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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised March 4, 2016

2016 Annual Congregational Meeting Reconvenes

Sunday, March 6

The 2016 Annual Meeting will reconvene on Sunday, March 6, directly after the one 10:00 am worship service. The principal business of the meeting will be approval of a budget for 2016. Read the official call to meeting here.

This Week

First Friday: The Sheepdog Detectives

Friday, March 4

March’s First Friday welcomes back our friends from Kaydee Puppets, and their canine sleuths, the Sheepdog Detectives!

Come join the fun on March 4, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. 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.

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. 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!

Cancelled -- Intersections: Sacred Conversations on Race

Sunday, March 6

Intersections, our Sacred Conversation on Race, will not meet on March 6 due to the Congregational Meeting on the church budget. Please look for an updated meeting time in Currents and in your email. Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to be added to the email list, or with questions or comments.

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.

On March 6, the offering will be collected during the one 10:00 am worship service. Please use the special envelope that will be sent to you in your Giving Letter or mark your check with “One Great Hour of Sharing”. Gifts also may be made via the Online Giving button.

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, March 6

This Sunday 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. This month we especially need the following items: canned fruit, boxes of pasta, dry milk, and peanut butter.

Thanks to the ongoing generous donations to the pantry, in February the Board of Outreach and Social Justice was able to make two large donations. Ten bags/boxes of snack and baby items were delivered to Alternative House, the abused and homeless children's refuge in Vienna, VA. We also delivered 13 bags/boxes of non-perishable staple food items to Food for Others, an emergency food pantry in Fairfax, VA.

Lenten Soup and Supper Series - Session 3: Priesthood of All

Sunday, March 6

Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life... -1 Peter 2:4 (MSG)

All in favor? Yea or Nay? There are not many places where a person can be present in full-conscience. There are few places that will accept someone outright regardless of society’s barriers or social conventions. But there is one place, and that’s called “Church.” When one finds a place where they belong, what are they challenged to “take on” or to “set aside?” What does taking on the name of “Christian” mean in a poly-religious society and a secularized world?

This week, we will ponder what it means to be in active membership. We will look at the obligations we take on when joining a church, and how that is different from other voluntary organizations. And we will spend some time considering how we behave towards one another—how we keep a covenant community strong.

These sessions are intergenerational events hosted by the Board of Christian Education Adult Education Committee and the Board of Deacons and co-hosted with the Pilgrim Youth Fellowship. Meals begin at 5:00 pm and discussion at 5:30 pm. (To help with clean up, you are encouraged to bring your own dish and utensils.) Upon request, childcare is available for our youngest. Sessions take place each Sunday during Lent ending on March 13.

Order Your Easter Flowers Today

Monday, March 7

You are invited to place Easter flowers in the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday, March 27, in honor or in memory of a loved one. The deadline for ordering is Monday, March 7. The order form is available here or you can pick one up on Sunday at church.

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, March 7

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 am in Room 8 on Monday mornings.

Next Week

Fair Trade Reminder

Sunday, March 13

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.

Christian Mystics: Tour Guides for your Spiritual Journey

Sunday, March 13

Join Rob Peters on Sunday, March 13 at 11:00 am in Room 8 as he leads an introduction to famous Christian Mystics. This week's class focuses on Hildegard of Bingen and Francis of Assisi. Sessions include discussion questions and resource materials and guides to a deepening life of prayer. Future sessions will be held on Sunday, March 20. This is a popular class, so please sign up with 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 so that sufficient resources are provided.

Women's Books Group - Americanah

Sunday, March 13

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success she is forced to grapple with what is means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. At once powerful and tender, Americanah is a remarkable novel of race, love, and identity by the aware-winning writer Chimananda Ngozi Adichie. Please join us at 12:15 pm in Room 7 for the discussion.

