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Our 61st Year Hubert Beckwith, EditorRevised May 1, 2015

UCC Disaster Response in Nepal

The recent earthquake in Nepal has been on the hearts and minds of many of us at Little River UCC. Please know that through One Great Hour of Sharing we are responding. John Moos from UCC Wider Church Ministries reports:

At least initially we will work with the Act Alliance, a consortium of faith-based organizations headquartered in Geneva. Typically in these situations, there is an immediate relief response, followed by long term rehabilitation efforts. Our Executive for Disaster Ministries, Zach Wolgemuth, will be updating the OGHS portion of the UCC website in the coming days as more information becomes available. For churches and individuals who would like to donate to our response, they can do so by designating [their gifts] to "International Disaster Relief," either through online giving to OGHS or by check.

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice reports that for 2015 we at Little River UCC gave $5,692.36 to our annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering. This included coins collected by the children totaling $99.17. Thank you! Because of your generosity, this money will join other churches' offerings to help ameliorate the critical situation in Nepal.

UCC Responds to Baltimore Unrest

The leadership of the Chesapeake Association, the Central Atlantic Conference, and the national setting of the United Church of Christ are all working for justice with the people of Baltimore. Our congregation has a historic relationship with Heritage UCC-Baltimore, our covenant partner in the former Y-GELI youth ministry program. Our congregation has reached out to these groups and their leadership to share our prayerful support and solidarity in the pursuit of peace with justice.

Please follow these links to read more:

This Week

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race

Sunday, May 3

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, May 3 in Room 8.

Women's Ministry Events

May Tea & Talk

Sunday, May 3

Women's Ministry invites all women to the May Day Tea & Talk at 12:15 Sunday, May 3, in the Jubilee Room. As always, Tea & Talk provides a chance to connect with women at Little River UCC and enjoy delicious finger food with a cup of tea. Our theme will be Covenant Groups.

If you would like to find out about covenant groups or explore the possibility of joining or forming one around common interests, please join us. And if you want to just come and enjoy springtime fellowship — please join us!

Fall Retreat

Deadline Sunday, May 3 for October 17-18

Women’s Ministry invites you to take time from a busy life to experience grace-filled time – time that can’t be measured. Join Little River friends at the Roslyn Retreat Center near Richmond from lunchtime Saturday, October 17 through breakfast Sunday, October 18 to find your Sabbath moments in everyday life through shared prayer, silent meditation, and interactive gatherings. Kathy Spaar will guide us in exploring themes found in Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner and Sabbath Time by Tilden Edwards.

The price ($140 per person) includes room, board, and program. Space is limited; please submit your RSVP form (found at the welcome desk) with a $20 deposit by Sunday, May 3. The balance is due by Sunday, September 13.

Virginia Music Adventures Performance

Friday, May 8

Virginia Music Adventures is one of the many groups with whom we share our space for ministry to the community. We at Little River are invited to a performance on Friday, May 8 at 7:30, just across the street at the Ernst Theater on Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Composers will range from classics like Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and Count Basie to contemporary artists Maynard Ferguson and Spyro Gyra. Admission is $10, and students get in for free! Tickets are available at the door.

The VMA bands have returned home from recent travel adventures, where they performed music that delighted audiences across the globe! The Chapel Square Combo performed at an international music festival in Puerto Morelos, Mexico as well as for the Martin Luther King Day Celebration right here at Little River. The Annandale Jazz Ambassadors performed ten concerts in San Francisco, Honolulu, and Maui over spring break with four-time Grammy winner George Kahumoku. The Wakefield Jazz Workshop has just returned from a tour of tidewater Virginia.

For more on the ensemble and Friday's performance, visit the Virginia Music Adventures website.

Next Week

Fair Trade: Please and Thank You!

Sale: Sunday, May 10

The next Fair Trade sale is Sunday, May 10. Plan to stock up on fairly traded coffee, chocolate, and Palestinian olive oil between worship services.

Palestinian Olive Oil: Not Just for Dinner!

Thanks to the folks at Little River UCC and six other area congregations who buy fairly traded Palestinian olive oil, the Middle East Committee at Westmoreland Congregational UCC has presented a gift of $9,000 to Tent of Nations, a West Bank organization working on peace and reconciliation. The gift represents the net proceeds from our cumulative sales. It will be invested in the Women’s Education Center in Nahlin and in the Summer Youth Camp.

Tent of Nations is very grateful for this show of solidarity. Thanks to everyone who supports the olive oil sales!

Coming Up

Confirmation Sunday

Sunday, May 17

Come celebrate with this year’s Confirmation Class as they share their faith with us and consider what membership in a congregation like Little River UCC means in such a time as this.

Women's Book Group

Sunday, May 17

The Women's Book Group will meet in Room 7 from 12:15 to 1:30 to discuss Dream Chasers of the West by B. L. Wettstein. It is the true story of Clara Augusta Miller, who left Minnesota at the age of 30 and moved to Montana to file a homestead on free land. She anticipated finding happiness with a piece of land and a Jersey cow. Join us for an interesting discussion of her life and the outcome of her dream.

