Making Disciples

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

by James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

Why does Trinity Church exist? According to Matthew’s Gospel, the reason is made clear – we are to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Based on the Great Commission, Trinity Church follows the stated purpose of the United Methodist Church, “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The mission of our congregation is to make disciples. This is a four-fold task.

First: we reach out to people and welcome them into Trinity Church. We have the responsibility of connecting our church to the world around our facilities, and the communities where we work, play, shop, study, and worship. We have the responsibility of connecting our church to the hurts, doubts and questions of the people around us. Our mission is to find them, reach out to them, listen to them, accept them and share the gospel in word and deed.

Second: we relate to people and help them deepen their spiritual relationship with God. Trinity does this by providing opportunities for growing closer to God. Whether guests or long-time members, we all need God’s love in Christ. Through worship, prayer, study, honest sharing, and finding where God needs us to be in mission – we help each other discover that the Holy Spirit is not far off but a present reality among us. Through Trinity’s various ministries and missions we encourage each other to give our lives to Christ, to center our lives in a very real, living and present God.

Third: we nurture people in Christian living. Trinity Church helps people practice the discipline of discipleship. Our church exists to serve, not to be served. We gather for worship not only for our own personal spiritual formation and growth, but also to prepare and equip ourselves for doing the work of love and be Christ’s disciples in our community and world. We are strengthened for ministry through worship, baptism, Communion, Bible study, prayer and all other means of grace.

Fourth: we support people in their ministry. As members of Trinity Church, we’re sent into our community and world to serve others in need and make our community and world more loving and just. We believe the Holy Spirit empowers and guides us. Whereever we go, we expect to meet Christ already at work. Our congregation exists, in part, to surround and support each other in her and his ministry. With the loving support of this kind of community we can continue to grow.

All this is the mission of the church and Trinity Church. The only mission that counts is God’s mission. We need to view the world and mission in a new light. We no longer look at the world for gaps, so that we, in mission, can take God to where God is not now. Instead, we look at the world as God’s—a place where God’s love and care are already, and everywhere, at work. We don’t take mission outside Trinity’s walls. We go out to meet the mission already there.


Got Questions? That’s a Good Thing!

Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor
Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

by Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” (Prov. 1:5)

One of the things I love about the United Methodist Church is that we, as its members and its body of believers, are encouraged to ask questions. Maybe your questions are about the ways Trinity can help you grow your faith. Or, maybe you have questions about the Church itself: Why do we change colors each of the church seasons? Why is our communion table open to any and every one? Maybe your questions are about God. It is through this questioning that your faith blossoms and flourishes.

Please join Jim Sprouse and me for Coffee with the Pastor. You’ll have a chance to ask questions about Trinity, the greater United Methodist Church or about the Christian faith. All are welcome. This is an especially great opportunity for those who are new to the church or those considering membership at Trinity.

Sunday, November 16

Room 205 (Sanctuary Building)

9:30 a.m.

We can answer your questions about the church, and help you find ways you can use your gifts as part of the church family. Sunday School for children will be held at this time in the Fellowship Building and the Nursery is available for those with infants or toddlers. We hope to see you then!


Music at Trinity This November

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

by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

In recognition of All Saints Day, the Chancel Choir will sing four selections from Gabriel Fauré’s serene and consoling Requiem at the 10:30 service on November 2:

In Paradisum: May angels lead you into paradise and martyrs bring you into the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels welcome you, and, like Lazarus, may you have eternal rest.

Libera me: Deliver me, Lord, from that day when heaven and earth shall quake as you judge the world. Eternal rest grant them, O Lord…

Sanctus: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Glory be to you, O Lord, Hosanna in the highest.

Agnus Dei: Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them everlasting rest. Let perpetual light shine upon them together with your saints, for you are good.


In acknowledgment of God’s countless gifts to us, Trinity’s bell choirs will play two songs of thanksgiving at the 10:30 service on November 23:

Let All Things Now Living: Jay Althouse’s version of a Welsh folk hymn wordlessly conveys our gratitude to God.

Stories of Jesus: Charles Maggs’ gentle setting of Frederick Challinor’s 1903 hymn tune reminds us of the text that recounted moments in Jesus’ ministry for which we are grateful (his willingness to teach children, his calming of the waves on the Sea of Galilee, his entry into Jerusalem and his prayers in the garden of Gethsemane).


Breathe Deeply

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

by Ellen LaCroix

Do you ever have a moment in your day when you have to stop what you’re doing and just take a deep breath? Maybe you realize that you are running frantically and you need a moment to stop and regroup. Or maybe you find yourself frustrated and you need a way to calm down. Breathing is something that we do unconsciously. Without reminding yourself, you will always take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. But sometimes consciously telling yourself to take a long slow breath can help in stressful situations.

