What to Expect
Are you visiting for the first time and looking for a way to get connected? We are eager to welcome you to our website and if you live in the area, to our church home. Browse this website and look at the good God is bringing. Look at the faces with whom God is calling you to share the joy. May this website be one more reminder that God is good, All the time! And all the time, God is good!
Where are you located?
We are located just minutes from the Jersey shore beaches and half way between Atlantic City and Ocean City. We are on the corner of Marvin Avenue and Shore Road in Linwood. Our church is in close proximity to area hotels and restaurants. For driving directions to our church view the map on our contact page.
Where should I park and if I am disabled are you accessible to my needs?
Our primary parking lot is located off of Marvin Avenue across from the church. We have additional parking behind the church that is accessible from Central Avenue. During worship hours on-the-street parking is available also.
For those with “Handicapped Parking” tags, there are two “blue curb” areas adjacent to the church on both Marvin Avenue and Central Avenue that provide easy access for those using wheelchairs or with personal mobility difficulties.
For those individuals with disabilities, our Shore Road entrance is handicap accessible and there are ramps leading up to this door from both Marvin Avenue and Central Avenue.
In our sanctuary, there are wheelchair “cut-outs” in both the front and rear to provide a comfortable setting to worship at; please ask one of the ushers for assistance in accessing those spaces. Our church also provides handicap accessible rest room facilities and an elevator for individuals needing to reach the basement or second floor of our church.
What should I expect when I enter your church building?
We are a church of many doors but every door will put you in a place where you will be warmly greeted with people ready to answer your questions or give you directions to the Sanctuary, Sunday School classrooms, our office, or our fellowship hall. If you enter through our Sanctuary’s narthex doors for a worship service our greeters and ushers will welcome you and provide assistance as you settle in to celebrate and worship our God. We want you to feel at home at Central United Methodist Church so if you have questions or need assistance just ask and someone will help you.
How do people dress for your worship service?
When you arrive for worship on any Sunday morning you will find that some men are dressed in suits and ties while others may be wearing shorts and polo shirts. Women are wearing beautiful dresses or perhaps something casual that fits the day that lies ahead for them. Some people are on their way to work and others perhaps have just completed their work shift. Children come in a wide array of clothing styles. You should come to worship as yourself and however you feel most comfortable.
There is a wonderful praise song by Brian Doerksen entitled, “Come, Now is the Time to Worship.” One of the verses says, “Come, just as you are before your God, come.” The important thing to us at Central is that we are here to worship God; it doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like; or what you wear.
Do you have a nursery available for my young children?
During our 9:20am worship service we provide nursery care for infants through age two in our first floor nursery. Our experienced volunteers are dedicated to insuring that the every baby and child will have a comfortable and safe visit to our church. The nursery has a windowed door through which parents can peek at their children and we always welcome parents to spend time in the nursery if they’d like. Children will not be released to anyone who is not present when he/she is dropped off. We also have volunteers ready to provide nursery care during the 11:00 worship service if you are in need of that care for your children.
What do you believe?
We are a Bible-based church that is a connectional member of the United Methodist denomination. We believe in the Good News message that is found in the New Testament of the Bible and that God sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins through His death on the cross, which was followed three days later by His Resurrection.
Our church’s traditions can be traced back to John Wesley and the early Methodists who were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. Like those early Methodists, we place primary emphasis on Christian living and on putting faith and love into action. We invite you to learn more about our rich theological heritage by joining us for a service. You can read more about the UMC under the Connections heading.
Am I allowed to take communion at your church if I am a visitor or not a member?
All Christians are welcome at the Lord’s table at our church, whatever their denomination. Holy Communion is a family meal, and all Christians are members of Christ’s family. Therefore, in each congregation, when we receive the bread and cup, we join with millions of brothers and sisters across the ages and around the world. As with baptism, we use common, physical gifts of the earth, bread and wine. Though in United Methodist churches we prefer unfermented grape juice.
Holy Communion (or the Lord’s Supper) is a mystery too deep for words. Its meaning will vary for each of us and from one time to another. But three essential meanings are caught up in this proclamation in our Communion service: “Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again”
We offer Holy Communion at all of our worship services on the first Sunday of every month and every week at our 6:00 pm service. Communion is also offered every week at our 7:00 am Wednesday Prayer Service in the Chapel.
Are there opportunities for me to become involved?
YES! We are a busy church family where something good is always happening!
There are plenty of ways for you to get connected; it all depends on what you are looking for. We have small group Bible studies, youth activities, United Methodist Women’s groups, Sunday School, choir, senior citizen fellowship, young mother’s club, men’s basketball, …the list goes on and on. If you are looking for a church home we know that there’s a place for you here at Central United Methodist Church.
Are there opportunities to meet those who worship in an informal time of fellowship?
Every Sunday morning from 10:30 until 11:00, we gather together in Adams’ Fellowship Hall for a time of fellowship, food, and coffee. Those who have just worshiped during our 9:20am Worship Service get to chat with those coming in to worship at 11:00. This is a time to catch up with friends or to ask one of the pastors a question. There are always smiles and laughter happening at our fellowship time.
We also come together as a church family during special events such as our Church Talent Show, Advent Dinner, Barbecue, and other events that just let us enjoy each other’s company usually with some good food to eat as well.
And, we know that our choir, praise teams, Bible studies, and other programs are a great opportunity to find new friends.
Do you support missions?
The United Methodist Church is committed to taking God’s Word into the world and also to providing services to those in need whoever and wherever they may be.
At Central, our energies are committed to serving others beyond our church walls. We serve at Sister Jean Webster’s Kitchen; we have sent numerous mission teams to Pass Christian, Mississippi to help that community recover from Hurricane Katrina; a mission team ranging in age from a teenager to a senior citizen traveled across the world to Uganda to build a home for orphans; we are on the streets of Atlantic City searching for homeless youth with Covenant House; we have work teams helping RANCH HOPE’s efforts to improve the lives of troubled teenagers in New Jersey; and the list goes on and on.
Yes, we have a strong missions emphasis! Yes, we support missionaries throughout the world! And, yes when you become part of Central United Methodist Church you are going to become part of a church that is active in mission work and it will be our prayer that you find a place for you to fit in amidst all that we do for others. For more information about our many endeavors, go to the Missions page.