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Our 61st Year Revised January 29, 2014

This Weekend...

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race, February 2

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, February 2, in Room 8. Each month we focus our conversation on a specific issue within the intertwined issues of racism. 1/17

Souper Bowl of Caring: Help Tackle Hunger, February 2

Please support Little River's youth during the Souper Bowl of Caring after worship on Sunday, February 2. On Super Bowl Sunday in 1990, a simple prayer inspired a youth-led movement to help hungry and hurting people around the world. The prayer was "Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat." Please empty your pockets of change—or your billfold of bills!—into the large soup pots in the narthex. All funds collected will be donated directly to Food for Others in Fairfax. 1/17

Help Stock Our Food Pantry, February 2

On 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.

Fairfax FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) is a non-profit direct-aid program supported by 16 Fairfax County churches near the City of Fairfax. FISH responds to requests for necessities such as food, clothing, critical transportation, and urgent financial assistance with housing and prescriptions.

FISH volunteers distribute food from our pantry to area clients. Quarterly, we send unused food to other mission partners, including Food for Others and Thrive DC (formerly the Dinner Program for Homeless Women), where our most recent donation went to assist the homeless in Northwest Washington. Read more about these programs on our Local Support and Action web page. You can also learn about volunteer opportunities by visiting our partners' sites.

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice thanks the congregation for its ongoing generosity in this life-giving year-round ministry of our church. 1/29

Experiencing the Bible Again for the First Time, beginning February 2

Looking for a way to deepen your encounter with the Bible? Can't make it to our usual 11:00 am faith formation offerings? Looking for something different in adult faith formation? Come and share in an experiential small group gathering, engaging Marcus Borg's Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, through worship, reflection, and discussion. With the help of interactive, engaging conversations, this study provokes us into deeper inquiry of the Bible, and welcomes us to ask questions and engage our imaginations, and encourages listening for and discovering the word.

We will focus on the Hebrew Scriptures, where they came from, and how we can journey with their stories on our life in faith. Our gatherings will take place from 9:30 to 11:00 am on Sundays February 2 , 16, and 23, and March 9 and 23. April 6 will be a make-up day in case it is needed. This time was selected to meet the busy schedules of our families with children, though all are welcome. The class will be led by Janet Parsons Mackey and Barbara Lowrey. In order to be fully engaged at the first session, you will be asked to read chapters 1-3 (about 50 pages) before we gather. 1/29

Safe Church Training, February 2

All teens and adults are invited to attend Safe Church training on Sunday, February 2, from 12:00 to 2:00 pm, in Room 8. Safe Church training is required every two years for anyone who works with children and youth at Little River UCC—including child care, church school, 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. A meal will be provided. If you'd like to attend, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To ask questions or address concerns, please contact Pastor Hank This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 1/17

Next Week...

First Friday: Happy Hearts, February 7

Bring your children to First Friday on Friday, February 7, from 6:30- 9:30 pm. The cost is $10 per child, with a family maximum of $25. If you pre-register by February 2, the cost is $8 with a family maximum of $20! Register online or between church services at the table in the narthex. Additional information and registration forms are available here.

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! 1/29

Fair-Trade Sale, February 9

Stop by the narthex after worship on Sunday, February 9, 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.1/29

Faith in Film: Welcome to Shelbyville, February 9

Faith in Film returns on Sunday, February 9, from 12:30 - 2:00 pm, in Room 8 to share lunch and to view Welcome to Shelbyville. From the film's website:

Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In this one small town in the heart of America's Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Just a stone's throw away from Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan), longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.

To help plan our meal together, please sign up in the social hall or by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information on the film please visit the PBS website.1/29

Coming Soon...

Open Mike Night, February 22

Whether you're an irrepressible Paul McCartney ("Gotta sing! Gotta dance!") or a hesitant Ringo Starr ("Would you stand up and walk out on me?"), Little River's Open Mike Night is for you! People of all ages and levels of experience are welcome to share their art through spoken word, comedy, dance, skit, any kind of musical performance, and more. You can even perform with a live band, courtesy of our ace house musicians. Showtime is Saturday, February 22, at 7:30 pm.

Please let us know what you plan to perform by Sunday, February 2. If you want the band to back you up (and who doesn't?), give us either the sheet music or lyrics and a recording (CD, mp3, web link, etc.) by that date–but earlier is better! Sign up at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Send your music to the same address or give it to maestro Dave Shepherd. So that all may have a turn, each act is asked to perform only one number. We're also looking for a merry crew to help with refreshments, setup, and decorating. If can help in any way or want to know more, please contact coordinator Sue Leathers.

