A theology inclusive in gender and race brings liberation and justice when we apply it in our worship services. To contribute to a new egalitarian church and society, we need to go beyond biblical explanation to ritual experience in community. Rituals touch the heart and soul. When our worship includes female and male divine names and images of diverse races, we experience a change of heart. Our actions also change as these liberating rituals change us at the deepest level.
We can begin by teaching church members the wide variety of biblical divine images and the importance of inclusive God-language. During this learning period, we can avoid gender specific references to Deity entirely. In our preaching and prayers and songs, we can use non-gender specific biblical names like “Creator,” “Rock,” “Light,” “Holy One,” “Friend,” “Sustainer,” “Redeemer,” “Comforter,” “Refuge and Strength,” “Counselor.” We can move on to balancing female and male biblical names, such as “Mother” and “Father.” As worship often brings the three persons of the Trinity together, we can bring the genders of Deity together: for example, “Father and Mother”; “Christ and Sophia.” As we often separate the three persons of the Trinity, we can separate female and male references to Deity. Since female pronouns for the Divine are upsetting to many people because they are unfamiliar, a good place to begin is in the context of biblical female divine images. For example, in a sermon on the comparison of God to a Mother Eagle in Deuteronomy 32:11-12, we can say, “Like a Mother Eagle, God tenderly and lovingly guides Her children toward maturity. God encourages us to grow and mature, but She remains close by to nurture us when we are weak.” Through hymns, litanies, prayers, and sermons in our worship services that balance female and male references to Deity and images of diverse races, we contribute to a world where there is true liberty, equity, and justice for everyone.
- Hersay: Songs for Healing and Empowerment
- Inclusive Songs for Resistance & Social Action
- Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship
- She Lives! Sophia Wisdom Works in the World
- Changing Church: Stories of Liberating Ministers
- Inclusive Hymns for Liberation, Peace, and Justice
- Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians
- Praying with Christ-Sophia: Services for Healing and Renewal
- In Search of the Christ-Sophia: An Inclusive Christology for Liberating Christians
- In Whose Image? God and Gender
- Imagine God! A Children’s Musical Exploring and Expressing Images of God
- Seeking Wisdom: Inclusive Blessings and Prayers for Public Occasions