Welcome to our church family
Opportunities for Christian Education are available for all age groups. We encourage everyone to take advantage of our Sunday School offerings which can be found by visiting our CHRISTIAN EDUCATION page.
Who We Are
The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968 when The Methodist Church merged with The Evangelical United Brethren Church". We are the primary successor to the church which John Wesley founded in 1784. If you grew up a "Methodist", then this is your church. We are the second largest Protestant denomination in America, and we are a global church with churches and members in nearly every country of the world. Methodism is a diverse church with people from many different backgrounds and ethnicities. We span the continuums of theology, politics, economics, race, and education. Our motto is "Open hearts, open minds, open doors." There is always a place for a person like you within the fellowship of The United Methodist Church. For more information about The United Methodist Church, you may click on this link to Methodism's new web site ReThinkChurch.org
The Lord's Table
At our church we have what we call an "Open Communion Table" which means everyone who worships with us is welcome to participate in and receive the sacrament of holy communion. The only requirement is that you desire to have your sins forgiven, and that you believe Jesus died on the cross to take away your sins. You don't have to be a member of the Methodist Church or any other church, and you don't have to be baptized first. We don't require confession with the pastor first. Holy Communion is a symbolic meal in which we re-enact and remember the meal Jesus shared with his disciples before he died. He is the one who told us to remember his sacrifice on the cross each time we break the bread and drink from the cup. We use ordinary bread of a variety of types, and we use grape juice instead of wine. This makes communion available to all including children, youth, and those trying to avoid alcohol.
See Yourself in This Picture
Thank you so much for visiting our church web site. We hope the information on this page will provide some answers and will intrigue you to want to learn more about our congregation's ministries and people. We suggest that a good next step might be to come and worship with us on a Sunday morning, or a Wednesday evening. We also encourage you to contact any of our church leaders if you have any additional questions. Please visit our CONTACT page to reach us by telephone, email, or by letter. We are saving a place in our family portrait for you. Won't you join us?"
When You Come
- What time should I come?
- You may choose either our 8:30 or 11:00 AM Sunday Services. Both are traditional services. Our WORSHIP page has more details. Or if Sundays are not convenient for you, you are invited to our less formal Wednesday night services at 6:45 PM It is best to arrive 10 or 15 minutes prior to the start of the service which will give you time to pick up one of our visitor packets available from the ushers. We promise you a warm welcome. Please note: During the summer our Sunday worship services move to a single service at 10:00 AM. Summer worship starts on June 10th.
- How do I find you?
- We are located at 3 Port Tobacco Road, La Plata MD 20646. Need a map and directions? Click here: MAP
- Where should I park?
- Visitors are welcome to use the dedicated and marked "Visitors" spaces adjacent to the church and there is plenty of free parking at La Plata in our main lot. Additional parking is available in an adjacent gravel lot with overflow parking offered in the Outback Shopping Center lot across the street. On days when the church lots are full, we have Charles County Sherriff's Deputies to assist in crossing the road from the shopping center lot. Marked Handicapped parking is available near the church entrance.
- What should I wear?
- No need to worry about your dress. La Plata welcomes all who want to worship and you are free to come as you are.
- I've never been to a church before. Should I be
- You can relax. Our goal is to make your worship experience as rewarding and pleasant as possible. No one will pressure you in any way. Returning visitors often tell us that one of the things they found most enjoyable on their first visit was the friendliness of the people they met. We pride ourselves on being a warm, welcoming congregation, and would love the opportunity to prove that to you.
- What about offerings?
- As a visitor, we are simply happy to have you worship with us. The service is our gift to you. Please do not feel obligated to give in any way. We hope that you simply enjoy the opportunity to draw closer to God through our Lord Jesus. Once you decide to become a regular part of the church, you may contribute as you can and feel led by God's Spirit to give. Members of La Plata are asked to support the work of the church in Christ's name through their prayers, their presence (worship attendance), their gifts (financial contributions), their service (caring ministries), and their witness (sharing the church and their faith with others). We don't ask our members and regulars to pledge. We encourage our members and invite any others to make "Estimates of Giving" for the coming year, so the church can effectively plan for the ministries and staffing of the church. Everyone is encouraged to progress toward tithing (giving 10% of one's take home income) by taking incremental steps, trusting God to provide for all their needs.
- How can I become more involved in the life of the church?
- It couldn't be easier. Our church is an active ministry with many opportunities for all skill sets. This website is a wonderful place to start exploring the many opportunities for service, fellowship, and prayer. On most pages, but especially on the CHURCH NEWS page, you will find descriptions of upcoming events and activities which would be grateful for your support and assistance. Our MINISTRIES page provides a complete listing of all of the service and social groups active at La Plata. All are open to those who wish to become more involved. Simply contact the "Cluster Leaders (Heads)" and offer your skills and talents.
- How can I become a member?
- La Plata UMC receives folks into the membership of the church about three times a year. We don't have a set pattern. If you've been worshiping with us for a while and you are ready to join, you may indicate your interest by marking the box on the fellowship folder, or by speaking to our pastor, or by calling the church office. We'd be happy to provide you with more information about the church. Rev. & Mrs. Jones usually host a New Members' Party and Orientation at their home during the weekend that people are scheduled to join. In some cases, there are two dates selected that season to accommodate those whose travels take them out of town. Usually new members are received early in the year, in late spring or early summer, and in the fall. The two requirements for membership are historical requirements since the beginning of Christ's church: 1) you need to be baptized (we accept other churches' baptisms or we can baptize you); and 2) you need to believe in Jesus, be grateful for his sacrifice on the cross to forgive your sins, and invite him into your heart as your Lord and Savior." If you are transferring your membership from another church, our church office will write to your previous church for the letter of transfer.