• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for September 5, 2021


The Holy Eucharist

15th Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 18B, Track 2)

September 5, 2021


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

Sunday, September 5, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)





The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


The Word of God



Hymn #371: Thou, Whose Almighty Word

[Verses 1-4]


1 Thou, whose almighty word

chaos and darkness heard,

and took their flight;

hear us, we humbly pray,

and, where the Gospel day

sheds not its glorious ray,

let there be light!


2 Thou who didst come to bring

on thy redeeming wing

healing and sight,

health to the sick in mind,

sight to the inly blind,

now to all humankind,

let there be light!


3 Spirit of truth and love,

life-giving holy Dove,

speed forth thy flight!

Move on the waters' face

bearing the gifts of grace,

and, in earth's darkest place,

let there be light!


4 Holy and blessèd Three,

glorious Trinity,

wisdom, love, might;

boundless as ocean's tide,

rolling in fullest pride,

through the world far and wide,

let there be light!


Words: John Marriott, alt., Public Domain.

Music: Moscow, Felice de Giardini; harm. The New Hymnal (1916) and Lowell Mason, Public Domain.

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, 233]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (35:4-7a)

Say to those who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear!

Here is your God. He will come with vengeance,

with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.’


Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water;

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 146

[BCP, p. 803]

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



A Reading from the Letter of St. James (2:1-17)

My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?


You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.


What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.


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 (7:24-37)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.


Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

"Playing Favorites” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda


The old saying goes, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” This axiom has proven true over and over again in the United States economy. A series of 2020 studies from Pew Research show that over the last 30 years, the top 5% of Americans by wealth have gotten richer faster than any other wealth bracket (Horowitz, et al.). Income inequality in the USA has grown since 1980 and we are a more unequal economy than many of our international peers. While middle and lower income households have seen their wealth fall over time, upper income earners have seen dramatic gains in their net worth.


Those studies were based on data from before the pandemic, up to 2018. That was the direction we were already heading in before this major public health and economic crisis. Economists estimate that the pandemic has caused the wealth gap to grow. For instance, it is estimated that billionaires around the world saw their fortunes grow by 54% between March 2020 and March 2021 (Picchi). I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get 50% richer in the last year, and I’m guessing that most of you didn’t either. Many people are struggling to survive and hold on to the relatively little they have, all as the economy becomes less stable for many low-income jobs that we now often call “essential.” Those are the same kinds of jobs that often don’t even give you the day off tomorrow for Labor Day, which is supposed to be a holiday for workers.


Of course, this increased wealth inequality is no accident. It is the intentional and sometimes unintentional result of many economic policies that favor the wealthy and disadvantage poor, working-class, and middle class Americans. Rich people are rewarded for being rich and poor people are punished for being poor.


On top of it all, rich people are often given celebrity status. Wealthy people are idolized for the “hard work” and “ingenuity” that led to their fortunes, ignoring all the structural advantages that they have and others don’t. There are countless TV shows, movies, and other media that glorify lavish lifestyles while ignoring the harm this greed and hoarding might cause to others. Billionaires now compete with one another in egotistical ways to spend their money, like traveling into space for fun while millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of people around the world starve and suffer.


It turns out that this is not a new or modern problem. This favoritism for the rich is an ancient problem too. St. James addresses it in today’s New Testament reading: “My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘Have a seat here, please,’ while to the one who is poor you say, ‘Stand there,’ or, ‘Sit at my feet,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you? (James 2:1-7, emphasis added).”


St. James reminds us that God does not favor the wealthy and we shouldn’t treat them like they are better than anyone else. If God favors anyone, it is the poor and downtrodden, who are “rich in faith,” who depend on God for their daily bread and don’t systematically oppress others. The Apostle James calls out the ways that the rich hoard resources and help to keep the poor poor. And he reminds us that none of that favoritism for the rich or prejudice against the poor belongs in the church.


In the church, we believe that God created every human being and gave us all equal dignity and worth. We believe that God loves every human being, no matter their appearance, status, or net worth. We believe that God cares about social justice, that God wants us to treat each other well. We believe that everyone deserves basic needs like food, shelter, and health care. We believe that the way we love each other in this place should be a light to the world, modeling what is possible when we set aside our differences and division in the name of Jesus. We believe that God has made us “brothers and sisters,” siblings who look out for each other and won’t let the rich ones ignore or tramble on the poor ones.


Here, if nowhere else, we treat one another with dignity and respect. And we give special dignity and respect, not to wealthy, powerful, or privileged members, but to those who can’t find that respect anywhere else. Love your neighbor as yourself, no matter who your neighbor is. That simple shift in attitude may feel small, but it is powerful. That is the way of love and the way of Jesus, a spark that can light a fire to change the world. Because if all of us assembled here believe that God loves everyone, and if every church teaches that same way of love, then maybe we can find ways to make that love visible on earth.


