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 that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through our connectional giving, we support the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) and missionaries around the world -- such as Alex andBrenda Awad, who serve Christians in East Jerusalem and the ministries of Bethlehem Bible College. So when you revive the story this season of the birth of the Son of God in Bethlehem, remember that United Methodists are still working to make the world a more welcoming place for the God of love and peace. 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 GBGM Missionaries at: www.umcmission.org/Explore-Our-Work/Missionaries-in-Service

December 21, 2014 -- Fourth Sunday of Advent
Dear Lord, you are the only wise God! Thank you for your faithfulness through the ages. You spoke promises through the prophets. In time, you revealed your glory in Jesus Christ. Strengthen us in faith to follow your will today. Empower us to tell our neighbors about you. May these offerings support the ways our church exhibits your steadfast love for all generations. Amen. (Romans 16)

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cleansing, a Reflection on Malachi 3:1-4

Malachi asks who can endure the coming of the messenger. The messenger will get the people ready to receive the Lord. He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.

Paul Stroble, in Advent 2009, Celebrate the Newborn Jesus, explains these terms:
Malachi uses two different images of refinement. The first is the image of fire that purifies gold and silver. Gold and silver are precious for their rarity, beauty, and malleability. Gold is durable and does not oxidize. When gold is heated, it melts and becomes better as the impurities are burned off. .... The second is the image of the preparation of newly woven cloth. A fuller was a person who prepared new cloth, and fullers' soap was a strong alkali that cleansed the cloth.
Stroble then asks, "What times in your life were refining?"

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