Lifetree Café

Lifetree Café is a comfortable place and time to gather weekly (Thursdays at 7pm in the Lighthouse Cafe) to explore life and faith. It looks and feels like the kind of place you'd typically meet a friend for food, drink and fun. Where the atmosphere encourages conversations, questions, and personal stories.

Join us for compelling stories about fascinating people. Stories from the news. Stories from our own lives. The story of what God is doing in the world around us. At Lifetree Café, we explore all those stories – and make sense of our faith and our lives.

Young Adult Fellowship

This is a group for young adults and adults that are young at heart.  Singles, newlyweds, couples, and families with children (younger or older) will enjoy fun activities and fellowship as part of this group.   Previous activities include:

  • Spelunking
  • Paintball
  • Ice Skating
  • Dinner Theater
  • Progressive Dinner
  • Movies
  • Bible Study
  • Brunch/Lunch
  • Chili Cook-off Fundraiser
  • Walk for Cystic Fibrosis
  • Trip to DC to see National Christmas Tree
  • Antique Car show at Ladew Gardens
  • Softball

If you're interested, please contact Colby Knoll at

Children's Choir

All children ages Pre-K through 5th Grade are welcome to participate in our Children's Choir.  The choir rehearses on Thursdays and Sundays and performs at the family Christmas Eve service and one Sunday each month during the school year.  On Thursdays ages Pre-K through 2nd Grade rehearse from 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., with children's bells practicing immediately following choir rehearsal (5:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.), and on Sunday 3rd through 5th graders rehearse during the 9:30 Sunday School hour.

Our usual choir rehearsal includes: gathering time, with a hands-on activity, learning anthems for worship, using rhythm instruments, reading notation, movement activities and spiritual enrichment, as we discuss the meaning of the anthems we sing and how they relate to the Christian life. Children’s bells ( handchimes) follow the choir rehearsal, applying the above-mentioned activities.  Please consider this opportunity to enrich your child’s musical experience and deepen your child’s faith during these formative years.

Praise Band

The praise band leads the contemporary worship service on Sundays and participates in church and community events. The band consists of instrumentalists (electric guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard, drums) and vocalists and plays a variety of contemporary Christian songs. The pictures below are from the November 2009 Band Together Benefit Concert and Food Drive.

Wired Word Online Bible Study

The wired word bible study has been moved to the website.

    Bible Study

    Many opportunities for additional study are available during the week at Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Church. Watch this page for the most up-to-date information on Bible Studies currently being offered. If you have questions about one of these studies, please contact the church office at (410) 674-2272. We are committed to making child care available for all classes.

    Cokesbury Pastor Recommends Book Selections

    Cokesbury provides periodic recommended book selections in the form of a monthly "Pastor Recommends" newsletter.  You will find the most recent newsletter below.  Previous versions can be found by browsing the archives found on the right side of this page.


    Nichols-Bethel relaunched its website in March 2007. The driving purposes behind the design were to keep the current congregation informed of the many activites and resources that the church has to offer and to advertise those same activites to visitors and potential new members.

    For those of you interested in the technical details of this site, they are offered below:

    • WordPress opensource blogging software (uses PHP, CSS, and MySQL) with a custom theme
      • Automatically creates RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds from each category as well as an RSS feed for the whole site. These feeds can be used in any RSS aggregator, as well as services that send email updates when content changes.
      • Various WordPress plugins
    • Cross-browser DHTML menu system courtesy of
    • Gallery2 opensource photo gallery software
    • Church calendar maintained in Google Calendar and available in iCal format
      • If you have a Google Calendar account, you can search for the Nichols-Bethel public calendar.
      • If you have a calendar program that accepts iCal format, you can use this same feed to update that calendar.

    College & Military Support

    If you or someone you know is away from home in college or in the military, we want to know.  Being away from home can be liberating… and lonely.  God can help; so can we!  Our goal is to reinforce the ties to a home church and God when our young people leave home.

