November Music Ministry

RICH-JERRY-9by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

In recognition of All Saints Day, the Chancel Choir will sing three selections from Gabriel Fauré’s serene and consoling Requiem at the 10:30 service on Sunday, November 3:

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.

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.

In acknowledgment of God’s countless gifts to us, Trinity’s bell choirs will play two songs of thanksgiving at the 10:30 service on Sunday, November 17:

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us: Nancy Tipton’s version of William Bradbury’s 1859 melody reveals our gratitude to Christ, the Good Shepherd who cares for his flock.

My Jesus, I Love Thee: Charles Maggs’ hushed setting of Adoniram Gordon’s 1876 hymn tune expresses our thanks to Jesus for purchasing our pardon on Calvary.


November Youth News


by Chris Abel, Youth Director

I’ve recently begun to read poetry. A friend of mine introduced me to Jack Gilbert, who has published world-renowned poetry for decades. I find this kind of written format fascinating because at times it’s barely distinguishable as poetry at all. It may have rhyme and measure. It may not. It may tell a story. It may not. It may make sense to the reader. It may not. So when Gilbert was asked why he writes, this is what he said. “I want to experience or discover ways of feeling that are fresh. I love it when I have perceived something fresh about being human and being happy.”

I resonate with his ambitions because this is the same reason I’m in ministry. I want to help our students experience faith, community, and Scripture in ways that reveal something about being human and being happy. Whether it’s traveling to Tennessee for mission work, or pumpkin carving, laser tag, and lock-ins, each of these is poetic in its unique ability to experience a novel moment. These events matter and the relationships formed matter. Life as a teenager is no easy task, and ministries like ours provide an extra layer of depth to see God and others in a new light.

Want to see the updated youth group schedule? Check out Thanks!

Silence Is Golden

By Amy L. Crisp, Minister of EducationCRISP-ANDREW-113

Do you feel like you are constantly rushing from one place to the next? Continually going through the day without stopping?

Our culture has taught us that we must squeeze every ounce of productivity out of our day. We must multi-task. We must get everything done that we possibly can. So we rush from one thing to the next. We are quick to arrive and quick to leave.

Rarely are we truly present. Rarely do we slow down enough to experience the holiness of our lives and those around us. Because we rush through life so quickly, we miss out on the beauty of God’s good creation, of God’s activity in our lives.

But the good news is, God provides a way for us to slow our pace – prayer. Prayer helps us to calm the busyness of our lives, to contemplate the everyday miracles happening all around us, to be open to hearing God’s still, small voice.

 “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

We have recently begun worshiping in the Celtic tradition at Trinity UMC. A Celtic Evensong and Communion service is held on the last Sunday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Chapel. It is a time for us to slow down, to breathe in God, and for God to breathe into our souls providing refreshment and rejuvenation.

Do not be afraid of the silence and stillness that comes with this prayerful way of worshiping. It might seem awkward at first, but allowing for silence leaves room for God. In silence, we notice our own bodies and feelings. We become attentive to what is happening in the present. We are reminded that God is with us, and we are given the energy we need to go into the world with God.

May I Pencil You In?

GILMER-EILEEN-26By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

I love this time of year at the church. The children are fully entrenched in school. Those we missed seeing over summer vacation are starting to return. People are getting into more predictable schedules. Here’s something to consider. Does Trinity fit into your regular routine?

Churches have a lot more competition for your attention than we once did. It used to be that you went to church because, well, you just did. That was before kid’s soccer practice, work, shopping malls and cable TV became our direct competition for your time. You’re pulled in too many directions, right? So much for the formerly-known-as-the-day-of-rest 24 hours.

I see my job as your Associate Pastor as being the big red pen in the Day Planner of your spiritual life. Simply put, my challenge is to make you WANT to find time to come to Trinity. Good thing I love a challenge!

This is a perfect time to join us. Whether you’d like to ease into a Sunday church schedule, are looking for a great Bible study that will enlighten without making you feel inadequate, or want to volunteer in the church or community, you’ve come to the right place.

If you want to find out more, let me know. My calendar is open.



Living One Faith in a Plural World

SPROUSE-JIM-88A Message from James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

Have you taken a stroll at Tyson’s Corner recently? As you walk through the mall, how many different languages do you hear spoken? How many different cultures do you encounter? How many persons from other religious traditions are right before your eyes? We live in a world growing more religiously plural by the hour. How do you and I live in a world where we ask what the yogas mean for Hindus; what is Buddha’s goal of blissful unconcern; what is Confucius’ ideal of the gentle soul; what are Islam’s Five Pillars; what do the Exodus and Yom Kippur mean to Jews; and what is the Good News to the world about this Jesus Christians claim is Messiah?

As Christians we are required to develop a respectful appreciation for faith traditions not our own, even though we may not always agree with their teachings. Sometimes I think the best that can be hoped for is that we learn to understand them as faiths of real people, people who ask similar basic questions, and are fellow seekers of a more illumined life.

What is to be the relationship of all these world religions to each other on our little planet? That is the question. There are three answers which suggest themselves at first blush. The first answer is: In the midst of all the religions of the world there stands one so incomparably superior that no significant religious truth is to be found in any of the other others.

A second answer to the question of relation between religions is that in all important respects they are essentially the same. Does each not contain some version of the Golden Rule? Do they not all regard human self-centeredness to be the source of trouble and contention? Some claim that all truth essential to salvation can be found, to one degree or another, in all the great religions.

A third possible answer to the question of the relation between religions is best defined in contrast to the other two: It doesn’t find all religions saying the same things; superficially they may all look similar, however, on deeper levels they all part ways.

You can probably locate yourself in at least one or two of the traditional answers given. The great religions of the world have much to say to each other, and current events constantly beg us to enter dialogue at a time when human spiritual life and human rights issues face severe threats from nationalism, materialism, and phony religious conformity. The future of our planet stands in urgent need of immediate, sincere, soul-searching conversation.

My mind tells me we must listen to the faiths of others… even when I assume they don’t have any truth to convey that can’t be found in Christianity. My heart tells me I live on a planet where no single tradition will ultimately dominate, but that one day we’ll worship in spirit and truth. Daily our world grows smaller, leaving mutual understanding and respect as the only foundation on which peace can build a home. My mind tells me that we are not ready to embrace a notion of equality of all nations. My mind reminds me of our tendency to identify much that is familiar with what is superior. Yet, my heart goads me with the notion that much of my life has been lived in a century heralding scientific achievements but they must be matched by comparable achievements in human relations and human rights. My heart yearns for understanding among the world’s religions that brings mutual respect. And mutual respect prepares the way for a higher power – Love; and love is the only power able to quench the flames of fear, suspicion, prejudice and hatred.

My mind tells me understanding can lead to love. My heart tells me love leads to understanding. Perhaps the two are reciprocal. As a Christian pastor I must be true to my own faith. My mind tells me there is no greater way to depersonalize the other world’s faith traditions than to speak to their followers without ever listening. My heart reminds me that I must “Do unto others as I would have them do unto me.”



The Electronic Version of The Spire

I should add the word IMPROVED in that title. This blog site is created to hold the electronic version of our monthly newsletter. Now, I will post each article as an individual blog posting. When I set up the e-mail for members to receive, it will contain snippets of each article with a direct link to the articles.

The pdf version (which is our Print Copy) will still be available in the e-mail and on our website.

Please bear with me as I explore these technologies.