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Our 61st Year Donna Jones, EditorRevised November 21, 2014

This Week...

Winter Warmth Clothing Drive 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 and youth are invited to enjoy Joseph. Please join us for this special musical presentation! 11/13

One All-Church "Coffee and Conversation"

November 23

As of Sunday, November 23, a single, unified "Coffee and Conversation" social time will take place at 10:30, between worship services. Get to know church friends from the "other" service! 11/21

Meet the Green Team

November 23

Join the newly forming Green Team on Sunday, November 23 at 12:30 in room 8 for a continuing discussion about the plants—beneficial and harmful, native and invasive—that grow on our church property and about Little River's developing commitment to eco-justice.

Pilgrim Youth Fellowship Schedule

  • Friday, November 21: PYF does not meet this evening. Enjoy time off following Joseph!
  • Sunday, November 30: All youth are invited to help with the Advent Funshops!
    • 2:30: Help set up if you're available.
    • 3:30-5:30: Help wrap white gift packages and decorate gingerbread houses.
  • Sunday, December 7, 5:00: You are encouraged to participate in the White Gift Service. Evening PYF will not meet. 11/21

Fall Cleanup Day

November 29

The Trustees have scheduled a fall cleanup and work-party day Saturday, November 29, from 8:00 to noon.

Outdoor tasks include leaf raking, gravel drive maintenance, brush removal, cutting down three invasive Ailanthus trees, and relocating bricks piled outside kitchen door.

Indoor projects include putting new felt pads on the bottoms of sanctuary chairs, cleaning the floor in the main equipment room, replacing stained ceiling tiles in the nursery, and thoroughly washing kitchen pots and pans.

Please join us, rain or shine! 10/31

Next Week...

Advent and Christmas at Little River UCC

Advent begins the Christian year. Please read a letter from our pastors and learn about our many advent events in our Advent and Christmas brochure.  Download copies for your household and to share with friends and neighbors! 11/21

Advent Funshops and Cookie Swap

November 30

In a Little River tradition, we gather in the social hall on the first Sunday afternoon of Advent to enjoy time together making crafts to celebrate the season. So skip the mall and please join us on November 30 at 3:30 as we enjoy time with our church family and decorate cookies, make ornaments, put together gingerbread houses, and paint nativity sun catchers (to name but a few of our fun crafts). This is an advent activity for all ages!

Also, please also consider dusting off your special cookie recipe for our cookie swap. Bring four dozen cookies (preferably homemade), swap three dozen, go home with an assortment, and leave one dozen for church friends and members who need a little extra light in their lives this holiday season.

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 the 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.

Start the Holidays with First Friday

December 5

Parents: The holidays are upon us! Bring your children to First Friday on December 5 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. They will spend the evening decorating holiday cookies and making crafts while you enjoy a little free time. The cost is $15 per child, with a family maximum of $30. If you pre-register by Sunday, November 30, the cost is $10 with a family maximum of $25. Register online or between church services at the table in the narthex. If you've already completed a registration form for the 2014-15 program year, please write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to let us know your child(ren) will be attending.

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 neighbors!

Coming Soon...

White Gift Service and Tree

For December 7

Note: the White Gift service will take place at 5:00 pm.

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

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race

December 7

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 morning of each month at 8:30 for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism. Please join us for our next conversation Sunday, December 7, in Room 8.

Christmas Poinsettias

Deadline: December 8

You are invited to help provide 6½" red or white poinsettias for the sanctuary in honor or in memory of a loved one. Deadline for ordering a poinsettia is Monday, December 8. The cost is $12.00 per pot. Please make your check payable to Little River UCC and note "Flower Fund" on the check and envelope. Place your order with payment in the offering plate or leave it in the church office.

Pick up an order form at church, or send the following information with your order:

  • Your name(s)
  • Your phone number or e-mail address
  • Name(s) of person(s) to be honored or remembered
  • Number of red poinsettias @ $12.00
  • Number of white poinsettias @ $12.00
  • Total payment enclosed
  • Do you plan to take your poinsettias home after Christmastime worship?

Save the Date...

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.

Open Mike Night

February 21

Warm your spirits and chase away the winter blahs at our annual amateur talent night! Save the date and watch for details before year's end.


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

Please Help...

Help Support First Friday

December 5

We are looking for volunteers to provide several dozen small, plain cookies for First Friday and people to help out for the evening! This is a big night so we need lots of extra adults. Parents, admission for your child is free if you volunteer!

Questions? Contact Pastor Hank at 703-978-3060 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 11/21

White Gift 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. Thank you! 11/07

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.

Thank You...

Gifts from Loving Hearts Campaign Progress

Brother David Stendl-Rast, a writer in the field of spirituality, offers us a way to view stewardship. "Abundance, he says, "is not measured by what flows in, but by what flows over. The smaller we make the vessel of our need, the sooner we get the overflow we need for delight." Think about it: we can create the capacity for joy-filled generosity, what Brother David calls "delight," by reducing what we think we "need."

The Gifts from Loving Hearts campaign current progress as of November 21: 122 donors with Estimates of Giving totaling $528,368. 11/21

Thanks for Shaw Thanksgiving Bags

Thank You Little River, for the great support for Shaw Thanksgiving bags! Your generosity enabled Little River to donate 27 bags and 25 $25 gift cards for Giant Food. Special thanks to Nancy Carey for continuing our local community outreach by purchasing the gift cards—at no additional cost—though Woodson High School student programs. 11/21

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. 11/14

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 .