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Beyond the Lectionary: A Year of Alternatives to the Revised Common Lectionary [Paperback]

David Ackerman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

28 Jun 2013
Beyond the Lectionary gives preachers a new year of Biblical texts that are not found on Sundays (or other mainline Protestant holy days) in the three-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary. It provides readings from the Hebrew Bible, Psalms, Epistles/New Testament and Gospels for each Sunday of the liturgical year, along with several midweek observances. The texts have been selected with an eye toward continuity (progressing in order) and complementarity (textual completion or harmony), and they are accompanied by commentaries and prayers. Written in language that is accessible to both lay people and professionals, Beyond the Lectionary has the potential to transform congregational culture by bringing more of the content of scripture to people's awareness.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Circle Books (28 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780998570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780998572
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,636,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Anabel C. Proffitt, Ph.D. - David Ackerman s offering of a fourth Year D to the three year cycle of lectionary texts is a gift to preachers and teachers who seek to expand their congregation s exposure and study to texts that are often ignored or even avoided in many congregations today. As one who preaches and teaches from the lectionary, I welcome this new resource for its potential to expand both my students and my congregation s awareness of often ignored biblical figures such as Rahab, Tamar, and Rehoboam, as well as allowing them to spend significant time in (often short-changed) books like Leviticus and Ecclesiastes. Ackerman s thoughtful interweaving of these texts to fit the church year will assist preachers and teachers in enriching their congregations repertoire of images of God and the multiplicity of ways the biblical account describes God s interactions with God s people.

About the Author

DAVID J. ACKERMAN serves as pastor of St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Pleasant Unity (Trauger), Pennsylvania.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book! 28 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback
I don't normally bother reading lectionary guides for preachers, preferring my own judgement, imagination, and ability to interrogate the texts for myself. But I'm immensely glad to have come across David Ackerman's Beyond the Lectionary!

There are two main reasons for my disregard for lectionary guides. Firstly, because when I do consult one for inspiration, what I read there is almost always unanimously dull and lifeless. Secondly, because the three year Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is now so familiar that there is little point re-reading the obvious.

But what Ackerman offers us here is astonishingly fresh and different.

It's always struck me as odd that we allow ourselves to be constrained in our theological and biblical explorations by the so-called "Authorized Lectionary" -compiled by some anonymous Committee of Guardians somewhere- when there's a whole load of other scriptural material that is routinely excluded. Ackerman calculates that the RCL uses only 24.9% of the available biblical texts! So, like me, he's keen to go exploring.

He steps outside the box of the RCL to offer us an additional wealth of material for a fourth year of readings. And in doing this he tempts and challenges us with a year of hitherto unused Bible readings. And what might these be, I hear you thinking? What do they teach us, I ask myself? Why are they not "usually included": we should all be wondering....?

The selection he makes is refreshing, cohesive, enlightening, and fascinating.

He is not put off by the difficulties presented by some of these scriptures: as texts for preaching, as difficult to explore theologically and as challenging to our understandings of God.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Lectionary 1 July 2013
By Chorlton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I don't normally bother reading lectionary guides for preachers, preferring my own judgement, imagination, and ability to interrogate the texts for myself. But I'm immensely glad to have come across David Ackerman's Beyond the Lectionary!

There are two main reasons for my disregard for lectionary guides. Firstly, because when I do consult one for inspiration, what I read there is almost always unanimously dull and lifeless. Secondly, because the three year Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is now so familiar that there is little point re-reading the obvious.

But what Ackerman offers us here is astonishingly fresh and different.

It's always struck me as odd that we allow ourselves to be constrained in our theological and biblical explorations by the so-called "Authorized Lectionary" -compiled by some anonymous Committee of Guardians somewhere- when there's a whole load of other scriptural material that is routinely excluded. Ackerman calculates that the RCL uses only 24.9% of the available biblical texts! So, like me, he's keen to go exploring.

