• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for October 3, 2021


The Holy Eucharist

19th Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 22B, Track 2)

October 3, 2021


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

Sunday, October 3, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)





The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


The Word of God



Hymn #376: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

[Verses 1-3]


1 Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,

God of glory, Lord of love;

hearts unfold like flowers before thee,

praising thee, their sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;

drive the dark of doubt away;

giver of immortal gladness,

fill us with the light of day.


2 All thy works with joy surround thee,

earth and heaven reflect thy rays,

stars and angels sing around thee,

center of unbroken praise.

field and forest, vale and mountain,

blooming meadow, flashing sea,

chanting bird and flowing fountain,

call us to rejoice in thee.


3 Thou art giving and forgiving,

ever blessing, ever blest,

wellspring of the joy of living,

ocean depth of happy rest!

Thou our Father, Christ our Brother:

all who live in love are thine;

teach us how to love each other,

lift us to the joy divine.


Words: Henry Van Dyke, Public Domain.

Music: Hymn to Joy, Ludwig van Beethoven; adapt. Edward Hodges, alt., Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84005. 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, 234]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


A Reading from the Book of Genesis (2:18-24)

The Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.”

Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 8

[BCP, p. 592]

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

1 O Lord our Governor, * how exalted is your Name in all the world!


2 Out of the mouths of infants and children * your majesty is praised above the heavens.


3 You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, * to quell the enemy and the avenger.


4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, * the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,


5 What is man that you should be mindful of him? * the son of man that you should seek him out?


6 You have made him but little lower than the angels; * you adorn him with glory and honor;


7 You give him mastery over the works of your hands; * you put all things under his feet:


8 All sheep and oxen, * even the wild beasts of the field,


9 The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, * and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.


10 O Lord our Governor, * how exalted is your Name in all the world!



A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (1:1-4; 2:5-12)

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. ...


Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,


“What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them?

You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet.”


Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.


It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,


“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”


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 (10:2-16)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Some Pharisees came, and to test Jesus they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”


Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”


People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

“God Sends a Helper-Rescuer” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


How does God help us in our times of need? What does God do when we are in crisis? This is a question I often ask myself, and I bet you ask yourselves too. What kind of help is God’s help?


I heard a story from a friend this week that helped me understand this a little better. He was at a church event that took place at a park. This park didn’t have a parking lot, so everybody parked their cars on the grass, which is usually fine. But it was earlier this month when we had all that rain. So it rained and poured all afternoon while they were gathering, eating, and enjoying themselves together.


By the time the event wrapped up and people were leaving, my friend realized that his car wheels were halfway sunk into the mud. It’s a sedan, so it already sits pretty low to the ground, and it has rear-wheel drive, so it had no real chance of driving itself out of the mud. Eventually, someone from the church was able to get ahold of a friend with a tow truck who pulled the car free. My friend made it home later than planned, but he made it with that help.


The point of the story is that, more often than not, God sends us help through other people. God sends us help through real flesh and blood.


Our Old Testament reading from Genesis tells the story of God creating the first two people, who we call Adam and Eve. If you’re familiar with this story, you’ll know that God does not make the two of them at the same time. God makes the first human, and then says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner” (Genesis 2:18). Adam was alone and it was “not good.” He needed help and companionship. It was out of that need, that God decided to create the woman.


Eve, the first woman, is called the “helper” of Adam, the first human. For lots of Christian history (into the present), this story has been used to demonstrate that men are superior to women, that women are in some ways servants to men, that they are “the help.”

But this is not the meaning of that word, “helper,” at all. “Helper” is a translation of the Hebrew word ezer. Most of the time that ezer is used in the Old Testament, it is used to describe God and God’s help for us. It’s the kind of help that we might call “rescue” or “salvation” in a time of desperate need. God creates the woman to rescue the man from loneliness and isolation. The woman is a rescuer, not a servant, not beneath or below, but meant to follow God’s will together with the rest of humanity.


There are all kinds of interesting points we could draw from this verse about sex and gender roles, feminism, etc. I find all of those fascinating and would love to talk with you about that after church if you’re interested. But for today’s sermon, the point I want to dwell on is that God responded to Adam’s need with a person. God helped the human being by sending another human being. God works and helps and rescues through people, because this is the same God who became flesh for us as our Savior Jesus Christ.


When my friend’s car was stuck in the mud, he might have prayed for God to save him and help him get home. His friends from church might have done the same. But God did not perform a miracle by lifting the car up out of the mud like a magician. God’s miracle answer to prayer was to get a tow truck out there late on a Saturday night. God sent a human being. God was there through flesh.


I spent most of last week at Honey Creek, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia’s Camp and Retreat Center. We had our first in-person Clergy Conference since the fall of 2019, two years ago. Among the great wisdom that was shared all weekend, Bishop Frank Logue said something that really stood out. He said, “Reality is the only place where God can be with us.” We sometimes look for God to act in special, mystical ways, or in our imagined futures about what we think ought to happen. But God acts in the nitty-gritty, in the everyday stuff of life. God works through people, through flesh and blood. God works through you and me. That doesn’t make us perfect, but it makes us holy because God is here in us and with us.


When you’re going through something difficult, and you pray for help, God can and will send it. It just might not come the way you expect it to. It will almost surely come through a person, a messenger, someone who God can use to bring encouragement, help, or rescue. So keep praying as you always do, and keep looking for the ways God answers prayer. Maybe more importantly, pray for ways to be an answer to prayer for those around you. You never know when you will be someone’s God-given rescuer. Amen.



Bibliography



Hymn #657: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

[Verses 1-3]


1 Love divine, all loves excelling,

joy of heaven, to earth come down,

fix in us thy humble dwelling,

all thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, thou art all compassion,

pure, unbounded love thou art;

visit us with thy salvation,

enter every trembling heart.


2 Come, almighty to deliver,

let us all thy life receive;

suddenly return, and never,

nevermore thy temples leave.

Thee we would be alway blessing,

serve thee as thy hosts above,

pray, and praise thee without ceasing,

glory in thy perfect love.


3 Finish then thy new creation;

pure and spotless let us be;

let us see thy great salvation

perfectly restored in thee:

changed from glory into glory,

till in heaven we take our place,

till we cast our crowns before thee,

lost in wonder, love, and praise.


Words: Charles Wesley, Public Domain.

Music: Hyfrydol, Rowland Hugh Prichard, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84255. 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, 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 Kennyka Robinson (10/7), Kendra McAllister (10/9), Joseph Robinson (10/9), and Regina Robinson (10/9) 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.


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




LEV #193: I Will Trust in the Lord

[Verses 1-5]


1 I will trust in the Lord,

I will trust in the Lord,

I will trust in the Lord ’til I die;

I will trust in the Lord,

I will trust in the Lord,

I will trust in the Lord ’til I die.


2 Sister will you trust in the Lord,

Sister will you trust in the Lord,

Sister will you trust in the Lord ’til you die;

Sister will you trust in the Lord,

Sister will you trust in the Lord,

Sister will you trust in the Lord ’til you die.


3 Brother will you trust in the Lord,

Brother will you trust in the Lord,

Brother will you trust in the Lord ’til you die;

Brother will you trust in the Lord,

Brother will you trust in the Lord,

Brother will you trust in the Lord ’til you die.


4 I’m gonna treat my neighbor right,

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right,

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right ’til I die;

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right,

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right,

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right 'til I die.


5 I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand,

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand,

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand ’til I die;

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand,

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand,

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand ’til I die.

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. Carl Haywood from The Haywood Collection of Negro Spirituals © 1992, Church Publishing, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #87497. 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 #262: Nothing But The Blood of Jesus

[Verses 1-4]


1 What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


REFRAIN:

Oh! precious is the flow

That makes me white as snow;

No other fount I know,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


2 For my pardon this I see -

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

For my cleansing this my plea -

Nothing but the blood of Jesus. [REFRAIN]


3 Nothing can for sin atone -

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

Naught of good that I have done -

Nothing but the blood of Jesus. [REFRAIN]


4 This is all my hope and peace -

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

This is all my righteousness -

Nothing but the blood of Jesus. [REFRAIN]

Words: Robert Lowry, Public Domain.

Music: Plainfield, Robert Lowry; arr. Nolan Williams, Jr. © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #OLOFOB377. 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 is Monday, October 4.


ABSENTEE REQUEST: 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 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 fill out this interest form (CORR Interest Form) by Sunday, October 10 to help us better prepare.

D. Vestry Adopts Revised Bylaws: On September 21, after months of work and deliberation, the Vestry of St. Matthew’s adopted the newly revised parish bylaws. The final version differs very slightly from the version mailed to members of the parish last month, based on some feedback from parishioners. The Vestry thanks the entire church for its participation and support through this process!


You may read the new Bylaws in their entirety here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vX-ql3iDyqppm5p-zynb23Rtek7ilCiM/view?usp=sharing.


E. 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

Thank you for your generosity! 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


F. Baptisms Available this Fall: 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