ACTS: Introduction of the Old Testament

//ACTS: Introduction of the Old Testament
This past Saturday kicked off the beginning of the  2017 Spring ACTS (The Ambassadors Community for Theological Study) course in Waynesboro, Wytheville, and Chesapeake. ACTS is intended to enrich and equip laity for intentional service as ambassadors for Christ in homes, churches, and in their communities. It provides comprehensive exposure to the foundations of Lutheran faith through classroom and experiential education. ACTS also serves as a continuing education course for rostered ministers.


ACTS instruction is offered in large-group sessions at a single location (with the option of satellite sites), with breakout small-group sessions occurring across the state each led by rostered leaders or ACTS program graduates. From these sessions, ACTS participants gain a theological grounding for their personal call, equipping them to answer the call to be Christ’s ambassador- be it in congregational leadership roles, or leading throughout the Synod.

This year’s spring course focuses on The Old Testament, introducing the history, culture, and geography of the people and lands of the Old Testament. From this course, the participants will learn about the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament as they follow the story of Ancient Israel from the time of Abraham to the return from the exile.


The Rev. David K. Delaney is the speaker for this ACTS course. He serves as Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries in the Virginia Synod. Pastor Delaney was ordained in 1983 and served congregations in Yorktown and Roanoke. Pastor Delaney received his undergraduate degree in 1979 from Wittenberg University, which included a double major in Religion and Psychology and additional study in the Brandeis University Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. Following college, he attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and later attended the University of Virginia, receiving his Ph.D. in 1996 with a concentration in the interpretation of the scriptures in Classical Christianity and Judaism from UVA’s Religious Studies Department.


Pastor Delaney provided participants a broad view of the history of Ancient Israel, and how their scriptures came to be, examining major geographical cultural, and historical information for the region. The course kicked off with a survey of the settings and major events that provide the backdrop for the Old Testament. In considering Israel’s life, ACTS participants learned not only what these words meant to God’s people at the time they were recorded, but also what they can mean to them today as we continue to proclaim God’s blessings.
For this course, ACTS attendees are reading from the Third Edition of Introducing the Old Testament, by John Drane. Drane’s survey textbook provides an engaging general introduction to the persons, events, and cultural context of the Old Testament. Arranged historically, Drane’s text takes readers through the books of the Old Testament with numerous special articles spelling out in greater detail both historical and interpretative controversies. Additional coverage centers on the meaning and implications of the covenantal relationship between God and the Jewish people.


In its fifteenth year, ACTS is continuing to enrich and equip the people of God for intentional service as ambassadors, with new and returning students benefiting from the courses provided, “It’s always a learning experience, the multiple perspectives you hear help you grow in your lifetime attempt to read biblically,” explained ACTS participant Eugene McClurken of St. Mark, Charlottesville, “From hearing so many great speakers, ACTS has become a primary resource for me.”
Visit to learn more about the ACTS program.
By | 2017-07-28T09:37:11+00:00 March 16th, 2017|News|Comments Off on ACTS: Introduction of the Old Testament

About the Author:

Emily Pilat is the Director of Communications for the Virginia Synod. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she earned her BA in in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Digital Studies.If you have an announcement, upcoming event, or news story idea you would like to share, get in touch with Emily via email [email protected] or by phone (540) 389-1000