- Who We Are and What We Believe
- History and Covenant
- What We Offer
- Open and Affirming
Who We Are And What We Believe
The people of Mayflower Congregational UCC Church of Oklahoma City invite you to experience Christianity as a way of life, not a set of creeds and doctrines demanding total agreement. We invite you to join us as we seek to recover the meaning of the gospel for our time, looking to scripture, faith, and reason — interpreted by love. At Mayflower we believe that what Jesus teaches us about God is more important than what the church has taught us about Jesus. We believe in the liberty of conscience, the responsibility of every believer to work out his or her own salvation, and the obligation of faithful men and women to become partners with God in building the kingdom. We take the Bible seriously, not literally, and believe that in our time the church must recover, above all, its radical hospitality — welcoming all persons into her midst, without regard to race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or physical abilities.
|On February 28, 2008 Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize and made a wish: for help creating, launching and propagating a Charter for Compassion. Since that day, thousands of people have contributed to the process so that on November 12, 2009 the Charter was unveiled to the world.|
History and Covenant
Mayflower is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ, a mainline Protestant denomination that came into being in 1957 with the union of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. We trace our roots to the Pilgrims and Puritans, who were among the first Europeans to come to North America in search of religious freedom.
Beginning with the Pilgrims in 1620, these refugees of the European Reformation became known in this country as Congregationalists and Presbyterians. They were champions of freedom, independent of spirit, and democratic in governance--all of which exercised tremendous influence on American history and the development of democratic institutions. The Mayflower Compact became a template of sorts for the U.S. Constitution, and Congregationalists founded Harvard and Yale and many of the finest institutions of higher education in America. Believing that an uneducated clergy person is as dangerous as a quack physician, Congregationalists insisted that the "parson" (the person) be the most educated member of his community. And they saw no conflict between intelligence and piety.
In 1957, a mix of Congregationalist, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Evangelical and Reformed Churches created the United Church of Christ—the most progressive Protestant denomination in America. The UCC has been at the forefront of movements for peace and justice since its inception--inheriting the work of its predecessor denominations (including the ordination of the first woman to the ministry and the work of Christian abolitionists), and actively working for civil rights, women’s rights, and now gay rights. The first denomination to ordain an openly gay man in 1974, the UCC has steadfastly worked to ensure equal rights, and fight discrimination of every kind.
Mayflower belongs to the Kansas/Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ, whose offices are located at 1245 Fabrique in Wichita, Kansas. Membership in this conference links us with the dozens of other UCC churches in Oklahoma and Kansas with whom we share a covenental relationship as the United Church of Christ.
Mayflower, through its benevolence giving, voluntarily contributes to the work of the Oklahoma Association, the Kansas/Oklahoma Conference, and the national offices of the United Church of Christ, located in Cleveland, Ohio. We believe that churches should be locally autonomous but not isolationist, and we celebrate the connection we feel, and the obligation we gladly accept to the larger church as members of the United Church of Christ.
Further information about the history, structure, and mission of the United Church of Christ can be found on its web site: www.ucc.org
What We Offer
The heart of the Mayflower experience is Sunday morning worship. From September through May, two worship services are available: the first at 9:00am, and the second at 11:00am. The Early Service is led by Dr. Meyers with a sermon by Rev. Chris Moore. The 11:00am service is a similar order of worship and features the preaching of Dr. Robin Meyers. The choir performs at the second service, while the early service features a diversity of special music, from classical to experimental. The early service is relaxed and informal, while the second service is somewhat more traditional. But both services feature common elements of Protestant worship: expository preaching (often following the New Common Lectionary), new hymns along with familiar favorites, and some of the friendliest people on the planet. Coffee and fellowship follow each service in Milligan Hall.
Our Covenant of Openness and Affirmation
This is an invitation:
We know, with Jesus, that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that those neighbors include all human beings - encompassing our families, our Church, all other churches and faiths, and the world at large.
We also know that both society and the larger community of faith have often scorned, excluded, attempted "cures", and condemned lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in the name of Jesus, in the name of the Bible, and in the name of religious doctrine.
We know that Mayflower Church has been very public in its determination to be a reconciling force between gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people as they are and the church, welcoming all people whatever their sexual orientation - not as doing something new, but as doing something very old, harkening back to the early church's radical hospitality.
We know, like the Ethiopian Eunuch of Acts 8:26, that the answer to the eternal question "What is to prevent me from being baptized?" - an answer learned steadily over the centuries from one outcast group to the next: first Gentiles, then women, then blacks, then the poor, the deformed, and now lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people - is the luminous center of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: "Nothing prevents it."
We know, like the Syrophoenician Woman of Mark 7:24, that there is a wideness in God's Mercy that - merely by asking for it - brings God's love to all people, not just to those who think they are in God's good graces, but to all of us, which must include his gay, lesbian, bisexual and trangendered children just the same.
We know that across the land, in every church, large and small, and in every denomination, people of good will are struggling with the gospel's revolutionary inclusiveness as it relates to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. We recognize that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people can be just as loving, just as faithful, just as disciplined, just as holy as all other people can be, and that they equally share with all other human beings the worth that comes from being unique individuals. We seek to encourage all people and churches to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people into their full measure and allow them to take their place at the table.
So it is that we publicly, reverently, and happily issue a Welcome to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people as they are, to join our congregation in the same spirit of neighborly love as we welcome and accept all new members. We covenant not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. We seek to include those who find themselves in exile from the community of faith because of their orientation. We actively encourage churches and secular government bodies to adopt and implement policies of non-discrimination. And we join together to celebrate and share our common communion and the reassurance that we are indeed all created by God, reconciled by Christ, and empowered by the Grace of the Holy Spirit.
On April 8, 2001, the Mayflower Church Board of Deacons unanimously adopted the above "Our Covenant of Openness and Affirmation" for presentation to the Congregation at the 2001 Annual Meeting. Your Board of Deacons requested that all members read and reflect on the Statement, and urged passage of the Statement by the congregation at the Annual Meeting. In November of 2001 the congregation adopted the resolution put before them by the Deacons with a unanimous vote.Facts about Open and Affirming Statements in the United Church of Christ are found here.
24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” 30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
26 Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south* to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) 27 So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ 30 So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ 31 He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32 Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:
‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
so he does not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.’