DISORGANIZED RELIGION: A TOUR OF ACTS AND THE EARLY JESUS MOVEMENT June 6 – August 29, 2019
June 6, 2019 - Inciting Incidents (Acts 1 – 2)
The Book of Acts starts off breathlessly with two of Christianity’s signal moments back-to-back: the Ascension of Jesus and the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. In the midst of all the supernatural goings and comings we’re introduced to a motley of crew of Galileans whose passion is only equaled by their befuddlement. It’s a great start to great book that gets better with every reading. Join us for this first outing in our summer tour of Acts, “Disorganized Religion.” We meet at 7:30p in the Chapel.
June 13, 2019 - Miracles and Ministry (Acts 3 – 5)
Before Jesus’s departure, he promised his disciples do greater things than he did. They get their first taste of this with a simple healing that puts Peter and John in the religious establishment’s crosshairs. Together with some internal congregational drama (and that’s no exaggeration), the apostles quickly learn what ministry is all about. Don’t miss our second outing in our summer-long tour of the Book of Acts, “Disorganized Religion.” The conversation begins at 7:30p in the Chapel.
June 20, 2019 - From Waiter to Martyr (Acts 6 – 7)
In its first attempt to organize, the church wisely focuses on service—literally, table service. Among its first appointees is an angel-faced man named Stephen, whose faith and wisdom set him apart from all the rest. What’s more he’s endowed with the kind of holy boldness that can get you killed. Yet before he dies, he gives the first cogent theological lecture in Christian history. And it’s every bit as thrilling as his story! Find out more in this week’s “Disorganized Religion” outing. We begin at 7:30p in the Chapel.
June 27, 2019 - Philip on the Fringes (Acts 8)
Just in time for Pride Weekend, we follow the exploits of Philip, whose calling takes him into highly unusual places and introduces him to unusual people. (Everything about his story is queer.) He goes to live with the Samaritans, whom Jews traditionally revile and relegate to the margins. Then he hops a ride with an Ethiopian eunuch and removes all doubt that everyone has a place in God’s kingdom. We’re having our own little Pride parade with this week’s “Disorganized Religion” outing. Join us in the Chapel at 7:30p!
July 4, 2019 – Happy 4th (No Gather)
July 11, 2019 - Saving Saul (Acts 9:1-31)
One of the Early Church’s greatest adversaries literally gets floored. He rebounds without his eyesight. But his vision is markedly improved, enabling him to see what God is doing with this raggedy band of Jewish Christians he’s trying to destroy. The Book of Acts takes things to a whole new level with its introduction of the surly figure we’ll eventually come to know and love as Paul. Don’t miss this week’s outing in our “Disorganized Religion” series. The conversation begins at 7:30p in the Chapel.
July 18, 2019 -Women: Witnesses and Wonder Workers (various texts)
Throughout Acts, women play remarkable roles and make powerful contributions to the early life of the Jesus movement. This week we pause our sequential reading to spotlight some of the extraordinary ministers, providers, caregivers, and witnesses who profoundly influenced the character of early Christianity. Dorcas, Mary, Rhoda, and Lydia are but a few of the powerful women whose contributions so often get overlooked. Not on this tour! Join us as we continue our stroll through Acts at 7:30p in the Chapel.
July 25, 2019 -Peter Figures It Out (Acts 9:32 – 11:18)
Starting with his magnificent Pentecost sermon, Peter has been the Jesus movement’s dynamic, de facto leader. He’s earned the respect of his people. He’s a proven miracle worker and orator. Still, his theology could use a little help—which comes in the form of a peculiar vision that completely revolutionizes his ministry. All sorts of tasty details surface in this week’s outing as we watch Peter figure things out! Join us as we continue our “Disorganized Religion” series in the Chapel at 7:30p.
August 1, 2019 -Widening the Welcome (Acts 11:19 – 15:35)
The villain formerly known as Saul of Tarsus reemerges as Acts’ great hero. How’s this for irony? The man who devoted his life to religious exclusion becomes Christianity’s greatest radical inclusion champion. How radical? Saul’s restyling as “Paul” disrupts the Early Church, launching its first serious identity crisis. Not to fear, though. The result is a wider welcome, along with a surprising deftness for managing conflict. We welcome Paul to this week’s outing as we continue our tour of Acts in the Chapel at 7:30p.
August 8, 2019 -Mission and Method (Acts 15:36 – 21:16)
With only a map and a vision, Paul sets out to spread the word among the Gentiles. The success of his first mission (in last week’s passage) would suggest fairly smooth sailing as he turns his focus to more metropolitan European cities. But this ride often gets bumpy and rivalries in ministry begin to surface. This week’s outing gives us a candid and sometimes unsettling account of what missionary work requires. This week we sail the high seas as we continue our “Disorganized Religion” tour at 7:30 in the Chapel.
August 15, 2019 - The Tide Turns (Acts 21:17-26:32)
Paul returns from his missionary journeys to find out his reputation precedes him—and it’s not good. Word has it that he’s leading expatriate Jews to turn against their own faith and embrace Gentile Christianity. Paul’s enemies scheme to put a stop to him, inciting public riots and appealing to politicos. This is Paul’s Passion, and its echoes of Jesus’s experience are impossible to miss. Continuing our tour of Acts, we hang tight with the Great Lion of God as he faces hard trials. Join us at 7:30p in the Chapel.
August 22, 2019 -Roma (Acts 27 – 28)
The closing episodes of Acts concentrate on Paul’s final journey, not as a missionary but as a prisoner. Per his request and right as a Roman citizen, he requests a hearing before Caesar. The trip from Palestine to Rome is tumultuous, including a shipwreck and a number of other harrowing moments. So great is the writer’s admiration for his subject, the book ends before the final scene unfolds. Don’t miss our final outing in our summer tour of Acts, “Disorganized Religion.” We push off at 7:30p in the Chapel.
August 29, 2019 -How We Spent Our Summer Vacation
We round out “Disorganized Religion,” our summer-long tour of Acts and the early Jesus Movement, reflecting on the stories we’ve read, the thoughts that have surfaced, what surprised us most, and maybe a few things we didn’t like so much along the way. And we ask two overarching questions. What have we, as Jesus followers, lost over the centuries? What should we reclaim? Don’t miss this final summary of a book we’ve come to love (or love anew)! We meet at 7:30p in the Chapel.