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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on August 27, 2023

The Holy Eucharist

13th Sunday After Pendecost (Proper 16A)

August 27, 2023 at 9:30 AM

Celebrant & Preacher: The Rev. Guillermo Arboleda, Rector

Deacon: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis

Watch the Livestream at

The Holy Eucharist: Rite II

LEV #99 – On Christ the Solid Rock

1 My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. Refrain: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand. 2 When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In ev’ry high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain] 3 His oath, His covenant and blood, Support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain] 4 When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found; Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain]

[Public Domain. Music: Edward Mote. Music: William B. Bradbury. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97945. All rights reserved.]

The Opening Acclamation

[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 S280: Glory to God

[see also 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 #28331. All rights reserved.]

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 232-233]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Exodus 1:8-2:10

Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live. So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.”

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him, “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 124

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

1 If the Lord had not been on our side, * let Israel now say;

2 If the Lord had not been on our side, * when enemies rose up against us;

3 Then would they have swallowed us up alive * in their fierce anger toward us;

4 Then would the waters have overwhelmed us * and the torrent gone over us;

5 Then would the raging waters * have gone right over us.

6 Blessed be the Lord! * he has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.

7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowler; * the snare is broken, and we have escaped.

8 Our help is in the Name of the Lord, * the maker of heaven and earth.

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 12:1-8

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-- what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #522 – Glorious Things of These Are Spoken (Verses 1-3)

1 Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God; he whose word cannot be broken formed thee for his own abode; on the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose? With salvation's walls surrounded, thou may'st smile at all thy foes. 2 See! the streams of living waters, springing from eternal love, well supply thy sons and daughters and all fear of want remove. Who can faint, when such a river ever will their thirst assuage? Grace which, like the Lord, the giver, never fails from age to age. 3 Round each habitation hovering, see the cloud and fire appear for a glory and a covering, showing that the Lord is near. Thus deriving from their banner, light by night, and shade by day, safe they feed upon the manna which he gives them when they pray.

[Words: John Newton, alt. Music: Austria, Franz Joseph Haydn; desc. Michael E. Young. Copyright © 1979, G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97985. All rights reserved.]

The People stand, as they are able, for the reading of the Gospel.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew 16:13-20

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Hymn #522 – Glorious Things of These Are Spoken (Verse 4)

4 Blest inhabitants of Zion, washed in the Redeemer's blood! Jesus, whom their souls rely on, makes them kings and priests to God. 'Tis his love his people raises over self to reign as kings: and as priests, his solemn praises each for a thank-offering brings.

[Words: John Newton, alt. Music: Austria, Franz Joseph Haydn; desc. Michael E. Young. Copyright © 1979, G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97985. All rights reserved.]

The Sermon

"Fearing God" by the Rev. Guillermo Arboleda, Rector

I am so glad to be back here at St. Matthew’s after a restful and fun twelve weeks away. I have plenty of stories to share, whether informally over coffee and food, or formally in sermons like this.

While I was away, the church kept on moving forward and moving forward. There are too many people to thank, but chief among them are Deacon Ella Roundtree-Davis, Senior Warden Joenelle Gordon, Junior Warden Rachael Blue-Jones, Ms. Dandy and the rest of the parish staff, and all the guest celebrants and preachers (ordained and lay). Many of you took on new and/or expanded leadership roles. A group of lay people worked together to re-launch our Sunday School program for children. The Strategic Planning Team continued their work of naming and refining our church’s three-year plan, which we will hopefully be publishing in September. The Vestry continued to manage the facilities, provide for worship, and plan for the remainder of the year’s programs. The Anniversary Committee began to plan activities for St. Matthew’s Day weekend. The list goes on and on.

During my time away, I learned a lot about myself and about the role of church in other people’s lives. I met lots of people in the places I visited and very few of them were active churchgoers. Very few of them had a lot of experience with church, knowledge about religion and the Bible, or a sense of why church was important. I’m not saying these were bad people by any stretch. Most of them were very friendly and some of us still keep in touch. What I am saying is that the church is low on their priority list. They might believe in God; they might not. But even if they think God is real, they are often jaded about church communities.

So, I have felt called to use Sunday sermons as a time to “get back to basics.” I want this to be a space where we can talk about the key stories and lessons that help us to lead Christian lives today. I want to reinforce why we gather together, why following Jesus is important, and why doing so in a church community matters.

