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.

nvitation 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 ministry with Youth and Young Adults, and events such as theGlobal Young Peoples Gathering & Legislative Assembly, held last summer in Tagaytay, Philippines. Through your generosity, we helped bring together more than, 350 participants representing more than 35 countries. They met to share in fellowship, grow in their faith, and invest themselves in the future of the church and the mission of Jesus Christ! 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 Young People’s Ministries at: http://globalyoungpeople.org.

January 25, 2015 -- Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Gracious God, we praise you, for you are the source of our hope! When our hope falters, your Spirit lifts us up to new heights. Help us to set our hearts on you, and to trust in you, no matter what our circumstances. May these offerings bring your uplifting hope to people both near and far. We ask this through Christ our Lord—our great giver of hope. Amen. (Psalm 62)

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

Leaving Home, a Reflection on Luke 4:21-27

He had read to them from the prophet Isaiah, "The Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and to let the oppressed go free." Then said to them, "Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your presence."

Their first reaction is a mixed one. Although they like what he says, they aren't sure why he has said them. They seem to be reluctant to accept that someone that they know could accomplish great things.

Jesus responds by saying that no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.

He then reminds them that both Elijah and Elisha had gone far from home to accomplish miracles. "Many widows in Israel were hungry yet Elijah helped a foreigner. Many lepers were in Israel, but Elisha healed a foreigner." Note they weren't just foreigners, they were not of the same religion as Elijah and Elisha.

We're left to ponder whether the people in Nazareth were blocking Jesus' work among them by their own refusal to accept him as anointed by the Lord--or, whether, Luke is reminding us that God is not restricted to helping hometown folks, that God's power extends beyond the circle of believers.

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