The Never Ending Story

by James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

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

A well-constructed story appeals to us all because everything that happens contributes to the whole, and we, most of us, often wish that all the events of our own lives contributed to some overall meaning in the same way. In Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton described how he eventually came to the conviction that all life was like a story – a grand adventure story. Adventure stories usually have some important goal that requires great dedication if it is to be achieved; they tell of the valor of loyal companions who face danger and endure losses in achieving that goal. Chesterton showed that this “life as adventure” theme is also present in the Christian understanding of life.

You and I express who we are in the form of the stories we tell about ourselves. We introduce ourselves to other people by telling them where we are from, where we were educated, who we know, whether we are married and have family, and sometimes, what our goals are, etc. We do this because our identity is achieved slowly, through time, and it cannot be expressed apart from an account of our specific passage through time. Let us remember those at Trinity who in 2014 passed from time-bound life to life eternal: Ed Abbott, Harry Bacas, Molly Benson, Carolyn Cheney, Susan Holmberg, David Martin, Doug Wakefield, Mary Alice Wakefield, and Jim Wykle.

You, I and all who worship with God at Trinity Church are on a grand adventure together. Only God knows what wonderful adventures lie ahead for us this year; what new faces will join our happy throng; what familiar faces will disappear from our earthly fellowship. We are all just passing through time. So, with full confidence that God knows where our journey leads, let’s embrace one another with an esprit de corps and enthusiasm for ministry together with Christ as we write our names on the pages of volume 2015 of the greatest story still being told.

 

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Tackling Time

by Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor
Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

I’ve preached on the topic of time before. It’s a subject that is common in conversation—more so in this area than anywhere else I’ve lived. Time. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day. Why is time such a problem for us? Time is mentioned frequently in the Bible. Whether it’s how we spend it, use it or squander it, time has always been a popular subject.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8 NIV). If that’s the case, it’s only been a couple of days since Jesus walked the earth, when viewed from God’s vantage point. Peter didn’t mean for us to be literal here; he was making a valid point. God is not in a hurry. Many times it seems to us that God’s timing varies wildly from ours, doesn’t it? That can be maddening in our instant gratification world.

Why is it that we can’t grasp the meaning of time and timing? Well, for one thing, we must remember we worship a God who has no beginning and no end. There is no before, during or after. God is. “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2 NIV).

I know that I’ll never fully wrap my brain around the concept of time—certainly not time the way God views it. But I do know that even though our time on this earth is limited in hours, days and years, it is not as limited as we make it. God wants us to be brave and bold in our faith, and to stretch each day to the fullest. God has big plans and expects great things from each of us. How do we accomplish that? We must start by making the time for God’s time.

 

Serve God Through Music & We’re Back!

Serve God Through Music

by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

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

“The New Year is here, and I am looking for a resolution.”

If you are having this thought, why not join one of Trinity’s choirs? Choir is more than rehearsing, ringing and singing. It is a vital part of Trinity whose members feel called to minister to others through music.

Join one of our choirs and you will:

1) Be a part of the church’s worship life

2) Fellowship with others who feel God’s call to serve through music

3) Experience how music becomes an extension of God’s word

Qualifications for joining a choir include:

1) Loving Jesus with all your heart

2) Wanting to express through music what God has done for you

3) Being willing to serve at Trinity

You don’t have to be a great singer or ringer (although we are blessed with those!). If God has called you to serve in a choir, others will help you begin your journey in this new way to serve. Remember that “God does not call the qualified; rather, he qualifies the called.” If God is calling you to serve at Trinity through its music program, please make a resolution now to try one of its choirs!

 


 

We’re Back!

by Ellen LaCroix

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

Children’s Choir is back in action January 7. All children ages 4 and up are invited to join. We meet on Wednesday evening from 6-7 p.m. During the first 30 minutes, all of the children and their families share a meal together. After dinner, the children head to the music room for a 30-minute rehearsal and a brief bible lesson. We will share in a time of food and fellowship, and then discover God through music. A small group like Children’s Choir is an excellent way for children and parents to get plugged into the heart of the church and form lasting friendships. Children’s choir will sing in worship once in January, February, March, April, and we will present our spring production in May.

Our bible lessons will continue the theme we began in the fall, “Naming God.” Have you ever noticed how many different names we have for God? God is called Light of the World, Alpha and Omega, I AM, the Lamb, Creator, Immanuel, Prince of Peace, and so many more! How do we know what God’s name actually is? Are we allowed to call God all of these names? This semester we will explore the bible to discover these different names of God and find out what they tell us about who God is. Our time together will certainly be filled with joy and blessings. I hope to see you there!

 

Crafts for a Cause, Book Chat, & More

craftsA big thank you goes out to everyone who supported the Crafts for a Cause Holiday Bazaar last month. We raised more than $2,000, which will buy supplies for our projects as well as support Trinity’s mission efforts in Honduras and in Ethiopia. The crafts group also had the pleasure of making 50 felt Christmas stockings and Santa hats for the newborns at Fair Oaks Hospital. The parents and hospital staff always love seeing the infants sent home in such cute outfits. Special thanks to Judy Osha and Ann Case for making the Santa hats.

This month, we’ll meet on Mon., Jan. 5 and Mon., Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. We have moved down the hallway to Room 124 and we invite you to come check out our new workroom. In addition to our usual projects of shelter blankets and hospital bears, dolls, and pillows, we will be adding a new project – small pillows and lap blankets for the chemotherapy infusion lab. Our work sessions embrace a wide range of activities and skill levels, from cutting and sewing fabric, to stuffing and stitching. Newcomers are welcome! For more information, contact Molly Sprouse.

