Can my baptism be invalidated by my sexuality or anything else?

Tuesdays at the Table’ is a series of discussions hosted by the Connectional Table that will help us better understand our faith, our church, ourselves. Learn more.

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In baptism, "we are initiated into Christ's holy church..., incorporated into God's mighty acts of salvation, and given new birth.” Yet for some, it feels like the baptism they received as an infant can be declared null and void if they discover they are LGBTQIA+.

Let's chat with Jay Williams about what our United Methodist tradition teaches about what it means to be a baptized Christian.

Discussion Guide


Guest: Rev. Dr. Jay Williams

The Rev. Dr. Jay Williams is our guest in Tuesdays at the Table. Photo courtesy Jay Williams.

The Rev. Dr. Jay Williams has served congregations in New York City, Boston and San Francisco, including Glide Memorial, and currently pastors Union Church in Boston.

Williams holds a Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from Harvard University. His work explores the meaning of "spirit” in black cultural discourse at the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality. His particular focus explores how spirit-talk has been a marginalizing language of power. His dissertation, “Unholy Ghosts in the Age of Spirit: Identity, Intersectionality, and the Theological Horizons of Black Progress,” develops a constructive theology of spirit that rethinks hope, courage and vitality, premised on insights from W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston and Howard Thurman. Through his pastoral and academic work, Williams strives to help more disinherited folk find their voices.

Williams, a queer, cisgender man, and his partner, Robert, have two crazy yorkie-chihuahuas, Bentley and Hurston.

Host: Michelle Hettmann

Michelle Hettmann hosts part 3 of Tuesdays at the Table. Photo courtesy Michelle Hettmann. Michelle (she/her) is a certified candidate in the Virginia Conference seeking ordination as an elder in The United Methodist Church. She received her Bachelor's in Human Development at Virginia Tech and Master of Divinity at Emory's Candler School of Theology. She currently works as the Communications Director at Burke United Methodist Church as well as doing freelance communications for several churches and organizations across the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Michelle is passionate about environmental justice, the role of people of faith in the fight for climate justice, and working for a more inclusive church and world.