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This Bible story can be found in Acts 12:1-17.
As the church exploded in size and impact, the persecution against it intensified sharply. By the time of this week’s story, King Herod Agrippa, grandson to Herod the Great who tried to have Jesus killed as a baby, was doing all he could to discourage followers of “The Way” (which at this time was what the followers of Jesus were called). King Herod had even had the apostle James, John’s brother, killed with a sword (Acts 12:2).
Herod’s next move was to imprison Peter and surround him with four squads of soldiers guarding him. In this apparently hopeless situation, followers of Jesus met at Mary’s house to pray for Peter’s safety. Because of the timing of Passover, Peter’s trial was delayed. The night before Peter’s case was to be heard, he was sleeping in chains between two guards. God chose this moment to free Peter: “Suddenly an angel from the Lord appeared and a light shone in the prison cell. After nudging Peter on his side to awaken him, the angel raised him up and said, “Quick! Get up!’ The chains fell from his wrists” (Acts 12:7). We are told that Peter obeyed the angel without hesitation as the angel led him out of prison and through the city gates. Peter seemed to have
We teach our children that prayer is a way of opening themselves up to God. Sometimes we forget that prayer can also be one way we reach out to each other and to the world. The author of the story in the scroll Luke/Acts makes it very clear that Peter had no part in this escape. In fact, it wasn’t until Peter found himself out on the street that he was even aware of what is going on. It was God and only God who orchestrated this event.
As a way to thank our Sunday School teachers for all they do, the RE committee is asking parents to help put on a Teacher Appreciation Breakfast on June 4th from 9-9:30am. We can all make this event a success by either providing a breakfast item or by volunteering to help set up or clean up on the day of the event. The breakfast will begin at 9 am, so all set-up and food must be available/done prior.
Please contact Sue Panilaitis if you are interested in contributing to this. We are looking for families to provide such goodies as coffee, juice, fruit salad, coffecakes, or other breakfast foods. Please sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094ea9a72da4f58-teacher1
On June 11th following service, we welcome all church participants to come down to Fellowship Hall for an end of the year celebration. The RE committee is providing pizza, chips, watermelon and popsicles.
This Bible story comes from Acts 10:1-28.
The Jewish people considered themselves God’s chosen people. Many early Christians believed Jesus had been sent as the Savior of the Jewish people. As Gentiles were converted to the faith, it became clear that the Jesus movement was not just a path for Jewish people. To some Jews, the expansion of the church to include Gentiles was very confusing. What was the place for Jewish traditions in this new movement? Did Gentiles need to follow Jewish law to follow Jesus?
Cornelius was a Roman soldier, a non-Jew and a follower of Jesus. Though he is not Jewish, he follows the Jewish rituals of prayer and is an obedient follower. Therefore, when he has his vision of 3 in the afternoon, it is appropriate because he is following the set times of the day for prayer. This vision urged him to seek out Peter.
Peter, on the other hand, is staying with a non-Jew in Joppa. Peter is on the roof praying. During his prayer time, Peter experiences the Holy Spirit’s presence through a vision. Peter’s vision involved many animals descending from above accompanied by a voice urging him to eat the animals. Peter, who followed Jewish dietary laws that forbid eating certain “unclean” animals, protested. In response, a voice replies “Never consider unclean what God has made pure.” The importance of the visions of Cornelius and Peter are their connection and faithfulness. Cornelius is directed to Peter who can help him grow in his faithfulness to Jesus. Peter is learning to stretch his faith by opening himself up to those who are not Jewish but are following Jesus. Both Peter and Cornelius are open to the Holy Spirit and the direction of God. The good news about Jesus was meant for all people, both Jews and Gentiles. Peter wanted to help Christians understand that God loves every person. What about us? Do you treat all people fairly and lovingly? The good news of Jesus is meant for all people – every single one of us.
Does your child love to draw? Is s/he experimenting with digital media or another form of medium? We are looking for TCC youth artists who would like to create a black and white image for the front of the Youth Sunday bulletin!
The June 11th cover of the service order will need to reflecting what they learned this winter, specifically Jesus’ Teachings. During the winter months, many Sunday School lessons presented several parables with the focus being on what God is like, what his kingdom is all about, and how he expects us to respond to Him. In essence, to love Him as well as one another.
