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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised April 14, 2016

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

Sunday, April 17

This week we welcome back Rev. Dan Romero! 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. Let's show Dan our extravagant welcome!

This Week

Dan Romero Open House

Saturday, April 16

Join us for an open house in honor of guest preacher Rev. Dan Romero!

From 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Saturday, April 16, Little River UCC will host an informal gathering where you can come greet Dan, a retired Conference Minister and former General Secretary for the United Church Board for Wider Ministries (now Wider Church Ministries). From 3:30 to 4:30 pm, Pastor David will facilitate a more formal conversation with Dan about what it means to be church in this day and age, but feel free to stop by the Social Hall at any time between 3:00 and 5:00 pm. All are welcome!

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.

Christian Mystics: Tour Guides for your Spiritual Journey

Sunday, April 17

Join Rob Peters and the Christian Mystics for the final class at 11:00 am this Sunday. Thomas Merton, a 20th century Roman Catholic mystic, and Howard Thurman, a 20th century African American Baptist pastor and mystic will share their spiritual journeys in the modern world.

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.

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, April 18

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

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 .

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sundays, April 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 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

Two Congregational Forums

Sunday, May 1

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Congregational Forums. These meetings will be held after each service on Sunday, May 1. In response to your requests for more timely information on the matters of Little River UCC, the Governance Board is hosting two meetings, one at 10:45 am and a second at 12:15 pm to bring you up to date on the first quarter’s budget analysis, the projections for the year end, and the beginning of discussions on developing the 2017 budget and the options for the future. Please plan to attend – your input is needed!

Guest Preacher: Jason Thompson

Sunday, May 15

Welcome back, Jason! We are delighted to have Little River UCC member Jason Thompson return to our pulpit at the conclusion of his seminary internship at Bethel UCC in Arlington.

Tea and Talk: Gifts from Mom

Sunday, May 15

Book Group: Children on the Stone

Sunday, May 22

Capital Pride Parade

Saturday, June 11

Come share our congregations Open and Affirming (ONA) commitment in the annual demonstration of LGBTQ pride and support in the nation’s capital. Our congregation will have a spot in the parade, hosted by Outreach & Social Justice and Pilgrim Youth Fellowship.

Capital Pride Festival

Sunday, June 12

The Potomac Association UCC is organizing a booth for relationship and connection at the Festival. Volunteers are needed to offer the United Church of Christ’s extravagant welcome (as well as share our congregations commitment to LGBTQ Rights and Justice).

For more information on the Capital Pride Weekend activities, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

More Church News

Easter Offering to Support Stop Hunger Now

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice would like to thank all those who contributed to this year's Easter Offering in support of Stop Hunger Now. As of the end of March, almost $5,000 was collected for this offering. These generous contributions will allow Little River UCC to pack over 17,000 meals at our upcoming meal packing event for Stop Hunger Now in September. Contributions are still welcome, and each additional $0.29 contributed will buy another meal for people in need around the world. Stay tuned for a save the date announcement for the meal packing event.

Summer Air Conditioning Update

If you have not noticed, Little River UCC is in the process of completing the installation of a heating/air conditioning unit in the kitchen and the replacement of the air conditioning units that cool the choir room/social hall and narthex. The HVAC contractor is on schedule to complete the work next week.

Next time you enter the social hall, look up and you will see that the room has been outfitted with new ductwork and is usable for all Little River UCC activities.

Current Reflections

At their most recent meeting, the Communications Committee voted to change the name of the printed version of the Currents newsletter to Current Reflections. The next edition will be mailed out the week of April 25, so be sure to check your mailbox for your Current Reflections. If you would like to have something included in the next edition, please send your submission to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Monday, April 18.

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: www.livingwellfairfax.org or call (703) 324-7647. Volunteer opportunities are available.

Screening of “An Act of Love” Documentary

Saturday, April 24

Our friends at People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV) invite all to a screening of the documentary film, “An Act of Love” on Sunday, April 24 at 7:00 pm at Mount Olivet United Methodist Church (1500 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA).

“An Act of Love" is an award-winning, inspiring documentary which tells the stories of the Rev. Frank Schaefer and other Methodist pastors those who have fought for LGBTQ inclusion in the United Methodist Church. Rev, Schaefer had his ministerial credentials revoked in December 2013 after officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. Schaefer’s story is presented in the context of the larger debate in the UMC over same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy. Following the viewing of the 90 minute film, there will be a short Q&A session followed by a light reception. See www.anactoflovefilm.com for more information about the film.

