A Moment for Mission
"After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. — Revelation 7:9, NRSV
All Saints' Day is Nov.1 each year. Many United Methodist congregations observe All Saints' Day on the first Sunday in November.
While there is not a unified story of the beginnings of this tradition, we know that it was the desire of believers in the early church to honor the martyrs who were persecuted and ultimately died for their faith.
In The United Methodist Church, we consider saints as those fellow believers, past and present, acting in the world in response to the love of God that is shed abroad in their hearts. These faithful believers, whether they be widely known heroes of faith or quiet and humble servants, have made ways for those of us still here on Earth to witness their faith and experience the love of God through them, and through their witness, we have come to faith.
We celebrate All Saints' Day by giving thanks for all those saints who have gone before us and left this legacy behind them, that others may know and experience the transforming love of Jesus. The work of the saints continues today, in local congregations and on a global scale.
Our gifts to the World Service Fund through our apportionments equip the saints to continue with the task of making disciples for the transformation of the world, carrying on this legacy of the faithful.
God, we thank you for those saints gone before us, who have faithfully served you by loving their neighbor and by sharing the Good News of your love and grace. Inspire us that we may continue their work through our gifts and our actions. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost/All Saints Sunday — God, our helper, you are our great joy! Your Holy Spirit enlightens the minds and hearts of your people. Thank you for always encouraging us to draw near to you in prayer and worship. In times of trouble or concern, we find hope and peace in your presence. Guide our congregation to share the warmth and good news of your love in ministries with people in our wider community. Receive these tithes and offerings in the name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Amen. (Psalm 43)
When we consider what makes us distinctly Methodist, we must acknowledge the methodology that has been a part of determining doctrine and practice of faith. It begins with our understanding and response to Scripture.
The vehicle that moves United Methodists from interpreting, understanding and acting is the United Methodist quadrilateral.
The quadrilateral has four elements that help to interpret Scripture and our response to it. First is Scripture itself. After Scripture are three tools that assist us in understanding Scripture; reason, experience and tradition. It is in our attending to tradition that we are able to see how the church has come to be, from the early church in the very beginning to the actions of the faithful church today.
When we celebrate All Saints' Day in The United Methodist Church, we are celebrating all of the faithful saints in our local churches and across the globe who have done the work of making disciples for the transformation of the world. Our gifts to the World Service Fund support this legacy.