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News on the Web in conjunction with Current Tidings weekly e-mails

Our 60th Year Revised August 29, 2013

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Our News Goes All-Electronic

Currents and our weekly e-mail news digest Current Tidings have joined forces!  Their union creates the new all-electronic news service for Little River UCC.

Current Tidings is now the subscription side of this service.  Every Friday it sends our extended church family the news at a glance.  “Read More” links guide readers to this web page, where you will always find the full text of Little River’s news.

In consequence, Currents is no longer published on paper or as a separate e-mail subscription—no more biweekly schedule, no more Thursday deadlines. Instead,Currents on the web serves as:

  • a news page that is always accessible (though never directly “delivered”)
  • the place to find the full text of the week’s news
  • an online news archive: a collection of periodic snapshots of this page.

If you want a paper copy, simply print this page.  (Watch for an even more printer-friendly format.)  Those who do not have Internet access can ask the church office for paper copies by mail.  Please visit About Currents, where you can also learn about:

  • subscribing to Current Tidings
  • the new procedure for submitting news items
  • the new schedule of deadlines: submit by Monday for publication on Friday.

We hope our new integrated service will keep you even better informed about events, actions, and other matters of interest at Little River UCC. 8/19


Welcome to a New Season!

September is a time of new beginnings at Little River:

Sunday, September 1
  • 10:00 Hymn Sunday worship celebrates this time of change with communion and a host of favorite hymns. This is our final Sunday of worship at 10:00.

Tuesday, September 3

  • 9:00–4:30 Office hours return to normal.

Thursday, September 5

  • 7:30 Sanctuary Choir rehearses tonight and every Thursday evening.

Friday–Saturday, September 6–7

  • 6:00 pm–11:00 am PF Youth start the new season with a lock-in.


  • 9:30 & 11:00 Worship: new times, two services!
  • 8:50 am Church school registration and classes—see below
  • 10:30 Joyful Noise choir rehearsals resume.

Read news of other programs and activities below and in future news bulletins. 8/29

Welcome Back to Church School!

Church school for children and youth begins Sunday, September 8 following the Time with Children at 9:30 worship. Registration tables will be open in the atrium from 8:50 to 9:30. They will reopen at 10:30 for those unable to register before worship.

During the first week of September, parents with children age 18 and under will receive information and a registration form by e-mail. If you do not receive the e-mail by Thursday, September 5, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

A “Welcome Back to Church School” brochure is available on the welcome table in the atrium. 8/29

Write Your Senator: Disclose Interrogation Report

Senator Warner needs to hear from you!

Two years have passed since many of us signed letters to him urging him to support making public the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA detention and interrogation practices after September 11, 2001. The Committee has now finished and adopted the 6,000-page report. The CIA has proposed extensive edits. We expect the Committee to decide soon whether to make any revisions and how much, if any, of the report to make accessible to the public. As an Intelligence Committee member, Senator Warner will have an important say in what happens next.

Take a moment after worship on Sunday, September 8 to send a message of support for publishing as much of the report as possible. We will make it easy for you! We will have sample messages and laptops for sending them.

Why does this matter to the Little River community?

  • Our congregation has endorsed the aims of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, which has long called for disclosure of the practices in question.
  • Torture is illegal under both U.S. law and binding treaties. International law forbids cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
  • Access to the report is essential to informed public opinion about whether those practices are legal and acceptable—and if not, how to prevent their future use. Government accountability is vital to democracy.
  • Releasing the facts about these practices can strengthen the credibility and integrity of the agencies involved by showing their willingness to learn from mistakes.

The New York Times reports that Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss, and the White House all favor releasing at least a summary of the report. The full committee must vote on what, if any, part of it to make public. Senator Warner’s views on this are unknown, and he needs to hear from his constituents.

Jennifer Atkinson, Pam Binninger, Gay Gardner, Barbara Lowrey, Judy Moats, Eric Pankey 8/19

Pathfinders Young Adults

Pathfinders meetings resume on Tuesday, September 3 in Vienna. Pathfinders welcomes people in their 20s and 30s, are open and affirming, and welcome diversity. We meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month for food, fellowship, Bible Study and prayer. More information on the group is on our website.

