Offertory Prayer

Each month's Offertory Prayers includes an "Invitation to the Offering" (see below) along with a digital image for those who might want to use it. We hope you will find this a helpful way to remind the people in your pews that their offering travels to many places to make a powerful difference in the lives of people they may never meet. You can find great stories of the difference our giving makes at http://umcgiving.org.

Invitation to the Offering
The offering you made last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helped support the work of ministries beyond the local church that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through our connectional giving, we are playing a key role in the fight against Ebola in West Africa on many fronts. United Methodist Communications formed its Information and Communications Technologies for Development team (ICT4D), whose work includes bringing technology solutions to the fight against poverty. When Ebola was first reported in Liberia this past summer, many residents dismissed it as political propaganda or superstition. The historic text message shown here from Liberian Bishop John Innis, the most effective means of mass communication in this situation, made real the threat. This ministry happens thanks to the generous support of United Methodists like you. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes and offerings.

Learn more about the work of United Methodist Communications at: www.umcom.org/global-communications.

November 30, 2014 -- First Sunday of Advent
Our Heavenly Father, we worship you. You are the God who does awesome deeds that we did not expect! You have come down from on high, sending your precious Son Jesus to make your presence tangible. You work wonders for those who wait for you. Thank you for sending your Spirit to work in our life. Give us patience as we wait for the revealing of your glorious kingdom. May the gifts and offerings we present today serve your purposes as we await your coming in glory. Come soon, Lord Jesus! Amen. (Isaiah 64)

November Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev. Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Powerful than I, Reflection on Mark 1:5-8

The term "repentance" does carry the connotation of regret, but it means more than that. The Greek word metanoia that we translate as "repentance" means literally, "a change of mind." Not a simple "I'm sorry" or "I wish things could have been different," but rather a "I'm traveling a different way now."

Morna Hooker, in her commentary on Mark, lists the OT references implied in Mark's description of John: The rough garment of camel's hair is probably to be taken as an indication that he was a prophet (Zechariah 13:4). The reference to the leather belt echoes the description of Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). He calls the nation to repent as did Malachi (4:5). The locusts and honey are typical food for travelers in the wilderness and locusts were permitted in the Torah (Leviticus 11:21).

John is preparing his world for a new age with a new leader, one who is not only more powerful than the prophets who foretold his coming, but one who also is more powerful than the governors and Caesars of his time.

During this Advent season, let us remember John's promise. And let us remember that the Holy Spirit continues to work in the world and in our lives, to sustain us and to prompt us.

Lectio Divina: Mark 1:5-8; Psalm 85:8

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Inside church last Sunday this gospel is read whilst outside race riots rage.

Reflecting on John last week I said that “this Advent our story tells us to “Prepare the way of the Lord!” To get on out and get marching!” On Sydney’s Cronulla Peninsula crowds flock from the centre to the margins, responding to the call (txt messages actually) for Anglo Aussies to “reclaim” the beach from “Lebs” and “Wogs”. This wasn’t the ‘interruptions to business as usual’ I had envisioned. (Gaining much more media attention than things like the “Make Poverty History” marches and meeting of the WTO.)

This week of Advent has seen reaction and counter reaction, rioting, ‘blame game’ finger pointing, the predictable sound byte diagnosis of left and right and the now common place rush to strengthen legislation.

The striking image for me was of a bare chested white anglo “Aussie” youth, draped in the flag (ala Superman), with the words “I grew here, you flew here.” scrawled across his chest.

Una Malachica said...

Intrusions in our lives always upset us--sometimes, we welcome the new; sometimes, we reject it, and reject it strongly.

Are you seeing the presence of Christ and Christ's message in the deplorable situation you are in the midst of this Advent season?

How do Christians respond to words like the ones that the unwelcoming youth posted?

What do we have to offer him?

Una Malachica said...

and--i missed the irony of the chest message the first time