For those of us for whom the early nightfall quickly gets old, or who are exhausted by the dim prospects that we see in our world’s futures, Advent offers us a kindred spirit.
The groups against LGBTQIA+ people in the United Methodist Church call themselves “traditional.” To start out with, tradition is not a monolith. Tradition is not a singular or consistent concept. Traditions evolve and develop and are not static. Likewise, there is ample evidence for a queer-affirming Methodist tradition—that even originates with Methodism’s founder, John WesleyContinue reading “A Queer Methodist Tradition”
The bliss of summer and ease of demand has come and gone along with ordinary time. Because of its length and placement in the year, ordinary time stretches on just as simply as its name implies: ordinarily. The sun beats down on the long days as the summer drags on and on. Pastors preach toContinue reading “Hebrews 4:1-7: Radicalizing Ordinary Time”
Masses gathered around the charred Notre Dame Cathedral on Easter Sunday 2019 to proclaim Christ’s resurrection. Their collective hope for the sanctuary’s future reconstruction hung as heavy as the smell of ashes. Across the Pond, another French resurrection was taking place in the least likely of places. I was leading the contemporary service at aContinue reading “A French Baptism in Alabama”
Spring 2022 I just booked tickets to a concert for my family and me. The last time I went, it was with my then-six-month-old daughter in June 2019, the week after her baptism into the community of faith. Something about this particular concert, the Indigo Girls at the Zoo, which so frequently overlaps with ourContinue reading “Dancing into Hope”
Three of the rejected candidates—Shawn Klein, Erin Wagner, and Anna Swygert—sat down with Yet Alive’s Dylan Parson and Trevor Warren for an exclusive interview about the process, their futures, and their hopes for a fully inclusive United Methodist Church.
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.
My soul and being are caught in a constant battle / Where I’m fighting for my right to love
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.
What I believe is most helpful for the Methodist church as it comes to its current crossroads is the ability to demote the definition of the church as a continuity with its past, and instead favor a definition by which the church is conforming to the vision God has for it.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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”
As people of faith, we lack the ability to talk constructively about the reality of our mortality and finite bodies. We are uncomfortable confronting the limitations of our embodied experience.
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?
Our interview covered many topics, but Alfredo Santiago’s commitment to honoring the richness of Latinidad and his love of Methodism were clear dominant themes. We have tried to capture those loves in these excerpts from our interview.