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.
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.
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 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.