I am very excited to announce that beginning August 6, 2017, we will begin building our teaching ministry at Ocoee Oaks around the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). I also want to share that I have a hidden talent that you are not aware of: I can read minds. Right now you're thinking, “What is the Revised Common Lectionary?” I'm right, huh?
The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is a guide for churches that leads a congregation through all the major themes of the Bible in a three-year cycle. It has been adopted widely by many churches in many denominations, including the United Methodist Church, as a means of exposing congregants to the widest breadth of Scripture in a systematic way. If you would like more information about the RCL, click here. This is a great source for information about the RCL.
To link to the Revised Common Lectionary, click here. By saving this webpage in your browser’s bookmarks, you will be able to go directly to the Sunday readings for each week. By using the navigation bar on the left of the linked page, you can find the lectionary readings for as long as three years into the future (currently until Advent 2019).
How will we be using the RCL at Ocoee Oaks?
First, my sermons on Sunday will be based primarily on the Gospel readings for each week. I may draw from another reading, but I will let everyone know in advance if I choose to focus on another passage. Some of the readings may be used as responsive readings or read at other times during a service of worship. Beginning the first Sunday in August, we will begin in Matthew 14 and continue in the Gospel of Matthew until the end of the church year. Advent begins Sunday, December 3, 2017 and marks the beginning of the new church year and we move to the Gospel of Mark for Advent.
Second, we will be using the RCL Daily Readings developed by the same group that developed the RCL as our church-wide Bible reading plan. What I really like about the reading plan is that the readings for Monday through Wednesday look back to the previous Sunday’s sermon and can be used to reflect more deeply on the weekly theme. The readings for Thursday through Saturday look forward to the theme that will be introduced in the sermon on following Sunday.
Third, on Wednesday nights, we will go a little deeper into the theme for the week that I developed in my sermon on Sunday. We will use the secondary texts to take a deeper dive into the Word of God. We will also draw from the Daily Readings to aid our understanding and deepen our discussion.
How can I receive the Daily Readings?
There are three ways to receive the Daily Readings:
1. The easiest way to stay up-to-date with the Scriptures we are using for Sunday and throughout the week is by embedding the schedule in your calendar if you use Outlook, Google, etc. To get the link click here. Copy and paste the second link into your calendar application, and you should be good to go. Directions specific to your calendar application can be found below links to the calendars. There are two methods to import the lectionary into your calendar; I suggest using the subscription method, but read the instructions to make the choice that's right for you.
2. Go to the RCL Website: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=A. This link will change at the beginning of Advent (December 3, 2017) as we move to Year B of the cycle.
3. We will have hard copies in the Church Office. Or we can email you the PDF file to print at home.
4. Finally, all this information will be linked on the church website by clicking here.
How can I receive the Weekly Lections?
There are also several ways to receive the weekly lections (Scriptures for the Sunday sermon):
1. If you embedded the daily readings in your calendar, the weekly readings for Sunday are already in your calendar. Voila! You’re done.
2. You can go to the RCL website by clicking here. Bookmark the page in your browser.
3. The lection (Scripture passages) for the upcoming Sunday will be in the bulletin and in the weekly newsletter.
4. Hard copies will be available in the church office as well as in PDF form for home printing.
I hope that you will appreciate how tightly knit this approach to the use of Scripture in our church will be. Everything is woven together and the depth and breadth of our exposure to Scripture over time will be increased exponentially. I am excited about all the possibilities this approach to Scripture offers. I am especially excited about the conversations that will develop as a result of our shared journey through Scripture together.