Date with Destiny

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

January through December of 2018, Trinity has a date with destiny. The members of Trinity Church will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to influence the desires and direction of the church for the next 10 -20 years. Your staff and church leaders invite you to join us and others from the District Next Level Innovation Team as we begin living into our NLI goals which will assist our discovering the joy and power of purpose driven mission and ministry. During the first quarter of 2018 you’ll be invited to join one of our four NLI teams. Check out the four teams below. Which one is calling your name? Let us know.

Vision for Trinity

  • What is our church’s vision? Join the Vision team to help Trinity create and organize around our vision.
  • This team will read Canoeing the Mountains, by Tod Bolinger.
  • Team Vision will inspire and orient the other three teams to fulfill Trinity vision.

Abundance through Generosity

  • Join Team A & G that’s  created around gifts and skills to make our vision possible.
  • Team A & G will create a Capital Campaign team engaging people of all ages to go deeper into service and commitment.
  • Team A & G will coordinate with the Stewardship team helping Trinity develop a deeper spiritual understanding of a life of generosity.

Hospitality for the Next Generation

  • Blessed by diversity, join Trinity’s Hospitality team to reach the people of Northern VA.
  • Team Hospitality needs persons who have the gift of hospitality, networking, and connection-building.
  • This team will read together: Beyond the First Visit, by Farr and Kotan.
  • Organize a hospitality training even for all the people of Trinity.
  • Team Hospitality will address our need for user-friendly signage.

Discipleship

  • Join Team Discipleship to help Trinity member gain a deeper relationship with Christ.
  • The team will develop a Sermon Series for Lent of 2018.
  • Join a small group created by Discipleship team for studying scripture, creating fellowship time together, eating and praying together.
  • Team Discipleship will live like Christ in the world.

Between 50 and 60 years ago Trinity’s faithful and visionary leadership influenced the then present and future needs of the people of McLean by building a new sanctuary. In order for us to be faithful in our time and place you and I need to improve our sanctuary’s physical appearance, and expand and enhance our ministry and outreach programs.

I deeply believe that you and I are being challenged and charged by God to continue Trinity’s long-standing tradition of responding to God’s call to contemporary vision and mission. God is definitely reaching more and more souls in McLean by growing Trinity Church, spiritually and physically. The enhancements and additions to our present church will improve and make more effective Trinity’s local and global outreach; build upon our valued diversity in Christ’s body; sustain and strengthen us through the life of prayer; encourage us to become more faithful stewards of God’s resources; and educate and equip us for the ongoing ministry of Jesus Christ through social justice.

Please join me, Eileen, Keith, Jerry and Catherine, and all Trinity’s leadership and members, and the terrific leaders of our NLI teams for our date with destiny over the next twelve months. Together, with God, we’ve got lots of wonderful work to do.

 

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When Did Evangelism Become a Four-Letter Word?

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

What would happen if I were to stand in front of the congregation and ask for volunteers to form an evangelism committee? Here’s my guess: crickets. Why is that? I think it’s because of the actions of the church (and by that I mean the greater protestant church, not specifically Trinity or even the United Methodist church). What we Christians have done to the concept of evangelism equates to a self-inflicted wound. We are now paying the price for it.

That price has come in the form of lack of attendance and worse, a sense of apathy toward the church. Average attendance is about once a month. There is no longer a sense of loyalty to church. That is not how it has been for generations and generations. The greater church just assumed that the traditional families of the past would hand down that same sense of loyalty to their children. This is when the wheels started to come off the church bus. We must continue to try to reach what Rev. Olu Brown calls the “loyalty” generation, while also reaching out to what he calls the “relational” generation.

Who are the people of this relational generation? They are younger; some grew up going to church while others never attended in their formative years. Brown describes them as a “creative group, craving relationships that are not formed or nurtured primarily through traditional or outdated institutions.” Ouch. I hate thinking of my beloved United Methodist tradition as an outdated institution. But, this is in fact how it is perceived by a large group of people. Brown goes on to say that as this relational generation came into being, “many denominations and local churches failed to maintain a pulse on the current developing beneath the flow of the loyalty generation.”

Here is the good news: It’s not too late. This is where the new evangelism comes into play. We must no longer open our doors and think that’s enough. Your Trinity leaders are working to reach those outside our sanctuary. That might mean having small groups somewhere in Tysons or hosting community events on our massive yard outside the Fellowship Building. The modern face of evangelism looks like you, too. It’s living out Jesus’ call to serve the least and the last, and to love all. Evangelism is sharing this Good News by being kind and compassionate in our interactions. After all, Jesus’ ministry was comprised of both words and deeds.

I invite you to join with us as we work to reach and welcome all to Trinity Church in 2018. I’ll see you in church!

 

Fruitful 2018 Resolutions

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

According to a study by IQuanti, based on Google searches, the top resolutions of 2017 were (in order of popularity): to get healthy, to get organized, to live life to the fullest, to learn new hobbies, spend less and save, to travel, and to read more. This list is vastly different from those made at the turn of twentieth century. The emphasis then was on virtue rather than performance or self-actualization. For example, people strived for inner peace, prudence in finances, patience for family and friends, forgiveness, and thoughtful speech and action.