So, today, I am starting a sermon series for the next few weeks about one of the most important stories in the Bible: the Exodus. It just so happens that the lectionary lined up perfectly with the end of my sabbatical. From today until October 22, the Old Testament reading each Sunday will come from the Book of Exodus. We’ll be covering these stories until at least September 17; September 24 is St. Matthew’s Sunday, when we celebrate our parish’ 168th Anniversary. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll stick to Exodus in early October.

The first half of Exodus tells the story of how the people of Israel came to be enslaved in Egypt and how God chose Moses to free them, leading the people out of slavery and bringing them into the land of Promise (what we now call Palestine and Israel). This story is important because it helped to shape the identity of the Hebrew people for the rest of the Old and New Testaments. They are constantly referring back to God’s saving work in the Exodus. And in Black and indigenous communities in the Americas, the Exodus has taken on new meanings. The Exodus was the story that many enslaved Africans latched onto as they tried to resist chattel slavery and plan their escape into freedom. That’s why Harriet Tubman’s nickname was “Moses.” The Exodus helps us understand who we are and who God is even as we live in a cruel world.

The theme for today is “Fearing God.” Exodus 1:17 says, “But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.”

The Israelites came to Egypt as immigrants. Israel, also known as Jacob, was Abraham’s grandson. Israel’s son Joseph became a powerful politician in the Pharaoh’s government, so he invited Israel and his big family to move to Egypt. That’s at the very end of the book of Genesis. But Exodus begins by telling us that “a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8). He saw the growing Israelite community in Egypt as a threat. He chose to oppress and enslave them so that they could not rebel. More time passed and the Egyptians became “ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service” (1:13-14).

One Pharaoh (king of Egypt) decided that the Israelites were too numerous. He didn’t like so many foreigners “invading” their land. He wanted to enact some “population control,” which is a nice way of saying genocide. In this case, he wanted infanticide. The Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives named Shiphrah and Puah to kill all newborn baby boys. But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live” (Exodus 1:17). This act of rebellion protected the lives of many babies. It helped the Israelites continue to grow and flourish in number, even as they were enslaved.

All of their efforts led to a boy named Moses being adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. She would raise him as her own. God would later call Moses to use the skills he learned and connections he made as a prophet and the leader of the Israelites. By God’s power, Moses would lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt into freedom. But that’s the part of the story we will cover in the coming weeks.

Today, we are going to focus on two very underappreciated characters: Shiphrah and Puah the midwives. They were catalysts for this liberation from slavery. They helped their people gain their freedom simply because they obeyed God’s will over Pharaoh’s. The spark that lit the fire of liberty was the midwives’ fear of God. “But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live” (Exodus 1:17).

Now, “fear” is a complicated word choice. When the Bible talks about “fearing” God, Pharaoh, or later Caesar, it’s not necessarily about feeling afraid. It’s about reverence, honor, and respect. Sometimes we honor authorities because we are afraid of the punishment they’ll give if we don’t. We slow down on the highway when we see a cop car in the distance because we fear the consequences of zipping by at 80 mph.

But fearing God is different because of who God is. God is not an enslaver or a tyrant or cruel. God is not a power-hungry king who uses xenophobia to rally the masses into great evils. God is love. Our fear of God comes from our respect and awe at God’s goodness, mercy, and kindness to us and all people. Fear of God is like the loyalty you have to someone who took care of you during the lowest time in your life (a parent, spouse, sibling, friend, etc.). Fear of God comes from our immense gratitude that even though we can be hateful and mean to one another, even though people have enslaved and oppressed and murdered each other, God still loves us. God loves us enough that God became a human being and sacrificed himself to heal the world.

So the midwives feared God more than they feared Pharaoh and his punishment. The king of Egypt had a sword and whip, but the midwives knew that God’s loving embrace was greater. They would rather face the king’s wrath than disobey God by hurting babies. Fear for God can be a conscience, a bravery that leads us to do what is right no matter what. Fear of God gives us godly courage to resist human oppression, greed, and hate. Fear of God is what leads us to stand up as a church for those who are marginalized and oppressed, whether because of race, sex, gender, class, poverty, or anything else that harm’s God’s children. We love and fear God, so we love and protect one another. We love people because we love God.

Shiphrah and Puah the midwives are excellent examples of how this plays out in the real world. They show us a moral courage that we all can learn from. They show us that when we put God first, our lives may not be easy, but God’s goodness and love will prevail. These midwives were faithful until the end. But they probably didn’t live to see Moses grow up and become the leader of Israel. They more than likely died as slaves in Egypt and never got to see freedom. But they laid the foundation for their people’s liberation. Their fear of God benefited the next generation. What they did in their lifetimes had ripple effects into the future.

