Pet Blessing 2018

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 7.

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 7

2 p.m.

We’ll meet on the Plaza between the Chapel and Sanctuary.

(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.

Henny

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Sunday School—It’s for Life!

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

The United Methodist Church wants to re-energize Sunday school and spark new ministries. Can you imagine a Charge Conference where the Sunday school teachers are the first people elected to hold office for the up-coming year? Can you imagine a church where 60 to 75 percent of those who attend worship also attend Sunday school? Can you imagine a Sunday school so vital that it has sparked so many other ministries that the church building is used seven days a week?

Here at Trinity Church, we don’t just imagine these scenarios at Sunday school, they are our immediate goals for 2018-2019, and we’re making things happen. We offer classes for people of all ages, and they’re taught by the members and staff of our Trinity family. Some classes are sharing the teaching and leadership role rather than having only one teacher. New and exciting opportunities for Christian Education are offered this fall and spring. Check them out!

Our denomination, at the national level, is encouraging us to fill in the generational gaps. We’re learning that by doing that it tends to move the local church forward. It also tends to draw people with children who boost attendance in the children’s and youth classes.

As the nation’s third-largest religious body (behind Roman Catholics, and Southern Baptists) we United Methodists are more influential in seats of power than people realize. This means that what is taught in our Sunday school classes helps determine the religious morals and values on the larger scale. Sunday school is where the action is. Trinity Church kicks off the new Sunday school year with a celebration on September 9. On the 9th, we will also have a backpack blessing. All followed by a church-wide picnic. Please plan to join us. Sunday School – It’s For Life!

 

When Isolation and the Church Intersect

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Loneliness is big problem in our culture, in our society, in our country. You don’t have to look at research to uncover this trend. All you really have to do is pay attention and ask questions. It isn’t only among the elderly. Younger and younger people feel lonely. Is the reason because social media and technology have led us to become more isolated? Is this isolation leading to fewer people attending church regularly?

To look at the topic of loneliness in America, I checked with Barna Group, a research company focused on faith and culture. Here’s what Barna found.

A lot of us struggle with loneliness.

Who are the lonely? It turns out millennials are four times more likely to feel lonely than the elderly.

I found this statistic very telling.

Nearly seven out of ten people say they would call on someone other than a family member to help in an emergency. This is where the church can come in. By getting to know one another, we become the fill-in family. We become the ones others call on in times of need. We must be to all the center of compassion and care.

How do we do that? We do it by coming to church, getting involved in Next Level Innovation teams, and seeing church as more than just a Sunday morning one-hour commitment. Church can and should be a community where everyone feels safe, welcomed and valued. That’s how Jim, Keith and I see Trinity. Won’t you join us?

Graphics and statistics: Barna Group, barna.com.

 

Three Take-Aways from This Year’s Vacation Bible School

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

Intergenerational Ministry

One of the buzzwords in ministry is intergenerational ministry. According to Wikipedia, “Inter-generational or intergenerational ministry is a model of Christian ministry which emphasizes relationships between age groups and encourages mixed-age activities.” It contrasts with traditional ministry style where groups are divided according to age. Traditional ministry style is still needed but it should not be the only method found in the church.

This year’s VBS reflected intergenerational ministry style. One teacher recruited her granddaughters as volunteers so in one group, three generations of Trinity members were represented. In two of the stations the main leaders were older teenagers (a station is where a specific lesson is taught; groups rotate to different stations throughout the day). They did a wonderful job. At my station, the volunteers ranged from rising 5th graders to 7th graders. Even though I was much older, they took a lot of initiative in decorating the room, the way our teaching materials were presented and leadership in many activities. The cooperation and interaction between different age groups truly added energy, creativity and success of this year’s VBS.

Importance of Youth/Preteen Volunteers

This is a follow-up to the first takeaway. I want to emphasize this because they are part and parcel to VBS; they made up over 60% of our volunteers! Most of the time they serve as assistants to main teachers or group leaders. They help with interacting with and supervising students. Having groups that range from 12 to 16 kids, these young volunteers are vital for a productive and encouraging experience. Also, they help make connections with students because the lead teacher cannot make significant strides in relationship-building with all the students.

Another area of contribution they made this year was being leaders for VBS stations. For older high school students who want to take up the challenge of leading a VBS station, we provide appropriate leadership opportunities. Fortunately, two older youth, Sarah Beth and Adelaide took up the challenge and did wonderful jobs in their respective stations. Youth/Preteen volunteers are fantastic!

