Christian Education

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

Christian education is the key to making the Christian faith a powerful attraction in the 21st century. I cannot stress strongly enough how vitally important Christian Education is on all levels of church life: from preschool through high school and all through adult life. Christian Education needs to be a multi-dimensional approach that focuses on commitment to Christ, small-group ministries, and evangelism. And, Christian Education needs a solid grounding in the Bible.

As a preacher and teacher my personal prejudice is that Bible stories offer fantastic, built-in opportunities for creative interpretation and leave lasting impressions on our children and youth. You and I are entering what is commonly called the post-Christian era. Increasingly, the visitors to Trinity Church, and any other church in the U.S., do not know the stories of the Bible. This makes preaching more difficult. Preaching requires a certain basic level of understanding of names, places, and events, etc. that have Biblical significance. Only Christian education lays this necessary foundation that enables those in worship to hear God’s still, small voice.

Christian education also enables Trinity’s church members to face real life issues from a Christ-centered perspective. Our mandate here at Trinity is to develop disciples for Jesus Christ and instruct our parish in all the essential elements of Christian faith and how that faith is relevant in common, everyday events. People everywhere are starving for knowledge of God and some awareness that God cares about each and every one of us. We desperately want to be taught how to “see God” at work in our own lives. Nothing does this as well as the combination of good preaching and good teaching.

Trinity expects the best from its leaders. Keith, Eileen, Jerry, Catherine, Harriet, Jose, Melissa, the Education Ministry leaders and I are committed to making worship at Trinity beautiful, sound in biblical teaching, relevant to life and challenging. The Christian Education team at Trinity is committed to growing persons spiritually and equipping our children, youth and adults with a strong foundation of stories of the Bible. Our ministry teams and education teams are investing the months of July & August in planning for the fall season. Join us Sunday, September 9 for the genesis of a wonderful year of learning about God. Shalom, Jim


The Power of One Word

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

One thing I always tried to teach my children was the power of words. Words of kindness and compassion can make a huge difference; they can often turn around conversations that get heated and they can lift the spirits of those in pain. Words matter. This is why I want to share with you a way to use a powerful word in your prayer life.

The Hebrew word is Hineni. It’s pronounced hee-nay-nee. We see it several times in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament). This Hebrew word becomes three words when translated into English: Here I am. This one word packs a punch because it is used by great people in the Bible when they are answering important calls from God.

When God called to Moses from the burning bush, the answer was Hineni. God called Samuel three times before the boy answered him with Hineni. We read in Isaiah 6:8 that God asked, “Whom shall I send?” The answer from the prophet: “Hineni. Send me!”

Hineni means much more than we would automatically think when we hear the words “Here I am.” This one word means we are more than just here, we are open to God and willing to go where God is calling us to go and do whatever God has in store for us. Our hearts are ready and open to trust the One.

Here’s where you can incorporate Hineni into your prayer life, even if you don’t have a consistent prayer life. If you haven’t heard of breath prayer, you might want to look it up online. There are several sites that have ways to incorporate breath prayer. Here’s how it works: You take a deep breath in and as you exhale, you say a word, phrase or scripture. For example, someone might exhale by saying Jesus’ name, or saying a short phrase such as “Lord have mercy.”

I find the fewer the words, the better. That’s why Hineni is so great for breath prayer. It’s short and yet powerful. A former pastor of mine used breath prayer every time she drove through an intersection. She chose this because it served to remind her frequently to pray. I invite you to try breath prayer. If you do use Hineni, be sure to listen for God’s answer!

I’ll see you in church and until then, I’ll be praying for you.


Five Ways to Grow Spiritually This Summer

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

It’s summer and I thought it would be helpful if I could offer some activities to help you grow spiritually. I researched online and found some that I thought might be helpful.

Form a Small Group

The word ‘spiritual’ could mean a lot of things but to me, the essence of it is to draw closer to other people with the love of God. Make a point to meet with a group of committed friends and/or church members to talk about God and your inner life. The group could be made up of two people or up to ten, but I suggest a number smaller than five because the goal is to talk and to share our lives with one another. You could choose to talk about a book or life or the Bible. I find consistently meeting with others helps me to have insights and different perspectives.

Practice Doing Nothing

Maybe it’s not an activity, but this is one of the best things you can do to get to know yourself and grow spiritually. Meditation is one way of doing it, but it doesn’t need to be you sitting down and actually meditating. It could just be you laying on your bed for 10 minutes or just stopping and listening to your thoughts for awhile!

When you learn to be with yourself, you can start to work on becoming full and not being reliant on others to dictate the way you feel. This is quite possibly the most empowering thing someone can do and it all starts with getting to know yourself.

Vacation Church Search

Rather than taking a vacation from church, make church an exciting part of your vacation by celebrating service somewhere new. While on vacation, make it a point to find an old, popular, or interesting place of worship nearby. If you’re in the tropics, search for an open-air church. If you’re vacationing on the East Coast, check out an historical church. If you’re opting for a stay-cation this summer and sticking close to home, services at your church that you don’t usually attend. For example, our Wednesday noon service, the end-of-the-month Celtic service, or Sunday 8:30 service if you’re part of 10:30 service. You never know where you will find inspiration!


