Offertory Prayer

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, such as our Archives and History Center on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ. Here, a small group of dedicated archivists preserve the history and artifacts that keep us connected to our past – what they call “the ministry of memories.” By preserving historical photographs, sound recordings, published documents in digital formats, as well as treasures such as the Bible used by Francis Asbury or the journals and handwritten notes of John Wesley, scholars of today can be reconnected with our beginnings when we were more of a movement than an institution. Many in the church hope that this Holy Spirit movement can be recovered for a new generation, and those hopes are made possible through the work of our Commission on Archives and History. This ministry happens, thanks to the way the people of The United Methodist Church live and give connectionally. I invite you to give generously as we worship God through sharing our gifts, tithes, and offerings.

Learn more about the General Commission on Archives and History at http://www.gcah.org

April 19, 2015 – Third Sunday of Easter
Holy God, thank you for making Jesus the Author of life, whom you raised from the dead. You still do marvelous miracles of forgiveness, bringing healing and new life in our midst. We know that these gifts don't come from our power or piety, but by your goodness. As we reach out to people in our community, may they draw closer to you. Let our offerings contribute to the ongoing work of your servant Jesus, here and now. Amen. (Acts 3:12-19)
April Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev. Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.

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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