Welcome to Bellevue First United Methodist Church - or since that's a mouthful, let's just call it Bellevue United.
My name is Rev. Phil Antilla and I am the pastor for this community
As pastor, my purpose is to walk along side you as we experience this good news together — that life in Christ is indeed worth living.
I can’t guarantee that it will always be easy, or that the road ahead will be smooth. But if you can commit towards “a long obedience in the same direction,” I guarantee that you will discover grace, and peace, and the beauty of restoration
Okay, so I'm thinking of visiting...what do I need to know?
The basic details: Worship starts at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays and we are in Bellevue on 108th Ave NE on the east side of the street. To reach our entrance drive up the driveway into the parking area behind the church. The north entrance is the one closest to the sanctuary. The south entrance has a ramp suitable for wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers.
Where can I park?
Our parking lot is behind the building. Drive up the entrance driveway to reach it. There is plenty of room for everyone, and a number of handicapped accessible spots near the door.
What if I'm riding the bus?
The closest bus stop to the church is at the corner of Bellevue Way and NE 20th St. It is a four block walk to get to the church, heading straight east on 20th.
Okay, so, once I get there, what can I expect?
When you come into the sanctuary, there'll be a person there to greet you, or if they've stepped away, a small table containing the programs (we usually call them bulletins) for the service. You're probably going to want one of these, since they'll give you an idea of what's coming up next and which songs we're about to sing throughout the service.
What should I wear?
We have a variety of dressing styles in the congregation. If you like to dress up a bit for church, you won't be the only one. We also have plenty of people who come in comfortable weekend clothes. And for what it's worth - our pastor usually wears jeans!
Can I bring my kids?
We'd love that! Bring them with you into worship! About 10 minutes into the service, there is a Centering Prayer. After that, those who wish to attend Sunday School are escorted down to the education wing (or you are welcome to accompany them), where you can pick them up after the service. We have classes for children 4-years-old and up. Childcare is available in the Nursery for younger children.
If you prefer, you are welcome to keep your children with you in worship. We welcome families of all shapes and sizes, and are not at all bothered by a little bit of chaos!
Where are the bathrooms?
There are bathrooms clearly marked on both floors of the building. Those on the upper level are just outside the sanctuary on the right. One is a gender neutral bathroom with a changing table.
Is there a nursery?
Yep! Go down either staircase and then turn left. Keep going that direction until you see a room with a large window in the hallway. Turn right down the education wing and the nursery is on the right.
Will you mind if I check my email on my phone/fact-check the sermon/update my Facebook/live tweet the service?
Nope! Go right ahead. We have plenty of technology addicts in the congregation, and if you're quietly checking your phone, we probably won't even notice. We do appreciate you turning off your ringer and not answering calls during the service though.
Where should I sit during the service?
Church members and visitors tend to distribute themselves around the sanctuary; some people have their "regular" spots; some people switch it up frequently. If you're comfortable nearer to the front, don't be shy! If you'd rather sit where you can see everyone from the back that is absolutely fine.
What if I'm late?
Not a problem! There is never a service without a few people showing up after we start. Grab a program (bulletin), have a seat, and make yourself at home!
Can I bring my coffee/tea/water bottle into the worship service?
YES! We're definitely a pretty laid-back congregation, and plenty of guests and members bring their coffee along. We've even got a coffee spot in the room behind the sanctuary if you didn't get a chance to stop for coffee on the way!
What happens after the service?
It's time for conversation and snacks in the parlor behind the sanctuary! The pastor will be there, so if you'd like to talk to him yourself, that is a good time to catch him. Otherwise, help yourself to some goodies and make yourself at home! Children in Sunday School are usually delivered to their parents during this time of fellowship. Nursery children can be picked up downstairs.
Church can happen anywhere. It happens when we create learning opportunities that transform lives. It happens when we create safe environments where children can play and learn. It happens when education makes the path to citizenship a little easier. And when our sacrifices help nourish students’ minds and bodies. That’s putting beliefs into action.