Offertory Prayers and Invitation for July 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 World Service Fund, you made possible life-changing mission work led by the General Board of Global Ministries, in areas of clean water and sanitation. Almost 900 million people don’t have access to clean, safe water; and 2.5 billion people do not have safe sanitation. Through partnership across the church and with UMCOR and the Advance for Christ, United Methodists strive to meet this most basic need. 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 UMC to help people Access Safe Water at: www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Programs/Global-Health/Water-and-Sanitation
July 6, 2014 -- Fourth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Righteous and Holy God: On our own, we know we lack the strength to be the people of compassion and generosity that will please you. We know we are drawn by our own nature to that which serves our own selves and which meets only the needs of the moment. As we offer our gifts to you this day, we are reminded that only through your presence with us and in us are we are able to live generously, act compassionately, and forgive mercifully. Help us keep our human nature contained and our divine nature unleashed! We pray it in Christ’s holy name. Amen. (Romans 7:15-25a)
July 13, 2014 -- Fifth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Giver of all good gifts, you have blessed us with so much. Yet all of that pales by comparison with the knowledge that you claim us as children, as heirs, our divine birthright. Too often, we have overlooked or ignored that gift. As we present our tithes and offerings to you this morning, help us to freely let go of all we possess and that possesses us, and hold fast to the birthright that is our greatest gift. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen. (Genesis 25:19-34)
July 20, 2014 -- Sixth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Holy God who chose to live among us: You remind us that in your creation good and evil exist side by side. We know that the evil can come in subtle ways, valuing the regard of others more than seeking to please you, putting self-promotion before compassion for others, or turning a blind eye to injustice. May the gifts we give this morning be our affirmation to choose the good over the evil, and what serves your loving purpose over what denies it. Help us to bear fruit, and may our lives be deemed worthy at the time of harvest. We pray in the holy name of Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. Amen. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)
July 27, 2014 -- Seventh Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Creator and architect of the universe! You made all of creation and entrusted us, your children, to be stewards of your goodness and your mysteries. We, in turn, see suffering and injustice, so many problems caused by human selfishness and indifference, and we say to ourselves, “What can we do?” Then you remind us that whatever terrible thing comes our way, in Christ we are more than conquerors. As we give our tithes and offerings, let us give in that conviction: not with hands clenched tight around our possessions, but with hands open. “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!” In that Holy name, we pray. Amen. (Romans 8:26-39)