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Action at Little River United Church of Christ

Fair Trade

To increase awareness and to encourage purchase of products based on principles of economic and social justice, once a month Fair Trade products, including coffee, tea, and chocolate candy bars are sold at Little River UCC. In 2012, LRUCC added the sale of Palestinian olive oil to the Fair Trade sale. LRUCC is now part of an active Olive Oil Ministry with the several other area churches. In doing so, LRUCC is hoping to improve the quality of life of Palestinian farmers and support The Tent of Nations, an international organization bringing people of together from different countries and neighboring villages of different faiths to build trust and hope.

Going Green

In January 2008, the congregation adopted a statement recognizing our responsibility to respond to global warming and use energy and other resources rationally. As a first step, the Trustees arranged for an energy audit by Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light (GWIPL), a nonprofit initiative that helps faith institutions and others work for a more just, sustainable and healthier creation by reducing the threat of global warming; implementation of GWIPL’s recommendations is underway. The Christian Social Action Committee sponsored a talk by GWIPL, and the Board of Christian Education arranged classes in its Public Policy and Faith program on global warming, sustainable living, alternative energy, Fairfax County's response to global warming, and the relevance of energy policies to national security. News about the "Green Scene" appears on the social hall bulletin board.

Welcome Center

In 2008, Little River established a Welcome Center in our Jubilee Room for international students at the nearby Annandale campus of the Northern Virginia Community College. The program provides an opportunity, one afternoon a week, for international students to practice their English speaking skills in an informal, relaxed setting and for Little River members and the students to learn about each other’s cultures.

Fair Trade Holiday Festival

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice—formerly the Board of Missions and Christian Social Action Committee—hosts an annual Fair Trade Festival featuring fair trade products made by disadvantaged artisans from around the world. Purchases of these products help establish a sustainable market to provide stable income for artisans who would otherwise not be fully employed.

Over the past several years CSAC, and now the Board, has worked with SERRV, a nonprofit alternative trade organization that promotes justice and progress for people in developing countries, in offering this holiday festival. In 2009, CSAC began collaborating with two different organizations to make these items available: the Alexandria store of one of the world's largest fair trade organizations, Ten Thousand Villages, and the Giving Circle of Reston, a group of low-income women who produce homemade soaps and sachets. Look for the Fair Trade Holiday Festival the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Fifth Sunday

Fifth Sunday is a community-based, church-wide mission project that takes place the three or four times a year that a month has a fifth Sunday. Organized by the Board of Outreach and Social Justice, Fifth Sunday events bring church and community members together to do meaningful work in conjunction with organizations that make a difference in our community and the world. Here is a summary of Fifth Sunday projects to date:

Date

Organization

Mission Project

Sept. 30, 2012 Stop Hunger Now Packed over 13,000 meals for school and other feeding programs in Haiti
Dec. 30, 2012 Homestretch, Alternative House Packed snack packs for local organizations serving homeless youth and families
April 7, 2013 Homestretch Cleaned and painted an apartment to house a family in need of a home
June 30, 2013 Shaw Community Ministry, Homestretch, Alternative House Packed backpacks with school supplies for low-income youth in the Shaw area of Washington and homeless youth in Northern Virginia
Sept. 29, 2013 Stop Hunger Now The second annual Stop Hunger Now event: packed over 21,000 meals
Dec. 29, 2013 Homestretch, Alternative House Packed over 550 snack packs for local organizations serving homeless youth and families