Next Level Innovation and a Bible Study

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

Next Level Innovation (NLI) is an investment in churches that have a recognized potential for reaching more people in their community and inviting them to become disciples of Jesus. These churches have healthy and coachable leadership. Trinity is one of only 6 churches in this first investment.

The Arlington District & Virginia Conference will provide leadership and administration needs to oversee the development process over the next 3 years. Each church assembles an NLI team oriented toward the process. Trinity’s NLI team is the Executive Council members, clergy and laity.

The District NLI team and other church innovation professionals will visit Trinity on our NLI weekend in October to talk with the Trinity members. Their team will generate recommendations that will help Trinity move to the next level of its abilities, changing the status quo and encouraging innovations that help each participating church community make disciples for the transformation of the world.

Our weekend is October 20, 21, 22. We’ll have only one worship time that Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Interviews with congregation members will be Friday evening and Saturday morning. The NLI leadership team will deliver Sunday’s message and encourage Trinity members in our mission with Jesus Christ.

On another note, I will begin my fall Bible study on September 10. Classes are Sunday at 9:30 a.m., Monday at 10 a.m. and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. This year we’re using the Disciple Fast Track series, Into the Word, Into the World and we’ll begin with Genesis and Exodus. The study last 12 weeks. Class members read a manageable 3-5 chapters of the Bible each day in preparation for the class. Into the Word will help you deepen your understanding of Scripture, make connections between what you already know and what you’re reading and you’ll encounter 3 spiritual disciplines, learn what they are and discover how you can engage those disciplines. Each week Into the World identifies some needs in the world for which ministry is needed and suggests possible responses.

And finally, each week, you’ll be guided in experiencing the gift of Sabbath rest and renewal. Join us for Genesis/Exodus in the fall and Luke/Acts in the winter.


Bible Study for Women Too Busy for Bible Study

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

“It’s been so long since I’ve felt overwhelmed, stressed out or pulled in a million different directions.”

When was the last time you said that to yourself? Yeah, me neither.

That’s why I’ve felt the call to start a women’s Bible study. But, it is not meant to be just any Bible study. It’s one specifically for women who feel they absolutely have no time to go to Bible study. Let me explain.

Our environment is one where we sit in traffic, plodding along (at a snail’s pace) only to arrive at a designated place where we push ourselves at break-neck speed, only to get back in traffic (going at an even slower snail’s pace) only to … well, you get the idea. What can we do about it? We can go to God, seek out scripture, and fellowship with other sisters trying to keep pace with this NOVA craziness. It’s time we make room for God in our schedule.

I hope you’ll join us for our new Bible study: A Woman Overwhelmed. As author Hayley DiMarco writes: “We were created to be overwhelmed, not with the impossibility of our to-do lists or our circumstances but with the possibility of God working in and through us. Our purpose is to be engulfed not by the stuff of this world, the creation, but by the Creator. Trouble is that we often forget this and instead focus on our plans and pains.”

We’ll look at the life of Mary, Jesus’ mother. (Talk about a woman with the potential of being overwhelmed!) We’ll also look at ways our sense of being overwhelmed can keep us from fully experiencing God’s glory that surrounds us. (No need to pack your bags for a guilt trip; this class is meant to inspire and encourage!)

A Woman Overwhelmed

A six-week Bible study

Sunday mornings, starting September 10

9:30 a.m., room 302 (downstairs in the Fellowship Building)

Send me an e-mail if you have questions. There is a workbook that costs $10. Please let me know if you are attending so that I can order enough of them. (We can help with the price of the workbook; just let me know that, too.) I can be reached at

See you soon!


Discipleship for Children and Youth Group

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

Stewardship Goals for Children’s Education

Starting this fall, we will reintroduce offering time for children during the Children’s Message at 10:30 worship service. We will collect funds for Heifer International and Heart to Heart Children’s Village in Honduras. There will be offering goals for the year and updates on our progress towards those goals. I was not here when our previous Director of Christian Education, Amy Crisp, started it, but I heard from many parents and children that this was one of the elements of our worship service that felt relevant to students in terms of giving.

Besides this, there are a couple of other reasons for bringing it back. First, one of Trinity’s missions is to help parents raise sacrificial and socially active children. This offering demonstrates to children that their monetary contributions go to causes that alleviate poverty and suffering. Second, giving in a worship context not only continues the tradition of giving, but also strengthens a sense of celebration and community building through stewardship.

For the first goal, let’s go for something high. Therefore, what about donating a heifer which costs $500?! Let’s do this!

Active Youth Group

The youth group had an assessment session during the summer regarding our activities and events. We reviewed all our activities for the year and established parameters for the coming year. There are two important points of consensus. One, we want to do more outreach events. Two, we want to do activities outside of the church utilizing resources available in the greater DC area. Therefore, at least once a month, the youth group will be engaged in outreach projects and/or activities at another location.

The outreach projects that we’re considering are:

  1. Good Works Day at Trinity
  2. Rise Against Hunger event (formerly Stop Hunger Now)
  3. Feeding homeless at Franklin Park in DC

The outside activities under consideration are:

  1. Visiting DC museums
  2. District Lock-in event
  3. Activities with other United Methodist congregations

The master calendar for youth will be available at our youth group meeting at 5 p.m. on September 10. I’m truly excited about the coming year!


An Invitation to Child Protection Training

At Trinity UMC, there are no people more precious to us than our children and youth. Indeed, Jesus said to his disciples,

“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16 NRSV.

Those of us who have the privilege of working closely with our children and youth also have the obligation to protect them by periodically reaffirming our understanding of the Trinity UMC Child Protection Policies and Procedures, attending both in-person and online training sessions, and by signing our Policies and Procedures document.

