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."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gathering, a Reflection on Isaiah 43:3-7

Isaiah was speaking to a people who knew great distress and disruption. He reminded them that the Lord their God had rescued their ancestors and would rescue them as well.

Every year (or, alrmost every year) I read Disciplines, the book of daily devotions published by Upper Rooms Books.

The entry for January 7, 2010, written by Cristian de la Rosa, talks about the experience of African and Latin American people who have struggled, and are struggling. The words of assurance from Isaiah are still timely--because people are still struggling.
It is very difficult to discern the voice of God in our own time. ....However, the memory of suffering is there ... and it interrupts history. These interruptions can help us claim our humanity as people of God--again listening to the voice of God and recognizing the accompaniment of God as we walk with those who suffer--in our own suffering or our memory of suffering.
Lectio Divina: Isaiah 43:5; Psalm 29:7-9

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