About Church in Bethesda
What's happening on Sundays...
We worship at 11am!
As a worshiping community we gather on Sunday's to connect to God and one another. This is a direct expression of obedience to the way that Jesus summed up the whole of scriptural focus into two things: Loving God and Loving Others... Matthew 22:34-40:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your
On Sunday we will love and connect to God in times of prayer. Every Sunday we'll have a special time called Prayers of the People in which everyone is welcome to share both celebrations of what God is doing in their lives and the concerns that need to be lifted to God's good grace.
We'll celebrate scripture in public readings, congregational readings, maybe even in a video presentation. We will sing and enjoy music as gifts from God. Because we try to value all of the senses which we have, there will have visuals and sounds. We'll have candles to see and smell. We will move around and engage our sense of taste. We'll be creative. We might draw, paint or make gifts for children at a local hospital.
Each Sunday we'll join with Christians around the world and throughout the generations who have kept the Eucharistic practice alive and well. Most churches in the US call this the "Lord's Supper" or Communion. We reenact, in a stylized way, the Passover meal thatJesus shared withhis closest followers before his crucifixion and that was intended to be a special point of connection between himself and all disciples for millennia to come. In our Communion time all people who wish to participate in that connection to Christ and one another are welcome to come forward, tear away a piece of bread, dip it in the cup (grape juice), and eat. These are the gifts of God for the people of God. After receiving the bread and juice you are welcome to visit one of the prayer stations around the sanctuary and spend a few quiet moments in meditation.
Most Sundays we'll share a message, always rooted in the scriptures and expressive of our desire to orient our lives to the will of God.
Also, Sundays are also special times of fellowship and connection to one another. We'll always have something light to eat before and after worship. Small groups will often meet in various places for prayer and study. We value times to share life and will often have activities Sunday afternoon to continue our fellowship... hiking, picking apples at a local farm, visits to museums, etc. We hope you'll be our guest very soon.
Monthly Fellowship Groups...
If you're familiar with the Emergent Church discussion/friendship that now spans the globe, you might be glad to know that we are a part of that "generative friendship."
Local and Global Ministry...
At Church in Bethesda we believe that being a good neighbor is both a local and global opportunity. In response to that we have engaged needs here in Bethesda through partnerships with Bethesda Cares and the Children's Inn at the National Institute for Health.
Globally we have partnered with Sue Wolpert who lives and works as a free-lance social worker in Guatemala assisting the families of children with life-threatening diseases, and with one of our own , Brooke Barcheski, who has worked with a Christian school for under-served children in Haiti.
It is our hope that we will continue to be open to whatever venue and way in which God chooses to use us to bless the world.
Historically, 1938 to Today…
A group of Christians came together in Bethesda in 1938 and formed the Bethesda First Baptist Church, meeting at a downtown bank building. They built their first Sanctuary in 1940 at 5033 Wilson Lane. An educational building was built in 1950 and the second, larger Sanctuary was completed in 1958.
That congregation continued to worship as the Bethesda First Baptist Church until 2004 when they left behind their exclusively Baptist identity and transitioned into a new group, called Church in Bethesda. Today we are what we call "multi-denominational." Our people come from many faith traditions including Baptist, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and many others in between. We celebrate them all!
There have been many changes in staff since that Fall in 2004, but the desire has always remained the same; following the tradition and intention of that first group of Christians in 1938, we seek to be a transformative presence of Christ for Bethesda and our surrounding communities.
Our tageline is "...followers of Christ, good neighbors in the world..." and this is our mission. We desire to be fully devoted to Jesus Christ, and thereby become servants of the world and the best neighbors you could have.
Here are some fast ways to jump to pages about specific aspects of our ministries and shared life as a church family!