On the Road Again…

By James C. Sprouse


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

The Virginia Conference lists 1,060 clergy under appointment full and part-time. Together we serve the 1,205 churches throughout the state. On Wednesday, June 29, between 100 & 200 clergy and their families will load all their personal belongings into a moving van and travel to their 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. Across the Conference nearly 30 of our clergy will try to adjust to being retired. They will feel a bit strange when Sunday rolls around and they find out what life is like in the pews… again.

This year nearly two out of every 10 churches of the Virginia Conference will receive a different pastor.

On Sunday, July 3, fifteen 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 new associate pastor.

The Arlington District will see Trinity’s former associate pastor, Eric Song, and his wife Heather, return to the District. Eric will serve Good Shepherd UMC on Hunter Mill Road in Vienna. Our District Superintendent, Cathy Abbott, begins her fourth year of leadership of the Arlington clergy and laity.

Ellen Fillette receives her first appointment in June to Centreville UMC as associate pastor. Nila Curry and Lauren Michelle Stevens return to Trinity as Wesley Theological Seminary interns. Eileen Gilmer will continue her studies at Wesley Theological Seminary.

On another joyous note: Reverend Keith Lee and Elieen Gilmer return as associate pastors. Keith renews his spiritual leadership for our youth, the Education Committee and Young Couples. He is an Elder in the Virginia Conference and has been clergy since 1994. Eileen renews her spiritual leadership as pastor of Outreach and Communications. She is a Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church and continues her seminary education in this summer. Eileen and Keith join me, Jerry, Harriet, Jose, Brooks, our lay leaders: Jose and Leslie, and all the Trinity family as together we make disciple for Jesus Christ.



Not So New Year’s Resolution

By Eileen Gilmer

Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor
Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Maybe you resolved to work out more, read more or cut down on screen time. How’s that going? I think we should start a new trend: a mid-year’s resolution. What’s the point of rushing into things? Give yourself a good six months to see where the year takes you. I invite you to make a resolution centered on prayer.

O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand.

-William Penn

Pray for discernment. Pray that God will open our eyes to see the other side. Pray for the wisdom to keep our mouths shut until we understand why the other person acts/speaks/thinks a certain way.

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains.

-C.S. Lewis

Pray for the ability to hear that small (and sometimes not so small) voice. Pray that God’s sensibility will rise above the din of our cries for help or attention. Pray for the confidence to know that we succeed because of God’s grace and power, and not because of our own race to selfish gain.

Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.

John 20:29

Pray that God will empower you to have so much faith that you are fearless. Pray for the courage to trust God fully and completely, at all times and in all situations. Pray that God will enable you to willingly give up the need to be in control.

How about if we make a pledge? I’ll pray for you, and you pray for the clergy and lay leaders here at Trinity. Please pray for our greater United Methodist Church, and all the Methodist churches around the world. We need it.

Prayer works. Prayer strengthens. Prayer is how we talk with God.


Youth and Children’s Ministry Continues Strong During Summer

By Keith Lee

Keith Lee, Associate Pastor
Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

At the end of June, it will be one year since my appointment began at Trinity. I’m thankful for all the support and encouragement from staff, leadership and congregation! I look forward to another year of wonderful ministry together. Below are some important dates for Youth and Children’s Ministry.

Please note for Children’s ministry we will hold classes through the summer. All the teachers will be on break from regular teaching while Lauren Michelle and I along with volunteers will continue to hold classes at 9:30 and 10:30. We have not determined the curriculum but we will utilize more storytelling, arts, songs, games, and dancing to move away from a lecture-class format. Many of the teachers have already incorporated these elements into their classes and have shared with me their effectiveness and ability to engage students.

I like to think of the changes as having a ‘summer school’ atmosphere. I remember as an elementary student, regular school hours were filled with homework, tests, and lectures while summer school hours were about art, games and engaging activities. I was looking forward to waking up the next day so that I could go to summer school! Summer children’s ministry might not be that dramatically different but I would like to try something new.

Usually during summer, attendance drops because of travel and vacation plans. However, we will continue vibrant Youth and Children’s Ministries for the summer. Please make plans to join us for an engaging July and August.

Youth Ministry Events

June 5: Senior Night-an evening to celebrate graduating seniors at Trinity, 5 p.m.

June 30: King’s Dominion-Confirmation Class and Youth Group

July 31-Aug 6: Appalachian Service Project

Children’s Ministry Events

June 5: Ice Cream Social and Bike Parade, 3– 5 p.m.

