Friday, August 26, 2005

"Churchmanship" labels

Strange old word "churchmanship" isn't it? What about "churchwomanship"? It's kind of one of those quaint Anglican things. In Unitarian circles, one is much more likely to ask about someone's "theology." I suppose this is because there is more theological diversity. But I think a humanist or a theist could still have the same "churchpersonship" - with Unitarians its probably low-church-long-sermon-hymn-sandwich churchpersonship. In some ways I'd see my instincts as an emergent churchperson to be much more important than a purely intellectual humanist-theist identity. Anyway, with the prospect of going forward for ordination I expect I might be asked about these things, so I thought I would write a little about them.

I like to play with labels. I find labelling can be very empowering. Unitarians are all about reclaiming words nowadays, so here goes.

I am:
UNITARIAN: human nature is a location of divinity and religious truth
CHRISTIAN: following Jesus of Nazareth
CATHOLIC: affirming reverence, ritual and tradition in the spirit of Taizé
EMERGENT: believing in the reforming of the church to be missional, experimental, purposeful and relevant to today’s culture
LIBERAL: affirming reason and open free debate, generous and open to others
LIBERATIONIST: affirming faith is manifest in economic and political ways – particular working for the liberation of those oppressed by our society: women, the poor, non-Europeans and queers
UNIVERSALIST: God is love, and God's love, action and revelation extents to all people, everywhere
EVANGELICAL proclaiming and living my faith unashamedly and enthusiastically
TRANSCENDENTALIST: valuing nature, beauty and intuition
QUAKER: valuing spirituality, peace, simplicity, silence
CHARISMATIC/PENTECOSTAL: powerful, energetic, free spirituality
MISSIONAL: the church is open, welcoming and purposeful
RADICAL TRADITIONALIST: rooted in our founders, radical in the application of their truth to our times.


Anonymous Bursting Bubbles said...

Fine. It may be OK to play with labels, but please try to remain sensitive to the fact that some of these words belong to organisations that have very long histories and are still very live and active within these historical contexts.

They cannot just be reclaimed or appropriated by anyone who decides to come along and dust them down and use them outside these contexts.

Some of these words are associated with hierarchies, doctrines, dogmas and attitudes that have been and still ARE profoundly oppressive towards many groups of people.

12:03 am  

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