Meet Our Staff
Rev. James E. Harrington
What a joy it is to serve as the Pastor of Friendship United Methodist Church, a church that has been so instrumental in my spiritual growth and helping me discern my call to pastoral ministry. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to serve at such an exciting time in the life of this congregation.
I am a local boy who grew up in Falls Church. Although I was not raised in the church, God placed many Christian believers along my path to nurture and guide me on the journey. While attending college at Virginia Tech, I became connected with a small group that forever changed my life. Much in the Wesleyan spirit, this group instilled in me the importance of the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, praying together, and mutual accountability in small groups. Youth ministry and discipleship have long been important focuses in my ministry.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. " (Hebrews 10:24-25)
B.S. in Computer Science, 1991 – Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
M.S. in Computer Science, 1995 – The Johns Hopkins University
Professional Certification in Youth Ministry, 2009 – Virginia Conference UMC
M.Div., 2016 – Wesley Theological Seminary
I was raised in the church and was married at Graham Road UMC in 2015 where our daughter also attended preschool. Our family attended a Trunk-or-Treat event here at Friendship UMC and loved the atmosphere and welcoming environment. We became members of Friendship in 2017.
I have owned my own business making custom apparel, gifts and more since 2017. Above all I’m a wife and a mom to two girls. My favorite time of year at church is the fall through the New Year - when so many amazing memories are made through Friendship's many great events. I'm looking forward to contributing to the church in many ways!
Director of Music Ministries
My name is Lisa Tyler and I am very excited to serve as Friendship UMC’s Director of Music Ministries!
I was blessed to have been brought up in a musical family. My father was Lt Col Gilbert H. Mitchell, Jr., who served as Associate Conductor of The United States Army Band. His service spanned the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.
When not practicing piano, I loved reading and exploring our Alexandria, VA neighborhood. Eventually I attended and graduated from the the. J.E.B. Stuart High School here in Falls Church.
By that time, I was studying organ, primarily under William Neil of the NSO. I continued organ studies in college at Michigan State University and the Juilliard School of Music but eventually settled on an English major, graduating with both a BA and and an MA in the subject.
I have been blessed to serve many churches, including Wesley UMC in Alexandria and Grace UMC in Manassas. Besides playing and conducting church music, I love to concertize, both as an organ soloist and with other instrumentalists. I have had the chance to perform locally at National City Christian Church, The Franciscan Monastery, National Presbyterian Church, St. Luke Catholic Church, St. Andrew the Apostle in Clifton, Chevy Chase Presbyterian and the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
My philosophy of church music is of maximum participation!! We are called to make a joyful noise and raise our voices in praise and thanks. If you would like to share your musical talents and gifts in any way I would be delighted to meet you and help make that happen. Children are absolutely welcome in this regard! Stay tuned for more formal children’s music opportunities.
“Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150)
When words fail, we have music to express the inexpressible love God has for us and that we do our best to return to Him.
Hello! Since childhood, I have felt the hand of God guiding me to sacred music ministry. As a child, I sang in children's choirs and took piano lessons at Calvary UMC in South Arlington; at age 14, I was chosen to be apprentice organist to Lois Matthews. I later studied with Peggy Kelly Reinburg and the NSO's William Neil. I have been serving as organist and various other music positions for over 50 years. I consider sacred music—both choral and instrumental—as both my calling and personal path of prayer and service.
It is my pleasure and privilege to serve as your organist and interim choir director.
As of this date, I have been married to Colin for 46 years and have 10 grandchildren. Besides music, I enjoy reading, gardening, watching TV with my granddaughter Samantha (especially anime) and studying Japanese.
As a musician, the Psalms are close to my heart. Because they speak to all manner of human emotions and conditions, I cannot pick a favorite Psalm, but a few of my favorites are Psalm 8, 19, 51; 91. My faith journey has been influenced by authors, divine encounters in nature, relationships, and life experiences both bitter and sweet. I see God in sunsets, birds, flowers, trees, the wind, mountains, oceans, clouds, and a baby's smile.
"For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
Some of my favorite authors through the years include Corrie ten Boom, Kathleen Norris, Sue Monk Kidd, and Annie Dillard. Written on my Bible's front page:
"I believe God is in me, as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower, the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence." - Helen Keller
Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our path, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see. - Corrie ten Boom
"For Thee we were made, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee." - St. Augustine
I love being the preschool director at Friendship Preschool! This is my 10th year on the job, both at Friendship and previously at Graham Road. Our preschool's philosophy is to foster a love of learning among students, with a focus on mutual respect, fun, and kindness towards everyone. I always tell parents that if your child leaves our school with a love of books and a kind heart, we have done our job.
Friendship Child Care Center Director
I have been a child educator for 26 years. I love children! I have no child of my own but thanks to God for calling me to serve 40 of his beautiful little children through the Friendship Child Care Center.
"Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs." (Matthew 19:14)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Associate in Business Office Administration
Various Early Childhood Provider training and certificate programs:
- Institute for Early Learning, Fairfax County Office for Children
- Better Kid Care
- Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network
Angel has served as the custodian of Friendship UMC since 2017, caring for various aspects of building cleaning and upkeep. Friendship is blessed to have Angel as part of our team.