    Winter Relief for the Homeless

    Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Church is one of approximately 30 churches in Anne Arundel county that participate in a rotating winter shelter for homeless men and women. During the 2005-2006 season, Winter Relief provided 5, 127 total bed nights, over 16,000 meals and touched the lives of 137 people (111 men and 26 women).

    Volunteers in Mission

    Nichols-Bethel actively participates in United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), a program that provides opportunities for service in places of need around the world by developing and nurturing relationships with domestic and international leaders and connects volunteers with suitable projects for effective service.  The church supports various VIM groups (both young adult and general membership) that serve both local and more distant communities in need.

    Shut-in Ministry

    The Shut-in and Home-bound Ministry allows members of Nichols-Bethel to stay current with the events of the church in spite of the fact that they are physically incapable of attending services.  These members are visited by the pastor and receive and are kept informed through service bulletins, newsletters, and by this website.  This important ministry allows the church body as a whole to remain connected to one another, regardless of health issues, and is a vital link between all of the members of the church.

    Youth Choir

    The Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Youth Choir meets on Sundays at 5:30 pm in the choir room and performs approximately once a month at the 9:30 and 11 am Sunday services.  We have a great time and are looking for more singers–please come and join us!


    Nichols-Bethel provides a variety of times and worship styles each Sunday.

    • 8:00am Traditional Service
    • 9:30am Contemporary Service
    • 11:00am Traditional Service

    Traditional Service is held in the sanctuary.  The worship style is classic United Methodist complete with congregational hymns, scripture readings, sermon, and chancel choir.  Periodic contributions to the worship service are made by the chancel handbells, youth choir, children's choir, various instrumentalists, and vocal soloists.  Sermons generally follow the common lectionary biblical readings and observe the seasons of the church year. The Lord’s Supper is shared on the first Sunday of every month.

    Contemporary Service is held in the Lighthouse Welcome Center. This high-energy service is led by our extraordinary worship band and praise team and is characterized by heart-felt singing, an interactive message and sharing the bread and cup.  The Lord’s Supper is shared on the first Sunday of every month.  So lose the tie and your inhibitions to sing praises to the Lord — come worship with us.

    Vacation Bible School

    Songs, skits, snacks, games, teaching, and discussion. Who knew that learning about Jesus could be so much fun. Come join us for a weeklong themed program that you'll remember the whole year round — and lessons that you'll remember for a lifetime.  Keep an eye on this page for VBS announcements and registration information.

    Sunday School

    Sunday School is held at two times each Sunday to enable attendees of all three worship services to attend a session.

    • 9:30am Sunday School
    • 11:00am Sunday School

    Church Bulletin

    Did you miss an announcement on Sunday?  Didn't get a chance to write down the date of an upcoming event?  Not a problem.  Current and previous editions of the bulletins used at church services are available on the church website.


    IMG_4622Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Preschool is sponsored by the church and serves the Odenton area and surrounding communities (Annapolis, Columbia, Crofton, Crownsville, Gambrills, Laurel, Millersville, Severn).  Programs for three and four year olds are taught by Jennifer Holcomb and Deborah Brown. Jen has a degree in Early Childhood Education while Deborah's degree is in Medical Research and Technology.

    Our programs include: a five day 4 year old program from 9:15am to 11:45am; a three day 4 year old program (M, W, F) from 12:30pm to 3:00pm; and a 3 year old program (T, Th) from 12:30pm to 2:30pm.

    For over thirty years, Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Preschool has provided a nurturing, educational environment for three and four year old children. Our aim is to provide a preschool curriculum in a Christian atmosphere consistent with the traditional values of the United Methodist Church. We strive to meet the individual needs of your child, recognizing him/her as a special person with varying needs and abilities. We will encourage your child to be independent and confident, to learn how to problem-solve, to share and be kind to others, to use good manners, and to pray. Above all else, we are committed to helping your child experience the joy of having Jesus in his/her life.

    The preschool curriculum includes activities intended to stimulate your child’s moral, spiritual, social/emotional, intellectual, and physical growth. Our daily schedule includes: Greeting time, worship, outdoor play, reading/story time, snack, music, free play at classroom centers (dramatic play, art, blocks, toys, etc), clean up, and dismissal.  Academic concepts in the areas of literacy, pre-writing and handwriting, math, science, and social studies are taught using developmentally appropriate methods through participation in all these areas.

