Inviting F.R.A.N.

by James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

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

There are hundreds of thousands of persons living in northern Virginia who have no church home. Some church research groups place the percentage of persons without church affiliation between 50 & 60% and climbing – some as high as 80%. Trinity needs to open its arms and reach out to this growing community of persons seeking, but not finding, the right place to meet their spiritual needs. Even before we reach out to these persons, we already know lots about them.

There are 10 things we need to know today about those seeking church homes:

  1. Most of the unchurched prefer to attend church on Sunday morning, if they attend at all.
  2. Most of the unchurched feel guilty about not attending church.
  3. Ninety-six percent of the unchurched are likely to attend church if they are invited.
  4. Very few of the unchurched had someone share with them how to become a Christian, and Christians have not been particularly influential in their lives.
  5. Most of the unchurched have a positive view of pastors, ministers and the church.
  6. Many of the unchurched have a church background.
  7. Some types of “cold calls” are effective; many are not. The type of cold-call evangelism most often resisted by the unchurched is an uninvited visit to their homes.
  8. The unchurched would like to develop a real and sincere relationship with a Christian.
  9. The attitudes of the unchurched are not correlated to where they live, their ethnic or racial background, or their gender. The unchurched are not a monolithic group.
  10. Many of the unchurched are far more concerned about the spiritual well-being of their children than themselves.

God has blessed our Trinity Church with some of the finest lay and clergy leadership in the country. The time is very right for us to intensify our outreach to persons seeking a church home. I request that you support our Worship and Education ministry areas with your prayers. Encourage and guide our leaders, Kathy Maher and Jen Calsyn, with your ideas and suggestions. Offer your own time, spiritual gifts and, when possible, your financial resources to help make this ministry a powerful witness for Jesus Christ in the United Methodist tradition.

Trinity Church wants to live as a community of believers that encourages the growth and maturity of men and women into the Christian faith. We want to live as a community of believers that joins the ministry of clergy and lay persons who connect with persons of all genders, ages and needs, and who are willing to be accountable to Jesus Christ. Talk with your friends, relatives, associates and neighbors (F.R.A.N.) about one of the exciting ministries of Trinity. Invite them to attend with you a church-related event. Jesus will meet them here and commission them to work in His name.

Stop Hunger Now

by Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor
Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Each day worldwide, 25,000 people die from hunger-related causes. Trinity is joining forces with area churches, mosques, temples and community groups to fight hunger. Our goal is to package 300,000 meals in one day. This is a great opportunity for you, your Trinity Church friends and your family to make a life-saving difference in the world. How often do you get to personally change the life of an entire family in need? Coming up in November, we’ll package nutritious grain, soy and vegetables to create meals that will feed families in countries across the world. It’s an amazing sight. Hundreds of people, lined up in giant assembly lines. Some are adding vitamin-enriched ingredients into a boiling bag, others are sealing the bags, and still others are packing them in boxes. It’s a hunger-fighting machine, and Trinity is proud to once again be a part of it. You’ll be seeing more information soon, but we’d love for you to save the date to help.

Stop Hunger Now

Saturday, November 1

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

1545 Chain Bridge Road, McLean

Look for more information soon on how to sign up for a shift. The people of Trinity have a loving and generous spirit. I look forward to seeing everyone in November as we work to Stop Hunger Now!


Life in Ministry

by Amy Crisp

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

As you may know by now, October 5 is (or was – depending on when you read this!) my last Sunday at Trinity UMC. I have been offered an amazing opportunity at Reveille UMC in Richmond that my family couldn’t pass up. We are excited to see what God has in store for us in Richmond, and are beyond thrilled to be closer to both of our families!

The Crisp family at the Pet Blessing, October 2013.
The Crisp family at the Pet Blessing, October 2013.

Andrew, Zach, and I would like to say a big “Thank you!” to Trinity UMC. You have been our home and our family for the last 4+ years. We started our family here and are appreciative of the support that all of you have offered.

We pray that Trinity UMC will continue to grow and develop as disciples of Christ. Continue to love and support one another as brothers and sisters in the faith.

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers as our family makes this transition in ministry! And we will hold you in our prayers as well!


Sunday School and Other

Educational Opportunities


Children’s Sunday School – Children will explore the basic stories of our faith, making connections with their own lives. Sundays, 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Building.

To volunteer, please visit:

Children’s Worship – Dedicated to making disciples who are integrated into the worshipping community, this worship service (4 year olds through 4th grade) is designed to teach our children how to worship in a hands-on and exciting way! Sundays, 10:30 a.m. in the Chapel. To volunteer: There will be a 5th grade sermon discussion in the Lounge (see the 10:30 a.m. order of worship for more details).


Confirmation – For 7th graders to explore their faith, church history and membership. Meets Sundays at 4 p.m. with Nick McMichael. Begins Oct. 19!

