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Our 61st Year Donna Jones, EditorRevised November 14, 2014

This Week...

Gifts from Loving Hearts

The emphasis of the Gifts from Loving Hearts stewardship campaign is to invite members and friends of Little River UCC to consider the portion of their financial resources to be directed to the support of the church. That is why the committee did not suggest a specific percentage increase in giving. Rather, the emphasis is an invitation to each of us to make a spiritual decision about generosity.

Those who have not yet offered an Estimate of Giving for 2015 were mailed information and a card on which to forward their giving intention for the coming year. You are asked to complete an Estimate of Giving as soon as possible and mail it to the church or present it during the offering in Sunday worship. The development by the trustees of the proposed budget for 2015 is based primarily on the Estimates of Giving from members and friends. As of November 14, 103 Estimates of Giving have been received totaling $473,156. 11/07

"We get a living from what we earn; we make a life by what we give."
-attributed to Winston Churchill

Saving Jesus

Through December 21

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. The class meets Sundays through December 21 at 11:00 a.m. 10/29

It Takes Ten Thousand Villages . . . for Shopping!

November 16

Plan to do loads of shopping for the holidays, birthdays, house gifts etc.. during coffee hours on Sunday November 16.  Our Board of Outreach and Social Justice is bringing Ten Thousand Villages with unique, handmade fair-trade gifts from around the world including baskets, jewelry, crafts and other items from international artisans.

Shaw Community Ministry Thanksgiving Collection

November 16

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice will be collecting in-kind donations to create Thanksgiving baskets. Each year, Shaw Community Ministry gives gifts of food to residents of the Shaw neighborhood in Washington, DC in order to provide low-income families with supplies to make their own holiday meals. With overwhelming support from Little River UCC and other churches, in 2013 SCM was able to offer over 100 families the much needed materials to create their own holiday celebrations. The goal this year is to feed at least 75 families a Thanksgiving meal.

Reusable grocery bags with shopping lists are available in the atrium. Please take a bag, put your donations in it, and bring it back to church on Sunday, November 16. Questions? Ask a Board member or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 10/31

Place Setters Dine Out

November 16

Let's share Sunday evening dinner November 16 at 6:00 at Elephant Jumps, a Thai Restaurant in the Yorktowne Shopping Center in Merrifield (8110A Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). To sign up, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call the church office or look for the sign-up sheet in the atrium. 10/31

Stepping Out: A Thanksgiving Interfaith Celebration

November 16

The Little River UCC Open & Affirming Committee joins with Center Faith and DC Rainbow History Project to invite LGBT-supportive faith communities to a worship service in thanks for the historic growth of justice and affirmation for the LGBTQ and straight supporting communities.  This has been achieved through years of prayer, labor, and interfaith cooperation. "Welcoming Congregations" tells brief stories of the historic beginnings in DC, Maryland, and Virginia; the blessings experienced by inclusion; and the new brave actions and challenges.

The service takes place on Sunday, November 16, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I (Eye) Street SW, Washington, DC. For more information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 11/07

Footsteps: Switzerland Education Talk

November 16

On Sunday morning, November 16, our Senior Pastor, David Lindsey, will lead a conversation on Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss reformer from the 1500s. Zwingli was a fascinating character during the Protestant Reformation, but he is often overlooked by the modern church. Come join us in Room 8 at 11 am for a lively talk that will help us dive into next year's Footsteps tour of Switzerland!

Whether or not you plan to go on the tour, you are welcome to participate in this and every Footsteps class.

Next Week...

Clothing for Thrive DC

November 23

Is your winter coat no longer amazing? Are you ready for a new color or style? Your old coat could be a dream coat for a homeless person served by Thrive DC. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice will be collecting items for Thrive DC’s Welcome Warmth Coat Drive on Sunday, November 23.

