The Rev. Margaret Marquardt of St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage, Vancouver

Diocesan Synod, May 26 and 27, agreed that the diocese should be careful in its use of language and be sure that it is gender inclusive and upholds the dignity of small parishes.

The motion, proposed by the Rev. Margaret Marquardt of St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage said The Synod affirmed “the value of complementary language in all diocesan liturgical (worship) celebrations.”

It went on to say that Synod should “commend use of language that is faithful to the Christian tradition and is expansive in its imagery of God in hymns, in prayers of the people and in the Eucharistic prayer.”

It went on to say that language should be ” is attentive to gender inclusive language in scripture and is inclusive of diverse images of God in scripture where textually possible.”

In debate, Marquardt said that when diocesan committees speak of parishes they should stay away from terms like “top and bottom” in regards to a congregation’s size, financial resources and status.

Rather languge should be used “that upholds the dignity and value of every congregation of the diocese regardless of the congregation’s size, financial resources and status.”

The Rev. Roger Cooper of St. George Maple Ridge said that an inclusive diocese recognizes that different congregations use language differently. As to the description of parishes, “We must speak about the facts.”

Said the Rev. Angus Stuart of St. Francis in the Wood: “I am opposed to people telling me what language to use and not use.” Supporting the motion, the Rev. Trudy Lebans of St. Laurence, Coquitlam, said, “This is not news–this is old material.”

Once passed by a show of hands, Bishop Michael Ingham remarked that the resolution would not change current diocesan policy. “We have been committed to inclusive language for many years.”