• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on December 13, 2020


The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

3rd Sunday of Advent (Year B)

December 13, 2020


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

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



Preface


We at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. Under the guidance of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, the Vestry has decided to keep our church building closed to all in-person gatherings.


At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, I will broadcast the following worship service using Facebook Live at www.Facebook.com/StMattSav. 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 #58: Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending


1 Lo! he comes with clouds descending, once for our salvation slain; thousand, thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train: Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ the Lord returns to reign.

2 Every eye shall now behold him, robed in dreadful majesty; those who set at nought and sold him, pierced, and nailed him to the tree, deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see.

3 Those dear tokens of his passion still his dazzling body bears, cause of endless exultation to his ransomed worshipers; with what rapture, with what rapture, gaze we on those glorious scars!

4 Yea, amen! let all adore thee, high on thine eternal throne; Savior, take the power and glory; claim the kingdom for thine own: Alleluia! Alleluia! Thou shalt reign, and thou alone.


Words: Charles Wesley; Public Domain.

Music: St. Thomas; melody att. John Francis Wade; harm. att. Vincent Francis Novello; Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #32091. All rights reserved.



A Penitential Order

[BCP, p. 351]


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

And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.


Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14,16)


Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Silence may be kept.


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.


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.


LEV #236: Lord Have Mercy

[BCP, p. 356]


Lord, have mercy,

Lord, have mercy,

Lord, have mercy on us.


Christ, have mercy,

Christ, have mercy,

Christ, have mercy on us.


Lord, have mercy,

Lord, have mercy,

Lord, have mercy, have mercy on us.


Words: Public Domain.

Music: Leon C. Roberts, Mass of St. Augustine © 1992 G.I.A. Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #07254. All rights reserved.


The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 212]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

A Reading from Isaiah (61:1-4, 8-11)


The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion— to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 126

[BCP, p. 782]

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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



A Reading from the First Letter to the Thessalonians (5:16-24)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.


May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.



The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. John (1:6-8, 19-28)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.


This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“Modern Prophets” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda


“Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.” - 1 Thess 5:20-22


In ancient times, God sent prophets to us to show us the way of righteousness. And while we believe that the biblical era was a time when God revealed Godself to humankind in many special ways, we do not believe that God is finished with us. God is not retired. God is not dead. God is alive and active. God is real. God is among us. God still shows up in our lives and still sends prophets to us to show us the way of righteousness. God still has servants who are well versed in the Scriptures and, more importantly, who know the voice of God. Those modern prophets can call us to greater, godly things: love, mercy, grace, justice, and righteousness.


How do we discern the word of a modern prophet from a false one? Many people claim to speak for God, but they can’t all be right. Some say one thing and others say another. But everybody thinks God is on their side. That’s why St. Paul tells us not to “despise the words of the prophets,” but to “test everything” (1 Thess 5:20-21). We test the words of modern prophets against the words of the ancient prophets in Scripture and Christian Tradition. We test them against what God has said, what the saints and prophets of ages past have said, and then we think with our own reason.


This is not a formula for getting it right 100% of the time. We will fail. We will be wrong. We will deceive ourselves or be deceived by others. But it’s the best we can do. We can trust and believe in the goodness of God and trust that God’s Spirit is guiding us even when we mess up.


So let’s start with the words of a reliable prophet, whose writings have been preserved for over 2500 years. The Prophet Isaiah tells us the word of the Lord: “I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them” (Isaiah 61:8).


God loves the whole world, everyone and everything in it. That’s why God loves justice. God loves fairness because God wants everyone and everything to be treated with dignity, respect, and care. Everyone and everything matters to God. So when we treat other people and creatures unjustly, unfairly, or wrongly (those words all mean about the same thing), we are harming people and things that God loves.


That’s why God hates wrongdoing, and especially robbery. Robbery is a sin at the center of so many others. Stealing is an action that comes out of greed and envy. When we long for things that belong to others, we are tempted to steal. But we’re not only talking about the legal crime of robbery. We’re also talking about the unjust distribution of resources. When some people in a society live in mansions and others live on the street, even though everything is legal and in order by human standards, that’s wrong. Through prophets like Isaiah, God calls that “robbery and wrongdoing.”


That’s why God promises recompense. God promises to pay people back for what has been stolen from them--land, food, clothes, money, or anything else that people need to live but has been denied them systematically. God promises to overturn the social order so that all people have access to what they need in the perfectly fair, perfectly just Reign of God. Finally, God promises to “cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations” as plants grow from the ground (Isaiah 61:11). What is righteousness but justice enacted in society, love in action?


The Prophet Isaiah has helped us understand what it is that God wants. So how do we behave? How do we not only speak like modern prophets but act like them too? If we believe that God loves justice and that God will make it a reality, then we have to work for justice! Because no matter what you and I decide to do, God’s justice will come. We can be on God’s side in that struggle, we can oppose it, or we can sit on the sidelines. But God will have God’s way.


