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Our 61st Year Revised May 15, 2014

This Weekend...

Confirmation Sunday, May 18

On Sunday, May 18, we will celebrate Confirmation Sunday, the day that we honor our youth who have chosen to affirm the promises made at their baptism and join the congregation as adult members. The confirmation class will lead worship at both services, though the service of confirmation will be done at the 9:30 am service. Please come and support our youth, now members, as they join with all who have come to own their faith and make a public stand on what they believe.5/16

Coming Soon...

Summer Worship Schedule Begins May 25

Please note that beginning Sunday, May 25, we will worship at 10:00 am only. Celebration Sunday worship takes place on Sunday, June 1 at 10:00 am followed by the church picnic. We will resume two worship services (9:30 and 11:00) on the Sunday after Labor Day. 5/9

Celebration Sunday Picnic, June 1

On Celebration Sunday, June 1, our annual church picnic will follow the single 10:00 am worship service. Please bring a side dish or dessert and a good appetite. The church will supply the entree. Share conversation and food with dear friends and new acquaintances. Hope to see you there!

We need lots of volunteers to make this happen. If you are able to help with shopping, setup, cooking, leading games, or cleanup, please e-mail 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 . 5/16

Safe Church Training, June 1

All teens and adults are invited to attend Safe Church training on Sunday, June 1, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm in Room 8. Safe Church training is required every two years for anyone who works with children and youth at Little River—including child care, church school, the youth group, and the Welcome Center. Little River UCC's goal is to be a universally safe church. Training is open to everybody and encouraged for all. If you'd like to attend, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at church. To ask questions or address concerns, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 5/16

Save the Date...

Experiencing the Bible Again for the First Time Returns in June

Looking for a way to deepen your encounter with the Bible? 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. June sessions focus on the Gospels, the Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. New participants are welcome! Gatherings take place on Sundays June 15, 22 and 29, from 8:45 to 10:00 am, in the Jubilee Room. The class is led by Janet Parsons Mackey and Barbara Lowrey. Copies of the book are available in the office for $15.00. 5/9

We're Thankful For...

A Hospital in Mungeli, India

Last Sunday, May 11, many of us at Little River UCC had a unique opportunity to learn first-hand of the work we are supporting through our benevolence to Global Ministries and contributions to One Great Hour of Sharing every year. Our missionary, Dr. Anil Henry, accompanied by his wife Teresa, shared stories about their work at the Christian Hospital in Mungeli, India, which provides medical, educational, and social services to thousands of local residents. Through his meditation at both services and his presentation at a potluck luncheon afterward, we learned of the inspirational story of the Christian Hospital, which was started by Christian missionaries in 1879. Lives are literally being transformed through the contributions we make.

We are deeply grateful to Dr. Henry and his wife, and to the Board of Outreach and Social Justice for helping to make this visit possible. You are encouraged to watch a video on the hospital website to further understanding of how important our support is to this incredible ministry. It is a reminder of how much we can do and how much our support is needed in order to continue this powerful ministry.5/16

Thank You from Shaw Community Ministry

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice and Shaw Community Ministry want to extend a cheerful "thank you" to the congregation. Our annual fundraising effort collected more than $1,500 for a six-week summer camp at Cleveland Elementary School in downtown Washington, DC. There will be daily breakfasts and lunches, weekly field trips, several excursions to a community pool, and programs to maintain grade level over the summer months. 5/16

We Need You...

Strengthen the Church/New Visions Campaign Offering

On Celebration Sunday, June 1, we will receive one of four special offerings of United Church of Christ: Strengthen the Church. This offering is collected to support growing congregations in the United Church of Christ through:

  • funding new church starts and invigorating existing congregations
  • nurturing lay and pastoral leadership
  • building youth and young adult ministries
  • supporting the God is Still Speaking ministry and its extravagant welcome for all within the United Church of Christ

This year we also have the opportunity to support the New Visions campaign in the Central Atlantic Conference. It is a one-time campaign to support new church starts and renewal of existing congregations.  Three churches in the Potomac Association already are benefitting from the campaign.