Lenten Soup and Supper Series - Session 4: The Social and the Sacred

Sunday, March 13

They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. -Acts 2:46 (MSG)

From the beginning, the followers of Christ sought to balance two parts of daily living. Honoring God is the first half of the Greatest Commandment, centering one on the need for faithful living and celebration of God’s never-ending love. Treating Neighbor as Self is the second, focusing on the need to live in community—and not just with the other followers of the way of Christ. Worship is social, just as Fellowship Hour is sacred—and vice versa! How do our lives reflect the living of this balance?

During this final session, we will sit together and talk about how we can sit together more often. We will look at the existing opportunities for worship and fellowship, and dream together what new ways God is calling us to gather in sacred community.

These sessions are intergenerational events hosted by the Board of Christian Education Adult Education Committee and the Board of Deacons and co-hosted with the Pilgrim Youth Fellowship. Meals begin at 5:00 pm and discussion at 5:30 pm. (To help with clean up, you are encouraged to bring your own dish and utensils.) Upon request, childcare is available for our youngest.

Save the Date

Palm Sunday and Music Sunday Led by the Sanctuary Choir

Sunday, March 20

Worship begins with a Palm Parade, led by our children and youth. We will reflect on Christ’s "triumphal entrance" into Jerusalem, his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the symbolism and mystery of Holy Week. In addition, the Sanctuary Choir and guest musicians will lead us from the joyful shouts of Hosanna! into the introspective and redemptive days of Holy Week as we approach Easter and the resurrection.

Maundy Thursday Supper (6:00 pm) and Service (7:30 pm)

Thursday, March 24

We are honored to welcome Michael Joseph to our pulpit on Maundy Thursday. Michael is a UCC missionary in Colombia, where he works with our Central Atlantic Conference partners in the Evangelical Council of Colombia (a.k.a. CEDECOL). He leads the Prophetic Call Human Rights Documentation Program of CEDECOL's Peace Commission. As part of that work, Michael provides critical pastoral presence to clergy and lay leaders who are living in life-threatening situations. Decades of violent conflict have decimated Colombia, and church workers like Michael face the Herculean task of proclaiming God's peace in a nation devastated by civil war. Michael is a member of First Congregational UCC in Washington, D.C., a church whose commitment to social justice led to the creation of Howard University in 1867 (and Little River UCC in 1955!). Please join us for a light soup supper in our Social Hall starting at 6:00 pm, followed by worship at 7:30 pm.

Good Friday Worship Service (7:30 pm)

Friday, March 25

The traditional service of candles and darkness will begin at 7:30 pm. We will share in an experience of the three days of self-exploration leading towards Easter. Music, Meditation, Communion, Scripture and the Extinguishing of the Lights.

Easter Worship Services (6:45, 9:30 & 11:00am)

Sunday, March 27

Sunrise Service at the Cross begins at 6:45 am with a service of Baptismal renewal and Communion followed by an Easter breakfast with hot cross buns and Easter eggs.

At 9:30 & 11:00 am worship a service of Resurrection will be led by the Sanctuary Choir and Brass Ensemble will call us to rejoice with the brass and tympani as we exclaim, Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!

The Sanctuary and Joyful Noise choirs combine forces to lead the service in music and song with the trumpets, trombones, and the full organ. From the prelude to glorious, familiar hymns and to the grand anthems, the music reflects Christ’s triumph over the grave and our redemption by his love.

As a part of the 9:30 am service, an Easter Time with Children will be offered, with an Easter egg hunt following for all children.

More Church News

Thinking Green

Did know you could recycle your clean, dry, empty plastic bags and film packaging at Little River UCC?

We have two recycling bins in the church -- one in the hallway outside of the kitchen and the second one in the hallway just down from rooms 7 and 8. Look for the recycling bins with the TREX logo on them and start bringing in your plastics including: grocery bags, dry cleaning bags, cereal liners, newspaper sleeves, bread bags, and more.

Download the flyer here for a complete list of plastics that can be recycled.

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