    An integral part of the curriculum will focus on Christian education. This will be on a preschool level, consistent with the United Methodist teaching materials. Each day the children will participate in a brief worship service in the Sanctuary listening to Bible stories, singing songs and praying.

    For enrollment information related to the 2018-2019 school year, please fill out the Google docs form at this link or call 410-674-2272. The director will respond promptly to your inquiry. Enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year began in early February. You can also check us out on Facebook!


    Camping Ministry

    Nichols-Bethel has a strong camping ministry which includes the Conference summer camping programs at West River and Manidokan Camps. These camps offer a variety of structured camping experiences (adventure, sailing, etc.) for all ages. There are also 2-3 family weekend camping trips each year to Camp Harmison in West Virginia. Harmison is for those who tent camp or have RV's, and enjoy a weekend of relaxation and fellowship with other Christian families.

    Members of Nichols-Bethel have also participated in work days at these camps to help with the upkeep. Information about the camps, and camping opportunities may be obtained by contacting the church office.

    Nursing Home Ministry

    There is a very active Nursing Home Ministry in the Church. Each month a group goes to Fairfield Nursing Home on the first Sunday of the month, and to Knollwood Manor Nursing Home on the fourth Sunday. They conduct a short worship service, consisting of hymns (mostly singing lots of the old favorite hymns), a Scripture and a message or devotional thought. The service is closed with a time of meeting and greeting the residents. Though the service lasts only about an hour, it is a blessing to those who go as well as to the residents. Everyone is invited and welcome to come. For information, contact the church office.

    Prison Ministry

    The Church has been involved in prison ministry at various institutions in the area. Currently we have no formal involvement, but individual members are still involved in different aspects. Interested persons should contact the church office.

    Christian Assistance Program

    In cooperation with other area churches, Nichols-Bethel UMC has formed the Odenton-Severn-Gambrills Christian Assistance Program to provide emergency assistance to needy people in the area.

    Nichols-Bethel members donate staple food items to the Pantry by observing Sharing Sunday on the first Sunday each month.  Canned goods may be brought to the Church and left in the Narthex.  A monthly monetary donation is made by the Church to CAP to purchase needed supplies.  CAP has provided Thanksgiving and Christmas Baskets to over three hundred families each year, for which Nichols-Bethel's congregation designates Communion Love Offerings in November and December.

    The Clothes Closet is located at Nichols-Bethel — donations of clean, usable clothing and toys are always needed.  These items may be brought to the Church Monday – Friday.   Large items, such as furniture are also given out on an availability/need basis.  However, there is very little storage space for large items.  The Clothes Closet and Food Pantry are staffed and open specific hours and in emergency situations. In addition to donations of food and clothing, volunteer staff are needed to keep these programs going.

    The locations and hours of the food pantry, clothes closet, and soup kitchen are listed below.

    • Food Pantry is located at Severn United Methodist Church, 1215 Old Camp Meade Rd., Severn MD 21144,  Hours are Tuesdays from 11 am to 1 pm and Thursdays from 3-5 pm.
    • Clothes Closet is located at Nichols Bethel United Methodist Church, 1239 Murray Rd., Odenton, MD 21113.  Hours are Tuesdays from 11 am to 1 pm and Thursdays from 2-4 pm.
    • Soup Kitchen is located at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1283 Odenton Rd., Odenton, MD 21113.  Hours are Fridays from 4-7 pm.


    Chancel Choir

    Our Adult Choir sings each Sunday at the 11:00 AM worship service. Christmas and Easter Cantatas are presented at both the 8:00 and 11:00 AM Worship services, with special music by soloists, duets and ensembles presented on an occasional basis. Choir rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM. Anyone who is musically inclined and is interested in ministry in worship through music should contact the Choir Director or the church office–you don't have to read music to join us!

