Language is a powerful tool that can communicate our faith and shape our understanding, values and attitudes toward God and each other. As we worship together and engage each other in service and ministry, we are encouraged to use language that is sensitive to gender, race, class, physical and other differences. As a Reconciling in Christ congregation, we are always seeking to learn and to use language that includes all people and affirms their wholeness as God’s people.
At St. Mark, we recognize the vast treasure of Bible passages and imagery that we can use to describe God. We want to be intentional in our use of langue so that we don’t limit God to only one gender or one image. We use traditional images such as the trinitatrian formula of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We also use gender-neutral images when it is possible and highlight many biblical images that reflect on the variety of ways God is described in the Scripture.
Reducing God to one gender, one image, is theologically unsound and is damaging to those who might wonder if they are truly loved by God. Through language that is biblical, loving, and respectful, we challenge ourselves to be just and faithful.
We recognize that it is a challenge to use inclusive language because it forces us to move beyond what is comfortable and what is familiar in words and images. It is our hope that taking on the challenge to use inclusive language will transform our church and our community to be more loving toward God and each other.
Language is constantly changing just as our understanding of God’s creation and who we are changes. Studying both biblical and world history reveals that our living God is actively guiding us and leading us to grow in Christ.