DC Episcopalians

DC Episcopalians Opt for Open Borders and Transgenderism, Eschew Gendered Pronouns for God

on January 29, 2018

A trifecta of resolutions introduced and passed by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s annual convention confirm a further politicized and progressive direction in which the denomination is headed.

Embracing progressive themes, delegates to The 123rd Diocesan Convention approved legislative proposals “On Becoming a Sanctuary Diocese: Offering Sacred Welcome to Immigrants,” “On Inclusion of Transgender People,” and “On the Gendered Language for God” at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, January 27.

Resolutions were passed in under one hour and were introduced by a small number of delegates. The Rev. Kimberly Lucas, Rector of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., and a graduate of liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York, sponsored all three resolutions. Two of the three resolutions were submitted by The Rev. Alex Dyer, rector of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Parish in Washington, D.C. Dyer was briefly notable last year on social media for wrapping banners around construction fences at St. Thomas in which an image of a face-palming Jesus was accompanied by political messages including the tagline “a progressive church for a progressive city.”

According to statistics made available by the Episcopal Church, St. Thomas has declined precipitously in the past five years, shrinking from a weekly attendance of 150 down to 75 (-50%). St. Margaret’s has similarly declined from approximately 240 attendees in 2006 down to 130 (-46%).

In the past decade, weekly attendance in the Diocese of Washington has declined 17 percent. Meanwhile, baptisms have dropped 35 percent and weddings have declined 39 percent. In April, the diocesan clergy conference will hear from an organization assisting churches “to move from a place of plateau or decline to sustained congregational health.”

“Sacred Welcome”

Resolution #1 “On Becoming a Sanctuary Diocese: Offering Sacred Welcome to Immigrants,” was endorsed by the Race and Social Justice Task Force of the Diocese. It read:

Resolved, that the people of the Diocese of Washington, as disciples of Jesus Christ and persons of faith and conscience, take seriously the biblical mandate not to wrong or oppress the alien in our midst, and in faithfulness to our Baptismal Covenant, oppose the policies of the incumbent Executive Branch that target undocumented immigrants for deportation while also placing undue restrictions on refugees seeking safe haven in the U.S.

The resolution was amended to remove reference to the presidency and to change “alien” to “immigrant” out of concern that the former term had a negative connotation (resolutions can be viewed in full here.)

Resolution drafters asserted, “Its passage would send a message of solidarity to the hundreds of immigrants in our midst.”

Transgender Persons

Resolution #2, “On Inclusion of Transgender People” calls upon the diocese to “encourage all parishes to remove all obstacles to full participation in congregational life by making all gender-specific facilities and activities fully accessible, regardless of gender identity and expression.”

Resolution drafters cited the Episcopal Church Baptismal Covenant wording “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” as a basis for transgender advocacy. The statement quickly dived into intersectionality theory, charging “that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia give rise to discrimination” and that “Fixed boundaries of gender identity are being challenged and churches need to respond.”

The resolution was adopted without debate or discussion.

Gendered Language

Resolution #3, “On the Gendered Language for God,” related to Book of Common Prayer revisions that will potentially be considered by the national church at General Convention this summer:

“…eliminate, when possible, all gendered references to God and to replace them with gender neutral language, and if necessary, to alternate gendered titles when referring to God.”

The resolution was amended to read “…if revision of the Book of Common Prayer is authorized, to utilize expansive language for God from the rich sources of feminine, masculine, and non-binary imagery for God found in Scripture and tradition and, when possible, to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.”

“Over the centuries our language and our understanding of God has continued to change and adapt,” the resolution drafters asserted. “Our current gender roles shape and limit our understanding of God. By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God. Our new Book of Common Prayer needs to reflect the language of the people and our society … language should not be limited by gendered pronouns when avoidable.”

Clergy delegate The Rev. Linda R. Calkins from St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Laytonsville, Maryland, brandished a copy of The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation and asked when the Episcopal Church would join with those behind the 2004 translation.

Reading from Genesis Chapter 17, in which God tells Abraham “I am El Shaddai,” Calkins asserted “if we are going to be true to what El Shaddai means, it means God with breasts.”