There was a definite shift from emphasizing inner values like virtue and character to those that seek to express outer personal traits like achievement and health. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts the author, Susan Cain, observes a shift in characterization of an American ideal person. “Before the industrial revolution,” she writes, “American self-help books extolled character.” But books like How to Win Friends and Influence People placed personality above all. Her theory is that extroverts were placed above introverts in conscience of mainstream culture. Although I do not ascribe to all of her arguments (because both extroverts and introverts can develop deep character), I see that inner qualities like contemplation, silence, patience and long-suffering seemed to be absent in everyday discussion.

I want to urge parents to consider starting the new year with goals in deepening character and virtue. Also, to help foster an environment in the home to involve your children in developing their inner life as important ideals to pursue for 2018. I, as a partner in spiritual education of your children, will strive to bring awareness to topic at hand. As the apostle Paul reminded the church in Galatia, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Happy New Year!

 

January 2018

Jan. 1 Office Closed
Jan. 6 Men’s Group, 7:30 a.m. All men are invited to join us in Langley Hall.
Jan. 8 Crafts for a Cause
7 – 8:30 p.m.
2017 achievements and future projects: https://wp.me/p3ZFFv-m5
Jan. 9 Book Chat: Lisette’s List, by Susan Vreeland
6:30 p.m.
Bring a light dinner (dessert is provided) and enjoy fellowship and lively conversation. Contact Kathy Maher, Kathyngs@gmail.com.
Jan. 10 Wonderful Wednesday Dinners and Trinity Trebles resume
Jan. 13 Bi-District Training Day Details and registration information here.
Jan. 14 Martha’s Table Sandwich Making
Jan. 15 Office Closed  
Jan. 22 Crafts for a Cause See Jan. 8 listing above

January Book Chat

The Trinity Book Chat will meet on Tuesday, January 9, to discuss Lisette’s List, by Susan Vreeland, a novel set informed by color, artistic creativity, and the transformative power of art. We’ll get together at 6:30 p.m. in the Trinity Library. Bring a light dinner (dessert is provided) and enjoy fellowship and lively conversation. Reading the book isn’t even required! Contact Kathy Maher (Kathyngs@gmail.com) to be added to the e-mail list.

 

Musical Resolutions

Music by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

“The New Year is here, and I am looking for a resolution.”

If you are having this thought, why not join one of Trinity’s choirs? Choir is more than rehearsing, ringing and singing. It is a vital part of Trinity whose members feel called to minister to others through music.

Join one of our choirs and you will:

1) Be a part of the church’s worship life

2) Fellowship with others who feel God’s call to serve through music

3) Experience how music becomes an extension of God’s word

Qualifications for joining a choir include:

1) Loving Jesus with all your heart

2) Wanting to express through music what God has done for you

3) Being willing to serve at Trinity

You don’t have to be a great singer or ringer (although we are blessed with those!). If God has called you to serve in a choir, others will help you begin your journey in this new way to serve. Remember that “God does not call the qualified; rather, he qualifies the called.” If God is calling you to serve at Trinity through its music program, please make a resolution now to try one of its choirs!


We Are the Church

By Catherine Wethington

The new year is a great time to join our Trinity Trebles! We resume rehearsals on Wednesday, January 10 at 6 p.m. for dinner and singing in Langley Hall. Our first song for 2018 will be We are the Church. A classic hymn that reminds us that a church is not a building, it’s not a specific type of person, but all the people. It’s a people who sing and pray together, a people who rejoice and cry together, and a people who spread the love of Jesus. I encourage you to spread your love of Jesus and of the Trinity Trebles by inviting your friends to join us, too! The new year will have lots of fun music to learn, yummy food to be eaten, and a spring musical to be performed. Don’t miss out on this special time of fellowship for children and parents alike!

 

Happy New Year!

Hello to all the kids of Trinity Church! I hope you had a great Christmas and enjoyed spending some time with your family and friends. A lot of people travel to see relatives in another city or state. We visit my grandparents in Falls Church for Christmas. (My grandfather always gives me treats under the table. Turkey and ham. Yum!)

Have you heard about people making New Year’s resolutions? That’s just a fancy way of saying you are making a promise with yourself. Sometimes people make resolutions to exercise. (I recommend finding a dog to take for a walk.) Have you made a New Year’s resolution before? I have some ideas that might be cool to try.

  • Make a resolution to read more. Why not spend a half hour every day reading something for fun? Ask your parents or grandparents to take you to the library to find cool books.
  • Look for ways every day to do at least one nice thing for someone. It can be as simple as holding a door for someone or setting the table before a meal.
  • Make a resolution to clean out your old toys and clothes, and then donate them. Share is a great place to donate things that are still in good condition. They help families who live in our community. The church office can give you more details.
  • Memorize a different verse from the Bible each week. If you need some help finding verses to memorize, just let me know. I can send your family a list of great verses.
  • Pray! Prayer is just another way of saying talking with God. That’s right. God wants you to talk about what makes you happy, sad, concerned, or even what makes you laugh! It doesn’t take a lot of time and God really wants to hear from you.

I hope your family will also make a resolution to come to see your church family at Trinity. When you come to church, you get to hear even more about God’s love.

Do you have any questions for me? Just send them to me at bit.ly/AskDuke.

Remember my motto: Paws for Jesus!

Duke