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Our 61st Year Revised April 16, 2014

This Week

Maundy Thursday, April 17

At a service of worship and sacrament, on Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 pm, we will remember Jesus' last meal with the disciples and his words of prayer in the garden. This service includes a ritual of hand washing and communion.4/3

This Weekend

Good Friday, April 18

Via Dolorosa--Walking through the Passion Narrative, 6:30 pm

In concluding our focus on The Art of Lent, a new spiritual practice will be offered one hour prior to the Tenebrae service, on Friday, April 18, at 6:30 pm,. Our friends in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches have long walked the story of Holy Week though the Stations of the Cross.

We will look deeply into the faces and moments of Christ's path from his arrival in Jerusalem to the place of his burial, using a progressive and modern display of the stations.4/3

Tenebrae Service of Worship, 7:30 pm

The traditional service of candles and darkness will begin our experience of the three days of self-exploration leading towards Easter. The service, on Friday, April 18, at 7:30 pm, will include music, meditation, scripture and the extinguishing of the lights.4/16

Easter Vigil, April 19

An Easter Vigil will be held on Saturday, April 19, at 8:00 pm. This service is one of the oldest recorded services in Christian liturgy. It begins after sunset on Saturday to symbolize the arrival of the Third Day and then moves through a celebration of light, of word, of water, and of communion.4/3

Easter Sunday, April 20

Sunrise Service, 6:15 am

A service of baptismal renewal and communion will be followed by an Easter breakfast with hot cross buns and Easter eggs.4/3

Traditional Easter Worship Services, 9:30 and 11:00 am

The brass and tympani call us to rejoice as we exclaim, "Christ the Lord is risen today!"

As a part of the 9:30 am service, an Easter Time with Children will be offered, with an Easter activity following for all children.4/3

Lent-Easter information is also available on this website:

Lent 2014 brochure in PDF

Lent-Easter 2014 Details

Worship Schedule4/3

Easter Offering, April 20

On Easter Sunday, April 20, a special offering will be received at all services. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice asks for your support of this offering which will fund our third annual Stop Hunger Now event in September. Last fall, Little River UCC members and friends packed over 20,000 nutritious dehydrated meals that were sent to feed the hungry in Burkina Faso. Thank you for tremendous support in 2013. Save the date for September 28, 2014! 3/26

Easter Egg Hunt, April 20

Easter egg hunts celebrate the joy of finding something new on Easter morning! The Board of Christian Education invites children, grades 5 and younger, to an egg hunt following 9:30 am worship Easter Sunday. Families are asked to please meet in the atrium after worship to divide children by age groups. The hunt will take place in the outdoor playground for the youngest searchers, with older children searching in surrounding places. Parents & teens are invited to help hide eggs before worship. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 4/14

Next Week...

Fifth Sunday Green Space Cleanup, April 27

Our next Fifth Sunday project will be a green space cleanup at Roundtree Park, about four miles from Little River UCC. Originally scheduled for March 30, this outing is rescheduled for April 27 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Participants should wear long sleeves and long pants. There will be a scavenger hunt for the young and young-at-heart. Low-mobility participants are needed as "certifiers" for scavenger hunt results. We look forward to sharing this time together outdoors in stewardship of God's green spaces. 4/6

Coming Soon...

Little River UCC to Host Forum on Solitary Confinement and Mental Health Behind Bars, April 30

As the use of prolonged solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has increased in recent years, more questions are being raised about the consequences of this trend and its impact on inmates and their families. Meanwhile, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has recognized that prolonged isolation of inmates can amount to torture because of its profound impact on mental health and urges that solitary confinement never exceed 15 days.

Little River UCC's Board of Outreach and Social Justice, along with SALT (Social Action Linking Together) and Interfaith Action for Human Rights, the mid-Atlantic partner of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, invites you to a forum exploring this topic on Wednesday evening, April 30, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the social hall. Find out what we are learning about the impact of solitary confinement on mental health and how different states are addressing this. Learn what Virginia is doing to reduce the use of isolation at Red Onion and Wallens Ridge prisons. Explore why this matters to the public and not just to inmates and their families, and learn about opportunities for advocacy around the issue. Invited speakers include Laura Markle Downton, Director of U.S. Prisons Policy and Program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture; Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope; Rev. Jon Barton of the Virginia Council of Churches; and survivors of solitary confinement. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 4/3

Save the Date!

Dr. Anil Henry Visit, May 11

Have you ever noticed the list of Little River UCC staff at the end of the Sunday worship bulletin? Included at the end of that list, is "Anil Henry, Global Ministries Partner in India." Well, Dr. Henry is coming from India (by way of Tennessee) to visit with our Little River congregation! We are excited to host Dr. Henry and share worship with him on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 11.

As we anticipate his visit, check out this video about Dr. Henry and his work in India.4/8

We're Thankful For...

