On the Road Again …

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

The Virginia Conference lists 1,002 clergy under appointment full and part time. Together we serve the 1,205 churches throughout the state. On Wednesday, June 27, Virginia Conference 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 43 of our clergy will try to adjust to being retired and will feel a bit strange when Sunday rolls around and they find out what life is like in the pews … again.

Yearly about one out of every 10 churches of the Virginia Conference will receive a different pastor.

On Sunday, July 1, twelve new pastors to the Arlington District will arrive in the pulpits of 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 associate pastor.

The Arlington District will receive 12 new pastors, and bid farewell to 12 pastors who served our District in love and fellowship. There are seven incoming senior pastors and five incoming associate pastors. There are three retirements on our District. A new satellite church begins on July 1 called Restoration Loudoun. The District staff welcomes Michelle Holmes Chaney to be part-time Coordinator for Church Development, replacing Melissa Dunlap who will be appointed to Vine UMC as a part-time associate.

On another joyous note: we welcome the reappointment of the Reverend Keith Lee as our associate pastor who is the spiritual leader for our youth, the Education Committee and Young Couples. We are also blessed by the reappointment of Reverend Eileen Gilmer as a Local Pastor appointed to serve Trinity in Outreach Ministry. Eileen received her MA from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC in May of 2018. Join with me, Catherine, Eileen, Harriet, Keith, Jerry, Jose, our lay leader: Peggy Fox, and all the Trinity family as together we make disciple for Jesus Christ.

Shalom, Jim


Real-Time Prayer During the Week

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Let’s face it. Most of us feel strapped for time. Every day we must figure out what will be in and what will be out of our schedule. We feel life putting demands on our day and we can’t do it all. Often God gets put on the back burner. When something’s got to go, God will understand, right? It’s not as though we want to put our faith at the bottom of the to-do list, it just works out that way.

Here are some questions you might have about a new way for us to pray at Trinity.

What can I do about trying to fit God-time into my life?

I have an idea for you. It will only take about five minutes out of your day and you can become more actively engaged in prayer, reflection and encouragement. Please join me every weekday morning at around 8:30 for Facebook Live. We have a few minutes of scripture and reflection, followed by prayer. If you are already my friend on Facebook, you’ll be able to see it live. It will also be there if you want to watch it later in the day. If you are following Trinity Church, you can find the video on the church’s Facebook page right after I finish showing it live.

What are the benefits to me?

This is a great opportunity to go to God in prayer on a regular basis. Maybe you are uncomfortable praying. Maybe you have not prayed very often or maybe you’ve never prayed. No matter. The psalmist writes: “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3). This scripture tells us that prayer is an opportunity to share with God our thoughts, needs and thanks. It is also a time to give God an open heart that is ready to accept God’s guidance.

Does is take a lot of time?

Not at all! Each one runs about five minutes. We have a little scripture, reflection and prayer. As the psalmist wrote, “I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” If you have a prayer concern, let me know. We would love to lift up your concerns or celebrations.

I hope you’ll join us live on a weekday at 8:30 or watch a recorded version when it fits your schedule. We will lay down our requests before God and wait in expectation!

I’ll see you on the web or in church.


Young Families Help Build Trinity Community

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

We offer up a big shout out to all the volunteers who signed up for being part of NLI teams. From the responses we have so far, a high percentage of NLI participants are parents and leaders in youth and children’s ministry. One of the reasons why I am enthusiastic about children’s ministry is that many parents commit to faithful church participation to encourage their children’s spiritual formation. As a parent I know that it takes a whole church community to raise a child spiritually in the Lord. I offer two points to consider for NLI teams.

Young families appreciate the multi-generational ministry environment at Trinity where different age groups from toddlers to retirees thrive and grow spiritually.

This is a framework for young families to find their place in our community. Some churches are a one generation church which means only one age group (e.g. the elderly or just young adults) congregates. I find that young families want to be in a faith community where they find all age groups in which they experience the energy of children, creativity of youth, passion of young adults, growth of young families, stability of older families, and wisdom and experience of older members. A faith community that strives to be multi-generational is attractive to young families due to diversified characteristics that each age group contributes to the life of the whole. As we are observing now, Trinity is a great multi-generational church and is primed to receive many young families.

I ask that NLI teams understand this vital advantage of Trinity and seek ways to develop and sustain this advantage.

Young families desire relevant and meaningful programs and ministries that teach Christian values, help form significant relationships with one another, and assist in outreach programs to the community.

Trinity offers a full array of programs for children: Sunday School for children, Trinity Trebles, and Vacation Bible School. In addition Children’s Ministry sponsors fun-filled events like Trunk or Treat, Bounceback Sunday, Community Movie Night, Easter Egg Hunt and Advent Workshop. Some of my fondest memories at Trinity come from Children’s Ministry events. Most of these programs and ministries are organized and run by Trinity volunteers. I am very proud and grateful to our lay volunteers and leaders for such outstanding children’s offering of spiritual resources at Trinity.

