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

Our 61st Year Heather Shackley, EditorRevised July 31, 2014

This Week...

Help Stock Our Food Pantry, August 3

On Sunday, August 3, 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.8/1

Ecclesiastes: A Listen Up! Bible Study continues August 3

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.

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 remaining session will be held on Sunday, August 3, and will focus on Ecclesiastes 7 - 12. Class will meet at 2:00 pm, at the home of Chris Weakley, the class leader. Please reply to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . New participants are welcome to attend! 8/1

Support Back-to-School Readiness in Annandale, August 3

On Sunday, August 3, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice will be collecting items specifically requested by the schools in the Annandale pyramid (this includes Annandale High School and its feeder middle and elementary schools). Annandale is one of the most economically and socially diverse communities in Fairfax county, and needs your support to ensure that the students start school in September ready to learn.

The Annandale pyramid has requested special items. These items include:

  • Backpacks for teenagers
  • Kids and youth underwear
  • Kids and youth socks

We welcome donations of any of the above items from now until Tuesday, August 5. Please look for the labeled bin in the narthex. For questions or to volunteer at the distribution event that will take place on August 13, please contact Nancy Hall at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information about the fair, visit 7/18

Pack Backpacks for Shaw, A "Mini" Fifth Sunday Project, August 3

On Sunday, August 3, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice invites you to join them after worship in the choir room to pack backpacks with school supplies for the children served by the Shaw Community Ministry. This "mini" Fifth Sunday project needs your help! Please join us. Questions? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 7/18

Next Week...

Fair-Trade Sale, August 10

Stop by the narthex after worship on Sunday, August 10, 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.8/1

Seeking to Put Your Faith Into Action?  Join us on August 10

Since the former Christian Social Action Committee merged with the Board of Missions, the new Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) continues to explore how best to engage the Little River UCC community in action on social justice issues that are integral to our faith. For example, a small ad-hoc group has worked with BOSJ to sustain Little River UCC's engagement with the National Religious Campaign against Torture (NRCAT) and its mid-Atlantic partner, Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR). That group will meet in the conference room after worship on Sunday, August 10, from 11:15 am to 12:45 pm. At the meeting, we hope to explore how this and similar ad-hoc groups can be nurtured within Little River UCC as vehicles for social action around certain issues.

As background, LRUCC has a formal relationship with NRCAT and IAHR , with a commitment to participate in core issues that include:

  • Rebuilding a culture of total opposition to torture in the U.S.
  • Ending indefinite detention without trial of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo and elsewhere
  • Ending prolonged solitary confinement in U.S. detention facilities

In addition, there are opportunities for activism around a cluster of related human rights issues. These include:

  • Extrajudicial killings by drones outside of active war zones
  • Mass incarceration, including excessive sentences for non-violent offenders and issues relating to reintegration of ex-offenders
  • Death penalty abolition
  • Immigration detention
  • Human trafficking/violence against women, including in Fairfax County
  • Gun violence (which is increasingly being seen as a human rights issue)

Please consider joining us on August 10 to share your thoughts about working on these and other social justice issues and how you would prioritize them. For more information, contact Judy Moats, Karen Kleiber, or Gay Gardner. 8/1

Informal Summer Sunday Gathering coordinated by the Board of Deacons, August 10

You are cordially invited to participate in an informal summer gathering on Sunday, August 10, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, at the home of Barbara and Gary Allen. Stop by for iced tea, lemonade, wine and nibbles, and mingle. This is an opportunity to get to know other members and friends of Little River UCC in a smaller group setting, and a chance to visit with Rev. David Lindsey. While all Little River UCC members, family, and friends are welcome to participate, capacity is limited, so please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Barbara and Gary live in the "Annandale" Community of Care.

See additional information about Little River UCC's Communities of Care below. 7/18

We're Thankful For...

Thank You From Thrive DC

Thank you to everyone who donated requested items for Thrive DC on Sunday, July 6! We were able to deliver multiple bags of hats, sunglasses, t-shirts and shorts, socks and underwear, backpacks, water bottles, suntan lotion, and Gatorade to Thrive on July 10 for their special summer needs. Our delivery also included a crateful of hotel-sized toiletries and several bags of food. They were very appreciative of the donation and will immediately begin distributing the items donated. And thanks to the generous donations that have come in to the food pantry over the last several months, we were also able to make an additional donation of five bags of food to Food for Others and several boxes of snacks, baby items, and household goods to Homestretch this month. And the pantry is still well stocked for our monthly distributions for Fairfax FISH. Thank you for your generous donations to those in our community!7/18

We Need You...