Thrive DC is in need of the following gently used items:

  • winter coats
  • hoodies
  • gloves
  • hats
  • scarves
  • blankets
  • sleeping bags

Thrive DC could also use donations of the following new items:

  • underwear
  • thermal underwear (long tops and bottoms)
  • socks

Please check your closets and storage areas for any items that might bring some warmth to a homeless person in DC this winter. Donated items will be delivered to Thrive DC the week of December 1 for distribution to those in need to help them prepare for anticipated harsh winter weather. 11/13

Special Music at Worship

November 23

On Sunday, November 23, the Joyful Noise and Salt of the Earth choirs will present an abridged edition of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the 9:30 and 11:00 worship services. Featuring music from Andrew Lloyd Webber, the musical tells the Old Testament story of Joseph and his "coat of many colors" through songs like "Jacob and Sons," "Close Every Door," and "Any Dream Will Do." It will tell the story through song, props, and movement and will include vocal solos and youth-provided percussion.

At 9:30, only the Godly Play church school class will meet. All other children & youth are invited to enjoy Joseph.  Please join us for this special musical presentation! 11/13

Ashton Streavig

One All-Church "Coffee and Conversation"

November 23

The Board of Deacons has voted to combine the coffee time following each service into one unified "Coffee and Conversation" social time, which will take place between the services. This will allow us all to get to know each other better. The combined coffee service will begin on Sunday, November 23.

Coming Soon...

Fall Clean-Up Day

November 29

The Trustees have scheduled a fall cleanup and work-party day the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29. Please come help clean up the leaves outside and do projects indoors. 10/31

Toxicodendron radicans?

November 30

Better known as poison ivy, this vine is native to Northern Virginia and is actually a beneficial and plentiful food source for many animals in our area.  It is also abundant in the urban forest surrounding our church home.

There are also many other beneficial native species on our church property, such as mountain laurel, sassafras, green briar, and dogwood. Unfortunately, there are several harmful species in our midst as well, including porcelain berry, garlic mustard, trumpet creeper, and Japanese honeysuckle.  In October, Jim McGlone of the Virginia Department of Forestry gave an informative talk and tour of Little River's urban forest landscape that highlighted the opportunities we all share to care for the lands surrounding our church home.  We hope to be able to use the information he provided to move forward in forming an action plan of care.

Join the newly forming Green Team on Sunday, November 23 at 12:30 in room 8 for further discussion and for conversation about Little River's developing commitment to eco-justice.

Custom Wrapping for White Gits

November 30

Have you struggled to find plain white paper to wrap your White Gifts?  Our PYF youth have a solution for you!  Bring your unwrapped gifts to church on the afternoon of Sunday, November 30.  While you help decorate our church for Advent or participate in making crafts at Advent Funshops, the youth will wrap your gifts.  All money that might be offered as thanks for gift wrapping will go toward funding the 2015 summer mission experience.

White Gift Service and Tree . . .

For December 7

Note: the White Gift service will take place at 5:00 as usual, not in the morning.

The White Gift Service is a beloved Little River UCC tradition in which we reenact the Nativity scene for worshipers of all ages, who follow the Magi and offer gifts to honor the Christ child. In preparation for that special service, our White Gift Christmas tree stands in the atrium to express the Christmas hopes of young children from low-income families served by Annandale Christian Community for Action, Main Street Child Development Center, and Shaw Community Ministry.

Please take one or more tags from the tree. For each tag buy one or more of the gifts listed, totaling in the $25-$50 range. Wrap each box separately in plain white paper. For boxes belonging with the same tag, tie together with white string. All gifts are meant to be offered at the White Gift Service on Sunday, December 7, at 5:00 pm. If you are unable to attend, please drop gifts off in the office prior to the service.

Allow yourself the pleasure of sharing God's love with a child in need this Christmas season! But please take only as many tags as you are able to provide gifts. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice thanks Little River UCC friends and members for their strong support of this ministry. 11/07

. . . And Delivery Angels

December 7-8

Our church needs some volunteers to help with our White Gifts. First, immediately after the White Gift service on Sunday, December 7, we must sort the hundreds of gifts for delivery, starting 15 minutes after the service ends. The next morning, Monday, December 8, we will meet at 9:00 am to deliver the gifts to locations in Annandale, Fairfax, and Washington. Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you can help, or sign up at the 10,000 Villages Fair on November 16. Thank you! 11/07

Installation of  Pastor Lindsey

January 11

The Rev. Dr. David Lindsey will be formally installed by the Potomac Association as our senior pastor at a special worship service at Little River on Sunday, January 11 at 3:00 pm. Please plan to attend this hour-long service and the light reception afterward.

