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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised April 1, 2016

Second Sunday of Easter
Worship Services at 9:30 and 11:00 am

Sunday, April 3

This week's scripture is John 20:19-31 and Pastor Hank will be preaching a sermon entitled, "Doubt-full." From Thomas to Descartes to Kierkegaard to Kant, doubt has held a special place in the heart of faith. What do you do with doubt? What proof do you need to believe what is not (or cannot be) seen? Please join us! (Note: Communion will be offered at both services.)

This Week

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 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!

Food Pantry This Sunday

Sunday, April 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. 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 always appreciated. Thank you for your support of the pantry.

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.

Easter Offering - Stop Hunger Now

Sunday, April 3

Thank you to everyone who gave to the special Easter Offering last week. If you weren't here, we can still accept your offering this week.

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 2016.

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, April 4

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 Sales

Sunday, April 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.

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.

This month, we welcome all to the conversation, as we refocus ourselves on the continuing issues in our community, nation, and world that result from Racism. We will share in reflection on our first “Welcoming Dinner” in January, and look towards continuing our “potluck dinner” plan. We will also look towards the summer schedule, and an upcoming series of Adult Formation events that need our wisdom. And we will have an update on our congregation’s commitment to justice for refugees in America (Syrian and otherwise), and racial and social justice for all. Please come, and add your voice to the conversation. Looking forward to the gathered Beloved Community!

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 & 17

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.

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sundays, April 10 & 24

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 8:30 am on April 10 and at 11:00 am on April 24 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

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.

For this springtime intergenerational outdoor activity, participants should wear long sleeves and long pants. All participants are invited to bring their own picnic lunch to eat at 12:30, with clean up beginning at 1:00 pm. Charcoal grills are available. BOSJ will have the grills heated and ready to go if you would like to bring food to grill for lunch. Questions? Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

More Church News

Working Faithfully With Our Leaders on Climate Solutions

Saturday, April 2

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages your participation at the free event: Working Faithfully With Our Leaders on Climate Solutions.

Join Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions for an afternoon of engaging directly with our local leaders about real climate solutions: solar panels for our schools; better energy management in our county buildings; and a strong Clean Power Plan that reduces climate pollution across the Commonwealth. The event takes place on Saturday April 2, 1:00-4:00 pm at Unity Church of Fairfax (2854 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, VA). To attend this free event, please register here. For further information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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 Well Aging Well Summit 2016

Saturday, April 16

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages your participation in the Fairfax area Living Well 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: or call (703) 324-7647. Volunteer opportunities are available.

Annandale Coop 5K

Our friends at Annandale Cooperative Preschool invite Little River UCC runners to its annual 5K Family Fun Run on Saturday, April 30 at Ravensworth Farm Swim Club (5202 Inverchapel Rd, Springfield). Kids Fun Run begins at 8:00 am with the 5K to follow. Stroller friendly!!! You can register at Register by April 8 to get a Fun Run T-shirt!

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