New Hope United Methodist Church (UMC) is a Lectionary based church.
Just what is a Lectionary church? According to the United Methodist Book of Worship, the Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year
cycle of readings for every week in the Christian year that is a “tool for voluntary use in planning and leading worship.” Over
the three-year period, about 80 percent of the Bible is covered. Year A begins on the first Sunday of Advent in 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, etc.
Year B begins on the first Sunday of Advent in 2011, 2014, 2017, 2020, etc. Year C begins on the first Sunday of Advent in 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, etc.
Each Sunday’s readings typically include one passage each from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Epistles and Gospels, and the
readings follow the outline of the Christian year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. At New Hope United Methodist Church we usually use the
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.
The Revised Common Lectionary was created in 1992 and is used by many Protestant denominations around the world, including the Episcopal,
Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United Methodist churches. That’s one of its
advantages. When parishioners read the lectionary text, they are reading the same text as many others in Protestant churches throughout the
English-speaking world and beyond.
Adopting the Common Lectionary at New Hope UMC has shaped the form and content of worship. Hymns,
prayers, anthems, and sermons all take on a unity that is centered on the readings for the day. The Lectionary provides a balance in
preaching and worship, ensuring that the major themes of the Christian faith are addressed each year. The Lectionary offers a universal
dimension to each week’s worship since so many traditions use the same scriptures. Even Bible study materials have been developed
using the Lectionary format.
As our Pastor said, “What a wonderful way to bring the scriptures a bit closer to our hearts…read the weekly lections prior to coming to church on