Girls’ Group – Meets Thursdays, 5:30 – 7 p.m. for girls in 7th – 12th grades. We’ll gather for Bible study and fellowship. This year we will continue our study of women in the Bible. Led by Catherine Wethington in Room 124.

Youth Group – Available for 6th -12th Grades on Sunday nights at 5 p.m. for fellowship and study in the Fellowship Building. To volunteer to bring a snack supper or to help with Youth Group, please visit or contact Nick McMichael.

Youth Sunday School – 7th – 12th graders will dive deeper into the Bible, making connections with their everyday lives. Led by Rev. Gilmer and Catherine Wethington. Sundays, 9:30 a.m. in Room 124.


Connections – Currently studying a parenting series based on Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility by Foster Cline, MD and Jim Fay. All are welcome to attend; no advance preparation required. Led by Andy and Karen Briscoe. Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in Room 205. Our next topic will be a Bible study with an Advent theme.

Ladies’ Bible Study – Tuesdays at 6:45 a.m. to study C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce at McLean Family Restaurant. Contact Dianne Martin,

New Testament Figures – Sundays at 9:30 a.m., Mondays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Library. Led by Pastor James Sprouse. Join us to learn about Christianity’s early figures.

reThink: The Disciples – We often think of the disciples as larger-than-life icons of the faith. But in truth, they were ordinary men who struggled with their brokenness, much as we do. Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in Room 103.




Ben Faidley and A New Pipe Organ

for Trinity’s Chapel

by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

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

When Trinity’s chapel was completed, no plan had been formulated for purchasing a musical instrument to accompany its worshippers or provide appropriate service music. A Trinity family had kindly supplied an electric piano for services, but this instrument could not provide a long-term solution for all the chapel’s music needs. Fortunately for Trinity, Ben Faidley, a long-time member and a trained classical organist who had always hoped that the chapel would have a chamber organ, generously offered this spring to supply it with a new continuo tracker organ.

Ben chose the respected Vermont organ builder David Moore, whose firm specializes in creating quality pipe organs for both large and intimate worship spaces; after being apprenticed to the legendary builder Charles B. Fisk, Mr. Moore has run his own organ firm since 1973, making or restoring organs in California; Connecticut; Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; New York; Vermont; Virginia; Washington, DC and Wisconsin. The installation date for Trinity’s instrument was set for late September 2014, so by the time you read this, the chapel will have its own pipe organ.

Ben Faidley and the new organ in the Chapel.
Ben Faidley and the new organ in the Chapel.

Ben chose the organ stops that would be most useful to the chapel’s size and design: Trinity’s one-manual chamber instrument will have three full-compass stops (8′ Bourdon, 4′ Flute, 2′ Fifteenth), a half-stop mixture (Sesquialtera; compass: c1-g3), an 8′ pedal division (30 notes) and a pedal coupler. The instrument case and bench will be maple with a natural oiled finish. The pedal chest will be located behind the pedalboard and bench. The wood used will come principally from Mr. Moore’s family farm in North Pomfret, Vermont: ash, butternut, maple and pine for the pipes; rosewood for the manual sharp keys; black cherry and maple for the pedals.

We hope that you will attend one of Trinity’s chapel services (the Wednesday noon communion service or the 6 p.m. Celtic service on the last Sunday evening of each month) to sing with and listen to this wonderful new instrument that—thanks to Ben Faidley’s vision and willingness to give back to Trinity—will serve the musical needs of our community for many years to come!


Children’s Choir

By Ellen LaCroix

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

Each week children’s choir begins with the same song to focus our time together. As all of the children gather and prepare for practice we sing:

“LORD, listen to your children praying. LORD, send your spirit in this place. LORD, listen to your children praying. Send us love; send us power; send us grace.” (FWS 2193)

Prayer comes in many different forms. Too often we become trapped by the expectation that prayer is a quiet experience with head bowed, eyes closed, and hands folded. It certainly can be just that, but prayer is not limited to this experience. It can be silent meditations of your heart or loud boisterous praises. You can physically pray with your whole body or in the stillness pray from within. Prayers can give thanks for blessings in our lives or ask for God’s attention and intervention. Prayers can also demonstrate a full range of emotion. They can express joy, fear, anxiety, burning anger, loneliness, amazement, confusion and more. Prayer can be silent, spoken, shouted, communal, individual, sung, danced, written, painted, the list goes on and on. How do you commune with God? What would happen if you tried something new?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us to pray continually through the lives we live. In choir practice our prayer comes in the form of song. We remember throughout rehearsal that we are not gathered together for the sake of music itself. We are gathered to continually lift up prayer through the beautiful gift of music.



