St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Tulsa Oklahoma
Statement of Faithfulness, Inclusion and Resistance
St. Paul’s, a United Methodist church on Cherry Street in Tulsa, OK, embraces and celebrates the diversity of our congregation. This diversity — in age and race, in gender and life experiences, in income and sexual orientation — strengthens and grows our congregation.
The full inclusion of ALL of God’s children in every aspect of the church is a mirror to the world of the living body of Christ. It is our diversity that makes St. Paul’s a family; it is our diversity and love for God and neighbor that defines us.
Our experiences within this diversity — coupled with our understanding of Scripture, our sense of the Wesleyan tradition, and our God-given reasoning — compel us to reject a plan adopted by the voting body of our denomination which is both hurtful and discriminatory against our LGBTQ+ siblings.
The Bible tells us God surveyed Creation and called it good. It tells us Jesus Christ called all to love their neighbors and defined those neighbors as the world’s outsiders. It tells us the Apostle Paul wrote that all Christians — regardless of nationality, social status, or sexual identity — are one in Christ.
The United Methodist baptismal vows call us to “accept the freedom and power God has given us to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”
Therefore, as we witness to the sacred worth of all God’s children, we refuse to accept the harmful and unholy stance of our denomination that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
We will continue to listen and respond to the message God has placed within our hearts, affirming the lives of our LGBTQ+ siblings and their contributions to God’s Kingdom and resisting all discrimination against them. We will support their right to be married by ordained clergy in a United Methodist church and to be ordained to ministry based on their gifts and calling.
We move boldly, courageously, and faithfully to the place where God is calling us….toward the time when the United Methodist Church lives out the motto of “Open Hearts … Open Minds … Open Doors”.