• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on October 18, 2020


The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

20th Sunday After Pentecost (Proper 24, Year A) October 18, 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


Hymn #409: The Spacious Firmament On High


1 The spacious firmament on high,

with all the blue ethereal sky,

and spangled heavens, a shining frame,

their great Original proclaim.

The unwearied sun from day to day

does his Creator's power display;

and publishes to every land

the work of an almighty hand.


2 Soon as the evening shades prevail,

the moon takes up the wondrous tale,

and nightly to the listening earth

repeats the story of her birth:

whilst all the stars that round her burn,

and all the planets in their turn,

confirm the tidings, as they roll

and spread the truth from pole to pole.


3 What though in solemn silence all

move round the dark terrestrial ball?

What though no real voice nor sound

amid their radiant orbs be found?

In reason's ear they all rejoice,

and utter forth a glorious voice;

for ever singing as they shine,

"The hand that made us is divine."


Words: Joseph Addison; para. of Psalm 19:1-6; Public Domain.

Music: Creation, Franz Joseph Haydn, adapt., alt.; Public Domain.



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, 235]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from Isaiah (45:1-7)


Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped

to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes,

to open doors before him-- and the gates shall not be closed:

I will go before you and level the mountains,

I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron,

I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places,

so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.

For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen,

I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me.

I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me,

so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 96

[BCP, p. 725]

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

1 Sing to the Lord a new song; * sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.

2 Sing to the Lord and bless his Name; * proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations * and his wonders among all peoples.

4 For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; * he is more to be feared than all gods.

5 As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; * but it is the Lord who made the heavens.

6 Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence! * Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!

7 Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples; * ascribe to the Lord honor and power.

8 Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; * bring offerings and come into his courts.

9 Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; * let the whole earth tremble before him.

10 Tell it out among the nations: "The Lord is King! * he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea thunder and all that is in it; * let the field be joyful and all that is therein.

12 Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the Lord when he comes, * when he comes to judge the earth.

13 He will judge the world with righteousness * and the peoples with his truth.



A Reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (1:1-10)

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:


Grace to you and peace.


We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-- Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #377: All People That On Earth Do Dwell


1 All people that on earth do dwell,

sing to the Lord with cheerful voice:

him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell,

come ye before him and rejoice.


2 Know that the Lord is God indeed;

without our aid he did us make:

we are his folk, he doth us feed,

and for his sheep he doth us take.


3 O enter then his gates with praise,

approach with joy his courts unto;

praise, laud, and bless his Name always,

for it is seemly so to do.


4 For why? The Lord our God is good;

his mercy is for ever sure;

his truth at all times firmly stood,

and shall from age to age endure.


5 To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

the God whom heaven and earth adore,

from men and from the angel host

be praise and glory evermore.


Words: William Kethe, para. of Psalm 100, Public Domain

Music: Old 100th, alt.; harm. after Louis Bourgeois; Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84238. All rights reserved.



The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (22:15-22)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“Things That Are God's” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda


The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians,


This week’s Gospel story once again follows immediately on the heels of last week’s story, beginning at the very next verse. So Jesus is still in Jerusalem, still hanging around the Temple, and only a few days away from his arrest and crucifixion. The tensions are rising between him and the various religious and political leaders who will soon execute him. 


That becomes crystal clear in verses 15-16 because we learn that the Pharisees and Herodians conspired together against Jesus. These two groups, the Pharisees and the Herodians, are usually political opponents. 


The Pharisees were Jewish religious revivalists. They wanted people to obey God’s Laws from the Bible much more strictly than typical 1st Century Jews did. They also publicly opposed Roman rule on religious and nationalist grounds. They wanted the Jewish people to be free and independent and they weren’t quiet about that. On the other hand, the Herodians supported Roman rule. They were allies of the Herodian political dynasty, who were appointed by Rome as kings, governors, and tetrarchs in this region. They worked to maintain this power, and weren’t all that interested in Jewish religion, even though most of them had Jewish heritage. But in this instance, the Pharisees and the Herodians set aside their normal disagreements in order to fight their common enemy: Jesus. 


They start by lavishing fake compliments on Jesus, praising his godliness and sincerity, but then they come in with a tough question meant “to entrap him in what he said” (22:15). They ask, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” (22:17). This is a disingenuous, insincere question. We know this because of who is asking. 


The Pharisees and Herodians seemed like opposite ends of the political spectrum. But like most political parties, the lines of delineation weren’t so clear. The Pharisees didn’t like Rome, but they weren’t openly rebelling either. They paid their taxes and obeyed the laws and tried to stay out of trouble. The Herodians supported Rome more directly, but they were still using Roman authority to pursue their own political agendas (Nadella). None of them acted like paying taxes to the emperor was unlawful, so why were they pressuring Jesus to speak on the matter?


They are using a tried and true political tactic: oversimplify the narrative to distract people and rile them up. They try to paint political loyalty as an either-or, black-and-white dichotomy. They want Jesus to publicly choose between paying taxes (i.e. supporting Rome, and everything they do) or not paying taxes (i.e. defying the empire and encouraging others to do the same). The first choice (paying taxes) would be unpopular with his followers, who mostly rejected the violence and oppression of Roman Rule. But the latter (not paying taxes) would be physically dangerous and threaten the lives of Jesus and his followers. The Pharisees and Herodians thought this was a win-win. Either Jesus would make a political blunder and lose popular support or Rome would kill Jesus and solve their problem for them.


