Inclusive Language with Reference to the People of God

“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 NRSV

“We believe that the imagery conveyed by language and language itself is important and that they articulate and influence our understandings of what is revealed to us about the nature and activity of God and the dignity of all God’s people as created in the image of God.”
UCC Inclusive Language Covenant

Words That Exclude:Words That Include:
brothers, brotherhood
(in the faith)
Children of God, siblings, friends, kindred, family of faith, neighbors, humankind
man, men, mankindpeople, all people, humanity, persons, everyone, all of us, we, one
sons (of God)Children of God, people of God, God’s people, heirs
chairmanchairperson, chair, moderator, group leader, presiding officer
forefathersancestors, forebears, forebearers
disabled personperson with a disability, wheelchair-user, person using a wheelchair (for a helpful guide, see How to Write about People with Disabilities, 9th Edition)
clergymanclergy, minister
laymanlaity, layperson, member of the congregation, congregant
fellowshipcommunity, communion, friendship, “koinonia”
man-madeconstructed, not natural, human-made, synthetic
stand as ableif you are able to do so comfortably, please stand; rise in body or spirit
minority peopleracial ethnic people, people of color, BIPOC, non-white people, non-dominant culture
foreigner, alienvisitor from another country, immigrant, migrant, undocumented worker (not illegal alien)
man and wifehusband and wife, woman and man, spouses, partners
kingdomrealm, reign of God, Kin-dom
third worlddeveloping nations, two-thirds world
washed white, white lieswashed clean, lies, (the phrase white-washed is often used to refer to a colonizing process of removing the experiences of people of color and/or non-dominant perspectives to center the perspective of whiteness)
blacklisteddiscriminated against, excluded
darkness of evilpresence of evil

Inclusive Translations of Scripture

  • The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995
  • Inclusive Language Lectionary, Years A (1983), B (1984), C (1985), New York: National Council of Churches
  • Inclusive Language Psalms, Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 1987
  • The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation, Priests for Equality, 2007