Currents banner

News on the Web in conjunction with Current Tidings weekly e-mails

Our 61st Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised December 11, 2015

This 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 & 20

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.

White Gift Christmas Service

Sunday, December 13

White Gifts

Join us this Sunday at 5:00 pm for this traditional Little River favorite that tells the story of the Magi and is intended for all ages. The high point of the service is when members of the congregation come forward to offer their gifts, wrapped all in white, for children from low-income families in our community. If you cannot attend the service, please make sure that all gifts are brought to the church in the morning to ensure delivery to the children!

Faith in Film: 2 Million Minutes

Sunday, December 13

Faith in Film returns this month with a powerful documentary on educating youth in today’s world:

"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."

We will gather at 12:15 pm for lunch in Room 8, and begin our viewing at 12:30 pm. 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.

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. Join us on Sunday, December 13 at 10:45 am or 12:15 pm; or on Sunday, December 20 at 10:45, 12:15 or 5:00 pm.

Fair Trade Sales

Sunday, December 13 & 20

Fair Trade Sales take place this Sunday and 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!

Volunteer Opportunity: White Gift Delivery

Monday, December 14

Experience the joy of giving by helping the Board of Outreach and Social Justice deliver White Gifts on Monday, December 14. Volunteers will gather at LRUCC at 9:00 am to load cars and deliver gifts to ACCA in Annandale, Main Street Child Development Center in Fairfax, and Shaw Community Ministry in Washington DC. Drivers are needed for all locations. Please sign up by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are able to help.

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!

Next Week

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.

Christmas Fund Offering

Sunday, December 20 and Thursday, December 24

Christmas Offering

Please plan to include the Christmas Offering in your holiday giving. At Little River UCC, we will receive this offering on Sunday, December 20 and during both Christmas Eve services. Half of the offering will go to the United Church of Christ Christmas Fund to assist retired UCC clergy experiencing financial difficulty, in many cases related to health problems. The other half will be split between to organizations who seek justice and peace locally and abroad: the Legal Aid Justice Center actively defends the civil rights of the most vulnerable in our community, and the Church World Service welcomes and supports refugees abroad and at home. The church will 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.

Christmas Eve Family Worship

Thursday, 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

Thursday, 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.

More Church News

Advent Spiral Follow-up

The Board of Deacons and Women’s Ministry Team are pleased that forty-five people participated in last week's Advent Spiral Walk. Because this was our first experience, we would value feedback from participants so we can make improvements. Please 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 , or speak with us on Sunday and tell us what you thought. Thank you all who participated, and all who helped.

Thank You! Thrive DC Winter Warmth Coat Drive

coat drive

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Thrive DC Winter Warmth Coat Drive. We made two deliveries to Thrive DC due to the many contributions. The November delivery included six bags of coats and five bags of toiletries. The December delivery included an amazing 49 coats, 22 sweaters and jackets, 12 scarves, 10 pairs of gloves, 8 winter hats, 4 bras, 3 pairs of shoes and 1 bag of clothes. Thank you for all the warmth you helped bring the the homeless in DC this winter!

Matching Funds Available for New Pledgers

Still considering whether your household will make a pledge of support to Little River UCC this year? We have been selected by the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC to receive a modest challenge grant. This grant provides matching funds for any first-time pledges to Little River for the 2016 budget year. As a result, newly-pledged dollars will have a doubled impact this year. We are grateful for this expression of support from our denomination.

Visioning Team Members

As part of our ongoing visioning process, our Senior Pastor has gathered a team of church members to prayerfully consider what God is calling us to do and be in the coming years. The members of this team have been reviewing our April conversations about God’s call for us, as well as demographic information, Christian scripture, and more. At our church’s Annual Meeting in January, this group will be sharing what they have heard from God, from you, and from one another about what Little River’s future might be. The members of this team are Denny Bloomquist, Carrie Douglas, John Forrest, Saundra Honeysett, Lisa Page, Gail Perry, Marilin Sailor, and Steve Wheelock. Please feel free to ask any of them about this process, and to share with them your hopes and dreams for our congregation’s future. And be sure to attend the Town Hall conversations in the coming weeks, to let your voice be heard!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Christian Hospital, Mungeli

Our Global Ministries Partner in India, Anil Henry, wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. They are thankful for all the prayers and support they have received this year. Read the entire December update here.

Save the Date

"Caring Hands" Prayer Shawl Project

Sunday, January 3 & 24

"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. At this time, the Deacons' Parish Care Committee would like to provide prayer shawls to the pastors so that they may give them to those experiencing difficult life circumstances. The Committee aims to have several shawls on hand, so there is always one available when the need arises.

For those interested in making prayer shawls, there will be drop-in sessions on Sundays, January 3 and 24 (11:00 am - 12:30 pm) where you may pick up supplies and connect with others interested in this effort. There will also be information on baptism blankets as well as charity knitting and crochet projects beyond Little River UCC.

For more information or to schedule a knitting/crochet lesson, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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 .