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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised May 20, 2016

Trinity Sunday
Worship Services at 9:30 and 11:00 am

Sunday, May 22

May 22 is Trinity Sunday! To celebrate, we will have three reflections in worship -- one each about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Join us as we hear from Pastor Lindsey, Pastor Fairman, and our Music Director Craig Stapert as they share their perspectives on each person of the Trinity!

This Week

Book Group: Children of the Stone

Sunday, May 22

Please join the Little River UCC Book Group as they discuss Children of the Stone, by Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree. This story chronicles Ramzi’s journey – from stone thrower to music student to school founder—and shows how, through his love of music, he created something lasting and beautiful in a land torn by violence and war. This is a story about the power of music, first, but also about freedom and conflict, determination and vision. It’s a vivid portrait of life amid checkpoints and military occupation, a growing movement of nonviolent resistance, the prospects of musical collaboration across the Israeli-Palestinian divide, and the potential of music to help children everywhere see new possibilities for their lives. See you in Room 7 on Sunday, May 22 from 12:15-1:30 pm.

New Member Information Sessions

Sunday, May 22 and Sunday, June 5

Are you are feeling God’s gentle tug to share more deeply in the ministry of Little River UCC?

If so, you are invited to come and share in our New Member Information Session on Sunday, May 22 or Sunday, June 5 from 1:00-3:00 pm. Childcare and light snacks will be provided. This gathering is offered to help familiarize “Friends” with the many faces of the ministry at Little River UCC. At the conclusion of the session, you are invited to join in membership with the congregation. If you have any questions about membership at Little River UCC, please call us at the church office. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to the session by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, May 23

From The Great Courses, Professor Gary A. Rendsburg focuses on the book of Genesis. This course of 24 lectures allows for numerous avenues of inquiry. Discussions are led by Richard Davidson. Please join us at 10:00 am in Room 8 on Monday, May 23 for the last session of this season.

Men's Fellowship Group

Monday, May 23

The Little River UCC Men's Fellowship Group will have their first event on Monday, May 23 at 10:30 am at the First Watch Restaurant in Fairfax at the Fair City Mall just off Route 236. Interested in participating? Please contact Tom Ross at (202) 329-8641. Good food, fellowship and discussion.

Next Week

One Service at 10:00 am Begins for the Summer

Sunday, May 29

Please note that beginning next Sunday, May 29 until the end of summer we will have one 10:00 am worship service only.

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, May 29 and June 12

Please join us on Sunday, May 29 at 9:00 am and Sunday, June 12 at 11:30 am in Room 8 as we explore Meditation as a contemplative practice that helps to quiet the mind. We will have a brief guided meditation followed by sharing about the experience. Questions? Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

All-Church Work Day -- Rain or Shine

Saturday, June 4

We're doing some spring cleaning and we need your help to keep our church looking its best! The Board of Trustees has scheduled a Spring Work Day on Saturday, June 4 to clean up the church grounds and accomplish some interior cleaning and simple repairs. The list of tasks is provided here.

A top priority is to clean up the church grounds, but if the weather does not cooperate we will move indoors and work on cleaning and simple repairs, particularly in the Sanctuary and Narthex. There will be plenty to do, rain or shine!  Please sign up for Work Day tasks in the Narthex.

The Board of Trustees hopes to set up teams of two to four people for each task. The supplies and tools needed for each task are listed. Some supplies and tools will be provided by the Board of Trustees. Depending upon the task, you are asked to bring to bring gloves, eye protection, garden tools and/or household cleaning supplies.

Please stop by between 9:30 am and 2:00 pm to help and bring a bag lunch, if you like (drinks will be provided).

Only have an hour? Come anyway! There will be plenty of work and LRUCC could really use your help.

Don't have tools or supplies? Come anyway! Board of Trustees will provide the tools and supplies for several tasks.

