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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on August 9, 2020

The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

10th Sunday After Pentecost (Proper 14, Year A) August 9, 2020

Watch the Livestream at

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


I am posting this worship service online because we at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person this week. Due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, public health officials recommend avoiding large gatherings of people to avoid spreading the illness to more vulnerable people. Therefore, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia has ordered all parishes in our diocese to suspend in-person worship until further notice.

At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, I will broadcast the following worship service using Facebook Live at After the service concludes, you can re-watch it at any time.

Today's service is the Liturgy of the Word (or the first part of the Holy Eucharist service we use on normal Sundays). This is for use at home while watching the live stream or reading the prayers when you cannot physically attend worship. Lay people may read the entirety of this service as printed.

May God protect you from this virus and protect the most vulnerable among us. May we be God’s hands and feet of compassion and service to all in need during this time. Amen.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

The Word of God

Hymn #637: How Firm A Foundation

1 How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,

is laid for your faith in his excellent word!

What more can he say than to you he hath said,

to you that for refuge to Jesus have fled?

2 "Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed!

For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;

I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

3 "When through the deep waters I call thee to go,

the rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;

for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,

and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

4 "When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;

the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

5 "The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,

I will not, I will not desert to its foes;

that soul, though all hell shall endeavor to shake,

I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake."

Words: K. in John Rippon's Selection, Public Domain.

Music: Lyons, att. Johann Michael Haydn, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #81568. All rights reserved.

Opening Sentences

[BCP, p. 355]

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And blessed be his 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 in the Highest

[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, 231]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; 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 First Book of Kings (19:9-18)

At Horeb, the mount of God, Elijah came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”

He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 85:8-13

[BCP, p. 709]

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

8 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, * for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.

9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, * that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Mercy and truth have met together; * righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11 Truth shall spring up from the earth, * and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12 The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, * and our land will yield its increase.

13 Righteousness shall go before him, * and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans (10:5-15)

Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say?

“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart”

(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #62: In Christ There Is No East or West

1. In Christ there is no East or West,

In Him no South or North,

But one great fellowship of love

Throughout the whole wide earth.

2. In Him shall true hearts everywhere

Their high communion find;

His service is the golden cord

Close-binding humankind.

3. Join hands, disciples of the faith,

What e'er your race may be!

Who serves my Father as a son

Is surely kin to me.

4. In Christ now meet both East and West,

In Him meet South and North;

All Christly souls are one in Him

Throughout the whole wide earth.

Words: Galatians 3:28; Words adapt. John Oxenham, © 1989; reprinted by permission of American Tract Society.

Music: McKee, Negro Spiritual; adapt. Harry T. Burleigh, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84249. All rights reserved.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (14:22-33)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

[Common English Bible translation]

22 Right then, [after the feeding miracle,] Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds. 23 When he sent them away, he went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone. 24 Meanwhile, the boat, fighting a strong headwind, was being battered by the waves and was already far away from land. 25 Very early in the morning he came to his disciples, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed.

27 Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 28 Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” 29 And Jesus said, “Come.” Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind settled down. 33 Then those in the boat worshipped Jesus and said, “You must be God’s Son!”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“The Grace Margin” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

“Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27)

This week, I have been participating in a virtual continuing education conference. It is organized by an Episcopal ministry called Kaleidoscope Institute that produces great books and resources for church leaders. The conference lasts two weeks (I’m one week in) and has been held through a series of 2.5-hour Zoom calls featuring guest artists and speakers included Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, and more. It’s been really great. My only regret is that in a normal year, I would have had to fly to Los Angeles for a week to attend in person instead of staying cooped up in my home during the pandemic [sigh].

The conference’s title is “Fear Not: Living Grace, Truth, and Diversity in a Divided and Frightened World.” The theme of overcoming fear has run through the first week of the event because we live in a world that is filled with fear. We fear political disagreement; we fear racist institutions and discrimination; we fear the police; we fear the coronavirus; we fear war and terrorism and crime; we fear an economic depression. 

What are we to do in the face of all this fear? How do we grow in bravery? How do we vanquish fear? What can we do as leaders to create environments where people are brave enough to face these fears? How does following Jesus help us in this quest for courage?

So it’s really appropriate that we have this week’s Old Testament and Gospel lessons. Both stories show us people who are afraid. They show us how God invites them to move beyond their fear through faith. God calls them into something new, different, scary, and good for them. But the only way to grow into that good, new thing is to face fear head-on.

