Offertory Prayers and Invitation for April 2015
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, such as our Archives and History Center on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ. Here, a small group of dedicated archivists preserve the history and artifacts that keep us connected to our past – what they call “the ministry of memories.” By preserving historical photographs, sound recordings, published documents in digital formats, as well as treasures such as the Bible used by Francis Asbury or the journals and handwritten notes of John Wesley, scholars of today can be reconnected with our beginnings when we were more of a movement than an institution. Many in the church hope that this Holy Spirit movement can be recovered for a new generation, and those hopes are made possible through the work of our Commission on Archives and History. This ministry 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.
Learn more about the General Commission on Archives and History at http://www.gcah.org
April 5, 2015 – Resurrection of the Lord
Glorious God, we rejoice in Jesus' victory over death! You raised him up to live forever. He left behind his linen wrappings -- the shroud, his grave clothes. Robed in white, Christ leads us from darkness to light. Help us to follow him, leaving behind the things of our past that obscure our horizons. We dedicate these offerings as tokens of the breaking dawn of Christ. May our gratitude shine forth by our joyfully giving of our earthly goods. Amen. (John 20:1-18)
April 12, 2015 – Second Sunday of Easter
Gracious God, you are faithful and just! Through the resurrection of your Son Jesus, you have given great grace to us all. You call us to share the word of eternal life with others so that our joy may be complete. Light the way for us as we seek to live in fellowship with Christ. May these offerings reflect the grace of our risen Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen. (1 John 1:1-2:2)
April 19, 2015 – Third Sunday of Easter
Holy God, thank you for making Jesus the Author of life, whom you raised from the dead. You still do marvelous miracles of forgiveness, bringing healing and new life in our midst. We know that these gifts don't come from our power or piety, but by your goodness. As we reach out to people in our community, may they draw closer to you. Let our offerings contribute to the ongoing work of your servant Jesus, here and now. Amen. (Acts 3:12-19)
April 26, 2015 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
O Lord, you are the good shepherd! Your son Jesus laid down his life for all who belong to you. Thank you for nurturing our life and sustaining our faith. In gratitude, we want to help others to know your love. Open our ears to listen to your voice. Open our eyes to see our brothers and sisters in need as sheep of your flock. May our tithes and offerings give voice to Christ's love for all people, especially those who have gone astray. Amen. (John 10:11-18)
UMNS photo by John C. Goodwin
April Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev. Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.