From Pastor Neil’s Study

The Christian season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday (February 17, 2021), is a 40-day season of spiritual preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection at Easter (April 4, 2021). (Sundays are always feast days and are not included in the 40 days of Lent.) For centuries, Christians have been using Lent to reflect on their need for God’s saving grace and to intentionally practice Spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible reading and study, fasting, worship, sacrificial giving, and service.

As you embark on your Lenten journey, I hope you will make time to observe Lent by setting aside time to nurture your relationship with God. At Trinity, you will have weekly opportunities to reflect on the gift of God’s grace offered through Jesus Christ and deepen your relationship with God. We’ll be preaching a series of sermons and I’ll be offering a companion discipleship study called, Teach Us To Pray.  In the sermons and the study, we will use the example and teaching of Jesus in The Gospel According to Luke to learn how to pray – or to grow in our ability to pray. One of the things we’ll discover is that there are more examples of Jesus praying in Luke’s Gospel than the other three combined. Jesus set an example for his disciples to follow. There are important lessons to learn. That’s why I’m going to challenge the entire Trinity Church family to read the whole of the Gospel as we worship and study together.

In the coming weeks, our online worship will continue, including an online Ash Wednesday service, as we look forward to gathering in-person. Look for details about Ash Wednesday and other services, programs, and events in upcoming bulletins and weekly announcements. I hope that you will join us for worship and for the study, but even if you are not able to attend a single activity, I hope you will make your relationship with God a priority in your life. Make time every day to connect with God in silence, solitude, and stillness. Read the Gospel. Think about the people in need—in our church, community, and around the world—and prayerfully offer some of your time and resources to help them. The five (5) commitments we make as members of the Body of Christ will change your life if you let them: worship, grow, service, share, and give. Keeping those commitments is a wonderful way to observe a Holy Lent.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

In Christ,

Pastor Neil

Worship at Trinity (2021)

With the continued rise in Coronavirus cases, we are continuing to offer worship and other ministries online. See below for those options. As the weather warms and more people are vaccinated, our pastors will consider some outdoor in-person worship opportunities. While we miss worshiping in-person together, we feel it is our calling to ensure the healthy and safety of all persons.

Lent—Holy Week—Easter 2021

On Youtube, Facebook & Zoom

Key:

F       Facebook (facebook.com/TrinityUMCMcLean)

Y       Youtube (youtube.com/UMTrinity)

Z       Zoom, Meeting ID shown (all Zoom passwords are 1205)

DateEventPlatform
SundaysWorshipF, Y
SundaysChildren’s Education Activities : http://umtrinity.org/children
Mondays, 7 p.m.Engage Bible Study on Zoom: Contact Jim Wilson, jaswilson@sloflt.com
Tuesday, 10 a.m.Bible StudyZ: 894 8087 9762
Wednesdays,
7 p.m.
Bible StudyZ: 886 5257 6837
Wednesdays,
10 a.m.
Prayer GroupZ: 875 6105 5580
Wed., Feb. 17 9 a.m.Ash WednesdayF, Y
Sun., Feb. 28 Sun., March 28 5 p.m.Celtic ServiceF, Y
Thurs., April 1 7 p.m.Maundy ThursdayF, Y
Fri., April 2 7 p.m.Good FridayF, Y
Sun., April 4 6 a.m. 10:30 a.m.EasterF, Y
Sunday, Feb. 14
1 – 2 p.m.
We will have individual packs of ashes available for each family.
 

March 21 (tent.) Holy Week Worship Pick-Up

We will distribute palms and communion elements at this drive thru event.

Palm Sunday               March 28                                       worship online

Maundy Thursday      April 1                                       worship online

Good Friday                 April 2                                       worship online

Easter Sunday            April 4                                       worship online

Possible worship services in-person at 7 & 10:30 a.m.

See above table for online worship details.

Pastors and the HCT are exploring other outdoor opportunities as the weather warms up. Look for announcements for more opportunities.

From Pastor Neil’s Study

I once knew a man who hated receiving presents. It wasn’t that he was a modern-day Scrooge. He just didn’t want his family and friends to waste money getting him stuff. He had what he needed and didn’t want or need anything else. I never saw him do it, but I heard that if someone brought him a wrapped gift, he would refuse to open it. He was a faithful, generous Christian man, but he was stubborn. And I think he took pride in being stubborn.

What he didn’t realize was that by not accepting gifts, he was hurting the people closest to him. His wife, children, and grandchildren would get upset when he refused their gifts and thought he didn’t care about their feelings. He thought he was helping, but in reality, he was not. I haven’t seen this man in years, but I hope he has learned to appreciate the joy in the eyes of his grandchildren when he receives the gifts they offer him.

Sometimes, in our attempt to de-emphasize the commercial aspects of Christmas, we say that Christmas is not about receiving gifts. We say Christmas is the “season of giving.” But I think Christmas is a season for receiving as well as giving.  The truth is that, even though it’s not our birthday, God gives us gifts at Christmas. And God is pleased when we receive the gifts God gives us. That’s why our Advent and Christmas theme will be The Gifts of Christmas. The season of Advent starts on November 29. I hope you’ll join us for worship online every week and discover what they are; and I also hope you’ll be willing to receive the gifts that God offers you.

Because Christmas is about receiving and giving, and because it’s not our birthday, I want to encourage you to share the blessings you’ve received from God with someone who needs some help right now. You can support Trinity Church financially and help fund Trinity’s Mission and Outreach programs. You can support SHARE of McLean or Christ House or another local helping organization — the needs are great. You can share God’s blessings through the simple act of offering love and kindness to a friend or a stranger. There are many ways to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Anne and I feel blessed to be part of the Trinity Church family and are looking forward to spending Advent and Christmas with all of you.

Rob, Andrew, and Emily join us in wishing you a safe, healthy, and blessed Advent, Christmas, and New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Neil

Advent – Christmas 2020

On Youtube, Facebook & Zoom

Key:

F       Facebook (facebook.com/TrinityUMCMcLean)

Y       Youtube (youtube.com/UMTrinity)

Z       Zoom, Meeting ID shown

DateEventPlatform
SundaysWorshipF, Y
SundaysChildren’s Education Activities :
http://umtrinity.org/children
Mondays, 7 p.m.Engage Bible Study on Zoom: Contact Jim Wilson, jaswilson@sloflt.com
Tuesday, 10 a.m.Bible StudyZ: 894 8087 9762
Wednesdays,
7 p.m.
Bible StudyZ: 886 5257 6837
Wednesdays,
10 a.m.
Prayer GroupZ: 875 6105 5580
Tues., Dec. 8,
7 p.m.
Honduras Mission InformationZ: link will be included in E-News
Sun., Dec. 13Lessons & CarolsF, Y
Dec. 24Christmas Eve WorshipF, Y
Sun., Dec. 27,
5 p.m.
Celtic ServiceF, Y

A Code-breaker’s Legacy at Trinity

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Have you ever looked at the Trinity Church prayer list? You can find it every week in our bulletin. In the list you will find the names of our church family members, loved ones and neighbors, and even people we’ve never met but know are in need of prayer (think: researchers for a Covid vaccine or front-line workers). If you haven’t, I invite you to include them in prayer. Each one makes the list for a reason. You can also join us on Wednesday morning’s at 10 a.m. for our Zoom prayer group. Check our weekly emails and bulletins on how to join the prayer group as well as Bible studies.

Last year, we had the name Dorothy “Dot” Bruce on our prayer list. We prayed for her on her 99th birthday and when she was ill before her death. Then we prayed for her family. If you’ve been a longtime member of Trinity, you probably know her son Jim Bruce and his wife Carol. What you probably don’t know is the remarkable life Dot lived. She was recruited by the U.S. military in World War II. She answered the call to serve in a top-secret group of code-breaking women. Dot and her colleagues were able to discover the locations of Japanese ships in the Pacific, as well as intercept enemy supply movements. There is likely no way to fully know the number of American servicemember lives that were saved, but it has been estimated their work shortened the war by two years.

Dot had been sworn to secrecy and she kept that oath for 70 years. It wasn’t until then that she discovered their work had been declassified. This allowed her to speak to an author about their code breaking and its impact on the war efforts. Liza Mundy wrote the book Code Girls in 2017; Dot is featured prominently as a central character. This amazing women was also an educator, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I know Jim and the rest of his family miss her greatly.

Now, the U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation to name a Chesterfield, VA, post office after Dorothy Bruce. She resided in an assisted living center near that post office. The legislation was authored by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who represents many of our Trinity members. If the bill makes it through the Senate, the new name for the post office will be the “Dorothy Braden Bruce Post Office Building.”

