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."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Post-Temple, a Reflection on Mark 13:1-8

Two different ideas came as I pondered this passage

First, when the disciples say how great the temple is, Jesus responds by saying that it isn't going to last much longer. Although they were talking about an actual physical building, I want to use it as a metaphor for religion itself. According to recent research (see USA Today, for example, None is the second largest category, second only to Catholicism.)

How bad would it be if instead of almost everybody in America being a Christian that very few are? We know that the early Christians did fine without the temple as also did the Jews themselves. But, how would the world do without organized Christians to care for it?

That question underlies my second idea. Jesus told them "Many will come in my name and lead you astray."

So, I'm asking how many of these denominations and congregations within them and Christians belonging to those congregations, how many of them are living Christ-like lives and how many of us are leading others astray?

As we prepare for next week's celebration of the Reign of Christ, or you may think of it by its traditional name, Christ the King, let us reorient ourselves to be conveyors of Christ to the world.

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