Consultation on Common Texts (CCT) votes to establish a working group on Anti-Semitism and the Lectionary

August 14, 2023 9:15 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), gathering for its 2023 meeting on May 1st and 2nd, voted to establish a working group on Anti-Semitism and the Lectionary.  The working group, which is expected to bring an interim report to the 2024 meeting of the CCT, will investigate three possible courses of action: offering alternative lessons during Holy Week and certain other parts of the liturgical year, creating a statement about Jewish-Christian relations for use with the lectionary, and recommending specific translations for particular passages or words.  The decision to establish the working group was a response to requests by churches represented in the CCT.  The Episcopal Church’s General Convention, for example, adopted resolution C030 in July 2022 calling for consultation on the issue with the CCT.  The Worship Team in Christian Community and Leadership home area of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America issued a statement dated October 24, 2022 that also referred to collaboration with the CCT.

Invited guests Mark Leuchter (Temple University, Professor of Jewish Studies), Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski (Kraft Family Professor and Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College), and Stephen Cook (Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at Virginia Theological Seminary) spoke about Jewish-Christian relations and Scripture at a public May 1 forum.  In addition, the CCT welcomed  Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay (Minister for Worship and Theology, United Church of Christ) and Steven R. Harmon (Professor of Historical Theology at the Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, representing the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) to their first meeting, observed the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Common Lectionary (1983) by viewing a recently recorded interview with James Schellman (CCT secretary from 1977 to 1998), elected the Rev. Dr. William H. Petersen as CCT US representative to the international English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC), and authorized CCT chair Robert W. Prichard to sign a contract with 1517 Media for the publication of the “Revised Common Lectionary Expanded Daily Readings,” which offers three readings and a psalm for every weekday in the three-year lectionary cycle.  The previous RCL Daily Readings edition had offered only two lessons and a psalm for each day. 

The May 1-2 meeting was the first in-person meeting of the CCT since 2019.  Roughly half of the participants gathered on the campus of the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, while others participated electronically.

The Consultation on Common Texts (CCT) is an ecumenical collaboration of liturgical scholars and denominational representatives from the United States and Canada who produce liturgical texts and curate a three-year lectionary for common use by Christian churches worldwide.  The 2024 meeting is planned for April 15-16 in Toronto.

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This post was written by David Gambrell

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