Disciple Making Through Spiritual Formation

by James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

Bishop Shama Lewis arrived in Richmond to assume her duties as the new episcopal leader of the Virginia Conference. She is the first African-American woman elected a bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, and has been assigned to lead the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church for the next four years. She will begin her term of office on Sept. 1.

Bishop Lewis will oversee the 1,169 local churches and faith communities and 327,647 United Methodists in the Virginia Conference. She follows Bishop Young Jin Cho who is retiring after leading the conference for the last four years.

Additional exciting news is that Trinity’s Education Team has a generous lineup of Christian education and spiritual formation offerings for the fall and winter. Keith, Harriet and others have been planning all summer for our fall Kick Off on Sunday, September 18.

I am offering three adult series this fall and winter: Beginning on September 18 I’ll teach the Adam Hamilton series: Half Truths, then starting around mid-October I’ll offer the Marcus Borg series: Embracing An Adult Faith. Beginning in mid to late November my class will offer another Adam Hamilton series on the Gospel of John which concludes before Christmas. My classes will meet Sundays at 9:30 a.m., Mondays at 10 a.m., and Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m.

In addition to these the McLean Evening Bible Study will offer a Monday evening study beginning Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. This year, they plan to cover the books of Deuteronomy, Esther, Ruth, Philippians and Colossians. Learn more: McLean Evening Bible Study flyer.

The Tuesday Morning Women’s Study meets at McLean Family Restaurant at 6:45 a.m. They will begin Adam Hamilton’s Half Truths on Sept. 6.

I am also beginning a Fitbit Walk for Health Club this fall. We’ll meet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m. There is the 1, 2 and 3-mile circuit. Each lap around Trinity’s sidewalks is 1/3 of a mile. Each mile generates about 2,500 steps. The American Medical Association suggests that persons get in a minimum of 10,000 steps per day to stay healthy. We should be able to make a 1-mile circuit every 20 minutes. You’re able to walk at your own pace, and walk as long as you’d like. It’s safe and the fellowship is terrific. Plan to join us beginning Monday, September 19 at 8 a.m. at the Fellowship Building.

Your Trinity ministry team is here to serve you. From your staff here at the office, Eileen, Keith, Harriet, Jerry, Catherine, Nila, Lauren Michelle, Jose and Brooks – we wish you a happy and joyous fall season of worship, spiritual development, song and spiritual exercise with us this fall and winter. Hope to see you here.



Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

As your clergy staff, Jim, Keith and I are here to be of help and guidance however we can. Keith and I also have areas of concentration. Keith’s is education and mine is outreach. We spend much of our time focusing on those areas. I wanted to let you know why I feel called to this important ministry and why I need your help in fulfilling this mission.

“Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” Romans 12:13 NRSV

Miriam Webster defines outreach as the act of reaching out, and as the “extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits.” The first definition might seem rather simplified, but most outreach does begin literally, with the act of reaching out. I extend my hand, reaching out to welcome those who are visitors. The second half of the definition is what I strive my mission to be: the extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits. My goal is to offer a welcome to those who are new, providing a church experience that goes above and beyond.

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35

We have just a few minutes until a visitor decides whether Trinity is a good fit. That’s not much time. Think about when you first came to our church. Can you remember your first impression? Odds are good it was favorable, or you wouldn’t have returned. This is where you come into the equation.

Whether you are relatively new to Trinity or if you are a longtime member, the request is still the same. I ask that if you see new faces in church, walk up to them and welcome them to Trinity. Think about how much greater the experience is for someone who is made to feel welcomed. Don’t worry that you might not have the answers to all their questions; Jim, Keith or I can handle that. Most people just want to feel they belong.

“Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:1

Not everyone is called to ministry, but everyone is called to serve. One of the best ways you can fulfill that call is to show the love of Christ to visitors. Let them see the light of Christ in our hearts and minds. Who knows? Maybe we’ll entertain a few angels along the way.



By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

Confirmation class is open to all students in 7th grade. Our Confirmation 2016-17 class will have its first meeting on Oct. 2 with a celebration of Confirmation on June 4, 2017! Classes will meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m.

