A variety of classes and groups are offered throughout the year to meet the varied needs and interests of members and friends. These include theological and biblical studies, book groups, and classes that cover topics such as social issues, environmental concerns, problems in the U.S. and around the world, preparation for church trips, and other topics that merit our attention. A connection with our faith, though not always explicitly stated, is always implied.
Sundays: Depth and Breadth
Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race
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 of each month, October through May, at 11:00 a.m. for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism.
Faith in Film
On the second Sunday of even-numbered months, we gather for lunch and a movie at 12:30 pm. The films are chosen to be relevant to today's most pressing issues of justice, faith, society, spirituality and how we can grow in our faithful response.
Monthly themes tie together Faith in Film and the church's outreach and social justice programs. These programs are offered in partnership by the Board of Outreach and Social Justice and the Board of Christian Education.
"White Privilege – Let's Talk"
This is an adult education curriculum designed to invite members to engage in safe, meaningful, substantive, and bold conversations on race. The UCC white privilege curriculum is divided into four key focus areas, each one introducing a different aspect of the dynamic of white privilege. The guide accompanying the course will have material from five gifted authors, all experienced in speaking and writing about race. Discussion begins at 9:00am on Oct. 9 in room 8.
“Dismantling the New Jim Crow”
Building on the historic mission of the congregation and the larger community to address the systemic evils that are the derivatives of Racism in America, and our current mission focus on advocating for all God’s creatures and creation, Little River UCC will host a multi-faceted series addressing the issues addressed in the 2015 Central Atlantic Conference (and General Synod 30) Resolution. Sessions will include a panel discussion, brunch and conversation, and a book discussion throughout October and November starting October 2.
2015-16 offerings include:
Reflect and Act (Sunday, October 11): This will be a compilation of video clips about racial justice and mass incarceration, intermingled with discussion and reflection. Share your voice with our local community leaders through an opportunity to write letters to your locally elected officials, the Chief of Police and the Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools.
2014-15 Faith in Film program information may be found here.
2013-14 Faith in Film program information may be found here.
Monday Morning Bible Study
The Monday morning Bible study class features weekly discussion of the Bible and related biblical studies topics. In 2016-17 the group will discuss world religions - Islam.
The varied backgrounds of the class members contribute significantly to the discussion. The class meets at 10:00 am in Room 8 from September through May, led by Richard Davidson.
Lenten Soup Supper and Discussion Series
The Board of Christian Education Adult Education Committee and the Board of Deacons hosted a soup supper and discussion series Sundays in Lent. Attendees spent time reflecting on our congregation's sixty years of ministry in Annandale, in Fairfax County, in Virginia and throughout the world. Each session was shaped by the newsletters, annual reports, photographs and historic items lovingly tended in our church archive.
The character and scope of the offerings of this group change over time depending upon the suggestions from women of the church and the planning team's discernment. Some of the offerings of the group are:
Covenant Group: a gathering of women who share prayers, joys and concerns with one another through meetings and brunch gatherings. There are currently four covenant groups, each of which focus on a common interest such as "moms who work outside the home" and "social justice".
Women's Book Group: a gathering of women who meet approximately every other month on Sundays at 11:30 am, to discuss books of mutual interest. Leadership is volunteered. All women are invited and encouraged to attend whether the book has been finished or even opened!
March 13, 2016: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
May 22, 2016: Children of the Stone by Sandy Tolan
July 10, 2016: Things Get Rearranged by Janet Parsons Mackey
September 11, 2016: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
November 2016 (TBD): Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
January 8, 2017: Poetry
Previous Book Group selections may be found here.