Episcopal Church considers making God gender neutral

The Episcopal Church formed a committee Wednesday to “provide a pathway” toward revising the Book of Common Prayer to include gender-neutral language.

Church leaders called for immediate revisions to correct the “overwhelming use of masculine language” throughout the book, arguing that the language is now a hindrance to spiritual inclusion, according to the Episcopal Church website.

“As long as ‘men’ and ‘God’ are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won’t matter in some ways,” Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible and strong advocate for the edit, told the Washington Post

The Episcopal News Service shared further concerns from church leaders that the current language has created a “barrier to evangelizing young people.”  

Kathleen Moore, a seminarian from the Diocese of Vermont, said she tries to help the youth see that gendered language gets in the way of faith in God.

“Let’s let God be God,” Moore told the religious news agency.

A subcommittee was tasked with providing resolutions as part of a 12-year revision process, followed by a three-year “trial” period.

Because revision of the prayer book is part of the church’s constitution, “adoption of a new book requires votes in two consecutive General Conventions to take effect, placing final approval on the agenda in 2030,” according to the church.