Questions about the work day tasks? Or, a work day project to suggest? See Trustees, Mike Nagy and Ben Northrup, or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Save the Date

Honoring our Graduates

Sunday, June 5

On Sunday, June 5, we will honor members of our church family who graduated this spring or have done so since last June. This includes graduates from high school, college, technical school, or graduate school. If that describes you or a family member, please notify the church office in writing as soon as possible. Please include the graduate’s name, school and degree, relationship (if not a Little River UCC family member) and, for high school graduates, whether they will continue their education, military service, etc. Also, please let the office know about any address changes for graduates listed in the church directory. Please email this information to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it before Wednesday, June 1.

Celebration Sunday and Picnic

Sunday, June 5

Please join us in worship on June 5 at 10:00 am, as we celebrate Faith Formation at Little River UCC! Come see what we’ve learned this past year, and help us reflect on how we travel together on this life-long journey. We’ll offer reflections on the question, “Why do you go to church?” and challenge you to answer as well!

After worship, we'll gather on the patio to share food and fellowship (and indoors if the weather doesn't permit outdoor socializing)! The church will supply BBQ and drinks, but we'd love volunteers to bring side dishes and desserts. No need to sign up -- just bring your favorite dish and join us for celebrating the start of summer and honoring our Graduates and dedicated Faith Formation leaders.

Intersections: Sacred Conversations on Race

Sunday, June 5

We are a congregation founded and grounded in affirming all people regardless of race and ethnicity. To deepen the Sacred Conversation on Race and learn how race intersects with many justice issues, we will gather on Sunday, June 5 at 11:00 am in Room 8 for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism.

This month, we welcome all to the conversation, as we refocus ourselves on the continuing issues in our community, nation, and world that result from Racism. This will be our last meeting before the summer break, which we have not been able to take in the last two years. We will look at what we can celebrate in racial and social justice, and what we need to continue our focus and concern. Please come, and add your voice to the conversation. Looking forward to the gathered Beloved Community!

Capital Pride Weekend Parade

Saturday, June 11

Come share our congregations Open and Affirming (ONA) commitment in the annual demonstration of LGBTQ pride and support in the nation’s capital. Our congregation will have a spot in the Pride Parade on Saturday June 11, hosted by the Board of Outreach & Social Justice and Pilgrim Youth Fellowship. Sign up at church or here online to come and walk in the parade. For more information on the Capital Pride Weekend activities, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Adult Summer Engagement Series: The Ark of Moral Justice

Sunday, June 12

Technology, Entertainment and Design. These are the three words that make up the acronym TED, a global sharing of wisdom from people working in a variety of vocations and disciplines. This summer, our Adult Faith Formation series will call on TED’s wisdom to open our minds and spirits to respond to our call to work towards justice and peace in our lives, communities, and around the world.

The Boards of Outreach & Social Justice, Christian Education, and Deacons have been working hard to select a variety of topics to help further our discernment on our congregation’s Mission and Vision Statement. Each week, we will begin at 9:00 with video and discussion (and end in plenty of time to get to worship). We will share in follow-ups from what we witnessed together, answering the question, "What is God calling us to do with this information?"

June Topics

  • Sunday, June 12 - ONA Today: Pride and Bathrooms, featuring Ivan Coyote
  • Sunday, June 19 - Civil Rights/Black Lives and Juneteenth, featuring Alice Goffman
  • Sunday, June 26 - Sexuality and LGBT life around the world, featuring Jenni Chang and Liza Dazols

Safe Church Training

Sunday, June 19

All teens and adults are invited to attend Safe Church training on Sunday, June 19 from 12:00-2:00 pm in Room 8.

Safe Church training is required every two years for anyone who works with children and youth at Little River—including child care, church school, and Pilgrim Youth Fellowship. Training is open to everybody and encouraged for all. Our Safe Church policy requires a renewal training ever two years. If you are currently certified and in need of renewal, you will be receiving an invitation to the training.

If you’d like to attend, or with questions or concerns, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

More Church News

UPDATED: Endowment Fund Challenge Grant

The Endowment Committee and Ministry Board announce an anonymous donor has offered to give one dollar for every three dollars contributed to Little River UCC’s General Endowment Fund between May 1 and September 1 of this year. The purpose of the challenge is to raise a total of $13,250 toward the minimum total of $250,000 in contributions. Since May 1, the total amount contributed to the challenge has reached $9,025 which will be matched with $3,008 from the donor.

