Children and Youth at Trinity

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor
It’s been a long time since I communicated through The Spire and I am glad to say hello! Due to in-person gathering restrictions, we have not been meeting in-person but the church has been, and is still, going strong with activities and events. I would like to share some of the plans for Advent.
Advent Page
Pastor Neil’s wife, Pastor Anne, is also an elder in the United Methodist Church. Although she’s retired, she continues to carry out her call to serve God’s people. One of the ministries on her heart is Children’s Sunday School. For Advent, she will offer videos and crafts related to Advent. These videos and links for crafts will be available at
Make sure to view them with your children. I’m grateful for Pastor Anne’s dedication and service to Trinity’s children and their families.
Christmas Eve Family Worship Video
Regardless of our in-person worship status, the staff plans to provide a meaningful Christmas Eve Family Worship experience through the internet. One feature of the service is for families to share a precious memory or tradition from Christmas. It should be about one-minute length and describe Christmas memories or traditions. Please let me know if you would like to contribute ( I would love to hear your story and make this a unique Christmas celebration opportunity.
Christmas Tree Sales
Winter’s coming! That means our Annual Christmas Tree Sale is near! The Scouts and Trinity did not want to cancel it because many in the McLean community depend on us for their trees. When I sent out an email to gauge the Trinity youth group’s interest in holding it, thankfully, I received many enthusiastic responses. Thanks so much for your interest and willingness to participate in serving our community. To ensure everyone’s safety, we will provide guidelines such as wearing masks and keeping socially distanced. Also, we ordered 200 trees so that we can end the sale in two weeks. That means if you want a tree you should plan to come by the first weekend.
Tree Sales: Opening Weekend
November 27 – 29
Friday: Noon-5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
To help unload trees on Nov. 23 please sign up at:
All volunteers must bring a signed copy of the following document HealthAcknowledgementform__Scouting Update – 20201012.docx
To volunteer please go to:
Confirmation & Baptism Class of 2021
Confirmation Class 2020 held a Zoom service on June 7 and the video recording of the service was shared on the following Sunday. This class will have an in-person service when the situation allows. I will send out an announcement when the date is determined.
The Confirmation and Baptism Class of 2021 began in September! There are over twelve confirmands actively participating through the online platform. Some of the goals of the confirmands are drawing closer to God as well as becoming full members of Trinity. Please keep them in your prayers. As always, I’m so honored to be part of this journey with them.

Youth Group Schedule

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

VBS Aug 3-7

The dates for VBS 2020 will be Aug 3-7. The theme is Knights of the North Castle and according to its publisher, Cokesbury, the curriculum aims to “Go on a quest learning to grow strong in the strength of God’s power by exploring how we put on the armor of God.”

As always, we are recruiting volunteers. We already have a solid core but the excellence we have maintained over the years depends on a high number of volunteers. Also, youth volunteers play a vital role in keeping VBS fun, energetic and vibrant. The VBS prep team consists of Jen Fuqua-Calsyn, Andrea Hager, Melissa Harris, Harriet Latta, Marci Thomas, Melissa Witt and me. We will be meeting continuously leading up to August, so please keep us in prayer. To volunteer, please contact one of us for more information, and we will get you connected!


Youth Update-Introducing Ed & Will

I’m proud to announce Ed Booth and Will Todd will join the youth group as young adult volunteers. Ed was entering and Will was already in college when I came to Trinity five years ago. They always attended church when they were in town and kept in touch over the years. Both graduated this winter and have settled back in McLean. They expressed their desire to help with the youth group because they felt blessed by it when they were growing up and want to contribute to its growth and vitality. We are blessed and honored to have them as volunteers. Ed wants to help anyway possible, and Will wants to make the youth group as memorable and relevant as it was when he was growing up. Please thank and welcome them in this new role. Thanks Ed and Will!!



The confirmation class has been meeting faithfully. All the confirmands are a joy to be around and have been fantastic participants in this year-long journey. One of the goals of confirmation is integrating them into Trinity because once they are confirmed, they will be full members of Trinity with all the duties and rights. Please keep them in prayer because the class is heading to its conclusion with Confirmation Sunday and Banquet on June 14. They will make a presentation during worship and will read their faith statements during the banquet. Writing faith statements has been a great challenge in the past so please keep that as a prayer topic. The confirmands are Olivia Burgeson, Lily Calsyn, Catherine Dunn, Fiona Keough, Madison Turk, and Zach Yellen. If you see them in service, please welcome and encourage them as they journey on in the confirmation process.


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 (; William Liu for Church and Society projects (; and Reba Page for Trinity Cooks Crew (

Youth Group Schedule

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

Last month, our group made plans for the year. We decided to have two categories. One was for fellowship/fun events. The other was for outreach and service projects. Fellowship outings are important in maintaining and building relationships. These outings provide opportunities to form memories and experiences that will shape students’ faith journeys. The other important category was outreach and service projects. Our group felt that this was an important area and had many ideas. Also, some parents expressed the desire to increase opportunities for service projects. We listed some options and discussed their merits. We narrowed the list to the following below. We welcome greater participation by Trinity’s youth community at these events. Please take a look and join us soon!

