Mid-Year Resolutions

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Maybe you resolved to work out more, read more or cut down on screen time. How’s that going? I think we should start a new trend: a mid-year’s resolution. What’s the point of rushing into things? Give yourself a good six months to see where the year takes you. I invite you to make a resolution centered on prayer.

O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand. -William Penn

Pray for discernment. Pray that God will open our eyes to see the other side. Pray for the wisdom to keep our mouths shut until we understand why the other person acts/speaks/thinks a certain way.

 God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. -C.S. Lewis

Pray for the ability to hear that small (and sometimes not so small) voice. Pray that God’s sensibility will rise above the din of our cries for help or attention. Pray for the confidence to know that we succeed because of God’s grace and power, and not because of our own race to selfish gain.

Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.  –John 20:29

Pray that God will empower you to have so much faith that you are fearless. Pray for the courage to trust God fully and completely, at all times and in all situations. Pray that God will enable us to willingly give up the need to be in control.

How about if we make a pledge? I’ll pray for you, and you pray for the clergy and lay leaders here at Trinity. Please pray for our greater United Methodist Church, and all the Methodist churches around the world. We need it.

Prayer works. Prayer strengthens. Prayer is how we talk with God. If you need help in finding ways to pray, just let Jim, Keith or me know.

I’ll see you in church!


Three Thoughts from 2019’s First Snow Day

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

It has been awhile since we had a snow storm in our area so when it descended on Jan 12, I was caught off guard. But after struggling through it while being stuck in my house for almost three days I came to realize it was quite a spiritual experience.

Life is Unpredictable

Weather forecasters were not helpful in preparing for the storm. Some said it was going to be heavy while others thought it might just pass over. Even the ones who called for snow hedged, saying it could be a couple to eight inches. I’m reading this and thinking “You guys are NOT helpful at all!”

Moreover, the snow came on the weekend. As a pastor, anything that interferes with Sunday worship stirs anxiety and frustration. Therefore, Saturday night was an uneasy restless affair. Early Sunday morning the staff exchanged a flurry of texts and decided the storm was not heavy enough to cancel services but warranted for us to urge caution to parishioners. We had about fifty in attendance for both services. The sense of uncertainty made me anxious the whole morning before church.

However, during the first service a sense of peace came over me because I became aware of my annoyance at unpredictability. I chuckled a bit thinking this is really nothing. Life seems capricious and thus inconveniently annoying. That’s what makes it so interesting.

 Snow is Beautiful Yet Dangerous

The moment I opened my front door the wintery neighborhood took me back a bit; so beautiful! As I was driving to church on I-66, Vivaldi’s Winter from The Four Seasons played in my head. My eyes intermittently wandered onto tall snow-covered trees on the sides, reminding me of those in Ansel Adams’ photos. Then my car slipped a bit because the pavement was still covered with slush. It was a beautiful slow trek slipping and sliding through I-66, on through Chain Bridge Road and into the Trinity lot. I was thankful to arrive safely with a heavy dose of respect for beauty all around me.

Resting is Difficult Work

Snow covered everything, life came to a standstill. Schools were closed and it was an unexpected day off. So why couldn’t I enjoy it? Because the amount of work does not diminish. Even though it seems like a day off, I will have less time to tackle all the tasks before me. Thoughts like these swarmed my head the whole Monday morning and afternoon. Then finally around 5 p.m., I relented. I am just going to relax and enjoy this time with my family. Relaxing is really difficult.

With this past storm as a reflection point, I’m ready for the next one. Bring on the snow!