The last year and half has been difficult, and dare I say traumatic, for all of us. Some have had it worse than others, but we’re all dealing with the fallout of this pandemic in one way or another. The easy thing to do would be to retreat, tread water, and just do what we can to survive. But Jesus is calling us to more. God knows we’re tired and weary, but everyone still needs love. The world needs to know a God who is merciful and compassionate, all-loving and kind. The world needs to know a God who cares for the poor and broken-hearted. But people will only know if we live it, if we do works of mercy, and show love to people, one at a time.


So during the pandemic we are working with other like-minded religious people to try to change our city. We are collaborating with Justice Unites Savannah Together to build a moral voice to speak to our civic leaders. We are supporting local ministries for people who are hungry and homeless. We are supporting racial justice ministries throughout the Diocese. We are reading life-giving books that inspire us to live Jesus’ Way of Love. We are worshipping together both in-person and online, both near and far.


We at St. Matthew’s are a church that strives to follow Jesus and therefore strives to love all our neighbors. And if you’re not involved in any of the many ministries I just named, you can be. You are invited into all this good work too. Whether you’re doing that good work here or in some other way, St. James reminds us that “faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (2:17). May God give us strength to do works of justice and mercy, loving the poor, the rich, and everyone in between alike. May we keep walking in Jesus’ way of love for the benefit of the whole world. Amen.


Bibliography



Hymn #628: Help Us, O Lord, To Learn

[Verses 1-3]


1 Help us, O Lord, to learn

the truths your word imparts:

to study that your laws may be

inscribed upon our hearts.


2 Help us, O Lord, to live

the faith which we proclaim,

that all our thoughts and words and deeds

may glorify your name.


3 Help us, O Lord, to teach

the beauty of your ways,

that yearning souls may find the Christ,

and live a life of praise.


Words: William Watkins Reid, Jr., alt., © 1959 The Hymn Society in the US & Canada.

Music: St. Ethelwald, William Henry Monk, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #11650. 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: Susan Arena, Martha Avery, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Federico Foster, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, George Layne, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, Helen Scroggins, Monica Gray Williams; 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 Kathy Robinson (9/6) and Liam Clemons (9/7), on their birthdays; for General & Lazola Cope (9/6) 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 #154: Oh, What He's Done For Me

[Verses 1-5]


1 Oh, what He's done for me

Oh, what He's done for me

Oh, what He's done for me

I never shall forget what He's done for me.


2 He took my feet out the miry clay, that's what He's done for me

He took my feet out the miry clay, that's what He's done for me

He took my feet out the miry clay, that's what He's done for me

I never shall forget what He's done for me.


3 He feeds me when I'm hungry, that's what He's done for me

He feeds me when I'm hungry, that's what He's done for me

He feeds me when I'm hungry, that's what He's done for me

I never shall forget what He's done for me.


4 He picked me up and turned me around, that's what He's done for me

He picked me up and turned me around, that's what He's done for me

He picked me up and turned me around, that's what He's done for me

I never shall forget what He's done for me.


5 He gave me a home in glory, that's what He's done for me

He gave me a home in glory, that's what He's done for me

He gave me a home in glory, that's what He's done for me

I never shall forget what He's done for me.

Words: Congregational Praise Song, Public Domain.

Music: Congregational Praise Song, Public Domain; arr. Jimmie Abbington © 2000 G.I.A. Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #95016. 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!


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

Have mercy on us.

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

Have mercy on us.

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

Grant us peace.


The Gifts of God for the people of God.



LEV #107: There's Something About That Name

[Repeat as desired]


Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!

There's just something about that name!

Master, Savior, Jesus!

Like the fragrance after the rain.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!

Let all heaven and earth proclaim:

Kings and kingdoms will all pass away

But there's something about that name!

Words: Gloria and William Gaither © 1970 William J. Gaither.

Music: William J. Gaither © 1970 William J. Gaither.

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. St. Matthew's A.S.K. Dinner To-Go on 9/25: St. Matthew’s Rector and Vestry present St. Matthew's 4th Annual Anniversary & Stewardship Kickoff (A.S.K.) Dinner and 2nd Annual Dinner To-Go. On Saturday, September 25, we invite all church members to come to the church any time between 12:00 noon and 5:00 PM to pick up one or more Dinners to-go and a Stewardship Goodie Bag. We will carry these items out to your vehicle, so please wear a face covering when you roll your windows down.