So it is today. We all face challenges each and every day. Sometimes we are faced with difficult moral decisions, where it would be easier to fear the law or your boss or the idea of losing money than it is to fear God. Sometimes in the church we fear change more than we fear God. But the world is changing. And we can stick our heads in the sand, or we can change with it and continue to be witnesses to God’s goodness and love.

This summer I visited a few cities in Europe. In every place I went, I visited churches, for worship whenever possible. But many of the most famous churches in Europe are basically just museums – pretty places with beautiful art but no active congregation anymore. They were full of visitors who were there to see pretty things, not to meet Jesus and learn to fear God. Somewhere along the way, those churches lost sight of their mission and purpose. They lost sight of how to fear God as a community and do the next faithful thing.

But St. Matthew’s is not trying to be a museum. We are trying to buck the trend of churches becoming irrelevant by naming and claiming God’s call on our community, setting out a strategic plan, and following through on it together. We are putting fear of God first, and we are inviting this church’s current and future members to join us. We may or may not see the fruits of this labor. Like Shiphrah and Puah, we may die before all our goals are accomplished. But like them, we will fear God more than anything that stands in our way, and we will prepare this place for the next generation.

Let us pray… Amen.

The Nicene Creed

[BCP, p. 358]

All standing as they are able, the People pray:

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, Form VI

[Adapted from BCP, p. 392]

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.


For all people in their daily life and work;

For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.

For Joseph, our president; Brian, our governor; Van, our mayor; Chester, the chair of our County Commission; 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 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 Michael our Presiding Bishop, Frank our Bishop, Guillermo our Priest, Ella our Deacon; 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: Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Marva Harris, David Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, and Jewel Wheeler; 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, especially for all visitors to this parish, all those celebrating birthdays, especially Charles Tennerson (8/28), Shaina Berksteiner (8/28), Margo Jackson (8/30), and Jason Carrington (8/31) those celebrating anniversaries this week, especially Dr. Enrique & the Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis (8/28) and DeWayne & Keshia Cope (9/2), and those thanksgivings we offer now… [Silence. The People may add their own petitions.]

We will exalt you, O God our King;

And praise your Name for ever and ever.

We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom, especially those we remember now... [Silence. The People may add their own petitions.]

Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;

Who put their trust in you.

The Celebrant concludes with the following or some other suitable Collect:

Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people, and strengthen us to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession of Sin

The Deacon says

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept. All pray together, kneeling, as they are able,

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

The Bishop, when present, or the Priest, stands and says:

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord 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.

Parish Announcements

NAACP Mass Meeting Today at 4:00 PM: On Sunday, August 27, 2023 at 4 pm, the Savannah Branch NAACP will hold a Mass Meeting with a special presentation by Savannah/Chatham County Public School System Superintendent Dr. S. Denise Watts, and will be held at Tremont Temple Baptist Church, located at 415 W. Park Avenue with Rev. Quentin J. Morris, Sr., Pastor.

Newly appointed Superintendent Watts will present the SCCPSS 2023-24 school year goals and share her entry plan for the first 100 days of the new year. Given time, Dr. Watts will answer questions from the Savannah Branch Membership and the community at-large.

The meeting is open to the public and is an opportunity for parents and students to meet and hear from our school system leader.

Vestry Meeting on Thursday, 8/31: St. Matthew’s will hold its regularly scheduled August Vestry meeting on Thursday, August 31 at 5:30 PM. All church members are welcome to attend, listen, ask questions, and make comments (i.e., seat and voice without vote).

St. Matthew's Anniversary Dinner Cruise: Celebrate St. Matthew's anniversary aboard the Savannah Riverboat Cruise on Friday, September 22, 2023. This evening dinner cruise will be set to sail at 6:00 pm from River Street in Downtown Savannah. Attire is casual. Contact Paulette Sanders or Evadne Roberts to purchase tickets. The cost per ticket is $120, and you have the option to begin paying for your ticket(s) now. Be sure to invite family and friends to enjoy this glorious evening!

Note from the Anniversary Committee: The deadline to purchase tickets for the dinner cruise is August 20th.

8-Week Free Yoga at White Bluff Presbyterian Church

You are invited to join Plasha Yoga at White Bluff Presbyterian Church for eight weeks of free yoga during the months of September and October. This is a wonderful opportunity to begin this Fall season by practicing self-care and connecting with others through yoga practice. All are welcome! No previous experience is required. Please bring your own yoga mat and something for hydration.


