Working for social justice

Since its founding in 1958, St. Stephen's has established itself as a progressive Christian community working for peace and social justice issues. 


In the ‘60s, the congregation increasingly questioned America’s involvement in Vietnam. In the ‘70s, St. Stephen’s ratified the Charter for Racial Justice, which was developed by the Board of Global Ministries. During the ‘80s, the church supported a plethora of peace initiatives, including a Peace with Justice Program, an annual memorial to bombing victims of Hiroshima and a task force that provided support and sanctuary for refugees from Central America.  

In the ‘90s, as the result of a Volunteers-in-Mission trip, St. Stephen’s built a partnership with a church in Xoxocotla, Mexico, and later sent its own mission team to Managua, Nicaragua. In the new millennium, St. Stephen’s reached out to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, providing a safe place for worship and fellowship. In recent years, the church has been instrumental in forming a faith-based coalition to support immigrants and refugees. 


“We have stayed true to our heritage and our core values while tending the flame and putting our faith into action,” wrote church historian Jim Mohon and longtime member Ron Gray in a booklet on St. Stephen’s history. “We have embraced change, and we have been and will continue to be brave witnesses for progressive Christianity, full inclusion and social justice in the future.” 



Community action

St. Stephen's is committed to making our community a better place to live by partnering with nonprofits, local schools, and other faith groups to serve those in need.  Some examples of our community partnerships include:

  • Hosting a Head Start Program in our building
  • Serving meals and sponsoring a cottage at Food and Shelter Inc.
  • Hosting Girl Scout Service Unit meetings and other events
  • Providing meals and other resources for teachers at Kennedy Elementary School
  • Partnering with other churches to organize and sponsor the CROP Hunger Walk
  • Providing meeting space for Norman Youth Safe Haven and PFLAG - Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
  • Welcoming immigrants and refugees through our immigration committee and interfaith refugee coalition. 

If you are interested in getting involved in St. Stephen's social justice and community action activities, contact Rev. Jennifer Ahrens-Sims or call the church office at (405) 321-4988.