Home Offertory Prayers and Invitation to the Offering

Offertory Prayers and Invitation to the Offering

By Ken Sloane

Each month’s Offertory Prayers includes an “Invitation to the Offering” 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.

Bishop group2
Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops

June 2022

Your offering last week empowered ministry within our congregation and responded to the needs of our community. It also supported the work of our Council of Bishops (composed of all elected bishops globally, both active and retired) through a very challenging time in the history of The United Methodist Church. Support for our bishops comes through the Episcopal Fund apportionments from local churches through their annual conferences.

At a time when the church was already in tension around questions of human sexuality, the COVID-19 pandemic was a crisis that had local and global challenges for The United Methodist Church. Our bishops provided leadership in many places where technology training, innovative funding, and deep spiritual care for both clergy and laity were significant factors in the survival of churches.

Some of our bishops were ready to retire in 2020, but due to the pandemic, General Conference had to be postponed, which in the U.S meant that jurisdictional conferences (where new bishops are elected) could not happen. In many places, bishops were asked to provide coverage for additional episcopal areas so their colleagues could fulfill their retirement plans. With everything else on their plates, bishops expanded their supervisory roles.

Ministries like these happen, 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.

Click here to read more about the Council of Bishops

Click here to read more about the Episcopal Fund

Offertory Prayers

Article ministry with dementia

July 2022

Your offering last week empowered ministry within our congregation and responded to the needs of our community. It also supported the work of Discipleship Ministries, equipping world-changing disciples of Jesus Christ to grow ministries in their congregation and communities.

One example of this was an online course launched in 2021 to help churches develop ministries with persons with dementia. Using the expertise of retired Bishop Kenneth L. Carder, this course made a huge impact. One participant wrote:

“I just ‘stumbled’ across the invitation to this course, on my Facebook feed, I think it was. It comes at a time when I feel God is calling me to get involved in advocating and developing faith-based ministry models that bring hope and comfort and ‘mercy’ to persons living with dementia, both within and outside the church. I have no experience--except my own with my spouse! No training! Yet, this course has offered so, so many avenues to be explored. Thank you for facilitating and writing this resource.... But being part of this class has given me hope and a greater conviction that God is calling his church to be involved, especially in ways that build authentic local communities.”

Ministries like these happen, 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.

Click here to learn more about the course, The Church’s Ministry with Demetria.

A new Lay Servant course is coming based on Ministry with Dementia by Kenneth L. Carder. Click here to download the course catalog.

Offertory Prayers

GCORR CRT Discussion 72px

August 2022

Your offering last week empowered ministry within our congregation and responded to the needs of our community. It also supported the work of the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR). In 1968, the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) was formed to hold the newly formed United Methodist Church accountable in its commitment to reject the sin of racism in every aspect of the life of the church.

When controversy and division spread throughout this country on the topic of Critical Race Theory—with many of the arguments fueled by lack of information and misinformation—GCORR developed resources and brought together a panel to keep United Methodists better informed about Critical Race Theory’s role in beginning to heal the harm of racism.

"Critical Race Theory (CRT) examines how laws in the United States have built and supported racial inequities. It is an ideological framework that names race as a social construct and asserts racialized inequities in society are fostered by historic and current systemic, institutional, and legal policies and practices.”

Ministries like these happen, 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.

Click here to learn more about the work of the General Commission on Religion and Race.

Click here to learn more about the Critical Race Theory.

Offertory Prayers

Sept Offertory Prayers Image 72px
Photo by Priscilla Muzenrengwa, UMNews

September 2022

Your offering last week empowered ministry within our congregation and responded to the needs of our community. It also supported the work of The Central Conference Theological Education Fund (CCTEF), established by the 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC). The UMC continues to live out Charles Wesley’s vision: to “unite the pair so long disjoined – knowledge and vital piety.” Its goal is to strengthen theological education and pastoral formation in the Central Conferences in Africa, Europe, and the Philippines. Funding plays a crucial role in such efforts, and General Conference 2016 approved $10 million for CCTEF from the World Service Fund. It supports the development of theological schools, courses of study for local pastors, libraries, and contextually developed resources, scholarships, faculty development, and more.

Ministries like these happen, 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.

Click here to learn more about the work of the Central Conference Theological Education Fund.

Offertory Prayers:

Judicial Council 102272px
UMNews photo by Kathleen Barry

October 2022

Your offering last week empowered ministry within our congregation and responded to the needs of our community. It also supported the work of The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council. As the denomination’s highest judicial body or "court," the Judicial Council's nine members, made up of laity and clergy, are elected by the General Conference and normally meet twice a year to consider whether actions of the various church bodies adhere to the constitution and follow the rules outlined in the Book of Discipline. In a particularly challenging time for The United Methodist Church (with tension over differing views on human sexuality) and the world (the COVID-19 pandemic), the postponement of the 2020 General Conference has made the work of this group more demanding than any in our history, and their tenure in their roles longer (Council members are elected at the General Conference session). In many ways, they are a group the whole church looks to guide us through unchartered waters.

This important work 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.

Click here to learn more about the work of the Judicial Council.

Offertory Prayers:

Romania Prayers 11 22
WCC Photo by Albert Hillert

November 2022

Your offering last week empowered ministry within your congregation and responded to the needs of our community. It also supported the work of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), the relief arm of Global Ministries, our mission agency, as it empowered crucial work to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing the invasion from Russia. In the early days of this war, UMCOR released $2 million in a broad range of local and regional refugee-related services, and other expenditures reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars are in planning,” according to Roland Fernandes, general secretary of Global Ministries and UMCOR. This is on top of $3 million previously allocated, with continued additional aid funding assistance to these refuges in various countries surrounding the war-torn nation.

This important work 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.

Click here to learn more about the refugee relief work of UMCOR.

Offertory Prayers:

South africa soup kitchen 2 960
UMNS Photo by Nandipha Mkwalo

December 2022

Your offering last week empowered ministry within our congregation and responded to the needs of our community. It also supported work in South Africa, where young adults from the South Africa Conference of The United Methodist Church have started a soup kitchen to help those in need in their community. Members of the United Methodist Young Adult Organization are helping the less privileged in Clermont Township, one of the largest and oldest townships in Durban with a high unemployment rate, especially among youth. Most residents are from rural areas who came to seek work opportunities in the nearby suburbs and surrounding factories. Many live in poverty in informal settlements or shacks.

Nombhedesho Maquba, president of Pinetown Circuit’s Young Adult Organization, said she is thankful that the members are committed to their volunteer work with the soup kitchen. “They are so united, and you can swear that this is the big group with the way they do works of God. It is more blessed to give than to receive,” said Maquba, quoting Acts 20:35. Members gather twice a month at lunchtime and bring and share meals on the streets Clermont. “They prepare the food from their homes so that they can serve those who are less fortunate,” Maquba said.

This important work 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.

Click here to read more about this feeding ministry.

Offertory Prayers:

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