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 support the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) and missionaries around the world -- such as Alex andBrenda Awad, who serve Christians in East Jerusalem and the ministries of Bethlehem Bible College. So when you revive the story this season of the birth of the Son of God in Bethlehem, remember that United Methodists are still working to make the world a more welcoming place for the God of love and peace. 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 GBGM Missionaries at: www.umcmission.org/Explore-Our-Work/Missionaries-in-Service

December 21, 2014 -- Fourth Sunday of Advent
Dear Lord, you are the only wise God! Thank you for your faithfulness through the ages. You spoke promises through the prophets. In time, you revealed your glory in Jesus Christ. Strengthen us in faith to follow your will today. Empower us to tell our neighbors about you. May these offerings support the ways our church exhibits your steadfast love for all generations. Amen. (Romans 16)

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

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Loving your neighbor, Reflection on Acts 4:32-35

It's odd reading this passage in the same week that Americans' Income Tax is due. Now, the government wants a lot. Then the church wanted it all.

Remember, no social security, no medicare, no unemployment insurance. How were people who needed help to be cared for?

Giving everything seems hard--and it seemed hard to them, too. Keep reading in this chapter.

But, back to this lesson: Luke has emphasized that discipleship to Jesus involves one's possessions. See Luke 6:20-26; 12:13-21; Acts 11:27-29, among others.

Is there a conflict between being of one heart and one mind (v.32) and having private ownership? Even if we cannot imagine common ownership, is there any way we can accept a modification of this principle?

How do you find a connection between verses 33 and 34? What is our responsibility toward the needy (v.34)? Does this responsibility leap across national borders?

1 comment:

Earl said...

There is no indication that the Church wanted everything. Unlike the Fed. Govt., the Church found in Acts took what was freely given and used it to meet human needs. No buildings... just people. Cool. No expectation that everyone must give everything for the use of everyone. Just graciously receiving everything that was freely given and using it to meet human need. Way Cool!

Conflict between personal piety and personal private property? Not unless personal private property is misused (Acts 5:1-11, 8:18-24). Adoption of c*ommon ownership? Why? To what purpose? "Modification" of private property? Again why? To what purpose?

Of course there is a connection between vs. 33 and 34. It was a creative short-term solution to need. As a workable long-term strategy (USSR, etc.) it has been weighed in the balance of historical human experience and found wanting.