Pocket Guide to Christian Lawmaking – from Rev. Welsh

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

Rev. Lori Walke is presenting for our annual speaker’s series. I thought her words about our state legislature can give an example of what a prophetic witness looks like. I’ve also included information on her two talks that she’ll be doing for our church.

The Pocket Guide for Christian Lawmaking

Hope is a vocational hazard for Christian ministers, so I haven’t given up on these legislators. Believing that they just need a little help, I offer this Pocket Guide for Christian Lawmaking. In keeping with preaching tradition, I’ve kept it to three points. Here are a few handy tips on how not to make Jesus weep over hard-hearted legislation:

Use the ‘Holy Family Filter’

First, run everything through the Holy Family Filter. Ask yourself: “Would this make life better or worse for Jesus, Mary and Joseph?” Jesus was born to a teenage mother, and his dad was a low-wage worker. The Holy Family likely would have been eligible for SNAP and SoonerCare, two of the most important safety nets for low-income families.

If legislators start using the Holy Family Filter, we should see an immediate uptick in measures that commit aid to poor folks struggling to make ends meet. We should also see more assistance for families struggling to achieve a living income. (Restoring the refundability of the earned income tax credit would be a good start.)

Don’t be the legislator who would make it harder for the Holy Family to get food on the table or see a doctor.

Be careful about rejecting people
Second, reject only those people Jesus would reject. The list is short. By all accounts, Jesus was the harshest on the self-identified Piety Police of his time. If your legislation permits discrimination based on marriage, lifestyle or beliefs, Jesus is giving you the side-eye. He was a man who broke bread with all kinds of kinds, so it is difficult to imagine Jesus-the-carpenter’s-son checking a customer’s sexuality before taking a furniture order.

Over and over, Jesus ran into people who thought they had the market cornered on orthodoxy. Such people were (and are) confident that they would be headed to heaven because of their “right belief.” Interestingly, when Jesus was asked about eternal life, he said nothing about what to believe. Instead, Jesus told a story about being a good neighbor and commanded us to “go and do likewise” (read: he said nothing about what to believe).

Remember ‘the least of these’
Third, take Jesus’ Matthew 25 memo seriously:
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?’
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.’
If you are a Christian, this is a pretty clear mandate for providing basic needs, advocating for just prison reform and increasing access to health care.

By following these three simple guidelines, it would be possible for all of those devout Christian legislators to follow Jesus’ example instead of just using his name in vain.
Hope springs eternal – or at least for the three months left in this legislative session.

Want to hear more?

RESISTANCE AND THE CHURCH
REV. LORI ALLEN WALKE
“A THIRTY-SOMETHING IN THE PULPIT”

FREE TO THE PUBLIC
FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 7PM SAM NOBLE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

WORKSHOP: SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 9AM-NOON “POLITICOS IN THE PEWS”
$20.00 REGISTRATION UNITED MINISTRY CENTER, 1017 ELM, NORMAN. SEATING LIMITED.
REGISTER TO ATTEND https://www.facebook.com/ events/257890284665595/

Rev. Walke is a young Oklahoma leader known for speaking out about the church and its role in seeking social justice. She is an advocate for civil rights for all citizens. She has been a voice in the Resist Movement. She is Associate Minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC. She holds a Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary and a Juris Doctorate from OCU School of Law.

 

 

Church Events

March 19th Just War with Tom Schott. The Christian tradition has had three major tradition as it it thinks about war. Pacifism which rejects war, the Holy War tradition which embraces it, and the majority view, Just War which tries to place limits on war. But are those limits possible? How sustainable is the Just War tradition? This will be explored.

March 19th The Social Justice Committee will meet after church at 12:00

March 26th Prophecy by Dwight Welch. Prophecy in current popular culture involves predicting the future. But in the Bible, more often than not, it serves a different purpose: one of good news for the poor and the marginalized. We’ll explore how prophecy is talked about in the Bible.

One Great Hour of Sharing is one of the 5 charitable missions supported by the National United Church of Christ. Donations to One Great Hour of Sharing enable the organization to build sustainable communities. It supports self-help programs in more than 80 nations to build sustainable communities that enable people and communities to stand against and rise above hunger, disease, illiteracy, and other forces of injustice that deny and destroy dignity. It provides emergency and long-term assistance to people in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados, storms, floods, tidal waves, fires, explosions, technological disasters, civil strife, war, or other natural or human-caused events. On average, OGHS responds to a disaster once every 2.5 days. It uses the funds to responds with advocacy and help, hope and hospitality for people who have been uprooted from their home of origin.

In cooperation with Global Ministries, it is part of a remarkable network of service and caring that is efficient, effective and faithful. Please consider making a donation on March 26th.

 

 

Book Club March 27th

We’re discussing chapters 10 and 11 of Listen Liberal at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

A New Recycling Box

Given the number of paper products we use for our morning gatherings and conversation box the Social Justice committee has set up a recycling box to discard those items. Look for it on Sundays!