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.

August 31, 2014 -- Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide

Learn more about the work of the Council of Bishops of the UMC at: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/council-of-bishops

Holy God, we bring our gifts to your altar this morning, remembering that Jesus told us that if we were truly to be his disciples we would need to “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow.” It’s tempting to try to follow, without taking the cross; or to try to follow, without denying ourselves. More often, we seek to simply take the name of “Christian” without the denying, the taking of the cross, or the following. Guide us, Lord, on this journey of discipleship. Use these gifts, and use us. In our Savior’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 16:21-28)

"Prayers by Ken Sloan. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy is the man, a reflection on Psalm 127

The lectionary has chosen this psalm as a response to the lesson from Ruth. I'm supposing the connection is the verses about how sons make a man very happy and proud--and, usually, I agree.

The first part of the psalm stresses that no matter how hard we try, the Lord is the one who accomplishes things. I'm thinking about the plan that Naomi came up with to help Ruth get a husband and Ruth's compliance. They did work hard, but the psalm is reminding me that even with their effort, they had God to thank when things turned out so well for them.

A quibble with the connection of the story of Ruth and Naomi and this particular psalm. The psalm uses the imagery of battle to express gratitude for sons; Ruth and Naomi, not.

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