John Wesley developed an idea he called spiritual respiration. Just as we breathe in and out constantly each day, we should also constantly breathe in the gifts and blessings of God all around us. As we exhale we give thanks and share those blessings with others. Just as unconscious breath sustains the body, so does spiritual respiration sustain the soul.

Next time you find yourself needing to take a deep breath try adding an element of spiritual respiration. One way to do that is through the ‘breath prayer’. Pick a simple sentence or phrase that can be said in one breath such as “LORD lead me in your will today” or “God stand by my side.” Take a slow breath in and repeat this prayer as you exhale. Allow your breath to be more than just an involuntary biological action. Allow it to also be a centering moment of praise. Breathe in the God around you, breathe out a prayer of praise.


Support the Youth

Nick McMichael, Youth Director
Nick McMichael, Youth Director

by Nick McMichael, Youth Director

It is that time of year! The big Christmas Tree Sale has come, and we need volunteers to help unload the trees when they arrive and volunteers to help sell them! The Christmas tree sale is a fundraiser that our youth do in collaboration with the Boy Scout troop that meets in our church building on Mondays. The profits made from these sales are split between the Scouts and the Youth Group. This is our biggest fundraiser for the year, so we really need everyone and anyone who has any time to spare to help us out with this giant project. The trees will be arriving on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 25. Anyone who is able to lend a hand unloading the truck and setting up the trees on that day would be a great blessing to our youth and me.

Please sign pine_10881cnpup at to help sell the trees! I hope to see you out and about, either helping to sell trees or purchasing a tree to support our youth. God Bless.


Christmas Tree Sales

Begin Friday, Nov. 28

2 – 8 p.m.

Sunday: 12 – 8 p.m.

Monday – Friday: 5 – 8 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.



Church & Society; Crafts for a Cause

thanksgiving feast

craftsHoliday Bazaar

8 a.m. – 12 p.m.


beginning Nov. 23

Fellowship Lobby

There will be hand-beaded jewelry, greeting cards, pet toys and other homemade items for sale.

Work Sessions: Nov. 3, 10, & 17 at 7 p.m. in Room 124.


Church & Society

Good Works Day—Fun Filled Success

photo 5Thanks to all the volunteers who rolled up their sleeves and worked hard alongside their fellow congregants, for making Trinity’s first Good Works day a fun filled success! Through everyone’s hard work, we fed the homeless; assembled class kits for Stanton Elementary School; did yard work; painted classrooms and fences; polished brass on the Trinity Campus; stuffed bears, pillows and sock dolls for hospital patients and wrapped books for SHARE. The photos capture this very special day.

photo 2b photo 1 photo 2 photo 4












Angel Tree Time!

Even though it’s not even Thanksgiving, it isn’t too early to start thinking about Christmas trees – or at least trees with angels attached. In the Narthex, you’ll soon see a tree adorned with angels. Each angel represents someone in our community who is helped by SHARE, an organization that provides food, clothing and financial assistance. By selecting an angel, and bringing in a gift, you’ll be sharing Christ’s love with those in our community who are most in need.

And soon, you’ll be seeing an angel tree in the Fellowship Building for Heart to Heart, the Honduran orphanage that Trinity helps support. More information about that is coming soon in the bulletin.

 DC Scholars at Stanton Elementary School

Trinity volunteers are an important part of the enrichment program mentoring children at Stanton in grades 1-5. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to help with special events at Stanton. One such event is Science Day on November 3. Contact Suzanne Hamilton at 703-759-6264 or e-mail if you can help with this rewarding experience.

Christ House

Interested in preparing and serving lunch to residents at Christ House hospice facility in DC on November15? Please contact Kelly Slone at if you are interested.



Education: Connections, Book Chat

Connections Sunday School Class

The final class of the parenting series will be Sunday, November 9. The material is based on the book Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility by Foster Cline, MD and Jim Fay.

There will be no class on November 16 so that people can attend the Coffee with the Pastor. Also, there will be no class on Sunday, November 30, which is the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

In celebration of the Season of Advent, the class will study Not A Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem by Adam Hamilton. The series will begin on Sunday, November 23 and conclude on December 21.

All are welcome to attend, and advance preparation is not required. The class will continue to meet in Room 205 from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings and be led by Karen and Andy Briscoe.

Book Chat

Did you like the recent PBS documentary about the Roosevelts? Then you’re sure to enjoy the book selection for November, The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard. A New York Times bestseller, this is the true story of Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. Join us in the Trinity Library at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 11, to discuss the book and enjoy fellowship and dessert. Book Chat will break for the holidays in December and pick up in January with Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan. Questions? Contact Kathy Maher.



