November 2019 at Trinity

Nov. 3 Charge Conference

3 p.m.

Mt. Olivet UMC, 1500 N Glebe Rd., Arlington

 

According to A Dictionary for United Methodists by Alan Waltz, “The charge conference is the basic governing body of each United Methodist local church and is composed of all members of the church council. The charge conference must meet at least once per year. The charge conference directs the work of the church and gives general oversight to the church council, reviews and evaluates the mission and ministry of the church, sets salaries for the pastor and staff, elects the members of the church council, and recommends candidates for ordained ministry.”
Nov. 4 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Nov. 10 Town Hall Meeting

11:30 a.m.

Nov. 10 Martha’s Table Snack Making Sunday
Nov. 11 Office Closed
Nov. 12 Book Chat

6:30 p.m.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Nov. 16 Christ House
Nov. 17 Thanksgiving Feast

11:30 a.m.

See below for more or RSVP at umtrinity.org and look for Thanksgiving Potluck under Get-Involved
Nov. 17 Celebration of Life: Shirley Paul

2 p.m.

Nov. 18 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Nov. 19 Trustees Meeting

6:30 p.m.

Nov. 20 Preschool Parenting Hour

9:30 a.m.

Nov. 24 Coffee with the Pastors

9:30 a.m.

Nov. 24 Craft Bazaar begins See below for more or visit umtrinity.org and look for Crafts for a Cause under Get-Involved
Nov 24 Staff Parish Relations Committee

11:30 a.m.

Nov. 24 Celtic Service

5 p.m.

Nov. 26 Christmas Trees Arrive
Nov. 29 Christmas Tree Sales begin See below for or visit umtrinity.org and look for Christmas Tree Sales under Get-Involved

Begins Nov. 29 at 12 p.m. Sales benefit Trinity’s Youth Group & Boy Scout Troop 869.

Nov 2019 Music Ministry

Chancel Choir

To commemorate All Saints Day (November 1), the Chancel Choir will sing selections from Gabriel Fauré’s serene and consoling Requiem at the 10:30 service on November 3:

Libera me: Deliver me, Lord, from that day when heaven and earth shall quake as you judge the world. Eternal rest grant them, O Lord…

Sanctus: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Glory be to you, O Lord, Hosanna in the highest.

Pie Jesu: Gentle Lord Jesus, grant them eternal rest.

Agnus Dei: Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them everlasting rest. Let perpetual light shine upon them together with your saints, for you are good.

In Paradisum: May angels lead you into paradise and martyrs bring you into the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels welcome you, and, like Lazarus, may you have eternal rest.

Trinity Ringers

On November 17, the Trinity Ringers will present a festive prelude at the 10:30 service; Sandra Eithun’s 2015 version of the Baroque Rondeau by Jean-Joseph Mouret will be familiar to many as the theme to the PBS Masterpiece Theater series from 1971-2007.

 

Trinity Trebles

If you have a child between the ages of 2-12 who loves to sing?  Come join the Trinity Trebles on Sundays at 9:30 a.m.! We had a great time learning the song Give me Oil in My Lamp and soon we will be starting our Christmas presentation and learning how to play the choir chimes. No previous singing or musical experience needed! Any questions? Email Michelle Zenk.

Church: The People, The Building

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

The Greek word used in the New Testament for church means called out. The church is a community of people who are called out of the world to be God’s people.

The church is a community of people, not a building. It is hard for us to grasp this, because we think of the church as centered in a building that stands in the neighborhood where its members live. But it has not always been so. For the first few centuries Christians met together in homes or in places where their secular occupations brought them together. Later, when buildings were built they were not built in local neighborhoods but at the crossroads of life – in the market towns or places near the central government. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages (400s to 1,400s) that the kind of parish church we know came into being.

It is important in our time to understand that the church doesn’t depend on a church building. In removing churches from homes and from centers of business and government where secular life brings Christians of all races and classes together, have we come to think that Christian faith and life have to do only with what goes on in a building on Sunday and a few times during the week when people of the same socio-economic groups come together?

As our society and world change, our lives are less and less centered in the neighborhood where we live. Many people find their friends, do their business, take their leisure and spend most of their lives outside the neighborhood where their homes are. If the church of God is wherever and whenever Christians come together for worship, study and service in the name of Christ, do we not just as surely go to church when we meet during lunch, when we join together during service projects away from our church building, when we meet for prayer or study in someone’s house?