June 26: End of Spring Semester

July 3: Veggie Tales Sunday

July 10-Aug 28: Summer Sunday Sessions

Aug 15-19: Vacation Bible School


June Round-Up

Book Chat | Concert | Graduates | Ice Cream Social | VBS

cal0616June 3-5:    Men’s Retreat

June 4:        Free Concert

June 5:        Ice Cream Social & Bike Ride, 3—5 p.m.

June 6:        Crafts for a Cause

June 12:     Graduate Recognition Sunday

June 12:     Martha’s Table Sandwich Making

June 15:     Spire Deadline

June 17-19:  Annual Conference

June 20:    Crafts for a Cause

Book Chat

The Trinity Book Chat had a great season, and we’re now “on vacation” until September. In the meantime, we’re looking for ideas! Please email Kathy Maher by Sunday, June 12, if you have any book suggestions or would like to be added to our email list.


concertFeaturing: Soloists Philip Keirstead, Michelle Kelly, Doris Page, Catherine Wethington, Nadine Wethington, Joey Wilson and Michelle Zenk will be joined by the Chancel Choir and Trinity Ringers, all under the direction of Music Director Jerry Rich. The theme is “God Bless America”; in addition to an audience sing-along of Irving Berlin’s beloved song, selections will include Charles Ives’ The Circus Band, Sherman Edwards’ The Egg from 1776, Margaret Bonds’ setting of He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, Sammy Fain’s I’ll Be Seeing You, Betty Garee’s Materna, Mark Hayes’ Old Time Religion Medley, Scott Joplin’s Peacherine Rag, Hart Morris’ Simple Gifts, and Sigmund Romberg’s Will You Remember from Maytime. Admission is free.

Graduate Recognition

congrats_5707cWe congratulate all of the 2016 graduates from among Trinity’s members. These individuals have earned high school diplomas, undergraduate and graduate degrees from these fine schools.

Byron Cormany, McLean High School

Hardy Cox, University of Missouri

Thomas Cabell Sawyer, University of Virginia

Andrew Gilmer, Christopher Newport University

Anna Harris, McLean High School

Laszlo Herbolich, QSI International School of Malta

Jee Woo Kim, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology

Sarah Swenson, Langley High School

Victoria Todd, Christopher Newport University

Catherine Wethington, Catholic University of America

Kaela Wilbur, McLean High School

Ice Cream Social & Bike Parade

Bike Parade 2016

Vacation Bible School

surf shack logo smallAugust 15-19

9 a.m.—12 p.m.

Ages 3—rising 4th grade

To volunteer, contact Jen Calsyn or Marci Thomas. Registration forms are available in Sunday School classrooms, in the Narthex, and on the church website.


Church & Society | Crafts for a Cause

Church & Society | Crafts for a Cause
Church & Society

During the months of June and July, we will collect for Share. Share is a food pantry and family assistance program established in 1969 by several faith communities. Today, Share serves hundreds of local needy families over the course of a year and are supported by a network of 24 faith communities, several schools and local businesses, and tons of individuals! Share is completely volunteer run so every dollar and every donation goes directly to the clients! Please visit http://www.shareofmclean.org for more information. Please place all donations in the 2 bins located in each Narthex entryway or in the bin in Fellowship Lobby.

These are the critical need items:

  • Rice (2 pound bags)
  • Cooking oil
  • Granola bars
  • 100% juice in bottles or juice boxes
  • Baby wipes
  • Feminine products

Also needed:

  • Gently used sheet sets
  • Children and adult summer clothing

Crafts for a Cause

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks to all the volunteers who showed up for Trinity’s Good Works Day in April, Crafts for a Cause has a mountain of comfort pillows, sock dolls, surgery dolls and bears to send to Fair Oaks Hospital to comfort patients of all ages. We also have about 50 cotton dresses to send to needy girls in Uganda. Thanks to everyone who participated!

In case you’re wondering, the comfort items we send to Fair Oaks every month include neck pillows and lap blankets for patients receiving chemotherapy, arm pillows for breast cancer patients, surgery dolls for children having procedures, knit caps for newborn babies and sock dolls for siblings.

During June, Crafts will meet on alternating Monday nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on June 6 and June 20. The Wednesday morning sessions have been suspended until the fall. Everyone is welcome to come help make the comfort items we churn out every month; no skills required, just willing hands. For more information, contact Molly Sprouse at mollysprouse@gmail.com.


