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Our 61st Year Donna Jones, EditorRevised December 19, 2014

Christmas Eve at Little River UCC

Wednesday, December 24

Family Worship and Mini-Pageant, 5:00

Join in the celebration of Christmas Eve with the joy of a child. This service is shaped for the unique needs of families with young children—and the young at heart! We will enjoy the music of the Salt of the Earth and Joyful Noise choirs as well as the Christmas Orchestra welcoming us to worship. Children and youth are encouraged to share in the celebration dressed as angels, shepherds, or favorite animals. If you happen to arrive without your costume, or you have guests for the holiday, we’ve got “costumes” on hand for you to borrow. Help us tell and sing the stories of Christ’s birth as we welcome the Light of the World into our hearts.

Candlelight Service, 9:00

With a mood of joyful wonder, we come to the sanctuary expecting God's Light to break forth in the night. We will share in a traditional service of lessons and carols, the stories and songs that recall Christ’s coming to the whole earth. We will conclude the night with our traditional singing of "Silent Night."

The UCC Christmas Fund Offering will be received at both services.

Download our Advent and Christmas brochure to learn more about other December activities at Little River. Share a copy with your friends and neighbors! The UCC Advent devotional booklet Tear Open the Heavens is also available at the church.

This Week and Next...

Christmas Fund Offering

Sunday, December 21; Wednesday, December 24

Please plan to include the Christmas Offering in your holiday giving. At Little River UCC, we will receive this offering on Sunday, December 21 and during both Christmas Eve services. Envelopes will be mailed to each household; the church will also gladly receive checks in the office or offering plate. Please make your check payable to Little River UCC with memo "Christmas Fund Offering." The members of the Board of Outreach and Social Justice thank you for your generosity.

Fair-Trade Sales in December

Sunday, December 21

Fairly traded coffee, chocolate, and Palestinian olive oil will be available between services (10:30-11:00). Please keep in mind the farmers who produce the ingredients for these tasty products and the opportunity to support them with fair wages as part of your holiday hospitality and giving!

Christmas Orchestra

Sunday, December 21, for Wednesday, December 24

The Christmas Orchestra is a new way to celebrate the coming of the light of Christ into our world. Every generation is welcome to come and share their gift of music, and join in this pickup ensemble. Dust off your flute, tune up your cello, and bring your trombone! We will learn familiar songs of Advent and Christmas and prepare to help lead worship on Christmas Eve at the 5:00 p.m. service. Our one rehearsal will take place in the Sanctuary after worship on Sunday, December 21, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. 12/07

Learn about John Calvin . . .

Sunday, December 21

At 11:00 Rev. Dr. David Lindsey will lead a conversation about John Calvin's role in the Protestant Reformation. Calvin was a force to be reckoned with in Geneva, and his impact continues to shape the modern church in ways both subtle and profound. You are welcome whether or not you plan to join the Footsteps trip in July (see below). Join us in the Jubilee Room for a lively conversation!

. . . and Travel to Switzerland

Deadline: Wednesday, December 24, for July 13-25, 2015

Thirteen people have signed up for the trip to Switzerland next July 13-25, but we are looking for at least seven more to assure the reduced price. Travelers will visit Reformation sites, learn about John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli on location, ride the Glacier Express, and visit Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn.

Reformation Tours needs to know that we have a definite number committed to the trip. If you are considering going, please sign up by Wednesday, December 24 (Christmas Eve). For more information about activities, arrangements, cost and payments, and more, visit the Reformation Tours website or call Robert Lingo (703-425-9140). 11/30

Holiday Office Hours

December 25-January 2

The church office will be closed Thursday–Friday, December 25–26, and Thursday, January 1. On December 29–31 and January 2, hours will be 9:00–2:00. To communicate with staff beyond these hours, please send an This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or leave a phone message (703-978-3060). If there is an urgent matter, please phone Pastor This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Pastor This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 11/14

December 28: Worship at 10:00 Only

Sunday, December 28

We will hold a single worship service the Sunday after Christmas. Church school will not meet; care will be provided for children age 2 and under.

Hands-On Mission Project

Sunday, December 28

Come join together with a Christmas spirit for a Hand-On mission project at 11:00. We will prepare nutritious "snack packs" for Homestretch and Alternative House, two local direct-aid groups our congregation supports financially and with volunteers through the work of the Board of Outreach and Social Justice.

Homestretch offers its clients a comprehensive, highly effective two-year program to end homelessness. Alternative House provides tangible transformative services to homeless youth in our community.

End-of-Year Business

Deadlines: December 28, December 31

As we near the end of the year, it is time to plan for the closing of our financial books for 2014

Any outstanding vouchers for financial 2014 expenses must be received in the church office no later than Sunday, December 28.

Financial contributions (pledges, etc.) must be received or postmarked by Wednesday, December 31 to qualify as contributions during 2014.

Ongoing...

Flower Calendar

The 2015 Flower Calendar is now posted on the community board in the social hall. Donating flowers for worship is a great way to celebrate a significant anniversary, a recent graduation, or even the passing or memory of a loved one. Sign up early to provide for flowers on the date you want!

