Inclusive Language

We commit ourselves to using intentionally inclusive language in worship services. Inclusiveness in our language means that we seek to reflect the experience and worth of all persons regardless of age abilities, sex, race, sexual orientation or gender identity. Inclusive language also means that our language for God will include either a balance of male and female images or images that are not gender specific.

Those who help to plan and lead worship have a special responsibility to avoid language that is exclusive. The things we do together in worship, such as litanies, songs, and unison prayers, ought to reflect inclusive language. The pastors, the choir, and those who share special music also have the responsibility of helping to create an inclusive atmosphere. During the Prayers of the People, individual members of the congregation are invited to use whatever names or images that are most meaningful to them.

Our Inclusive Language Guidelines are available for download. The guidelines provide definitions of what we mean by “inclusiveness” and “inclusive language,” a rationale for why inclusive language is used at Phoenix, and some examples of how words and phrases can be changed to be made more inclusive.