Mission Team Heading to Honduras

emailJoin Dan and Chris Moore in mission service to The Leadership Center in Honduras this July.

The Leadership Center is about 2 hours from Tegucigalpa in a safe and beautiful rural area. There are 30 young women at TLC, living and learning together as a close knit community. High up in pine covered mountains, the large campus is rustic but comfortable.

TLC educates, trains, and develops a next generation of ethical leaders for Honduras by providing exceptional academics, hands-on leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities to young women from underprivileged families. It is the leaders who graduate from The Leadership Center that will enable long-term, sustainable solutions in their communities and Honduras.

A mission trip experience to Honduras will be a wonderful, rewarding experience that will seriously impact your faith journey. We will work with, mentor and teach these beautiful young women who will inspire you. We will be in daily and continuous fellowship together. You will have a wonderful cross cultural experience and build memories that will last forever.

spireCome meet and spend some time with the three young women that Trinity sponsors at TLC. They are so appreciative of our support and would love to meet you!

For questions and information, contact Dan (703-980-5050) or Chris ( 571-215-2948). The website provides more information as well: http://leadershipmissioninternational.org/.


Singing in Choir is Good for the Soul

By Jerry Rich

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

John Rutter (b. 1945) is one of the most-performed and best-loved composers of choral music now living; he is particularly regarded for his sacred music (his joyous Gloria, consoling Requiem, and many beautiful Christmas carols come to mind). When asked about the value of singing in a choir, he said:

Choral music is not one of life’s frills. It goes to the very heart of our humanity, our sense of community, and our souls. When you sing, you express your soul in song; when you get together with a group of other singers, you become more than the sum of those parts. People pouring out their hearts and souls in perfect harmony symbolize what we need when so much of the world is at odds with itself—a model of human beings in harmony—a lesson for our times and for all time.

Musical excellence is important; but even a choir that is not great has a social and communal value. A church or school without a choir is like a body without a soul. Everybody who has sung in a choir tells me that they feel better for doing it. Whatever the cares of the day might be, meeting after a long day to sing lets you leave your troubles at the door. When you’re making music, that’s the only thing that matters at that moment; you walk away refreshed, renewed—and that’s a value that goes just beyond the music itself.

As a musician, I naturally put music at the heart of it; but these other values stand out as a beacon. I think our politicians, our educators, and our budget-makers need to remember that choral music is not a frill. It is like a great oak that rises up from the center of the human race and spreads its branches everywhere. That’s what music does for us; and choral music must stand as one of the supreme examples of it.

As we head into summer, please keep in mind that Trinity’s choir meets every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. to learn an easy anthem for that day’s 10:30 a.m. service. We would love to have you join us!


Does God Ever Take a Vacation?

By Biscuit Gilmer

Hi, kids of Trinity Church!

I’ll bet you are ready for summer to start. I know I am. It’s awesome we have more daylight; that allows us to stay outside longer each day. We can also look forward to planning our summer vacations.

Biscuit Gilmer, Trinity Church mascot
Biscuit Gilmer, Trinity Church mascot

Everybody loves being able to go on vacation. Where are some of the places you’ve gone on vacation with your family? When my family lived in Florida, we didn’t need to go very far to get to the beach. There’s a place in Volusia County that’s known as Dog Beach. We liked to go there to play in the sand and water.

Do you think God ever takes a vacation? It must be a lot of work taking care of us all the time. God is at work in the world all day and all night. If anyone deserves a vacation, it seems like it’s God. Where do you think we should look to find out if God takes a well-deserved break? If you guessed the Bible, you’re right!

Grab your Bible and turn to Deuteronomy 31:8. Here’s what the Bible says about whether God ever takes a vacation day. It says: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you” (NLT). This is great news. God is ahead of us, beside us and all around us every day. The Bible promises we will never be alone. If God never leaves us, then how can God take a vacation day?

God isn’t a person like we are—we need sleep, food and water. But God doesn’t need to eat, sleep or take a break. Because of this, we know that we don’t ever need to be afraid or sad. We should be happy! Why? Because God doesn’t go on vacation to get away from us. God goes on vacation with us. Thank you, God!

Do you have a question you would like to ask me about God or the church? Just go to bit.ly/ask_biscuit.

Remember my motto: Paws for Jesus!