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    Resources for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost

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Texts & Discussions:

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 and
Psalm 127 or
1 Kings 17:8-16 and
Psalm 146
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44


Prayer for True Riches

Lord, hear our prayer for the salvation of all of us today, for we know it is hard for us to enter the kingdom of Heaven unless we are willing to lay down everything for you. Transform our greed into generosity, our self-absorption into concern for others, and our desire for worldly pleasures into a desire for you. Help us all to discover Your true riches, so that we may live a life worthy of Christ our Savior.  Amen.



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Children's Messages

Sermon Excerpt

Facing Our Fiscal & Christian Responsibilities
Mark 12: 13-17
by Rev. Elaine Wing

It is with great joy that I share this story…

Just the other night, the phone rang and the caller identified himself as a representative of the Internal Revenue Service. The caller asked me, “Did David Smith give $10,000 to Calvary United Methodist Church?” I thought for a moment and carefully replied, “He will!” (Pause for effect - Too bad this story came to me as a dream!)

A cynic said recently “”Death and taxes may always be with us but at least death doesn’t get any worse.” This morning I want to tackle two topics that are not easy studies for me – economics and politics. I find both topics confusing, complicated and full of rhetoric. After trying to digest the plethora of information, I usually end up making cynical comments about politicians, the government, corporations or individuals like our fictitious Mr. Smith.
 What finally drove a reluctant cynic like me to spend countless hours in sermon preparation was not statistics or emotionally laden stories of people turned away from empty food pantries. The tipping point came from Paris Hilton, the heiress whose fame is solely the result of being rich.

Hilton was giving ABC News Reporter Dan Harris a tour of her Beverly Hills mansion. She pointed through one window to the 300 sq. foot house she had built for her six dogs. The $325,000 two floor pooch mansion has a clay-tile roof with copper gutters, intricate ceiling molding, central air conditioning and a crystal chandelier hanging in the bedroom. The dogs even have a closet and a downstairs living room! In the book of Genesis we are told to care for animals but I do not believe God meant that our four legged friends need such extravagant quarters.

Given the increase in our government debt, one might think that Ms. Hilton was in charge of spending federal dollars! Using official government statistics, the US federal deficit grew by $1.5 trillion in 2010. The total outstanding US Treasury bonds was $14.5 trillion meaning the size of our total debt was near to the size of the total US annual economy. The numbers are now so big that we struggle to comprehend their impact on our lives. No wonder fear is utilized as a tool by politicians and religious groups of every stripe to win debates and pass legislation.

With the exception of the extremely rich, I believe nearly all US citizens (and undocumented residents) are fearful of not having enough money to live simply. . . Subscribers: click here for the full manuscript



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