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, such as our Archives and History Center on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ. Here, a small group of dedicated archivists preserve the history and artifacts that keep us connected to our past – what they call “the ministry of memories.” By preserving historical photographs, sound recordings, published documents in digital formats, as well as treasures such as the Bible used by Francis Asbury or the journals and handwritten notes of John Wesley, scholars of today can be reconnected with our beginnings when we were more of a movement than an institution. Many in the church hope that this Holy Spirit movement can be recovered for a new generation, and those hopes are made possible through the work of our Commission on Archives and History. This ministry happens, thanks to the way the people of The United Methodist Church live and give connectionally. I invite you to give generously as we worship God through sharing our gifts, tithes, and offerings.

Learn more about the General Commission on Archives and History at http://www.gcah.org

April 26, 2015 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
O Lord, you are the good shepherd! Your son Jesus laid down his life for all who belong to you. Thank you for nurturing our life and sustaining our faith. In gratitude, we want to help others to know your love. Open our ears to listen to your voice. Open our eyes to see our brothers and sisters in need as sheep of your flock. May our tithes and offerings give voice to Christ's love for all people, especially those who have gone astray. Amen. (John 10:11-18)

April 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.