El Shaddai is traditionally translated to mean “God Almighty,” but The Inclusive Bible reads “..and God said, I am the breasted one.”

“Having studied much feminist theology in my masters’ degrees, I wrote a thesis on liberation and freedom and non-equality in feminist theology and existential counseling,” Calkins told the convention. “And I am still waiting for the Episcopal Church to come to the place where all people feel that they can speak God’s name. Many, many women that I have spoken with over my past almost 20 years in ordained ministry have felt that they could not be a part of any church because of the male image of God that is systemic and that is sustained throughout our liturgies. Many of us are waiting and need to hear God in our language, in our words and in our pronouns.”

  1. Comment by Jill Forrest on January 29, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I have a feeling that they are going to have trouble with “Our Father, who art in Heaven…”. Then again, they’ll find a way to dance around that one.

  2. Comment by Gail Skaggs on February 3, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    My message is not to be rude or condescending but we are as responsible for what we do not say, as what we do. What is the Inclusive bible, when was it fashioned, and never once does the Bible, KJV or any of the ones I have, that have been around many generations before this or the ones of recent time, speak of God being female, it says plainly HE, and only in the last few years have we taken and changed the gender to suit the worlds standard. It is a sad excuse for someone to be allowed to operate in the women’s restrooms because they want to use it as a stalking ground, declaring they are female for a day. It is the same as with all the hub bub of Christ being married or being gay, which neither are true. It is just it seems a group of people wanting 15 minutes of fame to ruin or smear something that has stood the test of time, because the devil knows HIS time is short, as well. He (God) is our Father, and John 14 very plainly states, Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God believe also in me, For in my FATHERS house are many mansions. We cannot destroy what is the truth just to appease people who deem it so in order for them to come in and play church. We are as wrong as Pastors for doing that than they are for wanting it. You say well we have to draw all into the church, yes we want the people to be where the truth is, but we cannot change the truth we stand on to get them in. I am a female pastor and I in no way am offended that God is male, and I am proud to stand on the truth of the past and the promise of the future, only a small % will make it to heaven as the bible tells us, are we willing to give up our seat to appease the world that belongs to God the Father to start with.

  3. Comment by James Hunter on February 6, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you Gail. All I know for sure is what Jesus tells me. Jesus said “Our Father.” He didn’t say “Our Mother.” I think the EDOW has lost its moorings and is adrift in postmodernism.

  4. Comment by Dan on January 29, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Are there any orthodox Christians left in TEC? If so, why would they be members, and for what possible reasons would they attend services? I say this to be cheeky or cynical. I honestly am at a loss to offer any explanation. I’ve heard the “I’m staying there to be a prophetic witness” reason, but it seems rather pathetic now that all semblance of a Christian denomination has evaporated from TEC and the wolves are decimating the sheep.

  5. Comment by Ginger Mohlie on February 2, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    This is the predicted ‘great falling away’. More and more Christians will compromise their faith in Christ and His teachings. Stay near and dear to Christ no matter what, and never but never let anyone put a permanent mark on your right hand or forehead.

  6. Comment by diaphone64 on January 30, 2018 at 10:31 am

    “take seriously the biblical mandate not to wrong or oppress the alien in our midst”
    Why is this OT passage always considered inviolable by progressives? Of course, the OT mandates regarding sexual morality are conveniently ignored.

  7. Comment by Jules Marderosisan on February 2, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    In the Holy Bible we are warned about false preachers in wolf’s
    clothing. Now the wolves have taken over these
    denominations and are truly misleading the parishioners.
    May the Blessed Holy Trinity guide those parishioners
    to wonderful Holy parishes that teach the true Word of God.
    In Jesus name, we pray.

  8. Comment by R M Bragg on January 30, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    If do hope that some of those who have left this organization have been willing to check out one or more of the Continuing Churches in the area. Those of a High Church persuasion might find St Andrew and St Margaret in Alexandria congenial.

  9. Comment by William on January 30, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    It is an abject misnomer to continue calling this group Christians. They have evolved into a cult.

  10. Comment by Jim on February 2, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    William, I agree 100% with you. Time to move past the reluctance to call it like it is. This denomination and others too (e.g. UCC) are in no way part of the Body of Christ. They are imposters.

