Expansive Language

When we think of justice-making, we usually think of taking action – like joining the Justice and Peace Action Network  and sending messages to elected officials about legislation.  Or marching for peace and human rights.  Or organizing in our communities to make life better, safer, and more just.

We don’t often think about the words we use – but we should.  The United Church of Christ has a long history of promoting awareness about gender-inclusive language and official policy for our publications.  Read the witness of General Synod which started in 1973.

The words we use reflect the world we live in – and words can also shape that same world, for better or for worse.  Whether we are talking about God or each other, words can limit or expand our abilities to include or exclude others.  Here is a link to some excellent resources on language as background, including an Inclusive Language Covenant local congregations could consider and examples of policies adopted by some UCC Conferences.  Additional study materials are also available.

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Lois M. Powell
Executive Associate to the General Minister and President
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
216-736-2113
powelll@ucc.org