WHERE: Education Building at White Bluff Presbyterian Church,

10710 White Bluff Road

St. Anna Alexander Pilgrimage September 22-24: Racial Justice Georgia, the diocesan racial justice and healing ministry, invites you to attend this year’s St. Anna Alexander pilgrimage on the weekend of September 22-24. The lone Black deaconess in the Episcopal Church, the only person from the diocese recognized as a saint, St. Anna selflessly pursued a ministry of teaching, preaching, and community work for decades in the early 20th century, despite the confinements of Jim Crow. Centered in the Brunswick area, the pilgrimage immerses you in her world and concludes with a special service at Good Shepherd, Pennick, the church she established and faithfully served. This year we’re excited to have St. Timothy’s choristers from the Diocese of Atlanta performing music they have created for the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage begins Friday evening and concludes Sunday afternoon.

To register or for more information, please contact

ALD Fun Walk on Saturday, September 16 at 9:00 AM! Please do not forget to support Aaron, Jr. by purchasing a t-shirt Also, see your newsletter for additional opportunities to support Aaron, Jr.

Registration open for Cursillo #127: Registration for both team and participants for Cursillo #127 is now open! Cursillo (pronounced ‘kur-see-yo’) is a Spanish word meaning ‘little’ or ‘short course’. This is the name given to the Short Course in Christianity which first developed after World War II with Roman Catholic men. The short course has now been given to men and women around the world and, in the process has assisted generations of Christians to more faithfully follow Jesus in their daily lives. There is no real secret here, just the basics of the faith with an emphasis on how would you like to live it out in your life.

Cursillo begins on a Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday evening. During those three days the participants engage in listening to talks given by priests and lay people, and small table discussions, while worshiping and playing together.

The next Cursillo weekend will be held at Honey Creek September 7-10, 2023.

Locking of Toomer Walker Hall at 9:45 am, Sundays: Due to safety concerns expressed to the Vestry by numerous congregation members, the Vestry unanimously voted that beginning Sunday, August 6, 2023, the parking lot door into Toomer Walker Hall will be locked at 9:45 am. Worshippers coming after that time are asked to use the front entrance to the Church.

We ask for everyone's support and cooperation for the safety of us all.

T/W/Th Evening Prayer Videos Resume: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, St. Matthew's invites you to pray Evening Prayer over Zoom and Facebook. If you want to be in the Zoom call, please join by 4:55 PM using the link in the e-Newsletter. The video will continue to stream to Facebook Live at 5:00 PM.

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 376]

Giving to St. Matthew's:

  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:; 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 to us, an offering and sacrifice to God. [Ephesians 5:2]

LEV #78 – Blessed Be The Name

1 Blessed be the name!

Blessed be the name!

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Blessed be the name!

Blessed be the name!

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

2 Jesus is the name!

Jesus is the name!

Jesus is the name of the Lord!

Jesus is the name!

Jesus is the name!

Jesus is the name of the Lord!

3 Worth to be grand!

Worth to be grand!

Worth to be grand is the Lord!

Worth to be grand!

Worth to be grand!

Worth to be grand is the Lord!

[Words: Psalm 72:19. Music: Campmeeting Melody; arr. Ralph E. Hudson. All rights reserved.]

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Circling through earth so all may grow

Vanquishing fear so all may give

Widening grace so all may live


[Words: Eric H. F. Law, Copyright © 2015 Eric H. F. Law. Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission from Kaleidoscope Institute. All rights reserved.]

Eucharistic Prayer B

[BCP, p. 367]

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 God 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 prays a Proper Preface

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever 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.

[Music: Grayson Warren Brown, A Mass for Soulful People, Copyright © 1979 North American Liturgy Resources, Published by OCP. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #83420. All rights reserved.]

The people stand or kneel.

We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.

On the night before he died for us, 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, according to his command, O Father,

We remember his death, We proclaim his resurrection, We await his coming in glory;

And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.

We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to that heavenly country where, with Blessed Matthew and all your saints, we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation.

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 Breaking of the Bread

Silence may be kept.

The Fraction Anthems

[BCP, p. 364]

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!

Therefore let us keep the feast! Alleluia!

This Far By Faith #36:

O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;

have mercy and grant us peace,

we pray, O Lamb of God.

[Words: Traditional. Music: Grayson Warren Brown; arr. Larry Adams, Copyright © 1979 Grayson Warren Brown. All rights reserved.]

