• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on October 11, 2020


The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

19th Sunday After Pentecost (Proper 23, Year A) October 11, 2020


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

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



Preface


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, under the guidance of the Bishop 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


LEV #96: He is King of Kings


REFRAIN:

He is King of kings,

He is Lord of Lords;

Jesus Christ, the first and last

no man works like Him.


1 He built his throne up in the air

no man works like Him;

And called the saints from ev’erwhere

no man works like Him. [Refrain]


2 I was but young when I begun

no man works like Him;

But now my race is almost won

no man works like Him. [Refrain]


Words: Traditional; Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Horace Clarence Boyer © 1992 Horace Clarence Boyer.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #89686. 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, 234]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Reading from Isaiah (25:1-9)


O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name;

for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin;

the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt.

Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you.

For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.

When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,

you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless was stilled.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.

And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever.

Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 23

[BCP, p. 612]

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

1 The Lord is my shepherd; * I shall not be in want.


2 He makes me lie down in green pastures * and leads me beside still waters.


3 He revives my soul * and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.


4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; * for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.


5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; * you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.


6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, * and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (4:1-9)

My brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #708: Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us


1 Savior, like a shepherd lead us;

much we need thy tender care;

in thy pleasant pastures feed us;

for our use thy folds prepare.

Blessèd Jesus! Blessèd Jesus!

Thou hast bought us, thine we are.


2 Early let us seek thy favor,

early let us learn thy will;

do thou, Lord, our only Savior,

with thy love our bosoms fill.

Blessèd Jesus! Blessèd Jesus!

Thou hast loved us: love us still.


Words: Hymns for the Young, alt., Public Domain

Music: Sicilian Mariners, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97954. All rights reserved.



The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (22:1-14)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.


“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“A Human King” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda


Jesus is continuing his conversation from the last two Sundays. Jesus is still talking with the chief priest and elders of the people in the Jerusalem Temple. This picks up immediately after last week’s story about the bad tenants, the very next verse.

So, remember, this conversation started back in Matthew 21:23. The chief priests and elders began by questioning Jesus’ authority to teach and perform miracles. He replied with a question showing that they are hypocrites for rejecting John the Baptist. He told a story about a man with two sons, one who says the right thing and doesn’t do it and another who says the wrong thing but then does the right thing. Jesus argued that these religious leaders have sold out to the Roman authorities, that they are more concerned with amassing and maintaining their power than they are in learning and teaching the truth. They have failed to lead the people well, and “the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of” them (Matt 21:31).

Then, last week’s parable demonstrated that these religious leaders really don’t understand who God is. They thought that God is like the tyrannical leaders they have gotten close to. In the story, a vineyard owner has tenants who don’t pay rent, who disrespect, beat, and kill his slaves, and finally kill the man’s son. The chief priest and elders thought that God would react like people would, by killing the tenants out of revenge. But Jesus reminded them that God does not work like people do. God takes the rejected one and makes it a cornerstone. God lifts up the lowly through the power of resurrection. God doesn’t respond to hate with hate, but responds with the power of life and love over death.

Today’s parable is really another way of getting at a very similar point. It seems to me that Jesus tells this story sarcastically. Jesus says, “the kingdom of heaven has been likened to a human king” (my translation; see Davis). This implication here is that the story that follows is not what Jesus thinks about the kingdom of heaven, but what other people say about the kingdom of heaven. “People are saying…” So, this story is meant to illustrate an absurd, negative example of God. 

The king in the parable acts like a human king, not like God. He plans to throw a wedding banquet for his son and sends slaves to call people to come to the party. The invitees choose not to come; they laugh at his invitation, they go and do other things, and some even harass and kill the king’s slaves. If this is a story about a human king, his response makes perfect sense. He is enraged. His royal subjects have proven themselves disloyal and insubordinate. They are insulting him and his heir, the son who is to be married.

In his rage, the king “sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city” (Matt 22:7). The king got violent, destructive revenge. So far, this tracks with all sorts of human tyrants and despots, prime ministers and presidents. I feel insulted or attacked so I destroy you. It’s the way people lead. And that’s the absurdity of this story. Jesus is accusing the chief priests and elders of the people of making this common theological mistake: thinking that God thinks and acts like people do; forgetting that God is perfect and we are not.

And then it seems like the story has taken a softer turn. The king invites commoners to come to the wedding banquet to celebrate. But as soon as someone steps just a little bit out of line, this king’s violent tendencies rise to the surface. He confronts a man who hasn’t worn an appropriate outfit, and for that faux pas, he orders his servants to “bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (22:13).

The king in this story is drunk with power. He is despotic and tyrannical. He is narcissistic and easily offended. He slaughters his own people for any perceived insult, whether great or small. He makes rash, violent decisions on a whim. He is not just or fair, not compassionate or understanding. He rules by fear, control, and threat.

It should be clear by now that the human king in this parable just doesn’t sound like the God we worship. He does not square with the images for God we see in the vast majority of Scripture, and especially in Jesus’ life and teaching. Many interpreters might disagree with me, but if we try to twist this king into some metaphor for God, then we are going to distort God. We’re going to start worshipping an idol made in a human image, rather than the one, true God, who is above all and in all. 

And that’s exactly what Jesus says that the chief priests and elders are doing. They have bought into a false, idolatrous image of God. They think that God is like King Herod or Caesar Tiberius. They think that God might be a little bit nicer or a little more patient, but that, at the end of day, God is still going to force people to submit OR ELSE. But they are wrong.

If there is nothing else that you hear in this sermon (or the last two), remember this: God is not like people. God does not dominate or destroy. God does not hate or torture. God is love. God is justice. God is mercy. God is able to set things right, to restore justice to all things without doing or becoming the very thing God condemns. 

Jesus is trying to expand our moral imaginations, to help us reconsider what is possible. We don’t have to keep acting the way human beings always do. The truth is that God created every human being and we all have inherent dignity and worth. God loves us all and pours out that love so abundantly on all of us. So, we commit together to loving our neighbors as ourselves, whether near or far. We commit to teaching others to do the same. We commit to supporting people and institutions who are speaking out against hate and standing up for love. We do this knowing we won’t be perfect, but that if we keep striving for love and righteousness, God will honor our efforts.

Let us pray.

Loving God, give us the grace we need to love one another like you love us, give us the wisdom we need never to replace you with an idol, and give us the hope we need to keep pursuing loving justice for ourselves and all your children, in the Name of the one, holy, and undivided Trinity. Amen.



Bibliography



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, Beryl Dandy, 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., Ralph Lovett, Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Marcus Marzen, Joan Maty, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Carmelita Maynard, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Willie Stephens, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, and Noel 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 St. Clair Fraser (10/12), Jocelyn Wheeler (10/14), Tawanna Green (10/14), Shannon Nobles (10/15), and Dana Outing Jenkins (10/17) on their birthdays; 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, [especially Dean Williams] 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.

Announcements

A. St. Matthew's A.S.K. Dinner-To-Go on 10/24: St. Matthew’s Rector and Vestry present St. Matthew's 3rd Annual Appreciation & Stewardship Kickoff (A.S.K.) Dinner. Normally, this would be a celebratory in-person gathering, but this year we are adapting to the pandemic. On Saturday, October 24, we invite all church members to come to the church any time between 12:00 noon and 5:00 PM to pick up one or more Dinners to-go and a Stewardship Goodie Bag. We will carry these items out to your vehicle, so please wear a face covering when you roll your windows down.


This is the launch of our 2021 Pledge Campaign. It’s the Vestry’s opportunity to check in with different members and your opportunity to re-consider your commitments to St. Matthew’s in the coming year. Pledges will be available soon and due to the church (electronically or physically) by November 22, when we will bless the pledges and give thanks for God’s many blessings!


Click here to learn more about how and why to give to St. Matthew's.


B. “Women in Genesis” Launches 10/18 at 11:00: The results of the Fall 2020 Christian Education Survey are in! (Check them out here: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2020Results). The new Adult Education course will be held virtually on Sunday mornings from 11:00 AM - 12:00 noon for 6 weeks from October 18 - November 22. (Note that this course for older teens and adults runs parallel to the Diocesan Godly Play for children, listed below.)


This course will survey the women of Genesis, the first book in the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible. While the Bible is predominantly written by men and through patriarchal, male biases, women are featured more often than is commonly known. The Rev. Dr. Wilda Gafney’s seminal work Womanist Midrash offers ancient and modern commentary on the women of Israel’s scriptures, highlighting their oft-neglected experiences, perspectives, and lessons for today. 


Learn more and register at https://tinyurl.com/WomeninGenesis.  


C. New Bookkeeper Job Description: St. Matthew's Episcopal Church is seeking a dedicated and self-motivated person to fill our open Bookkeeper position. The purpose of this role is to support the parish’s financial administration through reporting on the state of its finances faithfully, accurately, and regularly. This job is part-time for approximately 5-10 hours of work per week. Relevant accounting experience is preferred. The salary is negotiable based on experience.


Click here for the full job description.


