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Our 60th Year Revised October 4, 2013

“We Have Faith” Art Display

October is LGBT History Month. To help celebrate this annual reflection on the Open and Affirming values of our congregation, the Pilgrim Youth Fellowship is spending each gathering learning about the life experiences of LGBT people in America, and especially Virginia.

As part of this focus, our congregation is blessed to host Family Diversity Projects’ “We Have Faith,” a photo–text display depicting the many diverse faces of support for the LGBT people in the many faith communities in our society. The photos seek to tell the story that:

Often, in American society today, religious and spiritual traditions and religious leaders are stereotyped as being unilaterally bigoted, intolerant, or blind to the experiences, needs and rights of LGBTQ people and those they love. This exhibit challenges that stereotype by exploring the experiences of LGBTQ clergy and religious and spiritual leaders as they unite their personal stories and histories with their commitment to peace, justice, and civil rights through their work in religious establishments of all kinds.

The traveling exhibit will be on display in our main hallway for the month of October, welcoming us to explore the many faces of love that surround us every day. For in-depth information on this display, please visit Family Diversity Projects’ “We Have Faith” web page. 10/04

Beckwith Scholarship Recipients

Little River United Church of Christ established the Hubert S. Beckwith Scholarship Fund to honor its founding pastor on the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination. Any seminary student from the Potomac Association in the last two years of his or her study may apply for the $1,000 scholarship. Criteria for awarding the scholarship are sustained commitment to community service, academic achievement, and a thoughtful vision of future ministry.

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice is pleased to announce the Hubert S. Beckwith Scholars for 2013: Laura M. Martin and Melissa N. McQueen.

Joining us on Sunday, October 6, Laura Martin attends Wesley Theological Seminary. Laura has served homeless families and individuals for twelve years. Over that time, her involvement has deepened from volunteer coordinator and case manager to Director of Family Shelter and Housing Programs. Laura envisions a future in congregational ministry, as an associate pastor or missions minister, “that is shaped around a charge to live the Gospel in social justice.”

Joining us on Sunday, October 20, Melissa McQueen attends Howard University School of Divinity. Melissa is an active participant in the organization Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender Justice. She serves to address issues and concerns “particularly regarding the LGBT community in the African American context.” Melissa envisions a future in pastoral ministry with a special focus on women and youth that uses her “passion to spread joy, empower and motivate.” 10/04

Stewardship: Little River Still Matters

Stewardship logo

Little River Still Matters to me because of the ever-present “Extravagant Welcome”.  However, recently you may have noticed at our Atrium entry a “somewhat less than Extravagant” Welcome.  The message that often greets us and our guests is DOOR BROKEN.

Fortunately, DOOR BROKEN is not a reflection of our commitment to an open, affirming, extravagant welcome.  It is however, an unfortunate reflection of an area of stewardship where we aren’t quite fulfilling our commitment to Little River, its founders, those that raised the funds to build our church, and future generations. We’ve done an outstanding job building a spiritual foundation, supporting our benevolences, and forwarding our mission.  We are, however, failing to fully plan for and financially support the physical foundation that makes our mission possible.

The time has come to reexamine just how much Little River matters to each of us and to address our long-term commitment to maintaining the structure that holds the heart and soul of Little River UCC.  The Board of Trustees, in consultation with the Church Council and ministerial staff, have determined that the building is in need of a committed staff position dedicated to caring for the physical structure.  Many of you have volunteered valuable time and talent to repair and maintain our aging facility, but its needs are exceeding the abilities of our part-time volunteers.  Susan, Hank, Heather, Darlene, and Maureen show up each day, wrench in hand and bucket at the ready.  Trustees hesitate to open their email for fear of the ever-present repair requests.

Little River has significant capital and operational needs that are not being fulfilled with our current pledges.  Since Little River Still Matters to all of us in so many ways, we must now ask for an enthusiastic increase in pledges to cover the mounting need for a dedicated Little River caretaker position and to bolster a lagging capital expense fund.  I’m asking you to carefully review the pledge request you will be receiving in October and make your commitment to ensuring that our Extravagant Welcome isn’t accompanied by DOOR BROKEN. 10//10

Clark Beil

Draw a Family Portrait for Stewardship

Children and youth: the Stewardship Committee needs your help! We want you to draw a picture of your family—including whomever “family” means for you—and submit it by Sunday, October 13 so we can display it as part of our stewardship campaign. Please draw in either black and white or color on standard unlined 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper, and include your family names on the picture. To help make this happen, we will have a “creation-station” table in the social hall on Sundays through October 13, complete with paper, markers, and a basket for completed pictures.

We hope all our children and youth will create beautiful portraits for our church family! If you have questions, please contact 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 . 9/27

“Animate: Faith” Series Continues

This adult course imaginatively explores central topics of Christianity. In each Animate: Faith session, the group will watch a video featuring a leading voice from the Christian faith and engage in conversation on big questions of the Christian faith in our congregation. Session topics are God, Cross, Jesus, Church, and Religion. The sessions are independent; you are welcome to attend any or all of them. Remaining classes meet Sundays, October 13, 20, and 27 at 11:00 in Room 8. 9/12

Faith in Film: For the Bible Tells Me So

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 examines today’s most pressing issues of justice, faith, society, and spirituality and explore how we can grow in our faithful response to them.

This month Faith in Film gathers on Sunday, October 13 to focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender (LGBT) History Month. The focus for this month comes from our Pilgrim Fellowship youth and their desire for a continuing witness with the LGBT community. We will share in watching the award-winning 2007 film For the Bible Tells Me So. According to the film’s website:

Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families—including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson—we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, For the Bible Tells Me So offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

We will gather at 12:30 in Room 8 for lunch and begin the documentary promptly to maximize our time. To help plan our meal together, please sign up in social hall or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at church. 9/27

Fair Trade Sale

Stop by the narthex after worship the second Sunday of each month to purchase fair-trade coffee, chocolate, and olive oil. Sales of these quality goods support sustainable agriculture and living wages for workers in developing countries.9/29

Tea & Talk: A Fresh Start

All women are invited to a Tea and Talk on Sunday, October 27 at 12:15 to follow up on thoughts and ideas developed at the August retreat. Join the Women’s Ministry to discover ways to make a “Fresh Start” this fall! We will also use this time to help the women served by Homestretch make a“Fresh Start” by collecting cleaning items such as laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, household cleaning products, and bath soap. A snack to share is welcome and child care will be available in the nursery. We hope you can join us. 9/29

Change in Office Hours: 9:00-3:00

Due to continuing adjustments within our office staff, office hours are now Monday-Friday, 9:00-3:00.10/05