Fellowship/Fun Events

April 5 Ice Skating

Skating might not be inviting when it’s cold outside. But when the weather warms up, and we miss the chill in the air, then skating should be fun.

May 17 Laser Tag

We had a great time with laser tag last time so we’re going again!

June 7 Bible Museum

July 13-26 King’s Dominion

The date is still up in the air depending on students’ availability and schedule.

Game Conference

If there is a fantastic game conference held in the area, we will consider it and announce the date. We’re waiting for more info from our game master before we decide.

Ski Trip

We went to Whitetail this January and had more than twenty participants. We’ll go again next year so look for announcements.

Outreach/Service Projects

Tree Sales

You know this will be in the list. Last year we sold all the trees in three weeks. We hope to do the same. Please plan on helping out starting Thanksgiving weekend!

Christ House Lunch Service Project

Christ House is a medical care facility for those who are homeless. It’s located in DC, and every third Saturday of the month a team from Trinity makes lunch and serves residents. Connie Jeremiah said that she would love to take a team from the youth group. Let me know if you’re interested in this service project.

Vacation Bible School

VBS is a vital ministry of Trinity that serves the greater McLean community. It’s not just a program but a great way to minister to 100+ children and their families. The end of July or first week of August are possible dates.

Honduras/Overseas Mission

This is still in planning stage but most likely the trip will be for one week right after the end of the school year on June 12. Look for more info.

Youth-Based Food Drive for SHARE

Trinity collects food for many organizations, and SHARE is one of them. We thought that we could sponsor one. Most likely, we’ll have one in September.

College Care Packages

The youth group has always helped send out college care packages. Our next shipment will be in February. Donations for food and postage costs will be appreciated.


January 2020 at Trinity

Get Involved at Trinity

Want to be more involved? Trinity Church is always in need of more volunteers. To sign up or learn more about these ministries, please contact the people listed:

Acolytes, Crucifers and Langley Bell Ringers (for children in 2nd – 12th grade)

Adult Choirs: Jerry Rich

Children’s Choir: Michelle Zenk

Children’s Sunday School Teachers: Melissa Harris

Greeters & Fellowship at 8:30: Karen Taylor

Greeters & Fellowship at 10:30: Kathy Maher

Ushers at 10:30: Vinnie & Sandy DeMicco

For other opportunities, please speak with one of the pastors.

Jan. 1 Office Closed  
Jan. 7 Staff Parish Relations Committee

7 p.m.

Jan. 12 Martha’s Table Snack Making Sunday
Jan. 14 Book Chat

6:30 p.m.

America’s First Daughter, by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoi
Jan. 15 Preschool Parenting Hour

9:30 a.m

Jan. 15 Staff Parish Relations Committee

7 p.m.

Jan. 18 Christ House  
Jan. 20 Office Closed  
Jan. 21 Celebration of Life: Len Holmberg

10 a.m.

Jan. 26 Celtic Service

5 p.m.

Jan. 30 Lunch & Learn for

11 a.m.

See graphic below

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

On November 21, a new film about Fred Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, debuted. As you know he’s the famous Mr. Rogers in the neighborhood. His show ran on PBS from 1968 to 2001. When his family bought a TV, he was won over. He wanted to use this new technology to communicate, so when he graduated from college he worked for NBC as an assistant producer and a floor director on various shows. He quit working for NBC because he didn’t approve of the channel using children in advertisements.

Soon he was working for a local public station in Pittsburgh on a show called The Children’s Corner. This eventually led him to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I’m sure his movie will give more insight and information about his life and mission. But here are some of his core beliefs that were part and parcel to his work.

First, he cared about the vulnerable which led him to children’s TV. He thought children didn’t know how to protect themselves and didn’t know how to filter harmful influences that were in media and society. Furthermore, he was appalled by the low quality of children’s programs during the early days of television. On one occasion, a pie was thrown at a man to make children laugh. He was upset that this was the level of children’s entertainment. He wanted something better for them.

Second, he believed in encouraging children. Anything that devalued children or one’s neighbors, including hyper consumerism or school pressure into early childhood, was concerning to Rogers.

Third, Rogers wanted to be authentic when he was being filmed. He said, “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away.” He made sure he was same on and off camera.

These core beliefs were not random, but were formed by his theology. When he was working in Pittsburgh he went to a local seminary during his lunch breaks and received a Master of Divinity degree. When he graduated and was ordained, the Presbyterian Church USA commissioned him to minister to children through TV.

His work and mission were based on his theology and love for children. He wanted to be a minister through this new medium. The greeting, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” was an extension of God’s commandment to love our neighbors.

The new film hopefully reminds us to practice our theology so that we are authentic caring neighbors to those around us. I pray your presence during the holidays continues to invite, “Won’t you be my neighbor,” declaring “I always wanted a neighbor just like you” to whoever you meet.


December 2019

Dec. 2 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Dec. 8 The First Christmas

10:30 a.m.

A Christmas Pageant Presented by Trinity Trebles
Dec. 8 Martha’s Table Snack Making Sunday
Dec. 12 Preschool Parenting Hour

9:30 a.m

Dec. 15 Lessons & Carols

10:30a .m.

Dec. 15 Youth Choir

11:30 a.m.

Meets in the Chapel for grades 7 –12
Dec. 15 Trustees Meeting

11:30 a.m.

Meet in Room 402
Dec. 16 Crafts for a Cause

7 p.m.

Dec. 18 Blue Christmas

7 p.m.

A service of remembrance
Dec. 24 Christmas Eve

Worship at 5, 8 & 10 p.m.

Dec. 24—26 Office Closed  
Dec. 29 Celtic Service

5 p.m.

Dec. 31 Office closes at 12 p.m.  
Jan. 1 Office Closed  

Read the latest news from long-time Trinity member and missionary, Betty Lou Bennett and her husband, Al. Betty Lou is the daughter of Louisa Arnold, for whom the Arnold Library was named.


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 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 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 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.

The Fault Is in Our Focus

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

In wanting to understand teenagers better, I started to read teen genre novels. One curious work was John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, a novel about teen cancer patients. It also deals with another weighty matter: theism vs atheism. In the first chapter, I was taken aback by its seemingly harsh criticism against Christians. For example, a minor character named Patrick, who is the leader of a teen cancer survivors support group, is a typical evangelical Christian who quips religious platitudes. The support group meets in a church basement on a floor decorated with a picture of Jesus’ heart, and Patrick emphasizes that they are literally in the heart of Jesus; this set up highlights the book’s critical view of literal Christianity. Moreover, Patrick’s testicular cancer diagnosis resulted in extensive surgery. He was literally and figuratively impotent. He had no spiritual, emotional, or social impact on the group.

I almost stopped reading because in some way the criticisms stung: many aspects of religion can be seen as a “Patrick.” But I continued because the main characters (Hazel and August) were fascinating and their insights gave perspectives into teenage cancer. Hazel makes this observation: “Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.” I loved these characters, so what could I do but read on?

And the criticisms kept coming. They were insightful, not bitter or cynical like the ones made by disillusioned atheists or agnostics. They made me cringe precisely because they were so right on. When I finished reading the book, I was conflicted. I liked the book, the characters, the plot, the theme, almost everything … except its searing criticisms against our faith. So, I googled the author wanting to better understand his gripe. To my utter surprise, he professes to be a Christian. He was once a student chaplain at a children’s hospital in Chicago (this experience inspired him to write the novel) and was enrolled but never attended Chicago University’s School of Divinity. He avoids being labeled as religious because fundamental adherents of religions appropriated the term and has given it a negative term.

In knowing this about the author, I understood the novel better. It was not a criticism on religion but on modern religious debate that tries to prove or disprove God. He expresses on his Youtube channel, “Debating the mere existence of God is a way of avoiding the deeper and more devastating question of how we are going to bring meaning to human life.” I agree in that the present religious debate does not bring enough attention to our responsibility to bring meaning to the human condition. That renewed focus can help bridge the divide between theists and atheists.


What’s New for Children’s & Youth Ministries

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

I hope you had a wonderful and memorable summer!

The academic year has started, and we’re excited about lessons, events and programs planned for 2019-20!

As always, we’re looking for ways to improve and enhance our children’s and youth programs. This year is no different; we have some changes and tweaks in store.

Community Time

On the first Sundays of the month, we have Communion. Therefore, on those Sundays, students end their lesson short and return to the Sanctuary to participate in Communion. Some teachers suggested a while back that we should have an assembly time on those Sundays to build community and to allow teachers a break. I’ve been mulling this idea for a couple of years and am ready to implement it.

On first Sundays, we will have one class assembly session to build community and fellowship. We’re calling it Community Time. For presentations, we’ll have puppet dramas, a lesson on Communion, SHARE, our Honduras mission team’s work, games and other activities planned. It should be a memorable community building time!

Calling for Presentation Speakers

For Community Time, we would like special speakers to give presentations to our students. In the past, we had scientists who talked about density. Another time, Marci Thomas shared about her experience in training Service Dogs. So if you have a topic to share, please give me a write (

Teaching Opportunity

We’re always looking for wonderful teachers who would love and care for our students. If you could teach once a month, please contact Melissa Harris ( or Andrea Hager ( for more info!

1st & 2nd Graders in Room 403

We’ve moved the classroom for 1st & 2nd graders from room 303 to 403. The new class is right next to Pre-K & K room on the upper level.

Youth Group Sundays

  • First Sundays: All Youth Gathering-It’s time for fellowship and spiritual recharge.
  • Second Sundays: Confirmation Session-Confirmands will gather for Confirmation. Youth are always invited to join.
  • Third Sundays: Youth Choir and Game Sunday-Michelle Zenk will lead the practice for Youth Choir in the Chapel while others will be in room 301 for a game session.
  • Fourth Sundays: Surprise Sunday-We’ll plan special activities depending on the season and requests.