My point is not to deny that the local church building is still very, very important. It is to emphasize that as our society and world continue to evolve and the neighborhood becomes less important in many person’s lives, the church doesn’t have to be less important. We are free and open to experiment with new forms of church, because the church is not a building. It is God’s people, whenever, wherever, and however we come together. When I think of Trinity Church, I don’t think only of 1205 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean, VA … that is an address. The church I think of is called, Molly, Eileen, Keith, Janey, Harriet, Michelle, Jerry, Peggy, Ray, William, Wayne, Reba, Jim, Leslie, Jose, Karen, Diane, Sandy, Margie, Dan, Philip, Joey, and so on — everyone at Trinity. God has strategically positioned our building address of Trinity Church in beautiful McLean, VA. One thing this means is that God needs you and me to be about the ministry of Jesus Christ, right here, right now, in this time and in this place. This is our mission post – from which all our missions and ministries flow. The people of God called Trinity Church assemble together to praise and worship God at a specific address every week. Here, we are equipped for mission and ministry. We then leave our church home address and return to our homes, our places of work and the market place. It is there we live out our faith in relationships among all the other churches we discover we are also members of.

Shalom,  Jim Sprouse

 

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.

 

A Hymn Reflection

By Jerry Rich, Director of Music

Now Thank We All Our God is a comforting hymn and classic anthem. Lutheran minister Martin Rinkart, who was inspired by verses from the Jewish book of wisdom Sirach, wrote its original 17th-century German text. Rinkart worked in the walled German city of Eilenburg during the Thirty Years’ War; the city, a sanctuary for war victims, was invaded three times and suffered overcrowding and famine. The Rinkart home cared for the needy despite his own family’s straitened circumstances. During the plague of 1637, Rinkart became the only surviving pastor in Eilenburg; that year he performed over 4000 funerals, including his wife’s.

Rinkart envisioned Now Thank We All Our God as a short prayer before meals. By the time the Thirty Years’ War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, it was being widely sung in Germany. The hymn’s stirring tune, attributed to Johann Crüger, was composed ca. 1647 and can be found in several of Johann Sebastian Bach’s church cantatas. Felix Mendelssohn created the now-standard harmonization in 1840 when he wrote his monumental Hymn of Praise; his version is now often sung in weddings and on occasions of national thanksgiving. Our musicians will offer music based on this chorale during Trinity’s October 27 morning services; we hope you will join us!

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.

Henny

* all pets invited, not just dogs!

 

Christian Spiritual Formation

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

September is Christian Education month. All of Trinity’s Sunday School classes begin afresh with the hopes of making disciples of Jesus Christ. It helps to set aside quiet time each day and on Sundays for nurturing your spirit’s needs.

The deep craving for spiritual nurture from classic Christian sources (church, Sunday School, etc.), and other religious traditions point to the inability of global capitalism to ultimately satisfy and save. People who are struggling to get their footing in a multicultural world desperately grab onto whatever looks like it will provide some stability, some guidance, some map for directing them to a moment of silence among the sound bites. Even within the Christian tradition, there is a bewildering abundance of spiritual offerings.

In the Christian East (Greek & Russian Orthodox), where the purpose of human life is intimacy with God, redemption and spirituality are closely linked. Deification, or theosis, is returning to a pure state of the soul in union with the Trinity, by a participation made possible through the incarnation. Salvation is a slow process of spiritual maturation in the purification of the soul – the overcoming of its corruption and a new life of power in goodness and virtue, because the process is slow, gradual images, symbols, and sacraments aid illumination and transformation.

In the Christian West (Roman Catholic), salvation became associated with avoiding the consequence of God’s wrath. The spiritual life developed from penitential disciplines. People needed to do something in order to quell their deep anxiety brought on by their anticipating the wrath of God. During the Middle Ages, the view was that through the sacrament of baptism, Christians regain their freedom to love and serve God, but much to their chagrin we still fail to do so.

Protestantism viewed certain devotional practices as suspect and turned instead to reclaiming the authority of Scripture for the Christian life, sort of interpreting and devouring the Word of God as eucharistic eating. The Reformers distinguished justification from sanctification more sharply, with salvation equated with justification and sanctification follows in time … classic John Wesley. Puritan spirituality was highly activist, focusing on individual integrity and sincerity of purpose and energetic execution of life’s little tasks.

All of us acknowledge the difficulty of cultivating a godly life in our current climate. A godly life requires tempering appetites titillated by advertising and consumer overload. Centering down at the foot of the cross and then standing at the empty tomb cannot happen when 200 images per minute of booming, gyrating music relentlessly numb the soul. It is difficult to discover one’s craving for release in God so long as an expanding economy requires that we crave money, sex and power. Not only do we then exploit the environment to support our habit, but also we exploit one another and ourselves spiritually as well. Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, once warned that spiritual health requires radically redirecting our cravings. Perhaps in this light, we can admit that the orthodox East, the orthodox West and the full garden variety of Protestant expressions of faith, all offer us spiritual paths to a deeper relationship with God, but also have their own demons, and different points of vulnerability.

Assuming that most who read this article on Spiritual Formation are United Methodist or some other Protestant expression of Christianity, exercise your devotional life by exploring the writings of East (Origen, Cyril, Ignatius, John Chrysostom) and West (Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Merton) orthodox theologians and enjoy your spiritual travels.

Shalom,  Jim Sprouse