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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised June 3, 2016

Celebration Sunday
10:00 am Worship
11:00 Picnic, Celebration of Graduates and Teachers

Sunday, June 5

Come join in the annual Celebration Sunday, where we reflect back on our Faith Formation programs, and the wonderful teachers and leaders who guide us in listening and responding to God’s still-speaking word.

This year, our Church School children and youth are challenging us with the question, "Why do you go to church?"

Come and share your answers!

This Week

All-Church Work Day -- Rain or Shine

Saturday, June 4

We're doing some spring cleaning and we need your help to keep our church looking its best! The Board of Trustees has scheduled a Spring Work Day on Saturday, June 4 to clean up the church grounds and accomplish some interior cleaning and simple repairs. The list of tasks is provided here.

A top priority is to clean up the church grounds, but if the weather does not cooperate we will move indoors and work on cleaning and simple repairs, particularly in the Sanctuary and Narthex. There will be plenty to do, rain or shine, so please stop by between 9:30 am and 2:00 pm to help and bring a bag lunch, if you like (drinks will be provided).

Only have an hour? Come anyway! There will be plenty of work and LRUCC could really use your help.

Don't have tools or supplies? Come anyway! Board of Trustees will provide the tools and supplies for several tasks.

The Board of Trustees hopes to set up teams of two to four people for each task. The supplies and tools needed for each task are listed. Some supplies and tools will be provided by the Board of Trustees. Depending upon the task, you are asked to bring to bring gloves, eye protection, garden tools and/or household cleaning supplies.

Questions about the work day tasks? Or, a work day project to suggest? See Trustees, Mike Nagy and Ben Northrup, or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Celebration Sunday and Picnic

Sunday, June 5

After 10:00 am worship, we'll continue the celebration! We'll gather on the patio to share food and fellowship (and indoors if the weather doesn't permit outdoor socializing)! The church will supply BBQ and drinks, but we'd love volunteers to bring side dishes and desserts. No need to sign up -- just bring your favorite dish and join us for celebrating the start of summer and honoring our graduates and dedicated Faith Formation leaders.

Intersections: Sacred Conversations on Race

Sunday, June 5

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, June 5 at 9:00 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. This will be our last meeting before the summer break, which we have not been able to take in the last two years. We will look at what we can celebrate in racial and social justice, and what we need to continue our focus and concern. Please come, and add your voice to the conversation. Looking forward to the gathered Beloved Community!

Food Pantry

Sunday, June 5

This 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. We have learned from our benevolence partners that child and adult diapers are a constant need, especially given that food stamps and WIC benefits cannot be used to purchase them.

New Member Information Session

Sunday, June 5

Are you are feeling God’s gentle tug to share more deeply in the ministry of Little River UCC?

If so, you are invited to come and share in our New Member Information Session on Sunday, June 5 from 1:00-3:00 pm. Childcare and light snacks will be provided. This gathering is offered to help familiarize “Friends” with the many faces of the ministry at Little River UCC. At the conclusion of the session, you are invited to join in membership with the congregation. If you have any questions about membership at Little River UCC, please call us at the church office. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to the session by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Shaw Community Center Summer Camp Collection

Sunday, June 5 and 12

Shaw Community Center (formerly known as Shaw Community Ministry), a long-time Little River UCC benevolence partner, is preparing for its summer camp program. Shaw's summer day camp provides a wonderful out-of-school alternative for inner-city children in Washington, DC. The focus is on fun, but the camp also provides important enrichment experiences for kids who need help achieving and maintaining grade-level skills over the summer.

Shaw especially needs our help this year. The organization recently lost significant funding due to the bankruptcy of an organization that provided $125,000 of funding to Shaw each year.

With that in mind, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice is launching its annual drive to raise summer camp funds for Shaw. Money received will go to support this important summer camp initiative with the understanding that any funds received over the summer camp needs may be used for their general fund. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice will accept donations in the narthex on both Sunday, June 5 and 12 after the 10:00 am service. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions.

