Offertory Prayers and Invitation for January 2014

by Ken Sloane


Volunteers-In-Mission (VIM)

 

Each month's Offertory Prayers include at least one "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 hear the good news of love and redemption. Through the World Service Fund apportionment, you’ve supported the work of Volunteers-In-Mission (VIM), the mechanism that deploys United Methodists to do hands-on mission work in the U.S. and around the world, as in the recovery of communities in the Northeast from Hurricane Sandy. These ministries happen 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.

January 5, 2014 – Epiphany Sunday
God in the stars and in the stables: like the wise men in the gospel story, our journey has brought us once again into the light and warmth of your presence. We bring gifts, as they did, but in the light of your overwhelming generosity, they seem not more than tokens. Remind us of the power that you can infuse in the gifts we offer with loving hearts, and let us be changed by the giving, even as the wise men were changed. We pray it in the name of Christ, the Prince of Peace. Amen. (Matthew 2:1-12)

January 12, 2014 – First Sunday after the Epiphany
Holy God, we are reminded this morning as we remember Christ's baptism how you stooped to meet us eye to eye in Christ, reassuring us through your presence. So now, as we give our gifts to you, help us to see the faces of those who will look to us for a touch of compassion and love: our words of kindness, our arms of comfort, and our generous gifts. Meet in us the longing we have to hear your voice speak, "This is my beloved child, with whom I am pleased!" We pray this in the name that is above all others, Jesus the Christ. Amen. (Matthew 3:13-17)

January 19, 2014 – Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Great God and Architect of the Universe, you who have chosen us and called us to be a light to the nations, so that salvation might reach the farthest corners of the world. Bless the gifts we give today, take them and consecrate them to touch lives, make disciples, and transform the world. Not these gifts alone, but through the light we can shine in the lives we live in every ordinary day, that others might be drawn to you. We pray in the precious name of Christ, our rock and our redeemer. Amen. (Isaiah 49:1-7)

January 26, 2014 – Third Sunday after the Epiphany
God of Grace and Compassion, you sent your Son into our midst that we might see his way of love, and that we might here his call to follow. Following Christ means more than wearing a label, or gathering in a certain building. It means leaving the nets that entangle us in the world’s way of measuring success and living by Christ’s example. May the gifts we lift to you this morning represent a sacrifice and commitment to be ones who walk in the way of compassion, grace, and love. We pray in the holy name of the Christ, our Example, our Hope, and our Redeemer. Amen. (Matthew 4:12-23)


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