On the Road Again…

James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor
James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

by James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

The Virginia Conference lists 1,055 clergy under appointment full and part time, who serve the 1,205 churches throughout the state. On Wednesday, June 25, 185 clergy and their families will load all their personal belongings into a moving van and travel to their first or next pastoral appointment. Some will travel to large multi-staff church communities, others to rural congregations; all go in hopes of joining Christ in faithful ministry. Conference-wide, 24 of our clergy will try to adjust to being retired and will feel a bit strange when Sunday rolls around and they find out what life is like in the pews… again.

This year nearly one out of every six churches of the Virginia Conference (17%) will receive a different pastor. On Sunday, June 30, 14 new pastors to the Arlington District will arrive in their churches prepared to work at making disciples for Jesus Christ. Those churches will swell in attendance as active and inactive members turn out to check out the new pastor or associate pastor. Our District Superintendent is Cathy Abbott, who begins her second year of leadership of the Arlington clergy and laity.

Trinity’s former youth director, Chris Abel, will take a new appointment as associate of a satellite church in St. Louis, MO. Chris served Trinity well for 2 years, and now he moves on to the next station of his journey in ministry. We wish him all life’s good fortune and blessings on his new ministry.

Other joyous notes: we welcome Nick McMichael as our new Youth Leader. Nick is a 2nd year seminary student at Wesley Theological Seminary and has previous experience as a youth leader. Eileen Gilmer (starting year two) will be studying with other local pastors at Wesley in July, participating in the Course of Study Program. Ellen LaCroix is 2nd year in her seminary studies at Wesley and will be not only our intern in Mission and Ministry this summer but also the leader of Trinity Children’s Choir. They join me (starting year 18 as your pastor), Harriet (in year 9), Jerry (starting year 19 as our music director), Amy (starting year 5), Catherine and our lay leaders Jose and Leslie, and all the Trinity family as together we make disciples for Jesus Christ and help transform the world into a planet where peace and justice are the watchwords.



Seeking Justice

Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor
Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

by Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

I’m not a bumper sticker kind of gal. I’ve never had one and doubt I ever will. Having said that, I absolutely understand why many people do share their love of school, country, sports or grandcats via the stickers. I did see one today that made me think that if I ever change my no-bumper-sticker policy, this is the one I’d have. It said: Sometimes there’s justice. Sometimes there’s just us.

The Bible talks a lot about justice. “He has told you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 ESV) Sometimes doing justice comes in the form of making Martha’s Table sandwiches. Sometimes doing justice is found with a Shepherd’s Center volunteer who is driving someone to a chemo appointment. Sometimes justice is taking the time to notice your friend/coworker/waitress seems to be troubled, then stopping to ask what’s wrong.

Our court system doesn’t hold the exclusive rights to justice. God is looking to each of us to carry it out on a daily and very personal basis. God has empowered us to boldly seek out those who are on the short end of the stick and help them out. Jesus believed love and justice were intertwined. It’s hard, if not impossible, to have the truest form of each without the other.

A good reminder of this is found in the Beatitudes, the heart of Jesus’ powerful Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 NIV) God is telling us to long for justice so much we can almost taste it! If we act on that longing, God will fill us with the ability to succeed and achieve even more.

I invite you to seek out the injustices you see in the world and work for change. Write your member of congress, donate to a cause near to your heart, or volunteer your time. Who is required to, as Micah put it, do justice? Just us.


Confirmation: An Ongoing Journey

Amy Crisp, Minister of Education
Amy Crisp, Minister of Education

by Amy Crisp, Minister of Education

It has been a privilege to teach the Confirmation class each year, and this year’s class is no exception. We began our Confirmation journey all the way back in November 2013, and the past seven months have been filled with joys, reflection, and deep ponderings about faith and God. It never fails – in the process of teaching our youth who God is and who we are called to be as God’s people, they always end up teaching me something new too!

I greatly enjoyed watching this year’s confirmands grow in their faith and continually dive deep into their questions, probing and praying for answers along the way. God is truly working in their lives to do amazing things, and Trinity UMC should be very excited to have them join our membership on June 8. They have a lot of gifts and graces to offer our community of faith!

