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Three Simple Rules

A few years ago, Bishop Rueben Job wrote a book called Three Simple Rules, A Wesleyan Way of Living. In his preface, he says that there are three simple rules that have the power to change the world. Today, especially this year, we would say that these rules are needed to change the church – the United Methodist Church. The rules are: 1) Do No Harm; 2) Do Good; 3) Stay in Love with God. 

This summer we had several “What's Next?” sessions, to help inform ourselves of all the turmoil in the UMC, and what changes are possible. Then this past Sunday we held a Church Conference, to vote on a statement of response arising from your responses in those sessions. 

The statement as finally chosen is below. It very much speaks about who we are as St Stephen's, what matters to us, and where we stand. 

I thank you for all your input, of words and heart and thought. We are in this together, and we are stronger for being together, and we are who we are because we are together. God's love is integrally a part of all of this, as we seek to do good and not harm. 

Let it be so. Jeannie


Response Statement of St Stephen's UMC Norman September 15, 2019

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. 

The legislative branch of the United Methodist church hurt and continues to damage our people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender 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 legislated harmful words into our shared core documents. 

We at St Stephen's, where social justice has long been a priority, are a community based upon compassion and inclusion of all people. 

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 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. 

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