Skip to main content

Language

I picked up a book, The Incredible Woman: Listening to Women's Silences in Pastoral Care and Counseling, to add to my CPE bibliography (that and our final is due on May 9) and get all the required number of pages read.  I've just read the first chapters which have a lot to do with language for God. The thing that kills me is that despite the book being published in 1996, this issue--language for God--is still a major issue in most churches.  I know it's huge in my churches--if I were to use Mother God, Holy Mother, or heaven forbid, Goddess, I'd probably get kicked out of my pulpit.  Seriously!
I try to use non-gendered language for God because I believe it is faithful to a bigger image of God, it is faithful to the reality of God.  In the first few months of being here I had a conversation with someone about this.  The person pleaded with me not to repeat his thought that perhaps, just perhaps, the Holy Spirit was feminine.  He was ashamed to even think such a thing!  I went on to ask him if he seriously thought it was important that God had a penis.  His response was yes!  I was blown away.  A bit later during a women's Bible study, I breached the subject of  God language again.  Once more I was surprised by the resistance.  Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised but I was. 

As I continued to read and my frustration mounted that this is still a tremendous issue I was also frustrated by myself.  In three years, I've broached the subject twice.  That's it.  No wonder the issue hasn't changed...if I'm not willing to risk educating the people in my churches, then how can I expect anyone else to do so in theirs? 

Our newsletter is due out tomorrow...so do I make God language the focus of my pastoral letter?   i wish I could just whole heartedly jump in and say yes.  But our little corner of the world is the most conservative place I've ever lived.  The newsletter is there in black and white.  I'm not sure it would be the best way to go about it.  There's no (or little) opportunity for  feedback and questions.  I do believe that this is best done when in a relational kind of class,study, conversation.  So there, I just talked myself out of the newsletter but I'm not letting myself off the hook.  Mother's Day is just around the corner and that is a perfect opportunity to bring it up.

What do you do in your setting?

PS...I'm thrilled to watch Christina Aquilera on The Voice!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sermon on Luke 24: 44-56

This morning I have the honor of preaching at my Mentor's church while she take a well earned break.  I'd be lying if I wasn't nervous. Thankfully, I live with an amazing editor so that helps.

I'm using the first story from Peter Rollin's The Ortodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales as an illustration. It didn't seem right to type it into my sermon. The stripped down version is that a man is put on trial for being a Christian. He has all the Christian trappings: regularly attends church, prays, reads scriptures and inspirational devotions, he even writes his own! Yet, he is free to go because there is no evidence that he is living as Christ and the Disciples did, he poses no threat to the status quo. I highly recommend the book. It's filled with wonderful and challenging tales, Rollins' uses the book to state that the scriptures and all our religiosity have no meaning unless we put those words and beliefs into action.

Update:  I left the book at home!!…

Cancer blues

Most days I feel really positive and good.  Today is not one of those days. Today is one of those days in which I've been thinking about having my lymph nodes removed and the risk of lymphodema in my legs. Dr. Gyn/Onc seemed more worried about this side effect than the actual cancer.  I don't want to go there but sometimes those images of log tree legs, remembering the pain from the swelling in my legs when I was pregnant, and imagining the drains being stuck in my body for a week or more, well it makes my skin crawl.

I know there will be good days and bad days. I try to keep the bad days from my family and friends. I know they are stressed too.

I feel like we are one of those families in which something is always going on and people start to pull away wondering WTF is wrong with them!

I'm used to being the care taker, not the one receiving care.

I have to find a new normal and that won't happen until after the surgery.  So I need an interim normal for the time being.

Cancer and unicorns

I wish I could remember where I found this prayer, it gives me strength and courage. 

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me know beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant me that I may not be a coward,
feeling your mercy in my success alone;
but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

Written by Rabindranath Tagore

It turns out I have actual cancer.  In the tiniest of ways I am concerned but overall I am very positive about kicking some cancer ass. I think it has helped going through the precancerous stuff and emotions. I now know that I can get through the surgery. I know what I face and that I am surrounded by people who love and care for me and will help me through this.

A few months ago I had a "unicorn party" for my staff because things had been rough in the office and most folks had persona…