That’s part of why St. Matthew’s has been a founding member congregation in the new Savannah Area Interfaith Justice Ministry. Last Monday, SAIJM held its annual Covenant Assembly and adopted a new name that speaks more about who we are as a collective organization. SAIJM is now called J.U.S.T. (Justice Unites Savannah Together). Over 260 people from 21 congregations assembled to consider the name change, but more importantly, to decide about what we are actually going to do in 2021. How will we work together toward justice? There are so many problems in our city, but we can only focus on one to two at a time.


So the 260 faithful who attended JUST Covenant Assembly (including a few members of St. Matthew’s) voted to address two big problem areas in 2021: (1) affordable housing and homelessness and (2) poverty and income inequality. These aren’t just arbitrary issues. First of all, they are things that the majority of the people involved truly care about. Second of all, they are things that we all agree that God cares about. God wants us to change the unfair, unjust policies in our city that lead to so many people living on the streets and so many others living in generational poverty.


St. Matthew’s is joining this response to God’s call. We are trying to become modern prophets. Together with JUST, we are trying to bring about godly justice and care for those who are hurting in our city, whether they come to our church or not. That’s a key part of why we exist as a church to begin with. We’re literally trying to love our neighbors!


And we know that this won’t work if it’s just about our imperfect human efforts. It can only happen if God is at the center, and if we trust in God’s power to work miracles and bring healing justice to spaces and places that have been hurting for far too long. So we’ll conclude with today’s collect, because more than anything today, we need God’s power in order to bring about justice!


Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.



Hymn #438: Tell Out My Soul the Greatness of the Lord


1 Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord! Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice; tender to me the promise of his word; in God my Savior shall my heart rejoice.

2 Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name! Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done; his mercy sure, from age to age the same; his holy name -- the Lord, the Mighty One.

3 Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might! Powers and dominions lay their glory by. Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight, the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

4 Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word! Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure. Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord to children's children and forevermore!


Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith, based on The Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55), © 1962, 1990 Hope Publishing Company.

Music: Woodlands, Public Domain

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #73764. 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

[Adapted from http://theadventproject.org/Documents/adventpop.pdf]

Sisters and Brothers, as we joyfully await the full manifestation of God’s Reign in Christ, let us pray for the needs of the church and the world, saying, “Come, Lord Jesus.”


O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High and reach from beginning to end, mightily and sweetly ordering all things. Behold and bless your church, remembering especially Michael our presiding bishop, Frank our Bishop, Guillermo our priest, Toni and Margaret our wardens, our vestry and delegates, and all leaders in this parish. Be present in ordering the life of this and every congregation.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Adonai, God of the Covenant, ruler of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave your law. Forgive us when we stray from your guidance and will.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Root of Jesse, you stand as an emblem to humankind; before you, rulers will shut their mouths, and nations bow in worship: We pray for your peace and justice in every nation and throughout the world; be present to all whose lives are ravaged by war and strife; especially we hold before you those from among us who serve their country abroad. Guide the leaders of this and every land into the paths of peace and goodwill.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no one can shut, you shut and no one can open: Guide us in opening the doors of opportunity for the unemployed, for the homeless, for prisoners, and for all who are oppressed; and lead us in closing the doors that lead to poverty, bigotry, and injustice.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O King and Desire of the Nations, you are the cornerstone that makes us one: We lift up all who are suffering and in need, especially Martha Avery, Zavier Bradley, Raleigh Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Liam Clemons, Marquez Clemons, Taylor Blue Clemons, Teresa Blue Clemons, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Eduardo Espinosa, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Gary Gordon, Amanda Green, 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., Ralph Lovett, Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Marcus Marzen, Joan Maty, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Altheria Maynard Carmelita Maynard, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Jameel Newton, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Willie Stephens, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, and Noel Wheeler: Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous and help us minister to them in your love.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Dayspring, radiance of the Light Eternal and Sun of Righteousness: Shine your light on those who have died; remember especially those we name now..., and bring comfort to all those who mourn.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Emmanuel, God with us, Expected One and Savior, We give thanks for all the blessings of this life; for all those who today celebrate birthdays: Craig Maxwell (12/14) and Darniki Sheppard Ward (12/15); and wedding anniversaries: Craig and Deidra Maxwell (12/14); and for the other blessings we now name silently or aloud… Make each of us ready to receive you into our hearts, to serve you in all whom we meet, and to greet you in the fullness of your glory in the day of your appearing.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The Celebrant concludes with a suitable Collect.


Hasten, O Father, the coming of your kingdom; and grant that we, your servants who now live by faith, may with joy behold your Son at his coming in glorious majesty; even Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.



The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Announcements

NOTICE - Vestry Keeps Church Closed for In-Person Worship: The Vestry has continued to track public health data and the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. We have established a task force of church members who are health care professionals to advise the Vestry on when it will be safe to resume in-person gatherings.


