The Way of Sharing with Others

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

What defines your life? Is it wealth? Is it belongings, house, family? Is it faith? Many persons live with a scarcity mentality … always worried that we must hunt, gather and hoard as much as possible, storing up for some imagined rainy day. We also focus a lot on self-gratification. But the Bible promises God’s joy and blessings for those who chose to live another way – the way of sharing with others.

I want to express my appreciation for your generosity in 2019 through your gifts, tithes and offerings to Trinity Church that have improved the lives of so many of God’s daughters and sons. Through your support of Martha’s Table, we’ve fed around 15,000 people who were hungry in D.C. Of those who have dropped by Trinity Church in need of food or medicine we helped over 600 persons with food cards, and dozens more to prevent utility service interruption and eviction – just to name a few of the ways you’ve affected the lives of others. Thank you !

I encourage you to help Trinity Church meet our local, Conference, world missions and benevolence goals for 2019. Although we’re running behind our offerings at this time of the year we still have five Sundays left in the year and three worship opportunities on Christmas Eve. Your personal and financial support of Trinity Church provides the floor for all our missions and ministries, not the ceiling. This floor is the safety net you’ve helped create for our general operating expenses, ministry and mission outreach, and loan repayments. I would like to see our Church finish 2019 achieving all our outreach goals and obligations. Your generosity also brightens the outlook for our ministry in Christ during 2020.

To this end … God has created you and me in God’s very own image – which is a willingness to give and be generous with others. This design is part of our makeup; and we actually need to be generous. It makes us healthier people, both spiritually and physically. Thank you in advance for another wonderful year of service to Christ at Trinity Church. May your Christmas be blessed with joy and God’s peace. It is my hope that 2020 is filled with all good things for you – the blessings of health, good friends and opportunities to love one another.

 

A Guide Through Advent

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

We all have our life stories and there are times we are called on to recount parts of them. For example: When you meet someone new at a social event. You are likely to be asked where you work, where you’re originally from or what your opinions are on a certain topic. Then there are the times we have to dig deep into our lives to remember dates; you know those times, it’s when we do things like apply for a mortgage or get a passport. I don’t know about you but when I’m listing dates and locations in my past, it makes me stop and remember my life then and what I was doing in my life.

During Advent—the four weeks leading up to Christmas—we’ll look back at the series of amazing events that occurred leading up to the birth of the Christ Child. From the time Mary found out she was going to give birth to the Son of God through the different Gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus, we’ll travel through Advent together.

Each of the four Sundays in Advent, we’ll look at a different part of the journey to his birth. We’ll start with a short DVD and then have discussion time. Each week will trace the Christmas narrative, introducing us to the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, the journey to the manger and the visit from the Magi. The census and the stable, the role to women in first-century Jewish culture and the star of Bethlehem—we’ll dive into them as we work to seek out the true joy of the Season.

The Light of the World:

A Beginner’s Guide to Advent

Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22

9:30 a.m.

Room 205

(right off Langley Hall and next to the kitchen)

These classes are great for those with every level of Biblical knowledge. It doesn’t matter if you’re a longtime Sunday School attender or you are new to scripture, there is something for everyone. Even if you can’t make all the classes, I hope you’ll join us when you’re available. Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you in class!

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

On November 21, a new film about Fred Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, debuted. As you know he’s the famous Mr. Rogers in the neighborhood. His show ran on PBS from 1968 to 2001. When his family bought a TV, he was won over. He wanted to use this new technology to communicate, so when he graduated from college he worked for NBC as an assistant producer and a floor director on various shows. He quit working for NBC because he didn’t approve of the channel using children in advertisements.

Soon he was working for a local public station in Pittsburgh on a show called The Children’s Corner. This eventually led him to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I’m sure his movie will give more insight and information about his life and mission. But here are some of his core beliefs that were part and parcel to his work.

First, he cared about the vulnerable which led him to children’s TV. He thought children didn’t know how to protect themselves and didn’t know how to filter harmful influences that were in media and society. Furthermore, he was appalled by the low quality of children’s programs during the early days of television. On one occasion, a pie was thrown at a man to make children laugh. He was upset that this was the level of children’s entertainment. He wanted something better for them.

