What is Lent?

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church Mascot

A big hello to all the kids at Trinity Church. I’m Henny and I’m the church mascot. I’m so happy to have such great friends at Trinity.

Does is feel like we just celebrated Christmas? It was so much fun opening presents and hanging out with my family. I got a cool Frisbee for Christmas that I still play with almost every day. I can even catch it while it’s still in the air. But Christmas is over and do you know what season we are in now? If you guessed Lent, you’re right!

Lent is an important season. This is the time (forty days, not counting Sundays) leading up to Easter. Each day of Lent we are invited to take time to think about Jesus: what he did, how he lived his life and how much he loves us. Sometimes people go through Lent giving up something that they really like; this might be TV, or dessert, or time spent on the computer. All this is great, but there’s another way we can remember Jesus. Instead of giving up something, maybe you would like to honor Jesus by doing something. You could help out at home, eat lunch with a kid at your school who usually eats alone, or write a thank you note to someone who has been super nice to you (maybe one of your teachers).

The purpose of Lent is to have us remember all that Jesus has done for us and to prepare us for the celebration that is Easter.

Do you have a question for me? I’d love to answer it. Just send it to me at bit.ly/AskHenny.

Don’t forget my motto: Paws for Jesus!


Answering Questions and Scoring Big at Scrabble

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church Mascot

Hello to all the kids of Trinity Church! I hope your February is going well. Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? Dogs aren’t supposed to have chocolate, so my family gives me a Valentine’s cookie that’s made especially for dogs. It’s pretty awesome.

You know what else I love? Answering questions from my friends! Here’s one from a Sunday School class. They were learning about how some churches are shaped like a cross, and they asked why Trinity doesn’t have a cross shape. Good question!

Do you play Scrabble? It’s a fun board game where you spell out words. I have a good one for you: cruciform. Churches that are in the shape of a cross are said to have a cruciform shape. That’s just a fancy way of saying they are built to look like a cross. Sometimes you can see the shape by looking at the outside of the building. But, that’s not true with Trinity. You need to be inside the sanctuary to see it.  In fact, to see the shape best, you really should be standing in the balcony.

Check out the picture of the sanctuary. We drew in an outline of the cross to let you see it better. The center aisle makes up the long part of the cross. The shorter “arms” of the cross are called the transepts. The top of our cross ends with the organ.

Here’s another fun fact: the altar (top) end of the cross is pointing to the east. Do you remember why the east is so important in the Bible? I’ll give you a hint. It has something to do with the wise men. The wise men followed the star that was in the eastern sky. They followed that east star to find Jesus. So, our church also faces Bethlehem where Jesus was born.

Thanks for your question. Do you have a question you’d like me to answer? Ask away!

Don’t forget my motto: Paws for Jesus!


Christmas Lasts Twelve Days? Cool!

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church mascot

Happy New Year to all the kids of Trinity Church! It’s your friend and church mascot; I’m Henny! Did you have a good Christmas? I did. I got some treats and new toys. I got to play with other dogs in the family. It was fun.

Here’s something awesome that I learned about Christmas: It’s not just one day. Christmas is a season and it lasts for twelve whole days! When we hear Christmas music, we think it must be the season, but it’s not. It’s usually Advent. It starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day so it’s just about a month before Christmas. Advent is the time when we get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. When does Advent end? If you guessed Christmas Eve, you’re right. That means the Christmas season starts on Christmas Day itself!

Now that we know when the season starts, let’s figure out when it ends. If you’ve ever heard the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, you’ve got a great clue. The Christmas season lasts twelve days. The end of it is Epiphany. Have you ever heard that word before? An epiphany can mean when someone suddenly figures something out. For Christians, Epiphany means something much bigger. It represents the day when the Wise Men made it to see Jesus and realized Jesus was the Son of God.

What do you think about Christmas lasting for twelve days? Some kids might think they should get presents for each of the days. But really, we do. We get the gift of Jesus’ love every day of every year. The love of God through Jesus is the very best gift of all!

Do you have a question for me about God, the Bible or Trinity Church? Here’s how you reach me: bit.ly/AskHenny.

Remember my motto: Paws for Jesus!


Where Was Jesus Born?

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church mascot

Happy Advent to the kids of Trinity Church! What an awesome time of year. Advent is the season where we prepare for the birth of Jesus.  You can think of it as a giant birthday party for Jesus, and we’re all invited! That reminds me of a question from a Sunday School class. The kids ask: Where was Jesus born? Great question!

We celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. That’s Christmas! This answers when we celebrate, but our smart Sunday School children want to know where he was born. How do we answer that? If you said that we look to the Bible, you’re right. The Bible tells us all we need to know.  Matthew and Luke talk about Jesus’ birth. We read in Luke that Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth, but had to return to Joseph’s hometown of Bethlehem to be counted by the government in a process called a census. While they were in Bethlehem, Jesus was born.

Here’s something really cool. Bethlehem is called the city of David.  You might remember David. When he was a boy, he fought a giant named Goliath, and David won! David grew up to be a king one who lived about a thousand years before Jesus. He was also a relative of Joseph. So, Jesus was considered to be from the “House of David,” meaning he was a relative of David. This was predicted, or prophesied, in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

Where is Bethlehem on Israel map?Ask your parents, older brothers or sisters, or your grandparents to help you find Bethlehem on a map. It’s in the country of Israel. Bethlehem is 5,904 miles from McLean. If you took a plane from Washington, it would take you about 15 hours to fly to Tel Aviv, then you’d still have to drive another 36 miles to get to Bethlehem. Although Jesus’ place of birth is far away from us, his love is as close as our hearts. As we celebrate with gifts on Christmas day, let’s also remember the greatest gift of all: Jesus.

Merry Christmas and remember our motto: Paws for Jesus!


Giving Thanks

Hi, kids of Trinity Church. It’s your friend, Henny. I hope you’re enjoying fall. The cooler weather makes me want to run around the yard and play ball. Did you have a good Halloween? Here’s a picture of me in my costume. Can you tell what my costume is in this picture?

Last year I went as a taco. This year I was a hot dog!

Now it’s November and before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here. It’s a great time to think about what makes us thankful. I’m thankful for my family. They adopted me when I was a puppy. I’m also thankful for all the great food that comes at our Thanksgiving dinner. I love turkey. Maybe I’ll get a bite of sweet potato, too!

Sometimes kids get to help make things for a Thanksgiving meal. What if you don’t know how to cook or aren’t old enough to use the oven? There are other ways to help. You can set the table by putting out the silverware and the napkins. You can draw a little picture on a card at each place setting. You can even help with the prayer before the meal.

One of the Trinity preschool classes uses a great prayer:

Thank you for the world so sweet.

Thank you for the food we eat.

Thank you for the birds that sing.

Thank you, God for everything! Amen.

If your family doesn’t already have a prayer, maybe you can use that one.

Do you have a question for me about God, the Bible or Trinity Church? Send it to me at bit.ly/AskHenny.


Remember my motto: Paws for Jesus!


October 2019 at Trinity

Oct. 7 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Oct. 8 Book Chat

6:30 p.m.

Happiness is a Choice You Make, by John Leland.
Oct. 13 Martha’s Table Snack Making Sunday
Oct. 13 Pet Blessing

2 p.m.

See umtrinity.org
Oct. 14 Office Closed  
Oct. 15 Trustees Meeting

6:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 Preschool Parenting Hour

7:30 p.m.

See below
Oct. 19 Good Works Day

8 a.m. –12 p.m.

See more here
Oct. 19 Christ House  
Oct. 21 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Oct. 27 Executive Council

12 p.m.

Meets in the Library
Oct. 27 Celtic Service

5 p.m.


Preschool Parenting Hour

Our Preschool is hosting a monthly Parenting Hour to discuss the book, Easy to Love, Difficult the Discipline, by Becky Dailey. All sessions, led by Preschool director, Emily Yosmanovich, will be held in Room 205 unless large attendance requires use of Langley Hall. The next meetings are Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 a.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 9:30 a.m.

For a full schedule of dates, times and topics, please contact Emily at 703-790-2767 or director.trinitypreschool@gmail.com.

Young babies/children are welcome to attend all sessions with parents, and for evening sessions childcare will be provided for ages 3 and up with an RSVP to director.trinitypreschool@gmail.com.


Pet Blessing 2019

Happy fall to all the children of Trinity United Methodist Church!

October is a great time. The leaves are changing, the air is cooler and we celebrate the blessing of the pets! Mark your calendar and grab your furry friends because the Pet Blessing at Trinity Church is on October 13.

Pet blessings are held around the world. They were started to honor St. Francis of Assisi. He was an Italian Catholic friar (that’s a pastor) who lived nearly 800 years ago. Francis did a lot to draw attention to the poor and needy.  He also loved all animals, recognizing animals as part of God’s great creation. (St. Francis was even known to carry on conversations with the birds in the trees!) In the year 1228, Pope Gregory named Francis the patron saint of both animals and the environment. That’s pretty cool.

