Offertory Prayers and Invitation for August 2014
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 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 3, 2014 -- Eighth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
God of abundant grace and compassion, you heap blessings on us with the reminder that we have been blessed to be a blessing. As we offer our tithes and offering this morning, we remember that we live in a world where so many don’t have enough to eat or clean water to drink. The words that Jesus spoke to the disciples ring loud in our ears: “You give them something to eat!” As we put these gifts in your hands and lift our eyes in gratitude, bless the gifts and multiply them to ease the need in places we may never go for people we may never meet. We ask this in the holy name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen. (Matthew 14:13-21)
August 10, 2014 -- Ninth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Lord of all creation who gives and holds nothing back, bless these gifts that we offer up to you this morning. Help us not just to give, but also to live more boldly and more generously. Grant in us the faith to step out of the places in our lives where we are so cautious and anxious that we miss the joy that comes from the kingdom-living Jesus taught. Help us to walk on water -- strong in our faith and keeping our eyes on Christ. In his holy name, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 14:22-33)
August 17, 2014 -- Tenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Giver of all good gifts, the Scriptures are full of stories where you have been at work in the lives of your children, caring for us and providing for us, even when we deserved it the least. Through your grace, Joseph was able to provide for his family, even for those who sold him into slavery out of jealousy. Help us to trust more in your providence, to be less anxious that we might not have enough, offering our gifts with open hands and trusting hearts. We pray in the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen. (Genesis 45:1-15)
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)
August 31, 2014 -- Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Holy God, we bring our gifts to your altar this morning, remembering that Jesus told us that if we were truly to be his disciples we would need to “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow.” It’s tempting to try to follow, without taking the cross; or to try to follow, without denying ourselves. More often, we seek to simply take the name of “Christian” without the denying, the taking of the cross, or the following. Guide us, Lord, on this journey of discipleship. Use these gifts, and use us. In our Savior’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 16:21-28)