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.

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

August 24, 2014 -- Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Almighty and merciful God, as we give our tithes and offerings this morning, we are reminded that it is here that the relationships of our hearts and our connection to the material world intersect. You have called us into the world, into its need, its suffering, its injustice, and its pain; not to be claimed by the world, but as those claimed by you to be agents of change and transformation and healing in the world. So use not only these gifts, these dollars we offer, but use us. Use our hands, use our feet, use our voices, and use our hearts to shape the world for which you long. We pray in the blessed name of Jesus, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen. (Romans 12:1-8)
(Genesis 45:1-15)

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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Admission Requirements, a Reflection on Psalm 15

The reading from Micah this week proclaims what the Lord requires of us--to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. The lectionary response is Psalm 15 which begins with the question, "Who is allowed in?"

The requirements for admission are:
to walk blamelessly and to do what is right and speak the truth

do not slander, do no evil to friends, and do not reproach your neighbors

stand by your oath--even to your hurt

do not lend money at interest, don't take a bribe.

Those seeking acceptance in the congregation were supposed to modify their behavior outside the building. Further integration--they had been told what was right and, now, they were supposed to live out what they had been told.

Their relationship with God is affected by, even dependent on, their relationship with their community. Moreover, doing the right thing changes the doer: "Those who do these thing shall never be moved."

1 comment:

Joel Peterson said...

As a current high school senior, I see countless peers worrying about their "admission decisions" to their dream colleges. What I don't see a lot of is initiative about entrance into heaven. I think most of them think that heaven is something for old people to worry about.

What I see even less of though, is people who are active in their faith enough at a young age to be to the point of being called by God to a ministerial vocation.

I think we can agree that God's call isn't anywhere near as straightforward as admission to heaven--or college for that matter!

Perhaps a more allegorical/exploratory approach is what we need to implement in order to get young people thinking about their call.

*insert plug for my book, which attempts to do just that. haha*

It's called The Journey (by Joel Peterson, obviously) and it's on Amazon.com if you are interested in checking it out.