During last year’s confirmation classes, I noticed that mentors were not involved as much as the confirmands prefer. To make it more convenient for all involved, I have included three sessions for the mentors to meet with their confirmands. Furthermore, I will ask the mentors to consider teaching one of the sessions. Last year, one of the most memorable lessons was taught by Mrs. Jamie Loving!

The schedule also includes ‘make-up’ sessions throughout the year because there are many conflicts with sports and other activities. Previously we allowed three absences but that was not a satisfying solution because the student still missed valuable lessons needed for confirmation. These make-up sessions coupled with mindful coordination with the Fairfax County Public School schedule should make it possible for confirmands to participate in most of the classes.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 703-356-3312 or klee@umtrinity.org.



Oct. 2 Introductory Meeting with Parents and Confirmands

Oct. 9 NO CLASS*

Oct. 16 Intro Meeting for Confirmands

Oct. 23 Sin

Oct. 30 Meeting with Mentors

Nov. 6 NO CLASS*

Nov. 13 Redemption

Nov. 20 Holy Spirit

Nov. 27 NO CLASS*

Dec. 4 Church

Dec. 11 New Creation


Dec. 25 NO CLASS*

Jan. 1 NO CLASS*

Jan. 8 Way of Discipleship

Jan. 15 NO CLASS*

Jan. 22 Way of Salvation

Jan. 29 Wesleyan Quadrilateral

Feb. 5 NO CLASS*

Feb. 12 Worship

Feb. 19 NO CLASS*

Feb. 26 Sacraments

Mar. 5 Meeting with Mentors

Mar. 12 Living a Holy Life

Mar. 19 Renounce, Reject, Repent


Apr. 2 Accept

Apr. 9 NO CLASS*

Apr. 16 NO CLASS*

Apr. 23 Confess

Apr. 30 I Believe (The Creeds)

May 5 Lock-in

May 7 Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service, and Witness

May 14 Meeting with Mentors

May 21 Going Forth/Faith Statements

May 28 NO CLASS*


-Note NO CLASS* due to Fairfax Country Public School Scheduling


Choir Rehearsals Resume for Children & Adults

Children’s Choir Begins September 21!

By Catherine Wethington, Director of Children’s & Youth Choirs

Guess what! Children’s and Youth Choirs will start back up on Wednesday, September 21 at 6 p.m.! We will meet in Langley Hall for dinner and then we’ll go down to the choir room to sing. Children’s choir is a fun and educational opportunity for our kids to participate in the life of our church family and to grow in their faith. Some may not know that I grew up here at Trinity and participated in the Children’s Choir program (way back when). Trinity provided me with a special language, music, with which I could express my love for God and my faith in him. Into my adult life music has continued to be a vital expression of my faith. I hope that I can provide our kids with the same excitement and passion for music and God that Trinity’s music program has given me. I can’t wait to meet all of you and start singing!

God Bless,

Ms. Catherine

Adult Choir News

by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

RING AND SING WITH OUR CHOIRS! Our adult choirs resume on Thursday, September 8: Trinity Ringers at 6:30 p.m., and Chancel Choir at 7:30 p.m. Rehearsals are in Room 115. Please join us!

PROCLAIMING GOD’S PRESENCE IN SONG! Our Chancel Choir will present the anthem I Have Felt the Hand of God on September 25. Pamela Martin’s thoughtful text is complemented by Craig Courtney’s moving musical setting. If you’d like to listen to it as you read these words, here is a link: < https://soundcloud.com/beckenhorst-press/21-i-have-felt-the-hand-of-god&gt;

I have felt the hand of God in your hand. Holding me, you gave me strength to stand. When I was all alone, you came and met my need. And when I lost my way, your hand was there to lead. Through your touch, God’s hand reached out to me. I have felt the hand of God in your hand.

I have heard the voice of God in your voice. Singing praise, you taught me to rejoice. Your voice of comfort caused my grief to end. And when my faith was gone, you called me home again. When you spoke, God’s voice called out to me. I have heard the voice of God in your voice.

I have seen the face of God in your face. Giving all, you shared with me God’s grace. And you were faithful to guide me as I grew. I saw your love for God, and I saw God in you. When you smiled, God’s love surrounded me. I have seen the face of God, I have heard the voice of God, I have felt the hand of God through you.


September Update: What’s Happening

Book Chat | Church & Society | Crafts for a Cause | Directory | Trustee Update | VBS

cal0916Sept. 5          Office Closed

Sept. 8          Trinity Ringers & Chancel Choir resume rehearsals

Sept. 11       Sunday School program year begins

Sept. 11       Martha’s Table Sandwich Sunday

Sept. 13       Book Chat: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Sept. 15       Spire Deadline

Sept. 18       Bounce Back to Sunday School Potluck

Sept. 20       Trustee Meeting

Sept. 21       Children & Youth Choirs resume rehearsals

Sept. 25       Celtic Service, 6 p.m.

Sept. 28       Spire assembly

Book Chat Sept Social MediaComing Up

October 11: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald (2016)

November 8: Bettyville: A Memoir, by George Hodgman (2015)

Contact: Kathy Maher

Church & Society

By Chris Wilbur

During the months of August and September, our congregation will be collecting school and art supplies for the McLean/Falls Church Children’s Center. The McLean/ Falls Church Children’s Center provides daycare and a quality early childhood education to low income families. This enables those living in poverty to get jobs and have a safe place to leave their children. It also gives these often-underserved children the opportunity to prepare for Kindergarten.

Please place all donated items in the bins located inside the entryway doors to the church or in the bins in the Fellowship Lobby.


Any kind of art or craft supplies, but especially tempera paints, stickers, and glue sticks

Washable markers, safety scissors, construction paper

Cheerios (plain only)

Cake mixes (no chocolate or nuts)

100% juice

Please prayerfully consider chairing the Church & Society ministry. It is a great opportunity to be involved in the life of the church and to meet some really terrific people. Help will be provided!

Crafts2Believe it or not, Crafts for a Cause is already thinking about Christmas! We’re making plans for our annual Holiday Bazaar, which begins Sun., Nov. 20, and we’re starting work on the 50 Christmas stockings and Santa hats we make for newborns at Fair Oaks Hospital. Meanwhile, we continue to churn out the comfort items like pillows, blankets, dolls and bears which we donate every month to Fair Oaks.

Our work sessions this month will be on Mon., Sept. 12, and Mon., Sept. 26 from 7 to 8:3 p.m. in Room 124. Everyone is welcome; we need help with cutting fabric, sewing and stuffing. We’ll also be working on Bazaar items such as jewelry, lavender sachet bags, cat toys and the newborn stockings.

If you know how to knit or crochet, we can use your help at home making the Santa hats for the newborns at Fair Oaks. Yarn and patterns are provided; we just need your basic skills at knitting or crocheting. If you can help out, contact Molly Sprouse.

Photo Directory 2016 small

Trustee Update

Unauthorized parkers to be towed beginning Friday, August 12: While we welcome all with open hearts, Trinity has been plagued with the unauthorized use of its parking lot on recent weekend nights; coping with these interferes with legitimate church purposes. Without our knowledge or consent, Trinity has been listed in regular online advertisements for exceedingly “raunchy” parties being held nearby; these are not neighborhood gatherings, but “party mansions” where the “guests” pay admission & are provided with alcohol. The websites tell partiers to park at Trinity then catch a shuttle bus to the site (McLean Baptist Church faces the same problem). We have had to deal with inebriated and combative partiers who leave unspeakable waste and are a threat. We have filed a complaint with the Fairfax County Police Department, which has increased patrols. At the FCPD’s recommendation, we have posted the lot with signs warning that trespassers will be towed. Beginning Friday, August 12, unauthorized vehicles left in Trinity’s lot between dusk and dawn will be towed, and the owners made to pay the costs. We regret any inconvenience, but the situation has become dangerous and intolerable. We have had to call the police for assistance, repeated requests to party organizers to remove our information has not been honored, and it is too costly to continue hiring private security. Thank you for your understanding, we hope the problem will soon be resolved.

As printed in the Aug. 14, 2016 bulletin

Vacation Bible School:

Our Vacation Bible School would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the volunteers!

