches,

in pomp and splendor.


6 See Him in the garden,

prayin' to His Father,

in deepest sorrow.


7 Led before Pilate,

then they crucified Him,

but He rose on Easter.


8 Hallelujah!

He died to save us

and He lives for ever.


*One person sings the stanzas while everyone else continues to sing "Amen."

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Valeria A. Foster © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #55917. 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!


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. 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 www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. 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. 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: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqdequpj4vHdKT90EjWGiZZcuPgHk9on_Q


D. 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.


Register here for this online event: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItceyhrzMtGdCe0I970g6jtu-KKvF7mwEo


E. 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