Offertory Prayer

Your offering 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 the quadrennial gathering of United Methodist youth and adults that happened last month in Orlando at YOUTH 2015! This event brought more than 4800 people together to challenge our youth to embrace their Methodist identity and to “Go On” to a deeper relationship with Christ. The testimonies of lives changed are powerful, and the impact will go on for years. These kinds of cooperative efforts across our connection are made possible 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 ministry with youth and young adults at: http://globalyoungpeople.org

August 30, 2015 – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost / in Kingdomtide

Generous and Holy God, every good and perfect gift that touches our lives does indeed come from above, provided through your gracious and boundless love. We bring these gifts, such a small portion of what we have received by your hand, and doing so join them with others that we might be found to be doers of the word and not listeners only. We pray this is the name of Jesus the Christ, our rock and our redeemer. Amen. (James 1:17-27)

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



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A guide to guiding, Reflection on Acts 8:26-31

Through the first seven chapters of Acts, Peter and the other apostles have been preaching in Jerusalem. Successes and setbacks. Steven was condemned to death. Saul (more about him later) watched the stoning.

The persecution became so severe that the apostles scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. (Go back and read again Acts 1:8.)

Philip is preaching in Samaria where crowds are listening eagerly to him and seeing the signs that he did (8:4-8). Peter and John returned to Jerusalem. And Philip is directed by a messenger from God to go to Gaza.

He is performing signs, drawing crowds, being praised, and baptizing. Philip is in a productive mission field. And God tells him to travel the wilderness road.

On the trip, Philip came across a court official of the Ethiopian queen who was returning from a trip to Jerusalem. He had gone there to worship, and when Philip saw him, he was reading from the prophet Isaiah.

We can speculate whether he had already read the part of Isaiah where eunuchs and foreigners are included in Israel's promise (56:1-8). [Tangent: We can further speculate on whether we ourselves have spent much time with that passage and whether we talk and act as if we believed it.]

The Spirit sent Philip over to speak to this foreigner. Philip responded to this command by running over to his chariot.

He asked him if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to join him.

Some points to consider:

People who don't look like or who haven't been brought up like us may be sensing the call of God. God may be talking to us, and we ought to be listening.

If someone wants to understand scripture, and we're standing right there, we need to be prepared to step up to the need.

OTOH, scripture may not be transparent even to someone who has studied a lot. We need to look at the Ethiopian as a good example of someone who knew he needed instruction and was willing to admit it.

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