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Our 60th Year Revised December 26, 2013

This Weekend...

One Service on December 29

On Sunday, December 29, we will have just one worship service, at 11:00 am. There will be child care for infants, but no church school.12/26

Fifth Sunday Mission Project

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, at Little River UCC, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice is again sponsoring an afternoon of assembling healthy snack packs for children at Alternative House and Homestretch. These are two direct-aid groups we support financially and with volunteers. Child care will be provided for infants and toddlers. Children ages four and up are welcome to participate. Contributions of items to be placed in these snack packs are welcome and may be brought to the Fifth Sunday event. Items needed include: small water bottles, small packages of raisins, Goldfish, pretzels, and granola bars (without any nuts). Please join us for this intergenerational activity!12/26

Next Week...

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 am for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism. Please join us for our next conversation Sunday, January 5, 2014, in Room 8. Each month we focus our conversation on a specific issue within the intertwined issues of racism. If you would like to receive readings prior to the conversation, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to be added to the distribution list. 12/18

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. All youth, ninth grade and above, who wish to take part in the class, are invited to a welcome session on Sunday, January 5, 2014, at 11:00 am, in Room 7. We will discuss what confirmation is, look at the schedule of classes and learn more about each other. Please contact Rev. Susan or Rev. Hank with questions or comments. 12/11

Women’s Book Group

The Women’s Book Group will meet from 12:15 to 1:30 pm on Sunday, January 5, 2014, to share poetry. Please plan to bring two poems to read to the group and share why each is meaningful to you. Suggested books are The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck, A Book of Luminous Things edited by C.Milosz, poetry by Sonia Sanchez, or poetry by Louise Erdrich. You may select from any other poet that appeals to you as well. Please join the group for a relaxing and enjoyable way to begin the new year!12/4

We're Thankful For...

Little River Still Matters: Stewardship Update

Stewardship logo

 

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 146 pledges for a total of $613, 699.50 Thank you for sharing your blessings! 12/20

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)

Christmas Offering

Little River UCC's Christmas offering, which was received at both services on Christmas Eve, will benefit local, national, and international initiatives. Half of the offering will go to the United Church of Christ Christmas Fund to assist retired UCC clergy experiencing financial difficulty, in many cases related to health problems. The other half will be split among three LRUCC mission partners: Shaw Community Ministry, Fairfax FISH, and International Justice Mission (IJM).

The Shaw program in Washington, DC, which benefits at-risk youth in the community, will be moving its offices; its share of our Christmas offering will be used to help it to cover the costs of this transition. FISH, which provides assistance to needy residents in Fairfax County, is experiencing a budget shortfall, and our church’s extra donation will help it to continue to provide needed services in our community. IJM, one of our global mission partners, is recognized by the State Department for its work with lawyers, investigators, and after-care professionals to bring rescue and justice for individuals globally who are among some 12 million men, women, and children still living in conditions of slavery. You can read more about IJM and other worthwhile international aid programs at adventconspiracy.org. Thank you for sharing and caring!12/26

Relief for Syria and the Philippines

Little River UCC’s Board of Outreach and Social Justice is sending a check for $1,420.46 to disaster relief efforts through the national United Church of Christ. The money is a portion of the BOSJ budget, and we have designated it for Syria and for the Philippines, to be split in equal amounts. These funds will go 100% to alleviate suffering in these two places. Because we already support the United Church Of Christ with our contribution to Our Church's Wider Mission, personnel and pipelines are already in place, so there is no overhead for disaster relief. Many years ago, the UCC established a policy of working with partner churches, knowing that those churches are best prepared to understand and meet the local needs. In Syria, our total humanitarian outreach will help internally displaced persons (4.25 million, including 3 million children) and refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Armenia. In the Philippines, our gift will be administered through the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the ACT Alliance (a network of church relief agencies). Thank you for your contributions, which witness to God's work, through Little River United Church of Christ. 12/11

White Gifts Bring Smiles

Thank you, Little River UCC, for the abundance of gifts you contributed for children in need as a part of our annual White Gift Service! One Little River member commented, "As one of five 'delivery' cars overflowing with gifts for the 180+ children at the Annandale child care center [Annandale Christian Community for Action or ACCA] and as an attendee at the Shaw [Community Ministry] Christmas party, I can tell you that our gifts bring big smiles of appreciation from both children and adults." 12/18

We Need You...