Second, he believed in encouraging children. Anything that devalued children or one’s neighbors, including hyper consumerism or school pressure into early childhood, was concerning to Rogers.

Third, Rogers wanted to be authentic when he was being filmed. He said, “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away.” He made sure he was same on and off camera.

These core beliefs were not random, but were formed by his theology. When he was working in Pittsburgh he went to a local seminary during his lunch breaks and received a Master of Divinity degree. When he graduated and was ordained, the Presbyterian Church USA commissioned him to minister to children through TV.

His work and mission were based on his theology and love for children. He wanted to be a minister through this new medium. The greeting, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” was an extension of God’s commandment to love our neighbors.

The new film hopefully reminds us to practice our theology so that we are authentic caring neighbors to those around us. I pray your presence during the holidays continues to invite, “Won’t you be my neighbor,” declaring “I always wanted a neighbor just like you” to whoever you meet.

 

Sharing Blessings After a Remarkable 2019 for Financial Assets

The Finance Committee would like to give a brief update on the year-to-date financial status of the Church. Our budget for 2019 is $1,250,000 and while the congregation has been customarily generous, we find ourselves about $200,000 short of our goal. Every dollar will be important as we hurtle toward year-end, so we ask that you consider the ways you can further your contributions to the Church this year.

As we celebrate this season of Thanksgiving and review our many blessings, those who review their financial statements may have noticed that the broad US equity market is up about 25% thus far in 2019. This presents a terrific opportunity to donate some appreciated equities to help the Church meet or exceed our goals for 2019, and be in position to expand our good deeds in 2020. And since these donations are deductible from taxes, the more you donate, the less cash you pay in taxes next April.

Should you choose to give this way, please call Earl Griggs (703-356-7022) or Jim Wilson (571-286-9491), so that the Church knows the securities are coming and can instruct our broker to sell them once they are received.

Thank you for your generosity,

The Finance Committee

 

December 2019

Dec. 2 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

 
Dec. 8 The First Christmas

10:30 a.m.

A Christmas Pageant Presented by Trinity Trebles
Dec. 8 Martha’s Table Snack Making Sunday
Dec. 12 Preschool Parenting Hour

9:30 a.m

Dec. 15 Lessons & Carols

10:30a .m.

 
Dec. 15 Youth Choir

11:30 a.m.

Meets in the Chapel for grades 7 –12
Dec. 15 Trustees Meeting

11:30 a.m.

Meet in Room 402
Dec. 16 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

 
Dec. 18 Blue Christmas

7 p.m.

A service of remembrance
Dec. 24 Christmas Eve

Worship at 5, 8 & 10 p.m.

Dec. 24—26 Office Closed  
Dec. 29 Celtic Service

5 p.m.

 
Dec. 31 Office closes at 12 p.m.  
Jan. 1 Office Closed  

Read the latest news from long-time Trinity member and missionary, Betty Lou Bennett and her husband, Al. Betty Lou is the daughter of Louisa Arnold, for whom the Arnold Library was named.

 

Music for Advent and Christmas at Trinity

By Jerry Rich and Michelle Zenk

Our ringers and singers are looking forward to sharing the musical joys of the Christmas season with you! We will sing selections from Handel’s Messiah and modern carols by Roc O’Connor, John Rutter, and Richard Terry; we will present Advent music for flute and violin by Handel, Praetorius, and Vivaldi; and we will offer contemporary settings of God Rest You Merry, Lo How a Rose, O Come Emmanuel, People Look East, and We Three Kings. The Trinity Trebles are excited for their upcoming Christmas musical! The Trebles will present The First Christmas on December 8, during the 10:30 service. There will be singing, costumes and instruments! Hallelujah! He is born! The celebrations continue on

Dec. 15, 8:30 a.m.

December 15, when the adult choirs will offer a service of Lessons and Carols. On Christmas Eve, please bring your heartiest caroling voices to the Sanctuary to help us proclaim the birth of the Christ Child!

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!

Henny