A Note from the Moderator

Over the last few months, we have been witness to a period of incredible activity in the church we call Little River. We have celebrated Rev. Susan Henderson's ministry with us and said a fond farewell; we have welcomed our new interim senior pastor, Rev. Ron Rising, who joined us at the beginning of March; and, on March 23, we officially called our new senior pastor, Rev. David Lindsey, who will be joining us on June 30 as we begin a new chapter in Little River's life. Through it all, we have continued to be a vibrant, active, welcoming church working to address our mission in the local community and in the wider world. We are an exciting church and while we await the arrival of our new senior pastor in a few months, we continue to fulfill God's work through worship, through our Lenten series, and through our various church activities and programs.

In the midst of preparing for Holy week and the joy of Easter, we should each take a moment and express our gratitude and appreciation for our church and its leaders, for our dedicated church staff, and especially for our pastoral leadership. We are deeply blessed to have Ron Rising and Hank Fairman leading us in our spiritual journey and very grateful for the dedicated service they provide to us day in and day out. So as we enter into Holy Week and the rejoicing that Easter brings, please extend your blessing and the peace of Christ to each of them and their families. Blessings and peace this holy season! 4/8

You Should Know...

Update on Amicus Brief: Marriage Equality in Virginia

In January 2012, Little River UCC passed a resolution supporting marriage equality which urged:

  • support for equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender;
  • an end to rhetoric that fuels hostility, misunderstanding, fear, and hatred expressed toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons;
  • members and friends of Little River UCC to communicate this resolution to local, state, and national legislators

On Sunday, April 13, at a special meeting, the Little River UCC Church Council put that statement to work as it voted to file an amicus (friend of the court) brief to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond in the Bostic marriage equality case. If upheld this court case would define marriage as a "fundamental right" thus disallowing efforts to deny marriage to same-sex couples.4/14

Welcome and Opening Prayer from March 23 Congregational Meeting

Tom and Ruth Hill, charter members of Little River UCC, were asked to provide an opening welcome and prayer at our recently held special congregational meeting. At this meeting, held on Sunday, March 23, our congregation voted to call the Rev. David Lindsay to be our next senior pastor. Tom and Ruth have been actively involved in church activities for many years and their comments provide a perspective and background on Little River that will be helpful as we move to our next chapter! Thanks to both Tom and Ruth for sharing these inspiring words with us.

Tom Hill's Opening Remarks

Ruth Hill's Prayer 4/8

Church Council to Meet on Thursday, April 24

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Little River Church Council will take place on Thursday, April 24, beginning at 7:30 pm. Agenda items will include the following:

  • Approval of minutes from the March 23 special congregational meeting, calling the Rev. David Lindsey to be our senior pastor
  • Review of the Little River UCC operating budget as approved by the annual meeting in January, identifying any specific adjustments that need to occur
  • Discussion and formation of an ad-hoc 2015 budget committee to develop a process for preparing a budget for 2015
  • Discussion about the Church Council retreat, scheduled for Saturday, May 17, on implementing the changes approved at the annual meeting related to governance (creation of a governance board and a ministry board)

For additional information, please contact Moderator Tom Ross. 4/8

Save the Date!

Help Stock Our Food Pantry

On the first Sunday of each month Little River UCC collects food for Fairfax FISH as well as other community groups as donations allow. We leave our donations of non-perishable items in the narthex, and during worship the ushers bring a representative basket of donated foodstuffs forward along with our monetary offerings.

Fairfax FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) is a non-profit direct-aid program supported by 16 Fairfax County churches near the City of Fairfax. FISH responds to requests for necessities such as food, clothing, critical transportation, and urgent financial assistance with housing and prescriptions.

FISH volunteers distribute food from our pantry to area clients. Quarterly, we send unused food to other mission partners, including Food for Others and Thrive DC, where our most recent donation went to assist the homeless in Northwest Washington. Read more about these programs on our Local Support and Action web page. You can also learn about volunteer opportunities by visiting our partners' sites.

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice thanks the congregation for its ongoing generosity in this life-giving year-round ministry of our church. 8/29

Faith in Film

On the second Sunday of each month you are invited to gather for lunch and a movie at 12:30 in Room 8. Our "Faith in Film" series will examine today's most pressing issues of justice, faith, society, and spirituality and explore how we can grow in our faithful response to them.


Fair Trade Sale

Stop by the narthex after worship the second Sunday of each month to purchase fair-trade coffee, chocolate, and olive oil. Sales of these quality goods support sustainable agriculture and living wages for workers in developing countries.9/04

Safe Church Training, February 2

All teens and adults are invited to attend Safe Church training on Sunday, February 2, from 12:00 to 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 UCC—including child care, church school, youth group, and the Welcome Center. Little River's goal is to be a universally safe church. Training is open to everybody and encouraged for all. A meal will be provided. If you'd like to attend, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To ask questions or address concerns, please contact Pastor Hank This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 1/17

First Friday: Happy Hearts, February 7

Bring your children to First Friday on Friday, February 7, from 6:30- 9:30 pm. The cost is $10 per child, with a family maximum of $25. Additional information and registration forms are available here.

