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Our 61st Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised December 4, 2015

This Week

First Friday with Mortimer and Santa

Friday, December 4

This Friday we are back with the traditional December visit with Mortimer and Santa, with all of the sugar-plum-laden fun to boot! So, bring your children to First Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 pm! The children will enjoy dinner, games, and crafts while you enjoy a little free time. The cost is $15 per child, with a family maximum of $30. Registration forms are available at http://bit.ly/lruccfirstfriday. If you’ve already completed a registration form for the 2015/2016 program year, please email 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. All children in our community are welcome, whether or not their families attend Little River UCC, so spread the word and make your plans.

White Gift Christmas Gift Tags Still Available

until Sunday, December 6

In preparation for the White Gift Service, our White Gift Christmas tree stands in the atrium to express the Christmas hopes of young children from low-income families served by ACCA, Main Street Child Development Center, and Shaw Community Ministry. This Sunday (December 6) is the last chance to sign-up and take a gift tag. Tags and the sign-up sheet (new this year to assist the Board of Outreach and Social Justice in tracking gifts) will be in the atrium on Sunday, so please take a moment to pick up a tag or two. Thank you for your generosity this holiday season!

Advent Spiral Walk

Sunday, December 6

The Advent Spiral is a lovely tradition provides a way to help us slow down, pause, and live for an Advent moment of expectation and peace. The Board of Deacons and Women’s Ministry Team invite you to participate in a time of quiet, meditation, calm, peacefulness, and prayer. On Sunday evening at 5:00 pm, the sanctuary will be open so we can enter into an experience of Advent anticipation. One by one, each person will walk through a spiral of greens, light a candle, place it in an apple holder on the path, and return to our seat. Children are welcome to participate. As we listen to music, we will watch the sanctuary become lighted with candles. (There will be candles on the floor, so please dress accordingly -- no long skirts or shawls.) Questions? Contact 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 .

Advent Centering and Prayer Circle

Sunday, December 6 (Sundays in Advent)

With each candle lighted, we step closer to the mystery of Christmas. Come step away from the “busy-ness” of the season for a little while, sharing in spiritual practices that can guide our minds and spirits to a centered place for the season. We will gather in Room 8 (our Advent Chapel) at 11:00 am. This time comes from the experience of many at this fall’s Women’s Retreat.

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race

Sunday, December 6

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 will gather on Sunday, December 6 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 7 for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism.

Food Pantry

Sunday, December 6

This Sunday and every Communion Sunday (normally the first Sunday of every month), we invite your gifts of non-expired, non-perishable staple food items, which are placed in our church’s FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) pantry and used to help the hungry in our community. Donations of non-expired, non-perishable foods, baby items, household cleaning supplies, and small toiletries are always welcome for the pantry.

Special requests for this month's donation are powdered milk, pasta sauce (canned preferred), and cereal.

Last Chance to Order Poinsettias for Christmas

Monday, December 7

You are invited to provide red or white poinsettias in the Sanctuary, in honor or in memory of a loved one. Deadline for ordering a poinsettia is Monday, December 7. The cost is $10.00 per pot. Please make your check payable to LRUCC and note “Flower Fund” on the check and/or envelope. Place your order with payment in the offering plate or leave in the church office. Order forms are available in the atrium or can be downloaded here.

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Annual Meeting

Tuesday, December 8

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages you to attend the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) Annual Meeting on Tuesday, December 8, from 6-8 p.m. The meeting will take place in Richmond, VA at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (815 E. Grace Street). For more information visit the VICPP website.

Next Week

Advent Music Sunday

Sunday, December 13

This year, the Sanctuary Choir leads a service of Advent Lessons and Carols. Like the famous British Christmas Lessons and Carols service, anthems and Scripture alternate to guide us through this season of preparation, remembering the birth of Christ but also pointing us toward Christ's second coming. With music from many centuries and reflecting diverse styles, come hear God's call to people of all times and places as we approach Christmas and receive the gift and calling of God with us, Emmanuel.

Advent Centering and Prayer Circle

Sunday, December 13 (Sundays in Advent)

With each candle lighted, we step closer to the mystery of Christmas. Come step away from the “busy-ness” of the season for a little while, sharing in spiritual practices that can guide our minds and spirits to a centered place for the season. We will gather in Room 8 (our Advent Chapel) at 11:00 am. This time comes from the experience of many at this fall’s Women’s Retreat.

Town Hall

Sunday, December 13 & 20

The leadership of Little River needs to hear from YOU! In December, Senior Pastor David Lindsey and Past Moderator Tom Ross will be co-hosting town hall meetings focused on Little River's visioning process and governance renewal. David and Tom will share the insights they have gained from their respective teams. These sessions are a time to listen and reflect on what God might be calling Little River to do and be (and how we might go about doing it). Each session is identical and will last an hour.

White Gift Christmas Service

Sunday, December 13

The White Gift Service is a beloved Little River tradition in which our members reenact the Nativity scene, then follow the Magi to offer gifts honoring the Christ child. In preparation for that joyful service, our White Gift Christmas tree stands in the atrium to express the Christmas hopes of young children from low-income families served by ACCA, Main Street Child Development Center, and Shaw Community Ministry. Allow yourself the pleasure of sharing God’s love with a child this Christmas season! Thank you for your generosity!

