Virginia house subcommittee passes transgender athletes bill
A controversial bill that would require transgender athletes to compete on sports teams aligning with their biological gender passed its first hurdle in the Virginia General assembly on Monday Jan. 30, 2023.
The Church of England is considering referring to God in “non-gendered” terms during services, the Telegraph reported.
Breaking with centuries of tradition, bishops have announced they are launching a major “project on gendered language” this spring.
It may suggest that priests stop using the male pronouns “He” and “Him” when referring to God in some prayers, or even that they can drop the famous phrase “our Father” from the start of the Lord’s Prayer.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, stand during the Maundy service conducted by the Bishop of Worcester Dr. John Inge at Christ Church Cathedral on March 28, 2013, in Oxford, England. (WPA Pool / Pool via Getty Images)
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The Reverend Joanna Stobart, a vicar in the diocese of Guildford, Surrey, said that some clergy want to refer to God without saying He or Him, particularly in prayers of forgiveness for sins, according to the report.
Stobart wrote, “Please could the Liturgical Commission provide an update on the steps being taken to develop more inclusive language in our authorized liturgy and to provide more options for those who wish to use authorized liturgy and speak of God in a non-gendered way, particularly in authorized absolutions where many of the prayers offered for use refer to God using male pronouns?”
Hosam Naoum, a Palestinian Anglican bishop, pauses where vandals desecrated more than 30 graves at a historic Protestant Cemetery on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. Israel’s foreign ministry called the attack an “immoral act” and “an affront to religion.” Police officers were sent to investigate the profanation. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
In response, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Rev Michael Ipgrave, said: “We have been exploring the use of gendered language in relation to God for several years, in collaboration with the Faith and Order Commission.”
The proposal was welcomed by a group that campaigns for “gender justice” in the Church of England.
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Women and the Church (WATCH), a group that campaigns for “gender justice” in the CoE, said “WATCH welcomes the start of another project in the Church of England to look at the development of more inclusive language in our authorized liturgy.”
Bishop of Derby Right Rev. Libby Lane, second right, sings at a service of celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Church of England, at Lambeth Palace, London. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
However some traditionalists say this goes too far and will fear that the proposed introduction of gender-neutral language is another example of the church attempting to boost dwindling congregations as young people increasingly stay away.
This announcement comes ahead of a critical vote by the Synod later this week on the introduction of blessing services for gay couples.
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