I grew up in the Episcopal Church in a conservative diocese. So conservative, in fact, that there has been a schism around topics like the ordination of gays and women. I ultimately left that church (in my 30's) because my (then) young daughter expressed an interest in becoming a priest some day. I felt she would never have that opportunity in the Episcopal Church, so I changed churches to one that was more welcoming to women in service (and gays, too, for that matter).
Needless to say, the majority of the Episcopal Church (as well as almost every other religion) is run by men, for men. And the inference, in prayers as well as the Bible, is that God is a man. "Our Father, who art in Heaven.....".
This aspect of the church has bothered me for some time, but no more than when I recently read The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. Kidd details her journey into an understanding of the Divine Feminine. A former Christian writer (married to a Southern Baptist minister), she struggles with her place as a woman in the spiritual patriarchy she has always known.
I believe that God is genderless, but I have a hard time dropping the idea that God is male. I think we assign gender, names, and even faces. in order to even begin to contemplate, much less understand, a Being that is omniscient and omnipresent. It sort of brings God down to our level.....makes Him/Her/It more approachable.
Now that I have this new awareness/validation after reading TDODD, I find myself wanting a new name for God. Something genderless......something I can relate to. I've been thinking about options, and doing a little research into other names for God, but haven't come across anything suitable. And I'm not sure why this is important to me right now, but apparently it is.
"Our Father, who art in Heaven, Howard be His name....."
Have you tried to name God?
Have you been there?