Our United Methodist Heritage
Bama Wesley is the United Methodist ministry to the University of Alabama campus, and our pastoral staff are ordained or licensed clergy in the United Methodist Church. As such, we adhere to the beliefs and practices of United Methodism which can be found here.
While Bama Wesley is a ministry of the United Methodist Church, we welcome all students regardless of denominational background (or lack thereof!). Our mission is not to serve only United Methodist students on campus, but all students who seek to experience the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Indeed, our active students come from a wide range of backgrounds and find a home in Bama Wesley where they can experience worship, fellowship, discipleship, outreach opportunities, and a chance to discover God’s call on their life.
The United Methodist Church recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. Our beliefs on each are outlined below, but if you have further questions we invite you to speak with one of our pastors.
As United Methodists, we believe that baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace that we receive long before we realize it. We believe that there is nothing magical about the waters of baptism, but rather that they are a symbol of what God has already done in our lives, a public profession of faith in God on our part, and a commitment by the community of faith to support the person being baptized in their continued faith journey. Though infrequent in the campus ministry setting, as United Methodists we practice infant baptism as part of our belief that baptism itself symbolizes God’s having already claimed us even before birth. In keeping with the understanding that baptism is a public acknowledgment of the work God has already done in our lives, we believe that God “gets it right” the first time, and thus we do not rebaptize and consider any trinitarian baptism (that is, baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to be valid regardless of when or where it was performed.
If you are interested in being baptized, we encourage you to contact one of our pastors who would love to continue this conversation further.
Bama Wesley adheres to the United Methodist belief that Holy Communion (or the Eucharist) represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and that in Holy Communion we are reminded of the forgiveness we have through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as well as our part in the worldwide body of Christ manifest in the catholic (or universal) Church. Our understanding is that the table of Holy Communion belongs to God, not to Bama Wesley or to the United Methodist Church, and thus is open to all regardless of baptism, church membership, or denominational affiliation. Holy Communion is received periodically throughout the school year in The Rising, as well as other opportunities.
Communion is normally received through intinction, meaning you will receive a piece of bread and hear the words, “this is the body of Christ, broken for you”, which you will then dip in a cup of grape juice as you hear the words, “this is the blood of Christ, shed for you.” If your personal faith tradition restricts your ability to receive Holy Communion, you are invited to participate by crossing your arms over your chest as you approach the serving station, and one of our pastors will offer a prayer for you. If you have gluten or other food sensitivities, please speak with one of our pastors.
If you have questions about Bama Wesley’s beliefs about Holy Communion, we invite you to speak with one of our pastors.