• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on September 27, 2020


The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

17th Sunday After Pentecost (Proper 21, Year A) September 27, 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 #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: Hyfrydol, Rowland Hugh Prichard, Public Domain

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84255. 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, 233]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; 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 Ezekiel (18:1-4, 25-32)


The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.


Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?


Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 25:1-8

[BCP, p. 614]

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

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; * let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me.

2 Let none who look to you be put to shame; * let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.

3 Show me your ways, O Lord, * and teach me your paths.

4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, * for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.

5 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, * for they are from everlasting.

6 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; * remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.

7 Gracious and upright is the Lord; * therefore he teaches sinners in his way.

8 He guides the humble in doing right * and teaches his way to the lowly.



A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (2:1-13)

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,

but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #530: Spread, O Spread Thou Mighty Word


1 Spread, O spread, thou mighty word,

Spread the kingdom of the Lord,

that to earth's remotest bound

all may heed the joyful sound.


2 Word of how the Father's will

Made the world, and keeps it still;

How his only Son he gave,

earth from sin and death to save;


3 Word of how the Savior's love

earth's sore burden doth remove;

how forever, in its need,

through his death the world is freed;


4 Word of how the Spirit came

bringing peace in Jesus' name;

how his never-failing love

guides us on to heaven above.


5 Word of life, most pure and strong,

word for which the nations long;

spread abroad, until from night

All the world awakes to light.


Words: Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier; tr. Arthur William Farlander and Charles Winfred Douglas; alt. St. 4 F. Bland Tucker, © 1985, Church Publishing, Inc.

Music: Gott sei Dank; adapt. and harm. William Henry Havergal, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #20389. All rights reserved.



The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (21:23-32)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.


“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“Do Their Lives Still Matter?” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda


“Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you [the chief priests and the elders of the people]. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.” (Matthew 21:31b-32)


We spent some time last week talking about “tax collectors.” They were people who were despised and hated by Jesus’ society. They were traitors to their own kin who supported the oppressive Roman empire. The chief priests and elders considered tax collectors and prostitutes to be the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth. They were considered so far gone that their lives did not matter.


But that’s not what Jesus thought. As we remembered last week when talking about St. Matthew, the former tax collector, Jesus offered him a chance to turn his life around. Jesus saw past his evil deeds, and saw the potential for good and for growth, for love and for healing. Jesus gave him the opportunity to be transformed.


So, Jesus criticizes these religious leaders, the chief priests and the elders, for their hypocrisy. They say the right things. They act like they are “holier than thou.” They teach others to love their neighbors. But they turn around and spit on tax collectors and prostitutes. At least the tax collectors and prostitutes are humble enough to know they need God’s mercy. The tax collectors and prostitutes paid attention when true prophets like John the Baptist and Jesus preached God’s love and forgiveness. They might not be perfect, but at least they weren’t spreading hate in God’s name. They might say the wrong things but somewhere along the way, they tried to do the right thing.


Therefore, Jesus says, “the tax collectors and prostitutes” will enter “the kingdom of God ahead of” “the chief priests and the elders of the people” (Matthew 21:31, 23). God transforms the lives of the humble and penitent, those who are willing to change. God is near to the broken-hearted, to the downcast, to the rejected. God is near to those who society has cast out, to all those whose lives don’t seem to matter. God is with them as God is with us (especially when “them” is “us”).


But as religious leaders (and religious people), we often become stubborn and fixed in our ways. We find it harder over time to admit that we might be wrong. It becomes harder to look for God in the surprising and unexpected. This is true not just for religious leaders, but also for civic, cultural and political leaders (influencers, if you will). Those who wield power often become convinced that they deserve the power, that they have earned it and must keep it at all costs. They start to serve themselves more than the people who empowered them. They start to treat others like they don’t really matter.


That’s what Jesus highlights when he answers the chief priests’ question with a question. They want to know where Jesus’ authority comes from, but Jesus won’t give them a straight answer because he can tell that they are not sincere. They don’t really want to know, and if they know they have no intention of changing. So Jesus asks them about John the Baptist. And they don’t argue about what they really thought of John, on the merits of what he preached, comparing it with the Scriptures, and offering their honest opinions. Instead they argue about what other people will think if they give one answer or another. They aren’t moved by the truth. They are moved by public opinion polls. Like many powerful people, they are spineless and unprincipled; all they care about is keeping their power and influence.


This happens today too. It is easier for religious people, for those who consider themselves upstanding citizens, to look down upon others who do not fit in or have not overcome the struggles that we have. This is true in our society at-large, and even within the Black and Latinx communities. Both groups have rampant colorist prejudice and discrimination. We treat lighter-skinned people better. Almost half of my extended family looks Black, but as a child, I remember hearing racist and colorist prejudice from my older, whiter-looking relatives. And whether it’s tied explicitly to color or not, we all judge one another based on class or perceived class. 


In these areas, we are tempted to follow in the path of the chief priests and elders: saying we’ll do the right thing, but treating others poorly. That temptation is always going to live in our hearts because all people sin. But we can ask God for help in overcoming our individual prejudice and disdain for others. We can ask God for opportunities to build relationships across these powerful human divides and overcome them with the more powerful love of Jesus. Loving our neighbors interpersonally means treating everybody like they matter.


The harder piece is working this out on a societal level. This week, advocates for justice received upsetting news. A Kentucky grand jury announced that none of the officers who killed Breonna Taylor will be directly charged with criminal wrongdoing for her death. One ex-officer was charged with “wanton endangerment” for firing his gun and shooting into neighboring apartments. (Apparently it was a crime to endanger the lives of Ms. Taylor’s neighbors, but not to take her life in her own home.)