Serving the McLean Community

VBS is one of the many Trinity ministries that serve the greater McLean community. We had ninety seventy students registered and over sixty volunteers. Because of limitation in space and time, we had to turn away some students. Due to Trinity’s reputation as an open and welcoming church with excellent programs, many parents depend on us as essential part of their children’s summer experience. Most of the VBS students are not Trinity members and are grateful that we provide this opportunity to learn, grow and interact with other children from McLean. Our volunteers and teachers do awesome work! Moreover, Jen Calsyn and Marci Thomas are fantastic administrators who work wonders with logistics, recruiting of students and volunteers, and ensuring VBS operates with excellence. Through VBS, Trinity serves the needs of McLean. Let’s keep up the good work!

 

September 2018 at Trinity

BOOK CHAT

The Trinity book club is starting a new season! We’ll meet on Tuesday, September 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Trinity Library to talk about Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill, by Sonia Purnell, a tribute to the woman who was the great man’s closest confidante, fiercest critic, and shrewdest advisor. Bring a light dinner, if you like (dessert is provided), and enjoy fellowship and lively conversation. Reading the book isn’t even required! Coming up on October 9: Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid. Contact Kathy Maher (Kathyngs@gmail.com) to obtain a copy of the full reading list.

Sept. 3 Office Closed
Sept. 6 Trinity Ringers, 6:30 p.m.

Chancel Choir, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday rehearsals resume for adult choirs. All new ringers and singers are welcome. For more, contact Jerry Rich, jrich@potomacschool.org
Sept. 9 Martha’s Table Sandwich Making Sunday,

Back to Sunday School, Backpack Blessing & Picnic

Backpacks will be blessed during the 10:30 a.m. service. A picnic for everyone will follow; see page 5 for more information
Sept. 10 Crafts for a Cause, 7 p.m. Learn about the latest projects: https://wp.me/p3ZFFv-rg
Sept. 11 Book Chat, 6:30 p.m. This month: Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill, by Sonia Purnell, More below.
Sept. 12 Trinity Trebles, 6 p.m. Trinity’s children’s choir for ages 4—6th grade will resume their Wednesday rehearsals with dinner in Langley Hall. For more, contact Catherine Wethington, cwethington@umtrinity.org
Sept. 24 Crafts for a Cause, 7 p.m. Learn about the latest projects: https://wp.me/p3ZFFv-rg

Crafts for a Cause, September Update

The Christmas season has arrived early for Crafts for a Cause, as work has begun on making 50 red and white flannel Christmas stockings for newborns at Fair Oaks Hospital. One of our knitters, Ann Skelly, has been busy knitting the Santa hats that accompany the stockings.

If you’d like to help with this project, come to our next work session on Mon., Aug. 27, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 124. We’ll also be working on a pile of pillows and dolls to be stuffed, as well as a mountain of fleece to be made into blankets and hats. Future work sessions: Sept. 10 and Sept. 24.

We also have homework projects if you can’t make the work sessions. And if you know of someone recovering from surgery or illness who might like a comfort pillow, please let us know. For more information, contact Molly Sprouse at mollysprouse@gmail.com.

Update from The Leadership Center, Honduras

Hi Friends,

Thank you for your support of The Leadership Center! We’ve just past the half-way point of 2018, and there are some really exciting thing happening at TLC.

  • Our newest cohort started in April of this year, and we currently have 17 students who are working hard at learning English. They are a true joy to be around, and they are having lots of fun while they learn (see photo).
  • We are wrapping up our new athletic facility, which will be used for exercise classes, indoor soccer, basketball, and volleyball. I’ve attached a photo so that you can see how beautiful it is! Thanks to all the individuals, families, and churches who made this a possibility!
  • We have launched a couple of new businesses this year and they are already having great success. Both TLC graduates have already paid their investment off completely and continue to work on growing their business. Additionally, we have had a few other businesses make some great progress toward completely paying off the initial investment.
  • We currently have a few students out on internships (see photo of Odalys teaching a science class). It has been so much fun to see how far our curriculum and programming has come over the past few years. Receiving accreditation from the government has been very exciting, and it helps our graduates to know their work and efforts are recognized.
  • We continue to make some great progress on our sustainability efforts. We have 7 cows for milk, approximately 125 chickens for eggs and meat, 5 pigs for meat, and we grow our own beans, corn, and vegetables. It has been fun to see the efforts of our students and Honduran employees pay off!

Without your support, we would not be able to do what we do at The Leadership Center. We are grateful for you, and we hope you feel that your contributions are making a real impact on the lives of young Honduran women. Those of us who live on campus see those impacts every day. So from all of us at Leadership Mission International and The Leadership Center, thank you for your generosity and support!

Kind Regards,

Joseph Rahm

Executive Director