Contributions will be shared equally by Strengthen the Church and the New Visions campaign.

Additional information will be mailed to the congregation next week. Please make checks payable to Little River UCC with "Strengthen Church/New Visions" on the memo line. Thank you for your generous support of these vital projects building the church's future. 5/16

Summer Church School Volunteers Needed

Church School will be offered this summer for children ages 3-9, beginning Sunday, June 8 at 10:00 am. The children will begin in worship and proceed to class following Time with Children. Three volunteers are needed each Sunday to staff classes through the end of August. No experience is necessary and all lesson and craft materials will be provided. Please sign up in the narthex. 5/16

Graduates: Information Please!

On Sunday, June 1, we will honor members of our church family who graduated this spring, or have done so since last June, from high school, college, technical school, or graduate school. If that describes you or a family member, please notify the church office in writing by Monday, May 26. Please include the graduate's name, school and degree, relationship (if not a Little River UCC family member) and, for high school graduates, whether they will continue their education, military service, etc. Also please let the office know about any address changes for graduates listed in the church directory. Please send this information to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 5/9

Pathfinders: Progressive Christian Young Adults – New Dates and Location

Little River's young adults in their 20s and 30s join young adults from other progressive churches for Bible study and fellowship on the first and third Mondays of each month. The group meets from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, at Caffe Amouri in Vienna, VA. Pathfinders also participate in mission projects, an annual retreat, and other events. To learn more about Pathfinders please visit their blog.5/9

You Should Know...

Report on April 30 Solitary Confinement Forum

Despite torrential rain on April 30, approximately 40 people attended a thought-provoking forum at LRUCC addressing issues related to solitary confinement and mental health. The speakers presented startling statistics and stories regarding inhuman conditions suffered by persons held in solitary confinement, the resulting impact on their mental health, and barriers to re-entry into communities.

Laura Markle Downton of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture shared that, since the 1980s, solitary confinement has increased 400%, and "supermax" prisons exclusively for solitary confinement have increased from 1 to 40. Prisoners often are consigned to solitary confinement for trivial rule infractions—too many pencils, stepping off the sidewalk—and, in the case of women, for reporting rape by officers. Some states are beginning to take action, but for-profit prison contracts often require that at least 80% of beds be filled.

Laura Usher of the National Alliance on Mental Illness reminded us that jails and prisons have become de facto mental health facilities as closings of psychiatric hospitals have left many communities without necessary mental health resources, housing, and health care services. Community crisis intervention is needed before individuals are caught up in the criminal justice system. Re-entry planning is essential.

Virginia House of Delegates member Patrick Hope described visits to Virginia's Red Onion prison, legislative efforts to reduce the use of solitary confinement, and implementation of the "step down" program to transition inmates from solitary confinement into the general population.

Powerful first-hand testimony came from Russell Green-Bey, who experienced extended solitary confinement in a Maryland prison for walking on the grass. He described being at the mercy of corrections staff for access to basic services—to obtain books, to exercise the allotted one hour per day, to shower, or to make a phone call—while confined to a tiny cell with walls sweating in summer and iced in winter. He talked openly about his transition to anti-social and paranoid behavior, and his road back to recovery. Russell is now a mentor in the American Friends Service Committee's "Friend of a Friend" program. 5/9

Upcoming Church Council Meetings

On Wednesday, May 14, at 7:30 pm, the Church Council will hold its regularly scheduled meeting. The agenda has been posted on this website. In addition, the Church Council will be holding a retreat on Saturday, May 17, from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon, to begin the implementation of the governance structure change authorized at Little River UCC's annual congregational meeting in January of this year. This new governance structure creates two new boards from the existing Church Council. The Governance Board would consist of the elected officers of the church as well as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. The remaining members of the Church Council would serve on the Ministry Board, with a prime focus on the mission and programs of the church. For further information, please contact the moderator, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 5/16

Church Council Meeting Minutes