The Episcopal Church will consider whether to add gender-neutral language regarding God to its Book of Common Prayer at its 79th General Convention in Austin, Texas, which starts Thursday.
The debate is centered on making sure that the faith’s prayer book is clear that God, the supreme being, is genderless. The proposed changes will be considered at the eight-day convention, the Washington Post reported.
The church has always addressed God through the use of masculine terms such as Him, Father, and King, among others.
In the New Testament, Jesus taught his disciples to pray using male pronouns.
“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth,” Jesus said in Luke 11:2.
One resolution asks for a complete overhaul of the Book of Common Prayer. The most common reason for the changes is gender-neutral language, according to the Post.
Others want to add language that includes a Christian’s duty to conserve the Earth; a ceremony to celebrate the adoption of a transgender person’s new name; same-sex marriage ceremonies since the church has been performing such weddings for years; and updating the calendar of saints to include important figures named as saints since 1979, the Post reported.