Acts 2: 42-47

New Resources

  • A New Church

    by Kevin Bright
  • Giving Until It Feels Good

    by Stephen Clyborne
    A mother wanted to teach her daughter a lesson about stewardship. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar and told her to put whichever one she wanted to in the offering plate and keep the other for herself. When they were leaving the worship service that day, she asked her daughter which amount she had given. “Well,” the little girl said, “I was going to give a dollar; but just before the offering, the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. And I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did.” To some of us, cheerful giving sounds like an oxymoron, a contradiction of terms...
  • Life Together

    by Kathy Donley
  • Exegesis (Acts 2:42-47)

    by Richard Donovan
  • All Things in Common

    by Evan Garner
  • Easter 4A (2020)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Easter 4A

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • Sermon Starters (Easter 4A)(2020)

    by Stan Mast
    Perhaps we need to do what a tiny group of Christians did during the wildest party time of the year at the very secular Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Donald Miller tells the true story in his book, Blue Like Jazz. Miller and his friends built a confessional booth right in the middle of the campus so their atheistic classmates could sit down and listen to these Christians confess the sins of the church to them...
  • Living in Abundance

    by Kate Matthews
  • Easter 4A (2020)

    by Jerusha Matsen Neal
  • Easter 4A (2020)

    by Megan Pardue
  • Community from a Distance

    by Michael Ruffin
  • The Yearning to Belong and Christian Witness

    by Leigh Spruill
    Timothy Carney's 2019 book Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse is a timely but sobering read about the growing problem of loneliness and isolation experienced by so many Americans and has this very telling bit of information. Those in our culture who self-describe as moderately-religious - that is to say those who believe but are not very engaged in the religious life of a believing community - these are the ones who are less happy and less fulfilled than those who profess no religious belief at all. In other words, the key is not believing, but believing and belonging, because to believe and not to belong is a sign of something terribly amiss...

Resources from 2017 to 2019

  • Easter 4A (2017)

    Video with Eric Anderson
  • Easter 4A (2017)

    by Margaret Aymer
  • Easter 4A (2017)

    by Doug Bratt
    In an article in the April 1, 2015 issue of The Guardian entitled “The Future of Loneliness,” Olivia Lange writes, “At the end of last winter, a gigantic billboard advertising Android, Google’s operating system, appeared over Times Square in New York. In a lower-case sans serif font – corporate code for friendly – it declared: “be together. not the same.” This erratically punctuated mantra sums up the web’s most magical proposition – its existence as a space in which no one need ever suffer the pang of loneliness, in which friendship, sex and love are never more than a click away, and difference is a source of glamour, not of shame...
  • A Radical Ethic of Love

    by Shane Claiborne
    I will never forget learning this from a homeless kid in India. Every week we would throw a party for the street kids, kids 8-10 years old who were homeless, begging all day to survive. Each Tuesday we would get about 100 of them together and throw a party, play games, eat a big meal. One week, one of the kids I had grown close to told me it was his birthday. So I got him an ice cream. He was so excited he stared at it mesmerized. I have no idea how long it had been since he had eaten ice cream. But what he did next was brilliant. He yelled at all the other kids and told them to come over. He lined them up and gave them all a lick. His instinct was: this is so good I can’t keep it for myself. In the end, that’s what this whole idea of generosity is all about. Not guilt. It’s about the joy of sharing. It’s about realizing the good things in life – like ice cream – are too good to keep for ourselves.
  • Life Together

    by Dan Clendenin
    Living the Christian life in social isolation, disconnected from others, is a contradiction in terms. Maya Angelou (1928–2014) had it right in her poem "Alone." Lying, thinking Last night How to find my soul a home Where water is not thirsty And bread loaf is not stone I came up with one thing And I don't believe I'm wrong That nobody, But nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone.
  • Church Life

    by Bob Cornwall
  • What Should We Do?

    by Bob Cornwall
  • All Things in Common

    by Evan Garner
  • Our Faith Communities

    Video Starter with Nikki Hardeman
  • Easter 4A (2017)

    by Phil Heinze
  • How Big Is the Church?

    by Dock Hollingsworth
  • I Want (To Be Part of) That!

