You have heard it said, perhaps you have said it yourself: “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but names can never hurt you.”  I know, and I am fairly sure that you also know that you know, that this simply is not true.  Sure, sticks and stones will bruise and scar and hurt a human body.  However, words are sometimes as bruising and scarring and hurting as any physical assault.

 Think of all the words—always negative words—about an individual’s ethnicity or ability or place of origin or orientation.  How many ethnic persons are scarred!  How many other abled persons are scarred!  How many persons of differing orientations are scarred!  Words can—words do—hurt.

 Think of all the words which scare individuals.  Being served a subpoena!  Receiving words from a chaplain at the front door about a son or daughter in the military!  These actions and any accompanying words may truly hurt.

But there are also words which scare us because we do not fully comprehend or understand them.  One such scary word is theology.  Two Greek words combined into an English word:  theo and logos.  The English translation for these words is God and Word.  Simply stated theology is God Talk or Words about God.  For many years the Council of Churches has had a working group on theology.  For many years this also was known as Faith and Order.

 The Theology Working Group tries to connect the meaning of God in relationship to God’s creation and to God’s human family in all its diversity as well as religious/faith practices.  Each year, the Theology Working Group sponsors a program focusing on an aspect of that relationship between ourselves and God.  Past programs have centered on the meaning of stewardship (God’s economy); Islam; the Sojourner (Migrant); the meaning of Slalom (Peace).  None of these is scary; however, each has the potential for opening persons to new understandings of the relationship between God and the human family and creation.

 Words may hurt—and often do!  Words also heal—the Theology Group invites such healing as participants in the annual program or as a member of the Theology Working Group.  Contact the Council if interested in joining this Working Group.