First Friday is a kids' night out program, designed to give parents an evening to themselves. Volunteers provide creative and exciting entertainment for the children in a safe and fun atmosphere at the church. Dinner is provided for children and helpers. First Friday is for children aged six months through 12 years. All children in our community are welcome, whether or not their families attend Little River UCC. Tell your friends and family! 2/7

Little River UCC Church Council Meeting, February 12

On Wednesday, February 12, members of the "new" Little River UCC church council will have their initial meeting, beginning at 7:30 pm, in Room 8. All members of Little River are invited to submit items to be included on the agenda.

At the January 26 annual congregational meeting, the congregation authorized the council to undertake a pilot effort this year in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of how it operates. Essentially, the council was authorized to conduct business through two groups, the Executive Board and the Ministry Board. The Executive Board will focus on the key policies and "governance" of the church in terms of finances, operations and personnel. The "Ministry" Board will focus on identifying priorities for the church's mission and coordinate programs and activities. Each group could meet separately, but establish procedures for communication and collaboration.

All meetings of the Church Council, the Executive Board and the Ministry Board are open to any member of Little River UCC. Agendas will be posted ahead of time and minutes of the meetings will be made available to all members. View a draft agenda for the February 12 meeting. For further information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Moderator, via email, or by phone at 202-329-8641. 2/7

Little River Welcomes Rev. Ron Rising!

At the Little River UCC Annual Meeting held on January 26, 2014, the congregation approved the hiring of Rev. Ron Rising as Interim Senior Pastor, succeeding Rev. Susan Henderson, effective Monday, March 3. Ron will serve on a half-time basis until the arrival of our new senior pastor, anticipated to be later this spring. Ron's focus will be on worship, parish care, and helping ensure a smooth transition over the next few months.

Ron is an ordained UCC minister and brings a wealth of experiences as a pastor, interim pastor, and counselor, principally in Connecticut. He last served as the Interim Pastor at the Union Congregational Church in Oakville, Connecticut, from 2008 to 2010. He is currently retired. He and his wife, Sharon, reside in Silver Spring, where they assist with family and grandchildren. Ron has a B.A. in history from Tufts University, a M.Div. from Yale University, and a Th.M. from United Theological Seminary in Minneapolis. Minnesota. Ron will be introduced at the February 9 worship services. Please join us in welcoming Ron to Little River! 1/29

Pilgrim Youth Fellowship, February 16

Thank you to our youth for leading such a wonderful time of worship last week on Youth Sunday!

Pilgrim Youth Fellowship (youth ages 11-18) will meet on Sunday, February 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, in the Jubilee Room. The group will share a meal, fellowship, and ideas for spring planning. Bring a friend! 2/13

Experiencing the Bible Again for the First Time, continues February 23

Come and share in an experiential small group gathering, engaging Marcus Borg's Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, through worship, reflection, and discussion. Our gatherings take place on Sundays February 23, March 9 and April 6, from 9:30 until 11:00 am. Although the class began on February 2, it's not too late to join in. The class will be exploring the Torah portion of the Hebrew Bible (chapter 5 in Borg's book) this Sunday.2/20

You Should Know...

Update to Roster of Congregational Leaders

The following updates have been made to the roster of congregational leaders at Little River UCC:

  • Pat Berry, appointed to fill a vacancy on the Stewardship Committee, class of 2016
  • Steven Carr, appointed to complete Ann Lingo's term as at-large congregational representative to Church Council, class of 2015
  • Brian Payne, appointed to complete James Taylor's term on the Endowment Fund Committee, class of 2016
  • Rob Peters, appointed to fill a vacancy on the Stewardship Committee, Class of 2017 1/29

Writing Workshop at Little River UCC Begins May 1

Little River UCC is hosting a writing workshop during May and June, to meet weekly on Thursdays from May 1 to June 19 (except for May 29) from 10 am to noon in Room 8. The leader, Joanne Lozar Glenn, is a writer, editor, and educator with long experience working with adults. Her workshop will feature a blend of writing to prompts, working on specific assignments with specific intentions, and sharing the results. Two openings remain in the class, which is open to writers of fiction or non-fiction. if you are interested, please contact the leader, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Payment of $118 is due the first day of class (checks should be made out to LRUCC with Writing Workshop in the memo line). The workshop is sponsored by the Board of Deacons. 4/10

Speaking of Stewardship

"Butterflies are free, but..." Can you finish this paraphrased adage? Hint: check the stewardship bulletin board in the social hall at church! 4/3