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Our 60th Year Revised November 1, 2013

Welcome, New Members!

On Sunday, October 27, Little River UCC welcomed eight friends into full membership. Congratulations to Elizabeth Arledge, the family Susan Valinski & Terrence Walsh and Merritt and Sloane Palmer, Lenore Marentette, and Becky & Tim Wilhelm. 10/27

Stewardship: Little River Still Matters

Stewardship logo

During worship on Sunday, November 3, Consecration Sunday, we will dedicate our pledges of financial support for Little River. In preparation for this, our moderator, Linda Anderson, shares why Little River Still Matters:

The packet is on my desk. It came this week: the Guidelines for Giving , the stewardship letter signed by me, and the pledge card. Anne gets the mail every day and puts the items that need our decision together on my desk. We have had many thoughtful discussions about our pledge this year but have not as yet arrived at a final decision. We must and will do that this week, in the midst of our busy lives, as we anticipate giving our offering on Consecration Sunday, November 3.

I applaud the Stewardship Committee for taking a bold and risky step this year. The members of that committee, after much discussion and conversation, provided us with a giving guide. For Anne and me this has been so helpful, for it has helped shaped our thinking about our giving as a family.

Next year will be an important year in the life of our church for many reasons, but I will name two:

  • We will call a new Senior Pastor. We all want the best candidate possible as our new spiritual leader, and that will take a financial commitment from all of us. The Search Committee is doing wonderful work and will present us with someone to lead us in the new challenges ahead. We the body must also do our work with our dollars.
  • We also need a Sexton, a person who will be the caretaker of our building. That building is getting older and needs the careful and loving attention of a person who will fix problems before they become big problems and who will offer support for the many activities that happen at the church each week.

It takes $200.00 per month by each adult member and friend to minimally fund our church. Please find your Little River Still Matters Guidelines for Giving and consider giving just a bit more if you can. We have wonderful things to look forward to and good work to do next year. From us who receive so much, much is expected. See you this Sunday!

Linda Anderson, Moderator 10/31

Read Additional Reflections on Stewardship:

Gary Allen, Stewardship Committee (October 25)

Clark Beil, Board of Trustees Chair (October 10)

Donate Clothing, Blankets, and Food for FISH

On Sunday, November 3, and the first Sunday of each month, Little River UCC collects food for Fairfax FISH as well as other community groups as donations allow. We leave our donations of non-perishable items in the narthex, and during worship the ushers bring a representative basket of donated foodstuffs forward along with our monetary offerings. On Sundays November 3 and 10 we will also collect winter clothing and blankets in the atrium. Your donations will help people who depend on help from Fairfax FISH for these necessities. 10/28

Trick or Treat for UNICEF: Grateful for Little Goblins

Thanks to all goblins who trick-or-treated for UNICEF on Halloween. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice hopes your family had a lot of fun. Please return your boxes on Sundays through November 10, either during time with children at the first service or in the offering plate at 11:00. Thank you! 11/1

Fauré Requiem

Join us this Sunday, November 3, at both the 9:30 and 11:00 am services, as the Sanctuary Choir performs three pieces from Gabriel Fauré's Requiem: Pie Jesu, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. 10/31

Adult Faith Formation

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race

We are a congregation founded and grounded in affirming all people regardless of race and ethnicity. To deepen the Sacred Conversation on Race and learn how race intersects with many justice issues, we gather on the first Sunday morning of each month at 8:30 for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism. Please join us for our next conversation Sunday, November 3 in Room 8. 10/12

Painting the Stars: Science, Religion, and an Evolving Faith

The messy science/religion/philosophy interface should be treasured as an incredibly fruitful cornucopia of creative ideas—a constantly coevolving cultural triple helix of interacting ideas and beliefs that is, by far, the most precious of all the manifold treasures yielded by our history of cultural evolution on Earth.
James Gardner

Belief means not wanting to know what is true.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The faith-versus-science rift needs to be healed.