    Summer Choir

    While the Adult Choir is on summer hiatus, the Summer Choir meets in the Choir Room Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM, June-August, to rehearse the anthem for that day's 11:00 AM worship service.  Participants may come every week, occasionally,  or whenever they can.  Sit with your family, then when it's time to sing, join the group.  This is an informal group made up of those who want to sing out in praise to God.  Everyone is welcome!

    Eight O'Clock Singers

    The Eight O'Clock Singers invites you to join them in singing at the 8:00 AM worship service.  The Singers rehearse each Tuesday evening at 6:45 PM at the Church.  Everyone is welcome to participate in this fellowship of singing praises to God.

    Chancel Handbell Choir

    The Chancel Handbell Choir plays during worship services on a monthly basis. No experience is necessary. Come and have a great time!

    Rehearsal is from 6:15-7:15 PM on Thursday evenings.

    Adult Fellowship

    Adult Fellowship is a group which provides Christian fellowship for those 18 years of age and older.  The group meets several times a year for special activities which are announced in advance in The Enlightener and the Bulletin.  Past activities include Soup & Salad Supper/Dummy Bridge, Progressive Dinners, Ball Games, Dinner Theaters, Christmas Dinner, a swim party, and small, annually rotating, dinner groups for the purpose of fellowship and getting to know one another.  Most activities are planned to be as  inclusive as possible.  Adults of all ages, shapes, and sizes are invited.  You don't have to join, just come!

    Family Fellowship

    This group meets occasionally for fun and fellowship, and is made up of families of all ages and sizes within our Church.  Some of the activities that have been planned in the past are: hay rides, pot-luck dinners, bowling, ice cream socials, square dancing, Easter egg hunts, Birthday Party for Jesus, and visits to interesting places around the area.  Watch for up-coming activities in the Church bulletin and The Enlightener, and come out and join the fun.

    United Methodist Youth Fellowship

    WHO are we? WHAT do we do? WHERE do we meet? WHEN do we meet? WHY do we meet?

    United Methodist Youth fellowship, UMYF, is open to all youth from 6-12th grades. Meetings are on Sundays  (4:00 pm for middle school youth and 5:30 pm for high school youth), unless otherwise noted. Activities are every weekend and vary from fellowship activities to Bible studies to community service projects. Highlights and traditions of our year include the fall pumpkin patch fundraiser, Christmas caroling and Christmas party, ROCK retreat in Ocean City, leading worship in March, Holy week activities such as the Holy Rollers Rock-A-Thon, fasting, egg dying, and car wash, and an end of the year bonfire and cook out. Most of our youth entering the ninth grade through twelfth grade attend Camp Hope in the summer. Camp Hope is based in Frostburg, MD and is a United Methodist work camp. We refurbish homes for the underprivileged, handicapped, and elderly in the Western Maryland area. Youth work on fundraising throughout the year to attend. Fundraisers include the Super Bowl Sub Sale, Potato Bake, PROM, and Talent show.  The UMYF seeks to build Disciples of Christ while focusing on issues specific to the teenage years. We seek to fellowship with one another and to be a vital member in the body of Christ with youth taking active and leading roles in worship. We are a part of the Baltimore-Washington Conference and take part in district and conferences activities. Come join us on Sundays for Bible study and fun in Jesus' name! Contact the co-directors of youth ministries through the church office for more information or details.

    Softball Team

    The Nichols-Bethel Softball plays in a local, well established Christian league. The season runs Spring through early Summer. Practices are held Tuesday evening 6:30 PM and Sunday afternoons 1:30 PM beginning in April. Players can be men or women–the age limit is 16 (with parental consent). Interested players should contact the church office.

    Worship Support


    Ushers serve at 8:00 and 11:00 AM worship services (each team of four serves three months out of the year), seating people, handing out bulletins, receiving the offering, and helping where needed. Call the church office to volunteer to serve as an usher.


    Acolytes are boys and girls who light the altar candles during worship services November through Easter. An acolyte needs to be tall enough to reach the tallest candles and mature enough to participate in the service independently. Acolyte training is usually held in October. To be an acolyte, contact the church office.


