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Our 60th Year Revised November 22, 2013

Little River Still Matters Stewardship Update

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A huge thank you to all those who have turned in their pledge forms for 2014! Knowing the amount of pledges in advance of preparing the church budget enables Little River UCC to be fiscally responsible in allocating funds for the coming year.

For those of you who have not yet turned in your pledges, we ask you to do so as soon as you can. Pledge forms are available in the office or the narthex. To date we have received 116 pledges for a total of $488,989.50. Thank you for sharing your blessings! 11/21

Read Additional Reflections on Stewardship

Tracy Lee, Stewardship Chair (November 15)

Linda Anderson, Moderator (October 31)

Gary Allen, Stewardship Committee (October 25)

Clark Beil, Board of Trustees Chair (October 10)

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. You are invited to the next showing and discussion at 12:30 pm on Sunday, November 24. See Join the [Advent Conspiracy] below for details.11/20

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

Thank You from Shaw Community Ministry

Shaw Community Ministry offers a big "thank you" to Little River UCC. The members and friends of Little River donated enough food to feed 50 families a great Thanksgiving meal and over $600 to purchase turkeys for the big day. This is our third year participating in the annual event and the support continues to grow! Thank you so much to everyone for helping Shaw Ministry offer Thanksgiving support to more families than ever!11/20

Presents with Presence/Possible 2014 Mission Trip to Haiti

Thanks to Little River UCC friends and members for shopping last Sunday at the fair-trade gift sale. Ten Thousand Village staff indicated that Little River is the church with the most sales of all the churches they visit! In addition, our friends from Village of Hope school in Haiti sold $610 in cards. Bravo and thanks to Little River fair-trade shoppers!

If you met with the wonderful women representing Village of Hope school, you may have heard about week-long mission trip possibilities to work at the school in Haiti. If this interests you, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it from the Board of Outreach and Social Justice. If congregational interest is sufficient, we will work towards organizing a trip in 2014. Estimated costs including airfare, meals and lodging are approximately $1,300 per person. 11/20

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 and watch this video.

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 12:30 pm.. 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.11/20

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

Little River Clean Up Day

Please take some time after enjoying Thanksgiving and join us in sprucing up Little River UCC. On Saturday, November 30, from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon, the Board of Trustees will sponsor a clean up day. Bring your rakes, shovels, brooms, hedge trimmers and work gloves as we tidy up our grounds. Weather permitting, we will focus on tackling the outdoor tasks. If Mother Nature isn't in the mood to cooperate we have plenty of handyman indoor tasks. So join us for fellowship and take the opportunity to get out of house and work off that extra slice of pumpkin pie. 11/20

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. 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 . 11/13

Confirmation Class of 2014

Confirmation is the historic process by which youth affirm the promises made at their baptism, and take on the role of full participation in the church. We are inviting you to join us for a time of information and discernment about this year's class. All youth, ninth grade and above, who wish to take part in the class are invited to a welcome lunch on Sunday, December 8, at 12:00 noon in the conference room. We will discuss what confirmation is, look at the schedule of classes, and learn more about each other. Classes will begin on Sunday, January 5, and take place weekly from 11:00 am -12:30 pm.

Questions or comments? Please contact Rev. Susan or Rev. Hank. 11/22

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 (but please take only as many tags as you are able to provide gifts). 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! 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. 11/20

...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

Fifth Sunday in December: Save the Date!

As a part of the highly-successful Fifth Sunday series of mission projects, on Sunday, December 29, 2013, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice is again sponsoring an afternoon of assembling healthy snack packs for children at Alternative House and Homestretch. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for this intergenerational activity!11/20

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