Discipleship Classes (formerly known as SpiritWalk) are a collection of short-term classes offered each spring and fall designed to grow you deep in the foundations of the Christian life. If you feel God calling you deeper in one particular area, or you are in leadership, consider a Discipleship Classes.
Truth - Beliefs & Doctrine
Epic of Eden
Wednesdays, Sep 22 - Dec 15
9:30 - 11:00 AM
LEADERS: Mary Ann Kemmerer
The Old Testament. It is our history, but do you ever feel like you do not fully understand it? Is it easier to begin with the New Testament? Come join us in this study to rediscover the Old Testament. "In Epic of Eden, Dr. Sandra Richter jumps headlong into the Old Testament to clearly and powerfully communicate a history of God’s redeeming grace, weaving together a story that runs from the Eden of the Garden to the garden of the New Jerusalem." Join us in this study as we dive into the Old Testament to better understand the people, the places, and the theological significance of the stories in the Old Testament. This class will be taught in honor of Connie Ruple, who has taught many Bible studies at Bethany over the years before her passing in 2021. We will affectionately refer to this as “Connie’s Class”.
Epic of Eden: Isaiah (Women’s Bible Study)
Tuesdays, Sep 7 - Nov 16
9:30 - 11:30 AM
LEADER: Prissy Pense
COST: ($20 to purchase own materials) The Epic of Eden: Isaiah by Sandra Richter, purchase through Seedbed HERE
Often named the fifth gospel, the book Isaiah has more to say about Israel’s coming Messiah than any other Old Testament book. Brilliant, courageous, uncompromising, the prophet, Isaiah, declares that the year of the LORD has come and God’s people needed to either step up, or stand down. Indeed, when Isaiah spoke, kings trembled. Now, frequently when we read Isaiah, God’s people have trouble understanding the larger context.
In The Epic of Eden: Isaiah, Dr. Sandra Richter takes participants back to the eighth century BCE. This ten-week study explains Israel’s religion and economy, explores the definition and role of the prophets, and helps us to apply the message of this great champion of the faith to our lives today. Sandra Richter is the Robert H. Gundry Chair of Biblical Studies at Westmont College, and was previously at Wheaton College, teaching Hebrew language, exegesis, cultural contexts, and Environmentalism and the Evangelical. She received her MA from Gordon Conwell and her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations department. She is deeply invested in bringing the people and places of the Old Testament to life for both the academic and the lay person.
We will meet on Zoom, Tuesday mornings from 10:00 - 11:30 until such time as COVID numbers go down then there will be an option to meet in person at Bethany UMC. Participants will receive the zoom link before the first meeting.
- Material: The Epic of Eden: Isaiah by Sandra Richter, purchase through Seedbed HERE.
Questions? Contact Prissy Pense-Moore at
The History and Archeology of the Bible
Mondays, Sep 13- Nov 29
6:30 - 8:30 PM
LEADERS: Pastor Dave Lutz
The Bible is not a history book. It’s a book of faith, and, above all, its writings have religious and spiritual intent. Yet, each of its stories originated in a particular place and time, and many of them intersect meaningfully with what we know about the ancient world. This course takes you on a multidimensional journey through the Bible, seen through the lens of the latest historical and archaeological findings, and accompanied by video footage of many of the sites where the stories of the Bible unfold. Covering seminal books of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) such as Genesis, Exodus, Prophets, Kings, and Samuel, the course follows the arc of ancient civilization, reflecting on the majestic empires of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, and Greece. The primary lecturer for the course is Jean-Pierre Isbouts, a National Geographic Historian and a member of the Doctoral Faculty in the School of Leadership Studies at Fielding Graduate University. Discussion and additional lectures will be facilitated by Pastor Dave Lutz, who holds a PhD in OT studies, has worked as an archaeologist at two holy land sites (Shechem ad Gezer), taught relevant courses at the college and university levels, has led groups of students and church members on educational tours of the Near East and has taught courses at Bethany for about 20 years. There are no texts or costs for the course, but readings from the Bible will be suggested for each session.
Life - Relationship with Jesus
Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps
Sundays, Sep 26 - Nov 21*
2:00 - 4:00 PM
* Class will not meet on Oct 24 or 31
LEADER: Erin Temple
COST: $15 (materials included)
Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps is a 7-week book study that explores the nature of human sin and suffering in light of the Twelve Steps. Grow to better understand your struggles and how God works and heals in your life and in the lives of your loved ones. In class we'll get to know each other, discuss the book, and share ways we want to grow.
