Vocations in Tension: Considering Ordination as a Trans Methodist

Now as an adult trans man, finally at peace with both God and myself, my sense of calling to the Christian pastorate—to preach the gospel, teach discipleship, administer the sacraments, care for the community gathered around Christ, and foster works of justice and mercy in the world—is stronger than ever.

Against Umbrella Methodism

Suddenly, instead of a bright and beautifully called child of God, I was an unrepentant sinner leading others to sin and death…simply because I decided I wasn’t going to live inauthentically. In my first semester of seminary, I met my wife, and the stakes got so much higher.

Justice Was Denied Them: The Ethiopian Eunuch and Hope in Representation

he conversion story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 serves as a tool to address the lack of compassion and respect among many church leaders and pastoral caregivers for transgender and nonbinary youth. 

Dear Olympia: Womanhood, Shame, and the Kingdom of God

Our church wants what is best for you—I believe that—but often it doesn’t know how to help its women walk through the story about ourselves that we receive from all angles, because its most overarching story about women is itself based in shame. I fear that, if you ever need consolation from the church in the form of empowerment, you may not find it.

Commodified Gods: A Reflection on Acts 19:23-41

When we create our gods in our own image and then put them up for sale, we lose the gracious reality of being creatures, the beautiful truth that we human beings are closer to the soil than to the heavens. We also lose what I might humbly posit as the spiritual genius of Christianity: that the transcendent and irreducible mystery of the divine nevertheless inhabits fleshy, human existence, joining us here in the soil.

Bias and White Supremacy

Systems of white supremacy have distorted our ability to make sense of reality and even threatened our ability survive as a species. King often said that humans needed to either “learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” and current events seem to prove his point, ranging from the climate crisis to the ever present threat of nuclear or biological warfare to the potential collapse of democratic societies across the world. 

And Can It Be? Charles Wesley and the Leap of Faith

And Can It Be? is a hymn of astonishment. In light of his powerful religious experience in May 1738, Charles Wesley wrote this hymn from the perspective of someone who is utterly bewildered by the power of God’s love and the shocking events of the Crucifixion. Wesley’s reaction to this is demonstrated in the first two verses.

Advent and the General Deliverance

O Come, thou Dayspring, come and cheerOur spirits by thy justice here;Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,And death’s dark shadows put to flight.Rejoice! Rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee,O Israel. —O Come, O Come Emmanuel, originally in Latin, 8th or 9th century I have always said that I have an Advent soul. It is the liturgicalContinue reading “Advent and the General Deliverance”

Waiting for New Life

 “’Tis the irrational season, when love blooms bright and wild;if Mary’d been filled with reason, there’d have been no room for the child.”             Madeleine L’Engle Twenty-seven years ago, I entered the season of Advent nine months pregnant.  That year, 1994, as this, 2021, the lectionary texts that I preached beat a tattooContinue reading “Waiting for New Life”

Advent Against Apocalypse

I remain confident of this:I shall see the goodness of the Lordin the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 (NIV) Happy new year! The season of Advent is upon us, which begins the liturgical year. We light our candles, sing our hymns of preparation, and begin our Advent calendars. We decorate our homes, gather together,Continue reading “Advent Against Apocalypse”

Homesick

Homesickness is a funny kind of illness. It sort of hurts all over. In your throat when someone asks the wrong question at the wrong time. In your lungs when a reminder of what you’ve lost takes your breath away. In your core when there’s the gut-punch of knowing what you long for may neverContinue reading “Homesick”

Wesleyan Community for the Dispossessed

John Wesley’s contribution to Christian history is not primarily located in any particular doctrine or treatise, though he wrote theologically. Rather, John Wesley’s greatest gift to the Christian churches is perhaps the Wesleyan approach to community formation—with its attention to the whole human being and to every human being, however socially marginalized. Methodism began notContinue reading “Wesleyan Community for the Dispossessed”

Conversion and Radical Love: The Goal of Christian Antiracist Work

What is the goal of Christian antiracism? Specifically from my own context, I ask: What is the responsibility of churches that contain white people to shape those white people[toward real Christian antiracism?

Experience, Community, and the Earthly Work of the Church

The UMC Book of Discipline says that “Christian experience gives us new eyes to see the living truth in Scripture. It confirms the biblical message for our present. It illumines our understanding of God and creation and motivates us to make sensitive moral judgments.” What that means to me is that what we’re doing here matters.