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Plan a visit

Welcome to NBUMC

Worship is a weekly highlight at NBUMC; it’s a time to gather in community, to be refilled, and to be sent out as agents of healing and hope in a hurting world. Our Sunday services are never exactly the same from week to week, but we always have music, prayer, Scripture reading, and invitations to reflect on and respond to the Scripture (usually, but not always a sermon.) We gather, not as people who have it all together or all figured out, but as fellow seekers who feel called to participate in something that goes beyond ourselves.

How to get here

NBUMC is located on Old Georgetown Road, just north of I-495 (the Beltway), in Bethesda, MD. We are just steps away from the J1 and J2 WMATA bus lines. Old Georgetown Road is lined with protected bike lanes in the immediate area of the church. There are ample parking spaces available in our lot as well. 

Once you arrive, the easiest doors to enter through are just off the parking lot. Ushers and greeters will be just inside the door to direct you to the Sanctuary and answer any questions you may have.

What to Expect

Our service begins at 10am (but if you are late, you will probably be in good company, so don’t feel self-conscious!) with an organ prelude. You’ll be given a bulletin that will list each element of the service for that day. The way that we pray differs from week to week; some Sundays we might take spoken requests from the congregation, or other times we may hold silence together. We will never single out visitors or guests and ask them to speak. Any collective response to the scripture reading or sermon (such as writing or a very simple art project) is 100% invitational and never mandatory. We sometimes follow the Revised Common Lectionary for scripture readings and sermons; other times we do themed sermon series (past favorites have been “Strong Women in the Bible,” “National Parks,” “Gospel Boat Stories,” and “Almost Sacraments: Everyday Ways We Encounter God’s Grace.” 

Except for the summer months when they are off, our choir members provide musical leadership for congregational hymns and other special music. Most of our songs come out of the United Methodist Hymnal or the more contemporary supplements, but we try to mix it up and choose music that reflects the diversity of our congregation.

Services generally last about an hour, give or take 5ish minutes. 

What About kids?

Bring them! There is a time toward the beginning of worship called the “Word for All Ages,” which is especially for the youngest in our midst. After that part of the service, children through elementary school are invited to go with our Children’s Ministers to what we call “Prime Time.” For the rest of the worship hour, they will be engaged in song, dialogue, and activities that help them to grow in their own faith and love. 

We also have a staffed nursery for babies and toddlers. You are welcome to stay with your child and listen to the service from the nursery, or to leave them in the care of our staff and volunteers and head to worship in the Sanctuary.

What should i wear?

Whatever makes you feel comfortable! You will see people in jeans and t-shirts, as well as dresses, slacks, ties, and some lovely Sunday hats. You are truly welcome, just as you are. 

What happens after worship?

Our Coffee Hour following worship is one of the best in town! An excellent team of volunteers prepares coffee, tea, and snacks, and often presents them with themed decorations for the sermon series or season. We gather in the Fellowship Hall, just down the hall from the Sanctuary; all are welcome to drop in for a grab-and-go snack or a longer conversation! 

can i take communion?

Absolutely. As United Methodists, we have an open Communion table, meaning the gifts of God are available to all who desire them. We generally celebrate Communion together on the first Sunday of every month. We have cubes of bread, as well as gluten-free crackers, which are distributed by volunteers who will place a piece in your hand when you come through the line (or who will serve you in your pew if that is more accessible to you.) We have grape juice in individual cups, which you may take from the Communion table (or you will be handed one in your pew) after receiving your bread. The server may say to you some variation of, “The body and blood of Christ, given for you.” You may simply receive in silence or respond with some variation of “Thanks be to God.” 

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