Episcopal Church Debates Whether to Make God Gender-Neutral in Book of Common Prayer

As the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church kicks off in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, church officials are set to consider competing resolutions on whether their Book of Common Prayer, last revised in 1979, needs to be revised to send a strong message that God does not have a gender.
Officials are also expected to consider updates to reflect same-sex marriage and the adoption of new gender identities.
The Rev. Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Texas who is on a committee recommending updates to the 1979 text used in every Episcopal congregation, told The Washington Post that changing the text to reflect God as genderless would support women's equality.
"As long as 'men' and 'God' are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won't matter in some ways," Gafney said.
Although the Episcopal Church doesn't allow preachers to fiddle with the text of the book outside the formal process, Gafney admits that sometimes she replaces masculine words like "King" to more gender-neutral terms like "Ruler."
A wholesale revision of the book would take several years and would not be reflected in the book until 2030.
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