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.

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, such as our Archives and History Center on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ. Here, a small group of dedicated archivists preserve the history and artifacts that keep us connected to our past – what they call “the ministry of memories.” By preserving historical photographs, sound recordings, published documents in digital formats, as well as treasures such as the Bible used by Francis Asbury or the journals and handwritten notes of John Wesley, scholars of today can be reconnected with our beginnings when we were more of a movement than an institution. Many in the church hope that this Holy Spirit movement can be recovered for a new generation, and those hopes are made possible through the work of our Commission on Archives and History. This ministry happens, 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 the General Commission on Archives and History at http://www.gcah.org

April 19, 2015 – Third Sunday of Easter
Holy God, thank you for making Jesus the Author of life, whom you raised from the dead. You still do marvelous miracles of forgiveness, bringing healing and new life in our midst. We know that these gifts don't come from our power or piety, but by your goodness. As we reach out to people in our community, may they draw closer to you. Let our offerings contribute to the ongoing work of your servant Jesus, here and now. Amen. (Acts 3:12-19)
April Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev. Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Witness, a Reflection on Hebrews 10:19-25

Now that we have been forgiven, what happens next? The author answers, "Live like it."
Approach God.
Hold on to hope.
Encourage others to do good deeds.
Meet together.
As I read this passage, I am glad once again that the United Methodist Church decided to add "witness" to its vows of membership.

Here's a quote from Tayor Burton-Edwards explaining the change:
Paragraph 217.6 had become the United Methodist membership mantra: “prayers, presence, gifts and service.” In some of our congregations, these words became the only “membership vows” many of our people knew, despite the fact that our Discipline names all the vows of the baptismal covenant as requirements for professing membership (see the entirety of paragraph 217). Our Board noted that the vows of “prayers, presence, gifts and service” were primarily “inwardly” focused and institutional in character. They offered little insight or inspiration for disciples of Jesus Christ to engage in God’s mission of transforming the world. Though in an earlier vow those seeking professing membership promise to be “Christ’s representatives in the world” (UMH 34, paragraph 6), there was no reflection of that baptismal promise in the vows of membership in a local congregation. Adding “and witness” to the list (“prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness”) may help our members, new and old, to recognize their responsibilities not only to “show up,” but to “show forth” God’s saving love in all that we do.

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