Year D (Timothy Matthew Slemmons)

Year D

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

A few years ago I devised a plan for writing lectionary-based devotions.  I called it Plan A, for I knew that I would revise it.  I have, in fact, moved along to Plan C, which entails not taking church year 2016-2017 off but writing based on Year D:  A Quadrennial Supplement to the Revised Common Lectionary (2012), by the Reverend Doctor Timothy Matthew Slemmons, instead.  My plan for church year 2017-2018 is Beyond the Lectionary:  A Year of Alternatives to the Revised Common Lectionary (2013), which David Ackerman, a minister in the United Church of Christ, developed parallel to Year D and unaware of the existence of the Slemmons project for years.

The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) consists of scriptural readings for three years–A, B, and C.  That is a vast improvement over one-year and two-year lectionaries, such as many I can find easily in old hymnals and books of worship I have collected for years.  The three-year plan of the RCL, the successor to the Common Lectionary (1983), also with three years, enables congregations and denominations that follow it to read, hear, and study more texts than those who follow a one-year of two-year lectionary or no lectionary at all.  Furthermore, the ecumenical nature of the RCL is wonderful, creating opportunities for pastors of various denominations to gather in their communities, study the readings together, and engage in fellowship.

To state that the RCL has many merits does not, however, require one to pretend that it is perfect.  Indeed, we human beings are inherently imperfect, so our creations will not be perfect either.  Although operating on a three-year cycle enables one to include more texts than shorter lectionaries do, one can still identify texts that did not “make the cut” for purposes of time.  For this and other reasons moving beyond the RCL without abandoning it has become a favored approach among some homilists.  David Ackerman, author of Beyond the Lectionary (2013) worked on that project for years before learning of the existence of Slemmons’s Year D, which comes with its own website.  Ackerman wrote a favorable review of Year D (2012) at amazon.com.  He concluded:

Hopefully, our shared cause of lectionary expansion will prove to be something that will have a genuinely positive effect on the field of practical theology for years to come.

Beyond the Lectionary

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

The Reverend Doctor Slemmons, a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Worship at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary , Dubuque, Iowa.  He has written other books, including four volumes of Reformed liturgical resources for the three years of the Revised Common Lectionary and one for his Year D.  The best way to understand his methodology and rationale in Year D is to read that book, for he has made his case better than I can summarize it.

My purpose is to use Year D as a basis for blogging, not preaching.  I have keyed my Bible study to lectionaries  and converted the entire process into a blogging project.  This has provided the necessary discipline to keep my Bible study going consistently for years.  Furthermore, I have learned that I internalize the readings more when I write drafts of posts in longhand then create the posts.  Adding Ackerman’s Beyond the Lectionary to mix for the second year creates a temporal window in which I can continue this blogging project, but at a slower pace, for two years.  Mostly these books assign readings for Sundays, with a few weekdays along the way.  I am near the end of writing based on the six-day daily lectionary attached to the RCL, as found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), the service book-hymnal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).  I am ready to slow down the pace and spend more time on other blogging projects, such as new and replacement posts about saints at SUNDRY THOUGHTS and a posts in a variety of planned series at BLOGA THEOLOGICA.  I spend time focusing on one blogging project then put it on hold while I work on another one; that is how I write at my weblogs.  I hear the proverbial call of the saints and of studies of liturgies, and I long to answer them in the not-so-distant future, but without abandoning my disciplined study of scripture.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 25, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS SELNECKER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDHELM OF SHERBORNE, POET, LITERARY SCHOLAR, ABBOT OF MALMESBURY, AND BISHOP OF SHERBORNE

THE FEAST OF SAINT MADELEINE SOPHIE BARAT, MOTHER SUPERIOR OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART

THE FEAST OF THE VENERABLE BEDE OF JARROW, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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Posted May 25, 2016 by neatnik2009

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