Here are the details of how we’ll celebrate the pets of our community:

Trinity’s Pet Blessing

October 13

2 p.m.

We’ll meet in the courtyard outside the Fellowship Building.

(If it rains, you can find us in Langley Hall.)

Important information: All dogs need to be on leashes. Cats and all other critters need to be in cages or other appropriate carriers. We can’t wait to see you and your pets for the blessing!

Until then, remember my motto: Paws for Jesus.


* all pets invited, not just dogs!


When Secrets Are OK

Hi to all the kids of Trinity Church! It’s your friend and church mascot, Henny. I have a special request for you. I need some good questions. I would like for you to send me a question you might have about God, the Bible or Trinity Church. I love questions and I love to answer them! I’ll tell you how to send me your questions at the bottom of this article.

First, I have a question for you. Are you good at keeping secrets? Did you know there are different kinds of secrets? There are! Some secrets are not meant to be kept. If someone could get hurt, we should always tell an adult. God wants everyone to be safe!

Some secrets are fun. I have a secret that most people don’t know unless I stand up on my back legs! I’ll tell you more about it, but first we need to look at the Bible. Go grab your Bible and look up the book of Luke. We want to see Luke, chapter 8, verse 17. That looks like this, Luke 8:17. Remember, if you don’t have a Bible, just let me know and we can get you a special Bible made just for kids!

Here’s what I read when I turn to that scripture in Luke: “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” We know that God knows all things. Some day God will provide us with the answers to all our questions. Until then, we will ask God to guide us.

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church Mascot

Now to that secret of mine. As you might be able to tell in my picture, I have a secret picture on my chest. I have a white outline of what looks like a gingerbread man! Can you see it? I think it’s pretty cool. I’m happy to get to share my secret with you!

If you have any questions for me, just send me a message. You can reach me at bit.ly/AskHenny. Until next time, remember my motto: Paws for Jesus!


You’ve Got a Friend

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church mascot

Hello to all the kids of Trinity Church from your friend and church mascot, Henny! I hope you are having a great summer. I am enjoying playing outside, when it’s not too hot. Summer is also great for spending time with friends. I go to doggie daycare one day a week. It gives me a chance to run around with my friends. Louis and Cricket are two of my best friends.

Do you know the Bible talks about friendships? It’s true! Let’s start in the Old Testament, also called the Hebrew Bible.

Two people are better than one.
They can help each other in everything they do.
Suppose either of them falls down.
Then the one can help the other one up.
But suppose a person falls down and doesn’t have anyone to help them up.
Then feel sorry for that person!
-Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIRV)

That’s a good message for us. Friends are there for each other when one falls down or needs help.

What about the New Testament? Let’s see what it says.

Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.     – Colossians 3:13 (NIRV)

Because God loves and forgives us, we need to forgive other people—that means our family, friends, and even people we might not get along with very often. That can be so hard, can’t it? When we forgive, we’re doing the right thing and we’re living the way Jesus taught us to live.

Do to others as you want them to do to you. – Luke 6:31(NIRV)

The book of Luke tells us the words of Jesus. Treat other people the way you want them to treat you. Does that sound familiar? It should if you’ve ever heard the golden rule!

Looking at these Bible verses we know we should support our friends in the good times and bad; we need to forgive our friends (and everyone else!) when they do something that hurts our feelings; and we are always supposed to treat people the way we want them to treat us. God advice!

Let me know if you have a question for me. Send it to me at bit.ly/AskHenny.

Remember my motto: Paws for Jesus!


Words to Live By

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church mascot

Hello kids of Trinity! It’s your friend and church mascot, Henny. I hope you are loving summer as much as I am. Do you know my favorite part? I love when my family cooks out on our deck! I keep hoping for a hamburger to fall off the grill.

I have a fun activity for us to do this summer. You can do it while you’re on vacation, at home or on a weekend. It’s also good during road trips. It’s learning important verses from the Bible. I love being able to tell people my favorite verse. Do you know which one it is? Here’s my favorite:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Here are some other good scriptures for you to learn. See if you can memorize one per week this month.

Let’s start from the beginning of the Bible:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Does this one sound familiar? We call it the golden rule!

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

Your parents will like this one!

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20

This one talks about God’s great love for us!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16


Have a safe and happy July and remember my motto:

Paws for Jesus!