Our theme this fall will be the Song of Songs, also known as Song of Solomon. Please contact leader This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information and plan on joining us on September 3!8/17

Welcome Dinner for Teachers

All are invited to a teachers’ welcome dinner and orientation Wednesday, September 4 from 6:30 to 9:00 in Room 8. Whether you have already signed up to teach or are considering, please join us! RSVP by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .8/29

Youth Fellowship Kickoff Lock-In

All youth ages 11-18 are welcome to a lock-in Friday-Saturday, September 6-7 from 6:00 p.m. till 11:00 a.m. in the Jubilee Room! We’ll start the new PF year by reconnecting, widening our circle of friends, and planning for the year ahead. Adult chaperones who are Safe Church certified are also welcome. Please let This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it know if you plan to come. 8/17

Women’s Book Group: The Round House

The Women’s Book Group will meet on Sunday, September 15 from 12:15 to 1:30 to discuss The Round House by Louise Erdrich. Based on real events, this novel tells the story of a woman who is attacked on her home reservation in North Dakota. Her son, Joe, narrates the story. His father is a tribal judge, but resolving the crime defies his efforts. The story details tragedy, injustice, human characters, and the spirit world. These are authentic reflections of what happens in the lives of many Native Americans on reservations today. Please join us for a meaningful discussion of an often-ignored topic.7/22

Film and Faith: A Place at the Table

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.

The series begins Sunday, September 8 with A Place at the Table, a documentary that investigates incidents of the kind of hunger experienced by millions of Americans and proposed solutions to the problem.

Another showing of this film will take place Tuesday, September 17 at Annandale United Methodist Church (6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale). Hosted by the Northern Virginia chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and the advocacy group Strong Kids, Strong Virginia, this program will begin with fellowship at 6:30; the film will start at 7:00. A discussion about hunger and poverty in Virginia will follow. 8/29

Thanks for School Supplies

Many thanks to all the Little River helpers who brought back-to-school supplies to church and to those who helped fill book bags for children at Shaw Community Ministry, Alternative House and Homestretch.

Homestretch had a picnic August 17. The children joyfully participated in games and munched on hot dogs. However, the mothers were happiest when each picked up her child's custom book bag overflowing with supplies to launch her child into a successful year at school. 8/21

About Our Food Pantry

Every communion Sunday Little River UCC collects food for Fairfax FISH as well as other community groups as donations allow. On the first Sunday of each month we leave our donations of non-perishable items in the narthex. 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 (formerly the Dinner Program for Homeless Women), 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

Neighbor Church Featured on National UCC Site

Last spring, during the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost, the UCC cosponsored a major environmental initiative, Mission 4/1 Earth. Its ambitious goals were for participants to perform 1 million hours of earth-care labor, plant 100,000 trees around the world through the Arbor Day Foundation, and write 100,000 advocacy letters to governments and the press.* The following excerpt from the wrap-up article in United Church News highlights how finally accomplishing a years-long transaction resulted in an extravagant contribution to the goals of the Mission.

United Church of Christ congregations across the country came together as one church during the last 50 days, in major effort [Mission] 4/1 Earth, caring for God’s creation in creative ways, making a massive commitment of time and resources to protect the planet. . . .

The different projects dreamed up by UCC congregations and detailed in the more than 1,600 reports have been effective and astounding. Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Wheaton, Md., made the deal of a lifetime, in what the Rev. Stephen Anderson counts “as a great victory of incalculable worth for Mission 4/1 Earth.” Pilgrim Church contracted to sell three acres of forest behind its building, with more than 100 mature trees, to Montgomery County. The church property will be added to the county’s Glenmont Park, saving the land from development and preserving it for the citizens to enjoy in perpetuity. “We tried back in 2007 to sell this forest to the county, and back then they weren’t interested,” Anderson said. “But this time, they made us an offer and we accepted. We get excited because it’s a real quality of life issue for our community.“

Connie N. Larkman May 20, 2013

*As of July 12, Mission 4/1 Earth logged 613,418 hours of earth care commitment, 141,166 trees planted, and 52,697 advocacy letters. 8/24

New Committee Appointment

Stewardship Committee, class of 2014: Jen Beckman (0+) for vacancy (was Tawny Hammond)8/19