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Our 61st Year Heather Shackley, EditorRevised October 2, 2014

This Week...

Interfaith Worship Service, October 2

In celebration of the inaugural NOVA Pride Festival, we are invited to share in an interfaith celebration of worship on Thursday, October 2 at 7:30 pm. This service will be hosted at the Metropolitan Community Church-Fairfax, Virginia, with representation from diverse expressions of faith, including the United Church of Christ. For more information, please contact the 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 . 10/1

First Friday, October 3

Bring your children to First Friday on October 3, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm! The children will enjoy dinner, games, and crafts while you enjoy a little free time. The cost is $15 per child, with a family maximum of $30. Registration forms are available on this website.

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. 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! 9/19

Blessing of the Animals Service, October 4

On Saturday, October 4, we will be celebrating a blessing of the animals! Our clergy will be praying over your pets: dogs, cats, birds, you name it. The service should last about 30 minutes. Come join us in the memorial grove at church at 1:00 pm and bring your favorite furry/ feathery friend! 9/26

Gun Violence is a Social Justice Issue, October 4 and 5

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages your participation in the Fall for Fairfax Festival on Saturday and Sunday, October 4 and 5, at the Fairfax County Government Center. The Northern Virginia Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence will have an information booth at the Festival. This is an opportunity for education, awareness, and faith exploration regarding gun violence and its related social justice issues.

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice supports opportunities to provide awareness, understanding, and faith-in-action in addressing social justice issues. Questions? Talk with a board member or contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 10/3

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race, October 5

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 of each month at 8:30 am for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism. Conversations begin onSunday, October 5, in Room 8. 9/19

Ushers Needed This Sunday and Next, October 5 and 12

Volunteers are urgently needed to serve as ushers this Sunday and next, October 5 and 12, at the 11:00 am service. The October usher team finds itself with a number of people unable to serve this week. If you are able to help out, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Can't help out this Sunday, but interested in learning more? Ushers provide a welcome and facilitate entry into the sanctuary for all who come to worship at Little River UCC. Ushers serve on one of six teams that rotate throughout the year. Each team works every third month. For more information or to volunteer, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 10/3

Neighbors in Need Offering, October 5

Imagining a World Where Literacy is No Longer a Concern

Little River UCC is located in an area of strong schools, where many take the ability to read for granted. Yet, we know this is not so for everyone. This year we have an opportunity to support essential reading programs and initiatives through our Neighbors in Need offering. This program, which the United Church of Christ (UCC) highlights, is among the wide range of direct service projects and social justice initiatives supported by our yearly Neighbors in Need offering. One third of the offering will support the Council for American Indian Ministries, which provides funds for 20 UCC congregations on reservations and one multi-tribal congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Two thirds of the offering will support the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries. This office works with a wide network and continues to advocate on issues such as voting rights, health care, environmental justice, immigration, civil liberties, and the federal budget. Watch for bulletin inserts, and look for envelopes in the pews on Sunday, October 5. If you prefer, you may write a check directly to Little River UCC with "NIN" in the memo line. When you give, please be generous. 9/11

Animate: Bible, October 5

In each session the group views a brief video featuring a leading voice from the Christian faith, spends time on personal reflection and journaling, and shares ideas with the group. Topics include Canon, History, Testaments, Gospels, Genre, Interpretation, and Grace. The class meets Sundays at 11:00 am, through October 26, in Room 8. 10/3

NOVA Pride Festival, October 5

Please plan to attend the NOVA Pride Festival on Sunday, October 5 from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm, at the Bull Run Special Events Center, Centreville, Virginia. Little River UCC will be there with a booth and an open and affirming welcome for all. Come as a visitor and/or avolunteer. For more information and to sign up, contact Judy Moats, Rev. Hank, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 9/19

Next Week...

Arriving in Your Mailbox: Gifts from Loving Hearts

Information about Little River UCC's stewardship campaign, “Gifts from Loving Hearts,” will be mailed in the week of October 6. Members and friends will receive a letter from Moderator Tom Ross, a booklet about Little River UCC's programs, and a guide to for use in thinking about one’s estimate of giving for 2015. The guide will provide a sample of the giving card, but actual giving cards will be distributed during the one worship service at 10:00 am on Sunday, October 26. Time will be provided to complete the cards during the service and present them in a special time of dedication. 10/3

Faith in Film, October 12

Faith in Film returns on Sunday, October 12, from 12:30 to 2:00 pm, to share lunch and to view excerpts from Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert. The film tells the moving story of a year in the life of one mother whose daily struggles illuminate the challenges faced by more than 42 million American women and the 28 million children who depend on them. It is the unvarnished account of a single mom struggling to get ahead, but constantly getting knocked back by a system that almost seems designed to see her fail. Please join us in Room 8. 10/3

This Month...

“Love Makes a Family” Art Display at Little River UCC in October

October is LGBT History Month. To help celebrate this annual reflection on the Open and Affirming values of our congregation, the Pilgrim Youth Fellowship (PYF) and Open and Affirming (ONA) Committee are spending each gathering learning about the life experiences of LGBT people in America, and especially Virginia. As part of this focus our congregation is blessed to host the Family Diversity Projects’ “Love Makes a Family.” The traveling exhibit will be on display in the main hallway for the month of October, welcoming us to explore the many faces of love that surround us. For in-depth information on this display, please visit 10/3

Rev. Melissa McQueen to Be Guest Steward, October 14 and 19

It is a joy to announce that the Rev. Melissa McQueen has agreed to serve as our guest steward during this fall’s stewardship campaign. If you consider yourself one of Little River UCC's volunteers, please come and meet Rev. McQueen for “Decaf and Dessert" on Tuesday, October 14, at 7:30 pm. McQueen will also be the preacher at both services on October 19. Mark your calendar for these special events and be present to welcome our guest steward.

A recipient of Little River UCC’s Beckwith Scholarship, McQueen is a licensed Baptist minister actively involved in Covenant Baptist UCC in Washington, DC. A student at Howard University, she is a Member-in-Discernment for ministry in the UCC. She describes herself as a "feminist, womanist, counselor, and healer.”

A native of North Carolina, McQueen graduated from Johnson and Wales University in South Carolina in 2002. She has worked across a variety of disciplines, including serving in the Army from 1998 to 2006. Currently, she works at Many Voices, a non-profit that describes itself as "a black church movement for gay and transgender justice." 10/3

Exploring Jim Crow Yesterday and Today, October 15 and November 1

As Little River UCC turns 60 early next year, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice seeks to to engage the congregation in a conversation about civil rights and racial justice and to examine historical and current realities. To this end, we invite you to learn about and read about the "new Jim Crow" as described by Michelle Alexander in her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. This book lays out a compelling argument that our criminal justice system now functions much more like a system of racial or social control than a system of crime prevention and control. In fact, this book led to a resolution by the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ in June 2014 entitled "Dismantling the New Jim Crow." You are invited to explore this further by participating in the following upcoming events:

First, gather on Wednesday, October 15, from 7:30 to 8:45 pm, for an evening with Professor Jennifer Ritterhouse from George Mason University, who will share her research about race and identity in the Jim Crow South. Professor Ritterhouse is the author of Growing Up Jim Crow: How Black and White Southern Children Learned Race (UNC Press, 2006). Professor Ritterhouse will give a talk as well as answer questions to set the stage for our exploration of human rights and racial justice.

