A group of female priests within the Church of England is calling for more gender-neutral language to be used when referring to God in church services, in what it says is a campaign for equality between men and women in the church.
"Orthodox theology says all human beings are made in the image of God, that God does not have a gender. He encompasses gender — He is both male and female and beyond male and female. So when we only speak of God in the male form, that's actually giving us a deficient understanding of who God is," said Rev. Jody Stowell, a member of Women and the Church group, according to The Guardian.
The Rev. Emma Percy, chaplain of Trinity College Oxford and a member of WATCH, added that both male and female language should be used in church services, in order to distance the church from "the notion that God is some kind of old man in the sky." more >>
A vicar in the Church of England has proposed a motion that would allow for a liturgical celebration of an individual's identity following gender transition, much like a baptism, and would include a renaming ceremony.
The Rev. Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, recently proposed the motion for the church's General Synod to consider.
"That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition," reads the motion. more >>
The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev. Justin Welby said that the worst "poison pen letters" he receives are from other Christians. The leader of the Anglican Communion said that Christian groups are failing to show tolerance to one another, and said that religious leaders should look to confront the "profound differences" between faiths.
"The worst poison pen letters I get are from other Christian groups on the whole," Welby revealed during his address to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Independent reported on Sunday.
"The reality is that we do not as faith groups in our society always exhibit that secure tolerance to each other that enables us to speak powerfully of secure tolerance to the world around us. Christians are as bad as anyone at this – in fact, if I dare to be competitive, I think we're worse." more >>
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has warned that pretending that all faiths are the same or united is "dishonest," and may be helping to fuel religious extremism.
Welby, who leads the Anglican Communion, said that some faith leaders hide behind "bland" and "anaemic" statements about unity and ignore the fact that there are "profound differences" between faiths, according to The Telegraph.
Welby, who was speaking before the Board of Deputies of British Jews in London, told Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders that the rise of persecution and religious violence around the world, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, is a "generational" threat that needs to be tackled with an "alternate vision." more >>
An Episcopal bishop charged with committing the felony crime of a fatal hit-and-run while intoxicated has resigned from her ecclesiastical position.
Church officials announced Friday that Heather E. Cook resigned as bishop suffragan for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.
"The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland today announced the acceptance of the resignation of Heather E. Cook as bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland," read the statement. more >>
A diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church in 2012 over theological and personal differences might join a prominent conservative Anglican group.
Representatives for the Diocese of South Carolina and the Anglican Church in North America met Tuesday and Wednesday about the possible affiliation.
Held at the St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center in South Carolina, the meeting was overseen by South Carolina Diocese Bishop Mark Lawrence and ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach. more >>