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

Christmas Eve at Little River UCC

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 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 angels, shepherds, or favorite animals. 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 conclude the night with our traditional singing of "Silent Night."

The UCC Christmas Fund Offering will be received at both services.

Download our Advent and Christmas brochure to learn more about other December activities at Little River. Share a copy with your friends and neighbors! The UCC Advent devotional booklet Tear Open the Heavens is also available at the church.

This Week and Next...

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 their annual reports to the church office, in electronic format if at all possible, 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

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 Sunday, December 21 and 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.

Footsteps Talk: John Calvin

Sunday, December 21

At 11:00 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 Footsteps article below. 12/05

Fair-Trade Sales in December

Sunday, December 21

Fairly traded coffee, chocolate, and Palestinian olive oil will be available between services (10:30-11:00). 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!

Christmas Orchestra

Sunday, December 21, for 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 pickup ensemble. Dust off your flute, tune up your cello, and bring your trombone! 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 Sunday, December 21, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. 12/07

Saving Jesus

Ends 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 final session takes place Sunday, December 21, at 11:00.

Ongoing...

Flower Calendar

The 2015 Flower Calendar is now posted 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 provide for flowers on the date you want!

Coming Soon...

December 28: Worship at 10:00 Only

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 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.

Epiphany Sunday: The Arrival of the Kings

Sunday, January 4

Come celebrate Epiphany on the first Sunday of 2015! We will reflect in worship on the story of the Three Kings and observe the sacrament of communion at both services. Church school will take place during the 9:30 service. 12/14

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Kennedy Center

Sunday, January 4

The Joyful Noise and Salt of the Earth choirs and families will attendi Joseph January 4 at 1:30. Tickets are available for $75 apiece if you'd like to join them! Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested. 12/14

Rest, Reflect, Renew

Saturday, January 10

Women of LIttle River UCC: Rejuvenate your spirits in the new year by joining the Women's Ministry team for breakfast buffet from 9:30 to 11:30, followed by a time of spiritual reflection in the sanctuary with readings, hymns, and prayer. The team will supply the entree and drinks. Sign up in the atrium and let us know what you might like to share: fruit, salad, sweet or plain bread, etc.

We do hope you will join us for this time of rejuvenation. 12/14

Installation of Pastor Lindsey

Sunday, January 11

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

Save the Date...

Celebration of the Civil Rights Movement

Sunday, January 18

Our congregation was founded as an integrated church in the midst of the civil rights movement of the 1950s. Join us for a 5:00 p.m. celebration of the legacy of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and the many folks who worked for justice in those years!

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...

2015 Budget Update

As the congregation was informed recently by letter, it appears that our budget for 2015 will have to be scaled back from the projected need of $802,000. At the moment, the Stewardship Committee estimates that the total available income will be closer to $700,000. Although that amount could increase if more pledges are received, prudence dictates htat we proceed with a plan to cut our planned expenditures in order to present a realistic budget at the annual meeting on January 25.

To do this in the most cooperative and transparent manner, the Church Council agreed on December 10 to form a budget working group consisting of representatives from the Trustees, Deacons, Board of Outreach and Social Justice, Board of Christian Education, and Governance Board, as well as the incoming and current moderators. The senior pastor, treasurer, and assistant treasurer will provide support.

We invite your prayers for the members of this group as they struggle over the coming weeks to discern our collective priorities.

Gifts from Loving Hearts

As of Friday, December 12, the campaign has received Estimates of Giving from 137 donors totalling $592,200. If you have not provided an Estimate of Giving, please take a card from the narthex and return the completed form to Rob Peters, Dave Curtis, or the church office today. There is still a significant gap to try to fill. 12/05

You Should Know...

Footsteps to Switzerland

Deadline: Wednesday, December 24, for 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

Growing Up Jim Crow Talk on Audio

If you missed the recent Faith in Film screening of Broken on All Sides or the talk in October by Jeanne Ritterhouse—or if you want to hear her again—Prof. RItterhouse's discussion of discrimination in the Jim Crow South is available here and on the Social Justice at Little River UCC page of this website. 12/14

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. An agenda for that meeting will be posted a few days before the meeting.
  • Minutes of Church Council, Governance Board, and Ministry Board meetings are 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 .