But Jesus’ response does not allow for such simplistic thinking. He calls the Pharisees and Herodians “hypocrites” because they know it’s not that simple either (Matt 22:18). They are both navigating the complexities of their own personal, religious, and social convictions alongside the reality of Roman imperial rule. They do it differently, but they all have to do it somehow. 


So Jesus answers with the profound, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (22:21). Jesus reminds us that we are always living between two worlds. We live in the concrete, political realities of our time, so we give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But we also live in the Reign of God, announced by Jesus, and embodied in every baptized Christian by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom (or Reign) of God exists because God is calling all faithful people to a different way of life, built on the foundations of love, peace, mercy, grace, and justice. So Jesus calls us to give to God what is God’s. 


What the Pharisees and Herodians already knew deep down, and what Jesus reinforced, is that we can participate in our earthly political system without fully endorsing the sins of our nation. We can both support the nation through taxes and votes, etc., while also resisting our nation’s systems of oppression and working to enact change. Our morals, derived from God’s Reign, don’t disappear in Caesar’s Reign. We belong to God and we must give our whole selves back to God. 


This begins to happen when we recognize that Caesar’s Empire and God’s Reign use different currencies. 


Earthly kingdoms, empires, and nations are built upon money, wealth, and power. Particularly in a capitalist nation like ours, cash rules everything. Civic authorities see, assign, and assess value through economics. How much money can this community or business or project produce? How much money can it spread? How much money can it give to the government in taxes? If it doesn’t make money, it’s worthless because money is the only currency that matters.


In oppressive and greedy regimes, this money does little more than fatten the pockets of the already-wealthy and powerful. It makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. That was certainly Caesar’s world as Jesus experienced it.


But the Reign of God is bigger than just money. Money is only one tool in the toolkit for how to express and assess the value of people, creatures, and things. We also value heartfelt relationships built on mutual love and respect. We value the truth because we care about what is actually happening to everyone in the world. We value wellness in all its forms: spiritual, physical, psychological, economic, social, environmental, and more (Law, 67). We value gracious leaders who can help broken communities heal divided relationships, share truth, and achieve wellness. Money is useful, but if it’s not helping to create blessings like the ones we just named, then it’s not serving God’s purposes (Law, 132-136). 


Jesus tells us to pay our taxes. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But don’t let your imagination stop there. Don’t think that because Caesar or the IRS or massive corporations have money that they are blessed. God sees blessings everywhere, in everyone. God blesses us when we bless one another and become blessings to the world around us. Give to God what is God’s. Give to God your whole self, all your best efforts to love your neighbor, love your enemy, and grow wellness wherever you go.


That’s the church’s mission. That’s our mission. That’s what God has put us here to do. We’re not about being selfish hoarders the way the Caesars of the world are. We don’t reduce everything to dollars and cents. 

We see ourselves as God’s beloved creatures and we see God’s good creation all around us, in everyone and everything. We give thanks together for God’s blessings, and we ask God to help us bless others. We work not just in money, but also in relationships, truth, wellness, and grace. We know that God’s economy is so much deeper and richer than anything a profit-loss statement, stock market report, or GDP can show. God is bigger than money, but also able to use it toward powerful good ends if we will seek blessings over greed. 


The Feast of St. Francis was about two weeks ago, and it’s as good a time as ever to pray his famous prayer, found on page 833 of the Book of Common Prayer. This prayer embodies the core of what Jesus is trying to get all of us to do and be through this story. We must be people who love others as God loved us, without selfish ambition, trusting that God will keep the cycle of blessings flowing so that our streams will never run dry.


Let us pray:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 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, Anthony Watts, 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 Martha Avery (10/19) on her birthday; and for Frank and Juray Brown (10/19), Leonard and Dot Law (10/19), and Reginald and Rose Robinson (10/24) on their wedding 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, [especially ___] 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 are now available electronically. Physical copies will be distributed at the A.S.K. Dinner To-Go. All pledges are due by November 22, when we will bless the pledges and give thanks for God’s many blessings!


The Online 2021 Pledge Around the Table: https://tinyurl.com/StMattSav2021


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 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 18, the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner will host a Godly Play discussion over Zoom at 11:00 AM during which children (and their associated adults) can reflect on last week's story of The Exodus.


Last week's story is on the Diocese of Georgia FB Page. Learn more by subscribing to From the Field (https://gaepiscopal.org/from-the-field/). Please contact Canon Varner at  jvarner@gaepiscopal.org for the Zoom link and 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. Free Trolley Rides for Early Voting 10/12-10/30: Voter registration is now closed, but early voting in Georgia began 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


The Savannah Tribune and The League of Women's Voters Coastal Georgia have organized free trolley rides to the polls every day throughout the early voting period and on Election Day (November 3). The full schedule and list of pick up locations is found here:https://www.lwvcga.org/take-a-trolley-to-vote/


I. Virtual Coffee Hour 10/25: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom next Sunday (October 25), 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 25, 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



AAHH #166: In His Presence

1 In His presence there is comfort;

In His presence there is peace.

When we seek the Father's heart

We will find such blessed assurance

In the presence of the Lord.


2 In Your presence there is comfort;

In Your presence there is peace.

When we seek to know Your heart

We will find such blessed assurance

In your holy presence, Lord.


Words: Dick Tunney & Melodie Tunney, © 1988 BMG Sons, Inc., Dick and Mel Music, and Pamela Kay Music

Music: Dick Tunney & Melodie Tunney, © 1988 and arr. © 1990 BMG Sons, Inc., Dick and Mel Music, and Pamela Kay Music

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://www.fpcnorfolk.org/love-ran-red-blog/2015/3/11/what-is-caesars-what-is-gods

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