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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised January 28, 2016

Annual Congregational Meeting

Sunday, February 7

Due to inclement weather, the Congregational Meeting originally scheduled for Sunday, January 31 has been postponed. Members are now called for a Congregational Meeting on Sunday, February 7 following one worship service with hymn sing at 10:00 a.m. Read the official call to meeting here.

Changes to the current Endowment Fund Policy are being proposed and you may view those changes and the current policy on the Schedules, Procedures, Policies, and Forms page.

This Week

One Worship Service followed by Town Hall Meeting and Light Lunch

Sunday, January 31

This Sunday after one worship service at 10:00 a.m., all members are encouraged to stay for a town hall meeting about this year’s budget. Rob Peters and Joe Christiansen will be available to answer your questions and provide an opportunity to discuss the planning for the budget and finances which will support our church's ministries in 2016. A light lunch will be served.

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, February 1

From The Great Courses, Professor Gary A. Rendsburg focuses on the book of Genesis. This course of 24 lectures allows for numerous avenues of inquiry. Discussions are led by Richard Davidson. Please join us at 10:00 a.m. in Room 8 on Monday mornings.

First Friday: Mardi Gras Celebration

Friday, February 5

We might be a few days early, but what does that matter during Carnival!  February’s First Friday will be a Mardi Gras Dance Party Celebration. Come let the bon temps roulez, February 5, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.! 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 before January 31.

First Friday is a kids' night out program designed to give parents an evening to themselves. Volunteers provide creative and exciting entertainment for the children in a safe and fun atmosphere at the church. First Friday is for children aged six months through 12 years. All children in our community are welcome, whether or not their families attend Little River UCC, so spread the word and make your plans!

Next Week

Annual Congregational Meeting (One Worship Service with Hymn Sing - 10:00 a.m.)

Sunday, February 7

Next Sunday there will be one worship service at 10:00 a.m with a hymn sing. After service is the annual congregational meeting at 11:15 a.m. Read the official call to meeting here.

Baked Potato Bar Lunch

Sunday, February 7

To help fuel the discussion at the Annual Meeting, PYF will help provide a Baked Potato Bar lunch. This will serve as a fund raiser to help the PYF Youth attend this summer’s UCC National Youth Event (NYE), taking place from July 26-30, 2016 at Coronado Springs Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL (Yes, we’re going to Disney World!). This will be an ecumenical leadership and mission event (different from our usual hands-on mission trips), and the cost is substantially increased (about $800 per person attending). Please bring your appetites, and your wallets, to support our youth attending through a free-will offering.

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, February 7

Next 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. Food is distributed by FISH; to local charities including Food for Others, Alternative House, and Thrive DC; and to individuals who ask for assistance from the pastoral staff.

Individual pre-packed bags of food are prepared for use by FISH and church staff to respond to immediate needs. A bag of food includes: two boxes of cereal, one can of fruit, two cans of vegetables, one canned meat product, two boxes of pasta, one jar/can of pasta sauce, dry milk, and a jar of peanut butter. These items and paper or reusable grocery bags to pack them in are especially needed for the pantry at this time. Thank you for your support of the pantry.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Tuesday, February 9

Mark your calendars! Plan to prepare for the start of Lent – the most important Christian holiday season – by joining Little River UCC friends for a pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday, February 9, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Come when you can; a blessing will be said at 6:30.

Pancakes, sausage, and fruit salad will be served, with vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the church office either by email or by phone at (703) 978-3060. Donations (cash or check) will be received at the door. Please note: We also need volunteer pancake flippers, set-up helpers, and clean-up angels! Sign up on the bulletin board in the social hall after any Sunday service.

Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday, February 10

The season of Lent officially begins with our Ash Wednesday service on February 10. This quiet, reflective service will include both the Sacrament of Communion and the imposition of ashes. The service begins at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Please join us for this beautiful, ancient tradition.

Women’s Ministry Breakfast: “Loving You In the New Year”

Saturday, February 13

On Saturday, February 13 at 9:30 a.m., women of Little River UCC are invited to a delicious breakfast and opportunity to meditate and explore, "Loving You in the New Year". This event is sponsored by the Women's Ministry Team and everything will be provided. We just need you to sign up with Bunny at the Welcome Table! Join other women to explore "Loving You" (you personally, wider circle of family/friends, extending outward) in preparation of a wonderful 2016! For those of you who attended the retreat in October at Roslyn, this will be a response to a desire for continuing exploration; those who wish to join in at this time, we warmly welcome you! Please contact anyone on the Women's Ministry team or stop at Welcome Table with any questions.

