The life of the early church was full of joy and growth, but also discord and sacrifice. In this week’s stories we see the promise and the challenge of being the church both then and now.
This weekend’s schedule:
Saturday – 10:00 a.m. – “Breaking bread & Prayers” in St. Olaf Room
5:00 p.m. Worship in Chapel
Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship
9:30 a.m. Sunday School, Adult Class, Fellowship
10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship
7:00 p.m. Youth Group – Video & Discussion on bullying
Notes for this weekend’s worship:
Stephen is Martyred
April 14, 2013
Acts 6:1-14, 7:47-60
Key Verses: “While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.” Acts 7:59-60
Time of Events: 30-40 C.E.
Written: 80-85 C.E.
Since Last Week: As word of Jesus’ resurrection spread, communities of believers started to form throughout the lands. These early converts were baptized and given the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Background: Some of the followers were appointed to stay put and care for those in their community. Others were appointed to travel and proclaim the good news. Stephen was among those chosen to care for widows and others in his community. Non-believers who were threatened by the new teachings stoned him to death. Many other martyrs also died proclaiming the risen Christ.
Community: How have the duties in your faith community been distributed? How might you do things differently to best honor the gifts of those in your community?
At Home: What role do you play at home, at work, or at church? How are you best using your gifts to do God’s work in the world?
Read This Week:
Monday: Saul Persecutes the Church, Acts 8:1-25
Tuesday: The Conversion of Saul, Acts 9:1-19a
Wednesday: Saul Preaches in Damascus, Acts 9:19b-31
Thursday: Peter and Cornelius, Acts 10:1-33
Friday: Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit, Acts 10:34-48
Saturday: Peter in Prison, Acts 12:1-19
Next Week: Philip Baptizes an Ethiopian, Acts 8:26-39