Offertory Prayer

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 the Episcopal Fund, your church not only supports the Bishop who serves your conference, but the global work of our United Methodist episcopal leaders. Your giving makes possible their witness for the whole church in many areas including evangelism, justice ministries, global health and working with the world’s poor. 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 the Council of Bishops of the UMC at: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/council-of-bishops

August 3, 2014 -- Eighth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide

God of abundant grace and compassion, you heap blessings on us with the reminder that we have been blessed to be a blessing. As we offer our tithes and offering this morning, we remember that we live in a world where so many don’t have enough to eat or clean water to drink. The words that Jesus spoke to the disciples ring loud in our ears: “You give them something to eat!” As we put these gifts in your hands and lift our eyes in gratitude, bless the gifts and multiply them to ease the need in places we may never go for people we may never meet. We ask this in the holy name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen. (Matthew 14:13-21)

"Prayers by Ken Sloan. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

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.