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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised July 29, 2016

Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost
10:00 am Worship

Sunday, July 31

Northern Virginia is home to some of the richest counties in America. Many folks who live here are richly blessed. But what would happen if you or I died tomorrow? What would our legacy be? Jesus once told a parable about such a person, who was richly blessed and suddenly died. What might that story have to say to us now?

Join us at 10:00 am for worship this Sunday, as we hear that parable and as Pastor David preaches about these very questions.

This Week


Adult Summer Engagement Series: The Arc of Moral Justice

Sunday, July 31

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, July 31, we welcome all to the next 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, July 31 - Education and Reintegration, featuring Renford Reese
  • Sunday, August 7 - Art & Inspiration, featuring Janet Echelman
  • Sunday, August 14 - Faith and Nationalism, featuring George Takei
  • Sunday, August 21 - Interpersonal Connection, featuring Sherry Turkle

Enrich your Prayer Life: Centering Prayer and Deeper Meditation Workshops

Sunday, July 31

On July 31, Rob Peters will offer the second of two workshops following worship focused on methods of prayer and meditation. Participants will meet in Room 8 at 11:00 am to 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.

Little River UCC Dismantling the New Jim Crow

Sunday, July 31

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 Little River UCC 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. Our first meeting will take place on July 31 from 11:00am – 12:30 pm in the Conference Room.

Next Week

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, August 7

Next Sunday and every Communion Sunday (normally the first Sunday of every month), we invite your gifts of non-expired, non-perishable staple food items, which are placed in our church’s FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) pantry and used to help the hungry in our community. Food is distributed by FISH; to local charities including Food for Others, Alternative House, and Thrive DC; and to individuals who ask for assistance from the pastoral staff.

Individual pre-packed bags of food are prepared for use by FISH and church staff to respond to immediate needs. A bag of food includes: two boxes of cereal, one can of fruit, two cans of vegetables, one canned meat product, two boxes of pasta, one jar/can of pasta sauce, dry milk, and a jar of peanut butter. These items and paper or reusable grocery bags to pack them in are always appreciated. Thank you for your support of the pantry.

Thanks to your generous donations, Little River UCC was able to make a 142 pound donation from our pantry to Food for Others in the month of July.

School Supply Collection to Benefit ACCA, Main Street and Alternative House

Sunday, August 7 & 14

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) will be collecting school supplies for children served by the ACCA Child Development Center in Annandale, Main Street Child Development Center in Fairfax, and Alternative House: The Abused and Homeless Children's Refuge in Vienna. Donated supplies will be collected on August 7 and 14.

Items needed for ACCA and Main Street include: boxes of crayons and washable markers, #2 sharpened pencils, glue sticks, small scissors, composition notebooks, white construction paper, Clorox disinfectant wipes, gallon and quart size zip lock bags, and boxes of tissues.

Alternative House is collecting filled back packs for teens including: a medium to large backpack with lined paper, spiral notebook or composition book, pens, pencils, pencil pouch/holder, crayons, scissors and glue sticks.

Keep in mind that you can take advantage of the Virginia Sales Tax Holiday (August 5-7) to purchase qualifying school supplies. On August 14, volunteers are needed during coffee hour to help sort the supplies to prepare them for delivery.

In addition to supporting students through the collection of school supplies, BOSJ is also asking for your help in contacting the Fairfax County School Board to show our support for LGBTQ students. The School Board voted in May 2015 to extend the FCPS non-discrimination policy (Policy 1450) to include gender identity. On July 18, 2016, the Fairfax County School Board temporarily suspended implementation of the proposed regulation regarding gender non-conforming and transgender students to evaluate the legal issues surrounding the regulation. If you would like to support transgender students and their right to attend school free from discrimination, please join BOSJ in writing to your School Board member on Sunday, August 14 asking the Board to move forward with implementation of the proposed regulation. Draft letters and contact information for School Board members will be provided.

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, August 7

Please join us on Sunday, August 7 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 .