Footsteps Education Series

Sunday, May 17

Footsteps welcomes Congressman Don Beyer, former Ambassador to Switzerland, to the class. You don’t have to go on the Footsteps trip to enjoy this series. Please join us in the Jubilee Room at 11:00. For more information contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Honoring Our Graduates

Deadline: Monday, May 18 for Sunday, June 7

On Sunday, June 7, we will honor members of our church family who graduated this spring or any time since last June. We will recognize graduates from high school, college, technical school, and graduate school. If that describes you or a family member, please notify the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in writing by Monday, May 18.

Please include the graduate’s name, school and degree, relationship (if not a Little River UCC family member) and, for high school graduates, whether they will continue their education, military service, etc. Also, please let the office know about any address or e-mail changes for graduates listed in the church directory. Please e-mail updates to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the church office.

Summer Worship Schedule: One Service

From Sunday, May 24

Please note: Beginning Sunday, May 24, we will worship at 10:00 am only. We will resume two worship services (9:30 and 11:00) on September 13, the Sunday after Labor Day.

Cleanup Work Day

Saturday, May 30

We're doing some spring cleaning! Our Board of Trustees has scheduled a spring work day to clean up the church on Saturday, May 30, starting at 8:30 a.m. Please mark your calendars for this event. It will be a good time to roll up your sleeves and help keep our church looking its best!

Celebration Sunday

Sunday, May 31

Celebrating Faith Formation

Please join us May 31 at our single 10:00 worship service as we celebrate Faith Formation at Little River! Come see what we’ve learned this past year and help us reflect on how we travel together on this lifelong journey. We’ll honor both our participants and our dedicated Faith Formation leaders as a part of this service.

All-Church Picnic

After worship we will celebrate with the annual picnic for our church family and friends. Be sure to join in the festivities!

Interfaith Pride Worship Service

Saturday, June 6

Join the ninth annual Northern Virginia Interfaith Pride Worship Service with People of Faith for Equality in Virginia-POFEV, Northern Virginia Network. The time and location of this year’s service are being planned. Keep an eye out for details here and at the POFEV-NoVA Facebook page.

Speaking the Truth in Love: Summer Sermon Series

Starts Sunday, June 7

On June 7, Little River will launch a summer sermon series entitled “Speaking the Truth in Love.” Pastors David and Hank will be reflecting with us on the many joys and challenges of faithful communication at home, in church, and in the wider world. Be sure to join us for this lively series!

Central Atlantic Conference Meeting

Friday-Sunday, June 12-14

The fifty-first annual meeting of the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ will take place the second weekend in June at the University of Delaware, in Newark. All are welcome!

Capital Pride Parade

Saturday, June 13

On Saturday, June 13, the annual Capital Pride Parade will kick off at 4:30 near Dupont Circle! The United Church of Christ is involved in the celebration, and we at Little River are honored to help support this public witness. Our congregation's contingent will gather at the churchat 2:30 on parade day to take the Metro down to the parade staging area. For those with mobility needs, we can arrange for a seat in the Pride Jeep, departing at 1:00 (please contact the church office to reserve a seat).

Opportunities to Help

Help Send Shaw Kids to Camp

Sundays, May 10 and 17

Shaw Community Ministry is launching its annual spring drive to raise funds for Camp Shining Star, a summer day camp that provides a wonderful out-of-school alternative for inner-city children in Washington, DC. The focus is on fun, but the camp also provides important enrichment experiences for kids who need help achieving and maintaining grade-level skills over the summer. This year camp will emphasize Shaw Community Values. Each week will have its own theme related to civic engagement, and over the seven weeks campers will complete four service projects.

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice will accept donations in the narthex between services on May 10 and 17. Shaw Community Ministry is very thankful for the ongoing support from Little River UCC!

Invest in Little River's Future

Since Little River UCC created its Endowment Fund in 2006, nearly $200,000 have been given to the fund, and the value of these investments has grown to over $300,000. Per vote of the Congregation, contributions to the fund’s principal will never be spent. However, after these contributions reach $250,000, a portion of earnings and growth can be used for any of five purposes:

  • outreach or mission projects
  • innovative ministries or programs
  • capital improvements at Little River
  • theological or continuing education
  • support of the church operating budget

Bequests that come from estates are the primary source of support for Little River’s endowment. Second, some individuals make contributions when they receive gifts, inheritances, or tax refunds. A third source is memorial giving when a beloved church member or friend dies.

Gifts to the Endowment Fund are welcome at any time, and of course, they are fully deductible for Federal income tax purposes.

If you have questions about the Endowment Fund, wish to make a gift, or want to add Little River to your will, please speak with a pastor or a member of the Committee. Members are: Rob Peters (Chair), Fran DuRocher, George Leonard, Brian Payne, and Jerry Surbey.


Church Council News

  • The Church Council met on Wednesday, February 11.
  • The Ministry Board met on Wednesday, March 4.
  • The Governance Board met on Wednesday, April 8.
  • The next meeting of the Church Council will be held on Wednesday, May 13, at 7:30. An agenda 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 .