One new idea that we’re implementing with the help of Trinity Men’s Group is “Casual Sundays.” This idea was suggested by parents because it’s tough to get little ones dressed and ready for church. On Casual Sundays, we have a less formal atmosphere and the Men’s Group holds a picnic. We’ll have one on June 17 to celebrate the end of spring semester. Please invite a neighbor on this Sunday.

For NLI, I recommend tweaking existing programs or developing new ones that encourage families to develop relationships with one another so that a new family who just moved into the area can find not just an array of children’s programs but a faith community that cares for one another.

June 2018 at Trinity UMC

June 2 Tales As Old As Time
free concert, 7 p.m.
For more, visit: https://wp.me/p3ZFFv-pu
June 3 Executive Council

11:45 a.m.

Meet in the Library to focus on Next Level Innovation
June 15-17 Annual Conference
Hampton, VA
July 4 Office Closed
June 4 & 18 Crafts for a Cause

7—8:30 a.m.

Learn about new and on-going projects: https://wp.me/p3ZFFv-ps
June 17 Casual Sunday
July 8 Executive Council
11:45 a.m.
Aug. 6-10 Vacation Bible School: Rolling River Rampage

Visit umtrinity.org/education/vbs to register / volunteer

Sept. 3 Office Closed

BOOK CHAT: Trinity’s book club is going on vacation for the Summer, and we’ll read whatever we like! We’ll resume in September, so if you have any book suggestions—or would like to be added to the mailing list—please contact Kathy Maher at Kathyngs@gmail.com.

Ask Duke & Henny: Reporting for Duty!

Hello to all the kids of Trinity Church! Your buddy Duke, here. I want to introduce to you a new friend, Henny. Yay, Henny! She’s the new dog of Pastor Eileen. Let’s have her tell you her story.

Hi, everybody! I am so excited to be a part of the Trinity Church family. I’ve started coming to work sometimes and I really like meeting people. Everyone is so nice!

I was adopted by Pastor Eileen and her family in April. I was up for adoption from the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation. When my family came to look for a dog to adopt, I went right up to my dad, put my paws and head on his chest and gave him a big hug. (Don’t tell them that I picked them; they think they picked me!)

Here’s a picture of me. Do you like my ears? I could totally play the role of the wolf in a Little Red Riding Hood play, couldn’t I? “The better to hear you with, my dear!” The reason I have cool ears is because I am half German Shepherd. The other half of my dog relatives were all different kinds of dogs, including a Jack Russell. That’s where I get my ability to jump really well. My mom says she’s going to teach me to catch a Frisbee one day.

Do you go to school? I’ll be going to school soon. My parents tell me I need to learn some manners. I just turned nine months old, so it’s time for class. I already know how to sit on command, but that’s about it. There’s so much to learn, isn’t there?

Do you have a question to ask Duke or me? We would love to answer your questions about God, the church or anything else. Here’s where you can send it: http://bit.ly/AskDuke

Remember our motto: Paws for Jesus!

Free Concert: Tales As Old As Time

Trinity’s Music Ministry will present its annual concert on Saturday, June 2, at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Soloists Philip Keirstead, Catherine Wethington, Nadine Wethington, Joey Wilson, and Michelle Zenk will be joined by the Chancel Choir, Trinity Ringers, and Trinity Trebles, all accompanied by Music Director Jerry Rich. The theme is “Tales As Old As Time”; selections will include Abide with Me, Chi il bel sogno from La Rondine, Go the Distance from Hercules, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Hakuna Matata from The Lion King, Le rêve from Massenet’s Manon, Gautier’s Le secret for one piano/six hands, Once upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty, Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, The Simple Joys of Maidenhood from Camelot, Stars from Les Misérables, Suo Gân from Empire of the Sun, and When You Wish Upon a Star from Pinocchio. Admission is free.

Crafts for a Cause Adds Comfort Cases to Their Projects

Crafts for a Cause continues to make comfort items like pillows, blankets, hats and dolls for hospital patients, as well as knit caps for newborns and dresses for needy girls in Uganda. More recently, the group has begun supporting the Comfort Cases project for foster kids.

What’s needed to help with this ministry is willing hands to cut, stuff and sew. The group meets on alternating Monday nights from 7 to 8:30 in Room 124. Next sessions: June 4 and June 18. We also have homework projects for those who can’t make the evening sessions.

And if you know of someone recovering from surgery or illness who might appreciate one of our comfort pillows, please let us know! Contact Molly Sprouse.