Exercise is one of the most spiritually grounding things you can do: it is about finding the thing that you love to do and doing it. Taking the dog for a walk every morning, joining a martial arts class or spending time in the morning dancing to your favorite music. These are all ways you can exercise, so try and find something that makes you feel good while moving and do that thing!

Some of the advantages of exercise are the obvious health benefits, but also being fully aware and in the moment. It is the sense of accomplishment that goes hand in hand with completing your workout and the progressive growth that comes with practice.

Write Your Prayers

Get in touch with your inner voice—the one who expresses her/his emotions freely and dreams without hesitation. Grab a pen and a notepad, and jot down your prayers. You can write in paragraphs, make lists, or even draw. Embrace the season by indulging your creative side. Open up your heart and mind to what God has to say and what God wants you to do. Write down your prayers and look them over at the end of the month to see how they were answered or how your perspective has changed since you wrote them.


Have a wonderful and spiritual summer!


Summer 2018 Calendar and Other Notes

July 2, 16 & 30 Crafts for a Cause

7—8:30 a.m.

Learn about new and on-going projects:
July 4 Office Closed
July 5 Mission team returns from Honduras
July 14—21 Appalachia Service Project mission trip
July 21 Christ House  
July 22 Hospitality Team Meeting

11:45 a.m.

Contact Jill Dunn to learn how you can be part of this exciting team.
Aug. 6-10 Vacation Bible School: Rolling River Rampage

Visit to register / volunteer

Sept. 3 Office Closed


Book Chat, Chancel Choir, Trinity Ringers, Trinity Trebles
resume meetings and rehearsals. For more, please contact:

Book Chat: Kathy Maher,

Chancel Choir and Trinity Ringers: Jerry Rich,

Trinity Trebles: Catherine Wethington,


Bridging God’s Word to Everyday Life: June 24


Our Prayer List

Amanda, Andrea, Andy, Annie, Barb, Barry, Bill & Macie, Bill, Blake, Bob & Fran, Bobbie, Buddy, Burl, Candy, Carol Ann, Cathy, Celeste, Cherie, Chris, Christopher, Chuck, Clint, Dave, David, Dean, Debbie, Del, Diana, Diane, Ed, Eunice, George, Graciela, Hilda, Jacqueline, Jake, James, Jenny, Geoff, Jim & Sharon, JJ, Joan, Joe, Joyce, JR, Juan Pablo, Judy, June, Jung, Kaela, Katherine, Kathie, Kathryn, Layne, Lenny, Leonida, Lewis, Linda, Lisa, LJ, Lore, Loretta & John, Maddy, Marcy, Marilynn, Mariolina, Mark, Martha, Martin family, Mary Frances & John, Mary Lou, Mary, Matt, Nancy, Nelda, Paul & Jeanette, Paul, Peggy & Bill, Raimer family, Randy, Ray, Richard, Robert, Rosa, Sally, Sandy, Sarkees, Scott & Patsy, Scott, She-fin & James, Sue, Susan, Terri, Tessfa, Theresa, Thom, Tony, Vanna, Vickye, Woody & Gay, and Yancey.

Pray with Us Each Weekday

Eileen Gilmer prays live on Facebook each weekday at 8:30 a.m. Tune in to begin your day with your church family. The video is also saved to her profile and the church’s Facebook page (Trinity UMC, McLean) for later viewing.

Casual Summer 2018 is here!

We send a big thank you to all who joined us for last week’s Casual Sunday. It was such a big hit, we are inviting everyone to dress casually all summer long. Come dressed comfortably for each worship service. Grab your coffee and your flip-flops. Casual Summer at Trinity UMC is on!

This week

Today we bless our mission team. They will leave for Honduras on Thursday to work with the children and staff at Heart to Heart Children’s Village. They return July 5. Team members are: Dereck Charles, Peggy Fox, Leah Horan, Christine Lee, Keith Lee, and Susan Maines.

Join Pastor Jim for Bible Study on The Apocryphal Jesus. This video series, presented by The Ohio State University professor, Dr. David Brakke, will examine the non-canonical writings about Jesus, his family and the early apostles. These writings provide historical evidence for the diversity of early Christian thought. Sundays at 9:30 a.m., Mondays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. This week: The Gospel of Peter and the Talking Cross.

Widows’ Group will meet Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Lobby for dinner. Bring a dish to share. Discussion led by Pastor Eileen.

Keeping On with Music

By Jerry Rich, Director of Music

Most of us studied music while growing up, and many continued singing or playing into our teens. To those of you who are still making music after high school: bravo! And to those who have put aside singing or playing, here are some reasons why you might want to consider bringing music-making back into your life. If you are looking for a place to make music with others, Trinity’s music ensembles are here to help you!