Celebrating the communion of science and faith, the series Painting the Stars explores the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality. In each session the group will view a brief video featuring leading theologians and progressive thinkers, followed by guided discussion. Topics include "Toward Healing the Rift," "A Renaissance of Wonder," "Eco-Justice," "An Evolving Faith," "Imagining a Future," "An Evolving Spirituality," and "Mysticism." The class meets in Room 8 at 11:00 Sunday mornings, November 3–December 15. 10/12

Faith in Film: Invisible Young

Our Faith in Film series examines today's most pressing issues of justice, faith, society, and spirituality and explores how we can grow in our faithful response to them. You are invited to gather in Room 8 at 12:30 for lunch and a viewing of Invisible Young on Sunday, November 3.

From the film's website:

Invisible Young is an inspiring, award-winning documentary film that tells the life stories of four young adults, all of whom were homeless as teenagers in Seattle, Washington. It takes a revealing look at their families, their day-to-day lives, [and] their possible fates, and [it] follows them as they strive for a hopeful, prosperous future. Invisible Young is not just about homelessness, it's about perseverance and the resilience of the human spirit.

To help us plan our meal together, please sign up in social hall or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at church.10/24

Safe Church Training

All teens and adults are invited to attend Safe Church training on Saturday, November 9, from 10:00 to noon, in Room 8. Safe church training is required every three years for anyone who works with children and youth at Little River — in activities including child care, church school, the PF youth group, and the Welcome Center. Little River's goal is to be a universally safe church. Training is open to everybody and encouraged for all. If you'd like to attend please contact Darlene Lane. To ask questions or address concerns, please contact Hank Fairman. 10/12

Women's Book Group: My Beloved World

The Women's Book Group will meet in Room 7 Sunday, November 10, from 12:15 until 1:30 to discuss My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor. Tracing the rise of the first Hispanic and third woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, this autobiography is an inspiring testament to the author's determination and belief in self. Please join us! 10/25

Introductory Confirmation Session for Parents

An introductory session for parents of students interested in confirmation class will be held Sunday, November 10, at 4:00 pm, in the Conference Room. The class is intended for ninth graders and any older teens who have not shared in a previous confirmation class. Parents are invited to join Rev. Hank and Rev. Susan for a time of information and discernment about this year’s class. 10/31

Cookies for College Students

The Parish Care committee of the Board of Deacons is preparing to send cookies to the college kids of Little River UCC's families. We'd like two dozen cookies each--no nuts, easily packable--from two dozen people, to be brought to church on Sunday, November 10, left in the kitchen to be packed that afternoon. Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you can bake and bring cookies. Thank you! 10/31

Women's Ministry Morning Gathering

In keeping with the mission of the Women's Ministry to provide opportunities for women of Little River UCC to grow in community with each other, our team cordially invites you to a morning gathering on Saturday, November 16, from 8:30 to 11:00. Rev. Susan will lead us in considering ways we might join with other women in small groups, focused on themes of interest such as transition, health issues, managing work and family, social justice, faith, etc., for a commitment of six meetings, dates and times to be determined by each individual group. Guiding us in a 30-minute practice session, Rev. Susan will help us explore ways we can connect with each other in more meaningful small groups around themes of shared interest. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us at 8:30 for coffee, tea, and breakfast breads with the program to commence at 9:00 am. We look forward to seeing many of you at this special time of connection with other women in our faith community. 10/31

Remembering Loved Ones Recently Deceased

On Sunday, November 17, we will offer prayers of thanksgiving for loved ones who have died during the past 12 months. We invite you to contribute the names of family members and close friends whose loss you mourn. Please call or email the church office, 703-978-3060 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , with the name of the individual and your relationship to that person. Information will be collected through the end of the day on Wednesday, November 13.10/31

Thanksgiving Food for Shaw

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice will be collecting donations of food items to fill Thanksgiving baskets for Shaw Community Ministry on Sunday, November 17. Each year, SCM provides gifts of food to residents of the Shaw neighborhood in Washington in order that those low-income families may make their own holiday meals. With overwhelming support from Little River and other churches, SCM was able to help over 100 families create their own holiday celebrations in 2012. The goal this year is to feed at least 100 families for Thanksgiving. BOSJ will also be supplying $20 gift cards for thirty families to purchase their own holiday turkeys.