Trinity Round-Up: Advent Workshop, Poinsettia Orders, Quick Facts

We remember all who have died this past year:

Ed Abbott

Harry Bacas

Molly Benson

Carolyn Cheney

Susan Holmberg

David Martin

Doug Wakefield

James Wykle


Advent Workshop

December 7

2 – 4:30 p.m.

All children ages 3 thru 10 years old are invited to make crafts, decorate cookies, and sing holiday music. Older siblings are welcome to stay to help the younger children. It’s the perfect way to learn about Advent as well as make some crafts to help decorate your home for the holidays. Cost $10 per child (cost of materials).

Registration information will be available soon. Watch your Sunday bulletin and E-News for more.


Order Poinsettias

Deadline: Nov. 30

Click here for the order form.

Poinsettias will decorate our Sanctuary for Christmas Eve. You may purchase plants in memory of or in honor of loved ones. Please use the order form and send in with your payment by Nov. 30.

Quick Facts

by Harriet Latta

This month’s list is based on questions frequently asked.

  • Membership directories are e-mailed as a PDF file about once a quarter to all members. It is also attached at the bottom of the weekly E-News e-mail. If you are not receiving the E-News, please send me the e-mail address where you want it sent.
  • Contribution statements are mailed quarterly. Year-end statements are mailed by January 31. When a member needs another copy, I can look it up in the database and send you a copy by e-mail or snail mail.
  • Quarterly Statements only show the contributions recorded for that quarter (i.e. January – March, April – June, etc.). The statements sometimes take a few weeks to process and print; so therefore, you may receive a statement at the end of October for the 3rd quarter, which means, it will only show the offerings for July, August and September.
  • Trinity uses a secure site for online giving. The company, Vanco, is used by many churches across the country and they maintain an excellent reputation in this field. If you signed up for online giving through the church website, then you likely created a username and password. You can use this same username and password to sign into the site and make changes. If you signed up using a paper form, then our Assistant Church Treasurer, Neal Wise, is the best person to help guide you through this process.
  • Stock gifts are easy to complete. On our website, under Church Giving, is a Stock Transfers page. There you will find all the details and step-by-step directions for making the transfer. You will also find contact information for Earl Griggs, who handles all transfers and sees that your donation is credited to you.



Being Thankful

Biscuit staff photoby Biscuit Gilmer, Trinity Mascot

Happy fall!

One of my favorite holidays is coming up. Do you know what it is? That’s right; it’s Thanksgiving. I’m a Labrador Retriever and if you know anything about Labs, you know we like to eat. So, it makes sense that I love Turkey Day.

I also like Thanksgiving because it reminds us to be thankful. I have a lot of reasons to be grateful. I have a family that loves me, lots of friends and a great job as Trinity’s mascot. I also know that I’m lucky to have a place to live, and I never have to worry about having enough food. A lot of kids and pets can’t say the same. We should say an extra prayer for them this holiday.

Grab your Bible and find Psalm 107, verse one. It’s a good one to memorize. This reminds us to always be thankful to God, and remember He will love us always and forever.

When you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to think about the blessings in your life. I count you and all my Trinity family as special blessings.

Remember my motto:

Paws for Jesus!

Biscuit   paws

Tony Mendez and Jane Hampton Cook Speak at Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, November 4, at 12:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary, the Women’s Club of McLean will host a lecture and book signing with former CIA officer Tony Mendez, whose work rescuing Americans during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis inspired the 2012 film Argo. He was played by Ben Affleck in the film. The community is invited. For information call 703-356-3646 or visit

Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church Sponsored Lunch to Feature Well Known Author

Jane Hampton Cook, award-winning author who makes history and biographies relevant to today’s news, current events, issues of faith and modern day life, will be the guest speaker at a luncheon being sponsored by the Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church on Thursday, November 6 at 11:30 a.m. at Temple Rodef Shalom located at 2100 Westmoreland St. in Falls Church.

A frequent speaker and frequent national media guest, Ms. Cook is the author of seven books, including her newest work, America’s Star Spangled Story, which was released in August. Her other works include American Phoenix about John Quincy and Louisa Adams and the War of 1812. Other books include Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War; Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq and Afghanistan and The Faith of America’s First Ladies.

To make reservations, please mail a $10 check by November 1 made out to the “Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church (SCMAFC)” and mail to the Shepherd’s Center at 1205 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean, VA 22101. Questions? Please call 703-506-2199.

We are a 501©3 all volunteer organization dedicated to providing services to senior citizens enabling them to maintain an independent lifestyle. For more information, please go to or leave a message at (703) 506-2199.