We extend a very special welcome and congratulations to the Confirmation Class of 2014:

Daniel Endean

Carson Flickinger

Leah Horan

Liam Keough

Allison Sullivan

Andrew Swenson

Zavyor Zenk


Music: Wish Upon a Star, Children’s Choir

Jerry Rich, Director of Music
Jerry Rich, Director of Music


Trinity’s Music Ministry will present its annual concert on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Soloists Evan Ayars, Philip Keirstead, Doris Page, Catherine Wethington, Nadine Wethington, Kalila Zenk and Michelle Zenk will be joined by the Chancel Choir and Trinity Ringers, all under the direction of Music Director Jerry Rich. The evening’s theme of “wishing upon a star” includes songs describing celestial objects (Here Comes the Sun, Moon Glow, Moon River, Over the Rainbow, Perhaps They Are Not Stars, Rainbow Connection, Sing Out Earth and Skies, When You Wish Upon a Star) as well as music from Walt Disney films (Aladdin, Cinderella, Frozen, High School Musical 3, Lion King, Little Mermaid, Mulan, Pocahontas). Admission is free.


We All Have Dreams

Ellen LaCroix, Children's Choir Director
Ellen LaCroix, Children’s Choir Director

by Ellen LaCroix

This has been an amazing year with the Children’s Choir, and I am sad to see it come to a close. I want to say a huge thank-you to all of the parents for your continued support. I have never had to worry about who was covering dinner or getting robes and costumes ready because you have been so incredible. You even put up with (some even encouraged) my crazy ideas. I am deeply grateful for your love and support and for welcoming me into this family.

Above all I am grateful for the children who sang with the choir. This is truly an AMAZING group. Anywhere they go, love and joy follows. I am so proud of all of their hard work learning music and the Bible this year. Their sincere questions have challenged me to dig deeper in faith, and together we have grown closer to God.

Although this year is ending, I am filled with joy as I look to the future. I know that next year will hold just as many surprises and blessings. I will hold these families and this program in my prayers over the summer and wait with anticipation to see what God has in store for us next.

I pray that you go into the summer loving God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength, and resting in the assurance that there is a family waiting to see you again in the fall.


Meet Nick

Nick McMichael, Youth Director
Nick McMichael, Youth Director

by Nick McMichael, Youth Director

Hi everyone! My name is Nick McMichael, and I am the new Youth Leader of Trinity UMC! I am 24 years old, and I just completed my first year at Wesley Theological Seminary where I am working on my Masters of Divinity; which is a really fancy way of saying that I am training to be a pastor.

Before coming to Wesley, I spent four years getting a degree in Religious Studies at Elizabethtown College back in my home state of Pennsylvania. I have worked with kids since I was 18 and fresh out of high school. I have been everywhere from teaching Martial Arts Kids’ classes, to working as a camp counselor at the YMCA summer camp program. I did some before and after care at an elementary school, and also served some time as an intern for the youth program at my home church Mt. Zion UMC of Enola, PA.

I am very excited to work with both the youth and the adults of Trinity. I am particularly excited about the upcoming ASP Mission Trip in July. Mission trips are a great way for the youth, and adults, to experience cultures outside of their own (signups are still open, so if you are a youth and want to come or an adult and want to volunteer to help, just find me and let me know).

Youth group is on Sundays starting at 5 p.m. in the fellowship building. There will be food. Let’s do this!


Church & Society: June 2014

June Collection Drive

During the month of June, we are collecting items for Langley Residential Support Services, a non-profit that serves adults with intellectual disabilities in Fairfax County. Trinity is offering support in the way of movies on DVD. They would especially like happy, funny, or inspirational movies such as musicals, sports, etc. Wii games would also be appreciate. DVDs or games should be new or gently used. Please place the items in the bins located in the church narthex or Fellowship Building.

DC Scholars at Stanton Elementary School

Many thanks to mentors and Trinity members who donated time, skill, patience and supplies to the students of DC Scholars at Stanton Elementary School this year. Our amazing group of talented mentors include: Linda Kuzmack, Nancy Pierce, Cindy Sullivan, Betty-Jo Booth, Mary Louise Vierek, Marilyn Adams and Suzanne Hamilton who mentored and provided enrichment to 16 first-fifth grade students weekly. This year Trinity volunteers supported two science days, brought in classes of middle school students from McLean to work with Stanton students, and helped gather, categorize and distribute about 8,000 books to classrooms and individual children. On June 13, Trinity will gift almanacs to the 62 graduating 5th graders. Without Trinity encouragement and support, this program would not have been possible.


Where is God?

Biscuit staff photoby Biscuit Gilmer, Trinity Church Mascot

Hi, kids of Trinity! I love the month of June. There’s more daylight and that means more opportunities to take walks with my family. It’s also the month that my friends like you are out of school for the summer. Woohoo!

I love it when you ask me questions. Here’s one I recently received: “I keep asking God to come but He never does. I have never seen Him.”

