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Our 60th Year Revised November 15, 2013

Stewardship: Little River Still Matters

Stewardship logo Each fall, members and friends of Little River UCC are asked to make pledges for the following calendar year. Some choose instead to make gifts to the church on a weekly or occasional basis. It’s all much-needed funds to support the church, right? Why does making a monthly pledge matter?

Like any organization (or family), our church needs to plan a budget for the coming year and into the future. Knowing what the revenue side of the house will be is imperative as the congregation plans how we will spend our money in 2014. The church’s budget is typically approved at a congregational meeting early in the new year. We must know what funds will be available, and what the timing of receiving those funds will be, as we make our plans for the coming year.

Please help us plan by filling out a pledge form and letting us know your intentions for next year. Pledge forms are available in the office or the narthex. We appreciate your support!

Tracy Lee, Stewardship Committee 11/14

Read Additional Reflections on Stewardship

Linda Anderson, Moderator (October 31)

Gary Allen, Stewardship Committee (October 25)

Clark Beil, Board of Trustees Chair (October 10)

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 am. 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 am 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

Beckwith Scholarship Recipient - Rescheduled for November 17

During worship on Sunday, November 17, Little River will welcome the second of our two Beckwith Scholarship recipients, Melissa McQueen. Established in honor of our founding pastor on the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination, the Hubert S. Beckwith Scholarship Fund offers a $1,000 scholarship to seminary students within the Potomac Association of the United Church of Christ. Criteria for awarding the scholarship are sustained commitment to community service, academic achievement, and a thoughtful vision of future ministry. Melissa McQueen, a student at Howard University School of Divinity, exemplifies all of these criteria. 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." Please join us on November 17 in welcoming and congratulating Melissa! 11/14

Adult Faith Formation

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

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.

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.

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 am on Sunday mornings, November 3–December 15.11/7

Faith in Film

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. It normally takes place the second Sunday of the month, but you are invited to the next showing and discussion at 12:30 pm on Sunday, November 24. Watch this space for details.11/05

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, December 1 in Room 8. 11/14

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 Sunday, 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 Sale: Ten Thousand Villages

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.11/14

Village of Hope Card Sale

In addition to Ten Thousand Villages fair-trade offerings, on Sunday, November 17, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice will be selling Christmas and note cards for $10 to $20 a box (cash or check only) during coffee hour. The cards were designed by children attending the Village of Hope school in Ganthier, Haiti. Village of Hope was started more than twenty years ago by a group of Lutherans to help the people of Haiti, the poorest country in our hemisphere. Their first project, the Village of Hope School, has grown from a single class of three year olds to over 600 students in 13 grades.The Village of Hope also runs a community health center and the Little Children of Jesus Home, a home that provides shelter and help for special needs children. We hope you will consider purchasing these beautiful cards as caring expressions of the Advent season that support this life-giving ministry. 11/7

Introductory Confirmation Session for Parents - Rescheduled for November 17

The introductory session for parents of students interested in confirmation class has been rescheduled for Sunday, November 17, 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. 11/14

Join the [Advent Conspiracy]

This year, the Boards of Outreach and Social Justice and Christian Education invite you to Turn Your Christmas Upside Down and join the [Advent Conspiracy].

We all want our Christmas to be a lot of things. Full of joy. Memories. Happiness. Above all, we want it to be about Jesus. What we don't want is stress. Or debt. Or feeling like we "missed the moment." [Advent Conspiracy] is a movement designed to help us all slow down and experience a Christmas worth remembering. But doing this means doing things a little differently. A little creatively.

Each week, we will share one of the themes, and how you can embrace the spirit of Christmastide in deeper, more faith-full ways. For the full story on the conspiracy, please visit www.adventconspiracy.org.