Janey Bae

Lindsay Boyle

Bella Brooks

Patty Burgess

Sarah Beth Burgess

Emery Conroy

Lizzy Conroy

Nila Curry

Naty de las Alas

Courtney English

Megan Faust

Jen Fuqua-Calsyn

Jerry Fuqua

Eileen Gilmer

Suzanne Hamilton

Jake Hensely

Lauren Hensely

Lynda Hensley

Ann Hooton

Kate Houston

Stephanie Hsu

Lela Johnson

Kevin Kaldes

Peter Kaldes

Katie Kennedy

Tommy Kennedy

Ethan Keough

Liam Keough

Tatiana Landivar

Harriet Latta

Christine Lee

Keith Lee

Joyce Lee

Ashley Long

Eloise Lorenze

Adelaide Loving

Charlotte Loving

Mrs. Jamie Loving

Mr. Jamie Loving

Allie Mansinne

Brendan Mansinne

Bella Marku

Margie Meak

Jose Nunez

Cindy Oh

Eran O’Keefe

Emily Patterson

Jennifer Robeson

Karen Robeson

Steven Robeson

Jennifer Sadler

Anthony Salazar

Davis Sawyer

Anne Schuyler

Caroline Seinch

Katherine Seinch

Jim Sprouse

Molly Sprouse

Emily Summers

Marci Love Thomas

April Wade Turk

Riley Turk

Amber Westland

Pippa Westland

Catherine Wethington

Cindy Wilson

Jim Wilson


Trinity’s Authors

Several Trinity members have recently published books. All of these titles are available on Amazon. You may want to check them out:

Business Ethics for Executives: A Christian Decision Guide by Peet van Biljon and James C. Sprouse

Book-cover2How can traditional Christian teachings help corporate executives make ethical business decisions? That’s what Peet van Biljon and James C Sprouse address in their new book. (Description on Amazon)

The Genesis Key and The Joshua Tree by James Barney

Fans of James Rollins, Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, Steve Berry, David Baldacci, and Raymond Khoury, listen up: James Barney is among us! (Description for The Genesis Key on Amazon.)

Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day: Secrets of a Top Agent Revealed by Karen Briscoe

Investing your first 5 minutes a day reading and sharpening your skills can put you on the fast track to success in your life and business. Many masters and experts have shared their wisdom through words. Learning from these experienced leaders by reading their words is how you, too, can achieve personal and professional transformation. Success is achieved by getting into action immediately and applying the principles learned. Applied knowledge leads to success. (Summary found on Amazon)

Trekking Through Cancerland: Letters from the Journey by Karen Loss

Reading Karen Loss’s observations on battling Stage IV lung cancer, I felt that I was by her side as she was diagnosed; holding her hand as she goes through chemo; laughing and, yes, crying with her as she experiences the ups and downs of a disease no one should have to face. She does so with extreme grace and wit. An inspiring story that (thankfully) still continues. Kathy Maher, Amazon review (Kathy is a Trinity member.)

Have you published something you’d like to share with the congregation. Please let us know: info@umtrinity.org.


Ask Biscuit: Why Can’t We See God?

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

A big hello to all the kids of Trinity Church! I hope you had an awesome summer. I took a couple of road trips with my family over the summer. It was a lot of fun. Now, it’s time for school and all the activities that keep us busy. It’s important to make time for God, even when we are super busy with school, sports and friends.

I love to answer your questions. Here are a few that I’ve been asked by a couple of friends: Why can’t we see God? What does God look like? Great questions. Where do we go to find the answers when we have questions about God? Did you say the Bible? Yes! That’s right.

Do you have a Bible? (If you don’t, just have your mom, dad or grandparent give us a call in the church office. We’ll be happy to get you one.) Now, turn to 1 Corinthians 13:12. That’s the book of first Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 12. It’s a book that was written by a man named Paul. He wrote this as part of a letter to a church in Corinth.

“What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror, then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete–as complete as God’s knowledge of me.” (GNT)

Paul says trying to see the image of God is like trying to see an image in a mirror, except it’s really hard to see. Pretend there’s a fog that’s keeping you from seeing well. But, Paul tells us one day we will get to see and understand God; it will be as clear as God can see and know us right now!

We might not see God directly, but there is a way to see God in action. When someone is being nice or helpful, that’s seeing God in action. When you get a hug from someone in your family, that’s seeing God in action. And when you help out a neighbor or friend, YOU are God in action. Maybe you can think of some ways you can show God in action to your family.

Keep the questions coming! You can send them to me at bit.ly/askbiscuit.

Remember my motto: Paws for Jesus!