You can follow the public health data with the Georgia Coastal Health District. The Vestry and COVID-19 Church Re-Gathering Task Force aim to see the daily COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 people fall below 10 in Chatham County (yellow zone) for a sustained period of time before authorizing in-person gatherings: https://covid19.gachd.org/daily-case-rate-per-100000/


A. Christmas Eve Hybrid Worship at 4 PM: St. Matthew's will hold a hybrid online/in-person worship service on Christmas Eve (12/24/2020) at 4:00 PM. At 4:00, we will debut a pre-filmed video of the Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist on Facebook Live. This will function just like our other online worship videos.


At 5:00 (or right after the video ends), church members are invited to gather in their cars in the parking lot to receive communion. Worshippers will stay in their cars and Fr. Arboleda will deliver communion (bread only) to people at their car windows. Communion will be available in the church parking lot from approximately 5:00-6:00 PM. Please note that the church building will not be open to the public (not even the bathrooms, unfortunately). This is the first time Holy Communion has been available to our parish since the pandemic began in March. We hope to see you then!


B. T/W/Th Evening Prayer via Zoom in December: Starting on Wednesday, December 2, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in December, Fr. Arboleda will invite parishioners to pray Evening Prayer with him over Zoom. The video will still stream to Facebook Live at 5:00 PM, but we'll see more faces and hear more voices. To join the Zoom call, click the link below at 4:45 PM on Wednesday. Otherwise, watch the prayer service like 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: Dec 15, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Every week on Tue, Wed, Thu, until Dec 23, 2020, 10 occurrence(s)

Dec 15, 2020 05:00 PM

Dec 16, 2020 05:00 PM

Dec 17, 2020 05:00 PM

Dec 22, 2020 05:00 PM

Dec 23, 2020 05:00 PM


Join Zoom Meeting: See e-Newsletter


Meeting ID: 930 0965 1671

Passcode: See e-Newsletter


Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 930 0965 1671

Passcode: See e-Newsletter


C. Early Voting in Chatham County 12/14-12/31: The Georgia Senate Runoff Election will take place on January 5, 2021. Please make a plan to vote now! If you have not already requested and received an absentee ballot, please take advantage of the early voting period from December 14-31. The full schedule for early voting dates, times, and locations may be found here: https://www.savannahnow.com/story/news/2020/12/04/georgia-senate-runoff-election-early-voting-information-absentee-ballot-vote/3824169001/.


D. SAIJM Is Now J.U.S.T.: The Savannah Area Interfaith Justice Ministry (SAIJM) adopted a new name at its annual Covenant Assembly on December 7. The organization will now be called "Justice Unites Savannah Together" (J.U.S.T.). More importantly, at the Covenant Assembly, over 260 people representing 21 congregations decided on the problem areas we will work to address in 2021. JUST will focus on Housing and Poverty/Income Inequality in our area. The next step is to begin researching practical ways to remedy these problems in our community. JUST will hold its Research Kickoff on Monday, January 11th at 6:30 pm via Zoom. Invitations and links are forthcoming.


E. “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. The first interim drawing will be December 16, 2020.


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 office@stmattsav.org.


F. Virtual Coffee Hour 12/20 - Advent Party: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom on Sunday, December 20, and again on every other Sunday at 10:30 AM. (Thank you to Mrs. Rachael Blue-Jones who is donating a professional Zoom login to the church for our use.) 


We will celebrate our annual Advent/Christmas Party for the parish. Wear your silliest sweater, drink hot cocoa, and come prepared for Christmas themed games.


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: St. Matthew's Coffee Hour

Time: Dec 20, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175

Passcode: SEE e-NEWSLETTER


Dial by your location

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175

Passcode: SEE e-NEWSLETTER


G. Worship with the Diocese 12/25, 12/27, & 1/3: Worship with the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia on their Facebook Page on Christmas Day (12/25/2020), the 1st Sunday After Christmas (12/27/2020), and the 2nd Sunday After Christmas (1/3/2021) at 10:00 AM on all days.

https://www.facebook.com/georgiaepiscopal


H. New Year's Eve Worship at 5 PM: St. Matthew's will hold a virtual worship service on our Facebook Page on New Year's Eve (12/31/2020) at 5:00 PM. Tune in for our celebration of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, our goodbye to a difficult year, and our hopeful welcome of 2021.

https://www.facebook.com/stmattsav


I. 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: 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.


The Offertory

[BCP, p. 376]


“When you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24, NRSV)


Give online at: https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/-/give/now



LEV #6: I Want To Be Ready


REFRAIN: I want to be ready, I want to be ready. I want to be ready To walk in Jerusalem just like John.

1 John said that Jerusalem was four-square, Walk in Jerusalem just like John. I hope, good Lord, I’ll meet you there, Walk in Jerusalem just like John. [Refrain]

2 When Peter was preaching at Pentecost, Walk in Jerusalem just like John. O he was filled with the Holy Ghost, Walk in Jerusalem just like John. [Refrain]


Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. R. Nathaniel Dett © 1936 Paul A. Schmitt Music Company.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #62698. All rights reserved.



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!






Permissions: 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


Cover Image: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/isaiah-icons-of-the-bible.html (Credit: James C. Lewis)

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