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 umcgiving.org.
Invitation to the Offering
Your offering last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also supported the work of the bishops of The United Methodist Church through our Episcopal Fund. Our 66 active bishops provide supervision, accountability, and visionary leadership to annual conferences around the globe. They also serve the whole church, leading the many boards and agencies of The United Methodist Church and providing our prophetic witness. They are supported by the whole church, not just one episcopal area, but by all our giving for shared ministries/connectional giving. Their leadership 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 work and impact of the Episcopal Fund: umcgiving.org/ministry-articles/the-episcopal-fund
Note: The following prayers relate to lectionary texts selected for use in Discipleship Ministries’ worship resources. May 5 & 12, 2019 connect with the "Living" Easter 2019 Series, Part 1. May 19 & 26 2019 connect with the "Loving" Easter 2019 Series, Part 2.
May 5, 2019 – Third Sunday of Easter
Holy, Holy God, we bring our tithes and gifts to you this morning, confessing that often it is shallow faith that keeps us from truly embracing a generosity worthy of your blessings. Like the disciples after your Son’s resurrection, we rely on our eyes to see and ignore the truths that are spoken in our hearts. Like Thomas, we want to see and touch before we can believe that you can redeem this mess-of-a-world we live in. Grant us insight that goes beyond vision, and may we offer ourselves totally to your work of redemption. In the holy name of your resurrected Son, we pray. Amen. (John 21:1-19)
May 12, 2019 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
Watchful and Loving God: You have given us the gift of a shepherd because in our lostness and our despair, we have cried out to you to show us the way. You sent Jesus so we might be saved, and yet though we know his voice, we often find ourselves wandering, searching on our own to find better grazing, new grass, and cooler water. We give our gifts this morning as a testimony that we know we need to give ourselves more fully. We strive and we long to follow the Shepherd, this day and all our days. We pray this prayer in the name of the One who will protect and lead us if we but follow. Amen. (John 10:22-30)
May 19, 2019 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
God of Limitless Love: Your love washes over us like ocean waves, powerful and relentless. Your love comes to us in what we see in creation, what we taste in the food that sustains us, what we hear in the words of hope and encouragement that we know is your voice speaking through others. We offer our gifts this morning, hoping that they will be used to show the world that we are yours – by our love and not our judgment. May the world know we belong to you by seeing compassion, not condemnation; by seeing love expressed in hope and healing. In Christ, we pray. Amen. (John 13:31-35)
May 26, 2019 – Sixth Sunday of Easter
Source of all good blessings in our lives: We bring you our gifts with joy, but knowing that often our generosity has been regulated by our fears. We live in uncertain times, and we sometimes fear uncertainty, whether our money will last or whether we will find ourselves in need. We admit that we have heard but not heeded the words from your son, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” Grant us courage to experience the joy of deep generosity without fear. We pray this in the name of our Risen Savior, who thought the cross was not too great a price to pay for us. Amen. (John 14:23-29)
May Offertory Prayers & Invitation to the Offering were written by the Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Generosity & Connectional Ministries, Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church. [email protected]