Contributions must be received no later than the close of business on Thursday, September 1 to qualify for the matching funds. The donor will provide up to $4,000 in matching funds. Gifts to the endowment fund are tax deductible to the limit of the law and completely separate from gifts to the operating budget. Please consider making your contribution by check payable to Little River UCC with “Endowment Fund” indicated on the memo line. You can also use the Online Giving button to make a donation by credit card. Thank you for your generosity!

Central Atlantic Conference Annual Meeting

The Central Atlantic Conference is holding its Annual Meeting June 10-12, 2016, at the University of Delaware, located in Newark. This gathering brings together congregation from throughout our Conference, ranging from northern New Jersey to the Shenandoah Valley. Pastors Lindsey and Fairman will be in attendance, and our Moderator Rob Peters will serve as a delegate for us. For more information, please go to the Central Atlantic Conference website (cacucc.org).

Church Office Schedule Changes

  • Starting immediately, the church office will close at 1:00 pm on Fridays until our administrator, Donna Jones, returns to the office (approximately June 20).
  • The office will be closed on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day.
  • From Tuesday, May 31 to Friday, September 2 the office will be working on summer hours of 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Summer Church School

May brings us the first warm joys of summer! And summer brings us to Summer Church School!

Does your spirit rise when you see the 30+ children and youth gather for the Time with Children? Come see where that energy goes when they leave the Sanctuary. Can you spend some time revisiting the Bible with our youngest this Summer? Can you devote one hour of your time to make a connection with a child? Do you need a break from those lengthy sermons? Then summer church school teacher is the role for you!

From June 12 to August 28, we welcome everyone to share their gifts for a one week commitment, working with a partner to lead the multi-age class. Please read the announcement on Safe Church Training if you have not attended.

The sign-up board is located in the Narthex — get your spot early! Questions? Contact Jane Wallace, Mike Craven, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Join us in Planning for the Future

At the May 1 Congregational Forums, over 40 members of Little River UCC met to review the financial picture of the church and begin planning for the future. Mary Summers, Treasurer, and Robin Petrusak, Chair of the Board of Trustees, presented the following slides showing expenditures to date, and projecting some of these expenditures forward into next year . For a copy of these slides, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Both sessions—one held after the 9:30 service and one after the 11:00 service—raised the following questions:

  • What do we need as a church for our ministries to each other and the wider world?
  • What can we afford as a church—and how can we position ourselves for growth?
  • What are the next steps?

There will be options to provide input in writing, through discussions, and through joining a short term committee to develop and present different ministerial options to the congregation to consider and discuss.

What’s the purpose of the short-term committee? Well, to work with members of the Deacons (to help assess church needs) and the Trustees (to help assess available expenditures) and develop different models of ministry for purposes of sharing these ideas to the congregation as a whole for discussion and consideration. If you would be interested in being a part of these efforts, please contact anyone on the moderator team (CiCi Thompson, Rob Peters, or Carolyn Yocom). Carolyn is also working on a longer set of notes from both meetings, available soon!

Greenspring Water Taxi Drivers Needed

Our Greenspring "Water Taxi" provides rides to and from church for members and friends. We have a number of dedicated drivers, but are in need of several more. Lately, we have had enough riders that frequently two drivers are needed on a Sunday.

All are welcome to consider this opportunity; however, it is most comfortable and manageable for passengers to ride in cars rather than vans or large SUV's. Drivers are scheduled about once or twice a month depending on their availability. Driving for Greenspring members is a great chance to become better acquainted with church members and friends.

Although we don't have an app yet, this service is Uber popular, and everyone who receives a ride appreciates getting a Lyft! If interested in driving, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Little River UCC Front Office Volunteers Still Needed

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to help at the front desk. Shifts are still available for this coming week. If you are available to help out, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or sign up on the door in the front office.

It’s Not Too Early to Start Thinking about Advent

The Board of Deacons is going green for the Advent FunShops this year! We need items such as corks, buttons, yarn, wooden spoons, etc. You can find a complete list of items on the bulletin boards in the Social Hall and here. Please review the list and consider gathering up any of the various items that you might have stashed away and bringing them to church. Please do not purchase anything, but bring what you might have around the house. You can deposit it in the container in the atrium, and Lorri Jones will collect the items each week. Thanks in advance for all your donations!

Church Council News

Little River UCC Committee Meeting Updates

Board of Outreach and Social Justice (April 17, 2016): The Board of Outreach and Social Justice met on Sunday, April 17 and had a productive meeting covering many topics. The board budget was discussed, including first quarter benevolence disbursements to Fairfax FISH, Food for Others, and United College Ministries and the recent generous offerings received for One Great Hour of Sharing ($6,589) and the Easter Offering for Stop Hunger Now (approaching $5,000). Plans were finalized for the Earth Day Hands-on Sunday park clean up at Mason District Park scheduled for April 24. Beginning stage plans were made for participation in the Capital Pride Parade on June 11: registration will be completed soon, a jeep will be rented for both transportation and advertising purposes, and volunteer sign-ups on paper and Sign-up Genius will be prepared. BOSJ will be in touch with the Deacons about purchasing items to distribute at the parade. Pastor Hank shared youth activity following the recent Faith in Film showing of the movie Tapped. The board worked on plans for a summer series in collaboration with CE and Deacons using TED Talks related to social justice issues, including four sessions focused on racial justice. Plans were finalized to share information gathered about hosting a refugee family; BOSJ will join the Intersections group on May 1 and hopes to offer an information table at coffee hour on May 8 to determine the level of congregational support for moving forward with this initiative. The Board will be assisting Pastor Hank in offering a worship service at the upcoming Potomac Association meeting. The meeting closed on a discussion of how best to frame and preserve the map of the slave graves prepared for the summer 2014 Remembrance Service.

Board of Deacons (May 3, 2016):  The Board of Deacons met with Jason Thompson to discuss his ordination paper and to hear about what he has learned through his last year of schooling, to include his internship at Bethel UCC.  The Board voted unanimously to affirm his ministry and recommend him to the Potomac Association's Committee on Church and Ministry to be considered for ordination.  With two of the three moderators present at the meeting, we also discussed the need to move the church forward on making decisions with regard to pastoral staffing and ways in which that process might take shape.  After a short hiatus, the Greenspring Water Taxi has sprung back into action, enabling a few of our senior members to attend church each Sunday.  Food plans for the Pentecost Picnic were discussed along with new member classes scheduled in May. The next meeting is scheduled for May 24, 2016.

Board of Trustees (May 17, 2016): On Tuesday, May 17, the Trustees met for their regular meeting. They discussed the financial and operational life of the church, as well as the building and grounds needs. In particular, they focused on coordinating for the all-church Work Day on Saturday, June 4, from 9:30 to 2:00 pm. They also spent time reviewing the church budget for 2016, including current income and expenditures. All church meetings are open, including the Trustees' meetings, so you are welcome to attend! The next meeting is Tuesday, June 21.

Christian Education (April 27, 2016): Forthcoming.

Endowment Committee (April 13, 2016): At its meeting on April 13, the Endowment Fund Committee welcomed Sandy Miller as a new member and elected George Leonard as its new Chair. We received a financial report from our treasurer, Fran DuRocher, showing contributions to the Fund of $1,400 during the first quarter of 2016, total contributions to date of $234,132, and a market value of $334,007 as of March 31. We need only about $16,000 in additional contributions before the fund will be able to make disbursements. A new version of the endowment fund brochure was approved for posting on the church web site. Next meeting will be July 13.

Finance Committee (May 4, 2016): During the Finance Committee meeting on May 4, we reviewed the Little River UCC’s current financial condition. The most significant area of immediate concern is the critically low balance in the Major Repair Reserve. We would have to take unusual action if a need for any significant repairs would arise. We observed that people are generally complying with the policies and practices that have been approved by the Council (now Governance Board) and posted on the website and agreed how to address the specific cases where additional action is needed. We also defined the next actions regarding several items in progress, including a draft policy statement on paying Little River UCC members for services provided to Little River, on the handling of some of the designated funds, and on developing a policy regarding retention of financial records. Next meeting will be June 20.