Capital Pride Weekend 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 Pride Parade on Saturday June 11, hosted by the Board of Outreach & Social Justice and Pilgrim Youth Fellowship. Sign up at church or here online to come and walk in the parade.

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 .

Next Week

Adult Summer Engagement Series: The Arc of Moral Justice

Sunday, June 12

Technology, Entertainment and Design. These are the three words that make up the acronym TED, a global sharing of wisdom from people working in a variety of vocations and disciplines. This summer, our Adult Faith Formation series will call on TED’s wisdom to open our minds and spirits to respond to our call to work towards justice and peace in our lives, communities, and around the world.

The Boards of Outreach & Social Justice, Christian Education, and Deacons have been working hard to select a variety of topics to help further our discernment on our congregation’s Mission and Vision Statement. Each week, we will begin at 9:00 am with video and discussion (and end in plenty of time to get to worship). We will share in follow-ups from what we witnessed together, answering the question, "What is God calling us to do with this information?"

June Topics

  • Sunday, June 12 - ONA Today: Pride and Bathrooms, featuring Ivan Coyote
  • Sunday, June 19 - Civil Rights/Black Lives and Juneteenth, featuring Alice Goffman
  • Sunday, June 26 - Sexuality and LGBT life around the world, featuring Jenni Chang and Liza Dazols

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, June 12

Please join us on Sunday, June 12 at 11:30 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.

Starting on June 26th, the Meditation Group will begin meeting every two weeks at 9:00 am in the Jubilee Room throughout the summer.

Questions? 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 .

Fair Trade Reminder

Sunday, June 12

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.

Save the Date

Safe Church Training

Sunday, June 19

All teens and adults are invited to attend Safe Church training on Sunday, June 19 from 12:00-2:00 pm in Room 8.

Safe Church training is required every two years for anyone who works with children and youth at Little River—including child care, church school, and Pilgrim Youth Fellowship. Training is open to everybody and encouraged for all. Our Safe Church policy requires a renewal training ever two years. If you are currently certified and in need of renewal, you will be receiving an invitation to the training.

If you’d like to attend, or with questions or concerns, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Enrich your Prayer Life: Two Workshops

Sunday, July 24 and 31

On July 24 and 31, Rob Peters will offer a series of two workshops following worship focused on methods of prayer and meditation. Participants will explore the approach to praying about passages of Scripture known as lectio divina. The sessions will also provide opportunities to experience Centering Prayer as a method of meditation and of contemplating the divine. The focus of the sessions is to increase the depth and richness of the experience of prayer in daily living.

More Church News

UPDATED: Endowment Fund Challenge Grant

The Endowment Fund Challenge is still going on and this week we have received an additional $850 – to date, we have received a total of $10,875 in donations that are eligible to be matched by the anonymous donor (one dollar for every three dollars). Thank you to all who have generously donated!

Gifts to the endowment fund are tax deductible to the limit of the law and completely separate from gifts to the operating budget. Contributions can by made by check payable to Little River UCC with “Endowment Fund” indicated on the memo line or by credit card using the Online Giving button.

Church Vitality Consultant to Help Little River Chart a Positive Future

With all of the complexities facing our congregation at this time, the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC) has hired Rev. Claire Bamberg to work with us as a consultant. Claire is an ordained UCC pastor, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a licensed mediator. She works through the Center for Progressive Renewal, an organization dedicated to helping progressive Christian churches grow and thrive. Claire will be at Little River UCC this weekend (June 3-6), joining us for worship and our after-church picnic. She will also be conducting interviews of congregants on Saturday and Sunday to get their responses to four questions: 1) Why did you come to Little River; 2) Why do you stay?; 3) Where do you see Little River headed in 3-5 years?; and 4) How might Little River get there? If you aren’t able to attend an interview, don’t worry: the entire congregation will have a chance to respond to these questions through an online survey. After Claire returns home to Connecticut, she will compile a report with recommendations to be shared at a congregational meeting after worship on Sunday, July 17. Please read the letter from the Moderator Team about Claire's visit and work with Little River UCC.