  11. Comment by Joan Sibbald on February 4, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Nineteenth century’s Karl Marx, (influenced by 18th century’s (Hegel), taught that in order for mankind to “progress” into one perfect state (Utopia) each person must completely reject the past: his religion, traditions and customs. In 1917 Marxism was born.
    D.C. Episcopalians are believers!

  12. Comment by Pete on January 31, 2018 at 9:56 am

    So they simultaneously require us to go along with the stated gender preferences of people who show up, but then don’t allow God to use His stated gender preference? Gee, I wonder why they keep hemorrhaging members when THAT is the bunk they’re being taught!

  13. Comment by John McAdams on February 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    A light-hearted view of this issue:


  14. Comment by Persecuted Male on February 1, 2018 at 10:15 am

    El Shaddai is a masculine noun and means God Almighty. Shaddai is actually and ancient divine name of Patriarchs. (Reference: Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Unabridged, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com)

  15. Comment by Michael Harris on February 2, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I don’t know where Rev. Calkins gets “God with breasts” as a translation. All I can find are things like “God of the mountains”, “God of the wilderness”, or “destroyer.”

  16. Comment by Fred Bartlett on February 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    I can only think that she (zhe?) is motivated by the mountains in Wyoming known as Grand Tetons.
    Mountains = Breasts, you see?

  17. Comment by Joe on February 2, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Delete your church.

  18. Comment by Dr. Craig Scott on February 2, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    This denomination has clearly stated that God’s word should be interpreted to reflect our culture. Those of orthodox understanding recognize that the culture should reflect God’s word. Therein lies the problem within the “United” Methodist Church as well

  19. Comment by Jean McCloskey on February 2, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    This is shameful. God’s Word (the Bible) is what God has given us to discern what God would require, not those who are trying to push their agenda into everything.

  20. Comment by CC-in-VA on February 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Actually, although the 11:15 service is “high church,” any more “low church” and bdelieving Episcopalians fleeing the Diocese of Washington would feel right at home at the 9:00 service at the very welcoming Anglican Catholic [i.e., world wide and traditional] Church of St. Andrew and St. Margaret of Scotland in nearby Alexandria. We use the Book of Common Prayer in all its beauty, have nursery care, bible studies, and all other normal church activities and opportunities for service..

  21. Comment by Robert F Detweiler on February 2, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    The instance God is no longer God the Father of Jesus Christ his Son, you no longer worship God .

  22. Comment by Kilty on February 3, 2018 at 4:23 am

    This church has become a joke! When the mighty clergy meet in convention what do you do when you see females in full vestments of a bishop. We have all we can do to keep from laughing at this hysterical sight. Women in clerical garb are ridiculous. There are places in the church for women religious and that place is NOT the priesthood. There are few positions men can fill any longer when a feminist sees it as a role she must take over. Evidently motherhood is too great a challenge or becoming a religious not challenging enough. There is another rather large church where one can still find a proper liturgy and clergy and they are growing.

  23. Comment by cynthia on February 3, 2018 at 7:44 am

    I left the episcopal church, it is no longer faithful to the Gospel and I consider it to be heretical. It has become worse since more females were ordained, wrongly, to the priesthood. I happen to be a woman, and glad that God is my father.

  24. Comment by Neville on February 3, 2018 at 8:47 am

    why would Christian church members remain with TEC in view of all the apostasy that is preached and practiced.

  25. Comment by Jeff on February 3, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    So, now we have the UCC, ELCA, PCUSA, EC, and the United Methodist Church who have slipped into irrevelancy. Who is next?

  26. Comment by Margaret on February 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Just another attempt by Satan to bash God-what better way than through churches that profess to be Christian. This is another attempt to demean and destroy Christianity. We are living in the last days before Jesus will return and of Satan does not want people to know that nor believe in God. People–return to deep Bible study and find God again.

