Visiting the Church
From the moment you walk through our doors, we hope that you feel God’s welcome from the people of Bethesda United Church of Christ. We are glad you found us and we warmly welcome you to worship with us. Whether you visit us on occasion, attend regularly, or formally make BUCC your church home by joining as a member, we hope that you will take advantage of the many opportunities to share in fellowship, serve our community, and grow in your spiritual journey.
If you are new to our church and would like to explore membership, the Welcome Team hosts Inquirers’ Gatherings several times a year as needed. This is an informal gathering for anyone who has questions about our congregation, the United Church of Christ, or even what it means to be a member of a church. It is an opportunity for us to get to know you better as well as for you to meet other newcomers to BUCC.
For those who choose to become members of BUCC, we have a brief welcoming ceremony during Sunday worship. After that, we like to introduce you to one other person in the congregation who will act as a “mentor” so that you may better get to know your new church.
Our community gathers for worship in the sanctuary each Sunday morning. Our time together is filled with music, prayers, regular communion, and a message or sermon. Colorful banners hang from the rafters celebrating the seasons of the church year. The music that fills the air during worship is a mix of musical styles from African American hymns, to “oldies but goodies” and contemporary hymns. Guest musicians enhance worship with their special talents. During a time for “joys” and “concerns”, worshippers offer what they wish to have lifted in prayer. Our minister offers a message rooted in the readings from the Bible that morning and delves into issues of what it means to live with love and hope and follow Jesus in the world we live in today. The service closes with a blessing as one of the children carries the light of the candles from the worship table out into the world.
On the first Sunday of the month, we celebrate communion as part of the worship service and remember Jesus’ last supper with the disciples. We welcome everyone who would like to receive communion because in sharing communion we celebrate and receive Jesus’ extravagant welcome and love. Communion is generally administered by intinction. The congregation comes forward row by row. Participants in turn take a piece of bread and dip it into the cup of juice and then return to their seats. As Jesus welcomed all, we welcome children to participate in communion. At the discretion of their parents, children may receive the bread and cup or receive a blessing from the minister.
Everyone is welcome to join the choir for the season from September through May or just for a special holiday including Advent/Christmas and/or Lent/Easter. The choir primarily rehearses before worship on Sunday mornings at 8:45 a.m. There are a few evening rehearsals before the new season begins in the fall and before Christmas and Easter.
Following worship, we share fellowship with coffee, tea and refreshments in our parlor from September through May, and with lemonade outside in the shade of our trees from June through August. We hope you will join us!