It seems like whenever Black and brown people plead for their lives and plead for justice, their requests are denied. When we highlight the oppression against Black and brown communities and cry out that “Black Lives Matter,” we are met with apathy at best and antipathy at worst.


In many cases, power players in politics and the media will try to smear the accused, calling them criminals or violent resisters, people who deserved their fate. This tactic was lobbied against George Floyd, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others, whose criminal records were used as “evidence” that their murders were somehow justified. The accusation of criminality was also levied (illogically) against Breonna Taylor, who once dated a man who was alleged to be a drug dealer. That fact only became relevant insofar as the Louisville Police used faulty information to acquire their no-knock warrant and invaded the wrong home.


But even if every person killed by the police were a criminal, should that stop us from caring about them as people? At what level of criminality does one’s life cease to matter? What can someone do to deserve extrajudicial execution by law enforcement officers? Is there any reason that our society should tolerate the police killing any citizen? Or for that matter, are we okay with people being locked up for years over crimes they committed as young people (even as teenagers)? Do their lives still matter?


The smear campaigns and lies about criminals are distractions from the reality that no one should be killed by police. They are distractions from the unrighteousness and injustice perpetuated by the supposed-justice system. The police and the courts say they will do the right thing, but at the end of the day it sure seems like they don’t. The supposed criminals, the “tax collectors and prostitutes” raise their voices and demand justice and equality. In Jesus’ words, “Which of these two did the will of his father?” (Matthew 21:31a).


The chief priests and elders can call ordinary people tax collectors and prostitutes. They can slander people all they want. But God knows the truth. God knows our hypocrisy even when we throw tantrums to distract and deflect responsibility for the wrongs we have committed. And likewise, God knows when we have been falsely accused, when we have been shown over and over that some lives just don’t matter to the rest of the world. 


But they matter to Jesus. The Spirit of truth is with us when we seek her earnestly and humbly. If we are willing to change and willing to be changed, then God can do more than we can ask for or imagine. But if we insist that we are right because we are powerful, if we look for popular approval rather than the God-honest truth, then we’re just as lost as the chief priests and the elders were. 


So let us not be discouraged. God is with us when we pursue justice for all, even the tax collectors, prostitutes, and alleged criminals of the world. Jesus is on the side of these stigmatized people. O Holy Spirit, help us never to get too comfortable in whatever power or privilege we might possess and begin to treat anyone else like their life doesn’t matter. Help us to see one another as you see us, God. 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, Noel Wheeler, and Dean Williams; and those we remember now…

Silence. The People may add their own petitions.

Hear us, Lord;

For your mercy is great.

We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life, especially for Sigmund Hudson (9/29) and Tracee Williams (10/1) on their birthdays; for Noel and Jocelyn Wheeler (9/29) and David and Rachael Blue Jones (10/2) 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, 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. Fall 2020 Virtual Christian Education Survey: Help Fr. Arboleda plan for the Fall 2020 Virtual Christian Education offerings! Take the survey here!

These meetings will take place over video or phone conferencing (Google Meet or Zoom), not in-person, in order to protect the health and safety of all participants. They will last no longer than one hour. If you need help using video conferencing technology from home, we are happy to coach you through it!

The survey closes tonight! We will announce the survey results and our plans for a Fall Christian Education offering next Sunday!


B. Re-watch St. Matthew's Day & 165th Parish Anniversary: Last Sunday, we had a joyful time worshipping God together as we celebrated St. Matthew’s Day and our parish’s 165th Anniversary. The entire service is available on Facebook and YouTube; the “Thank You, Lord” tribute video is also available as a stand-alone video on YouTube; and as always, the sermon and order of service are on our blog.  Select one the following to view service.


C. 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.

On Sunday, September 27, on the Diocesan Facebook Page at 11:00 a.m., the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner will present “The Great Family,” a story time about Abraham and Sarah for children (and their associated adults) to reflect on together. These sessions are appropriate for young people of all ages, and many adults find that the Godly Play method allows them to think about stories they have known for a long time in new and different ways.


The story will be on the Diocese of Georgia FB Page. Learn more by subscribing to From the Field (the Diocesan Newsletter). Please contact Canon Varner at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org with your questions.


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 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 will go on sale next week. More information forthcoming.


E. (Re-)Watch The Voter Education Seminar: On Wednesday, September 2, St. Matthew's held a voter education seminar with Sharyl Sutton, Voter Education Coordinator for the Georgia Office of the Secretary of State. Feel free to watch or re-watch it any time to learn critical information about the upcoming General Election! https://www.facebook.com/stmattsav/videos/354012282670839


F. Virtual Coffee Hour 9/27: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom next Sunday (September 27), 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: Sep 27, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175

Passcode: SEE e-NEWSLETTER


Dial by your location

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175

Passcode: SEE e-NEWSLETTER


G. 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


H. 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.


I. 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.


J. 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



LEV #130: Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

1 Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Since I laid my burden down.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Since I laid my burden down.


2 I feel better, so much better,

Since I laid my burden down.

I feel better, so much better,

Since I laid my burden down.


3 Feel like shouting, “Hallelujah!”

Since I laid my burden down.

Feel like shouting, “Hallelujah!”

Since I laid my burden down.


4 I am climbing Jacob’s ladder,

Since I laid my burden down.

I am climbing Jacob’s ladder,

Since I laid my burden down.


Words: Traditional, Public Domain

Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. Carl Haywood, The Haywood Collection of Negro Spirituals, Copyright © 1992.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #90010. 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


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