More Church News

Hands-on Mission Project - Postponed

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice has postponed the Hands-on Mission project for Alternative House originally scheduled for Saturday, January 30. Stay-tuned for a new date and details.

Year-End Giving Statements

Those who have contributed to Little River UCC during 2015 should be receiving your year-end giving statements in the next few days. Please take a moment to review your statement to make sure it comports with your records as to your contributions for the year. If you find any discrepancies (or if you do not receive an expected statement by the end of January), please call or e-mail Office Administrator, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , at (703) 978-3060; or Treasurer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , at (703) 978-0470. The sooner we catch any errors in our accounting for your contributions, the easier it will be to correct them and issue a corrected giving statement.

February 28: A Time to Celebrate!

Over the past several months, we have celebrated Little River UCC’s 60th Anniversary in a variety of ways. We’ve marked the occasion by sharing stories from our church’s history in Lent; reflecting in Eastertide on God’s call for us in the years to come; granting Verne Arens the honorific title of Pastor Emeritus in October; and (in January 2016) voting on a renewed vision for our future. As the 60th year anniversary year comes to a close in February, the Deacons would like to celebrate Little River UCC’s six decades of welcoming diversity, independent thought, and faithful action on Sunday, February 28.

And what better way to celebrate our church’s rich and vibrant history than to officially welcome back Verne and his wife Julie? In honor of our anniversary, and Verne and Julie’s return to the flock, we will host a celebration and Verne has graciously agreed to preach here at Little River UCC on the 28th to help us celebrate in honor of the occasion.

What kind of celebration? We don’t know -- help us! If you would like to help plan the festivities, please contact Deacons 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 .

Volunteers Needed for Sunday Services

Would you like to volunteer? We need ushers, liturgists and greeters on Sunday mornings.

Ushers prepare the sanctuary for worship services, help seat people, distribute worship bulletins, collect the offering, and generally support the logistics of the services. The time required is 1½ hours on most Sundays during every third month (i.e., 4 months a year).

Liturgists help to lead the worship service at one or both services on Sunday morning. They lead the Call to Worship and the Prayer of Invocation and read the scripture. They sit up on the chancel during the service. The liturgy you need to read is prepared for you and will be sent to you ahead of time so that you can become familiar with the text. You may choose to serve at both services or just one.

If you are ready to volunteer as an usher or liturgist, or would like more information about either, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We also need greeters at the Front Door for both services. Greeters arrive 30 minutes before the service and welcome visitors. Please sign your name on the sign sheet by the church office door if you are interested. Questions? Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, January 24

The January 24 meeting of the Little River UCC Meditation Group will be rescheduled soon. Please stay tuned for more details. Questions? 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 if you have any questions.

"Caring Hands" Prayer Shawl Project

Sunday, March 13

The January 24 meeting of the “Caring Hands” Prayer Shawl Project has been rescheduled for March 13. If you are interested, but are not able to attend on this date, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to arrange a time to meet with her.

Save the Date

Christian Mystics: Tour Guides for your Spiritual Journey

Sunday, February 14

Rob Peters will lead an introduction to famous Christian Mystics beginning on February 14 and 21 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 8. Additional sessions are scheduled in March and April. We'll consider how mystics experienced the presence of God and explore examples of the mystics' guides to rich spiritual practices as they sought to enter the loving presence of God. Sessions will include discussion questions. Please sign up with This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it so that sufficient resources are provided.

Lenten Series – Soup & Discussion

Sundays, February 14 - March 13

The Board of Christian Education Adult Education Committee and the Board of Deacons will host a soup and supper and discussion series. This intergenerational event is co-hosted with the Pilgrim Youth Fellowship, and will be organized for children, youth, and adults to share in together. Childcare is available for our youngest.

The meal begins at 5:00 pm. and the discussion at 5:30 pm. (To help with clean up, you are encouraged to bring your own dish and utensils.)

One Great Hour of Sharing

Sunday, March 6

One Great Hour of Sharing is one of five mission offerings of the United Church of Christ and provides hope to people in more than eighty countries. The offering blesses people in need by providing clean water to drink and healthy food for the hungry. The offering helps build schools, medical clinics, and homes in communities that don’t have them or that have been badly hurt by earthquakes, hurricanes, poverty, and war.

Coin boxes and calendars for children and youth will be made available in the atrium and envelopes will be in the bulletin. Gifts also may be made via the Online Giving button.

Church Council News

Minutes and more