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.

nvitation 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 Youth and Young Adults, and events such as theGlobal Young Peoples Gathering & Legislative Assembly, held last summer in Tagaytay, Philippines. Through your generosity, we helped bring together more than, 350 participants representing more than 35 countries. They met to share in fellowship, grow in their faith, and invest themselves in the future of the church and the mission of Jesus Christ! 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 Young People’s Ministries at: http://globalyoungpeople.org.

January 25, 2015 -- Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Gracious God, we praise you, for you are the source of our hope! When our hope falters, your Spirit lifts us up to new heights. Help us to set our hearts on you, and to trust in you, no matter what our circumstances. May these offerings bring your uplifting hope to people both near and far. We ask this through Christ our Lord—our great giver of hope. Amen. (Psalm 62)

January Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev. Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Group Groaning, a Reflection on Romans 8:22-27

"We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now," Paul writes to the Romans.

In labor pains? Creation was not complete in a week? I'm making a connection between this verse and Psalm 104:30, "When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground."

A difference--in Psalm, the Spirit creates, but there's no mention of pain.

So, I'm back to the word "groaning." I looked up the word in my Aland dictionary and my Thayer's lexicon and learned that it implies not only groaning but groaning together.

All of creation is groaning. And, according to Paul, even we who have received fruits of the Spirit are also groaning. Groaning while we wait for adoption.

As I read this, I don't think Paul is talking about some life after death, but is talking about a life here on this earth, a life in which the Spirit lives in and through and around us--and we are aware of that presence.

More groaning--in verse 26, the Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. Allen & Williamson in Preaching the Letters expand on this verse by saying:
The Spirit helps our praying. That the Spirit (roughly interchangeable with God or Christ in Paul) "groans" indicates that God is affected by us as we are affected (and effected--created) by God. God's passions can become our prayers, and our prayers can become God's passions.

No comments: