Martin Luther and the Reformation

Please join us for a presentation on Martin Luther and the Reformation, at 3:00 p.m. in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall (242 Main Street).

Rev. Dr. Robert Mordhorst (pictured at left) will talk about the nature of Luther and his theology and the rise and importance of Protestantism. Audience Q&A will follow.

Co-sponsored by Immanuel Lutheran Church and Bethesda United Methodist Church.

We Remember 9/11

Bethesda honors Preston’s first responders in 2016’s 9/11 Remembrance Service.

A Prayer for the Anniversary of 9/11
by the Rev. Jeremy Pridgeon

O God, our hope and refuge,
 in our distress we come quickly to you.
 Shock and horror of that tragic day have subsided,
 replaced now with an emptiness,
 a longing for an innocence lost.

We come remembering those who lost their lives
 in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. 

We are mindful of the sacrifice of public servants
 who demonstrated the greatest love of all
 by laying down their lives for friends.
 We commit their souls to your eternal care
 and celebrate their gifts to a fallen humanity.

We come remembering
 and we come in hope,
 not in ourselves, but in you. 

As foundations we once thought secure have been shaken,
 we are reminded of the illusion of security. 

In commemorating this tragedy,
 we give you thanks for your presence
 in our time of need
 and we seek to worship you in Spirit and in truth,
 our guide and our guardian. Amen.

Lessons & Carols at Barratt’s Chapel



Christmas Carols at United Methodist Landmark

The “Independence Hall of American Methodism” invites people to enjoy a Christmas concert each December. Barratt’s Chapel in Frederica, Delaware was built in 1780 by a Methodist Society. It was at Barratt’s Chapel that Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury first officially celebrated the sacraments of communion and baptism and therefore turned a religious movement into the Methodist Church in America. The Quaker-style pews and intimate space heighten the experience of the 2016 Lessons & Carols service featuring the Wesley College Choir, the Delaware Choral Society and four more community choirs. “Sometimes I think about how worshippers were singing those same carols here, same notes, same words, 200 years ago, and that’s special, “ says James Wilson, Associate Professor of Music at Wesley College in Delaware. Enjoy this excerpt from the 2016 concert, brought to you by United Methodist Communications.  Merry Christmas everyone!

An Historic Homecoming!


Our current pastor, Rev. Linda Pevey (center), flanked by her predecessors, Rev. Joan Wolff (left), who served Bethesda from 2004 to 2010, and Rev. Karen Handy (right), who served Bethesda from 2012 to 2015.

Bethesda had a great Homecoming and 231st Anniversary service today, in spite of the wind and rain. What a thrill it was to have all three of Bethesda’s woman pastors together in one service – truly an historic occasion!

Homecoming Service Tomorrow

Come get out of the rain tomorrow…attend Bethesda’s Annual Homecoming Service at 10:15 a.m. We are celebrating 231 years of continuous ministry in Preston, as well as women in ministry. Special speakers are Rev. Karen Handy and Rev. Joan Wolff!

Special Service at Barratt’s Chapel, Sept. 8

Barratt’s Chapel to host first-ever historic event
“A Celebration of Methodism: Lest We Forget, Standing on Common Ground”

On September 8th, Barratt’s Chapel will host the first known African Methodist Episcopal service since the denomination was formed in 1816. The Dover District of the AME Church, under the leadership of Presiding Elder Winton Hill, will open its annual district conference with a special worship service at Barratt’s Chapel beginning at 7:00 p.m. The service is being co-sponsored by the Commission on Archives and History of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of The United Methodist Church.

In announcing the event, retired Delaware State Archivist and Commission President Russ McCabe stated “We are truly honored to be hosting this historic occasion. In a year that marks the bicentennial of the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, it is more than appropriate to recognize this milestone at the place where American Methodism was born. It is equally as significant that this will happen near the one-time home of Richard Allen, the freed slave who was the founder and first leader of the AME Church, and who is recognized today as one of our nation’s pioneers in the struggle for Civil Rights. This special occasion offers us the opportunity to celebrate our shared heritage and pride. Anyone who wishes to witness history in the making is invited to attend.”

Following the founding era of American Methodism, despite the faith’s early and passionate antislavery advocacy, the desire for greater participation in church affairs coupled with elements of continued racial inequality resulted in the decision of Richard Allen and his followers to organize a new and independent church. After two centuries of separation, members of these sister denominations who share a common heritage and core beliefs will come together in joy and celebration. Of particular note will be the participation of Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram, whose leadership of services at Barratt’s on September 8th is believed to be the first-ever such event since the separation of the churches in 1816.

In the absence of Presiding Bishop Peggy Johnson, The United Methodist Church will be represented by retired Bishop Violet Fisher, the first African-American woman to be elected to the episcopacy in the Northeast Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.

Built in 1780, Barratt’s Chapel is the oldest surviving building in the United States built as a Methodist place of worship. For more information about Barratt’s Chapel, visit or call (302) 335-5544.