More Church News

Recognition Brunch for Hank Fairman

Please plan on attending a special recognition brunch for Hank on August 21 following the 10:00 am service. This will be an opportunity to thank Hank for his contributions to Little River UCC and to wish him, his wife Christina, and their daughter Ellie well in all their future endeavors. You are encouraged to bring your favorite brunch potluck items such as breakfast casseroles, breads, rolls, and salads.

Be a Social Host for International Students at Northern Virginia Community College

The United States Department of State’s Community College Initiative Program (CCIP) provides participants from underserved areas and underrepresented groups with a one-year, non-degree academic program at a U.S. community college. This year there are 32 participants at NOVA from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, and Yemen. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages you to consider being a "Social Host" to one or more of these students.

What is a Social Host? A social host is someone who provides a CCIP participant with friendship and opportunities to be involved with a family in the United States. This opportunity offers a mutual exchange of culture and perspectives as the social host family and the hosted student both interactively share and expand one another’s world views.

Social Hosts are expected to attend an orientation prior to meeting with your student(s). The CCI Program will coordinate a "meet & greet" in late August. After that, we ask that you meet with your student once a month throughout the academic year. Although not required, opening your home to a student for Thanksgiving would be an amazing opportunity for them to learn about a very American holiday. Students are expected to pay their own way for activities unless otherwise offered by the social host. To find out more or to register, please visit:

Sound System Volunteers Needed

Every Sunday we need someone willing to sit in the back of the church by the blinking black box. Don't be fooled it doesn't require sophisticated technical skills. The job involves adjusting the volume levels throughout the service so that all can hear, as well as creating a CD that can be shared with folks who might miss the service. The sermon is also available online for those who choose to use that format. If you would be willing to serve in this capacity, it would be a commitment of about one service per month. Training and support is available from our sexton, John Davis, or another member of the team and Craig Stapert is available on Sunday mornings to provide support. 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 are interested and thank you for considering this service.

Volunteer Sign-up for General Synod 2017

The official volunteer sign-up for the United Church of Christ General Synod (June 2017) in Baltimore is ready now. At least 500 volunteers are needed to greet the wider church. Let’s help the Central Atlantic Conference share in the extravagant welcome of the Conference. Register today at: In November volunteers will be able to register for the General Synod, but at a greatly reduced rate.

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.
  • From Tuesday, May 31 to Friday, September 2 the office will be working on summer hours of 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Church Council News

Little River UCC Committee Meeting Updates

Board of Outreach and Social Justice (July 24, 2016): The Board of Outreach and Social Justice met on Sunday, July 24 in the Conference Room. This was Hank's last meeting with our Board. We will miss his guidance and support; Hank has been a great asset to our work during his time at LRUCC. The Board discussed the upcoming switch to one Sunday service and the impact on our programming opportunities. We also reviewed the summer TED Talk Series and received positive feedback from members who had guided sessions. We also discussed ongoing work to frame the map of the slave graves on the property for permanent display at the church. August will see our annual school supply drive with donations targeted to ACCA, Main Street Development Center, and Alternative House. Collection will take place on August 7 and 14. Our annual coat drive for Thrive DC will begin on September 11 at Rally Day and efforts will be made to reach out to the wider community. The Board discussed a request for guidance from the Trustees about budget needs for the 2017 fiscal year and agreed on a recommendation for the level of benevolence giving and programmatic funding for our Board. Work is moving forward to plan events supported by the grant received from the Potomac Association to end the New Jim Crow. A planning meeting will take place on Sunday, July 31 and is open to anyone interested in helping plan activities. Our Board continues to seek opportunities to support and uphold the church's ONA position. We considered an invitation to work with Rev. Emma Chattin of the TransGender Education Association to offer a program to help deepen our understanding of and support as allies to the transgender community. We will be in touch with Rev. Chattin to schedule a visit sometime in October. The Board also had a lengthy and heartfelt discussion about how we can help the LRUCC community live out our faith during these troubling times. We will seek to partner with other Boards of the church to find ways to gather as a community - both the church community and our surrounding neighbors - and build bonds so those in need of support feel connected, supported, and heard. Finally, the Board discussed a proposal from David Lindsey to utilize money from the Thelma Morris Fund to hire a part-time support person to help BOSJ continue its mission work. We discussed the skills that Hank brought to our board and the related staff needs we might need over the coming months. We voted to support David's proposal should the guidelines of the Thelma Morris Fund allow it.