The Fairfax County Alliance for Human Service (AHS) Annual Meeting

Christopher Fay, Executive Director of The Fairfax County Alliance for Human Services, has extended an invitation to members of Little River UCC to attend their Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 9 at 7:30 pm in the Little River UCC Social Hall. A special guest speaker, Greg Bristol, will address "Human Trafficking in Northern Virginia."

Summer Worship Schedule and Office Hours

  • Sundays from Memorial Day, May 24 to Labor Day, September 4, our worship service will take place at 10:00 am. We will resume two services on Rally Day, September 11.
  • Starting immediately, the church office will close at 1:00 pm on Fridays until our administrator, Donna Jones, returns to the office (approximately June 20).
  • From Tuesday, May 31 to Friday, September 2 the office will be working on summer hours of 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Central Atlantic Conference Annual Meeting

The Central Atlantic Conference is holding its Annual Meeting June 10-12, 2016, at the University of Delaware, located in Newark. This gathering brings together congregation from throughout our Conference, ranging from northern New Jersey to the Shenandoah Valley. Pastors Lindsey and Fairman will be in attendance, and our Moderator Rob Peters will serve as a delegate for us. For more information, please go to the Central Atlantic Conference website (

Moving Forward on Planning for the Future

In order to move forward in assessing our church needs and expenditures this year, the Moderator Team has gathered a short-term committee of interested individuals who will be working with the Deacons and the Trustees to think about different models of ministry and what they might mean for our budget and stewardship campaign this fall.

The committee met for the first time this past week and will be meeting with Claire Bamberg, the consultant who has been gifted to us by the wider UCC. As a specialist on churches in transition, Claire will provide insights on ways to think into the future.

The committee plans to look at an array of options and report out to the congregation in July. If you have ideas, please feel free to reach out to any of the following committee members: Jennifer Atkinson, Jan Curtis, Joy Faunce, Adam Honeysett, George Leonard, Amy Mireku, Barbara Shepherd, or Chris Weakley.

Greenspring Water Taxi Drivers Needed

Our Greenspring "Water Taxi" provides rides to and from church for members and friends. We have a number of dedicated drivers, but are in need of several more. Lately, we have had enough riders that frequently two drivers are needed on a Sunday.

All are welcome to consider this opportunity; however, it is most comfortable and manageable for passengers to ride in cars rather than vans or large SUV's. Drivers are scheduled about once or twice a month depending on their availability. Driving for Greenspring members is a great chance to become better acquainted with church members and friends.

Although we don't have an app yet, this service is Uber popular, and everyone who receives a ride appreciates getting a Lyft! If interested in driving, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Little River UCC Front Office Volunteers Still Needed

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to help at the front desk. Shifts are still available for this coming week. If you are available to help out, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or sign up on the door in the front office.

It’s Not Too Early to Start Thinking about Advent

The Board of Deacons is going green for the Advent FunShops this year! We need items such as corks, buttons, yarn, wooden spoons, etc. You can find a complete list of items on the bulletin boards in the Social Hall and here. Please review the list and consider gathering up any of the various items that you might have stashed away and bringing them to church. Please do not purchase anything, but bring what you might have around the house. You can deposit it in the container in the atrium, and Lorri Jones will collect the items each week. Thanks in advance for all your donations!

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 Deacons (May 24, 2016):  The Board of Deacons met on Tuesday, May 24. At that meeting, the Deacons had an in-depth discussion of whether to go to one service year-round or to keep having two services during the school year. The Deacons were divided about this issue and are inviting your feedback. Keep your eyes peeled at church for the pro/con poster about the issue, and be ready to share your perspective!