This is the launch of our 2022 Giving Campaign. It’s 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 easy 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 will be distributed at the A.S.K. Dinner To-Go. 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. St. Matthew's Day & 166th Anniversary on 9/26: Join with us as we commemorate our patron saint on the Feast of St. Matthew, the Apostle and Evangelist, and celebrate our 166th Parish Anniversary. We will have a joyful celebration of Holy Communion and Holy Baptism on Sunday, September 26 at 9:30 AM, both in person and online via Facebook. We look forward to seeing you there!


C. 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


D. Bishop Harris' Hallelujah, Anyhow! Book Study: Thanks to all those who participated in the Christian Education Survey! We reached a consensus to study Hallelujah, Anyhow!: A Memoir by the Right Rev. Barbara C. Harris (1930-2020), the first woman and first Black woman ordained as a bishop in the Anglican Communion.


Please read Chapter 4 before our next meeting on Wednesday, September 8, at 5:30 PM. The Zoom information is featured in the e-Newsletter. For now, you can purchase Bishop Harris' book from Amazon or Church Publishing for about $16. (If you need help ordering the book, you may contact the Office Manager at office@stmattsav.org or (912) 234-4440.)


E. Midyear Giving Statements Available: Thanks to the work of our new Bookkeeper, Ms. Pat Lanchester, we have midyear giving statements available for all people who have contributed financially to St. Matthew's in 2021. These statements reflect all giving from January 1 - July 31, 2021.


Some donors will receive a link to their personalized statement via email, if you ever inputted your email address into Realm, our online accounting software. Everyone who did not pick up their statement at church last Sunday was mailed the statement on Wednesday.


If you notice any discrepancies between your records and ours, please contact Ms. Lanchester at Bookkeeper@StMattSav.org or leave a message for her at (912) 234-4440.


F. Vestry Proposes Revised Parish By-Laws: After a lengthy process that began before the pandemic, St. Matthew's Vestry has completed a comprehensive revision of its Parish By-Laws. Many of the changes are technical and organizational, to help the document flow better, be easier for future leaders of the parish to use, and align more closely with the Canons of the Diocese of Georgia. But some of the more substantial changes include:

  • Reducing the length of time someone must be a member of the parish before they are eligible to serve on Vestry from 3 years to 1 year;

  • Reducing the overall number of standing committees and redefining the responsibilities and duties of each committee;

  • Formally authorizing the Vestry to create "task forces", i.e. temporary committees, which serve a stated short-term purpose and are then dissolved; and

  • Defining the responsibilities and duties of all Vestry and financial officers.

The revisions to the By-laws cannot be finalized until they have been approved by the Vestry twice; the second vote is expected to take place on Tuesday, September 21. This month will be used as a feedback collection period. The complete revised By-Laws will be mailed to all members of the parish. They may also be picked up from the Parish Hall.


Please direct all feedback on the By-Laws to Fr. Arboleda at FrGAA@StMattSav.org. All feedback must come from active members of St. Matthew's Church, so anonymous submissions will not be considered. If the feedback leads to further revisions, the final Vestry vote may be delayed.


G. Baptisms Available this Fall: After a long hiatus due to COVID-19, St. Matthew's is ready to resume performing baptisms and welcoming new members into the household of God. Holy Baptism is available to anyone at any age who has not already been baptized. We would like to hold baptisms on St. Matthew's Day and the 166th Parish Anniversary (Sunday, September 26) and 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 (FrGAA@StMattSav.org). 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 FrGAA@StMattSav.org to request it).

Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer

Time: 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Join Zoom Meeting: See e-Newsletter


Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter


Dial by your location: +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter


I. “Trip Around the World” Quilt Raffle: The Quilter's Guild, through St. Matthew's ECW, is raffling a "Trip Around the World" Quilt to benefit St. Matthew's Building Renovation Fund. This fund supports major extra-budgetary building improvement projects, such as painting, replacing the sound system, replacing the oven in Toomer-Walker Hall, etc.


This beautiful, jewel-toned quilt measures 103"x90" and will fit a queen-sized bed. This machine-stitched quilt in tones of deep violet amethyst, blue sapphire, green emerald, blue topaz, and green peridot will enhance any bedroom.


The winner will be announced on September 30, 2021. Winners do not need to be present to win. In addition to the grand prize of the "Trip Around the World '' quilt, there will be interim raffles of seasonal quilt-type projects for no additional ticket purchase. Interim winners will still be eligible for the grand prize.


Tickets are $15 each. Please make donations in $15 increments. Tickets may be purchased by:

  1. Mailing a check to St. Matthew's with "Quilt Raffle" in the memo line; OR

  2. Visiting https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/give/quilt

Expect your raffle tickets to be returned to you by mail or email within 5-7 business days of receipt. Direct any questions to