The Book of Acts in Easter Worship

January 5–10, 2020

Book of acts wide

With the leadership of Martin Tel, the C. F. Seabrook Director of Music, and Eric D. Barreto, the Frederick and Margaret L. Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament, participants will consider how key passages from Acts can shape a series of worship services from Easter to Pentecost. The group will explore how these passages touch on key public issues such as immigration, racial justice, and the environment, with attention given to Latinx theological perspectives and bilingual worship resources.

Depart having outlined a sermon series based on Acts for the Easter season, including bilingual (Spanish/English) selections for congregational singing. Learning will take place in the classroom, church, city, and the beautiful nearby mountains.

The course is offered in partnership with the Fran Park Center for Faith and Life, a program of Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona.

What You'll Learn

Teaching Sessions with Eric Barreto

Enjoy daily class time with Dr. Eric Barreto exploring the Book of Acts in Easter Worship. Class sessions take place in the mornings of January 6, 7, and 10 and in the afternoon, or evenings on January 8 and 9.

The Book of Acts is often associated with worship in the season of Easter, particularly in lectionary traditions. Barreto’s teaching sessions will consider how key passages from Acts can shape a series of worship services from Easter to Pentecost that touch on key public issues, such as immigration, racial justice, and environmental issues. Particular attention will be given to Latinx theology perspectives and bilingual worship resources. Dr. Martin Tel and Dr. Maria Cornou will share in the teaching. Participants will outline a sermon series based on Acts for the Easter season, including bilingual (Spanish/English) selections for congregational singing.

Congregation-based Theological Education
Travel to Pinnacle Presbyterian Church for a conversation about congregation-based theological education. At 25 years, Pinnacle Presbyterian has built ministry around doing traditional church programming in innovative ways. Five buildings on 20 acres, including a sanctuary designed to integrate themes indigenous to the Southwest, are a case in point. Their Fran Park Center for Faith and Life is another, developing a national model for congregation-based theological education. On Monday afternoon, January 6, we will explore these themes in a tour and conversation with Rev. Dr. Wes Avram, pastor of Pinnacle Presbyterian Church.

Mexican Baroque Organ Concert
Pinnacle Presbyterian Church (PPC) invites us to experience their internationally recognized Richards, Fowkes & Co. pipe organ. We ask, how can a pipe organ build bridges, bond cultures, and open a dialogue around the topic of cross-cultural relationships? PPC’s organist, Illona Kubiaczyk-Adler, will present a concert of Mexican composers from the Baroque to the present and offer a discussion in the evening on Monday, January 6.

Meeting the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Today
Join with Seminary students as Dr. Wes Avram, pastor of Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, leads a conversation about the challenges of congregational ministry in our time, holding traditional visions with a nontraditional spirit. Monday evening, January 6.

Sing for Life
Learn about Sing for Life at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church. Sing for Life is a newly formed chorus for individuals suffering with early-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia. Singers are accompanied by a care partner for a two-hour gathering that includes fellowship and singing. Studies show that the results are life-changing for both parties as music is not forgotten for those with the disease. Students and attendees will observe the rehearsal and engage in fellowship with singers and their partners in the morning on Thursday, January 9.


Conversation on Religion and Immigration in Arizona
Take part in an excursion to Arizona State University for a conversation about religion and immigration, led by Dr. Jason Bruner, associate professor of religious studies in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. Participants will have dinner on their own in Phoenix. The conversation is planned for Tuesday afternoon, January 7.

Reflection and Hike
Dr. Michael Hegeman, associate director of the Fran Park Center, will lead a group on a hike in the beautiful Phoenix mountains, tackling Piestewa Peak. This time will be spent reflecting on the historic place of Native Americans in this region, current immigration concerns, and our call as Christians to address these matters. Participants will hike at their own pace and cover the full hike or only a portion. Finding a shaded spot to read and rest is an option as well. The hike is set for Wednesday morning, January 8.

Course Instructors

Eric Barreto

Eric Barreto is the Frederick and Margaret L. Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. As a Baptist minister, Barreto has pursued scholarship for the sake of the Church, and regularly writes for and teaches in faith communities around the country. He has also been a leader in the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium and is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion. Barreto has also authored several books meant to bridge the church and the academy, such as Thinking Theologically (Foundations for Learning).

Martin Tel

Martin Tel is the C.F. Seabrook Director of Music at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned an MMus from the University of Notre Dame, an MA from Calvin Theological Seminary, and a DMA from the University of Kansas. Tel is interested in congregational singing and the Psalter. His courses cover musical resources for the congregation, the Psalms in worship, and collaborative worship planning. His publications include Santo, Santo, Santo: Cantos para el pueblo de Dios / Holy, Holy, Holy: Songs for the People of God (GIA, 2019), contributing editor; Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs (Faith Alive, 2013), contributing editor; and Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (CICW/Faith Alive/Brazos Press, 2012), senior editor.

Choir SEO 2

The Princeton Seminary Touring Choir is a microcosm of the Seminary. Our membership represents the various degree programs and the many cultures and church traditions which thrive at the Seminary. Choristers come from all over the United States. We also have international students from Hong Kong, Korea, and Scotland. This year, members of the touring choir are also enrolled in an academic course, The Book of Acts in Easter Worship. While we will be leading in services of worship in Arizona, we look forward to also learning alongside practicing pastors, preachers, and church musicians.

Supporting Leadership

David Allen

Wesley Avram

Jason Bruner

Eddie C. Calderon

María E. Cornou

Michael Hegman

Allen Hilton

Ilona K.Adler

Eric O. Ledermann

Kelly McGinn

Dayle G. Rounds

Leah M. Sarat

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church, Crystal City, Missouri

Joshua Noah, Class of 2015

“Through my field education placement at Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey, I discovered my gift to minister to all age groups.”