Social Justice

By Our Silence….

When St. Stephen went through the process of becoming a Reconciling Congregation,people stated that they didn’t realize the need for becoming a Reconciling congregation since St. Stephen had always been open and accepting. Then we had our task force and had a panel of LGBT couples come and speak. It was one of the couples on the panel who stated that by our silence we condone the stance of the UMC.

During the Wisdom Circles people stated that they weren’t aware of the injustice that still existed in our country while they were at St. Stephen. It wasn’t until they left St. Stephen for a few months or years and came back that they realized everyone wasn’t as open and accepting as they were at St. Stephen as these people had come to believe.

Pastor Nancy and I had a conversation a few years ago about the state of our society and how far we had come. Through the conversation we both remembered fighting for women’s rights that hadn’t existed before, fighting for equal pay, the right to just be respected. I remember the shock when I refused to be called Mrs. Keith Fulenwider, but Teddi Fulenwider. During our conversation we mutually agreed that our daughters maybe didn’t fully understand the fight that had been fought for them. After all, woman have it pretty good now. We wondered what would be "their fight."

The recent election proved to me that we still have a long way to go. To say I was saddened by the ugly things said about groups of people is an understatement. To say, "oh it was really nothing" is to condone the behavior. To say "get over it" is to condone the behavior. I find myself insulated by the love and justice-minded people at St. Stephen. I find myself protected by the people who listen to me and yes, agree with me. So what does all of this have to do with the Social Justice committee?

Social Justice is excited to have new members coming on board in January. The committee is beyond excited to have had people sign up for specific areas that need attention. These people can work in the background and stay on top of legislation, news articles, etc., and send the information to the committee, making suggestions for ways to be involved.

These are the specific areas we will be addressing in 2017:

  • Refugees/Immigration 
  • Race/White Privilege 
  • Gun Violence 
  • Women’s Issues
  • LGBT
By our silence, we consent to injustice.

Teddi Fulenwider, Social Justice Chair

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