I tell you this story of Dot Bruce as we go into the Advent and Christmas seasons. I hope it serves as a reminder that those mentioned on our prayer list comprise more than an alphabetized recording of names. Each one represents a person—often a family—that is in need of, and is worthy of, all of our prayers. As we celebrate the coming birth of the Christ Child, may we honor his birth, life and teachings. After all, at the heart of most of Jesus’ teachings was the message to love and serve one another. Thanks to Dot Bruce, we are also reminded that each name carries a remarkable story of a loved child of God.

The Mind of Christ in Lent

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

Lent is probably the most widely observed season in the Christian year. Remember that Easter Day was originally the only day in the Christian year! The early Christians met weekly on the first day of the week to pray, break bread, and share in the apostles’ reminiscences of Jesus’ earthly ministry (Acts 2:42). Their meetings were characterized by an expectation of their Lord’s immediate, sudden return. In this ecstatic atmosphere, one did not do long-range planning and goal setting. Within the pages of the New Testament, we have indications that time was fast becoming a threat to Christian faith. Time, if it were not to be an enemy, had to be made a friend. It was through this domestication of time that the Christian year evolved.

Although the precise details of the evolution are impossible to know, the general outline is rather easy to discern. First, there was the weekly celebration of the Resurrection. This celebration was of the entire Paschal mystery: the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and Ascension, the gift of the Spirit, and the promise of the Lord’s return. There next emerged a special emphasis in the spring on the celebration of the Paschal feast in relation to the actual time of the historical event. This celebration extended itself back through the Crucifixion on Friday and the Last Supper on Thursday, thus creating the Paschal Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. We know that in Jerusalem the custom began having the bishop ride a donkey into the city on the Sunday before the Passion and so inaugurate that period of observance that we call Holy Week.

Penitential discipline came to be attached to Lent as the Church increasingly understood itself as the field where the wheat and the weeds grew together. A major disagreement in the second century had to do with how to deal with those who denied or betrayed the faith. Those who had sinned were expected to perform appropriate penance. It soon became customary for all Christians to use the Lenten period as a time for repentance of past sins and self-denial (hence, “giving things up” for Lent), even if their sins had not been of a major or notorious kind.

Lent, then, is not a prolonged meditation upon the Passion and death of Christ, a pre-extended Good Friday. The clue to the meaning of Lent can be found by looking at the two days that frame it, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On Ash Wednesday, it is customary in many congregations for persons to have ashes placed upon their heads while they are being told, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” In other words, we are confronted by the fact of our mortality in a vivid physical encounter. On Good Friday, we witness the death of another human being, and we are told that in this death we all have died. Lent is intended to end at the cross, but it begins with the human condition that we all share, and it takes on the character of a pilgrimage. We’re on a pilgrimage. Keep an account of what you observe along the way.

Jim

 

Out with the Old; In with the New Beginning

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Spring is almost here. It’s on Sunday, March 19. I can’t wait. I love spring and everything that it brings: flowers, more hours of daylight, and warmer weather (although I can’t complain about this winter). But mostly, I love knowing with spring comes Easter. Easter reminds us about renewal and life. We celebrate the God-come-to-earth in Jesus. We reflect on his self-sacrificing love, and we rejoice in our opportunity to live our lives reflecting his time on earth.

This is also a perfect time for spring cleaning. It’s not just about sorting through an out of control sock drawer or clearing out a hall closet. (Although getting rid of extra stuff in our lives can be a form of service if we donate useful items to those in need.) The spring cleaning I’m talking about is more spiritual in nature. It involves searching out the things that are holding us back from, or getting in the way of, our connection to God.

What is getting in the way of your spiritual life? What are the things that you need to pack up and deal with for once and for all? Maybe it’s guilt, envy or shame. Maybe it’s the need to forgive or to be forgiven by someone. Whatever it is, know that God is with you in your struggle. Your church family at Trinity is also here with prayer and support. Please know that Jim, Keith and I are always here to listen and pray with you if you need us.

I invite you to take stock of what’s important in your life and then act on it. I’ll see you Sunday.

 

March 2020 at Trinity

March 2 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

March 8 Martha’s Table Snack Making Sunday
March 8 Executive Council

11:45 a.m.

March 10 Book Chat

6:30 p.m.

Finding Dorothy, by Elizabeth Letts
March 21 Christ House
March 16 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

March 21 Christ House
March 28 Good Works Day

8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

See details below.
March 29 Celtic Service

5 p.m.

