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

Your offering 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 the support we give to maintaining a connection with 100 United Methodist-related Colleges and 13 United Methodist Seminaries. Some of these colleges are large, well know institutions such as Duke, Boston University, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Syracuse University, American University in Washington DC and Emory University in Atlanta. Others, while not as large, are highly respected and have long lists of distinguished alumnae. Whether large or small, they all bear the Methodist DNA to this day, living out United Methodist compassion. We saw this last year when it was Emory University that became the center for Ebola treatment in the U.S. working to save those infected and finding new ways to stop the spread of this devastating disease. These kind of cooperative efforts across our connection, 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 colleges, universities and theological schools of the UMC: http://www.umc.org/directory/schools-seminaries

July 5, 2015 – Sixth Sunday after Pentecost / in Kingdomtide
O Lord our God, our talents and gifts are so insufficient to our challenges. We rejoice that your grace is sufficient for us and for the body of Christ, the church. You reveal that power is made perfect in weakness. Help us to receive this truth. When we face hardships, persecution and difficulties for your sake, may we trust that you are at work to help us and the world. Use these offerings to strengthen our witness as disciples of Jesus Christ, for we pray in his name. Amen. (2 Cor 12:2-10)

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

Monday, July 20, 2009

Well, do we have enough bread? a Reflection on John 6:1-14

Verses 1-9
Jesus asks Philip, "Where are you going to get enough bread to feed all these people?"

Since we can assume that Jesus knew the answer already, we can ponder instead why he asked it of Philip.

Jesus knew that they had sufficient resources to take care of the problem in front of them. He needed to know if Philip realized this, or, he needed to make sure that he did.

Andrew recognizes that they have access to some resources but he doesn't think they're enough to attack the problem.

Does any of this sound like modern-day discussions of how to work on society's problems? The need is great, really great. Our resources are limited, really limited.

Try to imagine yourself as Philip or Andrew. How would you respond to Jesus' question?

Verses 10-14
Allen & Williamson, in their excellent Preaching the Gospels, point out the importance of having the crowd sit down:
The Greek is anapesin, "to recline or sit down," not "sit." The point is important, for the rich and the royal lie down to eat. Jesus treats the crowds as royalty. They recline on "a great deal of grass" (an echo Of Psalm 23:2).


What's the message to us--are we not only supposed to feed the strangers but also to treat them well? How far does this go--do we have to include health care, as well?

Lectio Divina: Psalm 145:16
You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

1 comment:

dogearedpreacher said...

The disciples, as usual, are clueless. What would be some helpful strategies in the face of our own limited resources? What does it mean to "have faith" in that situation?