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
Your offering last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helps support the environmental justice advocacy of the global United Methodist Church through the ministry of our General Board of Church & Society. Advocating for protection of our resources and the rights of all people to access the clean water needed for a healthy and full life, Church & Society asserts “The church has a unique and important role in proclaiming water as a sacred gift from God and working with communities to ensure safe, affordable water is available to all God’s children.” 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.
We invite you to learn more GBCS’s Clean Water advocacy and other environmental issues. Visit https://www.umcjustice.org/what-we-care-about/environmental-justice.
Note: The following prayers relate to lectionary texts selected for use in Discipleship Ministries’ worship resources, which this month connect with the ecumenical observance in September of the Season of Creation.
September 2, 2018 – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Blessed God of all creation, at this point in worship we offer gifts that are but tokens of gratitude for the incomprehensible bounty of gifts you have given freely to us. You have blessed us with life and breath, with sight and hearing, with taste and touch — yet there is so much of your blessing that our senses sometimes miss: the beauty of a flower, the smell after the rain, the taste of the fruit of each branch, the symphony that is a bird in flight or in song. As we leave our gifts in your hands, we pray for senses heightened to see your masterpiece of creation all around us. To your glory, we pray! Amen! [Song of Solomon 2:8-13]
September 9, 2018 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Holy Architect of the Universe! You, Lord, created the earth and the oceans, shaped with your hands and your breath; you raised up the mountains and made the valleys low. The beauty you have captured on the canvas of creation we have covered with monuments to our desire to consume and acquire without regard to your call in our lives to be good stewards of the world. As we offer our gifts this morning, may they mark our resolve to be more faithful stewards of the resources of this precious planet. We pray in the name of Christ, our example and our healer. Amen. [Psalm 125]
September 16, 2018 – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Loving Father, Redeeming Son, and Holy Spirit: with our every breath, the very air that fills our lungs draws us closer to you. The water, food, and air that keep us alive are gifts from your goodness. Every gift we offer back to you is a result of our use of these basic gifts through your creation. As we bring our gifts to you this morning, remind us once again that the sky, the sea, the ground we walk on, and all the plants and animals are foundational blessings for which you have given us both charge and accountability, not just for our use but for what we leave for the generations that follow. We pray, through your love, that we may be found faithful stewards. In Christ, we pray. Amen. [Psalm 19]
September 23, 2018 – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Gracious God, Giver of Life: as we bring our gifts to you, we are reminded by the psalmist that you expect more than money from us. You desire fruitfulness from us — as you do from all creation. You have nourished us, like trees planted by streams of water, not simply to store up blessings for ourselves, but to bear fruit that will be a blessing to many. Open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to perceive the life of generosity to which you’ve called us and for which you created us. We pray this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, who gave all there was to give for us. Amen. [Psalm 1]
September 30, 2018 – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
If it had not been for you, Lord, there would not have been a sun to greet us this morning. If it had not been for you, Lord, there would not have been a meal on the table before we arrived here, or a meal waiting when we leave. If it had not been for you Lord, there would not have been love surrounding us as we laid our heads to rest last night and as we opened our eyes this morning. As we contemplate the gifts we offer in gratitude for your many blessings, remind us once again: if it had not been for you, Lord, if not for your love and generosity, we would not be here. We give our thanks in your name, which is above all names. Amen. [Psalm 124]
Photo Credit: UM News Photo by Mike DuBose
September Offertory Prayers & Invitation to the Offering were written by the Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Connectional Ministries, Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.