Board of Trustees (May 17, 2016): On Tuesday, May 17, the Trustees met for their regular meeting. They discussed the financial and operational life of the church, as well as the building and grounds needs. In particular, they focused on coordinating for the all-church Work Day on Saturday, June 4, from 9:30 to 2:00 pm. They also spent time reviewing the church budget for 2016, including current income and expenditures. All church meetings are open, including the Trustees' meetings, so you are welcome to attend! The next meeting is Tuesday, June 21.

Christian Education (May 18, 2016): The Board of Christian Education has been focusing on the knowledge needed to evaluate our curriculum needs in the coming years. The Board spent time reflecting on the wisdom from John Roberto ( and the UCC’s Association of Christian Educators ( From this work, the Board has developed the basic “Faith Formation Vision Statement” needed to reflect on the many types and styles of curriculum to ensure that our full-life focus on Faith Formation. Soon, the Board will be asking for your help to focus our work even closer on what we need to teach and to encounter in our Faith Formation ministries (read, “A Survey is coming!”. Thanks in advance for helping out!

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 (May 4, 2016): During the Finance Committee meeting on May 4, we reviewed the Little River UCC’s current financial condition. The most significant area of immediate concern is the critically low balance in the Major Repair Reserve. We would have to take unusual action if a need for any significant repairs would arise. We observed that people are generally complying with the policies and practices that have been approved by the Council (now Governance Board) and posted on the website and agreed how to address the specific cases where additional action is needed. We also defined the next actions regarding several items in progress, including a draft policy statement on paying Little River UCC members for services provided to Little River, on the handling of some of the designated funds, and on developing a policy regarding retention of financial records. Next meeting will be June 20.

Governance Board (May 11, 2016): On Wednesday, May 11, the Governance Board met to discuss a variety issues of import to the congregation. Here are a few highlights: (1) At this meeting, the Board engaged in Part 1 of a conversation about how to cultivate greater civility in our common life as a congregation. This conversation is based on the article "Holy Manners: The Spiritual Politeness of Healthy Congregations" by Gil Rendle.  (2) The Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding between LRUCC about our Office Administrator Donna Jones about her current medical leave. Ms. Jones had knee surgery on April 25th and may be unable to return to work for 6 to 8 weeks.  (3) Pastor Lindsey gave a report about Church Consultant Rev. Claire Bamberg. Rev. Bamberg has been hired by the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC to coach our congregation in the coming months. Her work will focus on help us deal with recent conflicts, suggesting ways we might forward into a positive future, and how we might staff our church in order to move into that future. If you have questions about the work of the Governance Board, please be in touch with our Moderator Rob Peters, who chairs the Board. The next meeting date is June 8.

Ministry Board (May 25, 2016):The Ministry Board (one half of Church Council) met on Wednesday, May 25. The meeting focused on three areas: 1) discussing the role of congregations' in nurturing a culture of civility, 2) sharing what our various programmatic ministries are doing, and 3) considering areas where our programmatic ministries might support each other. On June 8, the Ministry Board will participate in a full Church Council meeting with Governance Board to deliberate about and take action on some of the big-picture challenges we are currently facing.

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

Nominations and Appointments Committee (April 26, 2016): Forthcoming.

Personnel Committee (April 20, 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 & May 2, 2016): The four members of the Stewardship Committee chose the theme Celebrate Faithful Giving for this year's stewardship campaign. The committee will work closely with the Board of Trustees to help ensure realistic budget goals this year. Ellen Wertman volunteered to speak to new members about stewardship. Moderator Rob Peters presented a draft timeline for this year's stewardship campaign to the committee. On May 2, the Stewardship committee discussed monthly articles for Current Reflections as well as the format for the stewardship campaign brochure and how to celebrate Consecration Sunday, the day pledges are received, which will be Sunday, October 30th.

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. Next meeting will be June 6.

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