Above all, we're looking for lots of you to come enjoy a sparkling night of entertainment and togetherness! 1/15

Women's Book Group, February 23

The Women's Book Group will meet to discuss The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian on Sunday, February 23, from 12:15 until 1:30 pm [Please note this is a date change from information originally published in the January 26 bulletin].

This book is a historical love story steeped in the Armenian culture. Elizabeth volunteers on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to help deliver food and medical supplies to refugees of the Armenian genocide in 1915. Laura, in current times, goes back in her family history to find out what happened to her family members in the genocide. This book is especially relevant since 2015 will be the centenary anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Please join us for a thoughtful and insightful discussion. 1/29

Save the Date!

Rev. Susan Henderson's Farewell, March 2

Rev. Susan Henderson's last day at Little River UCC will be Sunday, March 2. On that day, we will express our farewell to Susan with deep gratitude. We will be doing that through a special service of worship, beginning at 10:00 am (the only worship service that morning) which will include our conference ministers. Immediately following the service there will be a brief time of fellowship, followed by a short ceremony which will include some special remembrances, plus music and gifts that reflect our love and appreciation. We hope that you will be present on Sunday, March 2, to honor and thank Susan for her love and devotion.

As a part of the time of fellowship, we will be providing light refreshments in the social hall and could use some help with simple kinds of snacks: cheese and crackers, fruit, or other kinds of finger food. If you are able to assist, please contact Bunny Jones by phone, 703-218-9888, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 1/29

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, March 4

Plan to prepare for the start of Lent—the most important Christian holiday season—by joining Little River UCC friends for a pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday, March 4, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Come when you can; a blessing will be said at 6:30 pm. Pancakes, sausage, and fruit salad will be served, with vegetarian and gluten-free options available. RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the church office by Sunday, March 2, so we can get a rough head count. Donations (cash or check) will be received at the door. We also need volunteer pancake flippers, set-up helpers, and clean-up angels! Sign up on the bulletin board in the social hall after worship services on Sunday, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for kitchen help or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for setup and cleanup. 1/15

We're Thankful For...

Thank you, Hube Beckwith!

Since 1991, Hube Beckwith has served as editor of Little River UCC's newsletter, Currents. For more than 20 years, Hube made sure that our newsletters appeared in our mailboxes bi-weekly with information as timely, accurate, and compelling as humanly possible. In November, Hube transferred newsletter editing responsibility to Heather Shackley, who began her work with Current Tidings as a staff member last summer and now continues as a volunteer. Athough Hube continues to archive each week's Currents online, to produce the print-friendly edition, and to serve as an active member of the Communications Advisory Team, with this change, he has relinquished a major volunteer responsibility. His years of dedicated newsletter-editing were recognized at the Annual Meeting on January 26 with an announcement and a standing ovation. Please join us in our hearty appreciation of Hube! 1/29

We Need You...

Let's Freshen Up the Nursery, February 28 and March 1

Volunteers are needed to make the nursery a warm, cozy, welcoming room for our youngest visitors! On Friday, February 28, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, we will be cleaning, moving the furniture, and patching the walls to prepare for painting. On Saturday, March 1, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, we will be painting and putting the room back in order. All supplies and refreshments provided; please come dressed to get messy! Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 703-323-0416, if you are interested in showing off those DIY skills! 1/29

You Should Know...

Little River Welcomes Rev. Ron Rising!

At the Little River UCC Annual Meeting held on January 26, 2014, the congregation approved the hiring of Rev. Ron Rising as Interim Senior Pastor, succeeding Rev. Susan Henderson, effective Monday, March 3. Ron will serve on a half-time basis until the arrival of our new senior pastor, anticipated to be later this spring. Ron's focus will be on worship, parish care, and helping ensure a smooth transition over the next few months.

Ron is an ordained UCC minister and brings a wealth of experiences as a pastor, interim pastor, and counselor, principally in Connecticut. He last served as the Interim Pastor at the Union Congregational Church in Oakville, Connecticut, from 2008 to 2010. He is currently retired. He and his wife, Sharon, reside in Silver Spring, where they assist with family and grandchildren. Ron has a B.A. in history from Tufts University, a M.Div. from the Yale University, and a Th.M. from United Theological Seminary in Minneapolis. Minnesota. Ron will be introduced at the February 9 worship services. Please join us in welcoming Ron to Little River! 1/29

Update to Roster of Congregational Leaders

The following updates have been made to the roster of congregational leaders at Little River UCC:

  • Pat Berry, appointed to fill a vacancy on the Stewardship Committee, class of 2016
  • Steven Carr, appointed to complete Ann Lingo's term as at-large congregational representative to Church Council, class of 2015
  • Brian Payne, appointed to complete James Taylor's term on the Endowment Fund Committee, class of 2016
  • Rob Peters, appointed to fill a vacancy on the Stewardship Committee, Class of 2017 1/29