Please Help...

Desperately Seeking (Black-Eyed) Susans

Do you have an eye for beauty and a creative spirit? Then Little River has a chance for you to shine! For many years, our worship has been made lovelier through floral arrangements in the front of our sanctuary. Some of our most dedicated volunteers have beautified our sanctuary with their skills, and we're looking for more folks to help! If you're interested, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at the church office.

You Should Know...

Annual Reports

In preparation for the Annual Meeting of the congregation at the end of January, it is necessary for boards and committees of the church to submit an annual report to the church office, preferably in electronic format, no later than Wednesday, December 17. Please submit your single-spaced report using Microsoft Word in 12-point Times New Roman font. Annual reports list all who served on the board or committee during the past year, summarize the year's business for the record, suggest future direction, give financial reports on any separate financial accounts or funds, and make the congregation aware of the group and its activities. If you have questions, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the office.

Organizational Renewal: A Status Report

At the 2014 Little River congregational meeting our church membership authorized a pilot effort for the current operating year, creating two boards out of the existing church council. The Governance Board, consisting of the elected church officers and the Chair of the Board of Trustees, would provide overall policy direction with an emphasis on the financial, personnel and operational issues of the church. The Ministry Board, consisting of the heads of the remaining boards and committees along with the Historian/Archivist and the Membership Clerk, would focus on the ministry or programmatic activities of the church.

In June of this year, the church council held a retreat which included a review of the governance and programmatic issues of the church in order to help establish various roles for both groups and for the entire council. One of the key aspects of this retreat was the need for ongoing communication between both groups and at least quarterly meetings of the entire council. In addition, it was recognized that there needs to be regular communication with the congregation through meetings being publicized (and open to all) and minutes of the various groups being posted on the church’s website.

Since the June retreat, both the Governance Board and Ministry Board have been meeting and several significant steps have been taken including the creation of a programmatic calendar for leaders of worship and other programs, formation and refinement of key personnel and financial policies, and establishment of a committee structure for the Governance Board. In addition, the Governance Board has worked closely with the Board of Trustees and the Stewardship Committee to identify financial needs for 2015 as we begin the preparation of a budget for the year.

The Organizational Renewal committee, composed of the current, past and incoming moderators along with several other members of the church council, was charged with evaluating our new governance model and reporting on it at the 2015 congregational meeting. The committee recognizes that the pilot effort has only really been underway over the last five months and additional discussion and evaluation will be needed before a final recommendation can be made. As a result, it is likely that the Council will recommend that the pilot continue through the early part of 2015 with further evaluation and recommendations taking place by June of 2015. A fall congregational meeting would then consider changes to the church bylaws and other related business related to church governance.

Church governance is an essential component of who we are at Little River and underlies our mission and work as a congregation. Our hope is that it will improve our ability to fulfill God’s commitment to our congregation, to the community surrounding us, and to our larger mission in the world. To do so, we need to be thoughtful, deliberative, and accountable for our actions. Most of all, we need to be in touch with all of our congregation as we move ahead in this pilot effort. Please let any member of the church council know of your concerns, thoughts, and suggestions as we continue to work on organizational renewal!

Tom Ross
Moderator  11/14

Church Council News

  • The Ministry Board met on Wednesday, October 1.
  • The Governance Board met on Wednesday, November 12.
  • The next meeting of the Governance Board will be held on Wednesday, December 10, at 7:30 p.m. An agenda for that meeting will be posted a few days before the meeting.
  • The most recent minutes of Church Council and Governance Board meetings have been posted on this website.
  • For more information, please contact moderator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .