“I have so enjoyed reading Luke and Acts in their chronological entirety. I have been in church since I was a child, but it has been years, if ever, since I’ve studied the Bible this way. Thank you for offering this opportunity. Thanks Be to God!”
“I have really enjoyed this program of daily Bible readings. It is very accessible online and easy to integrate into my everyday life. I want to read more of the Bible as part of my journey as an Episcopalian, not just a sentence at a time, and this has been exactly what I wanted. I would like very much for it to continue.”
“I’m clergy and my parishioners are already asking ‘what next?’ So I’m curious to hear what you offer!”
We love sequels, and Luke-Acts provides a wonderful two-part narrative. Luke tells the wondrous story of Jesus’ birth, ministry, teaching, death, and resurrection. Acts picks up where Luke leaves off and tells the story of the earliest disciples through the lens of Peter and Paul and the real star of the show — the Holy Spirit. Written by the same author, the books are accessible, and the story is a page-turner!
Resources Lent-Easter 2018
The Good Book Club Calendar: Forward Movement, in partnership with RenewalWorks, offers a smartphone calendar app (iOS and Android) for Lent and Easter with cartoons by artist Jay Sidebotham (similar to the popular Advent calendars published by Forward Movement). Each day will list the reading and feature an inspiring quote or cartoon. The calendar is perfect for coloring and appeals to all ages.
A Journey through Acts and A Journey with Luke: Explore reflections on these two pivotal books of the Bible written by noted faith leaders from around the world. The books are part of the 50 Day Bible studies series and an extension of The Bible Challenge, a global initiative to encourage daily engagement with scripture. Published by Forward Movement in partnership with The Center for Biblical Studies, edited by Marek P. Zabriskie.
The Good Book Club Bible Study: Offered by Forward Movement, this can be used as a curriculum for a parish Lenten or Easter weekly program or for Sunday morning adult forums. We have provided eleven sessions, expecting that most congregations will offer five weeks of Lenten programs and six weeks of Easter programs. Download here. (You will be asked to sign in to your Forward Movement account–or create one, if you don’t already have an account. But don’t worry: the Bible study is a free resource!)
Mission of Gratitude: A downloadable booklet with meditations on the readings, questions for personal reflection or group discussion, space to keep a gratitude journal, and a story of a ministry supported by United Thank Offering (UTO). UTO invites all Episcopalians to participate in a personal spiritual discipline of gratitude and giving. Each year, UTO collects thank offerings made and grants every penny to support innovative mission and ministry in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
Resources for children and teens: Building Faith published a series of articles to help Christian educators and parents read and study Luke and Acts with children and teens.
Rogation Days Liturgy: Plainsong Farm will provide a liturgy for Rogation Days—Blessing the Fields—with readings from the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. This liturgy can be used for seasonal prayer in farms and gardens. Rogation Days in 2018 are May 7-9.
Hometown: Episcopal Migration Ministries will offer a special podcast throughout Lent and Easter 2018, featuring voices from across the U.S., the church, and the immigrant and refugee community. A blog will accompany the podcast featuring written reflections, art, photography, music, and videos from podcast guests and others.
The Collect Call: During Lent and Easter 2018, the podcast for the Acts 8 Movement, The Collect Call, will offer a weekly episode focusing on themes and aspects of the readings from Luke and Acts. They will also offer a weekly BLOGFORCE question, which will invite people from throughout the church to write about a particular theme or issue in the readings that may have implications for the church and society.
Self(ie)-Reflections: Missional Voices will host a weekly video series with leaders (laity, clergy, and seminarians) from around the Episcopal Church reflecting on where they see the mission of God in each week’s readings.
Vital Practices: Through the period of Lent 2018, Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices bloggers will choose a reading from Luke that resonates with them and their ministry and write a related blog post. These blogs will be published on ECFVP and invite readers to share in the experience.
Luke the Liberator: A free, ChurchNext video curriculum for Lent. Each of the 5 video-based classes features 4 video presentations as well as introductions and discussion questions. Each class lasts about an hour.
Grow Christians: Grow Christians will share stories from parents who are reading and reflecting on Luke and Acts at home with children and teens.
ReadCreate: Episcopal Church Women are encouraging participation in the Good Book Club with a request for artful responses to the readings: original visual images or recorded music, crafts or poetry inspired by the people and stories in Luke and Acts. The National ECW board will share as much of this creativity as possible in hope of inspiring others to go deeper, to think about the familiar in new ways.
Other Good Reads and Resources
Invite*Welcome*Connect: Given that Invite*Welcome*Connect is a transformational ministry equipping congregations and individuals to cultivate intentional practices of evangelism, hospitality, and connectedness rooted in the Gospel, who better to read and study than Luke the Evangelist? The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts speak to the deep truths of Invite*Welcome*Connect, all future workshops will begin with and focus on an intentional study/reflection of these scriptures.
Conversations with Scripture: Acts of the Apostles: “As Luke’s “sequel,” the Acts of the Apostles serves as an ideal bridge between the four Gospels and the Epistles, revealing a crucial part of the Christian story. Here we follow the story of Jesus’ earliest followers from their call to be his witnesses “to the ends of the earth,” through their initial days of concord and numerical success, to the challenges they faced as unfamiliar newcomers entered the scene. We discover the leadership changes that resulted from these challenges, explore a council’s response to the struggles, and meet the champion who, against the odds, became the Church’s chief protagonist. Author C. K. Robertson presents a well-researched, yet highly readable exploration of the Acts of the Apostles.”
Barnabas vs. Paul: “Who were Barnabas and Paul? Was Paul an angry loner, misogynist, legalist, and curmudgeon, or hero and martyr? Through point and counterpoint, author [C. K. Robertson] unravels Paul’s message by looking at his relationship with Barnabas. The result is a fresh portrait of the Paul we only think we know and Barnabas an otherwise unheralded apostle.”
Lenten Booklet: St. Michael and All Angels, Dallas, Texas, invited parishioners to write reflections on Luke for a Lenten booklet. All are welcome to use this beautiful resource.