Meet the NBUMC Staff 

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Rev. Kara Scroggins, Pastor

Rev. Kara has been serving alongside the people of North Bethesda since July 2021. Prior to that, she served at Glenmont UMC for three years and Bethesda UMC for five. She grew up in Washington, DC, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in math and English. While teaching math in Cape Town, South Africa, Rev. Kara felt called to build and bridge communities of faith, and she came home ready to pursue ordination in the United Methodist Church. She earned her Masters in Divinity from Yale Divinity School, where she most enjoyed studying environmental theologies, global sacred music, and pastoral care with refugee populations. Rev. Kara is a competitive runner and triathlete who spends a lot of time listening to Taizé music, losing/finding her keys, and over-committing to complicated craft projects.

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Chris Lee, Office Manager

Chris joined NBUMC’s staff in July 2014, and is our Office Manager. In this role, she acts as our financial secretary, does building scheduling and is probably the first person you’ll speak to if you call or visit the church during the week.

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Simon Charette Director of Music

Simon Charette joined the NBUMC staff as the Director of Music in October 2022. He directs the adult choir, and accompanies worship on both organ and piano. Simon is a conductor, collaborative pianist, and vocal coach based in Washington, DC. He has worked with internationally acclaimed artists from the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera. He was recently appointed Associate Artistic Director of the Washington Opera Society. He also serves as assistant conductor of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra in Annapolis. Simon is the artistic director of the Choir of the Embassy of France in Washington and the French Choir of Washington, DC. He holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the Université de Montréal. 

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Linda Thompson, Minister of Visitation

Linda has been a member of NBUMC for many years. She joined the staff in 2006 as Minister of Visitation. She collaborates with the pastor to ensure a positive connection is maintained with members of the congregation. Linda visits those who are sick, homebound, or in nursing homes, often with the pastor. She also spends time working with our seniors. Linda coordinates a shawl and greeting card ministry to reach out to members and friends for various occasions and to provide needed encouragement. Linda also helps coordinate some of the special events that take place at North Bethesda. 

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Renee Newman, Director of Christian Education

Renee Joined the staff in 2017 to nurture the spiritual development of our children. As a retired educator of the Montgomery County Public School System, Renee brings a wealth of experience working with children and young adults. She has many gifts, and musical and artistic talents that she is sharing with the children.