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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised June 17, 2016

Juneteenth
10:00 am Worship

Sunday, June 19

For each of the next two Sundays, we will be receiving new members during worship! Be sure to join us at 10:00 am to welcome these new folks into our congregation.

This upcoming Sunday, we will also pray for those who died last weekend in Orlando, as well as their families. Rev. Dr. David B. Lindsey will be in the pulpit with a sermon entitled "After the Feud," based on Genesis 25:7-10. At the close of service, we will honor our fathers with carnations.

This Week

Adult Summer Engagement Series: The Arc of Moral Justice

Sunday, June 19

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 19, we welcome all to the second session in this summer Adult Faith Formation series as we 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 selected a variety of topics to help further our discernment on our congregation’s Mission and Vision Statement.  We 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?"  The series runs each Sunday through August 28.

Upcoming Topics

  • 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
  • Sunday, July 3 - Faith, Doubt, and Islam, featuring Lesley Hazleton
  • Sunday, July 10 - Racism and Voting, featuring Nate Silver
  • Sunday, July 17 - Teaching Peace, featuring John Hunter
  • Sunday, July 24 - Changing the Church, featuring Chelsea Shields

Safe Church Training

Sunday, June 19

All teens and adults are invited to attend Safe Church training this 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 contact Pastor Hank This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Let Your Voice Be Heard! One Service or Two?

Sunday, June 19

If you haven't seen them the past few weeks, 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 -- we welcome comments from those who have not yet participated.  Thank you to everyone who has already added their comments.  The easels will be removed on Sunday, June 26.

Next Week

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, June 26

Please join us on Sunday, June 26 at 9:00 am in the Jubilee Room 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.

We will continue 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 .

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

Church Consultant Survey

After a week of work behind the scenes, we are excited to announce that you are able to fill out the church consultant survey once more! The deadline has been extended to June 30th. That is a hard deadline, in order to give Claire proper time to reflect on your responses.

The four questions she would like you to answer are as follows:

  1. 1) What brought you to this church?
  2. 2) Why have you stayed?
  3. 3) Where would you like to see the church in 3 - 5 years?
  4. 4) What do you think it will take to get from where the church is today to your vision of the church's future?

Should there be any other brief comments you would like to add, please append them, after thoughtful consideration, to these questions. In lieu of handling this on Survey Monkey, you are now able to email your answers directly to our consultant This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can physically mail them to her at the following address: The Rev. Dr. Claire W. Bamberg, LMFT, P.O. Box 214, West Simsbury, CT 06092.

We'd love to hear from as many of you as possible. Thanks again for your help (and your patience)!

Little River UCC Dismantling the New Jim Crow

Little River UCC (LRUCC) has received a grant from the Central Atlantic Conference to implement programming to increase advocacy for dismantling the New Jim Crow and to pursue reform of the school to prison pipeline. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice is seeking members and friends of LRUCC to create an implementation team. Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested in being a part of the planning team.

Thanks! Please Join Us at Capital Pride Next Year!

We were blessed with great weather and a huge turnout for the Capital Pride Parade last weekend. Little River UCC was represented by about 20 people and was joined by Hope UCC with an equal contingent. Thanks for the tremendous witness of support – please join us next year! In the meantime, check out the Little River UCC Facebook group for the many photos from our marchers (thanks, Steve Wheelock, for the photos!). If you are not a member of the group, you can find us and join at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lrucc/.

Help Us Keep Little River UCC Looking Its Best

Although the All-Church Workday is over, 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 .

We Did It! Update on the Endowment Fund Challenge

The General Endowment Fund Challenge has gone over the top! Total contributions have reached $13,990.85, thus earning the full challenge gift amount of $4,000, bringing the total result to $17,990.85. 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.

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 are currently accepting comments on whether to resume two services or not starting 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 22).
  • 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.