United Church of Christ Votes to Exclude Male Language When Referring to God
Urban Christian News: Contrary to Internet rumors, the tiny, liberal United Church of Christ denomination did not saw off one leg of Christianity's Holy Trinity when it tweaked the language in its bylaws this week.
You might not have known from the furious headlines on Christian websites proclaiming that the 1 million-member UCC will rebuff Christ and God by slashing a reference to God as "Heavenly Father."
Terry Mattingly at GetReligion.org headlined his piece, "Adios to God the Father?" Mattingly, founder of the media critique site, thumped mainstream media for failing to notice a news release from a critic of the proposed change. Without calling UCC to find out exactly what was at stake, or recalling that the UCC has long advocated gender-neutral terms for God, Mattingly proclaims it's a major news story...
... since editing the ancient Christian creeds is a highly symbolic act -- even for flocks as hyper-Protestant as the UCC. Of course, this denomination also serves as the home base for a very articulate and important layperson -- President Barack Obama.
Hmm. That would be No and No.
No, Obama is not UCC any more. He hasn't been part of any particular denomination since he left the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's UCC congregation years ago.
And no, the UCC isn't "editing" the creed, says the Rev. Bennett Guess, spokesman for the denomination. Guess explained what happened last night in Tampa where the UCC wrapped up its biannual governance meeting.