Year-End Deadlines

Financial contributions to Little River United Church of Christ received in the church office by the close of business on Tuesday, December 31, or mailed and postmarked by December 31, will be credited as having occurred during 2013 on the statements of charitable giving issued in early 2014. Please note that the church office will close at 2:00 pm on December 31, so hand-delivered donations must be received by that time.

Annual Reports Due

Thank you to everyone who has turned in an annual report. Your prompt response is appreciated! If you have not already done so, please submit your report right away. Production of the report will begin on December 30. Annual reports list all who served the board or committee during the past year, summarize the year's business for the record, suggest future direction, give financial reports on any separate financial accounts or funds, and make the congregation aware of the group and its activities. If you have questions, please contact Maureen Halligan in the office, 703-978-3060 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 12/18

You Should Know...

Holiday Office Hours

The church office will be closed on Wednesday, January 1. On December 27, 30, and 31, the church office will be open from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. To communicate with staff beyond those hours, please send an email or leave a voicemail message by dialing 703-978-3060. If there is an urgent matter, please contact Rev. Susan at 603-860-3730 or Rev. Hank at 703-473-3534.12/26

By now you have heard the Rev. Susan Henderson's ministry at Little River UCC will conclude on March 2. And you are, no doubt, curious about where the Search Committee is in the process of identifying our next Senior Pastor. We have narrowed the search to a very few candidates. Should all go as anticipated, we will host what is called a "candidate weekend" at church in a couple of months.

During the candidate weekend, the prospective candidate and his or her family will come to Little River for a whirlwind visit. The individual meets with church members in a variety of settings and then preaches at a single Sunday service. After that single service, the candidate will leave the sanctuary and we will hold a congregational meeting to vote on the candidate. We hope that the result of that congregational meeting will be a decision to officially "call" that candidate to the position of Senior Pastor.

Once the official call is made, the individual gives notice at his or her current position, and then it will be two to three months before the newly-called pastor begins at Little River UCC. Given this schedule, we expect to have our new Senior Pastor at Little River in late spring. We are truly excited about the future and thank you for your patience and prayers as we move forward. 12/26

Deacons Adopt Nut Safety Policy

The Little River UCC Board of Deacons adopted a Nut Safety Policy at its November 26, 2013 meeting. The policy, as adopted, is as follows:

The church encourages you to avoid bringing foods with nuts for coffee hour or other events such as potlucks because we have individuals in the congregation, including a child, with serious nut allergies. However, we cannot guarantee a nut-free zone. If you are an individual with a nut allergy or have a child with the allergy, you must remain vigilant as there will probably be occasions when some kind of nuts are present.

Coffee teams and leads of potluck events should use the available “contains nuts” signs in the kitchen to label any item that they suspect may contain nuts.12/26

Welcome John Davis

In an effort to catch up on a backlog of repairs and to better tend to our ongoing maintenance needs, the trustees have hired John Davis on a temporary, part-time basis to assist with the care and upkeep of our building. John will be working closely with our Senior Pastor and Board of Trustees to address routine maintenance and repair challenges. Please join us in welcoming John and thank him for his assistance. As before, if you notice a maintenance or repair issue, please notify Maureen in the church office. She will pass the request on to the trustees or Senior Pastor for approval and action. This does not alleviate our pursuit of a full-time sexton for Little River UCC, but serves as a bridge to address pressing needs while we determine if our stewardship pledges can support a regular staff position. Likewise, please contact a trustee if you have a skill and time to assist with the care of our church. 12/11

Save the Date!

Open Mike Night

On Saturday, February 22, 2014, Little River UCC will once again host Open Mike Night! It's time to think about what talent you would like to present for this evening. All are welcome to participate! More information will follow shortly. In the meantime, if you have questions, please speak with the event chairman, Sue Leathers. 12/4