The heart of our community is our Sunday morning worship. We gather together to sing and pray, to listen and share, to be inspired and challenged. In our worship, we celebrate God’s gift of diversity and value the wholeness made possible in community, equally shared and shepherded by all. We are a church that welcomes all people, and celebrates the rich diversity of humanity in gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, level of education and family structure, immigration, marital and social status and so much more.
Our weekly, Sunday morning worship starts at 10:00 am in the summer (and lasts a little longer than an hour). Worship at Dumbarton is informal, participatory, creative and inclusive. When you arrive at church in Georgetown, greeters will welcome you, show you to the Sanctuary and provide you with a name tag and bulletin. If you are joining us by zoom, you are welcome to turn your camera on or off, and use the chat to interact with one another.
Our worship service follows a typical pattern of Christian worship with hymns/songs, readings, prayers, a time for all ages, a sermon, offering and, on the first Sunday of the month, Holy Communion. In the United Methodist Church we have an open table for communion, which means all are welcome to participate.
We use non-gendered language for God in our prayers, hymns and reading of scripture. Our liturgy celebrates the diversity of the human community because we believe that God transcends human constructs and all creation bears the image of the divine, and we want our worship to reflect those beliefs. [include link to sample worship bulletin]
Children are always welcome in worship! We have a special “Time for All Ages” where the message is tailored for younger worshipers, after which time children are invited to stay in the service with their families or younger children may prefer being in the nursery with our two paid nursery workers. Youth are welcome to sit together in the balcony in our “youth lounge” (insert photo). In addition, we love to have our children and youth lead in worship, serving as acolytes, readers, or offering their musical gifts.
Music is an important part of our worship at Dumbarton and our congregation loves to sing. Worship services typically include traditional Methodist hymns, as well as more contemporary songs, supported by piano or guitar accompaniment. Our Choir sings twice a month.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have offered worship in person and online simultaneously. We strive to enable our zoom worshippers to feel as included and welcomed as our in-person congregation with two cameras in the sanctuary that allow zoom worshippers to see and hear what’s happening in person. And in the sanctuary we have a large monitor that projects the zoom worshipers for the people in the sanctuary. We are one community extending well beyond the walls of our sanctuary in Washington, DC.
After the offertory, each Sunday’s worship service sets aside time for anyone attending, whether virtually or in person, to share one or more joys or concerns. In response, the congregation, led by the pastor, voices prayers of thanksgiving and/or prayers of sympathy or intercessory petition, depending on the sharing. Those attending by Zoom may use the chat function to have their joy(s) or concern(s) read aloud, or unmute themselves and speak directly to the rest of the virtual and in-person congregation. Those attending in person may use either the pulpit or a hand-held microphone to allow people with difficulty hearing to fully participate.
The sharing of joys and concerns is a longstanding Dumbarton worship tradition, and both sharers and congregants value the sense of connectedness and community it gives us. When the sharing is a grieving or a concern about the medical condition of the sharer or a loved one, it often leads to sympathy cards, calls, or e-mails from fellow worshipers, and greater closeness in coffee hour conversations.
One of the ways we give back to God is through our weekly tithes and offerings. Our time of giving generally follows the sermon, and worshippers can support the mission and ministry of the church by giving online (using the QR code in our bulletin or giving with the online link in the chat on Zoom). We also welcome checks and cash to be given in person. If you are a visitor, we do not expect that you will make a financial contribution. Your presence is a gift that you offer to God and our community.
Dumbarton celebrates the sacrament of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month. In the United Methodist Church we have an open table for communion, which means all are welcome to participate. We believe Holy Communion is a ritual of remembrance of Jesus’ life and love, a celebration of the connection we have as the Body of Christ and a taste of heaven. So that all can partake, we offer bread and gluten free wafers and non-alcoholic grape juice.
As a United Methodist Church we offer the sacrament of Baptism to infants, as well as children, youth and adults who have not been previously baptized in another tradition. We believe that baptism is an act of welcoming into the family of faith, a turning from sin towards new life, and a recognition of God’s love for us. At least twice a year the congregation is invited to “remember our baptism” in worship with a ritual of recommitment and a sprinkling of water. Baptism is a celebration that includes the whole community and so we do not offer private baptisms unless there are extenuating circumstances that require it. If you are interested in being baptized or having your child baptized, please contact the church office. (insert link to church email).
Dumbarton United Methodist Church is available to host weddings and funerals/memorial services. Our historic sanctuary can accommodate 150 guests for these occasions.
Our wedding guidelines are available for any couple considering Dumbarton UMC for their wedding. Weddings at Dumbarton are conducted by officiants affiliated with Dumbarton. By invitation of the appointed pastor, other officiants may assist with weddings at Dumbarton. All couples considering marriage are required to participate in at least 4 one-hour pre-marriage preparation sessions with one of our pastors.
For more information about weddings at Dumbarton, please contact the church office.