The Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost October 16, 2022

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
St. Matthew’s is a parish of the Diocese of LouisianaThe Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.  BishopThe Rev. Canon Shannon Duckworth, Bishop-Elect 

From the Senior Warden:

Welcome to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. What a joy it is to have you with us here today! We pray by grace you will find your soul refreshed and your spirit renewed as we hear God’s word, give thanks and receive the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. 

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Rob Alexander, Senior Warden

Dr. Rob Alexander                                                                                       Senior Warden

David West                                                                                                   Music Minister

Courtney Rulf                                                                         Youth Christian Formation                                                                                                                                    

Erica Polk         Office Manager                                                                                                    

To help everyone more fully participate in the worship service:

*A gentle reminder to please silence your cell phones.

*Your parts are printed in bold.

*Come to the Lord’s Table.

*If you wish to receive Communion: Please do come forward. (we will bring communion to you if you are unable to come forward).

*Extend your hands, palms up to receive the bread. All are welcome.

*A special bulletin (and crayons) is available for children on the table at the entrance.

Music used with permission of License CCLI:2542584


Andrèe, Jay, Norma, Sybil, Lydicia, Jules, Betty, Jere, Shirley, Earl, Bonnie,  Jamie, Shirley, AnnaBelle, Betty, Beth, Sidney, Bradley, Ryan, Kim, Jane, Ursula, Kathy, Randy, Nicole, and Legion Park School.  We give thanks and pray for St. Matthew’s Episcopal School, Head of School, Thomas Souldelier, members of the Board,  faculty, staff and students, our Parish Vestry and Search Committee. 

We Gather in the Name of God


Hymn in Procession    Immortal, Invisible, God only wise    St. Denio

Words: Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908); Music: Welsh, 1839

Blessed be the one, holy, and living God.

Glory to God for ever and ever.

The Collect for Purity

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 of Praise                       Glory Hallelujah     Sung three times

The Collect of the Day

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.

We Proclaim and Respond to the Word of God

A Reading from the Book of Genesis  32:22-31

The same night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.  He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had.

Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.  Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 

So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”

Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.”

Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.”

The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm  121 Bold parts said by all, regular print said by women, italics said by men.

I lift up my eyes to the hills; * from where  is my help to come?

My help comes from the Lord, * the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved *and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.

Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel *shall neither slumber nor sleep

The Lord himself watches over you; * the Lord is your shade at your right hand,

 So that the sun shall not strike you by day, * nor the moon by night.

 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; * it is he who shall keep you safe.

The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in, * from this time forth for evermore.

A  Reading from  Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy  3:14-4:5

As for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable

or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.

For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.

As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

Hear what the Spirit is aying to the Church.

Thanks be to God.

Let us greet the Gospel of Christ by singing  Jesus describes a forceful woman

Words: Michael Hudson © Michael Hudson; Music: Wer nur den lieben Gott, Georg Neumark (1621-1681)

The Holy Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ According to  Luke 18:1-8

Glory to you, Lord Christ

Jesus told his disciples a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.

He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people.

In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, `Grant me justice against my opponent.’

For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, `Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that

she may not wear me out by continually coming.'”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night?

Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.

And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you Lord Christ

The Homily                                                                         The Rev. Gigi Conner

We Affirm Our Faith Together

     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.

We Pray for the Church and the World

O God, we pray for our nation and  the world, that together we  might be people who learn to pray always and not lose heart; who believe that justice does not mean ‘just—us’ but rather that justice is an equal distribution of resources for all of humanity.

We pray for those who suffer from the presence of abuse and violence in all its forms, especially against children, women, and the vulnerable. We pray for those who are bullied and for those who are bullies.

For these your children in distress, let us be persistent in demanding justice.

We pray for  peace in  places where there is discord, unrest, or war.

May nations work together to disarm weapons, silence guns, and put out ancient hates that smolder still.

We pray for those places in the world where people are lacking adequate shelter, hungering for food,  and thirsting for water.

Give us the compassion and  commitment to offer our help.

We pray for those who are  suffering with HIV/AIDS  or Leprosy in countries in the continent of Africa and other places in the world where  health care is desperately needed. 

Let us be persistent in striving to bring medicine to those in need.

We pray for those who need your immediate healing presence, especially those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.

Day after day we will offer prayers for their well-being.

We pray for those who have died.

