What's Happening

In 1974, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church adopted a first-of-its-kind resolution calling for a national ban on the manufacture, sale, and private possession of handguns, with exemptions for police, military, and licensed security guards.

Rev Jack Corbett of the Board of Church and Society turned to his predecessor, long-time Dumbarton parishioner Mike Beard, to create an organization to implement this resolution.  Mike had been the founding executive director of two earlier successful national coalitions, and was then on the staff of then-Congressman Walter E. Fauntroy (D-DC). 

Mike persuaded Rep. Fauntroy to convene a meeting of national religious organizations to discuss forming a coordinating committee. The first meeting took place in January, 1975 at the United Methodist Building with 15 organizations attending. They called for a plan of action and a budget.  At the second meeting in January the initial 15 organizations agreed to the plan to create a National Coalition To Ban Handguns as a "special project" of the United Methodist General Board of Christian Social Concerns.  The UMC provided office space, each participating organization made a financial contribution to the annual budget, and they elected Mike Beard to be the Coalition’s executive director.

The NCBH was immediately denounced and attacked by the National Rifle Association.  

June 4, 2022 Worship 10:00 am at West River

Worship will be held at 10:00 am at West River. If you can't join us in person, the service will be live-streamed on the church YouTube channel.

West River Retreat Center

5100 Chalk Point Rd, West River, MD 20778


June 4 & 5 - Saturday and Sunday with optional meals in the dining hall and overnight stay in a Lodge/cabin. On Sunday we will celebrate Pentecost with outdoor worship by the River! (Livestream option available). We will be organizing rides/carpools for those who want or need rides.


2022 Retreat Program Details: “Connection & Exploration”
We hope these opportunities offer balm to our souls and guide us in some fun communal activities. All retreaters choose up to 3 intergenerational interactive creative arts sessions to attend-- two 1-hour morning sessions and one after lunch. Options offered so you choose what you do. Children, youth, adults, older adults welcome at any sessions—Let’s be creative and have some fun together!
Session Options:
  • Making Bird Houses – Walter Schmidt provides materials, tools, and guidance for small groups to build bird houses
  • Photography Nature Walk – Jeehye Pak guides photographers (BYO phones or cameras) in taking photos of nature’s variety and beauty. Wonder at God’s creation from behind a lens.
  • Drumming for Fun, Community, and Uplift – Cheryl Conway & Melany Burrill provide drums, etc. and guidance. Create rousing or pensive rhythms together. Experience the fun & uplift of communal drumming! All ages welcome. No prior experience needed. 
  • Creating Sigils to Foster Your Aspirations – Bethany Quinn Sigils are symbols that you create from letters or words that are meaningful to you. They are used to signal to others and/or to further an aspiration. They have been used since at least the Neolithic era - in fact, the Christian fish symbol, the ichthys, was derived from a sigil. People create sigils as a way to plant a desired outcome into their subconscious, as a sort of prayer. Create and decorate your own sigil.  
  • Playing with Poetry – Nancy Holland & Elaine Friebele Explore your inner poet and have fun. We’ll read a few poems together and, together, write some poems. No pressure! Please bring paper/notebook/digital device and writing implement.
  • Walking Meditation – Neal Christie Step back from daily noise and busy-ness and participate in this intentionally quiet meditation. Participants come back together after a set time of quite meditation to share, then end in silence.
  • Art & the Dove -- Billy Friebele In this workshop, we will tap into our creativity and use it to explore our connection to the natural world. Exploring the themes of peace and spirituality through the image of the dove, participants will learn to combine materials and make unique artworks.
  • Pentecost Banner Community Project – work together to create a fabric-mosaic tongues of fire banner for our Pentecost celebration

The story of Mount Zion Cemetery and Dumbarton Church is getting a new telling through the Voices of Zion, an ambitious new music-theatre production.  Our Adult Education session on Sunday, May 15, will provide backstories of Voices from two authoritative sources.  Longtime Church member Mike Beard will offer some oral history from the mid-‘70’s based on his personal involvement persuading the congregation, then in dire financial straits, not to sell the cemetery to developers but  give its title to Mt. Zion, Dumbarton’s breakaway congregation and the oldest Black Methodist church in Washington.  Susan Galbraith, artistic director of the Alliance for New Music-Theatre, will describe how new research into those interred in the cemetery -- a station on the Underground Railroad --  grew into Zion’s dramatic musical resurrection of their long-forgotten lives. There will be time for discussion and comments from people who have seen Voices of Zion performances earlier this month, and time for questions from people who may want to attend one of the last three scheduled performances.  Join us this Sunday, at ten in person at 3133 Dumbarton St. NW, or by Zoom, dialing 301-715-8592 and punching in Meeting ID: 823 2708 4830 and Passcode: 801277.

Is Jesus human?  Yes, said the early church.  And also divine.  Those attending our Adult Education session on revisited this question and Christianity's response by viewing works of art about Jesus and reading poems about those works.  Professor Gerry Hendershot share his insights from a poetry and art class he organized at American University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.  Both the art and the poetry ask: did Jesus have a human body and human emotions, with all their limitations?  How is it important to a Christian's faith that Jesus be human?  How do we reconcile the humanity of Jesus with his divinity?  For the discussion and Professor Hendershot's thoughts, go to our YouTube channel and find our May 8 2022 session.

Our Location

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3133 Dumbarton St
NW Washington, DC, 20007
Phone: (202) 333.7212

Transportation to Dumbarton


A Reconciling Congregation


All are welcome for in-person worship at Dumbarton Church each Sunday at 11:00 am--masks and social distancing will be required. For more information about our Covid safety protocols, please click here

You can also join us on Zoom where our in-person worship will be broadcast simultaneously using: Meeting ID: 898 3876 7270 Passcode: 312148, or dial by your location 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

 Adult Education is also held in-person and via Zoom most Sundays at 10:00 a.m..

Accessible. All are Welcome!

     Listening Devices Available

What People Say About Us

--"There is a welcoming fellowship and a continuing challenge to be engaged in social justice."--Harry K.

--"I love how Dumbarton continues to stand up for the rights of the marginalized, especially LGBT people"

--"I appreciate the incredible lay participation and leadership - it is unrivaled elsewhere, in my experience."--Jamie M.

--"Everyone at Dumbarton is honestly and uniquely who they are - there are no pretensions or facades to pretend to be someone we are not." Michelle D.

--"I like the time in the service when we prayerfully express our joys and concerns."--Joan C.