The Gifts of God for the people of God.

The Distribution of Holy Communion

The ushers will direct people to leave their pews to receive Communion at the altar rails. You may receive Communion kneeling or standing. Please extend your hands forward to receive the Body of Christ (bread). If you would like to receive the Blood of Christ (wine), the minister will take the bread from your hand and dip (intinct) it in the wine for you, then place it in your mouth. If you would only like to receive the bread, you may consume it and return to your seat. If you need gluten-free bread for Communion, please ask the Priest when you are at the altar rail.

All baptized Christians are welcome to receive Communion in this church, regardless of age or denominational background. If you would not like to receive Communion for any reason, please cross your arms over your chest, and the Priest will say a blessing over you.

If you are worshipping online, you may pray to receive spiritual communion using the following prayer:

In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.

Hymn #304 – I Come With Joy to Meet My Lord

1 I come With Joy To Meet My Lord,

Forgiven, Loved, And Free;

In Awe And Wonder To Recall

His Life Laid Down For Me.

2 I Come With Christians Far And Near

To Find, As All Are Fed,

The New Community Of Love

In Christ’s Communion Bread.

3 As Christ Breaks Bread And Bids Us Share,

Each Proud Division Ends;

The Love That Made Us, Makes Us One,

And Strangers Now Are Friends.

4 And Thus With Joy We Meet Our Lord;

His Presence, Always Near,

Is In Such Friendship Better Known:

We See And Praise Him Here.

5 Together Met, Together Bound,

We’ll Go Our Different Ways;

And As His People In The World,

We’ll Live And Speak His Praise.

[ Words: Brian A. Wren, alt. Copyright ©1971 by Hope Publishing Company. Music: Land of Rest, American folk melody; adapt. and harm. Anabel Morris Buchanan. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #85912. All rights reserved.]

LEV #132 – Cert’nly Lord

1 Have you got good religion? Cert’nly, Lord! Have you got good religion? Cert’nly, Lord! Have you got good religion? Cert’nly, Lord! Cert’nly, cert’nly, cert’nly, Lord!

2 Have you been redeemed? Cert’nly, Lord! Have you been redeemed? Cert’nly, Lord! Have you been redeemed? Cert’nly, Lord! Cert’nly, cert’nly, cert’nly, Lord!

3 Have you been to the water? Cert’nly Lord! Have you been to the water? Cert’nly Lord! Have you been to the water? Cert’nly Lord! Cert’nly, cert’nly, cert’nly, Lord!

4 Have you been baptized? Cert’nly Lord! Have you been baptized? Cert’nly Lord! Have you been baptized? Cert’nly Lord! Cert’nly, cert’nly, cert’nly, Lord!

[Words: Traditional. Music: Negro Spiritual. All rights reserved.]

The Post-Communion Prayer

[BCP, p. 366; Enriching our Worship 2 [2000], pp. 56-57]

Let us pray.

For In-Person Worshippers:

Almighty and everliving God, we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom. And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

For Online Worshippers and 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 of the People

Hymn #518 – Christ is Made the Sure Foundation

1 Christ is made the sure foundation, Christ the head and cornerstone, chosen of the Lord, and precious, binding all the Church in one; holy Zion's help for ever, and her confidence alone. 2 All that dedicated city, dearly loved of God on high, in exultant jubilation pours perpetual melody; God the One in Three adoring in glad hymns eternally. 3 To this temple, where we call thee, come, O Lord of Hosts, today; with thy wonted lovingkindness hear thy servants as they pray, and thy fullest benediction shed within its walls alway. 4 Here vouchsafe to all thy servants what they ask of thee to gain; what they gain from thee, for ever with the blessèd to retain, and hereafter in thy glory evermore with thee to reign.

[Words: Latin, ca. 7th cent.; HymnsAncient and Modern, after John Mason Neale, alt. Music: Urbs beata Jersulem, plainsong, Mode 2, Never MS. Descant by permission of Church Society, London. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #123287. All rights reserved.]

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

The Parish Prayer List

PRAYER LIST: Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Marva Harris, David Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, and Jewel Wheeler

BIRTHDAYS: Charles Tennerson (8/28), Shaina Berksteiner (8/28), Margo Jackson (8/30), and Jason Carrington (8/31)

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES: Dr. Enrique & the Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis (8/28) and DeWayne & Keshia Cope (9/2)


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

Permissions and Credits: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), Enriching Our Worship 1 (EOW1), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), and other sources cited. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.

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