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<  Adult Breakout Group  ~  November 12/14 - The beginning of the Church

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 92 Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 8:29 pm
The Acts of the Apostles is is the second half of the two volume work by the author of the Gospel of Luke. Most Catholic scholars date the composition of Luke-Acts in the early 80's, about the same time as the Gospel of Matthew. In Acts, Luke tells the story of the early church, explicitly drawing parallels between the life of Jesus told in his Gospel, and the life of the early Church. As outlined on page 36-37 of The Bible Blueprint, the highlights of this story include:
  • Jesus' ascension
  • the descent of the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost
  • communal life of the early church
  • the institution of the diaconate
  • Stephen's martydom and ensuing persecution in Jerusalem
  • Philip and the Ethiopian
  • Saul's (Paul's) conversion
  • Peter and Cornelius
  • Missionary work of Peter, Paul, and Barnabas
  • miracles performed by Peter and Paul
  • Paul's travels and trials
One characterization of Acts calls it the story of how the Church grew from Apostolic to Catholic. In the adult breakout sessions we will use three stories from Acts to help us understand what this means. We will explore how Luke uses stories to help us see how the early Christian communities started to see themselves as more than just another Jewish sect, and how various historic elements and personalities played a role in the spreading of the Gospel.

In the first session, after a brief overview of this important book of the Bible, we will split up into smaller groups, each of which will be assigned one of these three stories:
  • Martyrdom of Stephen Acts 6:8-15 ... 7:44-8:3
  • Paul's conversion Acts 9:1-22
  • Peter and Cornelius Acts 10: 1-48
In addition to the notes in the bible, they will also be given a commentary: Each group will have about 10-15 minutes. One of the group will read the passage for the group. Each person will have a copy of the above commentary for that reading. The members of the group will then reflect for a few minutes on the reading in light of the commentary, and then the group will prepare a short (5 or 6 minute) presentation for the whole session. The presentation will consist of a short summary of what the passage says, and a few insights into the meaning or importance of this passage in the life of the early church, and in our life as church today, or individual Catholics today. After 15 minutes or so we will reconvene and groups will share their insights.

After the break, the adult group will continue to explore the 3 stories or any other questions or issues related to our understanding of the early church.


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