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Our 61st Year Donna Jones, EditorRevised December 5, 2014

Advent and Christmas at Little River UCC

Advent begins the Christian year. Please read a letter from our pastors and learn more about our many Advent and Christmas events in our Advent and Christmas brochure. Download copies for your household and to share with friends and neighbors! The UCC Advent devotional booklet Tear Open the Heavens is also available in the narthex. Coming events include:

This Week...

White Gift Service

Sunday, December 7

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

Sunday, 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: Monday, 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
  • Will you pick up your poinsettias after the 9:00 Christmas Eve candlelight service?

11/23

Next Week...

Choral Music in Worship: Vivaldi's Gloria

Sunday, December 14

At both Sunday services on December 14, the Sanctuary Choir, soloists, and a chamber orchestra will present Gloria, RV 589, Antonio Vivaldi's well-known setting of the ancient hymn from the Ordinary of the Mass. Also known as the Greater Doxology, this blessing opens with the song of the angels in Luke 2:14, "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Glory to God in the highest). Please come and share in this sermon in song.

Faith in Film

Sunday, December 14

Faith in Film returns December 14 from 12:30 to 2:00 to provide a shared lunch and viewing of the documentary Broken on All Sides about the "new Jim Crow" of mass incarceration. From the website:

Much of the discrimination that was legal in the Jim Crow era is today illegal when applied to black people but perfectly legal when applied to "criminals." The prob­lem is that through subjective choices, people of color have been tar­geted at significantly higher rates for stops, searches, arrests, prosecution, and harsher sentences. So, where does this leave criminal justice?

Please join us in Room 8. Child care will be provided. RSVP to 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 so we may plan for lunch. 11/28

Blue Christmas Worship

Sunday, December 14

Many people struggle with the "joy" that we are supposed to pass on during the holidays. The Blue Christmas worship acknowledges the sadness and struggle many of us face during this season, but also encourages us to move towards the hope of God's promise. The service begins at 5:00.

Annual Reports

Deadline: Wednesday, December 17

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

Ongoing...

Saving Jesus

Through Sunday, 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

Flower Calendar

The 2015 Flower Calendar is now up on the Community Board in the Social Hall. Donating flowers for worship is a great way to celebrate a significant anniversary, a recent graduation, or even the passing or memory of a loved one. Sign up early to donate on the date you want!

Coming Soon...

Christmas Fund Offering

Sunday, December 21; Wednesday, December 24

Please plan to include the Christmas Offering in your holiday giving. At Little River UCC, we will receive this offering on both Sunday, December 21 and Wednesday, December 24 during both Christmas Eve services. Envelopes will be mailed to each household; the church will also gladly receive checks in the office or offering plate. Please make your check payable to Little River UCC with memo "Christmas Fund Offering." The members of the Board of Outreach and Social Justice thank you for your generosity.

Fair Trade Sales in December

Sunday, December 21

Fairly traded coffee, chocolate, and Palestinian olive oil will be available between services Sunday, December 21 (not the second Sunday of the month, our usual day for sales).

Please keep in mind the farmers who produce the ingredients for these tasty products and the opportunity to support them with fair wages as part of your holiday hospitality and giving!

Footsteps: John Calvin

Sunday, December 21

At 11:00 on Sunday, December 21, Rev. Dr. David Lindsey will lead a conversation about John Calvin's role in the Protestant Reformation. Calvin was a force to be reckoned with in Geneva, and his impact continues to shape the modern church in ways both subtle and profound. You are welcome whether or not you plan to join the Footsteps trip in July.   Join us in the Jubilee Room for a lively conversation!

Thirteen people  have signed up  for the trip to Switzerland next July, but we are looking for at least seven more to assure the reduced price. Reformation Tours needs to know that we have a definite number committed to the trip. If you are considering going, please sign up by Wednesday, December 24 (Christmas Eve).   Learn more in the article below12/05

Christmas Orchestra

Sunday, December 21; Wednesday, December 24

The Christmas Orchestra is a new way to celebrate the coming of the light of Christ into our world. Every generation is welcome to come and share their gift of music, and join in this "pick-up" ensemble. Dust off your violin, tune up your cello, and bring your bass! We will learn familiar songs of Advent and Christmas, and prepare to help lead worship on Christmas Eve at the 5:00 p.m. service. Our one rehearsal will take place in the Sanctuary after worship on 12/21 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. 12/05

O Holy Night...

Christmas Eve Worship

Wednesday, December 24

Family Worship and Mini-Pageant, 5:00

Join in the celebration of Christmas Eve with the joy of a child. This service is shaped for  the  unique  needs  of  our  families  with  young  children—and  the  young at heart! We will Enjoy the music of the Salt of the Earth  and  Joyful Noise  choirs as well as the Christmas Orchestra welcoming us to worship. Children  and  youth  are  encouraged to  share  in  the  celebration,  dressed  as  an angel,  shepherd,  or  favorite  animal.   If  you  happen  to  arrive  without  your costume, or you have guests for the holiday, we’ve got “costumes” on hand for you to borrow.  Help us tell and sing the stories of Christ’s birth as we welcome the Light of the World into our hearts.

Candlelight Service, 9:00

With a mood of joyful wonder, we come to the sanctuary expecting God's Light to break forth in the night. We will share in a traditional service of lessons and carols, the stories and songs that recall Christ’s coming to the whole earth. We will complete the night with our traditional singing of "Silent Night."

Save the Date...

December 28: Worship at 10:00

Sunday, December 28

Worship will take place at 10:00 only.  Church school will not meet; care will be provided for children age 2 and under.

Hands-On Mission Project

Sunday, December 28

Come  join  together  with  a  Christmas  spirit  for  a  Hand-On  mission  project Sunday, December 28 at 11:00. We  will  prepare  nutritious "snack  packs" for Homestretch and Alternative House, two local direct-aid  groups our congregation supports financially and with volunteers  through the work of the Board of Outreach and Social Justice.

Homestretch offers  its  clients  a  comprehensive,  highly  effective  two-year program  to  end  homelessness.  Alternative  House provides  tangible transformative services to homeless youth in our community.

Installation of Pastor Lindsey

Sunday, 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.

Rest, Reflect, Renew

Saturday, January 10

Watch for information about an opportunity to rejuvenate in the new year.

Open Mike Night

Saturday, 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.

Please Help...

Gifts from Loving Hearts Campaign

The Gifts from Loving Hearts campaign raises the funds to sustain Little River UCC in 2015. As of Friday, December 5, we have received 130 Estimates of Giving for a total of $556,363. We still have a significant distance to go to reach our needed giving level in excess of $700,000.

More than 40 current donors have not yet provided an Estimate of Giving for 2015. Ten members and friends have participated for the first time. We hope many more will do so and help support the ministries of this church in our sixtieth anniversary year.

If you have not yet decided to offer an Estimate of Giving for 2015, the Stewardship Committee again asks you to do so. Financial support becomes the lifeblood of the church's many ministries. Every gift matters. 12/05

You Should Know...

Footsteps to Switzerland

July 13-25, 2015

A few openings remain for the Footsteps trip to Switzerland, scheduled for July 13-25.  Visit Reformation sites, learn about John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli on location, ride the Glacier Express, and visit Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn.  For more information about activities, arrangements, cost and payments, and more, visit the Reformation Tours website or call Robert Lingo (703-425-9140). 11/30

Youth Fellowship Schedule

  • Friday, December 5: No meeting.
  • Sunday, December 7, 5:00: White Gift Service.
  • Sunday, December 14, 5:00: Dinner and White Elephant Christmas.  Please bring a gift, wrapped in an interesting style, to swap.

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. 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 .