Let us be present to life; to  each moment of our lives, with every ounce of love at our command, knowing that each and every moment of our lives is a gift. 

We pray for our bishop, Morris, our Bishop-elect, Shannon, for the clergy of the diocese and for all the parishes in the diocese. And we  pray for ourselves, for those in our own parish:

Today we remember :

God of Justice, bring our will in line with yours. Our will alongside yours. So that when we say  ‘Your will be done,’ it is ours too.

Celebrant Let us be courageous, well-versed and well-researched in our demands for justice on behalf of ourselves and others. Let your law be the measure of our laws, your justice the criticism of our ideas of justice, and your compassion our motivation to fight injustice. For the furtherance of your kingdom – its truth, justice and healing – among us, and your glory. Amen

Celebrant Jesus Christ, you have taught us that what we do to others, we do to you; make us quick to help and slow to hurt, knowing that in our neighbors it is you who receive our love or neglect. And so  now we pray for the forgiveness of the ways we have sinned against God and our neighbors:

God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created.  We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf.  Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.

The Absolution

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.

We Exchange the Peace

The Peace of the Lord be always with you. 

And also with you.

We Set the Table

As the gifts of bread and wine and our offerings are  brought forward we sing 

The Offertory  Hymn   Spirit Open My Heart

Words: Ruth C. Duck, b. 1947; Music: Wild Mountain Thyme

We Celebrate the Eucharist

The Great Thanksgiving  

Eucharistic Prayer 1, Enriching Our Worship, The Episcopal Church

 The Lord be with you. 

And also with you.

 Lift up your hearts.    

 We lift them to the Lord.

 Let us give thanks to the Lord our God, 

It is right to give God thanks and praise.

It is truly right, and good and joyful, to give you thanks, all-holy God, source of life and fountain of mercy.  You have filled us and all creation with your blessing and fed us with your constant love; you have redeemed us in Jesus Christ and knit us into one body.  

 Through your Spirit, you replenish us and call us to fullness of life.  Therefore, joining with Angels and Archangels and with the faithful of every generation, we lift our voices with all creation as we sing

A Soulful Mass                       Grayson Brown, B. 1948                        #255 LEVAS

Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of the universe and giver of life. You formed us in your own image and called us to dwell in your infinite love. You gave the world into our care that we might be your faithful stewards and show forth your bountiful grace.

 But we failed to honor your image in one another and in ourselves; we would not see your goodness in the world around us; and so we violated your creation, abused one another, and rejected your love

Yet you never ceased to care for us and prepared the way of salvation for all people.  Through Abraham and Sarah, you called us into covenant with you. You delivered us from slavery, sustained us in the wilderness, and raised up prophets to renew your promise of salvation.  Then, in the fullness of time, you sent your eternal Word, made mortal flesh in Jesus

Born into the human family, and dwelling among us, he revealed your glory.

Giving himself freely to death on the cross, he triumphed over evil, opening the way of freedom and life.

On the night before he died for us, Our Savior Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his friends, and

said: “Take, eat: This is my Body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said: “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.” Therefore, we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again

Remembering his death and resurrection, we now present to you from your creation this bread and this wine. By your Holy Spirit may they be for us the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

 Grant that we who share these gifts may be filled with the Holy Spirit and live as Christ’s Body in the world.

Bring us into the everlasting heritage of your daughters and sons, that with  all your saints, past, present, and yet to come, we may praise your Name for ever. Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. AMEN

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.

We Break the Bread

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!

The Communion of the People

 All who seek God and a deeper life in Christ are welcome to receive Holy


Communion Hymn  There is a longing in our hearts

Words & music:  Anne Quigley

The Post Communion Prayer

Reshape us, good Lord, and make us passionate followers of Jesus rather than passive supporters. Make our churches cells of radical discipleship and signposts to heaven, then , in us, through us, and—if need be—despite us, let your kingdom come. Amen

The Blessing

Beloved, remember that life is short, and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us. So be quick to love, quicker still to forgive. Always show kindness to strangers. And may the blessing of God Almighty, Father Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and forever. Amen.

Hymn in Procession    Canticle of the Turning     (The Magnificat)

Words: Rory Cooney, B. 1958; Music:Star of the County Down, Ireland

We Are Sent Out Into the World

Let us go forth, rejoicing in the power of  the Spirit.

Thanks be to God.