This past Saturday kicked off the beginning of the 2018 Spring ACTS (The Ambassadors Community for Theological Study) course in Waynesboro, Wytheville, and Yorktown. 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.
This year’s spring course, “To Speak in Parables: Proclamation of the Gospel in the Parables of Jesus”, focuses on the New Testament. Participants in this spring’s sessions are studying the content and development of the New Testament. The Gospels provide the foundation for the church and by the end of this course, the participant will have an increased knowledge of the New Testament and how it sets us free to share our God-given gifts.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Vitalis Hoffman is the speaker for this ACTS Course. He serves as Glatfelter Professor of Biblical Studies at the United Lutheran Seminary (Gettysburg / Philadelphia). He received his Master of Divinity degree from Luther (Northwestern) Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1983 and his Ph.D. degree in New Testament from Yale University in 1996 where his dissertation topic was, “Psalm 22 and the Crucifixion of Jesus.” Ordained as an ELCA pastor in 1988, he and his wife Kathy have served congregations in Minnesota and North Dakota. He has taught at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and numerous Bible camps and synodical gatherings, led the GIFTS program of lay education in Eastern ND, provided study resources for Augsburg Fortress, and offered online learning opportunities presented at his own CrossMarks.com and through the seminary.
The Rev. Dr. Vitalis Hoffman provided participants an educational and humorous view of the parables of Jesus, including noteworthy parables such as the parable of the Mustard Seed, the Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, and more! In examining these familiar parables, the ACTS participants were asked to reevaluate what they had previously thought they understood, discovering new or untapped meaning in the process.