The Bible is filled with stories of people who know about God and want to do the right thing. But they’re people just like us. They get afraid of things that are new and different. And God rarely looks at our lives and says everything is fine the way that it is. God is always pushing us to do, to go, to be something greater than what we already are. And God invites us to overcome our fears through grace.

Most of the time we people live in two mental and emotional spaces: our Comfort Zone (a.k.a. Safe Zone) and our Fear Zone. The Comfort Zone feels safe and comfortable; we know what is expected of us and we don’t need to learn anything new to fit in (Law, 97). The problem with the Comfort Zone is that we can get stuck there; it can stunt our growth and prevent us from seeing new possibilities, opportunities, and callings from God. 

The Fear Zone is just that -- the places and space where we are afraid. In our Fear Zones, we shut down because we don’t know how to cope with the new or different environment and we shut ourselves off from learning anything new. The Fear Zone is where we experience “fight, flight, or freeze” responses. We either fight others for bringing us face to face with our fears, retreat back to the Comfort Zone, or become paralyzed. 

Neither the Comfort Zone nor the Fear Zone is a suitable place for us to grow as Christian disciples. So God provides a third way. God creates what the Rev. Dr. Eric H. F. Law calls the “Grace Margin” (Law, 97-103). This is the space between the Comfort Zone (or Safe Zone) and the Fear Zone. It’s a bridge between the two spaces that tries to capture what is good about both. It allows us to listen to each other and discern truth together (Law, 97). We want the safety of the comfort zone and the challenge of the fear zone. We want to feel secure enough to try to change. 

[Image courtesy of Law, p. 98]

In 1 Kings 19, we meet Elijah at one of the lowest points in his life. He is on the run from Queen Jezebel of Israel who is trying to kill him. He fears for his life and thinks he is the last Israelite left who is faithful to the LORD God. Elijah comes to Mount Horeb in an attempt to retreat from his fear zone to a comfort zone, but he almost doesn’t make it. Along the way Elijah wants to give up living and asks God to take his life (1 Kings 19:3-4). 

But then God meets Elijah and creates a grace margin. First God reveals Godself to Elijah. God’s presence is itself a comfort because Elijah no longer feels alone and abandoned. Then, God invites Elijah to step out of his comfort zone into a new calling that won’t be easy but will be good for him. Elijah is to anoint kings and prophets for future service to God. That will be politically dangerous, but God reminds Elijah that he will not go into that calling alone. There are 7000 Israelites like him who have remained faithful to the LORD God and not turned to idols. God creates Elijah’s grace margin through presence and invitation into community. As we seek to create grace margins in our own lives, we cannot do so alone; we need God and a community. 

Our Gospel story picks up immediately after the feeding miracle from last week. The disciples cross the lake of Galilee while Jesus stays behind to pray alone. As a storm brews and the waves rise, the disciples naturally are faced with a shrinking safe zone -- the boat -- and a growing fear zone -- the lake. Jesus, however, is not bound by their fear zone (or the laws of physics). He walks out onto the water to meet them in their boat. And the disciples’ fear zone enters the boat with them: “When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed” (Matt 14:26). 

But Jesus immediately begins to build their grace margin. He said to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid” (Mat 14:27). The grace margin starts with his presence with them, that’s a prerequisite for them to drop their fear. But then Peter wants to step out into the fear zone. He wants to join Jesus more fully. Jesus will allow it, but only by faith. The grace margin expands when Jesus invites Peter onto the lake waters with him (“Come!”; Matt 14:29). And in the grace margin, Peter can walk with Jesus. But once he focuses on fear, he begins to sink. Jesus rescues him and they return to the safety of the boat to debrief what just happened through worship.

The grace margin helps us see that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but fear. We need God’s grace to overcome our fears in a loving community and in sharing our relational presence. In the face of so much fear, we have a God who will not leave us or forsake us. God will not abandon us. 

Instead Jesus calls to us, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). God will be with us. And if God is with us, we can be with each other (socially distant, of course). And if we are together, we can share grace with each other and help each other overcome fear. May God speak to you clearly this week about how to fight fear through grace -- not alone, but together. Amen.


  • Law, Eric H. F. Holy Currencies: 6 Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2013.

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 & Confession of Sin

[Adapted from Form VI, BCP, p. 392]

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.

Silence, about 5 seconds.

