By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor
Here are some concerns our Next Level Innovation weekend, October 20-22, is designed to address. Did you know there are hundreds of thousands of persons living in northern Virginia who have no church home? Barna and other church research groups place the percentage of persons without church affiliation between 50 & 60%. Trinity and the NLI Team want to open its arms and reach out to this growing community of persons seeking, but not finding the right place to meet their spiritual needs. Even before we reach out to these persons we already know lots about them.
Persons who are seekers of church homes or new church homes tend to fit the following profile:
- They prefer worship services that are shorter, well designed and have a lively flow and tempo, not necessarily held in a sanctuary; often a fellowship hall is preferred.
- They prefer loud, upbeat, faster paced pop/contemporary music sound.
- Their loyalty is won through excellence in ministry and adult education.
- They require a community of faith to help them sort out the hurts in their lives through practical messages, classes and small groups.
- They prefer short-term opportunities, activities and commitments.
- They prefer a focus on local ministries rather than far away places.
God has blessed our Trinity Church with some of the finest lay and clergy leadership in the country. The time is very right for us to intensify our outreach to persons seeking a church home. I request that you support our Next Level Innovation weekend with your prayers. Encourage and guide our leaders with your ideas and suggestions. Offer your own time, spiritual gifts and, when possible, your financial resources to help make this ministry a powerful witness for Jesus Christ in the United Methodist tradition.
Remember, our Next Level Innovation weekend is October 20-22. Lots of things will be happening but we need you on Saturday the 21st for the all-important visioning session from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. We will serve you lunch and child care is available when you register. YOU are necessary so we can clearly hear what God is already doing in this church, and hear what God is challenging us to do next.
We need to hear from younger, older, families, singles, leaders and non-leaders. We want to fill Langley Hall with 100 people because your voice matters. We understand that Saturdays in the fall are busy, but I hope you will choose to spend October 21 with us for this very important moment in Trinity Church’s life. So please respond with your participation. To sign-up, please visit our website: umtrinity.org/get-involved/nli.
Next Level Innovation Weekend
Next Level Innovation and a Bible Story
By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise person who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)
Did you hear about the leaning tower of San Francisco? The Millennium Tower is a 58-story, 645-foot tall condominium building located in downtown and was completed in 2009. The building cost over $350 million to build, and penthouses sold for over $13 million per unit. However, in 2016, the residents were notified that the building had sunk 16 inches and the top of the building is tilting 6 inches toward the northwest. The main reason is that it’s built on sand using a foundation method called friction piles.
I’m sure there are other factors that contributed to this grave situation but I can’t help but wonder, how can this story relate to Jesus’ words? What does he mean by practicing his teachings so that our lives (house) can withstand all the disturbances from natural elements?
Going back to the Millennium Tower, building on sand using friction piles is a common way of construction. A more secured method is to dig all the way down to the bedrock for a secure foundation. Many modern buildings use friction piles because they’re less costly and are aligned with building codes. However, for the Millennium Tower, the builders say that due to heavy construction activities around the building and pumping out millions of gallons of underground water contributed to the unusual condition of rapid sinking.
How can Trinity build disciples to be founded on solid bedrock so that when there are storms of life, winds of doubt, and disturbances in our environment, our houses can stand tall and secure? I’m sure you have many suggestions that will aptly apply to your situations. In addition, I would like to suggest for Trinity that we should be more intentional about being faithful in living out as a community of faith. This could mean consistent attendance in church where you’re connecting with other Trinity members worshiping, learning and growing. Also, this could mean that you say hello to members you haven’t seen in a while. This could mean a whole lot of things that help us dig deep and put into practice the teachings of Jesus. I’m really excited about the future of Trinity and going forward with you!
by Catherine Wethington
The 5-man Contemporary Christian indie rock band MercyMe released the song Greater in 2014 on their Welcome to the New album. They have had 13 songs at the top of the Christian Contemporary Billboard, have won many awards and been Grammy-nominated numerous times. They have released 18 albums and have been praising God and sharing His word since 1994. I love this piece for our Youth Choir because it allows us to dig deeper into praise worship. The lyrics in the piece are particularly poignant and encouraging for our youth who struggle with fitting in and feeling like they are enough, reminding us that “He calls [us] redeemed, when others say [we’ll] never be enough. And greater is the One living inside of [us] than he who is living in the world.” This is a song that you’ll be humming for days, that will lift you up and bring you closer to understanding His love for us—give it a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXI0B4iMLuU
Don’t forget, there’s always time to join Youth Choir- feel free to join us anytime you’re available!
By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor
Stewardship Goals for Children’s Education
Starting this fall, we will reintroduce offering time for children during the Children’s Message at 10:30 worship service. We will collect funds for Heifer International and Heart to Heart Children’s Village in Honduras. There will be offering goals for the year and updates on our progress towards those goals. I was not here when our previous Director of Christian Education, Amy Crisp, started it, but I heard from many parents and children that this was one of the elements of our worship service that felt relevant to students in terms of giving.
Besides this, there are a couple of other reasons for bringing it back. First, one of Trinity’s missions is to help parents raise sacrificial and socially active children. This offering demonstrates to children that their monetary contributions go to causes that alleviate poverty and suffering. Second, giving in a worship context not only continues the tradition of giving, but also strengthens a sense of celebration and community building through stewardship.
For the first goal, let’s go for something high. Therefore, what about donating a heifer which costs $500?! Let’s do this!
Active Youth Group
The youth group had an assessment session during the summer regarding our activities and events. We reviewed all our activities for the year and established parameters for the coming year. There are two important points of consensus. One, we want to do more outreach events. Two, we want to do activities outside of the church utilizing resources available in the greater DC area. Therefore, at least once a month, the youth group will be engaged in outreach projects and/or activities at another location.
The outreach projects that we’re considering are:
- Good Works Day at Trinity
- Rise Against Hunger event (formerly Stop Hunger Now)
- Feeding homeless at Franklin Park in DC
The outside activities under consideration are:
- Visiting DC museums
- District Lock-in event
- Activities with other United Methodist congregations
The master calendar for youth will be available at our youth group meeting at 5 p.m. on September 10. I’m truly excited about the coming year!