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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised March 25, 2016

Easter Sunday Services
(6:45, 9:30 and 11:00 am)

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 this Easter Sunday, we will celebrate the Resurrection in worship! Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. David B. Lindsey will preach, drawing on Luke's account of the empty tomb. Music will be led by the Sanctuary Choir, accompanied by organ, brass, and timpani. From the prelude to beloved hymns to the postlude, we will once again be called to rejoice as we exclaim, "Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!" (Please note: Communion will not be offered at 9:30 or 11:00 am.)

This Week

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.

You can learn more about Michael at the Global Ministries website.

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 Egg Hunt

Sunday, March 27

Easter egg hunts celebrate the joy of finding something new on Easter morning. The Board of Christian Education invites children, grades 5 and younger, to an egg hunt following 9:30 worship on Easter Sunday. Families are asked to meet in the atrium after worship to divide children by age groups. The hunt will take place in and around the outdoor playground.

Easter Offering - Stop Hunger Now

Sunday, March 27

On Easter Sunday, a special Easter Fund offering will be received on behalf of our fifth annual STOP Hunger Now event, to take place in September 2016.

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) asks for your support of this offering, which enables the purchase of meals we can pack for persons in need. Our meal packing event in September 2015 produced 20,000 meals to send to those in need. Every meal costs just 29 cents, and we hope to pack up to 20,000 meals again this year. To support the offering, please designate "Easter Fund" on the memo line of your check or include your contribution in the special Easter offering envelopes, writing "Easter Fund" on the outside.

Thank you for your tremendous support in 2015. BOSJ looks forward to helping our congregation be a blessing to those in need again in September.

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, March 27

It has been said that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. Are you seeking to add a contemplative element to your spiritual practice? Please join us next Sunday at 11:00 am in Room 8 as we explore Meditation as a contemplative practice that helps to quiet the mind. We will have a brief guided meditation followed by sharing about the experience. 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 if you have any questions.

Office Closed

Monday, March 28

The church office will be closed on the Monday after Easter. We will resume our regular schedule on Tuesday, March 29.

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, March 21

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.

First Friday: Our Earth Home

Friday, April 1

Join us for the last First Friday of Spring 2016 on April 1 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.! We’ll share in a little bit of Earth care, and a whole lot of fun as we discover how to be health-makers and Earth-keepers. 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. 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

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, April 3

Next Sunday and every communion Sunday (normally the first Sunday of every month), we invite your gifts of 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.

Opportunity for Action: Information Presented on Lifelines to Solitary

Sundays, April 3 & 10

On any given day, tens of thousands of incarcerated people live in solitary confinement in prisons and jails across the United States, spending 22 to 24 hours a day locked in closet-sized cells, without human contact, and often without work, educational opportunities, or distractions. This prolonged isolation has been shown to cause lasting damage to mental health in many cases, creates greater difficulty reintegrating in society and higher rates of recidivism once individuals are released from incarceration.

Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR), a human rights organization that works to minimize isolated confinement in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C., is partnering with Solitary Watch, a national group that investigates and reports on the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, to launch a prison correspondence program called Lifelines to Solitary with communities of faith in our area. The project aims to ease some of the effects of isolated confinement by connecting those held in solitary with people in the world outside prison, believing "this communication has the potential to transform the lives not only of the individuals in solitary, but of those on the outside who bear witness to their suffering."

Gay Gardner, member of Little River UCC and board member of IAHR, will be in the narthex between services on April 3 and April 10 to provide more information about this program. She will have handouts and a sign up sheet for those interested in attending a Solitary Watch orientation later in the month. You may also This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more details.

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, April 3

It has been said that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. Are you seeking to add a contemplative element to your spiritual practice? Please join us at 11:00 am in Room 8 as we explore Meditation as a contemplative practice that helps to quiet the mind. We will have a brief guided meditation followed by sharing about the experience. 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 if you have any questions.

Save the Date

Intersections: Sacred Conversations on Race

Sunday, April 10

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, April 10 at 11:00 am in Room 8 for prayer and thought on the continuing issues of racism.

Faith in Film: Tapped

Sunday, April 10

From the moment the water crisis in Flint, MI came to our nation’s attention, our congregation has been in prayer for the people and seeking ways to personally respond to the crisis. One of the first things needed by the residents of Flint was clean, potable water. And the easiest way to support them, delivered bottled water, is not a problem-free solution.

Tapped: recounts what happens when the most necessary resource on earth, water, becomes a commodity.

Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? Stephanie Soechtig’s debut feature is an unflinching examination of the big business of bottled water. From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this revelatory film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public’s right to water.

We will gather at 12:15 for lunch in Room 8, and begin our viewing at 12:20. A light lunch will be provided, and you are encouraged to bring a dish to pass. The movie will last 76 minutes, with discussion following.

Christian Mystics: Tour Guides for your Spiritual Journey

Sunday, April 10

Join Rob Peters on Sunday, April 10 at 11:00 am in Room 8 as he leads an introduction to famous Christian Mystics. This week's class will explore Catherine of Sienna and Teresa of Avila. 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.

Guest Preacher: Dan Romero

Sunday, April 17

Little River is delighted to welcome back Rev. Dan Romero!

Dan is a retired UCC pastor with an extraordinary depth and breadth of ministerial experience. After growing up in the Los Angeles area, he attended college at American University in the 1960s. During that time, he worshipped at Little River (back when we were known as the Congregational Christian Church of Fairfax County!). Upon his graduation in 1967, Dan moved back west to Berkeley, where he attended the UCC's Pacific School of Religion. In 1970, he was ordained as an Associate Pastor in Chula Vista, CA before becoming the pastor of his home church (Morningside UCC in Inglewood) in 1973. From 1976 to 1987, Dan served as an Associate Conference Minister in the Southern California Nevada Conference. During that time, he earned his J.D. at Loyola University. Dan then moved to New York, where he served as General Secretary for Mission Program of the United Church Board for World Ministries. In 1998, he returned to his home state, serving as the Conference Minister of the Southern California Nevada Conference until his retirement in 2008.

Since his retirement, Dan has been able to focus more heavily on doing the things that matter to him most: serving as a volunteer immigration lawyer, advocating for Latino ministries, and rooting for his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers. He also guest preaches in congregations like ours; Dan last preached at Little River on October 26, 2008. We are honored to welcome Dan back -- especially amid the vitriol in America's public life today -- as he reflects with us on God's call for peace and justice.

Celebration of Earth Day and Hands-on Mission Project

Sunday, April 24

Join the Board of Outreach and Social Justice in a hands-on project to clean up Mason District Park after worship services from 12:30-4:00 pm. Please sign up here if you are interested in helping.

More Church News

Summer Air Conditioning

The Board of Trustees would like to announce that the installation of new air conditioning equipment for the Narthex, Social Hall, and Kitchen will begin on Monday, and will be completed by mid-April. The Social Hall will be closed next week (March 28-April 1) to install new ceiling-mounted air ducts above the window wall. The second week a new heat pump system will be installed in the kitchen above the dishwashing sinks. All kitchen equipment will remain right where it is now upon completion. Also during the second and third weeks the ancient original heat pump equipment in the main mechanical room will be removed, and two new units will be installed together with new condensers in the courtyard. Most importantly, the Social Hall and Kitchen will be open each Saturday and Sunday for our social hours, choir practices, and other scheduled events. Regular weekday activities will be held in the Choir Room with the accordion doors closed, and entry from the rear hall rather than the main hall. Volunteers for a special one-time Social Hall work project are being sought to help paint the new ductwork during May. We rejoice that all the new equipment installed since last fall is GREEN RATED!!!

Islam - Knowledge over Fear

Sunday, April 3

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages your participation in the Interfaith Communities for Dialogue's event: Islam - Knowledge over Fear. The event takes place at John Calvin Presbyterian Church (Annandale, VA) on Sunday, April 3 from 2:00 -5:00 pm.

Dr. Jonathan Brown, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and Imam Zia Makhdoom, founder of MakeSpace, will present the basic tenets of Islam and provide information to correct misconceptions and myths about the religion. Time will be allotted for a brief participant dialogue followed by a Panel Q & A session.

To learn more and register for this free event, please visit: Community Interfaith Coordination (CIC) web page or call (703) 324-7608. (To register, select "Register for Upcoming Interfaith Events" from the menu bar on the right.)

Living Aging Well Summit 2016

Saturday, April 16

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages your participation in the Fairfax area Living Aging Well Summit on Saturday, April 16 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at the Fairfax Government Center.

The summit is open to individuals, family members, general community members and industry professionals interested in exploring living and aging well. The seminar features keynote presentations, seminars, exhibitors and more. To learn more and register for this free event, please visit: www.livingwellfairfax.org or call (703) 324-7647. Volunteer opporutnities are available.

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