He steps outside the box of the RCL to offer us an additional wealth of material for a fourth year of readings. And in doing this he tempts and challenges us with a year of hitherto unused Bible readings. And what might these be, I hear you thinking? What do they teach us, I ask myself? Why are they not "usually included": we should all be wondering....?

The selection he makes is refreshing, cohesive, enlightening, and fascinating.

He is not put off by the difficulties presented by some of these scriptures: as texts for preaching, as difficult to explore theologically and as challenging to our understandings of God.

Each set of four Sunday texts is carefully assembled for complementarity and cohesion. The comments he offers are carefully chosen: never banal, never shirking the difficulties of the text and -just as importantly- never seeking to control the outcome. He offers us a number of possible ingredients and the encouragement to be creative.

If there is a steer then it's always sensitive encouragement to take Jesus' inclusive preaching as his guide and be unafraid to look long and hard, and encouragement to expand our horizons, embrace the rich inclusivity and diversity of the church

He values good preaching and this is a courageous book for courageous preachers. There is much here to help us reclaim not only the place of preaching but improve our own practice.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Significant resource for contemporary worship 26 July 2013
By Lou - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
In his new book, Beyond the Lectionary: A Year of Alternatives to the Revised Common Lectionary, United Church of Christ minister David Ackerman, offers a fourth lectionary cycle. Drawing on the themes found currently found in the Revised Common Lectionary, the Rev. Ackerman provides an additional set of readings for use each Sunday that draws on Biblical texts not found in the Revised Common Lectionary. Ackerman's skillful selection of texts is accompanied by essays that explain the selection of texts provided, how those Biblical pericopes follow the traditional theme for that Sunday, and serve as a foundation for the development of a sermon based on the new selections. Each section concludes with a prayer for illumination that draws the reader further into the spiritual depth of the selections.

Having served as minister of a congregation in a rural setting in Western Pennsylvania for twenty years, Ackerman had used the Revised Common Lectionary as the basis of his preaching. In time, he began to see a need to explore the Christian scripture more fully within the context of worship. In time, this need resulted in the book, Beyond the Lectionary. Based on his use of the selected readings with the congregation at St. Paul's UCC in Mount Pleasant, PA, Ackerman refined the work so that the length of readings and the clarity of the context was clear.

Whether a pastor chooses to use the entire cycle found Beyond the Lectionary or select readings as different options for particular Sundays, Ackerman's work invites preachers and worship leaders to prayerfully reflect on the themes of the Christian year while expanding their familiarity with the Bible. Reflecting Ackerman's UCC background, the book is also written in an inclusive idiom, which is significant for lectionary resources today.

Having read Ackerman's book and considered the selections in the light of the three year cycle found in the Revised Common Lectionary, it is without hesitation that I recommend Beyond the Lectionary for those who preach from or study the Biblical readings appointed for use among ecumenical denominations.
5.0 out of 5 stars An alternative lectionary anyone? 3 Jan 2014
By Robert Cornwall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Many of us who are preachers rely on the Revised Common Lectionary for guidance. I have been using the lectionary the entirety of my ministry. But as helpful as it is, the RCL doesn't get you everywhere. In this book David Ackerman introduces us to an alternative fourth year of texts. In this book, David provides interpretive insights for preaching these texts, some of which take us into places we might fear to tread!

If you're a preacher, why not take a leap of faith into a new world of texts. You might find renewal there!
5.0 out of 5 stars Prompting Resource 27 Jun 2013
By South Shore X-tian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book to help pastors and preachers extend and expand their exploration of scripture! This is a wonderul resource for the church leader who wants to wander off the well-beaten path of the lectionary, while remaining in the capable hands of an exprienced guide. Rev. Ackerman thoughtfully and faithfully leads his readers through some difficult and rarely-explored passages of scripture in ways that help to illuminate some hidden textual treasures that have the power to illuminate our lives. Bravo!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Some 2 Sep 2013
By The Pastor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not what I expected. I expected something more in line with the alternative texts. I was really disappointed, but I will find use for it some day.
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