Youth can draw or use digital media to create an image that speaks to them about following Jesus and the hope it instilled in his followers. Please keep in mind that the picture will be printed in black and white but it could be printed on colored paper. All submissions need to be submitted to Sue Panilaitis by May 21st.
Grade 4/5/6 be collecting food for the Tewksbury Food Pantry on Sun 5/21 during Coffee Hour, where they will set up, serve and clean up. Afterwards, they will head over to the Tewksbury Food Pantry for a quick tour, and a chance to sort what we bring and what they need help with. GREAT opportunity for kids to see where the food goes, and how it helps those in need. Please RSVP if your 4/5/6 child can attend on 5/21 12-1pm as they'd like us to keep our numbers down to 12 kids at one time. Parents welcome to drive & stay. Permission slips will be necessary.Attached File: 76Field Trip Consent Form - fillable.pdf
This Bible story can be found in Acts 9:36-43.
This week’s story takes place in Joppa, a seaport town in the north of Jerusalem, just south of Caesarea. The story tells about a disciple of Jesus named Tabitha (her Greek name was Dorcas). She was obviously a woman of considerable reputation, known for her good works and acts of charity. When she died, the community acknowledged her worth and knew their loss was great. The church sent two of their members to bring Peter to help them because he had the reputation for being able to heal in the name of Jesus. He came to Joppa and responded to the widows' request to resuscitate Dorcas. When Peter arrived, the widows took him straight to the location of Tabitha's body. Peter sent everyone from the room, knealt beside her bed and prayed. Can you imagine the amazement the widows felt when they re-entered the room to find their friend and coworker alive and breathing? This great miracle became the motivation for many people to believe in the Lord Jesus. Doing good doesn't mean a person will receive salvation. Good works are admirable but salvation is a gift from God. It cannot be earned no matter how hard a person tries. But when we choose to follow Jesus, we try to follow his example. His life was one of good works. If Jesus’ life was a beacon we follow, then we cannot help but want to perform good works whenever possible. When we look at it that way, discipleship becomes more than a profession of faith. It becomes a way of life.
As the end of the year approaches, we will be recognizing youth on June 11th who have begun to lead a Christian life. While many youth are close to achieving this recognition, families need to inform Sue Panilaitis of their progress. Please use the attached document to look over what is needed to be recognized and contact Sue Panilaitis with your child(ren)'s progress. All information needs to be submitted by Sunday, May 28th.
Our goal is that by participating in this program over their many years in TCC’s religious education program, youth will graduate with a deeper commitment to their faith, a stronger connection to others in the Christian community and a passionate desire to help others. Awards will be given out twice a year to youth who participate in TCC's Church Life, engage in volunteer activities, and learn some Bible fundamentals.Attached File: 50TCC Shining Light Checklist - general.pdf
This story can be found in Acts 3:1-4:22.
Jesus had been arrested, tried, crucified, and resurrected. His followers had received the gift of the Holy Spirit and then were empowered and inspired. With Jesus’ death, the Romans and the Jewish leaders had hoped to put an end to Jesus’ ministry. But that ministry would not be put down. It was on the move. Peter and John, two of Jesus’ closest followers, found themselves able to offer the gift of healing through the power of the Holy Spirit. The man Peter and John met at the city gate was disabled and unable to work. He survived on the gifts of others. When he called out to Peter and John for money, Peter offered him something more. Peter, in the name of Jesus, made him well. The two disciples wanted the people to understand that it wasn’t through their power that this happened, but through the power of Jesus. When Peter and John healed the disabled man, they initiated a clash between Jesus’ followers and religious authorities. The disciples’ ability to perform miracles indicated that these men were indeed carrying on the mission and authority of Jesus. The priests were extremely displeased that their plan to stop the Jesus movement had failed.
Through this Bible story, we should remember that as disciples we can continue to share the good news of Jesus by the things that they do for others in Jesus’ name. We may not be able to perform miracles, but we can do many important things. Peter’s gift was to be the church’s foundation. But we also have special gifts and talents which we can contribute to the building of God’s church.