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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised June 10, 2016

LGBTQ Pride Sunday
10:00 am Worship

Sunday, June 12

As folks gather in DC to celebrate Capital Pride, we come together in worship to honor our commitment to be an Open and Affirming (ONA) Congregation.

Fifteen years ago, we became the 339th ONA Church in the UCC. What has happened in that time has changed the life of the church and our nation. Consider what has taken place in the last twelve months in welcoming and affirming LGBTQ rights in America.

Come and worship, come and witness, the extravagant welcome God gives to ALL the people.

This Week

Capital Pride Weekend Parade

Saturday, June 11

Come share our congregation's Open and Affirming (ONA) commitment in the annual demonstration of LGBTQ pride and support in the nation’s capital. Our congregation has a spot in the Pride Parade on Saturday June 11, hosted by the Board of Outreach & Social Justice and Pilgrim Youth Fellowship. If you plan on walking with us in the parade, please see the meeting information here.

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 .

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 Sunday, June 12, we start our summer 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 in Room 8 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

Shaw Community Center Summer Camp Collection

Sunday, June 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 will be in the Narthex again after worship this Sunday, June 12 accepting donations 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.

Donations can by made by check payable to Little River UCC with “Shaw” indicated on the memo line or by credit card using the Online Giving button.

Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions.

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 on Sunday after the worship service. 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.

Let Your Voice Be Heard! One Service or Two?

Sunday, June 12

If you didn’t see them last week, there are two easels in the atrium requesting comments from the congregation about the very important issue of continuing two services or switching to one service in the Fall. Please take a moment on Sunday to add your voice to the conversation.

Next Week

Safe Church Training

Sunday, June 19

All teens and adults are invited to attend Safe Church training on Sunday, June 19 from 11:00-1:00 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. For those who are currently trained and in need of renewal, you will receive a welcome email in the coming weeks. Please plan on attending this training to keep your Safe Church status up-to-date! If you are unable to attend this time, the next scheduled training will take place on Sunday, August 21.

If you are in need of training or renewal, or if you have any questions or concerns, please RSVP to Pastor Hank This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Sunday, June 12.

Save the Date

Book Group: Things Get Rearranged

Sunday, July 10

Please join the Book Group on Sunday, July 10 in Room 7 from 12:15-1:30 pm as they discuss Things Get Rearranged by Janet Parsons Mackey.

Janet Parsons Mackey remembers her grandfather as a man of strong convictions. His passion for progressive politics and economic justice made him a focal point for political discussion in their Minnesotan home. His interest in Russian Revolution made his family nervous, however, given the Red Scare gripping post- WWII America.

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

We Did It! Update on the Endowment Fund Challenge

The General Endowment Fund Challenge has gone over the top! This week, total contributions reached $13,990.85, thus earning the full challenge gift amount of $4,000, bringing the total result to $17,990.85. Wednesday, the Church Council voted to close the active campaign for the Endowment Fund. George Leonard, Chair of the Endowment Committee, noted that anyone may make a contribution to the endowment fund at any time by check payable to Little River UCC with “Endowment Fund” indicated on the memo line or by credit card using the Online Giving button.

Rev. Claire Bamberg's Visit to Little River UCC

At the end of last week (June 3 to 5), Rev. Claire Bamberg (our church consultant) visited Little River UCC and conducted 19 one-hour interviews to learn more about the members of our congregation. She asked folks five questions.

If you didn't have a chance to meet with her, or are having trouble with the online survey, please contact the church office for a paper version of the survey. Thanks to everyone helping with this project!

Moving Forward on Planning for the Future: Update from the Ministry Model Team

In order to move forward on the dual fronts of considering options for the church’s staffing needs and a budget to emphasize our church’s growth and future, members of the ministry model team met last weekend with the Rev. Dr. Claire Bamberg. Rev. Bamberg is a consultant who has been gifted to us by the wider UCC. As a specialist on churches in transition, Claire met with us to consider how we might work together to promote growth in every aspect of our lives together in our church.

In this meeting, we began to develop the scope of the work. In particular, we agreed on what we needed from Claire in the next month. As a committee, we will then meet to begin the process of articulating both the needs of the church, as well as innovative ways of approaching staffing, with a particular focus on growth in our programming, membership, and fiscal health.

The committee plans to look at an array of options over the summer. Rev. Bamberg will then discuss these options in her report to the congregation, which will be due in late August or early September. Stay tuned!

All ideas are welcome, so please reach out to any of us: Jennifer Atkinson, Jan Curtis, Joy Faunce, Adam Honeysett, George Leonard, Amy Mireku, Barbara Shepherd, or Chris Weakley.

Thank You! And There’s Still More To Do!

Thanks to the 18 Little River UCC members and friends who helped make the Church Work Day on June 4 a success! We raked the labyrinth; cleaned out the drain and weed-whacked along the driveway; washed grimy doors; raked, trimmed and pulled weeds around the outside of the church; cleaned the flower and Communion kitchen; and tackled some maintenance projects in the Sanctuary. Special thanks to John Davis and Mike Nagy for tackling two big tasks including power-washing and clearing debris from the outside patio (in advance of Work Day) and scraping the peeling paint on the narthex back wall. Of course, there is still more that needs to be done. If you would like to help keep our church looking its best, the Board of Trustees has a number of inside and outside projects that can be completed in a couple of hours. Please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and let us know your availability.

In addition, the Board of Trustees is compiling a list of volunteers with “skills and experience" such as carpentry, interior painting, gardening, furniture finishing, window washing. If you have special skills and would be interested in helping on projects that include: refurbishing and new plantings in the flower beds (especially along the main entrance side of the church and the courtyard); refinishing the teak outdoor furniture; and indoor painting projects. Please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Central Atlantic Conference Annual Meeting

The Central Atlantic Conference is holding its Annual Meeting this weekend, 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 (cacucc.org).

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.

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.

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! We discussed whether to have any flags and where they should be. Deacons usually serve as liturgist, but other members of the congregation may also serve. Deacons will also be hosting 3 or 4 of the summer TED talks, to be held at 9am before the 10am service.

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 (http://www.lifelongfaith.com/) and the UCC’s Association of Christian Educators (http://www.auce-ucc.org/). 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.