Yet Alive is a project to publish resources for a Wesleyan faith that is LGBTQIA-affirming, progressive, and vibrant.
We aim to be resource for a robust faith that highlights the intersections of pan-Wesleyan heritage with contemporary applications, claiming LGBTQIA+-affirmation, and especially seeking to elevate voices that are historically on the margins of the church for reasons of race, ethnicity, class, nationality, disability, and gender identity. Even among affirming thinkers, Wesleyan theology gives us room for both orthodoxy and exploration.
What is Wesleyan Thought?
The term pan-Wesleyan is chosen to describe people whose faith tradition has some roots in or connection to the Methodist movement, spearheaded by John Wesley. Wesleyan thought emphasizes the idea that God acts towards us with grace first and foremost, and expects our best but gives us the grace to do our best. In Wesleyan thought, there is no distinction between personal piety and social holiness, just as there is no distinction between God’s grace and God’s expectation that we react to that grace.
Our definition of the term includes Methodists including members of the UMC, AME, AMEZ, and Nazarene churches. It also includes the Pentecostal movement, which draws on Methodist heritage but has its own unique heritage as well. It may also include you if you find yourself resonating with our description of Wesleyan thought!
What is LGBTQIA Affirmation?
To affirm LGBTQIA identity means to claim that there is nothing sinful about these identity categories or relationships that express them. An affirming Christian is one who believes that God welcomes all God’s children to live their best and holiest lives, and that for some of us, our best and holiest lives include same-sex relationships, gender transition, or a queering of romantic relationships. We believe that there is no contradiction implied between living any of these truths and living the truth of the Gospel.
Jesse Clyburn (they/them or she/her) is a student at Duke Divinity School working on an MDiv with a concentration in Food and Faith. They are from rural North Carolina. They have an abiding passion for growing a connection to land as a way to anchor an understanding of racial justice as we work towards reckoning with history.
Dylan Parson, MDiv (he/him) is a provisional elder in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the UMC, currently serving as senior pastor of a four-church charge in Pittsburgh.
Jenna DeWitt (she/her) is an aromantic asexual Methodist. She lives in sunny Southern California. Jenna earned a bachelor of arts in news-editorial journalism from Baylor University and has over a decade of experience working on Christian magazines.
HeeJun Yang (he/him) was born and raised in the Korean Methodist tradition, and now he is the pastor of a United Methodist church in North Carolina. He has his BTh degree from Methodist Theological University. He holds an MDiv and a ThM from Duke Divinity. He also recently earned his PhD in Philosophy of Religion from the University of Munster.
Ryan Wiggins (he/him) is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary and local pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the UMC. A lifelong Marylander, he has a BA in History from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a focus on early American Christianity.
Trevor Warren (he/him) is a is a media producer and certified candidate for ministry in the United Methodist Church on track to becoming an ordained elder. In 2014, he served as a college pastoral intern at St. John’s UMC in Houston under Pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus. He has also written articles and devotions for the UMC’s Young People’s Ministry as well as the website Ministry Matters. Currently, Trevor lives in Durham, NC where he attends Duke Divinity School as a student.