What’s in a name? Episcopalians move to change their words for God

Source: Religion News Service

By Eileen Flynn

AUSTIN, Texas (RNS) — For some watching (and blogging and tweeting) the debate on the floor of the Episcopal Church’s triennial General Convention this week, it sounded as if someone were trying to give God a sex change.

Bishops, priests and lay delegates, who have been meeting in Austin since July 5, are discussing legislation that would make changes to the Book of Common Prayer aimed at stripping away some of the masculine descriptions of God in favor of more “expansive” language.


During the hours of debate over the weekend, delegates butted heads over tradition, theology and what it means to be welcoming. One argued that children of all genders should hear language that allows them to feel made in God’s image. Another speaker, a delegate from an urban parish that serves poor families, said the masculine nature of God is crucial for children growing up without a father. 

“Both sides are worried about alienating the people we’ve got and not being welcoming to the people we don’t have,” said the Rev. Cathy Tyndall Boyd, rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, Va.

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