Bridging God’s Word to Everyday Life: Nov. 11

Our Prayer List

Abby, Amy, Andrea, Andrew, Annie, Ashley, Barbara, Bill, Bob & Fran, Bobbie, Bonnie, Carla, Carol, Chip & Tessa, Claudia, Daniel, Darlene, Dave, David, Decarlo, Diane, Dudley & Susan, Eileen & Bob, Ella, Ellen, Eunice, Evelyn, Florian, Gail & Hal, Gary, Grace, Herb, Holly, Jack, Jane, Jim & Sharon, Jimmy, John, Josh, Julie, Karen, Kathleen, Ken, Lilly, Lincoln, Marge, McCullough family, Michelle, Mike, Olivia, Pat, Paul & Jeanette, Paula, Peggy & Bill, Phipps family, Robert, Sally, Scott & Kathy, Shirley, Steve, Susan, Thomas, Tiki, Tilton family, Vicky, Virginia, Vivian, Wayne, the people of the Florida panhandle, migrants and those affected by mass shootings.

This Week

Join Pastor Jim for Bible Study for Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas. This video series, also presented by The Ohio State University professor, Dr. David Brakke, will examine the people and texts of the first four centuries A.D. with a shared interest in knowledge (gnōsis, in Greek). Sundays at 9:30 a.m., Mondays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. This week: Gnosticism’s Ritual Pathway to God.


Collection Drive for Share

Trinity’s Church & Society Committee sponsors monthly collections for local and worldwide ministries. During the month of November, we are collecting items for Share, our local food pantry that serves many homeless and underemployed members of our community. Their biggest needs now are:

  •  Vegetable Oil-48 oz
  •  Canned Fruit
  •  Canned Corn
  •  Pasta sauce- can or plastic
  •  1-2 lb bags Rice
  •  Canned black beans
  •  Canned chick peas
  •  Feminine Hygiene
  •  Diapers and Wipes

Please place donations in the bins outside the Sanctuary and in the Fellowship Building.

Collecting Christmas Cards: Naty de las Alas is collecting new or gently used Christmas cards (religious theme preferred) that will be distributed to the homeless. Look for the collection boxes in the Narthex and in the Fellowship Building. Thank you!

Crafts for a Cause

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: 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 and at http://bit.ly/tumccrafts.

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.


Text Message Reminders from Us

Sign up today!

Trinity United Methodist Church offers text message reminders. These can help us communicate last minute schedule changes, remind you about events or classes that interest you and keep you up to date with other happenings.

We will be using a free platform (Remind) to send these messages. While designed for schools, this is a platform that is free for nonprofits. When you use the instructions or links below you will be sent an automatic confirmation text asking if you are a Parent, Student or Teacher. Please respond with P for parent.

There are two options for signing-up to opt-in:

1) Text the number 81010 with the following message:

Message code Group
@jimbible Pastor Jim’s Bible Study
@preileen Pastor Eileen’s class
@TCchilded Children’s Education
@7confirm Confirmation class
@tumcevents Event Reminders
@NLIupdates NLI updates
@tumcprayer Prayers
@trebles1 Trinity Trebles
@youth712 Youth Group

2) You can also use a link to sign-up: remind.com/join/messagecode, for example: remind.com/join/tumcevents.


Bridging God’s Word to Everyday Life: Jan. 21


Abby, Amanda, Amy, Andrew, Angela, Anne & Jay, Ashley, Bill, Candy, Carla, Carol, Chris, Daniel, Darlene, Debbie, Debbie, Donald, Ella, Eunice, Florian, Gentry family, Geraldine, Grace, Hendrickson family, Herb, Heuple family, Hilda, Holly, Irene, Jane, Jeffmander, John, Jonte’s family, Josh, Judy, Julie, Kay, Keith, Ken, Lilly, Lincoln, Linda, LJ, Lorraine, Maddy, Marilyn, Martha, Mary Lou, Mary, Max, Michelle, Morrison family, Norma, Paul, Paula, Peggy & Bill, Ramirez family, Reginald, Ronnie, Samuel, Sara, Steve, Susan, Suzanne, Tom, Tommy, Vivian, and Yancey.

We continue to pray for those seeking employment, college students, travelers, the people of California, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, relief workers, those dealing with mental illness, our elected leaders, church committees, military families, immigrants and the people and communities affected by violence.

Charge Conference: On Sunday, January 28, there will be a brief Charge Conference to approve the 2018 budget and officers. The Executive Council will meet following the Charge Conference.

