Basics of our Faith

As United Methodists, we have an obligation to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, the living reality at the center of the Church’s life and witness. To fulfill this obligation, we reflect critically on our biblical and theological inheritance, striving to express faithfully the witness we make in our own time. (source:

Our History

The United Methodist Church was formed when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968. But we trace our heritage back to the movement begun in 1729 in England by John and Charles Wesley. Find out more about our history.
The people of The United Methodist Church are part of the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Our worldwide connection includes approximately 12.8 million members. Below, you will find a brief list of some of the distinctive characteristics of our denomination. The United Methodist Church is:
  • Global: Today we speak many languages and live in many countries—with different cultures, ethnic traditions, national histories and understandings of Christian faith and practice.
  • Connectional: Every United Methodist congregation is interconnected throughout the denomination via a unique, interlocking chain of conferences. The United Methodist Church practices representative democracy in its governance. Conferences elect delegates who are authorized to act and vote. Learn more about our structure.
  • UMC Family Tree: The United Methodist Church was formed when the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church merged in 1968. But we trace our heritage back so much farther than that. From a small movement in 1700s England, our church is now global with more than 12 million members around the world. While our languages, cultures and nations of origin may differ, a common mission and history unite us in powerful ways. Find out why we say our church is Wesleyan, missional and connected.
  • Concerned about social justice: For more than 200 years, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies have expressed concern for God’s children everywhere — the poor, the orphaned, the aging, the sick, the oppressed and the imprisoned. Learn more about how we serve.
  • Inclusive: All persons are welcome to attend our churches and receive Holy Communion, and are eligible to be baptized and become members. NOTE: The global church is experiencing growing disagreements about sexual orientation, gender identity, same-sex marriage, and ordination of LGBTQ clergy. See LHUMC’s response and more information below.

Our Present

Although the global church is experiencing growing disagreements about sexual orientation, gender identity, same-sex marriage, and ordination of LGBTQ clergy, Lake Harriet UMC’s foundation will not change.
Lake Harriet UMC’s foundation is built on social justice, and WE WILL CONTINUE TO WELCOME ALL. Period.
Our current welcome statement is this:


Lake Harriet United Methodist Church believes all people are children of God, unconditionally loved by our Creator whatever their age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, marital status, physical or mental ability.

Our church and leadership published the following statement February 26, 2019, in response to the Special Conference of the United Methodist Church:

Our Future

In response to the actions and direction of the global church, Lake Harriet UMC was honored to host the “Our Way Forward” Conference May 17-18, 2019. More than 300 individuals from around the world attended.
Lake Harriet UMC, our district superintendent, the Minnesota Annual Conference, and MANY congregations and organizations are leaders in the way forward. Lake Harriet UMC is one of many churches, organizations, and individuals that has signed a statement by the group “Minnesota Methodists.”
To see the statement and to learn more about the work of Minnesota Methodists, click here.
Lake Harriet leadership and pastors continue to be active in the way forward. Check the website and church communications for updates.