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 course...childcare...food...prizes....moonbounces!!! You can register at www.AnnandaleCoop.org. Register by April 8 to get a Fun Run T-shirt!

Church Council News

Little River UCC Committee Meeting Updates:

Board of Outreach and Social Justice (April 17, 2016): Forthcoming.

Endowment Committee (April 13, 2016): At its meeting on April 13, the Endowment Fund Committee welcomed Sandy Miller as a new member and elected George Leonard as its new Chair. We received a financial report from our treasurer, Fran DuRocher, showing contributions to the Fund of $1,400 during the first quarter of 2016, total contributions to date of $234,132, and a market value of $334,007 as of March 31. We need only about $16,000 in additional contributions before the fund will be able to make disbursements. A new version of the endowment fund brochure was approved for posting on the church web site. Next meeting will be July 13.

Finance Committee (April 6, 2016): Recognizing that volunteer efforts by members are essential to enable the programs and activities of Little River UCC, there are occasions where it could be appropriate to pay a member for providing a service to the church. There has not been a consistent approach for how to deal with this situation. The Finance Committee has drafted a proposed policy about this and circulated it to both the Ministry and Governance Boards of the Council for comment. Following their initial review it will be circulated more widely for comment before a final proposed policy is recommended to the Governance Board for approval. This month, the Finance Committee also discussed actions needed to improve our identification and management of Little River UCC's capital equipment.

Governance Board (April 13, 2016): The Governance Board of Little River UCC is, along with Ministry Board, one-half of our Church Council. The Governance Board is responsible for oversight of our ministry, which (per our by-laws) includes developing and monitoring administrative and operational policies to help us faithfully live out our mission and vision.  At their April 13 meeting, the board approved editorial updates to the employee handbook and presented the draft of a charter for the committee. Rev. Lindsey has pulled together descriptions for current staff positions. The Board took them under advisement for further review. The Treasurer’s report was received. Income for the first quarter met the budgeted level, thanks to non-pledge income exceeding the budgeted level for the quarter. Trustees reported that the new air conditioning system is nearing completion. The Finance Committee presented for future action a first draft of a policy regarding appropriate situations for compensating members of the church. The next meeting date is May 10.

Ministry Board (April 12, 2016):The Ministry Board is, along with the Governance Board, one-half of our Church Council. Per our by-laws, the Ministry Board is charged with coordination and oversight of the ministries, programs, and activities of LRUC in order to further church's stated mission and vision. In order to live out that charge, Ministry Board is currently meeting once a month to bring our programmatic board and committees together to make sure that we're working together (and not at cross purposes!).

To that end, the Ministry Board covered a few big picture issues at its most recent meeting on Tuesday, April 12. These issues were "how shall LRUCC advocate for all God's creatures and creation in 2016?" and "what is our current staffing structure, and how do our staff relate to committees?" In more detailed terms, we approved the 2016 schedule of opportunities for generosity, coordinated calendars among our various programmatic ministries, discussed how we are living out our congregationally-approved resolution on Syrian refugees, and received a draft policy from the Finance Committee about payment of volunteers for services rendered. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 10. at 7:30 pm.

As with all board and committees of the church, the Ministry Board meeting is open to all who wish to attend.

Personnel Committee (April 6, 2016): The Personnel Committee continues to tweak language of the Employee Handbook as needed; is working on a charter for Governance Board approval; and has begun drafting a "How-To" manual for the committee's work. The committee also advises David Lindsey on position descriptions and personnel issues.

Women's Ministry (April 4, 2106): The Women’s Ministry team met on Thursday, April 4, to discuss the upcoming Tea and Talk, Gifts from Mom, scheduled for Sunday, May 15, 12:15, in the Jubilee Room. Plans were completed for signup, advertising, food, setup and cleanup, and leadership of the program. Other topics at the meeting included hearing updates on church-wide programs and issues, including special programming on and commemoration of Little River UCC women on Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 8; taking care to calendar events on the main church calendar to avoid conflicts; upcoming travel by PF youth to the UCC National Youth Event in Orlando, FL, in July; and ongoing discussion of one vs. two services beginning in the fall.

Full minutes of Church Council, Governance Board, and Ministry Board meetings are posted on this webpage.

Wider Church News

Jan Curtis and Barbara Lowrey represented Little River UCC at the April 9 Potomac Association’s Racial Justice Working Group Review and Planning Meeting. Read their meeting notes here.