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‘New Ways of Imagining God’

The Rev. Ruth Meyers of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific speaks with diaconal postulant Dani Gabriel in Sojourners about liturgical revision:

Gabriel: Can you say a little more about how this work fits in with larger movements for social justice?

Meyers: Some of the movements for social justice are rooted in Christian faith. If you go back to Mary’s song in Luke, that song is a song of justice. It’s about God who cast down the mighty, raises up the lonely, and satisfies the hungry. That echoes Hannah’s song in Samuel after she’s given birth to a child. The language of our prayer, however perfectly or imperfectly, can capture that image of God. Having a language of our prayer that more fully captures that liberating sense of God is an important piece of it.

Gabriel: Can you say a little bit about same sex marriage and prayer book revision and why it’s important?

Meyers: So, bottom line, when the prayer book was revised in 1979, the world understood marriage as between a man and a woman. The 1979 prayer book says that marriage is covenant between a man and a woman. As long as that’s in the prayer book, then we don’t have full marriage equality.

… Gabriel: What is your vision? What do you think a revised prayer book could do?

Meyers: A revised prayer book could give us new ways of imagining God and understanding ourselves as children of God. It could be a real force for proclamation of the gospel to people who don’t necessarily think of themselves as Christian. I think it can give us a much deeper understanding and appreciation of creation and our role in caring for creation. We have some of that in the prayer book now, but in a time when the world is literally on fire and we are at a huge ecological crisis, it could, because of the power of language, subtly reshape our understanding and relationship to the world in which we live in a way that might enable us to take better care of it.

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