The following statements come from the recently-published Making Time for Making Music: How to Bring Music into Your Busy Life by Amy Nathan (Oxford University Press, 2018). Nathan’s book is based on recent scientific research and discussions with lifelong musicians, both amateur and professional; it also gives practical suggestions on how to get back into music-making.

Music assists the brain. Being involved with music seems to activate more parts of the brain than many other kinds of tasks. A professional musician’s brain tends to develop a larger corpus callosum, which bridges the left and right hemispheres and helps the brain modify itself and create new pathways.

Music helps with non-musical tasks. The brains of music-makers assist the executive function tasks of coordination, planning, and problem-solving.

Music builds cognitive reserve. The extra neural pathways in musicians’ brains may lessen some of the mental decline of aging by raising our levels of cognitive functioning and helping us find new ways to do tasks.

Music relieves stress. Listening to music helps the brain release dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with positive mood and effect. Performing music may release endorphins, mood-enhancing neurochemicals known for producing “runner’s high.” The mindfulness of music practice can make brainwaves associated with stress decrease.

Music helps relationships. People enjoy music-making’s connection to meeting new people, forming new relationships, and experiencing companionship. Music gets you “out of the house”, and gives purpose to your spare time. Music can bring you closer to your family and help you celebrate your cultural heritage.

Music performance unlocks its meaning. Working with others to present great music helps us appreciate the genius of its creator and gives us an opportunity to share in its rich design.

Music heals. Playing music can help people cope with life’s difficulties by giving an outlet to grief and a structure to life as well as connecting us to others.

Ask Henny: When Is the Best Time to Pray?

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church mascot

Hello to all the kids of Trinity Church! I’m Henny, Pastor Eileen’s pup. The Gilmer family adopted me in April. I’m kind of a big puppy. I don’t turn one until next month and I already weigh 65 pounds. My hobbies are watching squirrels out the window, fetching tennis balls and sleeping on the couch. I’m in obedience school because my mom says I need to learn a few manners, such as not sleeping on the couch.

Do you pray? Some kids I know pray before bed at night; others pray before meals. Have you ever prayed at other times during the day? That’s the cool thing about prayer. It’s the way we talk directly to God, so any time of the day or night is perfect for prayer! God is always there and ready to listen when we want to talk.

Some kids have never prayed before and that’s OK. It’s never too early too late to start praying. Maybe you have something you are nervous about; that’s a great time to go to God in prayer. It doesn’t have to be fancy or long. Prayer is talking to God. It’s that simple. We go to God about what makes us happy, sad, nervous or glad. That’s right; prayer isn’t only for when we are worried about something. When you are super excited or happy is also a great time to go to God. That’s when you can thank God for all you have in your life.

I have reason to be thankful. I am thankful for you and your family. I’m grateful for all the super people at Trinity United Methodist Church. Can you think of something that makes you feel thankful? Maybe now would be a good time to go to God in prayer and say thanks!

Do you have a question you would like me to answer about God, the Bible or Trinity Church? Just let me know. You can send it to me at

Keep praying and remember my motto: Paws for Jesus!


Church & Society Collecting School Supplies

We are collecting school supplies for Share, Inc. They have requested the following items:

  • Regular Size Glue Sticks
  • Sharpened Pencils in Bunches of 12
  • Loose Leaf Paper (wide or college rule)
  • Spiral Notebooks, single subject (wide or college rule)
  • Composition Notebooks (wide or college rule)
  • Ballpoint and Stick pens
  • Yellow Highlighters
  • Scissors, blunt tip
  • 3”x 3” Sticky Notes, yellow

Please Bring Donations to donation baskets in the Narthex stairwells or the Fellowship Lobby during July.

Or, you may deliver them directly to Share no later July 31.

Contact Sherri at with questions.

Crafts for a Cause Dress Sale and July Work Sessions

Crafts for a Cause is having a Girls’ Summer Dress Sale after both worship services in the Fellowship Building. Handmade, all-cotton summer dresses in sizes from 2 to 8 will be available in a limited supply. Proceeds will help fund the upcoming Mission trip to Honduras. Shop for a good cause!

Meanwhile, Crafts is busy making comfort items for hospital patients with neck pillows, lap blankets, heart pillows, surgery dolls, and newborn caps. We meet every other Monday night from 7 to 8:30 in Room 124. Everyone’s welcome. Next sessions: July 2, 16 and 30. We also have homework projects. And if you know of someone recovering from an illness or injury, we have a comfort pillow for them.

Special thanks go to crafter Cindy Wilson for making the beautiful display cover at the entrance to Langley Hall.

For more information, contact


Bridging God’s Word to Everyday Life: June 10


Join Pastor Jim for Bible Study on The Apocryphal Jesus. This video series, presented by The Ohio State University professor, Dr. David Brakke, will examine the non-canonical writings about Jesus, his family and the early apostles. These writings provide historical evidence for the diversity of early Christian thought. Sundays at 9:30 a.m., Mondays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. This week: Conversations with the Living Jesus.