River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation

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We're glad you're here!

Whatever has brought you here today, we’re glad you came. Your presence, even for just one visit, enriches the already vibrant tapestry woven by this community of faith.

As Unitarian Universalists, we have a religious tradition focused on deeds rather than creeds. We care more about how you live than the precise measure of your theology. Our community supports each person’s free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and the diversity of our beliefs is matched only by the energy of our commitment.

River Road has more than 1,000 congregants, including members, friends, children and youth who are ready to welcome you!

Our Vision is to grow in Fellowship, Spirit, and Service

  • Fellowship. Community-making is central to our growth as individuals and as community. We strive to be a congregation that is dynamic, life-giving and fulfilling for all congregants.
  • Spirit. Growing in spirit happens intentionally and randomly, and it takes a lifetime. River Road is a place to explore the existential questions and deepen our spirits to become who we are meant to be.
  • Service. Heads, hearts, and hands - putting our faith into action defines service and social justice. We serve our world through our commitment and acts of love and justice.

Be our guest on Sunday

We look forward to welcoming you – joining us for a service is one of the best ways to get to know us. The information below should help with your first visit. You might plan to arrive a little early – especially if you’re bringing children. To learn more about upcoming events, take a look at News & Events on the home page or .read our latest Newsletter. To subscribe to our Thursday email newsletter, contact Sheri Blanchette..

When are your services?
From Labor Day through Memorial Day weekend we have two services at 9:15 and 11:15am In the summer we gather on Sundays at 10am.

Where are you located?
We are located at 6301 River Road, Bethesda, on the corner of River and Whittier Roads. When you come into the parking lot there are designated visitor parking spots up the driveway to the second area on your left. We have several handicapped parking spots to the right side of our building. Handicap accessible doors are the front doors and the door under the bridge, near the handicap parking spaces. You may drop off passengers in front of our building. Parking is also available on the streets in the neighborhood.

What should I wear?
We are casual here, so please dress comfortably. Dress for worship ranges from blue jeans to suits. However, most people dress somewhere in between. Children often go outside for their classes, so please make sure they are dressed for the current weather.

What should I do when I arrive?
Services are held in the Sanctuary Building – the large building right in the front as you come in from the parking lot. Please stop inside the main entrance at our Welcome Table for a nametag and guest information. Greeters are happy to assist you and your family with finding your way around, identifying classes with your children, meeting others, and answering your questions.

What will my children do?
We have a variety of religious education for children and youth. Children 3 years old thru not yet in Kindergarten enjoy Spirit Play at 9:15am. We offer classes for K thru 8th grades, Middle School, and High School youth. Children may also attend worship with their parents. As a guest, your children are welcome to stay with you in the Sanctuary, or attend the appropriate class for their age.

What about my baby?
Our professionally staffed nursery is available for children through 3 years old. You may bring your baby into the service with you or, if your baby is fussy, sit with him or her in the lounge, rocker area, or Fellowship Hall and still be able to hear the service.

What are your services like?
Most Sunday services are led by our Senior Minister, Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd, or by our Minister for Congregational Life, Rev. Louise Green. They will usually offer a sermon with a spiritual or contemporary message. Music is important to us and is led by our excellent choir and Director of Music, Dr. Clif Hardin. Several times a year, lay members of RRUUC offer well-crafted services linking personal experience with important social and cultural themes. The first Sunday each month is Inward Springs, an introduction to our monthly theme. Services are followed by refreshments and conversation in our Fellowship Hall across the bridge from the sanctuary. If you would like to identify yourself as a guest so that congregants can greet you, please use a yellow mug for your beverage. Between services at 10:25am in the Fireside Room, we also offer our contemporary issues forum.

Explore, experience, and find out if River Road feels like the spiritual home for you.

Take your time. There are many opportunities to see if RRUUC is right for you – let your interests, preferences, and personal journey help guide you. In addition to coming on Sundays, some of the best ways to connect with others, learn more about us and our faith are:

What if I have other questions?
You are always invited to contact Director of Membership & Outreach, Sheri Blanchette, 301-229-0400 ext.102. She’d be delighted to hear from you!