Governance Board (May 11, 2016): On Wednesday, May 11, the Governance Board met to discuss a variety issues of import to the congregation. Here are a few highlights: (1) At this meeting, the Board engaged in Part 1 of a conversation about how to cultivate greater civility in our common life as a congregation. This conversation is based on the article "Holy Manners: The Spiritual Politeness of Healthy Congregations" by Gil Rendle.  (2) The Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding between LRUCC about our Office Administrator Donna Jones about her current medical leave. Ms. Jones had knee surgery on April 25th and may be unable to return to work for 6 to 8 weeks.  (3) Pastor Lindsey gave a report about Church Consultant Rev. Claire Bamberg. Rev. Bamberg has been hired by the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC to coach our congregation in the coming months. Her work will focus on help us deal with recent conflicts, suggesting ways we might forward into a positive future, and how we might staff our church in order to move into that future. If you have questions about the work of the Governance Board, please be in touch with our Moderator Rob Peters, who chairs the Board. The next meeting date is June 8.

Ministry Board (April 12, 2016):The Ministry Board is, along with the Governance Board, one-half of our Church Council. Per our by-laws, the Ministry Board is charged with coordination and oversight of the ministries, programs, and activities of LRUCC in order to further our church's stated mission and vision. In order to live out that charge, the Ministry Board is currently meeting once a month to bring our programmatic boards and committees together to make sure that we're working together (and not at cross purposes!).

To that end, the Ministry Board covered a few big picture issues at its most recent meeting on Tuesday, April 12. These issues were "how shall LRUCC advocate for all God's creatures and creation in 2016?" and "what is our current staffing structure, and how do our staff relate to committees?" In more detailed terms, we approved the 2016 schedule of opportunities for generosity, coordinated calendars among our various programmatic ministries, discussed how we are living out our congregationally-approved resolution on Syrian refugees, and received a draft policy from the Finance Committee about payment of volunteers for services rendered. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 25. at 7:30 pm.

As with all board and committees of the church, the Ministry Board meeting is open to all who wish to attend.

Nominations and Appointments Committee (April 26, 2016): Forthcoming.

Personnel Committee (April 20, 2016): The Personnel Committee continues to tweak language of the Employee Handbook as needed; is working on a charter for Governance Board approval; and has begun drafting a "How-To" manual for the committee's work. The committee also advises David Lindsey on position descriptions and personnel issues.

Stewardship Committee (April 18 & May 2, 2016): The four members of the Stewardship Committee chose the theme Celebrate Faithful Giving for this year's stewardship campaign. The committee will work closely with the Board of Trustees to help ensure realistic budget goals this year. Ellen Wertman volunteered to speak to new members about stewardship. Moderator Rob Peters presented a draft timeline for this year's stewardship campaign to the committee. On May 2, the Stewardship committee discussed monthly articles for Current Reflections as well as the format for the stewardship campaign brochure and how to celebrate Consecration Sunday, the day pledges are received, which will be Sunday, October 30th.

Women's Ministry (April 4, 2106): The Women’s Ministry team met on Thursday, April 4, to discuss the upcoming Tea and Talk, Gifts from Mom, scheduled for Sunday, May 15, 12:15, in the Jubilee Room. Plans were completed for signup, advertising, food, setup and cleanup, and leadership of the program. Other topics at the meeting included hearing updates on church-wide programs and issues, including special programming on and commemoration of Little River UCC women on Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 8; taking care to calendar events on the main church calendar to avoid conflicts; upcoming travel by PF youth to the UCC National Youth Event in Orlando, FL, in July; and ongoing discussion of one vs. two services beginning in the fall. Next meeting will be June 6.

Full minutes of Church Council, Governance Board, and Ministry Board meetings are posted on this webpage.