Coming Soon...

Epiphany Sunday: The Arrival of the Kings

Sunday, January 4

Come celebrate Epiphany on the first Sunday of 2015! We will reflect in worship on the story of the Three Kings and observe the sacrament of communion at both services. Church school will meet during the 9:30 service. 12/14

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race

Sunday, January 4

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 gather on the first Sunday morning of each month at 8:30 for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism. Please join us for our next conversation Sunday, January 4 in Room 8.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Kennedy Center

Sunday, January 4

The Joyful Noise and Salt of the Earth choirs and families will attendi Joseph January 4 at 1:30. Tickets are available for $75 apiece if you'd like to join them! Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested. 12/14

Rest, Reflect, Renew

Saturday, January 10

Women of LIttle River UCC: Rejuvenate your spirits in the new year by joining the Women's Ministry team for breakfast buffet from 9:30 to 11:30, followed by a time of spiritual reflection in the sanctuary with readings, hymns, and prayer. The team will supply the entree and drinks. Sign up in the atrium and let us know what you might like to share: fruit, salad, sweet or plain bread, etc.

We do hope you will join us for this time of rejuvenation. 12/14

Installation of Pastor Lindsey

Sunday, January 11

The Rev. Dr. David Lindsey will be formally installed by the UCC Potomac Association as our senior pastor at a special worship service at Little River on Sunday, January 11 at 3:00. Please plan to attend this hour-long service and the light reception afterward.

Women's Book Group

Sunday, January 11

The Women's Book Group will meet on January 11 from 12:15 until 1:30 to share poetry. Each person is asked to bring two poems to read to the group and then to give a brief explanation about why each poem is meaningful to the reader. Suggested poets are Elizabeth Bishop, Anna Swir, Charles Wright, Mary Szybist, and Joy Harjo. Participants are not limited to the suggested poets. Please join us for an interesting journey in poetry.

Save the Date...

Celebration of the Civil Rights Movement

Sunday, January 18

Our congregation was founded as an integrated church in the midst of the civil rights movement of the 1950s. Join us for a 5:00 p.m. celebration of the legacy of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and the many folks who worked for justice in those years!

Pilgrim Youth Fellowship Lock-In

Sunday-Monday, January 18-19

The annual Martin Luther King Weekend lock-in begins Sunday afternoon at 5:00 with the Celebration of the Civil Rights Movement (see above) and concludes Monday morning at 10:00. Stay tuned for details! 12/19

Open Mike Night

Saturday, February 21

Warm your spirits and chase away the winter blahs at our annual amateur talent night! Save the date and watch for details before year's end.

Please Help...

2015 Budget Update

As the congregation was informed recently by letter, it appears that our budget for 2015 will have to be scaled back from the projected need of $802,000. At the moment, the Stewardship Committee estimates that the total available income will be closer to $700,000. Although that amount could increase if more pledges are received, prudence dictates htat we proceed with a plan to cut our planned expenditures in order to present a realistic budget at the annual meeting on January 25.

To do this in the most cooperative and transparent manner, the Church Council agreed on December 10 to form a budget working group consisting of representatives from the Trustees, Deacons, Board of Outreach and Social Justice, Board of Christian Education, and Governance Board, as well as the incoming and current moderators. The senior pastor, treasurer, and assistant treasurer will provide support.

We invite your prayers for the members of this group as they struggle over the coming weeks to discern our collective priorities. 12/14

Gifts from Loving Hearts

As of Friday, December 12, the campaign has received Estimates of Giving from 137 donors totaling $592,200. If you have not provided an Estimate of Giving, please take a card from the narthex and return the completed form to Rob Peters, Dave Curtis, or the church office today. There is still a significant gap to try to fill. 12/05

Thank You...

Winter Warmth Coat Drive: Thank You!

Thanks to the overwhelmingly warm response from our congregation, our Winter Warmth Coat Drive for Thrive DC was a huge success. On December 9, Little River delivered more than 40 coats, over 40 sweaters and fleeces, 15 blankets, several sleeping bags, and two huge bags of kids' and adults' winter items. And ... we delivered 13 boxes of food from the pantry!

Many thanks to all donors, and to Amy Mireku of the Board of Outreach and Social Justice for leading the drive.  12/19

You Should Know...

Growing Up Jim Crow Talk on Audio

If you missed the recent Faith in Film screening of Broken on All Sides or the talk in October by Jeanne Ritterhouse—or if you want to hear her again—Prof. Ritterhouse's discussion of discrimination in the Jim Crow South is available here and on the Social Justice at Little River UCC page of this website. 12/14

Church Council News

  • The Ministry Board met on Wednesday, October 1.
  • The Governance Board met on Wednesday, November 12.
  • The next meeting of the Governance Board will be held on Wednesday, December 10, at 7:30. An agenda for that meeting will be posted a few days before the meeting.
  • Minutes of Church Council, Governance Board, and Ministry Board meetings are posted on this website.
  • For more information, please contact Moderator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .