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."

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.