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."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

O Give Thanks to the Lord, Reflection on Psalm 107:1-3

In his Models for Interpreting Scripture, William Goldingay writes that some portions of the Bible are intended to reassure us by describing events that have happened, that other portions are intended to instruct or confront by reminding us of what God has said, and that still other portions help us to reflect and to respond by revealing the words that our ancestors have used in addressing God. 

The Book of Psalms is an example of this last category--much of the material in the Psalms are prayers addressed to God.

Psalms often are prayers based on experience, a reflection of what the psalmist has been through, and what God has done--or, in some psalms, what the psalmist wants or expects God to do next (also, of course, based on a reflection of experience--either a personal experience of the psalmist or from the shared story of a group of people).

The opening verses of Psalm 107 illustrate this type of Scripture. They call for giving thanks to the Lord for rescue. Some scholars attribute this passage to a particular point in Israel's history, the return from the exile in Babylon. The lectionary has paired it with a different point in Israel's history, the time in the wilderness. And, we can adapt them readily to our own history, of a time when we have been rescued from trouble.

Note that this particular psalm is written from the viewpoint of the nation rather than from that of an individual.

Lectio Divina: Psalm 107:1-3

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