To fulfill that obligation for 2017, Suzanne Richards, a member of our Board of Trustees, will be conducting three brief (no more than 30 – 45 minutes) in-person training sessions in Langley Hall at 9:30 a.m. on 3 separate Sundays:  September 17, October 15, and November 5. If you are a member of church leadership, work as a Sunday School or youth educator or trainer, or are a member of the church staff, please plan to attend any one of these training sessions. While not required, anyone else who would like to strengthen their ability to support the health and welfare of the children in our community also may attend.

If you have any questions, please contact Suzanne at 908-202-4227 or

Ours is the responsibility and opportunity to protect the gift God has bestowed upon us.

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” John 31: 34 NRSV


September 2017 at Trinity

Sept. 3 No Education Classes
Sept. 4 Office Closed
Sept. 7 Chancel Choir Rehearsals welcome all new singers at 7:30 p.m. in Room 115.
Sept. 10 Back to School Kick-Off, Martha’s Table Sandwich Making Sunday & Sprouse Celebration
Sept. 11 Crafts for a Cause Meet 7 – 8:30 p.m. All adults are welcome, no craft skills required. For more info, contact
Sept. 12 Book Chat: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith We meet in the Library at 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 12 Share Fundraiser Dinner At Pulcinella Italian Host to benefit Share of McLean, 5—8 p.m.
Sept. 13 Children’s & Youth Choirs Rehearsals and dinner for all children and youth at 6 p.m. in Langley Hall
Sept. 16 Christ House To volunteer to help shop, cook and serve for Christ House, please contact Connie Jeremiah,
Sept. 17 Child Protection Training See article for details
Sept. 17 Town Hall Meeting We will talk about our NLI Weekend (Oct. 20-22) and our Charge Conference (Nov. 10)
Sept. 19 Trustees Meeting
Sept. 21 Trinity Ringers Rehearsals welcome all new ringers at 6:30 p.m. in Room 115.
Sept. 25 Crafts for a Cause Meet 7 – 8:30 p.m. All adults are welcome, no craft skills required. For more info, contact
Oct. 20-22 Next Level Innovations Weekend

Book Chat, September 2017

The Trinity book club will meet on Tuesday, September 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Trinity Library to talk about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith, a beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the 20th century. Bring a light dinner, if you like (dessert is provided), and enjoy fellowship and lively conversation. Reading the book isn’t even required! Coming up: The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (October 10), and The Road to Character, by David Brooks (November 14). Contact Kathy Maher if you have questions or would like to be added to the e-mail list.

Church & Society, September 2017

September Collection Drive to Benefit Stanton Elementary School

In September, we will be continue to collect school supplies for Stanton Elementary School. Needed school supplies include 24 count crayons, #2 pencils, glue sticks, markers (washable ink markers – either fat or fine line), rulers and black marble composition books. Please place your donations in the bins outside the sanctuary and in the Fellowship Building.

Please contact Alexandra Kiefer with questions about the drive or any other Church and Society committee programs.

All New Choir Members Welcome!

By Jerry Rich, Director of Music

SING WITH US! Trinity’s Chancel Choir starts its Thursday night rehearsals on September 7 at 7:30 p.m. Rehearsals are in Room 115. Join us!

September 2017’s Weekly Choir Anthems

Sept. 3             O Perfect Love (Barnby)

Sept. 10            The Heavens Are Declaring (Beethoven)

Sept. 17            A Prayer of Patrick of Ireland (Lowenberg)

Sept. 24            I Want to Walk As a Child of the Light (Thomerson-Hayes)

A SINGERS’ PRAYER: O Lord, bless your servants who minister in your temple. Grant that what we sing with our lips we may believe in our hearts, and what we believe in our hearts we may proclaim in our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

RING WITH US! The Trinity Ringers resumes its Thursday night practices on September 21 at 6:30 p.m. Rehearsals are in Room 115. Join us!

September 2017’s Monthly Bell Prelude:

Sept. 24            Come, Christians, Join to Ring (arr. Anna Laura Page)

A RINGERS’ PRAYER: Grant, O Lord that these bells may sound your praises and the good news of your salvation; may they summon the faithful to worship and stir all who hear them to glorify your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Contact me for more information about Trinity’s music ministries.

New School Year, New Music, New Us

I am so excited to start a new year of Children’s Choir and Youth Choir music! Last year we had so much fun learning and singing about God’s love and I look forward to continuing that this year. Look for some classic hymns from our children’s choir and for contemporary praise songs from our youth choir as we explore the power for God’s word through music. Are you interested in having your child join choir? Children’s choir is open to all children from age 4 through 6th grade and youth choir is open to all singers 7th – 12th grade. We meet on Wednesday evenings from 6-7 p.m. in Langley Hall, dinner and fellowship are provided for all! Our first rehearsal is September 13. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at

With blessings,

Catherine Wethington

Fundraiser for Share

A fundraiser for SHARE, Inc. is being held on Tuesday, September 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Pulcinella Italian Host; 6852 Old Dominion Dr. McLean, VA 22101. Trinity members Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy and other local business sponsors will contribute 70% of the proceeds from your dinner to SHARE, Inc. It applies to both in restaurant dining and carry-out orders.

SHARE, Inc. is a non-profit, nonsectarian, all-volunteer community relief organization helping people in need in McLean, Great Falls and Pimmit Hills area for over 40 years. They provide essential assistance through their food pantry, where people and families in need throughout the community can go for assistance with groceries. SHARE also provide emergency financial assistance, used furniture pick-up and delivery, distributes grocery gift cards at Thanksgiving and the holidays, holiday gifts, school supplies and rides to medical appointments.