Next, we invite you to join a special church-wide book discussion of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. On Saturday, November 1 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, we will gather in the Jubilee Room for breakfast and conversation about the book as well as Little River UCC's role in responding to this American crisis. To ask questions or to RSVP, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 9/26

Switzerland Footsteps Education Talk, October 19

All are welcome on Sunday, October 19, at 11:00 am, as our Switzerland Footsteps Tour leader, Bob Lingo, facilitates a discussion about the creation of the League of Nations. The League of Nations, sponsored by President Wilson, was established in Geneva. We will discuss the League's history and ultimate failure. In the spring of 2015, the Switzerland Footsteps Tour from Little River UCC will visit Geneva and the League of Nations, as well as the International Red Cross and the World Council of Churches also located there. For additional information about this education talk or the Footsteps Tour, please contact Bob Lingo. 10/3

Green Justice Team Talk and Tour, October 19

Come foray with us where the grass grows wild and wind blows free! The newly forming Green Justice Team will host a "Talk and Tour" on Sunday, October 19 at 12:30 pm in Room 8. Jim McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist with the Virginia Department of Forestry, will give a talk on the urban forest environment that surrounds our church. A tour of the grounds will follow his presentation with a focus on the invasive and beneficial species that live on our property. Please join us to learn more about caring for our shared environment. Questions? Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 10/3

2015 Budget Conversation, October 19

A conversation about items related to budget planning for 2015 will be held on Sunday, October 19, at 12:30 pm, following the second worship service. Further information will be forthcoming in the Sunday bulletin and in Currents. 10/3

Consecration Sunday, October 26

On Sunday, October 26, as the culmination of our stewardship campaign, "Gifts from Loving Hearts," we will celebrate Consecration Sunday, during which we will present and dedicate our financial pledges for the coming year. There will be only one service that day, at 10:00 am, so that the entire congregation can worship together and share in the celebratory luncheon following the service. 9/26

Save the Date!

Saving Jesus, November 2

The class is a small-group, DVD-based exploration of the relevance of Jesus, featuring religious voices of our day. Topics include Who Was Jesus, Jesus' Ministry of Compassion, and Why Jesus is Worth Saving. Sessions begin on Sunday, November 2, at 11:00 am. 9/26

We Need You...

Front Door Greeters Needed

Help us extend our welcome every Sunday! Sign up to be a front door greeter! Each week, we put out the hand of fellowship to everyone entering the church building at the 9:30 and 11:00 services. If you feel called to share your warmth and love, please contact Bunny Jones, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 703-328-9888. 9/19

You Should Know...

Letting Go: A Note About Current Tidings

This will be my last issue as editor of our weekly newsletter, Current Tidings. These past 14 months have been a wonderful experience for me and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity. Through the weekly submissions received for publication, I have learned much about Little River UCC and am honored to have worked with so many committed and passionate volunteers. I am thankful for the continued guidance and support of our web and communications teams, especially for our editor emeritus, Hube Beckwith, who continues to assist by archiving each edition of the web-based portion of the newsletter, and for Judy Miller who, with Hube, serves as my personal web help desk.

As many of you know, Current Tidings was an office task that I "took with me" as a volunteer assignment when I left paid employment at the church at the end of August last year. This was done to ease some of the workload during a period of transition in the office. Now, the time is right for Current Tidings to return to its rightful and logical place in the capable hands of the church office staff.

Donna Jones, our church office administrator, will be taking over the editing of Current Tidings and Currents on the web beginning with the October 10 issue next week. As with all important work, there will undoubtedly be a learning curve. I know that Donna can count on Little River UCC's members and friends to support her in this new endeavor and to be patient as she learns the ins and outs of this big project.

The process for submitting information to Current Tidings and the bulletin remains the same: submissions should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by the end of the day on Monday for publication that Friday and Sunday.

With a grateful heart ~ Heather Shackley 10/3

Speaking of Stewardship

This year's stewardship campaign, "Gifts from Loving Hearts," will become more visible in the next few weeks. Information about the campaign will be mailed to members and friends in the week of October 6.

Stewardship is what a person does after saying I believe - William H. Geever 9/26

Church Council News

  • The full Church Council (both Governance and Ministry Boards) met on Wednesday, September 10, 2014: Minutes from that meeting have been posted.
  • The Ministry Board met on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
  • The next meeting of the Governance Board will be held on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 7:30 pm. An agenda for that meeting will be posted a few days before the meeting.
  • The minutes the most recent Church Council and Governance Board meetings have been posted on this website.
  • For further information, please contact moderator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 10/3