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.

August 31, 2014 -- Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide

Learn more about the work of the Council of Bishops of the UMC at: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/council-of-bishops

Holy God, we bring our gifts to your altar this morning, remembering that Jesus told us that if we were truly to be his disciples we would need to “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow.” It’s tempting to try to follow, without taking the cross; or to try to follow, without denying ourselves. More often, we seek to simply take the name of “Christian” without the denying, the taking of the cross, or the following. Guide us, Lord, on this journey of discipleship. Use these gifts, and use us. In our Savior’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 16:21-28)

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

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Two Alternatives, a Reflection on James 4:1-3, 7-8a

"Why can't we just get along?" someone asked.

Well, why can't we?

James seems to be telling me that I'm not going to be able to get along with anybody as long as I'm worried about my own self too much.

Give thought to what God wants.

Is there any hope for me?

James says "Of course. Just give up what the devil wants and start wanting what God wants."

I'm wondering how the town hall meetings we saw in August would have been different if the protestors had first read this epistle from James before showing up. How about the teabaggers? OK, how about the people that are appalled by them?

Can it be as simple as James makes it out to be: Resist the devil and he's beaten. Draw near to God and God's with you.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Why can't we just get along?" Against the backdrop of the recent town hall meetings, tax protest, etc., the give and take of public debate is a critical part of the political process. If those seeking to push a program of nationalized healthcare had spoken with honesty and integrity, they would likely have had a different reception when they sat down with their fellow citizens for a face to face meeting. Elected officials are employed by the electorate. They are subject to and must answer to citizens for the manner in which they discharge their office. In this instance, some found the town hall experience to be a shocking revelation of how far out of touch they are with the majority of the electorate. There were representatives who found their town hall experiences to be very affirming and encouraging.

Una Malachica said...

People who want their way and their way only are often uncivil. I could show you some examples from my own life. Yet, James is calling us to be better than our usual selves.