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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on October 25, 2020

The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

21st Sunday After Pentecost (Proper 25, Year A) October 25, 2020

Watch the Livestream at

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


I am posting this worship service online because we at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person this week. Due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, public health officials recommend avoiding large gatherings of people to avoid spreading the illness to more vulnerable people. Therefore, 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 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 #450: All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name

1 All hail the power of Jesus' Name!

Let angels prostrate fall;

bring forth the royal diadem,

and crown him Lord of all!

bring forth the royal diadem,

and crown him Lord of all!

2 Crown him ye martyrs of our God,

who from his altar call:

praise him whose way of pain ye trod,

and crown him Lord of all!

praise him whose way of pain ye trod,

and crown him Lord of all!

3 Hail him, the Heir of David's line,

whom David Lord did call,

the God incarnate, Man divine,

and crown him Lord of all!

the God incarnate, Man divine,

and crown him Lord of all!

4 Ye heirs of Israel's chosen race,

ye ransomed of the fall,

hail him who saves you by his grace,

and crown him Lord of all!

hail him who saves you by his grace,

and crown him Lord of all!

6 Let every kindred, every tribe,

on this terrestrial ball,

to him all majesty ascribe,

and crown him Lord of all!

to him all majesty ascribe,

and crown him Lord of all!

Words: Edward Perronet, alt.; Public Domain.

Music: Coronation, Oliver Holden, alt.; desc. Michael E. Young © 1979 G.I.A. Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #28786. 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, 235]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; 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 Leviticus (19:1-2, 15-18)

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 1

[BCP, p. 585]

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

1 Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, * nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seats of the scornful!

2 Their delight is in the law of the Lord, * and they meditate on his law day and night.

3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither; * everything they do shall prosper.

4 It is not so with the wicked; * they are like chaff which the wind blows away.

5 Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes, * nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, * but the way of the wicked is doomed.

A Reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (2:1-8)

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #657: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

1 Love divine, all loves excelling,

joy of heaven, to earth come down,

fix in us thy humble dwelling,

all thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, thou art all compassion,

pure, unbounded love thou art;

visit us with thy salvation,

enter every trembling heart.

2 Come, almighty to deliver,

let us all thy life receive;

suddenly return, and never,

nevermore thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,

serve thee as thy hosts above,

pray, and praise thee without ceasing,

glory in thy perfect love.

3 Finish then thy new creation;

pure and spotless let us be;

let us see thy great salvation

perfectly restored in thee:

changed from glory into glory,

till in heaven we take our place,

till we cast our crowns before thee,

lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Words: Charles Wesley, Public Domain

Music: Hyfryfol, Rowland Hugh Prichard; Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84255. All rights reserved.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (22:34-46)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,

‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“Get in Trouble for Love” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

For someone who preaches that we ought to love our neighbors, Jesus sure seems to have a lot of enemies. 

We have spent the last few weeks tracking several confrontations Jesus had with religious and political leaders in Jerusalem. In every story, something Jesus says offends these powerful people. Sometimes Jesus starts the conversation, and other times the leaders come to him to start a public argument. But there really aren’t any stories in this section of Matthew (or much of the Gospels) where Jesus gets along with these social elites. It seems like Jesus is always getting himself into some kind of trouble.

Here Jesus offers the most famous and succinct summary of his teaching: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt 22:37-40).

Yet immediately after dropping this wisdom on the Pharisees, he launches into another confrontational question. He challenges them on their understanding of the Messiah (since they have denied or failed to recognize that Jesus is the Messiah). After the exchange, the Gospel tells us, “No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions” (Matt 22:46). The Pharisees went home with their heads down and tails between their legs, so to speak.

What is interesting about this exchange, and something we often miss as we read these stories, is that Jesus does not discriminate in who he debates. This story was about the Pharisees; but they came to Jesus after he “silenced the Sadducees” (Matt 22:34; cf. 22:23-33); last week’s story included Pharisees and Herodians; and the few weeks before that Jesus argued with the “chief priests and the elders of the people” (21:23). 

These are all distinct religious and political groups. They are all Jews, of course, but they have created their own sub-groups based around particular ideologies. Think of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, etc. as a combination of religious denominations and political parties. 

And it turns out, Jesus does not align with any of them. He angered them all. He confronted them all. Jesus did not join any of the established religious or political powers. And they all resented him for it. They were all offended by what he said. But if Jesus is just preaching love and doing so by quoting the Jewish Scriptures, then why were they so mad?

