I am a parish minister currently serving the Eliot Church of Natick MA. Eliot Church is a Community Church affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Any statements made and postions held in "Unity," however, are solely mine(of course, they may be used with appropriate atribution). Therefore if you disagree, please do not blame the church!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Accidental Clericalism on Scott's Blog

Scott Wells, over at Boy in the Bands, has an interesting discussion going on about the use of non-scriptural readings in church. I think this is an interesting quandry and one worth exploring not just for "regular" UUs but also for those of us who attend liberal Christian churches (be they UUA, UCC, UUA/UCC, or "other").

I posted a response on Scott's page. In essence, I wrote that when I use a non-scriptural reading, I do not expect it to carry the same wieght as the scriptural reading. The first in our four readings is always from the Hebrew Bible and the last is always from Christian Scripture. In the middle I put readings that I hope will serve as a counterpoint or a complement to them. As I said on Scott's page, I hope that they exist in conversation with the scriptural texts.

I have talked about this from the pulpit in the past, but it may be time to do so again. Scott points out that using these readings often misrepresents them as scripture and, while I do believe that in a Christian context (Eliot Church is, most UU churches are not) the primacy of the Bible should be obvious (and not only because of the big Bible on the lecturn), the issue may require the occasional examination and reflection.

Finally, there is a question I have been meaning to ask: How many preachers in the UUA use the lectionary from time to time? I do occasionally and, during Advent and Lent, often find that I am using it accidentally...