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Our 61st Year Revised April 24, 2014

This Weekend

Fifth Sunday Green Space Cleanup, April 27

Our next Fifth Sunday project will be a green space cleanup at Roundtree Park, about four miles from Little River UCC. This outing is scheduled for April 27 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Participants should wear long sleeves and long pants. There will be a scavenger hunt for the young and young-at-heart. Low-mobility participants are needed as "certifiers" for scavenger hunt results. We look forward to sharing this time together outdoors in stewardship of God's green spaces. 4/6

Next Week...

Little River UCC to Host Forum on Solitary Confinement and Mental Health Behind Bars, April 30

As the use of prolonged solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has increased in recent years, more questions are being raised about the consequences of this trend and its impact on inmates and their families. Meanwhile, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has recognized that prolonged isolation of inmates can amount to torture because of its profound impact on mental health and urges that solitary confinement never exceed 15 days.

Little River UCC's Board of Outreach and Social Justice, along with SALT (Social Action Linking Together) and Interfaith Action for Human Rights, the mid-Atlantic partner of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, invites you to a forum exploring this topic on Wednesday evening, April 30, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the social hall. Find out what we are learning about the impact of solitary confinement on mental health and how different states are addressing this. Learn what Virginia is doing to reduce the use of isolation at Red Onion and Wallens Ridge prisons. Explore why this matters to the public and not just to inmates and their families, and learn about opportunities for advocacy around the issue. Invited speakers include Laura Markle Downton, Director of U.S. Prisons Policy and Program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture; Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope; Rev. Jon Barton of the Virginia Council of Churches; and survivors of solitary confinement. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 4/3

Writing Workshop at Little River UCC Begins May 1

Little River UCC is hosting a writing workshop during May and June, to meet weekly on Thursdays from May 1 to June 19 (except for May 29) from 10 am to noon in Room 8. The leader, Joanne Lozar Glenn, is a writer, editor, and educator with long experience working with adults. Her workshop will feature a blend of writing to prompts, working on specific assignments with specific intentions, and sharing the results. Two openings remain in the class, which is open to writers of fiction or non-fiction. if you are interested, please contact the leader, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Payment of $118 is due the first day of class (checks should be made out to LRUCC with Writing Workshop in the memo line). The workshop is sponsored by the Board of Deacons. 4/22

Coming Soon...

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race, May 4

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, May 4, at 8:30 am, in Room 8. 4/22

Collection for Shaw Summer Camp, May 4

Shaw Community Ministry is launching its annual spring drive to raise funds for Camp Shining Star, a summer day camp that provides a wonderful out-of-school alternative for inner-city children in Washington. The focus is on fun, but the camp also provides important enrichment experiences for kids who need help achieving and maintaining grade-level skills over the summer. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice will accept donations in the narthex after both services on Sunday, May 4. Shaw Community Ministry is very thankful for the ongoing support from Little River UCC!4/24

Women's Book Group - Moloka'i, May 4

Please join the book group on Sunday, May 4, from 12:15 to 1:30 pm, for an insightful discussion of Alan Brennert's historical fiction book Moloka'i. The book is set in Hawaii in the late 1800s and centers around Rachel's family as they learn that she has leprosy. She is removed from her family and sent to a leper colony on Moloka'i. It is a story of human drama, isolation, tragedy, joy, courage, and dignity. 4/22

Save the Date!

Gay Men's Chorus Concert to Benefit POFEV, May 9

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC, one of the area's most acclaimed musical groups, will peform the evening of Friday, May 9 for the benefit of People of Faith for Equality for Virginia (POFEV). The Little River UCC Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages your participation in this joyous and inspiring evening of music. The concert will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling. Doors open at 6:30 pm for tapas; the concert begins at 7:30 pm.

To reserve a seat, make a donation online to POFEV of $15 per adult and $5 per child with a credit card or PayPal account. Click on the large black Gay Men's Chorus icon. Write "Gay Men's Chorus" in the "purpose" field next to the amount paid. Bring your receipt, and we'll have your tickets at the door. Child care will be available at the event. For more information, go to www.pofev.org. 4/22

Dr. Anil Henry Visit, May 11

On Sunday, May 11, we will welcome our missionary partner from India, Dr. Anil Henry and his wife Teresa, to Little River UCC. We provide an annual benevolence to Dr. Henry through Global Ministries to support his work at the Christian Hospital of Mungeli. Dr. Henry will share a meditation at both services on May 11.

Following the 11:00 am service, at 12:15 pm, you are invited to join Dr. Henry and his wife for lunch and an informational talk in the social hall. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice will provide vegetarian lasagna. Potluck side dishes (including salads and desserts) are needed and welcome; please e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to sign up to contribute to this meal. This promises to be a wonderful opportunity for Little River UCC to connect with Dr. Henry and learn about his work. Questions? Please contact the Board of Outreach and Social Justice at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 4/22

We're Thankful For...

One Great Hour of Sharing Donations

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice reports that we at Little River UCC gave $5,486 to our annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering on Sunday, March 30. Thank you! Because of your generosity, this money will join other churches' offerings to help alleviate hunger, address refugee crises, and ameliorate the results of natural disasters. 4/22

You Should Know...

Update on Amicus Brief: Marriage Equality in Virginia

On Palm Sunday, April 13, Little River's Church Council took a historic stand in support of marriage equality in Virginia. After discussion attended by a number of church members, the Council agreed unanimously to authorize the church moderator, representing Little River UCC, to sign on in support of an amicus brief being filed by People of Faith for Equality in Virginia. We officially informed POFEV of that support on Monday, April 14.

If upheld, this lower court ruling would define marriage as a "fundamental right," thus disallowing efforts to deny marriage to same-sex couples. The action taken by Little River not only demonstrates our support in the wider world, but reaffirms our commitment to marriage equality as expressed in the resolution that was passed by the congregation in 2012. 4/22

Church Council to Meet on Thursday, April 24

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Little River Church Council will take place on Thursday, April 24, beginning at 7:30 pm. View the draft agenda for that meeting.

Agenda items include the following:

  • Approval of minutes from the March 23 special congregational meeting, calling the Rev. David Lindsey to be our senior pastor
  • Approval of minutes from the April 13 special Church Council meeting, regarding Marriage Equality in Virginia
  • Review of the Little River UCC operating budget as approved by the annual meeting in January, identifying any specific adjustments that need to occur
  • Discussion and formation of an ad-hoc 2015 budget committee to develop a process for preparing a budget for 2015
  • Discussion about the Church Council retreat, scheduled for Saturday, May 17, on implementing the changes approved at the annual meeting related to governance (creation of a governance board and a ministry board)

For additional information, please contact Moderator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 4/22