Our Church: A Banquet Table

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

The leaders of Trinity Church assemble monthly to discuss the present and future direction, ministries and outreach of our church. Leaders from Education, Finance, Outreach, Trustees, Worship and Youth try to answer questions like:

  1. What is God calling Trinity to do as a Body of Christ?
  2. How can we extend the fellowship and friendship of Jesus to the greater community?
  3. How does worship equip us for Christian mission and ministry?
  4. What are Trinity’s strengths?
  5. What are our children and adults learning in Sunday School & worship?
  6. What do the neighborhoods in McLean need us to be for them?

We often sit around tables in conference rooms or in living rooms and discuss these questions for hours. God’s spirit continues to fill and bathe us all in energy and excitement. Through it all one particular observation emerged: that Trinity Church is like a wonderful banquet table prepared and hosted by Jesus Christ. All members and guests are welcome and invited. Yet, each one of us has specific tastes, and at Trinity we try our best to serve all those tastes. Our desire is to make our banquet table a place of love, fellowship and joy. Our church buildings are like that banquet table, too. We want all who attend and seek a relationship with Jesus Christ to be included, appreciated, served and loved.

For half a century Trinity has tended God’s banquet table with a spirit of love and thanksgiving. Our Fellowship Building is used by our church, community and local first responders 24 hours a day. Let’s be thankful for God’s generosity and enjoy the opportunity that is ours to invite and welcome so many persons in our community who have not yet found a place at the table.

During this Thanksgiving season I ask that you pray for the fellowship of God’s Spirit through our friendship with each other and our surrounding neighborhoods. To be God’s friend in McLean is a wonderful gift. A friend accepts you as you are; a friend loves; a friend forgives; a friend cares; a friend prays.

Pray for all the persons and families in the neighborhoods surrounding Trinity. Respond with your heart!


A Chance to Feed Others

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

How is it already November? I know I ask myself this question each year. As we move closer to Advent, I have a great opportunity for you, your family and even your friends. In this busy time of year, I hope you’ll find space in your schedule to take part.

Trinity Church is proud to take part in Rise Against Hunger. (That’s the new name for Stop Hunger Now.) This is a wonderful project that helps feed hungry people across the globe. Families are welcome to attend. (Children should be ages four and up.) It’s a good opportunity for multi-generational service. Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that helps impoverished people throughout the world. They are committed to ending world hunger by 2030 by supplying meals as well as through sustainability efforts.

We are aiming to make 300,000 meals at our McLean event. It’s a lofty goal, for certain. We’ve done this before and I have no doubt we can do it again. At the end of the day, this will bring the total number of meals packaged by the McLean community to 2.5 million since 2010.

Rise Against Hunger

Saturday, November 3

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

Shifts start at 8:00 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

To sign up, go to their site: http://bit.ly/mealpacking18

Come join people from all over our community to help.

I’ll see you at church!


Kidmin Conference 2018

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

Toilet paper spewing out of makeshift leaf blowers. Participants frantically gathering rows of it that were strewn around the auditorium. The audience cheering. The room appearing to be in chaos as a designated player stands motionless on stage while game participants wrap him/her with oodles of TP they collected. The side that finishes wrapping up their ‘mummy’ first, wins raffle tickets for a chance to score a brand new 2018 Chevy Malibu. The excitement was real! And so was my skeptical mind that barked in my head “how does anything here relate to making disciples of children through Sunday School?” But since I was there already, and was given a scholarship to attend, and with literally hundreds of committed Sunday School teachers from all over the country cheering on, I thought “Why not just go with it?” (To see the video go to https://youtu.be/64rp2dvITYA or search ‘youtube trinity united methodist church kidmin conference’) And seriously, I learned a lot from the Kidmin Conference that was held in Nashville Oct 3-5. Here are some of the takeaways from my participation.

Games Serve Useful Functions in Spiritual Development

Repeatedly the presenters and workshop speakers promoted the use of games and other engaging strategies to teach students. Games often offer life lessons; plus, students love playing them. I’ve shared this point with teachers and encouraged them to utilize them in class.

I would like to dedicate a shelf in the Fellowship Building to store board and other kinds of games. If you have some that you no longer use or need, please consider donating them.

Teachers Require Attention and Encouragement

About a fourth of the workshops were dedicate to (and half of the speakers for the main sessions mentioned) encouraging teachers and children’s pastors. One speaker said, “If you’re thinking about quitting, you’re not alone. But here’s the good news; we’re here to encourage you and to remind you that you’re making an eternal difference in the kids. So keep at it!” Lack of volunteers, average of 1.3 Sundays a month attendance, and lack of gratitude and attention from church leaders and members are some reasons for discouragement. But I want to remind us, we love our teachers! Please let them know.

