Friday, November 18, 2016

We're a 'Safe Place' for All!

If recent events weigh on your soul and you're looking for a safe place in an uneasy time, we invite you to experience life at St. Stephen United Methodist Church in Mesquite, TX,
where God's unconditional love reigns.

Left to right: Top row, Music Director Ryan Forkner, Heather Ducar, Jamie Guthrie, Musician Michael Carr, Mary Wilson, James Bowen; Middle row, Wini Council, Linda Curtis, Susan McArthur. Bottom row, Scarlett Guthrie, Tom Ellis, Lola Martindale, Amy Martindale, Church Administrator Paula Humphreys.

Our new St. Stephen T-shirts show our commitment to being a faith community that welcomes, sustains and protects ALL. In fact, so many of our members wore our new T-shirts that proclaim: "Love is love is love is God" (1 John 4:7), that we had to edit the big picture into three sections, so you could see our smiles of welcome. And these are just the folks who remembered to wear their T-shirts! There's an even bigger community waiting to make friends with you.

Many of us feel the need today for a place that affirms the sacred worth of every individual and believes in the vision of a beloved community of love, peace and justice. St. Stephen strives to be such a place and to create such places in the world, created by God, following the example of Jesus Christ, and energized by the Holy Spirit.

We'd love to have you join us. 

Left to right: Top row, Music Director Emeritus Tom Council,  Pastor Rev. Nancy DeStefano, Christy Forkner, Cynthia Astle, John Astle, Bruce Hardie. Bottom row, Avery Forkner, Teddi Fulenwider, Shirley Feldhaus, Jeanette Benson, Nina Thompson, Gina Hedgecock.

Left to right: Top row, Lay Leader Keith Fulenwider, Dick Benson, Pete Dickson, Barbara Caton, David Caton, Carvel Lincoln. Middle Row: Fe Tipay, Rita Hardie, Liz Dickson. Bottom row: Stacy Schilling,  Carol Lincoln.

Monday, November 7, 2016

How Are We Transforming Lives?

What does it mean when we say that St. Stephen UMC "shares God's unconditional love" with the world around us? Or, put another way, how does sharing God's love make a difference in the lives of our members and the people in our communities?

That's the question we're being asked to consider as we prepare for St. Stephen UMC's annual Charge Conference, which will take place on Nov. 29. This year, our District Superintendent, Rev. Cammy Gaston, is asking all the churches in the Metro District to think about how our congregations and their ministries are bringing change to people's lives.

To help inspire your thinking, the pictures with this post show some of the ways St. Stephen has contributed to our communities. What we'd really like to know is what effects you think this ministries have on other people. Furthermore, what opportunities for service do you see that St. Stephen hasn't addressed yet?

No doubt you can think of many efforts for which we have no images. Whatever you find inspiring, transforming, life-giving about St. Stephen, we hope you'll share it with all of us so that we can be alert to more ways to love God and one another through service.

After you've had a chance to think about the questions, please answer our "transforming" survey on Survey Monkey. Please respond to the survey not later than Nov. 20 so we can collect and prepare the responses for presentation at Charge Conference. Thank you!

Click here to take the Transforming Lives survey!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What About This Word?

"Children of God" by Nadia Bolz-Weber from SALT Project on Vimeo.

Friends, here's a new video from popular author and Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, on how LGBTQIA* people don't need to be "welcomed," because they're already children of God.

What do you think?

*LGBTQIA stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual.