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 are playing a key role in the fight against Ebola in West Africa on many fronts. United Methodist Communications formed its Information and Communications Technologies for Development team (ICT4D), whose work includes bringing technology solutions to the fight against poverty. When Ebola was first reported in Liberia this past summer, many residents dismissed it as political propaganda or superstition. The historic text message shown here from Liberian Bishop John Innis, the most effective means of mass communication in this situation, made real the threat. 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 United Methodist Communications at: www.umcom.org/global-communications.

November 23, 2014 -- Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday
O Lord our God, you are the good shepherd. You continually reach out to help us. When we are distracted and scattered, you draw us near with your loving voice. You welcome us as sheep of your flock and give us refreshing food and drink. Thank you for green pastures of rest and spiritual renewal. We dedicate our offerings to further your work in the world: to bring back the strayed, bind up the injured, strengthen the weak, rescue those in danger, and feed them with justice. We pray through Christ your Son, the great shepherd of the sheep. Amen.(Ezekiel 34)


November Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev. Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries 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?