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News on the Web in conjunction with Current Tidings weekly e-mails

Our 61st Year | Heather Shackley, Editor| Revised June 12, 2014

This Weekend...

Pilgrim Youth Fellowship Lock-In, June 14–15

All youth age 11–18 are invited to attend a Pilgrim Youth Fellowship Lock-In on Saturday, June 14, at 5:00 pm to Sunday, June 15, at 10:00 am. RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 6/12

Experiencing the Bible Again for the First Time Returns June 15

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 8:45–10:00 am. The June 15 class will be held in Room 8, while the other classes will be in the Jubilee Room... The class is led by Janet Parsons Mackey and Barbara Lowrey. Copies of the book are available from or from Fairfax County Public Library. 5/30

Torture Awareness Month: Stop by the Conference Room on June 15

In observance of Torture Awareness Month, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages you to stop in the conference room after the worship service on Sunday, June 15 and send (1) a thank you note to Senator Warner for voting to make public part of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the treatment of terrorism suspects after September 11, 2001; and (2) a message to President Obama asking him to personally oversee the declassification of the report to make sure it is made public without delay and with only minimal, essential redactions.

Read more about this important issue.5/23

Next Week...

Celebrating Little River's Civil Rights Commitment: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, June 22

Gather on Sunday, June 22, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, for a special Fifth Sunday Event. During this enriching inter-generational activity, we will talk through, and then walk through, Little River UCC's shared history with the Civil Rights Movement. First, we'll meet in groups to share our collective Little River UCC histories that recognize the intertwined roots of our church and the Civil Rights Movement. We'll share our stories about the church's roots, branches and offshoots that continue to bear fruit from our original commitment to civil rights. Then, at 12:30 pm, the groups will join to walk (or ride as needed) midway down the driveway, for a service of reflection in proximity to the unmarked slave burial site on our property. The short walk and worship service will focus on the longer, symbolic journey of our property from a plantation holding to a parish with an extravagant welcome for all. 6/13

The Scourge of Human Trafficking: A Special Screening of Not My Life, June 22

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages you to join other members of our interfaith community to learn what houses of worship and individuals can do to recognize and help stop human trafficking. A screening of Not My Life, a film about this heinous crime in our midst, will be held at Annandale United Methodist Church, 6935 Columbia Pike, in Annandale, on Sunday, June 22, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm . This program is sponsored by the Northern Virginia chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP). Kay Duffield, Director, Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative, and Robin Gahan, Director of Programs, VICPP, will speak following the screening and will entertain questions and comments from attendees. Light refreshments will be provided. 6/6

Coming Soon...

Shalom, Ron Rising! Join us for a Special Coffee Hour on June 29

Sunday, June 29, will be Rev. Ron Rising's last Sunday at Little River UCC. Ron has served as our interim senior pastor since the beginning of March. We will celebrate his ministry among us and express our thanks to him with a special coffee hour following the 10:00 am worship service that day. We have a lot to be grateful for as Ron has helped guide us through a very busy period at the church. Please plan on attending and expressing your appreciation to Ron! 6/6

Save the Date!

Little River UCC Welcomes Rev. Dr. David Lindsey, July 6

On Monday, June 30, David Lindsey will arrive at Little River UCC and begin his ministry with us as our new senior pastor. On Sunday, July 6, we will officially welcome David to our congregation as he leads the 10:00 am worship service.

Following worship on July 6, Dee Cardiff is planning a patriotic celebration to be held in the social hall, featuring visits by some of the U.S. Presidents from the 20th and 21st centuries. You will have a chance to connect with the presidents who were in office on the day you were born, answer some trivia questions, find out who is in your age group, and even enjoy a few munchies associated with "your" President! If you are interested in helping Dee with this celebration, please get in touch with her.

There are all-church and neighborhood events being planned for this summer to welcome David and his fiancee, Carrie Dobmeier, to the Little River UCC community. Details of these events will be shared soon!

