Words Matter: A Conversation About Theological Language and its Impact

September 12, 2017 - September 15, 2017
West Park NY

Words Matter: A Conversation About Theological Language and its Impact

Tuesday September 12- Friday September 15, 2017

Led by Rev. Lyn G. Brakeman and Rev. Richard J. Simeone


A young rabbinical student raised her hand, and the Rabbi gave her a nod. “Rabbi, does G-d have a gender?” Students laughed. The Rabbi answered respectfully: “No.” The student had more to ask: “Well then, if G-d has no gender why do we use only one gender when we talk about G-d?” To this the Rabbi had no answer. It’s not easy to stump a Rabbi. He could have said that the Hebrew noun for god was masculine, but that, he knew, was inadequate. The student had awakened the teacher. The Rabbi who told this story some years ago still ponders that question.

How does theological language and imagery shape the divine image? How does it shape our souls? What about all that familiar and beloved liturgical formulae? What about pronouns? What would you change? Why or why not? Is this simply a women’s issue? Is it an issue of spiritual formation of human souls? Is it just politics? Or is it a theological issue? What would Jesus do?

Lyn and Dick are priest associates at St. John’s in Charlestown, Massachusetts and serve as co-coordinators in the Diocese of Massachusetts for the Education for Ministry program. In retirement Dick continues his ministry as a spiritual director. Lyn continues to pursue her work as a writer. In addition to her memoir, she is the author of Spiritual Lemons: Biblical Women, Irreverent Laughter and Righteous Rage, Augsburg Books, and a blog:spirituallemons. blogspot.com.

Cost: $ 350, deposit: $80

Categories: Communications  |  Retreats  |  Theology