For all people in their daily life and work;

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

For Donald, our president; Brian, our governor; Van, our mayor; Al, 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 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, Zavier Bradley, Raleigh Bryant, Christine Brown, Mark Case, Genella Chamberlain, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Gary Gordon, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Enoch Henderson, Charles E. Hines, Kenneth Howard, Terri Howard, Dale Hundley, Jared Hundley, Tracy Hundley, Milinda James, Alvin Jenkins, Dana Jenkins, Frances T. Jones, Lori Jones, Robert L. Jones, Sr., Ronald Jones, Tonya Jones, Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law, Jr., Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Joan Maty, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Carmelita Maynard, Viola Maynard, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Willie Stephens, Gisele Walton, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, Noel Wheeler, and Dean 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, especially those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, and other blessings 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, and 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 or a suitable Collect.

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.


A. Online Worship Schedule: St. Matthew's Church building remains closed to in-person worship and all non-essential activities due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Vestry will monitor the public health data to determine when is the appropriate time to begin the Diocesan Phase 1 Re-Gathering Plan. We will maintain online worship options for the foreseeable future on Facebook Live. Many other updates are available via the Facebook page. If you know of church members who have trouble accessing these services, please reach out and show them how to watch, or direct them to the Rector or Vestry for support.

  1. Sundays - 9:30 Worship (You can find all of the upcoming Sunday and Holiday readings at

  2. Tuesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  3. Wednesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  4. Thursdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

B. Virtual Coffee Hour: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom next Sunday, and again on every other Sunday. Thank you to Mrs. Rachael Blue-Jones who is donating a professional Zoom login to the church for our use.

Topic: St. Matthew's Virtual Coffee Hour

Time: August 16, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 839 8763 1416

Password: stmattsav

One tap mobile

+19292056099,,83987631416#,,,,0#,,873853606# US (New York)

Dial by your location

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 839 8763 1416

Password: 873853606

C. New Parish Newsletter launched on Friday over email! Check your email and read it if you haven't yet. If you did not receive it, then please go to our homepage ( and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you can enter your email to sign up.

D. Email Phishing: I learned last week that at least one person has received an email asking for gift cards from a scammer who claimed to be me. If you get an email that seems suspicious, please check the email address. I will always write to you from my church email,, and if you receive a suspicious email from that account, assume it was hacked. I will never ask you to send me money personally and will not ask for money in any form except through the church's Vanco online portal or through a check written directly to the church. No other church official should either. Be careful on the internet, folks!

E. Upcoming Elections: Registered voters age 65 and older or disabled, who voted by absentee ballot in the May Primary election, will be mailed a ballot for the August 11th Runoff as well as for the November General Election. If these persons have not received their absentee ballot they should contact the Board of Elections immediately at (912) 790-1520. Others not included in the exemption group described who want to vote via absentee ballot must request separate absentee ballot applications for both the August Runoff and the November General Elections. The ballot requests can be obtained at the Board of Elections office or online at or the My Voter Page website

F. Worship Video Participation: St. Matthew's is planning to pre-record Sunday services to ensure higher quality video and audio for our worshippers at home. This provides a new opportunity for church members to be a part of the service! Mrs. Pearson and I will reach out to parishioners about recording themselves reading Scripture lessons and/or the Prayers of the People for use in these Sunday videos. If you want to get involved, please email me about your interest at

G. Giving to St. Matthew's: Many people are feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including the church. We still need your support to pay our staff, pay our bills, and provide for these online live streams. If you pledged a donation in 2020 and are able, please continue making those contributions. If you have not pledged, please consider donating to St. Matthew’s now and in the future. 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:; OR

  3. Text “stmattsav” to 73256 to make a secure online donation through your phone.

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]

Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.(Ephesians 5:2)

Hymn #539: O Zion, Haste

1 O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling,

to tell to all the world that God is Light;

that he who made all nations is not willing

one soul should fail to know his love and might.


Publish glad tidings: tidings of peace,

tidings of Jesus, redemption and release.

2 Proclaim to every people, tongue, and nation

that God, in whom they live and move, is Love;

tell how he stooped to save his lost creation,

and died on earth that all might live above. (Refrain)

3 Send heralds forth to bear the message glorious;

give of thy wealth to speed them on their way;

pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious

till God shall bring his kingdom's joyful day. (Refrain)

4 He comes again! O Zion, ere thou meet him,

make known to every heart his saving grace;

let none whom he hath ransomed fail to greet him,

through thy neglect, unfit to see his face. (Refrain)

Words: Mary Ann Thomson, Public Domain

Music: Tidings, James Walch, Public Domain.

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 Blessing & Dismissal

[Enriching Our Worship 1, p. 71; BCP, p 366]

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 may God’s blessing be with you always. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

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

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