The list of food requested to fill one basket is:

  • 1 can corn
  • 2 cans (or 1 large) green beans
  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 2 cans (or 1 large) collard greens
  • 2 cans (or 1 large) sweet potatoes
  • 1 box macaroni and cheese
  • 1 bag or box of stuffing
  • 2 jars turkey gravy
  • 1 box cornbread mix
  • either 1 cake mix and 1 can frosting
    or 1 box of pie crust mix and canned apples or other fruit to make pie

If possible, please deliver these items in a reusable grocery bag. Donations will be collected in the narthex on November 17.

Questions? Ask a member of the Board of Outreach and Social Justice or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject, "Thanksgiving food for Shaw." Thank you! 10/10

Fair-Trade Gift Sale

Please consider giving gifts this season that are rooted in our church's values of social justice and loving our neighbors. Browse through an assortment of fair-trade holiday and general gifts during both coffee hours on Sunday, November 17 in the choir room.

These unique handmade gifts from around the world include baskets, jewelry, crafts, and other items from international artisans. Once again our Board of Outreach and Social Justice has invited the leading fair-trade organization Ten Thousand Villages to share their treasures with us.10/20

Social Justice University

Are you concerned that the poor will be overlooked in a tight budget year? Do you want to advocate for social justice in Virginia but don't know how or where to begin? Do you just want to understand more clearly how the Virginia General Assembly makes laws?

Plan to join other community advocates at Social Justice University, an annual educational program about Virginia's legislative and budget processes, sponsored by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Northern VA chapter, on Sunday, November 24, from 3:00-5:00 pm. The location is Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria. Policy issues to be discussed by Center experts will include:

  • Reducing Poverty: investing in Virginia's future through moral budgeting and safety net programs;
  • Access to Health Care: expanding Medicaid
  • Environmental Justice: from uranium mining to climate change
  • Strengthening our Communities: voting rights, immigration, and gun violence issues.

The program is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome! 10/16

Thanks from Homestretch . . .

Many thanks to the 32 women who attended the Tea & Talk sponsored by the Women's Ministry at Little River on October 27. We donated an overflowing van full of needed cleaning supplies for the single mothers at Homestretch, a non-profit which empowers homeless families with children in Virginia to become self-sufficient. Our donations were very timely as the cleaning supply shelves at Homestretch were almost empty. Thank you! 10/31

. . . and from Ougadougou!

Thanks to the many volunteers at September's Fifth Sunday mission project for Stop Hunger Now, twenty thousand dehydrated meals were shipped October 28 to the French-speaking West African nation of Burkina Faso. Fully half the population there lives below the poverty line. The meals that are now traveling from our capital to theirs will be served to children as part of a school-based feeding program. Thank you, members and friends of Little River, for your engagement in this life-giving ministry .10/28

October 20, 2013 — We are changing our search status on the UCC's job information site from "active" to "on hold." While this does not mean we have selected our next pastor, it does mean we believe that our next pastor is one of the applicants we have reviewed to date. It means the end is in sight!

We have reviewed applications from men and women, gay and straight, young and not-so-young, from many races and ethnicities. There are some exciting candidates that we want to know more about.

Although we don't know exactly when we will be able to announce the candidate who we believe that God is calling to Little River, we will let you know as soon as possible. Confidentiality is still a priority to protect each candidate.

We are very much aware of the responsibility we bear. We ask that you continue to pray for us. 10/20

Our Matchmakers Are Looking for You!

The Nominations and Appointments Committee matches church members' skills and interests with opportunities to serve on a relevant board or committee. So—if you like managing other people's money (such as our church's finances), overseeing operations (such as the church computers and contracts), addressing issues of social justice at home and in the world (Board of Outreach and Social Justice), honing your writing or marketing skills (think Stewardship or Communications), or helping in others ways—do we have a match for you! Terms are flexible, from one to three years. Please explore your opportunities with a call to Jan Curtis, Chair of the Nominations and Appointments Committee. 10/25