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.

nvitation 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 ministry with Youth and Young Adults, and events such as theGlobal Young Peoples Gathering & Legislative Assembly, held last summer in Tagaytay, Philippines. Through your generosity, we helped bring together more than, 350 participants representing more than 35 countries. They met to share in fellowship, grow in their faith, and invest themselves in the future of the church and the mission of Jesus Christ! 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 Young People’s Ministries at: http://globalyoungpeople.org.

January 25, 2015 -- Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Gracious God, we praise you, for you are the source of our hope! When our hope falters, your Spirit lifts us up to new heights. Help us to set our hearts on you, and to trust in you, no matter what our circumstances. May these offerings bring your uplifting hope to people both near and far. We ask this through Christ our Lord—our great giver of hope. Amen. (Psalm 62)

January 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.