By Katherine Gaines
For at least the last four years, I have been intentional in the words I choose when describing something or someone. The obvious cause for this intentionality was my introduction to the world of social work. I learned a great deal about Person First Language which, as the name suggests, requires one to use the person first and their descriptor second. This is the difference between “disabled people” and “people with disabilities.” This distinction reminds us that anyone we refer to are people first and foremost and, therefore, not so different than ourselves. I take similar care to refer to groups by their preferred names and people by their preferred pronouns, all with the understanding that labels and descriptors are powerful and can be harmful if used incorrectly.
We as the GOTH house have decided to adopt a mantra which will remind us of our purpose here at Grace on the Hill as well as center us during our spiritual time together. We are in the process of developing this mantra, taking time and care to be intentional in our choice. With my background, I fully appreciate the task of finding a phrase to describe our purpose here, one that encompasses the spirit of the five of us individually as well as our group. Mantras are so important for centering and returning to focus when the heavy tasks of life start to blur the image of what we’re here to do in the time we’ve been given at Grace on the Hill.
Whatever mantra we GOTHs adopt will remind us of the service, justice, community, and theology of place we try to focus on while we’re here.