    by Beth Johnston
    Across from the rock formation known as “The Sleeping Giant”, on the north shore of Lake Superior, stands a massive monument to Terrence Stanley Fox. I was in my second year of high school when this young cancer survivor from Port Coquitlam BC dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean at St. Johns NF and began his Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. Almost no one was there to see him begin his run but by September 1, when he had to stop because his cancer had returned and spread to his lungs, everyone knew his name and was cheering him on. He died in June of the following year. The entire country mourned. People of all ages, including children whose parents weren’t even born when Terry was running, now participate in yearly Terry Fox Runs. Why? They can’t possibly remember him? I think they run to take part in something valuable.
  • Called by God

    by Anne Le Bas
  • Easter 4A (2017)

    by D. L. Lowrie
  • Glad and Generous Hearts

    by Kate Matthews
  • Easter 4A (2017)

    by Megan Pardue
    In his book The Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann says about the Biblical prophets, “The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented, for questions of implementation are of no consequence until the vision can be imagined. The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and imagine almost nothing.”...
  • Generous Hearts

    by David Russell
    For 34 years, LouAnn Alexander worked as a flight attendant. But then at the age of 58, she received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Before long, this full-of-life mother and soon-to-be grandmother was making plans for hospice care. Her older brother Rex was flying to see her when he asked the flight attendant—who happened to be an old colleague of his sister - if he could speak to the passengers. He talked about his sister, even passed his phone around the plane so they could see photos of her. Then he handed out napkins and asked if they’d write a little something for her. Many passengers did. Some drew pictures. Two seatmates created flowers out of napkins and swizzle sticks. But mostly, there were warm words. One said, “Your brother made me love you, and I don’t even know you.” 96 passengers, people who had never even met LouAnn Alexander, sent notes of love and care and encouragement and prayer. Her brother never forgot the compassion shown that day. “I’m just amazed that given the opportunity, even total strangers will reach out and show a lot of empathy and concern,” he said...
  • Together

    by David Russell
    This week I talked to Sharon Strohmaier. She is the director of Iowa Religious Media Services, a media lending library. We often use resources from IRMS in our church school classes. I called to ask Sharon about resources for our theology class and she told me about an experience she had recently – and she said it was OK to share this story. Sharon was having lunch with a friend, and at the next table was a mother with an exceptionally fussy child. The kid was whiny and crabby and apparently very tired. He was doing his best to make the experience unpleasant for the other people at his table. But Sharon had noticed how patient this mother was. She was very kind and comforting and kept his unhappiness from escalating. The mom got up to leave and Sharon, sitting at the next table, spoke to her. She said, “I just want to tell you what a great mom you are. You have been so patient and so caring with your child.” This young woman looked at her, kind of stunned, and said, “That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Can I give you a hug?” And Sharon said, “Sure.” Our worship this morning is important. When we worship, we remember who we are and whose we are and we offer praise to the God who created us and loves us and cares for us. Worship is important...
  • Easter 4A

    from Sacra Conversazione
    The first community of believers were noticed for what they said and what they did. It was the norm. It was what set them apart. The proclamation that love supersedes every form of degradation and death was made potent by the deeds the words produced. This was the one reliable criterion that distinguished the authentic “voice” of Jesus from all other competing claims. The result is always the same: life and life more abundantly.

Resources from 2014 to 2016

Resources from 2011 to 2013

Resources from 2008 to 2010

Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources and Dramas

  • The Real Deal Shepherd

    by Sharron Blezard
    Richard Rohr, in his book Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, reminds us that we spend the first half of our life figuring things out, self-differentiating, accumulating, and striving to achieve. And then, not surprisingly, most of us turn around and ask, “Is this all there is?” We then spend the last half of our life deconstructing our carefully curated selves in a quest to embrace who we truly are meant to be. Or, as Carl Jung said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”...
  • Glad and Generous Hearts

    by Sharron Blezard
    Scroll down the page for this resource.
  • Time with Children

    by John Collard
    Scroll down the page for these suggestions.
  • Word Search (Acts 2)

    by Don Crownover
  • The Early Church

    from Higher Praise
  • Generosity and Peace

    Lesson Plans by Shannon Kelly
  • To Do List/Bulletin

    Video with John Stevens
  • Lectionary Links (Easter 4A)(2020)

    from Union Presbyterian Seminary

The Classics

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