  27. Comment by Deplorable Basketdweller on February 6, 2018 at 2:11 am

    The Episcopalian Demonination
    There is something called The Leftist Paradigm of Truth and Reality. This Paradigm has nothing to do with Absolute Truth, Fact or Reality and has been normalized over the last decade by the Leftist Elites in Politics, Media, Education and Churches. Brokeback BathHouse Barry Soetoro, the Hildabeast and numerous others have told the weak minded useful idiots that “reality”, “your reality” is what you think and feel it is! They trot out an, Olympic Gold Medalist, father of numerous children, 100% genetic Male human being named Bruce Jenner and Bruce becomes Caitlin and 100% female. This magical transformation happened because this is what Bruce “felt” and “thought”! Bruce crated his own reality and the Leftist Elites got behind Caitlin 100% and the weak minded useful idiots bought the whole scam! Hook, Line and Sinker! The Left has done a huge Psy-ops Jedi Mind Control trick on tens of millions! The same millions that they have been indoctrinating since their birth in public schools for decades now! If Bruce can become Caitlin there is NOTHING impossible in the Leftist Paradigm of Truth and Reality and we are stuck with millions of weak minded , whining, lazy, mentally Ill SJW-Antifa types who turn to violence when Absolute Truth, Fact and Reality doesn’t coincide with their Leftist Paradigm! Many of those in the Leftist Church system have been running the same scam! Adding and taking away from the Holy Bible as they see fit? They chose to make their god into a Genie in a bottle and his only role is to give people any and all of their earthly lusts and treasures! I just saw the Episcopal reverend Alex Dyer on Tucker Carlson and the Leftist Dyer inferred that Eve was not a Woman while claiming that God is beyond gender and Dyer said God is definitely NOT a He?! Dyer and the Episcopal church may call themselves Christians but that does not make it the case! When your church leaders and Ministers are Ms, Miss or Mrs. and practicing sodomites, encompassing vile and filthy homosexual males, lesbians, transgenders, Bs, TTs, TQs…… and you claim that God isn’t a He when the whole of Scripture, every last Jot and every last tittle, assures the reader that God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost are He and Him, no further evidence is required to prove the Episcopal church is Not a belief system that can be referred to as Christian! At least not if your Reality is based on absolutes like Truth, Facts, data and every last shred of historical evidence! The Episcopalians want to be 100% inclusive and welcome any and all to “church” and they will affirm and support any and all “lifestyles” so they can build the church coffers! The Episcopalians don’t care about eternity because the god they have created would never punish a person for doing what they thought and felt was best?! I always thought God was sovereign and since every last thing in the universe that was created , was created through and by Jesus Christ so God gets to define what Truth and Love are?! Am I wrong to think that God, by the very fact that He is God gets to set the Rules? Having the opportunity to spend eternity with God in heaven and in incomprehensible happiness in His presence and a Female Episcopalian “reverend” is so dimwitted that she will not accept that God is a He because in her reality, her god is a her? I cant fathom the Lunacy of the Feminist?

  28. Comment by Bill Allen on February 6, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Honestly, this is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard! As much as I love Anglican liturgy, it was for very silly reasons like this that I finally had to leave the Episcopal Church. Or, as we all like to say, ECUSA has left us. To make such unilateral liturgical word changes without being of one mind with the entire Anglican Communion is completely self-defeating. Even more, God has revealed Himself as a triune being, with a relationship between Father and Son. To “mess” with this is just another reason why ECUSA continues to slowly decay. And the decline in membership will only continue because of such unbelievably ridiculous decisions as this! This really is just about as dumb as it gets!

  29. Comment by Bill Allen on February 6, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    By the way, in reviewing the comments here, I don’t see one person who agrees with this diocesan decision. Not a single one! As my kids say, “Duh!” I mean, this is such an obviously stupid decision. There is NO wisdom in this at all. I’m stunned that such a terrible decision could have been made. Has ECUSA really come to this? What Bishop is steering this ship? Can’t this be stopped for its complete stupidity?

  30. Comment by Bill Allen on February 6, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    This is the most unwise thing I’ve ever seen ECUSA do! Of course. It will continue to lost membership for such ridiculous unilateral decisions. This one is as bad as it gets!

  31. Comment by Donald on February 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Memo to The Episcopal Church: PLEASE keep up these progressive stances. You’ve fallen behind the Presbyterians in the race to see which Mainline Denomination gets under 1M members first!

  32. Comment by Miguel on April 17, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Es más masonería que cristianismo.

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