Faith in Film: Two Million Minutes

Sunday, December 13

"Regardless of nationality, as soon as a student completes the 8th grade, the clock starts ticking. From that very moment the child has approximately …Two Million Minutes until high school graduation...Two Million Minutes to build their intellectual foundation…Two Million Minutes to prepare for college and ultimately career…Two Million Minutes to go from a teenager to an adult."

PYF is co-hosting this month’s movie with the Boards of Christian Education and Outreach & Social Justice. Please join us for this documentary film that takes a deeper look at how China, India and the United States prepare their students for the future.

Fair Trade Reminder

Sunday, December 13 and 20

Fair Trade Sales take place next Sunday. Plan to stock up on fairly traded coffee, chocolate, and Palestinian olive oil between worship services next Sunday or on the 20th. In addition to Palestinian olive oil in bottles and cans, organic olive tapenade and za'atar spice blend will be available, with tastings! The tapenade sells for $10 a jar, and the za'atar for $7 a box. All fair trade products make interesting, non-alcoholic hostess gifts and stocking stuffers!

Bereavement Tea

Wednesday, December 16

As the holidays arrive, we remember those individuals who are no longer in our lives. The Deacons’ Annual Bereavement Tea welcomes families who have lost a loved one over the course of the year to gather, remember, and share stories. This year, we will gather at Green Spring Gardens for high tea to help spark our conversation. Invitations for this gathering were sent out in November. If you have lost a loved one this year, and did not receive an invitation, please contact the church office at your convenience. There is a place for you!

More Church News

Flower Calendar

The 2016 Flower Calendar has been posted in the social hall. You are invited to sign up to give flowers on the Sunday of your choice on a first-come basis.

"Caring Hands" Prayer Shawl Project

"Caring Hands" is Little River's name for those​ of us​ in the church who knit or crochet items for various causes. Over the past ​several​ years, projects have included preemie hats for Fairfax INOVA Hospital, winter hats for Thrive DC, squares for Knit-a-Square blankets ​for​ South Africa, scarves for the UCC Rainbow Scarf Project, and baptism blankets for babies baptized at Little River UCC.

Stretch Yourself! Exercise Class

The Board of Deacons sponsors an exercise class that meets twice weekly to promote general wellness in a friendly environment. The classes are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10:30 am until about 11:30 am.

Each class includes activities to promote aerobic fitness and maintain or increase strength and flexibility. Many, but not all, of the participants are senior citizens. People come when they are able and participate to the best of their ability.

Participants pay a small fee ($7 for LRUCC worshippers) for each class attended so that the program can be self-sustaining.

There is room for more people in these classes. Come and join us for a session to try it out at no cost. Or, for more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it via email or phone (703) 503-8454.

Photos for Church Database

The office staff is currently updating church member and friend mailing lists in our database and we'd love to add photos to our records. To that end, please send a photo of yourself (and your family) to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Photos need not be formal, just something that lets us know who you are. Photos will be for internal office use only in our ACS database. Thank you!

Save the Date

Children's Christmas Cantata

Sunday, December 20

Join the children and youth of Little River to celebrate the story of Christmas in the children's cantata, "Christmas Around the World". In this musical, a group of friends uncover a box of old ornaments and use them to decorate a church Christmas tree. As they decorate the tree, they learn about Christmas traditions from around the world and rediscover the story of Jesus' birth. Throughout their afternoon, they sing traditional hymns and lift their voices to celebrate God's love for all. The children and youth will be preparing for this special morning during choir rehearsal, church school, and PYF. If your child would like to join the fun, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

Christmas Orchestra Rehearsal

Sunday, December 20

The Christmas Orchestra is a wonderful 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 4:00 pm service. Our one rehearsal will take place in the Sanctuary after the 11:00 am worship service on Sunday, December 20. If you are interested in joining the fun, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , so she can plan what instrument parts to provide.

Advent Centering and Prayer Circle

Sunday, December 20 (Sundays in Advent)

With each candle lighted, we step closer to the mystery of Christmas. Come step away from the “busy-ness” of the season for a little while, sharing in spiritual practices that can guide our minds and spirits to a centered place for the season. We will gather in Room 8 (our Advent Chapel) at 11:00 am. This time comes from the experience of many at this fall’s Women’s Retreat.

Christmas Eve Family Worship

Sunday, December 24

The Hebrew scriptures remind us that "a little child shall lead them." Come join in the 4:00 pm 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 musical gifts of 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.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship

Sunday, December 24

With joy and wonder, we come to the Sanctuary expecting God’s Light to break forth in the night. We will share in a traditional 9:00 pm worship service of beloved readings and carols. At the end of this contemplative service, we will complete the night with a candlelit singing of Silent Night.

Church Council News

Minutes and more

  • LRUCC Proposed Governance Concept Powerpoint Presentation (Originally presented at the October 11, 2015 congregational meeting.)
  • Moderator-Elect Rob Peters is currently serving as Acting Moderator of Little River UCC. Please direct all questions for the Moderator to Rob at this time.
  • Minutes of Church Council, Governance Board, and Ministry Board meetings are posted on this website.
  • For more information, please contact Rev. Dr. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .