We had a blast at Spring Fest! Church families, preschool families, and neighborhood families ushered in spring (despite the cold temperatures) with inflatables, the petting zoo, gaga ball, great music, and delicious food!
A special thank you to all who volunteered at this event!
Our 3M group began Beth Moore’s study of Esther on Wednesday, April 20: this study will conclude on Wednesday, June 1. Persons may join us anytime, we meet by Zoom, 6 – 730 PM. Contact Judy Oguich for the Zoom link.
If you are unfamiliar with the Psalms, or just curious, or interested in deepening your prayer experience, join us for a twelve-week study of the Psalms. We will be using the book, Prayers of the Heart by Eugene Peterson. As the author notes, the Psalms are poetry and prayer – tools not “for doing or getting, but for being and becoming.” Because the use of Psalms has “shrunk in our time to a mere remnant,” Eugene Peterson writes to help us recover them as indispensable tools for sharpening and exposing “the experience of being human before God.” Join us on Sundays in room 317 from 10-11 AM beginning March 27. If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Dwyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, our SPRC announced that the Rev. Brian Siegle has been projected by the cabinet and Bishop of the Virginia Conference to be Trinity’s Senior Pastor beginning in July. We asked him to introduce himself to Trinity and here’s what he writes:
“I am a preacher’s kid that didn’t want to be a pastor. But God’s plans are not always ours, and are always better! I am married to my wife, Holly, for 26 years. We met while students at Virginia Tech. I majored in Electrical Engineering and Holly in Human Nutrition and Foods. I received my Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, in Washington DC.
We have two wonderfully talented daughters. Lee is a graduate of UVA with a degree in global public health and lives in New Zealand working as a project manager improving substandard housing. Anna is in her third year at George Mason majoring in conservation and sustainability studies with a minor in nonprofit studies. We also have two dogs and three cats who keep us entertained.
I have been in ministry since 2002 when we came back to Virginia from South Carolina where Holly and I both worked on Kiawah Island. I have served 4 appointments in those 20 years, the most recent being at South Hill United Methodist Church for the last 7. Holly currently works as a unit secretary at a VCUHS-affiliated extended care facility. I served for many years on the Conference Board of Communications and the Annual Conference Planning Committee. I currently hold the conference position of Technology Director for the Annual Conference Session.
In a nutshell, I would say that my ministry passion is bringing together worship, preaching, teaching, and mission; making our faith our own, so that we can share it more genuinely and effectively with the world around us. This involves questioning, studying, and working together, all through the power and grace of God’s love.
I am a technology nerd: I tinker. I love sci-fi. I sing, play the string bass and guitar, and have occasionally shown up on a theatrical stage.
We are excited about being close to… everything!”
Pastor Brian will begin at Trinity in July. We look forward to welcoming and being in ministry with the Siegle family!
Written by Matt Benton, Pastor of Bethel UMC in Woodbridge, VA.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!
Theologian Kathryn Tanner says that God is the giver of all good gifts. That God’s essence; who God is and what God does, is to give us good things. The Psalms are such a gift from God. We have been looking at different Psalms throughout this Lenten devotional because the Psalms are a good gift given to us by God.
What we have seen as we have looked at different Psalms is simply how different the Psalms can be. There are Psalms for all of life’s occasions. Over the last few weeks we have encountered Psalms of praise, Psalms that declare God’s majesty and might and goodness, Psalms of victory, Psalms of pain, Psalms of the afflicted, Psalms for times of tragedy. We have even seen Psalms that call curses upon our enemies.
And what’s more we have seen that the Psalms were the prayerbook, not just of the Church, but of Jesus Christ Himself. These were the words said and prayed by God incarnate. When God came to be with us and among us in Jesus, the Psalms gave God-in-the-flesh words to narrate life and teach truth. These same Psalms that Jesus spoke to narrate his experiences can also be used to narrate our experiences; these same Psalms that fit the life of Jesus also fit our lives.
In the low parts of our lives, the Psalms are there to give words to our experience. And Jesus is there to pray those words along with us. To be present with us in moments of pain. That abiding presence is a good gift given to us by the giver of all good gifts.
And Jesus shares in our moments of triumph too. When we pray Psalms of praise and victory, Jesus is with us to pray and praise along with us.
But what’s more, not only does Jesus come to pray with us, but we pray along with Jesus. Not only does Jesus share in our experience of life, but we come to share in his experience, too.
We saw on Good Friday that as we prayed Psalm 22 along with Christ, we were united with him in his suffering.
And today, we pray Psalm 111 with Christ. And share in his victory.
Psalm 111 is a Psalm of praise to God for God’s amazing works. Psalm 111 begins, “Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.” Psalm 111 is quoted twice in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel: Mary puts a line from Psalm 111 in the Magnificat as she sings about the greatness of God in coming to be with us in Christ and Zechariah quotes Psalm 111 as he sings about the miracle that is the birth of his son John.
Psalm 111 is a song we sing on Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. We sing this Psalm as God comes to us in Christ and we sing this Psalm as God defeats sin and death in Christ. We sing great are your works, God. Majestic are your deeds. For our God is gracious and compassionate. Our God hears the cry of those in need. Our God acts decisively and victoriously on our behalf. Our God is great. Our God is good.
We pray this in celebration of Christ’s victory. And as we celebrate Christ’s victory, we are made to share in that victory. We are present with Christ in his victory.
God is the giver of all good gifts. God has given us the Psalms to be our prayers throughout our lives; God has given us the gift of God’s abiding presence with us all our days. And God has given us to share in God’s victory in Christ over sin, over death, over evil, over wickedness. Our God has won! And because our God has won, we, too, have won. Because of the resurrection, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Today is our victory day.
Today we sing:
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! Alleluia. Amen.