A Call for Summer Musicians

From June through Labor Day, the choirs take a holiday. During this season, members and friends of Little River present a rich variety of solo and ensemble music during worship. Performers include individual members from the various choirs, members of the congregation at large, and guests from the broader community.

If you are interested in providing special summer music, please contact any member of the music staff or the music committee. Both instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome. So consider this your official invitation! 7/18

You Should Know...

More Comings and Goings at Little River UCC

Recently, Maureen Halligan, our office assistant, resigned her position at Little River UCC. Her last day of service was Friday, July 25. Maureen has seen us through a major transition with Rev. Susan Henderson's departure and the coming and going of Rev. Ron Rising, followed by the arrival of Rev. Dr. David Lindsey. Through it all, Maureen worked diligently to keep the office running and to complete key tasks. Thanks, Maureen, for your service and for helping us during a critical period in Little River's history!

Succeeding Maureen is a newcomer to Little River UCC, Donna Jones. Donna began working on Monday, July 21, and was hired through a national organization, Professionals for Nonprofits, as a temporary replacement until a determination is made as to staffing needs in the front office. Donna is excited about working at the church and even attended the Sunday worship service on July 27, where she was welcomed by the congregation.

Donna has a wealth of administrative experience, including work at Catholic University and with the Archdiocese of Washington. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Delaware, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in business from Catholic University. Please stop by the office and welcome Donna to Little River UCC! 8/1

Little River UCC's Communities of Care

Have you met other church members who live in your Community of Care? The Communities of Care program assists the pastoral staff with functions involving care of Little River UCC members and friends with special needs. Members of Little River UCC are grouped geographically by ZIP code into Communities of Care that provide lay support for individuals in times of need. Each Community of Care is led by one or more deacons who are responsible for organizing appropriate action in times of need, and all members and friends are encouraged to assist as they are able.

Click Here for a listing of the Communities of Care and the assigned deacons.

Actions organized by Communities of Care include:

  • Occasional support (food, transport to doctor, child care, etc.) for members with special needs such as a recent surgery, hospitalization, or death in the family
  • Intermittent assistance (e.g., child or elder care) over a long term for families dealing with on-going issues
  • Assistance with receptions following memorial services
  • Welcoming new members and calling on long-absent members

The Board of Deacons offers special thanks to the "Annandale" and the "East of Annandale" Communities of Care and other Little River UCC members and friends for your help with hosting the recent memorial service and reception for Roy Brooks, Sr. 8/1

Speaking of Stewardship

1 Peter 4:10 offers us this counsel, "Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received."

John Calvin, the great theologian of Geneva, Switzerland, explained the text this way:

Riches in themselves and by their nature are not all to be condemned; and it is even a great blasphemy against God to disapprove of riches, implying that a man who possesses them is thereby wholly corrupted. For where do riches come from if not from God?

But Scripture, to lead us by the hand to this, warns that whatever benefits we obtain from the Lord have been entrusted to us on this condition: that they be applied to the common good of the church. And therefore the lawful use of all benefits consists in liberal and kindly sharing of them with others. No surer rule and no more valid exhortation to keep it could be devised than when we are taught that all the gifts we possess have been bestowed by God and entrusted to us on condition that they be distributed for our neighbors' benefit [see 1 Peter 4:10].

Let this therefore be our rule for generosity and beneficence: We are the stewards of everything God has conferred on us by which we are able to help our neighbor, and are required to render account of our stewardship. Moreover, the only right stewardship is that which his tested by the rule of love. Thus it will come about that we shall not only join zeal for another's benefit with care for our own advantage, but will subordinate the latter to the former. 7/18

Summer Newsletter Schedule

Current Tidings, Little River UCC's email newsletter, and Currents, the associated content on the website, is following a modified summer. Through August, Current Tidings will be sent out every other week. As always, the content deadline will be the end of the day on the Monday prior to Friday's publication. Weekly publication will resume on Friday, September 5. Please use the chart below to ensure that any information to be shared with Little River UCC members and friends is included in the bi-weekly publication. If you have questions, please contact Currents/Current Tidings editor, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .7/11

Current Tidings Publication Date Content Deadline
August 15, 2014 August 11, 2014
August 29, 2014 August 25, 2014

Church Council News

  • The minutes of the May 14 Church Council meeting, the June 11 Governance Board meeting, as well as the draft minutes of the July 9 Governance Board meeting have been posted on this website
  • The Ministry Board will meet next the evening of Wednesday, August 6
  • The Governance Board will not meet in August
  • The next meeting of the full Church Council (both Governance and Ministry Boards) will be held on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, beginning at 7:30 pm
  • For further information, please contact moderator Tom Ross. 8/1