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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised April 21, 2016

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

Sunday, April 24

Psalm 148 calls to us, saying” Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights!” This week we celebrate Earth Day with scripture and hymns glorifying our Earth home. All are welcome!

This 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 this Sunday 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

Sunday, 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 this Sunday 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.

Screening of “An Act of Love” Documentary

Sunday, 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.

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, April 25

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

Congregational Information Sessions

Sunday, May 1

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Congregational Information Sessions. These meetings will be held after each service on Sunday, May 1 in Room 8. 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!

Intersections: Sacred Conversation on Race

Sunday, May 1

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 Sunday, May 1 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 hear a brief update from the Board of Outreach and Social Justice on their implementing the Resolution on Syrian Refugees. We will also talk about our hopes for the “Welcoming Dinner” and schedule our next gathering on interfaith dialogue. Please come, and add your voice to the conversation. Looking forward to the gathered Beloved Community!

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, May 1

Next Sunday and every Communion Sunday (normally the first Sunday of every month) we invite your gifts of non-expired, non-perishable staple food and baby items, which are placed in our church’s FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) pantry and used to help the hungry in our community. The pantry is currently well stocked to supply Fairfax FISH with pre-packed food bags. This month we hope to focus on diapers (sizes 2-6), pull-ups, and adult diapers for several of our partner organizations. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice recently reached out to several benevolence partners (including Homestretch, Alternative House, Fairfax FISH, and Thrive DC) and learned that diapers and adult diapers are a constant need, especially since food stamps and WIC benefits cannot be used to purchase them.

Thanks to the ongoing generous donations to the pantry, in April the Board of Outreach and Social Justice was able to make two donations. Twelve bags of non-perishable staple food items and three bags of toiletries and personal hygiene products were delivered to Thrive DC, serving the homeless in Washington, DC. We also delivered a large bag of baby food and snack items and three boxes of diapers to Homestretch, an organization in Falls Church, VA offering a comprehensive program to help homeless families.

“Lifelines to Solitary” Launch

Saturday, May 7

Please join us for the launch of the "Lifelines to Solitary" group on Saturday, May 7 from 2:30-4:00 pm. We’ll gather for an orientation session with Jean Casella of Solitary Watch.

Save the Date

Our Mission with Refugees: Our Path Forward Needs Your Input

Sunday, May 8

In January, our congregation took a brave step forward in our ministry of racial and social justice. We voiced our community’s faithful witness of support to immigrants and throughout the world—and those particularly affected by the ongoing civil unrest in Syria. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice has been building the necessary relationships to implement the resolution. You are invited to a Coffee Hour Follow-Up Session on Sunday, May 8 at 10:45 am in between worship services in the Choir Room. We will share information from our mission partner, Church World Service, and their local affiliate groups on how our congregation can be part of helping refugees who seek to find a home in the United States. For more information, or with any questions, please speak with Karen Kleiber or Nancy Hall, and email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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

Plan to join the Women’s Ministry Team and women of Little River UCC for a celebration of all the ways our mothers have influenced our lives over the span of years, including the ups and downs, the renewed or altered connections, the joys and sorrows. Gather with us for Tea and Talk: Gifts from Mom, on Sunday, May 15, at 12:15 in the Jubilee Room following the 11:00 am service. Plan to bring a picture of your mother, grandmother, or any other maternal figure in your life to share with others at the tea.

A sign-up sheet will be at the welcome desk in the Atrium. Please let us know if you can come and whether you can bring a finger food (sweet or savory) to share. We look forward to seeing many of you there.

Book Group: Children on the Stone

Sunday, May 22

Please join the Little River UCC Book Group as they discuss Children of the Stone, by Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree. This story chronicles Ramzi’s journey – from stone thrower to music student to school founder—and shows how, through his love of music, he created something lasting and beautiful in a land torn by violence and war. This is a story about the power of music, first, but also about freedom and conflict, determination and vision. It’s a vivid portrait of life amid checkpoints and military occupation, a growing movement of nonviolent resistance, the prospects of musical collaboration across the Israeli-Palestinian divide, and the potential of music to help children everywhere see new possibilities for their lives. See you in Room 7 on Sunday, May 22 from 12:15-1:30 pm.

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

Summer Air Conditioning Update

The HVAC work for the Social Hall/Choir Room and Narthex has been completed.

Little River UCC Front Office Volunteers Needed

If you like greeting visitors and answering the phone – we need you! Our office administrator, Donna Jones, will be out for knee surgery and we are looking for volunteers to staff the front office from Monday, April 25 to mid-June. Shifts are 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to sign-up!

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): The Board of Outreach and Social Justice met on Sunday, April 17 and had a productive meeting covering many topics. The board budget was discussed, including first quarter benevolence disbursements to Fairfax FISH, Food for Others, and United College Ministries and the recent generous offerings received for One Great Hour of Sharing ($6,589) and the Easter Offering for Stop Hunger Now (approaching $5,000). Plans were finalized for the Earth Day Hands-on Sunday park clean up at Mason District Park scheduled for April 24. Beginning stage plans were made for participation in the Capital Pride Parade on June 11: registration will be completed soon, a jeep will be rented for both transportation and advertising purposes, and volunteer sign-ups on paper and Sign-up Genius will be prepared. BOSJ will be in touch with the Deacons about purchasing items to distribute at the parade. Pastor Hank shared youth activity following the recent Faith in Film showing of the movie Tapped. The board worked on plans for a summer series in collaboration with CE and Deacons using TED Talks related to social justice issues, including four sessions focused on racial justice. Plans were finalized to share information gathered about hosting a refugee family; BOSJ will join the Intersections group on May 1 and hopes to offer an information table at coffee hour on May 8 to determine the level of congregational support for moving forward with this initiative. The Board will be assisting Pastor Hank in offering a worship service at the upcoming Potomac Association meeting. The meeting closed on a discussion of how best to frame and preserve the map of the slave graves prepared for the summer 2014 Remembrance Service.

Board of Trustees (April 19, 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.

Stewardship Committee (April 18, 2016): Forthcoming

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.