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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised December 30, 2015

This Week

Game Day

Saturday, January 2

Come learn and play modern board games with us! Journey the Tokaido trading route, settle islands, plant cacao fields, build cities, and more! Have fun playing with fun people! This event is hosted by Bruce and Bryce Summers on behalf of the Board of Deacons and all are welcome! We will meet in the Social Hall from 1:00-5:00 pm. Questions? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

"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) in Room 7 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.

Questions? 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 .

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race

Sunday, January 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 will gather on Sunday, January 3 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 8 for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism.

This month, we welcome all to the conversation, as we focus on Islamophobia, justice for Syrian refugees in America, and our congregation’s commitment to racial and social justice for all. Please come, and add your voice to the conversation.

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, January 3

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. Especially needed this month are donations of dried milk, cereal and pasta sauce.

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, January 4

From The Great Courses, Historian Luke Timothy Johnson offers a fresh and historically grounded assessment of the life and letters of Christianity's "apostle to the Gentiles" in this video series. "One of the most fascinating, important, and controversial figures in the religious history of the West, Paul the Apostle continues to find champions and detractors, sometimes in surprising places," says Professor Johnson. Discussions are led by Richard Davidson. Please join us at 10:00 a.m. in Room 8. Sessions begin again in the new year on January 4.

Next Week

Women's Book Group: Poetry Reading

Sunday, January 10

Sunday, January 10 is the Women's Book Group annual Poetry-fest at 12:15 pm in Room 7. The meeting, to be led by Jennifer Atkinson, will be an opportunity to engage with questions around racism through poetry. Please choose a poem from "Citizen," or another poem, from the anthology that Jennifer has compiled. Copies of the anthology are on the table in the atrium, or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for a slightly different downloadable version.

Fair Trade Sales

Sunday, January 10

Fair Trade Sales are happening next Sunday between worship services. Stock up on your supplies of coffee, chocolate, and Palestinian olive oil while providing fair compensation to farmers in less-developed countries. A portion of the olive sales supports Tent of Nations and its peace-building programs in the West Bank.

Annual Reports Due

Monday, January 11

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 Monday, January 11. If you have questions, please contact our office administrator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it via email or phone (703) 978-3060.

More Church News

Giving Envelopes Available Now

Please pick up your 2016 giving envelope boxes in the atrium on Sunday—unless you give electronically or have did not request envelopes. If you are expecting a box in your name and don’t find it, please contact Donna in the church office at (703) 978-3060 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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!

Save the Date

Welcoming Dialog Dinner with the Board of Outreach and Social Justice

Sunday, January 17 (5:00 pm)

As a response to the recent issues related to Islamophobia and the Syrian refugee crisis, the Intersections Group and the Board of Outreach and Social Justice will begin gatherings designed to increase our interfaith and intercultural welcome. More information will be available after the Intersections meeting on January 3. Questions? Contact Joy Faunce or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Annual Congregational Meeting (One Worship Service - 10:00 am)

Sunday, January 31

Mark your calendars for the 2016 Annual Meeting of Little River United Church of Christ. The official call to meeting will be coming soon.

Church Council News

Minutes and more