I hope that you have taken some time, or will soon, to look over the display that shows the reflections from the “What's Next?” sessions. (It is on the windows across from the church office.) As some have commented, it all sounds very much like St Stephen's. Your choices of what best fits our church are most appreciated and welcome.
Still, nothing is clear regarding what will be happening with the UMC in the next 9 months. But we know who we are, and what we stand for at St Stephen's. This Sunday, at 12:15, our District Superintendent will be here and lead us in an all-church meeting, for the purpose of voting on our statement of response to the turmoil.
Below is the statement, a compilation of those things that came through as most important for our church. We will be voting, a way of saying what it is we stand on as a faith community.
I hope that you will be here this coming Sunday, to give your response and join with all of St Stephen's in making a significant statement.
———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— It is painful and harmful to see that our United Methodist legislative system is broken, and that language that interferes with the grace-filled work of the Holy Spirit has been included in our shared documents.
We at St Stephen's see ourselves as a community based upon compassion and inclusion of all people, where social justice has long been a priority. We believe that we witness to the justice of God, and to the prevenient grace that is for all persons, when we stand with those whom others reject.
We covenant to be in just, loving, and grace-filled ministries. We will lead with conviction in a forward-focused way that recognizes the sacred worth of all God's children. We trust that there are many Methodists who long to be engaged in the same way we do, and that we will be allied together.
The legislative branch of the United Methodist church has done harm to our people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or questioning. The importance of any of God's children cannot be legislated away. Joining with others in a sacred resistance, we reject the exclusionary voices that have legislated harmful words into our shared core documents.
We at St Stephen's see ourselves as a community based upon compassion and inclusion of all people, where social justice has long been a priority.
We believe in the sacred worth of all God's children, and see exclusion as contradictory to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We don't know what's next, but we aspire to live into a Methodism that includes all people fully. Therefore, we will lead forward in affirming full participation in all aspects of the faith community, and will ally ourselves with other Methodists who dedicate themselves to just, loving, and grace-filled ministries.
Posted on Wed, September 11, 2019
by Brenda Wheelock