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."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Remember to be thankful, a reflection on Joel 2:21-27; Psalm 126

For those of us living in the United States, today is Thanksgiving Day. 

As we read this selection from Joel, let us remember that he is writing to a people that have suffered ruin--invasion and famine. "Lament," Joel has told them, "and repent. Return to the Lord" (Joel 1:1-2:17).

The portion of Joel chosen for our Thanksgiving reading is a reminder to the people--those, then, and us, now, as well) that God has already done great things for us. And, as God will continue to do great things.

He uses as an examples the return of rain to the land and, as a consequence, the abundance of food. We can witness the presence of God in our life by paying attention to the gifts that come from God.

Psalm 126 offers a model prayer of thanksgiving:
....The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.

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