The Villager Voice ~ from Alan

I’ve known Tiffany Vail since she began working as Communications Director for the UCC’s Massachusetts Conference. Lately her role has been expanded, and she serves in the same capacity for both Massachusetts and Connecticut. (She is in the process of adding Rhode Island to her portfolio as the southern New England conferences develop the Tri-Conference model.)

Tiffany wrote a piece last week on the importance of language. As a newspaper reporter for twenty years before she came into her present role, she recognizes the ways in which words matter as language evolves. She writes, ‘Sometimes, these changes are easy.  Words like email and meme and glamping come into common usage, and for the most part, we all adjust and roll with it. It can be fascinating to find out which words Merriam-Webster adds to its latest dictionaries... But language changes don't happen overnight, and not everyone is ready for those changes at the same time. And that's where the challenge lies.” One example she lifts up is the increasing use of the word “they” when writing about indistinct or indeterminate gender. For some, it’s like nails on a blackboard; for others, it is a graceful contemporary solution to a delicate linguistic dilemma. (You can read Tiffany’s entire column here: https://www.macucc.org/blogdetail/many-voices-one-mission-evolution-of-language-12010578)

Indeed, following last Sunday’s sermon about different versions of the Bible, The Message in particular, some of you spoke to me about the importance of language. One of you said, “I love that version of the Bible, I use it often and it helps my understanding;” another asked, “I beg you, never read from that version again!” So yes, language matters, and speaks differently to different people.

We’ll be hearing some familiar language in a different voice this Sunday, when our CT Conference Minister & President Rev. Kent Siladi joins us for worship and preaching (and for the many of you who have asked, Yes, I will be there as well to lead worship with Kent). I hope you’ll be there with us as we hear the ways God is doing - and saying - something new in our UCC churches.

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