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

Our 60th Year Revised September 6, 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 lead 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 Back” Sunday

On Sunday, September 8, worship returns to 9:30 a.m. and the 11:00 service resumes. The church school year for children and youth starts this day too (see below) and rehearsals for the Joyful Noise youth choir as well. Read about other programs and activities below and in future news bulletins. 9/04

A New Church School Year Begins

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 classes start during the 9:30 service.

Parents with children age 18 and under should now have received information and a registration form by e-mail. If you did not, 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

Christian Education for Adults

A variety of classes and groups meet throughout the year to with the goal of meeting needs and interests of all our members and friends.

Sunday morning offerings include:

  • Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race — prayer and thought on the continuing issues surrounding race and ethnicity. First Sunday of each month at 8:30.
  • Faith in Film — lunch and a movie focusing on pressing issues of justice, faith, society, and spirituality. Second Sunday of each month at 12:30.
  • Our Faith and the World — programs exploring the connections among faith, politics, and activism. Third Sunday of each month at 12:30 (starting October 20).
  • Faith Formation — two series: Animate Faith (late September-late October) engages the “big questions” of Christian faith. Painting the Stars(November-December) celebrates the communion of science and faith in the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality. Most Sundays at 11:00.

This season, monthly themes will link Faith in Film and Our Faith and the World with our outreach and social justice programs. Topics for September-December include hunger, LGBT history, homelessness, and the meaning of Christmas.

Find out more about all these programs at our Christian Education for Adults web page. 9/06

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

Fair Trade Sale

Stop by the narthex after worship Sunday, September 8 to purchase fair-trade coffee, chocolate, and olive oil. On the second Sunday of every month we sell these quality goods to support sustainable agriculture and living wages for workers in developing countries.9/04

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

Faith in Film: 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

Monday Morning Bible Study

A new year of Monday morning Bible study begins on Monday, September 16 at 10:00 in Room 8. This year, we will explore From the Hebrew Bible to Judaism, From the Old Testament to Christianity, a Harvard College class.9/04

Conversations on Church Membership

If you are considering membership in Little River United Church of Christ, you are invited to attend our next Conversations on Membership on Sundays, September 22 and October 6 from 1:00 to 3:00. Those ready to covenant with us will do so on Sunday, October 27. For more information, please speak with one of the pastors. 9/04

Voices for World Communion Sunday

If you speak a foreign language and are able to help read during worship at either service on World Communion Sunday, October 6, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 9/06

Continuing Transition in the Office

For the past eighteen months, Heather Shackley has served the church as our Interim Office Administrator. She will now transition to working a handful of hours each week. During that time she will continue to focus on specific projects, including communications, finance, and the completion of several interim projects. We are grateful to Heather for her efforts, which have brought us up to date on many communications and administrative tasks 8/30

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

Fifth Sunday: Stop Hunger Now

Our next Fifth Sunday mission project will take place Sunday, September 29. We will gather in our social hall from 3:00 to 5:00 to pack thousands of nutritious meals to benefit children served by Stop Hunger Now. Please come and help! 9/04