    Lay members serve as greeters each Sunday morning at our worship services. We feel that a friendly face and a welcome handshake are an important beginning to our service–for those who are already worshipping at Nichols-Bethel, as well as those who come for the first time. To volunteer to serve as a greeter, contact the church office.


    The Church provides nursery service from 9:30 AM until 12:30 PM on Sunday mornings. During this period, infants and children up to age 3 may be left in the crib room so that their parents may attend services and/or Sunday School.  Please note that nursery service during the 8:00 AM service was recently discontinued due to non-usage; if you are interested in utilizing nursery services during the 8:00 service please contact the church office.

    We are very fortunate to have dedicated and capable women who serve in the nursery every Sunday. They provide supervision as well as stories and activities for the children. Teenagers may serve as volunteer helpers (as needed, during worship service) one Sunday a month. Parents are asked to assist when there is need for additional supervision. Nursery care enables parents to enjoy a class and to worship without interruption or worry. If you have small children, you are encouraged to take advantage of this service.


    Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Church publishes a monthly newsletter called "The Enlightener", which includes a calendar of events, details about up-coming activities and worship opportunities, a Pastor's column, devotional thoughts, reports of what is being done or has been done by various ministries of the Church, personal notes, and needs of groups or individuals.  Items for the newsletter may be left in the Secretary's distribution box in the hallway across from the Secretary's Office or dropped in the mail slot in the Secretary's Office door.  Deadline for submitting information is the Sunday before the third Monday of the month.

    Church Library

    The Church Library, located on the upper level, is small, but well stocked with books to stimulate the interest of the Christian reader.  There are many fine reference books, Bible translations, and commentaries for the teacher or serious Bible student.  For those who enjoy reading Christian biographies, personal witness, Christian fiction, or devotionals, there are many books for them too.  There are also some children's books, Christian magazines, pamphlets, and tapes.  Books may be checked out for any period of time.  Donations of books are accepted on a conditional basis:  the librarians may determine the suitability of any books before they are placed on the shelves.  The policy is to establish a selection of Christian books, not a collection.


    Nichols-Bethel sponsors a wide range of Scouting programs for boys and girls. Since leaders and dates/times of meetings change, you may contact the church office for accurate information regarding the various scout troops.

    CUB SCOUT PACK 769 – Cub Scout Pack 769 meets on the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM at the church. Cub Scouting provides an active program for boys 6-11 years. Den meetings are held each week at locations outside the church.

    BOY SCOUT TROOP #769 – Boy Scout Troop 769 meets each week on Tuesday from 7:00-8:30 PM. The Boy Scout program offers an active indoor and outdoor program for boys 11 to 18 years.

    BROWNIE GIRL SCOUT TROOP 1081 – Brownie Girl Scout Troop 1081 meets every other week on Sunday from 4:00-5:30 PM. This Girl Scout program is for girls in 2nd and 3rd grades.

    JUNIOR GIRL SCOUT TROOP 109 – Junior Girl Scout Troop 109 meets every other week on Sunday from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. Junior Girl Scouting is for girls in 4th and 5th grades.

    BROWNIE GIRL SCOUT TROOP 807– Brownie Girl Scout Troop 807 meets every other week on Sunday from 6:00-7 PM. Brownie Girl Scouting is for girls in 2nd and 3rd grades.

    United Methodist Women

    This group is open to any women who wish to join.  You do not have to be a member of the United Methodist Church.  Our purpose is to know God through prayer, study and service; to support one another in fellowship; and to reach out in missions.  We meet the third Thursday of each month (unless otherwise advertised) at 6:30 PM in the Church fellowship hall for a potluck dinner, followed by a program and meeting at 7:30 PM.  If you cannot come out for dinner, feel free to come for the program and meeting only.  A warm welcome is extended to every woman of the Church.

    United Methodist Men

    The United Methodist Men is open to all men of the Church and community. The group meets the first Saturday of each month at 8:00 AM for breakfast, devotions, study, service projects, or fellowship–as determined by the group. Details of their activities will be published in the newsletter and bulletin. For information, contact the church office.

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