Living Our Beliefs

Mark Lambert
April 14, 2023

“What does the United Methodist Church stand for?”

It’s a question many have pondered during this time of discernment, disaffiliation, and YouTube-fueled theories about supposed radical changes in church theology.

“A lot of people are asking questions right now about United Methodist doctrine, like, ‘Is marriage a sacrament?’ things like that,” said Jennifer Swann, the Louisiana Conference Lay Leader. “They’re hearing things like, ‘Methodists don’t really believe anything.’”

Contrary to some disinformation campaigns, the United Methodist Church has a strong theological foundation rooted in the Christian teachings of John Wesley, the father of Methodism. To enlighten people on what United Methodists believe, The Louisiana Conference is sponsoring “United Methodist Heritage: Living Our United Methodists Beliefs,” a class that “aims to examine the role of doctrine within the United Methodist Church.”

The class is being offered in Lafayette and New Orleans on Saturday, April 22, and in Shreveport and Baton Rouge on Saturday, April 29. There is a $20 registration fee, which covers lunch.

Each course is led by an ordained minister, but the class is geared toward lay leaders in the church or anyone who wants to understand exactly what being a United Methodist means in today’s world.

“If you teach Sunday school, if you lead small groups, we really suggest you take this course,” Swann said. “If you are involved in lay pastoral care, this is a course that can prepare you for the role you’re playing in your church. But really, it’s for anyone. Even folks who have been United Methodists for a long time are going to find out things from this course that might surprise them.”

The class description says the course will “explore the history of the United Methodist Church while focusing on the Wesleyan understanding of grace and how it became a key aspect of the movement.” It also will cover how Wesley was inspired to create “the practical structure and disciplines” for the early church and “how these practices lead to holiness of heart and life.”

“The course is about tying a basic understanding of United Methodist beliefs to living a life of holiness, what we are called to be in the world,” Swann said.

Although it is not required to take the course, there is an accompanying book, “Living Our United Methodist Beliefs,” available for sale for $7.99 for paperback and $4.99 for Kindle or tablet.


Baton Rouge

Saturday, April 29
First United Methodist Church
Facilitator: Rev. Brady Whitton

No registration needed,
but please email
for more information

New Orleans

Saturday, April 22
Asbury United Methodist Church
Facilitator: Rev. Clifton Conrad

Register Now



Saturday, April 29
Broadmoor United Methodist Church
Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Tom Dolph

Register Now



Saturday, April 22
Asbury United Methodist Church
Facilitator: Rev. John Cannon

Register Now



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