words_matterDo you want your worshipping community to be as inclusive as possible? If so, check how you suggest that the congregation “stand.” “Please stand” excludes those who can’t do that. Other, more inclusive options are:

  • “Please rise in body and/or spirit as you are able.”
  • “Please rise.”
  • “Give full attention to God by standing or rising in spirit.”

This idea came into the consciousness of the larger church when Howard Rice was Moderator of General Assembly. Over time he was confined to a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis. Realizing how left out he felt with “please stand,” he began talking to his students at San Francisco Seminary about ways for us to be more inclusive. Now you know his thinking if you didn’t before now.

What do your worship bulletins say? Is it time for an easy edit?‚Äč