New Energy for God

by Nick McMichael, Youth Director

Nick MicMichael, Youth Director
Nick MicMichael, Youth Director

There is a new energy on Sunday mornings around Trinity UMC, and it is really wonderful to see. A lot of changes have recently taken place in the church regarding education. So far the Sunday School shift to 9:30 a.m. has been going great! Attendance has been very positive for not only the Children’s Sunday School classes, but the youth and adult ones as well. On top of that, the Children’s Worship at 10:30 a.m. has launched smoothly and has received very positive feedback. The staff remains excited about these changes and very optimistic about their continued growth, given the response. Not only has the 9:30 a.m. shift been beneficial for Sunday School attendance, but it has also been a great transition between the 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. services. One individual commented that we feel like a totally different church now, with all of the people walking around and interacting with one another. I hope you are as excited about this as I am, because it is truly a blessing to be a part of this energizing transition in our church!


Remember: Youth Group (Grades 6 – 12) meets Sundays at 5 p.m.

Girls’ Group (Grades 7 -12) meets Thursdays at 5:30 p.m.


Peace and Love


Pet Blessing

Biscuit staff photoby Biscuit Gilmer

Happy fall to all the children of Trinity United Methodist Church! October is a great time. The leaves are changing, the air is cooler and we celebrate the blessing of the pets! Mark your calendar and grab your furry friends, because the Pet Blessing at Trinity Church is on October 4.

Pet blessings are held around the world. They were started to honor St. Francis of Assisi. He was an Italian Catholic friar (that’s a pastor) who lived nearly 800 years ago. Francis did a lot to draw attention to the poor and needy. He also loved all animals, recognizing animals as part of God’s great creation. (St. Francis was even known to carry on conversations with the birds in the trees!) In the year 1228, Pope Gregory named Francis the patron saint of both animals and the environment. That’s pretty cool.

IMG_6768Here are the details of how we’ll celebrate the pets of our parish:


Trinity’s Pet Blessing

October 4

2 p.m.

We’ll meet in the courtyard outside the Fellowship Building.

(If it rains, you can find us in Langley Hall.)

 Important information: All dogs need to be on leashes. Cats and all other critters need to be in cages or other appropriate carriers. Come out and say hi to me. I can’t wait to meet you and your pets!

pawsUntil then, remember my motto: Paws for Jesus.



Trinity Notes

Trinity Round-Up

In October the Trinity Book Chat turns to a light, fun read: The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, by Fannie Flagg. We’ll meet to discuss the book on Tuesday, October 14, at 6:30 p.m., in the Trinity Library. Bring a light dinner (dessert is provided) and enjoy fellowship and lively conversation. Our book for November 11 is The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard. Then we’ll take a break for the holidays! Contact Kathy Maher ( to be added to the e-mail list.

The Children’s Ministries Committee will host Trunk-Or-Treat on Friday, October 24, 2014, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Look for more details in the coming weeks, but please take this time to plan your trunk decorations and get ready for the occasion! Last year was a big success, and we hope to have an even better event this year.

Martha’s Table Ministry has several volunteer needs. You can pick up the bread, help out in the kitchen or deliver the sandwiches. Second Sunday of every month. Look for the signup clipboard in the Fellowship Building or contact Molly Sprouse,


craftsThe Christmas elves are working early, as Crafts for a Cause prepares for the annual Holiday Bazaar starting Sun., Nov. 23. Work sessions this month will Mon., Oct. 6 and Mon., Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in Room 122. We’ll be working on hand-beaded jewelry, pet toys, greeting cards, and other items for sale at the Bazaar. We’ll also be working on 50 handmade Christmas stockings for newborns at Fair Oaks Hospital, along with our ongoing projects of dolls, bears, and pillows for patients. Everyone’s welcome; instruction is provided. It’s a fun way to learn new skills!

And plan to shop for the holidays at the Bazaar, running Sundays mornings on Nov. 23, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. Proceeds buy much-needed supplies for our hospital and world mission projects. For more information, contact Molly Sprouse at or call 703-356-4896.

Volunteers Needed:

Acolytes, Crucifers, Langley Bell Ringers

Acolytes (4th – 8th grade) light the candles at the beginning of the service and extinguish them at the end.

The crucifer (2nd – 8th grade) brings the processional cross into worship at the beginning and takes it out at the end.

The bell ringer (Pre-K – 2nd grade) calls the community to worship by ringing the historic Langley Bell.

Sign up at If you have any questions, contact a pastor or Jessica Faust.


Calling all Runners! Do what you enjoy and help the ministry and mission of Rising Hope UM Mission Church (a church that serves the least, the lost and left out – the homeless, the poor and those in recovery). Register to run in the 5K Halloween Hustle for Hope on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston. Entry ‘fees’ for this run and the Trick or Trot fun run for children under 12 (same day and place) are low, low, low – just $20 per runner ($10 for children under 12 and a $50 family maximum). For more information and to register go to the Bi-district website ( or contact Herb Brynildsen at the Bi-District office, 703-820-7200.