Children’s Sunday School Teaching Opportunity: We have wonderful opportunities to shape, influence and disciple children at Trinity. All age groups available. Please contact Keith, klee@umtrinity.org.

Crafts for a Cause: Crafts for a Cause has a mountain of fleece, flannel and cotton ready to be transformed into pillows, blankets, dolls and dresses during the coming year. We’ll have work sessions on alternating Monday nights from 7 to 8:30 in Room 124 on: Jan. 22, Feb. 5 & 19, March 5 & 19.

Most of the comfort items go to Fair Oaks Hospital and local family shelters; the dresses and dolls (a fun new project) go to needy girls in Uganda. All adults are welcome to the work sessions, even if you’re not particularly crafty. Many hands make quick work! And if you can’t make the work sessions, ask about our homework projects.

We closed out the Holiday Bazaar in December with more than $4,000 in sales. After putting aside the funds needed to buy our supplies this year, we will be able to support Trinity’s missions in Honduras, the Art for Humanity ministry, and other worthy causes chosen by the Crafters. Thank you for your support!

For more information on Crafts for a Cause, contact Molly Sprouse at mollysprouse@gmail.com.


Discover Trinity: Feb. 11 & 18: Are you interested in finding out more about Trinity Church? If you have recently joined or are thinking about becoming a member, please join us for our Discover Trinity classes. You’ll find out ways to get involved and will have a chance to ask any questions about Trinity or the greater United Methodist Church. For more information, please contact Pastor Eileen at egilmer@umtrinity.org.

Online Giving: Fast. Easy. Convenient. GIVE ONLINE: umtrinity.org/give or TEXT TO GIVE: Simply send a text to 703-454-5532 with the amount you would like to contribute; include the dollar sign. Example: $25. You’ll receive a link to register. And then, you will receive a text verification and a receipt via email. For future giving, simply send a text with the amount you wish to give, and it will process automatically! Thanks for your continued support!

This Month’s Collection: Stanton School: We are collecting disinfectant wipes, hand-sanitizing gel and boxes of tissues. Please place your donations in the bins outside the sanctuary & in the Fellowship Lobby.

Youth Group, for grades 7-12, has a wonderful schedule to engage teens in their faith journey. Please join us! If you would like more information, please talk to Pastor Keith, klee@umtrinity.org.

Jan 21   5 p.m.               Speaker: Nila Curry

Jan 26-28                         Ski Trip to Canaan Valley

Feb 4     5 p.m.              Speaker: David Case

Feb 11   5 p.m.             Life Coach: Biblical View on Bitcoins

Book Chat, September 2017

The Trinity book club will meet on Tuesday, September 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Trinity Library to talk about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith, a beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the 20th century. 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: The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (October 10), and The Road to Character, by David Brooks (November 14). Contact Kathy Maher if you have questions or would like to be added to the e-mail list.

Trinity PDO Preschool Open House for Fall Enrollment

pdo-open-houseTrinity PDO Preschool is holding an Open House on March 10, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Please spread the word to interested families. The preschool has been part of the Trinity UMC outreach program for more than 30 years. The preschool has openings in each of the age appropriate classes beginning in Fall 2017.

Trinity PDO Preschool combines learning experiences and encourages imaginative play in a fun, safe and nurturing environment. Our children explore the world around them by participating in a variety of experiences including art, French, music, dramatic play, cooking and field trips. The children learn to work and play cooperatively within a group.

In our Pre-K (Panda) class, French and English are spoken daily to build vocabulary in both languages. In the Penguin and Manatee Classes, our French teacher visits the classrooms once a week to read stories and sings songs in French so that the younger students are exposed to the French language before they advance to the Pre-K class.

We have three classes:

Classes             Ages                 Days                  Hours

Penguins       2 1/2 – 3              M-W-F               9:30 – 1:30

Manatees          3 – 4                M-W-F               9:30 – 1:30

Pandas               4-5                    M-F                  9:30 – 1:30

To learn more about our preschool program please, call our Director, Janine Whitfield at 703-790-2767 to arrange a personal tour.