- Material: Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps by Richard Rohr
Prayer with Vicky Porterfield
Mondays, Sep 13 - Oct 18
6:30 - 8:00 PM
LEADER: Vicky Porterfield*
Our best response in troubling times is prayer! How difficult it is to make wise decisions and help others and ask for guidance in these covid days and in the midst of earthquakes and wars!! But we have a God who we can talk to and who listens!
Join Vicky Porterfield and the BUMC prayer team as we discuss how to dial 911 to our God who answers. Vicky will weave Biblical stories and personal examples of prayer throughout the teaching. Each of us will get a chance to participate so do not come only to take notes…we will pray too!
Topics will include: How to know your prayer assignment, what authority do you carry in prayer, the power of agreement, how to pray from the Bible, how to make declarations and decrees. We will talk about our participation in the ekklesia (Greek word for church) and how this impacts our prayers. And expect to grow in effective prayer for your family, the sick, the church, missions, schools, the government and of course, the kingdom of God in the nations.
*Vicky Porterfield is an internationally-known prayer minister whose desire is to further God’s Kingdom through prayer, service and teaching. She and her husband John co-founded PrayerFields, a ministry committed to help Christians identify their field and how to pray effectively in their place. Vicky served as National Director of Intercessors Intl. for six years under the leadership of Elizabeth Alves and Tommi Femrite. Vicky has led prayer teams for conferences in the U. S., Argentina, Switzerland and Germany and had the opportunity to teach in South Korea, Latvia, Argentina, Burundi, and Kenya. She has also been the Director of Intercession for March for Jesus and for the college-age Passion and OneDay Conferences
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts & Passions
Sunday, October 3
2:00 - 5:00 PM
LEADER: Cecilia Barrentine & Kelli Thompson
Ever wonder what part you are meant to play in doing God's work in the world? God has gifted each one of us with specific talents and traits which we can grow and develop to help us be living examples of Christ's love in our community. Join us for this 3 hour course where we will guide you in discovering the unique spiritual gifts you possess and help you understand the purpose God designed you for.
The Way - Living Out the Faith in All of Life
Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation
Wednesdays, Sep 22 - Oct 27
7:00 - 8:30 PM
In-person / Zoom Hybrid
LEADER: Jill Johnson & Pastor Thomas Johnson
If you are exhausted by the news and tensions surrounding discussions of race, you are not alone. But as followers of Christ, we are called to hear, understand, and love our neighbor. Join us as we learn about racial reconciliation through the lens of discipleship and biblical principles.
This class is for you if you:
Desire a safe space to have honest and difficult conversations
Sense Christ leading you explore this issue as part of your personal spiritual formation
Want to understand how God redeems both individual and collective sin
Need guidance on how to be a bridge builder in light of the gospel
Facilitators Pastor Thomas Johnson and Bethany member Jill Johnson (no relation!) have been blessed to work in ministry together in a variety of ways over the years. They don’t always see eye-to-eye on every issue, yet they always find common ground in the belief that God guides us with grace and desires to transform our hearts to make us more like Christ.
Beyond Walls Ministry Team
2nd Sundays, Oct 10 - May 8
4:00 - 5:15 PM
LEADER: Pastor Thomas Johnson & Kevin Gourley
This new ministry team is focused on reaching out beyond the walls of the church to share Christ's love with our surrounding community. We will meet monthly to inspire, empower, equip, and support one another so we can all grow in living out God's mission in our lives. We are looking for people who are willing to make a one year commitment to be part of this team so they can grow in how they live out God's mission in their lives. A regular day/time has not been selected yet, but we will try to choose a time that works for everyone on the team. This team will be led by Kevin Gourley, a long-time Bethany member and passionate Christ-follower, and Pastor Thomas Johnson.
For Questions or More Information: Contact
ReWYRE: Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends
Kick-off Info Session*
Sunday, Sep 12
6:00 - 7:00 PM
*There is no obligation to enroll in class after attending the informational meeting, though attendance at informational meeting is preferred and helpful for enrolling in class.
Sundays, Sep 19 - Nov 21
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Room D-203/204 (in-person)
LEADERS: Erin Temple & Rex D’Avila
ReWYRE stands for Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends and is for anyone who has lost a love relationship due to divorce, death, or significant breakup. It's an 11-week class that incorporates large group presentations, small group discussion, prayer, and social gatherings to connect with others going through a painful journey and find God's hope and healing.
Learn more about ReWYRE.
Understanding Your Grief
Sundays, Sep 19 - Nov 21
2:00 - 3;00 PM
LEADERS: Pastor Wynn Stenftenagel & Stephen Minister Debbie McAngus Leake
Explore ten essential touchstones in grief work as you mourn for a loved one who has died. This grief support class will offer valuable information and lessons to encourage you in your efforts to find healing and hope, and connect you with others on this journey from loss into new life.