David was called by Little River UCC at a congregational meeting on Sunday, March 23, following more than a year's work by our Senior Pastor Search Committee. For the past seven years, David has served as the senior minister of Lynnhurst Congregational UCC in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to that, David served as an associate minister at the Manhattan Beach Community Church in California. David recently completed a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching at Chicago Theological Seminary. He holds a B.A. in Theater from Centre College in Kentucky, and a Masters of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology. David's first day in the office at Little River will be Monday, June 30. 6/6

Little River UCC to Host Exhibit by Danish Artist Bo Gorzelak Pedersen in July

In July, Little River UCC will have the honor of hosting an exhibit of artwork by Danish expressionist artist Bo Gorzelak Pedersen. The exhibit will include a series of paintings and drawings on biblical themes. Some of it is more representational, other is more abstract, all of it is interesting! You can get a sneak peek of the work online at The exhibit will arrive at the end of June and will be on display in our hallway the second week in July. Volunteers are needed to help install the exhibit. If you can help the first week of July for a couple of hours, please contact 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 . 6/6

Ecclesiastes: A Listen Up! Bible Study begins July 13

God's word is alive. God will always have something new to say to us. That's why the purpose of the Listen Up! Bible Study series is not simply learning information about the Bible. It is hearing God speak. Why Ecclesiastes? Sometimes considered the most curmudgeonly and cynical of all the books of the Bible, Ecclesiastes is also praised for telling it like it is. It addresses eternal problems that have always troubled human society. This book of wisdom also reminds us that the great joys in life are fairly simple. It offers soothing certainty about what it means to enjoy the good life: waiting, expecting, with open arms, to receive day by day the good things that come from God. The class meets Sundays July 13, 20, 27 and August 3, at 2:00 pm, at the home of Chris Weakley, the class leader. Please sign up in the narthex or reply to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 6/13

Women's Book Group, The End of Your Life Book Club, July 20

The Women's Book Group will meet on Sunday, July 20 at 11:15 am, in Room 7. The group will discuss The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe. This non-fiction book is about two love stories. One is between the author and his mother who has pancreatic cancer. The other is the love the mother and son have of books. They form a two-person book club and discuss books as they wait for appointments and treatments. Please join us for a thoughtful discussion about this loving way of dealing with end of life issues. 6/6

We're Thankful For...

Strengthen the Church Offering

A heart-felt thank you to everyone who supported the Strengthen the Church/New Visions Offering on Sunday, June 1. Results of the offering will be published here shortly! 6/9

You Should Know...

Church Council Retreat and Next Steps on Governance

On Saturday, May 17, the Little River UCC Church Council held a retreat and spent the morning together to begin implementing the new pilot effort authorized by the congregational annual meeting this past January. This effort involves creating two new boards out of the existing church council: the "Governance Board" and the "Ministry Board."

The Governance Board is to consist of the elected officers of the church (Moderator, Past Moderator, Moderator Elect, Treasurer, Church Clerk, three elected members-at-large and the chair of the Board of Trustees) and deal with such key policies as finances, budget, personnel, building and groups, and other operational responsibilities of the church. The Governance Board is expected to meet at least monthly. The Ministry Board is to consist of the chairs of the boards and committees of Little River UCC along with the Historian/Archivist and membership clerk. The focus of the Ministry Board will be planning and coordination of the programs, worship, and mission of the church. They expect to meet at least quarterly. Both the Governance and Ministry Boards will also meet jointly during the year to discuss current issues and to coordinate activities.

At the retreat, both groups spent time discussing their various roles and what they perceive their responsibilities to be. Each group understood the importance of good communications not only between the boards, but also with the congregation. Meetings will be announced ahead of time along with meeting agendas, and minutes will be made available to the congregation as soon as possible after the meetings. All meetings will be open to any member of Little River UCC.

The Governance Board met on Wednesday, June 11, at 7:30 pm, and plans to meet on the second Wednesday of every month (with the exception of August). The Ministry Board will meet on Monday, June 16, at 7:00 pm. A full Church Council meeting (the Governance and Ministry Boards) is scheduled for Wednesday, September 10, with another meeting planned for November. Updates on meeting dates and times will be provided through Current Tidings, the church web site, and the bulletin.

For further information or to share suggestions or concerns, please contact moderator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or other members of the Church Council. 6/12

Summer Worship Schedule

Please note that from now through Labor Day, we will worship at 10:00 am only. We will resume two worship services (9:30 and 11:00 am) on the Sunday after Labor Day, Sunday, September 7. 5/30

Summer Church School

Church school will be offered this summer beginning Sunday, June 8, for children ages 3-9. The children will begin in worship and proceed to class following the 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. 6/6

Speaking of Stewardship

A summer reminder from the Stewardship Committee: Butterflies are free, but…pastors, great organ music and Youth programs are not! Please keep your church giving current during the summer weeks. Remember: Cheerful givers live longer!6/6

Save the Date!

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

Help Stock Our Food Pantry, June 1

On Sunday, June 1, and every communion Sunday (normally the first Sunday of every month), we invite your gifts of non-perishable, staple food items, which are placed in our church's FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) pantry and used to help the hungry in our community.

This month's food offering will support FISH and Food for Others. Food for Others is in particular need of:

  • Canned meats, chili, fruits
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Re-usable grocery bags

Please do not bring food that has expired as we are unable to use it, and it becomes a burden to dispose of it. 5/30

Help Stock Our Food Pantry

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, 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. 8/29

Faith in Film

On the second Sunday of each month you are invited to gather for lunch and a movie at 12:30 in Room 8. Our "Faith in Film" series will examine today's most pressing issues of justice, faith, society, and spirituality and explore how we can grow in our faithful response to them.


Fair Trade Sale

Stop by the narthex after worship the second Sunday of each month 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.9/04

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 . 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

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. 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! 2/7

Little River UCC Church Council Meeting, February 12

On Wednesday, February 12, members of the "new" Little River UCC church council will have their initial meeting, beginning at 7:30 pm, in Room 8. All members of Little River are invited to submit items to be included on the agenda.

At the January 26 annual congregational meeting, the congregation authorized the council to undertake a pilot effort this year in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of how it operates. Essentially, the council was authorized to conduct business through two groups, the Executive Board and the Ministry Board. The Executive Board will focus on the key policies and "governance" of the church in terms of finances, operations and personnel. The "Ministry" Board will focus on identifying priorities for the church's mission and coordinate programs and activities. Each group could meet separately, but establish procedures for communication and collaboration.

All meetings of the Church Council, the Executive Board and the Ministry Board are open to any member of Little River UCC. Agendas will be posted ahead of time and minutes of the meetings will be made available to all members. View a draft agenda for the February 12 meeting. For further information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Moderator, via email, or by phone at 202-329-8641. 2/7

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 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

Pilgrim Youth Fellowship, February 16

Thank you to our youth for leading such a wonderful time of worship last week on Youth Sunday!

Pilgrim Youth Fellowship (youth ages 11-18) will meet on Sunday, February 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, in the Jubilee Room. The group will share a meal, fellowship, and ideas for spring planning. Bring a friend! 2/13

Experiencing the Bible Again for the First Time, continues February 23

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. Our gatherings take place on Sundays February 23, March 9 and April 6, from 9:30 until 11:00 am. Although the class began on February 2, it's not too late to join in. The class will be exploring the Torah portion of the Hebrew Bible (chapter 5 in Borg's book) this Sunday.2/20

You Should Know...

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

Speaking of Stewardship

"Butterflies are free, but..." Can you finish this paraphrased adage? Hint: check the stewardship bulletin board in the social hall at church! 4/3

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

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 blo