Teachers Need Resources

One of the many benefits from the conference is receiving valuable lessons and tips from speakers and workshops. I bought some books and found others in our library. I will have them available for our teachers in the Fellowship Building. Look for them in Room 301!

Our Students Require Both Engaging and Contemplative Activities

Engaging programs and activities will attract and retain students at Trinity. At the same time, contemplative programs should be offered to counter the over stimulated environment around us. The conference was about engagement, creativity and creating excitement. However, a contemplative approach was never mentioned. But the absence of it, screamed even louder in my mind. There is a need for silence and introspection. Even though we might not recognize the need for Sabbath, silence and slowing down, I urge parents and teachers to find creative ways to find that quiet center.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Ray Gilmer, Melissa Harris, Barbara Long, and Loren Monroe for their generosity in donating AV equipment for Sunday School classes!


November 2018 at Trinity UMC

Nov. 4 Charge Conference

3 p.m.

Held at Mount Olivet UMC, 1500 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington
Nov. 12 Office Closed  
Nov. 5 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Learn about the latest projects:


Nov. 11 Thanksgiving Lunch

after 10:30 worship

see graphic below
Nov. 11 Martha’s Table Sandwich Making
Nov. 13 Book Chat

6:30 p.m.

This month: News of the World, by Paulette Jiles
Nov. 19 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Nov. 20 Christmas Trees Arrive  
Nov. 23 Christmas Tree Sales Begin See graphic below for all hours.
Nov. 25 Celtic Service

5 p.m.



Crafts for a Cause (Nov. 2018)

Christmas stockings, fleece blankets, soft hats and neck pillows are piling up in the Crafts room, thanks to the recent efforts of volunteers to make comfort items for Fair Oaks Hospital patients. You can be a part of this rewarding ministry by joining one of these upcoming work sessions on Monday nights from 7 to 8:30 in Room 124: Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 19, Dec. 3 and Dec. 17.

Crafts also has an ongoing Loom Hat Project to provide warm hats for Christ House residents and newborn babies at Fair Oaks. This is an easy task that only requires a loom and thick yarn. If you would like to try your hand at making a loomed hat, contact Molly Sprouse at mollysprouse@gmail.com, or check out the displays in the back of the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Building.

Also, please mark your calendars for our annual Holiday Food and Crafts Bazaar starting Sun., Nov. 18. This is how we raise the funds to run next year’s crafts ministry, so we count on your support.

Our Season Is Underway!

Our Trinity Trebles are well underway for their 2018-2019 season. We sang our first song in October- God Made Us All and we even had a solo instrument help us out! In November we will sing Shout to the Lord, an uplifting and exciting song about praising God! This song is really stretching our young singers’ voices and showing off their impressive range. It’s always a great time to join Trinity Trebles especially before November as we are just beginning to learn our Christmas Musical, Aaron the Allergic Shepherd by Ruth Schram and Mark Cabaniss. A musical reminding us that we can come as we are to meet Christ our Lord. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. following catered dinner at 6 p.m. Dinner is $10 for adults, $5 for children, $20 for families. We meet in Langley Hall and rehearse in the Music Room. Questions? Contact Catherine at carweth@gmail.com.

Giving Thanks for and Through Music

by Jerry Rich

Giving Thanks for Music

“Music is, I believe, one of the church’s great missionary opportunities. In its transmission, it has meaning for the faithful, for the faithless, and for those who have lost their faith. It is a mission whose spirit can be expressed in the home, by the family singing Christmas carols, or in the most magnificent ecclesiastical structure, by a highly trained choir. It knows no social, intellectual, or sectarian barriers. It expresses our loftiest ideals, our deepest emotions. It is one of the gifts of God which reminds us that we are above the other creatures of earth, but lower than angels.”                    W. Benjamin Hutto


Giving Thanks through Music

Here are some musical expressions of thanks to contemplate in this season of gratitude:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Sinfonia from Cantata 29 (We Thank You, God)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Song of Thanksgiving from Quartet #15 in A Minor

Leonard Bernstein: Simple Song from Mass

William Billings: O Praise the Lord of Heaven

Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite (part 1)

Joseph Curiale: Awakening from Songs of the Earth

Attrib. George Frideric Handel: Thanks Be to Thee

Gustav Holst: Finale from St. Paul’s Suite

Charles Ives: Thanksgiving from Holidays Symphony

Felix Mendelssohn: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God from Symphony #5

Claudio Monteverdi: Gloria from Mass of Thanksgiving (1631)

Arr. Stephen Paulus: We Gather Together

Jay Ungar: Thanksgiving Hymn from Harvest Home Suite

Valerius, arr. Williams: Prayer of Thanksgiving

Antonio Vivaldi: Autumn from The Four Seasons

John Williams: Hymn to New England