It depends on what you mean by love. If you think “love” is just being nice to people and getting everybody to like you, then Jesus’ words are going right over your head. But if “love” is about more than feelings and love is a verb, then things start to come together. Jesus’ message of love was not sentimental or flowery. It wasn’t about maintaining peace and harmony at the expense of anyone else’s pain and suffering. Jesus’ love is anything but toothless. Jesus preached love with a purpose, love with a mission, love with action. 

Each of the groups that Jesus challenged wielded some kind of social, political, or religious influence (often all three). But they rarely used that power to help those who were hurting the most in society. So Jesus angers them when he challenges their veneer of holiness and legitimacy. 

You cannot just say you love your neighbors and then use your political power and influence to defraud, impoverish, imprison, hurt, and kill them. You cannot say you love your neighbors and only mean people who look, act, or think like you. You cannot say you love your neighbors and ignore other people’s suffering. 

And when we point out that hard truth, like Jesus did, we will make some enemies. We’ll get in trouble for that kind of love. We will upset people who prefer the way things are, where the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor, where certain people have power, privilege, and freedom, and others do not. 

Now, Jesus doesn’t stop loving these people who abuse their power; but neither does he sit idly by and let them get away with what they are doing. Jesus stands up against bullies of all kinds, from all parties and perspectives. As the Pharisees and Herodians mockingly told Jesus in last week’s passage, Jesus is “sincere, and teach[es] the way of God in accordance with truth, and show[s] deference to no one; for [he] do[es] not regard people with partiality” (Matt 22:16). They were saying it to flatter him, but they weren’t wrong. That’s the way God is. 

We’re in the middle of a chaotic election season. Many votes have already been cast and many more will be cast over the next couple of weeks. Because of the unprecedented increase in early voting and voting by mail, it will likely take some days or weeks after November 3 to get all the results of the elections for President, Senate, Congress, and more. But no matter who wins the elections after it’s all said and done next month, Christians and other people of good will still need to band together to demand justice, equality, and freedom because no party ever gets all of it right. The struggle for justice does not end if your or my preferred candidate wins.

I was on a Zoom call this week with other Episcopal clergy from around the country talking about the upcoming elections, and our role in supporting our congregations and our communities through it. One of the leaders (whose name I cannot remember, unfortunately) shared a quotation he attributed to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. He said that The Episcopal Church practices “partisan neutrality but not moral neutrality.” We do not endorse political parties or candidates, but we do speak out about issues and policies that affect people and the rest of God’s creation. 

That is to say that we believe that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). No person or group of people is ever perfect. But that doesn’t mean that we think every position presented by both sides of the political spectrum are equal. We love God first and that informs how we love our neighbors. We look to God for moral and ethical guidance, which means we strive for higher ideals than any human organization can achieve. So we will love our Republican neighbors and our Democratic neighbors, but we will love them while speaking the truth about what we believe is right. 

The Church will stand up for the brokenhearted, the lost, the hurting, the marginalized, the brutalized, and every other person who is denied a voice in the public square. The Church will not be silenced by autocrats, demagogues, tear gas, or police batons. The Church will not be quiet while rights are suppressed and people are killed. The Church will love all its neighbors even if it makes powerful and comfortable people unhappy. And we’ll love those powerful people too, we just won’t stop holding them to a higher standard of love, mercy, and justice for all.

That’s why it’s so important that we continue to support St. Matthew’s as we begin our 2021 Pledge Campaign. We’re building a community here that is part of the Jesus Movement, that loves in word and deed. We’re trying to make a difference in the lives of all our members, but also in the community and city at large. That’s why we partner with ministries of mercy like Emmaus House that care for people who the rest of the world ignores. That’s why we partner with new ministries of justice like Savannah Area Interfaith Justice Ministry. It’s why we are holding a Sacred Conversation meeting over Zoom this Wednesday, to make our voices heard as we pool our energies together with other congregations to speak truth to power and change our city’s systems and structures. And we need your time, talent, and tithes to make all of that possible. 

So like Jesus, we Christians will love God and love our neighbors. Whether we’re dealing with Episcopalians or Southern Baptists, Christians or Muslims, Republicans or Democrats, we love everyone, and we hold everyone to the same standard of love. Like Jesus, that may get us in trouble. The late Congressman John Lewis might have summarized this best when he wrote, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble" (quoted in Bote). May God give us the courage to get into good, necessary trouble, for the sake of love. Amen.


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 Carmelita Maynard (10/25), Charles Dixon (10/25), and Yavonne Taylor (10/29) on their birthdays; and for 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.


A. 2021 Pledge Campaign: Yesterday was the launch of our 2021 Pledge Campaign with the Appreciation and Stewardship Kickoff Dinner To-Go! If you have not received a Stewardship Goodie Bag, please contact Fr. Arboleda at or by cell to arrange for a pickup or delivery time.

This campaign is the Vestry’s opportunity to check in with different members and your opportunity to reconsider your commitments to St. Matthew’s in the coming year. Pledges are now available online (see below). Physical copies were distributed at the A.S.K. Dinner To-Go and will be mailed to other members. All pledges are due by November 22, when we will bless the pledges and give thanks for God’s many blessings!

Many thanks to the Vestry (and especially our Senior Warden, Toni Blue) for organizing our A.S.K. Dinner To-Go. The Vestry also thanks Anthony Blue for the St. Matthew's grocery bags, Rachael Blue-Jones and Teresa Blue-Clemons for the bookmarks and DVD's, Paul Berkstiner and Jonathan Newton for grilling the chicken, and Evalena Hoskins and Evadne Roberts baking the cakes.

B. SAIJM Sacred Conversations 10/28: 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 primary 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:

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.

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

D. “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

Expect your raffle tickets to be returned to you by mail or email within 5-7 business days of receipt. Direct any questions to

E. “Women in Genesis” Sundays at 11:00: This Christian Education course for teens and adults 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 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   

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 25, the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner will present a Godly Play video over Facebook Live at 11:00 AM during which children (and their associated adults) can reflect on The 10 Best Ways (a.k.a the 10 Commandments).

Last week's story is on the Diocese of Georgia FB Page. Learn more by subscribing to From the Field ( Please contact Canon Varner at for the Zoom link and with your questions.

Diocese of Georgia Facebook:

G. EYCS Scholarship Fundraiser: EYCS (Episcopal Youth and Children's Services) is a Diocese of Georgia scholarship fund that any college-bound Episcopal youth can apply for. We presently have two students who are benefitting from the fund, and we hope to have more in the future!

Due to COVID-19 the ECW is unable the hold its annual Silver Tea, a fundraiser with the proceeds going towards EYCS. In order to continue our support to the EYCS fund, we are asking for your support.

Please mail checks or money orders to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, make them payable to "St. Matthew's ECW," and write "EYCS" on the memo line. If you prefer to give online, you may donate directly to the Diocese of Georgia via (Click the “Donate” button at the bottom of the page).

The last date for contributions is November 30. Please contact Mrs. Georgette Kelley or Mrs. Evalena Hoskins for more information. If you give online, please inform Mrs. Kelley and Mrs. Hoskins so they know that St. Matthew’s members have contributed.

H. 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:; or here:

I. 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:

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:

J. National Service for Healing and Wholeness 11/1 @ 4:00 PM: Join Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the National Cathedral for a live-streamed prayer service called “Holding on to Hope: A National Service for Healing and Wholeness,” on All Saints Sunday, November 1, at 4:00-5:30 p.m. EST. In the midst of a pandemic, racial reckoning, and a historic election, the live-streamed service will gather Americans for prayer, song, lament, hope, and a call to love God and neighbor. The event will be simulcast in English and Spanish.

K. Virtual Coffee Hour 10/25: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom today (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 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


Dial by your location

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175


L. 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

  2. Tuesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  3. Wednesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  4. Thursdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

M. 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 ( and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you can enter your email to sign up.

N. 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

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

  1. Mail us a check or money order at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1401 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, Savannah, GA 31415; OR

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at:; OR

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

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)

AAHH #367: Come Out the Wilderness

Featuring St. Matthew's Virtual Choir

1 Tell me, how did you feel when you come out the wilderness,

come out the wilderness, come out the wilderness.

Tell me, how did you feel when you come out the wilderness,

Leaning on the Lord.


I am leaning on the Lord,

I am leaning on the Lord,

I am leaning on the Lord who died on Calvary.

2 Did you get baptized when you come out the wilderness?

Come out the wilderness, come out the wilderness.

Did you get baptized when you come out the wilderness?

leaning on the Lord. [Refrain]

3 Did your soul feel happy when you come out the wilderness?

Come out the wilderness, come out the wilderness,

Did your soul feel happy when you come out the wilderness?

Leaning on the Lord [Refrain]

Words: Negro Spiritual

Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. by Evelyn Simpson-Curenton © 2000, GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #49232. 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:

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