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, February 13, 2011

Church Growth, a Reflection on 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

I am not good at memorizing, but passages like this one make me want to be. Paul tells this congregation that has competing loyalties to quit quarreling and to end their jealousy. "After all," he says, "who's really doing the accomplishing?"

We each have a part to play in accomplishing the work that God has given us to do, but we shouldn't ever think that the work is ours entirely. Neither should we think that we deserve all the credit.

As Paul puts it, "For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building." I'm remembering when I was a child, that when riding through the country, my grandmother would look out at the fields and comment on whether the cotton or corn was looking good for that time of year. Now, I'm imagining someone observing a local congregation, God's field, and noticing how it was doing.

Only God gives the growth, but we church people sure can provide some weeds.

1 comment:

Terry Reed said...

Yes we can provide some weeds and some of them are whoppers lol. God alone gives the increase. However, it is up to us to plant and water. But the one who plants is nothing and the one who waters is nothing. It is God who gives the increase that gets the credit.
Terry Reed
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