To start off the conspiracy, you are encouraged to come and join in an afternoon of watching, listening, sharing, and preparing for the Advent season and the [AC] on Sunday, November 24, beginning at 12:00 noon. For our children and families, we will have a special11:00 Church School so you can come to church as a family and stay for the afternoon.11/14

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

Advent Funshops and Cookie Swap

A Little River UCC tradition is to gather in the social hall on the first Sunday afternoon of Advent to enjoy time together making crafts to celebrate the season. Please join us on Sunday, December 1, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, as we enjoy time with our church family. We will decorate cookies, make ornaments, assemble gingerbread houses and paint nativity sun catchers (to name a few of our fun crafts). This is an Advent time for all ages. Please also consider dusting off your special cookie recipe for our cookie swap. You bring four dozen cookies (preferably homemade)--swap three dozen and go home with an assortment and leave one dozen for Little River UCC friends and members who need a little extra light in their lives this holiday season. 11/14

Custom Wrapping for White Gifts

Have you ever struggled to find plain white paper to wrap your White Gifts? Our Pilgrim Fellowship youth group has a solution for you! Bring your unwrapped gifts to church on the afternoon of Sunday, December 1. While you participate in Advent Funshops or help decorate our church for Advent, the youth will wrap your gifts. All money that might be offered as thanks for gift wrapping will be donated to the Heifer Foundation. Read more about the White Gift Service below. 11/14

Come Start the Holidays with First Friday

Parents, the holidays are upon us! Bring your children to First Friday on Friday, December 6, from 6:30- 9:30 pm! The kids will spend the evening decorating holiday cookies and making crafts while you enjoy a little free time. The cost is $10 per child, with a family maximum of $25. If you pre-register by December 1, the cost is $8 with a family maximum of $20! Register online or between church services at the table in Social Hall, beginning Sunday, November 17.

First Friday is a kids’ night out program, designed to give parents an evening to themselves. Volunteers provide creative and exciting entertainment for the children in a safe and fun atmosphere at the church. Dinner is provided for children and helpers. First Friday is for children aged six months through 12 years. All children in our community are welcome, whether or not their families attend Little River UCC. Tell your friends and family!

We are looking for volunteers to provide several dozen small decorated cookies for the event and/or to help out for the evening! This is a big night so we need lots of extra adults. Parents, admission for your child is free if you volunteer! Questions? Contact Rev. Hank at 703-978-3060 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 11/14

White Gift Service and Tree...

The White Gift Service is a beloved Little River UCC tradition in which we reenact the Nativity scene for worshippers of all ages, who follow the Magi and offer gifts to honor the Christ child. In preparation for that special service, our White Gift Christmas tree stands in the atrium to express the Christmas hopes of young children from low-income families served by Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA), Main Street Child Development Center and Shaw Community Ministry. Please take one or more tags from the tree. For each tag buy one or more of the gifts listed, totaling in the $25-$50 range. Wrap each box separately in plain white paper. All that belong with the same tag should be tied together with white string. All gifts are meant to be offered at the White Gift service on Sunday, December 8, at 5:00 pm. If you can't attend, please drop you gift off in the office prior to the service. Allow yourself the pleasure of sharing God's love with a child in need this Christmas season! But please take only as many tags as you are able to provide gifts. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice thanks Little River UCC friends and members for their strong support of this ministry. We estimate that last year our church family provided approximately $10,000 worth of clothing, toys, books and other gifts to low-income children in our area. 11/14

...and Delivery Angels

Our church needs some volunteers to help with our White Gifts. First, immediately after the White Gift service on Sunday, December 8, we must sort the hundreds of gifts for delivery, starting 15 minutes after the service ends. The next morning, Monday, December 9, we will meet at 9:00 am to deliver the gifts to locations in Annandale, Fairfax, and Washington. Please email 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 if you can help. If you have already signed up at the Outreach Fair in October, thank you! We just need a few more hands to keep the work light.11/05

Update to Roster of Leaders

The roster of congregational leaders was revised November 13 with the following changes:

  • Board of Trustees: vacancy (2014) for Sallyanne Harper
  • Endowment Fund Committee: Fran DuRocher (2016) for Brian Ardouny 11/13