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 are playing a key role in the fight against Ebola in West Africa on many fronts. United Methodist Communications formed its Information and Communications Technologies for Development team (ICT4D), whose work includes bringing technology solutions to the fight against poverty. When Ebola was first reported in Liberia this past summer, many residents dismissed it as political propaganda or superstition. The historic text message shown here from Liberian Bishop John Innis, the most effective means of mass communication in this situation, made real the threat. 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 United Methodist Communications at: www.umcom.org/global-communications.

November 30, 2014 -- First Sunday of Advent
Our Heavenly Father, we worship you. You are the God who does awesome deeds that we did not expect! You have come down from on high, sending your precious Son Jesus to make your presence tangible. You work wonders for those who wait for you. Thank you for sending your Spirit to work in our life. Give us patience as we wait for the revealing of your glorious kingdom. May the gifts and offerings we present today serve your purposes as we await your coming in glory. Come soon, Lord Jesus! Amen. (Isaiah 64)

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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