March 30 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Support our Preschool while eating at Chipotle on Wednesday, March 4. Visit the restaurant at 6707 Old Dominion Dr. in McLean between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tell them you are supporting the cause and 33% of the proceeds will be donated to Trinity Preschool of McLean.


Spring Good Works Day

Saturday, March 28

8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Trustees and Church & Society will host Trinity’s Spring Good Works Day on March 28, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. followed by a BBQ chicken lunch. Trustees will have the tools and supplies for helpers of all ability levels to work on inside and outside projects around the campus including the Fellowship Building and Trinity House. Drop in when you are able and join your friends for a morning of service that will enhance our campus and serve our neighbors, then stay for BBQ and fellowship. For more information please contact Wayne Detwiler for trustee projects (wdetwiler@trideum.com); William Liu for Church and Society projects (williamliu@att.net); and Reba Page for Trinity Cooks Crew (pagerann@hotmail.com).

Musical Offerings for Lent

Trinity’s Chancel Choir will present a just-published anthem in March (the distinguished composer Elaine Hagenberg’s comforting You Do Not Walk Alone) while bringing back several choir favorites: an Italianate Kyrie (created by the teen-aged Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart upon returning from his third stay in Milan), Thou Knowest, Lord, the Secrets of Our Hearts (a touching prayer written by Henry Purcell for the funeral of Queen Mary and sung at his own funeral in Westminster Abbey later that year), O God, Be Merciful to Me (a melodious miniature long attributed to the Renaissance master Lassus but now thought to be a 19th-century confection), Wondrous Love (an evergreen arrangement of this popular shape-note hymn by Marie Pooler), and O Love (also composed by Hagenberg). The Trinity Ringers’ Lenten offering will be Jason Krug’s dramatic setting of Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed (#294 in our Hymnal). If you’re thinking of joining one of Trinity’s adult choirs, now is a perfect time to attend a Thursday evening rehearsal* and see what we’re preparing for Easter!

 

* Trinity Ringers rehearses at 6:30 p.m. and Chancel Choir at 7:30 p.m. Contact Jerry Rich for more.

 

What is Lent?

Henny Gilmer, Trinity Church Mascot

A big hello to all the kids at Trinity Church. I’m Henny and I’m the church mascot. I’m so happy to have such great friends at Trinity.

Does is feel like we just celebrated Christmas? It was so much fun opening presents and hanging out with my family. I got a cool Frisbee for Christmas that I still play with almost every day. I can even catch it while it’s still in the air. But Christmas is over and do you know what season we are in now? If you guessed Lent, you’re right!

Lent is an important season. This is the time (forty days, not counting Sundays) leading up to Easter. Each day of Lent we are invited to take time to think about Jesus: what he did, how he lived his life and how much he loves us. Sometimes people go through Lent giving up something that they really like; this might be TV, or dessert, or time spent on the computer. All this is great, but there’s another way we can remember Jesus. Instead of giving up something, maybe you would like to honor Jesus by doing something. You could help out at home, eat lunch with a kid at your school who usually eats alone, or write a thank you note to someone who has been super nice to you (maybe one of your teachers).

The purpose of Lent is to have us remember all that Jesus has done for us and to prepare us for the celebration that is Easter.

Do you have a question for me? I’d love to answer it. Just send it to me at bit.ly/AskHenny.

Don’t forget my motto: Paws for Jesus!

Henny

February 2020 at Trinity

Finance Update: 2019 Contribution statements were mailed on Friday, January 31, 2020. The 2020 offering envelopes will arrive by mid-February. Please pick up your box from the Narthex or Fellowship Lobby. Or, easily and securely sign-up for electronic giving through our app or umtrinity.org/give.

Feb. 3 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Feb. 9 Martha’s Table Snack Making Sunday
Feb. 11 Book Chat

6:30 p.m.

Morning Star, by Ann Hood
Feb. 15 Christ House
Feb. 16 Trustees

11:30 a.m.

Feb. 17 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Feb. 23 Celtic Service

5 p.m.

Feb. 23 3rd Grade Bibles If your 3rd grader will be present to receive a Bible, Please contact
hlatta@umtrinity.org .
Feb. 25 Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

5 –7 p.m.

See graphic above for details
Feb. 26 Ash Wednesday worship

12 & 7 p.m.