If you are interested in the position, please email a cover letter and resume to Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda at FrGAA@StMattSav.org.


D. SAIJM Sacred Conversations: St. Matthew’s is collaborating with Savannah Area Interfaith Justice Ministry (SAIJM) to host a virtual “Sacred Conversations” meeting. We are trying to listen to as many church members as possible about their hopes and concerns about life in Savannah. We want to bring the voice of our people to this interfaith coalition as we discern what social justice solution we should pursue in 2021. The Sacred Conversation will be held virtually on Wednesday, October 28, at 7:00 PM. 


If you cannot attend at that time, or have trouble accessing video meetings, one of our St. Matthew’s Justice Ministry Team members can call you for a short one-on-one interview. We’ll compile all this data and report it to SAIJM in November as the next step in our ongoing listening and discernment process. 


Register for the Sacred Conversation here: https://forms.gle/iwRkHqE38kQFewvt7


E. Bishop Logue Issues Pastoral Letter: On October 4, 2020, the Right Rev. Frank S. Logue, Bishop of Georgia, issued a pastoral letter about the upcoming Presidential Election. The Letter is titled, “Pray, Vote, Love.” Typically, Pastoral Letters are canonically required to be read out loud in church on a Sunday or other major gathering, but due to the pandemic, it is being delivered electronically. Please read the Letter here: https://gaepiscopal.org/a-pastoral-letter/; or here: https://gaepiscopal.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/APastoralLetter-TheElection.pdf


F. Children’s Godly Play @ 11 AM: This Sunday the Diocese will continue a series of virtual Godly Play offerings. Godly Play is a Montessori-based curriculum that focuses on telling stories using physical materials and allowing participants to play and work with the stories at their own level. 


This coming Sunday, October 11, the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner will share a Godly Play video on Facebook Live at 11:00 AM during which children (and their associated adults) can gather to hear the story of The Exodus and reflect on it together, sharing their ideas, and wonderings.


Last week's story is on the Diocese of Georgia FB Page. Learn more by subscribing to From the Field, the Diocese of Georgia email newsletter. Please contact Canon Varner at  jvarner@gaepiscopal.org with your questions.


Diocese of Georgia Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgiaepiscopal/


G. “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 15, 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.


H. Early Voting in Georgia 10/12-10/30: Voter registration is now closed, but early in-person voting in Georgia begins this week on October 12, 2020. Learn more about Chatham County early voting times and locations here: https://fox28media.com/news/local/chatham-county-early-voting-options-and-dates-to-know


For more information on early voting, absentee ballots, and mail-in voting, watch (or re-watch) St. Matthew’s Voter Education Seminar with Sharyl Sutton, Voter Education Coordinator for the Georgia Office of the Secretary of State. https://www.facebook.com/stmattsav/videos/354012282670839


I. Virtual Coffee Hour 10/11: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom next Sunday (October 11), 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.)


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: Oct 11, 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


J. Weekly 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 video and in writing on our Blog. Many other updates are available via the Facebook page.


The worship schedule is as follows:

  1. Sundays - 9:30 Worship (You can find all of the upcoming Sunday and Holiday readings at http://www.lectionarypage.net.)

  2. Tuesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  3. Wednesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  4. Thursdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer


K. New Parish e-Newsletter: Check your email and read it if you haven't yet. If you did not receive it, then please go to our homepage (www.stmattsav.org) and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you can enter your email to sign up. The e-Newsletter includes our preliminary financial reports for the first two quarters of 2020 (January 1 - June 30). They are available via our new e-Newsletter.


L. Become a Video Reader or Singer: St. Matthew's is pre-recording 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 FrGAA@StMattSav.org.


M. 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. 377]


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


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



Hymn #645: The King of Love My Shepherd Is

1 The King of love my shepherd is,

whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am his,

and he is mine for ever.


2 Where streams of living water flow,

my ransomed soul he leadeth,

and where the verdant pastures grow,

with food celestial feedeth.


3 Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,

but yet in love he sought me,

and on his shoulder gently laid,

and home, rejoicing, brought me.


4 In death's dark vale I fear no ill

with thee, dear Lord, beside me;

thy rod and staff my comfort still,

thy cross before to guide me.


5 Thou spread'st a table in my sight;

thy unction grace bestoweth;

and oh, what transport of delight

from thy pure chalice floweth!


6 And so through all the length of days

thy goodness faileth never:

Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise

within thy house for ever.


Words: Henry Williams Baker; para. of Psalm 23; Public Domain

Music: St. Columba; Public Domain

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84040. 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://images.app.goo.gl/kK7YbJUtkzt21Eoi8

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