Open Doors

God’s ever-widening welcome
April 11, 2021 – May 30, 2021

Stories from the Acts of the Apostles about the Holy Spirit’s persistent call for the Church to redefine who is welcomed in God’s family—and the Church’s struggle to obey and implement that call.

Message line-up:

What God Has Made Clean
Pastor Scott Austin

Through a bizarre dream and an encounter with a Gentile named Cornelius, the Apostle Peter learned that he was not permitted to overrule God's decisions about who was welcome, and on what terms.

Acts 10:1–48
Listen and Rejoice
Pastor Scott Austin
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When Peter gave his report of God's welcome of the Gentiles, the religious leaders first were silent, and then they rejoiced. Any other response to God's open doors is a hindrance to the gospel.

Acts 11:1–26
What Is to Prevent Me?
Pastor Scott Austin

Earlier in Acts, Philip had a Spirit-led encounter with a person who must have seemed an entirely unlikely potential convert: a foreigner of different ethnicity and ambiguous gender. And yet the Spirit moved, and Philip could not stand in the way!

Acts 8:26–40
We Should Not Make It Difficult
Judy Howard Peterson
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When it became clear that this movement of Spirit was not an isolated incident, the Church convened a formal council to determine how to proceed. In the end, they decided they should not make it difficult for those who were turning to God. We welcome guest preacher Judy Howard Peterson for an inspiring sermon!

Acts 15:1–21
To an Unknown God
Pastor Scott Austin

In a strange new city, the Apostle Paul preached both in the synagogue and in the marketplace, helping to connect the people's wide-ranging religious openness to God's open doors in Jesus.

Acts 17:16–34
Finding Your People
Pastor Scott Austin
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Following the movement of God into unknown territory can be an isolating experience when the people you know and trust are not willing to come with you. Yet God calls us to move on with boldness, to speak the truth of love—and promises that we will never be alone. Lord, help us find your people!

Acts 18:5–11
Pentecost: Promises Fulfilled
Pastor Scott Austin

After all we’ve read from the book of Acts in the past six weeks, it is fitting to return to how the story began: with the Spirit descending on the apostles. This dramatic moment was the fulfillment of Jesus’s promise, and the promises of God given through the prophets long before.

An Open Doors Story
Ville Anttila

We are privileged to hear a story from Ville Anttila, our friend in Finland who was drawn to our community because of our desire to open our doors to all people.

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