I understand why you might think God doesn’t come visit because you haven’t gotten to see God. It would be so cool to have God come to your soccer game or watch your favorite TV show with you, right? The good news is that God is there in all we do.

It’s true that we can’t reach out and touch God, but we can see the works and experience the beauty of God. Imagine that God is like the wind. You don’t actually see the wind, but you see how trees and flowers move because of the wind. If I asked you to describe what the wind looks like, you would have a hard time. But, even if you can’t see the wind, you know it’s real because of what it can do. The same is true with God.

Believing God is with us at all times involves trust. You trust your parents, teachers and closest friends to look out for you and be there when you need them. You can trust God, too. Grab your Bible and look up Proverbs 3:5. It tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and not to depend on our own understanding. That means, you don’t have to see God to believe in God. You can feel God’s love in your heart.

Another way to know God is with us is to look at all the people in our lives that God has sent to love us. God works through all of us to help each other. Jesus came to earth to show us how to love and serve everyone. When you see someone doing something nice, you are seeing the work of God.

Thanks for the question and remember my motto:

Paws for Jesus


Trinity Round-Up: June 2014

bookchatOn Wednesday, June 4, the Trinity Book Chat will welcome our own Karen Loss, author of Trekking Through Cancerland – Letters from the Journey, available on Amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle. Come to the Chapel at 6:30 p.m. armed with a copy for Karen to sign—and hear her personal story about fighting Stage 4 lung cancer with determination and humor. Karen’s goal is to help us learn about lung cancer and to find ways to integrate the faith we share into the challenges we face. Everyone is welcome!

TypegraphicACMYK-WOWVacation Bible School August 18 – 22 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) for ages 3 to rising 4th grade. This year’s theme is Workshop of Wonders. Pick up a registration form in the Narthex or visit http://www.umtrinity.org/#/preschool-education/vbs.


crafts       If you knew that something would make you healthier, happier and mentally sharper, you’d give it a try, right? Well, it turns out that engaging in arts and crafts is good for the body and soul. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, engaging in crafting and similar hobbies “stimulates the mind, reduces the effects of stress-related diseases and slows cognitive decline.” Not to mention how much fun you have!

Lucky for you, Crafts for a Cause will meet on Monday nights June 9 and June 23 at 7 in Room 122. We’ll be working on several projects: hand-stamping cards for the local Ronald McDonald House; and sewing and stuffing bears, dolls and pillows for Fair Oaks Hospital. Everyone’s welcome, instruction provided. Come stimulate your brain, and do something good for someone else!

Last month was a flurry of activity, as we helped Chris Moore make enough pillowcases for the mission team to take to all the 90-plus children at the Honduras orphanage. We also, thanks to Peggy Trapp, provided 50 bears to Growing Hope, an organization that supports families of children battling cancer.

If you’d like to know more about Crafts for a Cause, contact Molly Sprouse.


New Testament Study – New Sunday School class begins Sunday, June 15, in Room 301, led by Pastor James Sprouse. Improve your biblical literacy and re-encounter the New Testament as a great repository of literary genius. Each DVD presentation of Professor Amy Levine will be followed by class discussion. Some of the figures are famous. In addition to Jesus, our great figures will include a bullheaded fisherman from Galilee, a highly educated tentmaker from Tarsus, several politically unaware magi, martyrs, Roman army officers, bad rulers, an enigmatic betrayer, and many strong and interesting women. Join us learning about Christianity’s Founding Generation.



Callie Briscoe, Dickinson College

Barbara Bruce, George Washington University Law School

Victor Cary, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Eve Cox, George Mason University

Sarah Anne Cusenza, College of William & Mary

Thomas Endean, Langley High School

Jessica Faust, Johns Hopkins University

William D. Gottwald, IV, Langley High School

Michael Howlett, Marymount University

James Dylan O’Brien Okster,  The Field School

Christian Raveling, McLean High School

Bryce Renica, McLean High School

Dylan Russell, McLean High School

Gabe Sutherland, McLean High School

Amy Taylor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

William Todd, McLean High Schooljune_9878c

Toby White, Yorktown High School

Jake Wilbur, McLean High School


Help Needed for Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church

The Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church has a big need for more volunteers to assist with their transportation program to get their clients to and from medical and therapy appointments, the pharmacy and the grocery store.

In addition, they need help with fundraising to be able to hire a part time employee to take over the day to day activities of the Center currently being done by their Board of Directors, a board that should be focusing on long range planning rather than the day to day activities of the Center.

In addition, there are several committees that need to add more members to accomplish their goals.

To find out more about the Shepherd’s Center and how you can volunteer, please call the Shepherd’s Center number at 703-506-2199.