 


 

bookchatThe Trinity Book Chat will meet on Tuesday, January 13, to discuss Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan. This historical novel spotlights the loving, tumultuous partnership of Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and his Indiana-born wife, Fanny Osbourne. Please join us at 6:30 p.m. in the Library for lively conversation and dessert. Reading the book isn’t even required! Contact Kathy Maher.


 

thanks_9908cDear Trinity Family,

I am so appreciative of the love, prayers and support I have received from Trinity members. The meals we received were a huge help to both Bill and myself. We enjoyed each and every one.

The flower arrangement was beautiful and such a morale booster. Who wouldn’t feel better looking at God’s creation?

Thank you so very much.

Blessings to all,

Peggy Trapp


 

envel1cOffering Envelopes for 2015 are waiting to be picked up in the Narthex. Please pick up your box this month.

 


 

Leadership Training Day

Saturday, January 10

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Floris UMC

13600 Frying Pan Rd.

Herndon VA 20171

Keynote address and over 30 workshops to help you with your ministry at church and workshops to that will provide you with tools for your own spiritual journey.

Full brochure with workshop descriptions and registration link can be found at: http://www.novaumc.org/event-items/bdtd-2015/

Trinity will reimburse you for the registration fee.

Questions? Talk to Jim Sprouse or Eileen Gilmer.

 

 

Connections: New Class Topic & Retreat

by Karen Briscoe

Connections Sunday School Class

In January and until Lent, we will study Making Life Matter: Embracing the Joy in the Everyday by Shane Stanford. Discover what it means for the journey – your journey, my journey, our journey – to mean something. In a world of fast-paced schedules and priorities, conversations about what makes for a life well lived are a rarity and luxury. But what if the daily pace of life held in itself the way to make choices more significant? Through the material we will confront the way in which God, every day, means for us to live deeper, closer, and better in Him – in essence, the way God intends for life to matter.

All are welcome to attend, 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.

Couples’ Retreat – Registration Now

Please mark your calendars for the 12th Annual Trinity Couples’ Retreat for the weekend of February 27 – March 1, at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA. We have two cottages reserved and so will have our own space, which will provide a nice community feel. It will be possible to attend either one or both nights as in the past. We have been able to keep the charge at $150/night, which includes dinner Saturday night at the Harvest restaurant on the hotel property. There will be continental items available for breakfast in the morning but if you want a full breakfast that will be a separate fee, as will lunch.

There will be a group program Saturday morning with plenty of free time in the afternoon to enjoy the spa, Hotel gardens and other amenities in the area. We will have entertainment Saturday evening after dinner together. Sunday morning worship will complete the weekend.

If you would like to save a spot, please get a check made out to Trinity for $150/night to Andy or Karen Briscoe.

 

Youth Mission Trip & Update

by Nick McMichael, Youth Director

Nick McMichael, Youth Director
Nick McMichael, Youth Director

December has come and gone. We sold almost 400 trees on our Christmas tree lot ! Half of the profits goes toward our youth programs, and the other half will go to Boy Scout Troup 869. I extend my gratitude to everyone who came out to buy a tree. You have been a huge blessing to us.

The question, of course, is what to do with this money? In the past it went toward a ski trip that the youth seem to enjoy. Other years it went toward a summer mission trip. This year I am moved by the Spirit to work with the Honduras Missions that our church supports. As a result of a much steeper cost for this mission trip, as opposed to ASP, I want you all to know that our Christmas tree funds will be going toward sending our youth on this trip. More details about the trip itself will come in later Spire articles.

The last thing I would like to share with you is about our Youth Group House Cup! Some of you may know by now that I have put each youth into one of four groups, named after the Hogwarts houses in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, so that they can gain points to try to defeat the other groups. This competition will end on Halloween of 2015. As part of this House Cup, the youth were given the chance to receive ten points per tree that they sold this year. They could also make points by memorizing the order of the books of the Bible, answering tough questions that I often ask, winning games that we play, or finding a stuffed animal called “Bob the Tomato,” whom I have been hiding around the Fellowship Building. At the end of December, the points are as follows:

Hufflepuff: 360

Gryffindor: 540

Slytherin: 760

Ravenclaw: 810

These results show the Ravenclaw House in an early lead!

Thanks again to everyone who came out to help sell trees, and thank you to everyone who supports our youth in any way.

 

Church & Society: January 2015

by Kelly Slone

January Collection

During the month of January, Church and Society is collecting disinfectant wipes, hand-sanitizing gel and boxes of tissues for DC Scholars at Stanton (Stanton Elementary School). Any sizes or quantities are appreciated. Please leave your donations outside the collection closet in the Fellowship building or in the collection baskets located in the church foyers.

SHARE

Thanks to all who donated food and toiletry items during the months of November and December for the local needy families served by SHARE. A big thank you goes to Chris Wilbur who delivered the donations from Trinity members!

Trinity members also graciously took part in the SHARE angel tree program. The gifts were given to angels of all ages, and delivered at SHARE’s Christmas party. Thank you to the Trinity family for your generosity.

Christ House

Interested in preparing and serving lunch to residents at Christ House in DC on Saturday, January 17 between 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.? We are always looking a few volunteers and always have a very wonderful experience. Please contact Kelly Slone if you are interested.