Offertory Prayer


Offertory Prayers and Invitation for February 2015

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 support ministry with students of all ages, including those who have had the door to education opened to them through our eleven Historically Black Colleges. Through your generosity in support of the Black College Fund, students are empowered to learn, to succeed, and to change the world. For many of these students, your support is “a life-changer.” This ministry happens thanks to the way the people of The United Methodist Church live and give connectionally. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes, and offerings.

Learn more about our Historically Black Colleges at: www.umcgiving.org/pastors/resources?category=2753

February 1, 2015 -- Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Holy God, Architect of all we know and all we do not know, bless the gifts we offer up to you this day. As we are reminded this morning of the authority you have given your precious son, so we remember how, in turn, he passed it on to us. Help us to see that the authority we have is not to wield power over one another, but to stir the power of compassion, hope, and love in one another. We pray this in the name of Jesus, the source of compassion, mercy and healing. Amen. (Mark 1:21-28)

February Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Connectional Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Even Scholars Don't Always Get It Right Away, a Reflection on John 3:1-9

Repeat from earlier year:
Jesus has been upsetting the insiders. One of them, Nicodemus, comes by night. I am told by Bible commentators that "night" implies more "not understanding" than a time. I had always taken "night" as literal and read that Nicodemus was hoping not to be seen by anyone important when he approached this trouble maker. After thinking about it for a moment, I've decided to keep both meanings.

Nicodemus asserts that the miracles they have seen Jesus perform have been persuasive. Yet apparently not completely so. It's night after all.

After being asked about how anybody can have a second birth, Jesus answers him by asserting the necessity of the Spirit.

"What is born of the Spirit is spirit....The wind blows where it chooses..." Remember that the Greek word translated as wind also means breath or spirit. God breathes on us; a force moves us like the wind moves us and that force is as invisible as the wind as it is as potent as the wind.

"So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." Who is this "everyone"? Who has been born of the Spirit? Am I reassured? insulted? puzzled? grateful?
.... "

2 comments:

Unlikely said...

John 3 is really a great story when taken either as a whole or even as parts. Reading your post I think you've been hooked by the story (This is a very good thing). The story of Nicodemus and Jesus is easy to pass by because John 3:16 seems so important. But the questions you ask and that Nicodemus asked are important. We live with people who haven't heard the full promise of God's love for the world. We live with people who have questions like Nicodemus about new birth that humans can't easily answer but that the Holy Spirit can answer.

RobynHerself said...

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” If we are born of the Spirit, people might consider us unpredictable because they'll never understand where we are "coming from" or "where we are going," because, we will be led, not by tradition or popular opinion, but by the Spirit!