Board of Deacons (July 12, 2016):  Our Board of Deacons met on Tuesday, July 12, in Room 8. They discussed a host of issues, primarily focusing on the question of whether or not to have one service or two once the church's program year begins again in the fall. For several weeks, the Worship Committee (with the help of Dee Cardiff) has hosted a "One Service or Two?" poster with pros and cons in the atrium. While there were some pros to doing two services (and come cons to doing one), the overwhelming majority of the comments suggested that one service would help us be a united church community at this time, one in worship, fellowship, and reflection. The Deacons therefore voted unanimously to have one Sunday morning worship service in the 2016-17 program year. The Deacons have some ideas about a time for the service, but they are going to be in conversation with a few church boards and committees (e.g. C.E., Music Board) before making a final decision. Any questions? Please be in touch with Dawn Forrest, who is the chair of the Board of Deacons at this time.

Board of Trustees (June 21, 2016): On Tuesday, July 19, the Trustees discussed the many leaks in the ceiling and the church's flat roof. After a lengthy conversation, the Trustees agreed that something had to be done. They are now in the process of finding a structural engineer to offer perspective on what options we have. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to learn more!

Christian Education (July 11, 2016): The Board of Christian Education is preparing for the absence of Hank and making sure that we are ready and able to continue our efforts without him. This includes maintenance of records and continuation of programming to meet the needs of the congregation. Our summer programming for the children is off to a good start with strong attendance and almost a completely filled slate of volunteers. In partnership with other Boards and Committees, out TED Talks series has also been well attended and well received. We are also looking forward to the fall program season and are lining up volunteers to make sure that we can fulfill our plan. As always, if you are interested in volunteering, please see Saundra Honeysett.

Endowment Fund Committee (July 13, 2016): At its quarterly meeting, members were delighted to learn that ten years after establishment of the Fund, total contributions as of June 30 had reached $257,232, putting the Fund over the threshold of $250,000 to enable disbursements. Second quarter contributions were $23,100, including a $10,000 bequest from the estate of Eleanor Wulff and many gifts from the congregation in response to a $4,000 challenge grant. The market value of the Fund on June 30 was $360,000. An amendment will be presented at the next congregational meeting to correct an error in the Endowment Fund Policy that would have drastically limited disbursements, after which some $12,000 will become available for 2017, per guidelines contained in the Policy.

Finance Committee (June 20, 2016): The Finance Committee meeting on June 20 discussed several recent financial situations that have occurred to clarify how they were being handled. We also discussed preliminary comments received regarding draft policies. One such proposed policy, on paying members of the congregation for services rendered to LRUCC, has been circulated to church leaders for comment. It notes that since Little River UCC is sustained largely by the active voluntary participation of the congregation, it is the exception to pay members for services provided to the church and requires that any such exceptions have the prior approval of the Governance Board. A full statement of the draft policy and the supporting discussion is available here. This proposed policy will be submitted to the Governance Board for approval in the next few months. Any comments on this draft policy can be submitted to the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Next meeting will be August 3.

Governance Board (July 13, 2016): Forthcoming. The next meeting date is August 10.

Ministry Board (June 8, 2016): The Ministry Board met in June as part of the full Church Council, please see the June 8 Church Council Minutes for details.

Nominations and Appointments Committee (June 11, 2016): Forthcoming.

Personnel Committee (June 22, 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 continues advising David Lindsey on position descriptions and personnel issues.

Stewardship Committee (July 11, 2016): Forthcoming.

Women's Ministry (June 6, 2016): Women's Ministry Team met June 6. Members reviewed the May Tea and Talk, in which about twenty-five women participated. One recommendation for the next Tea and Talk is to continue to meet in Jubilee Room, but to offer taxi service for those who find stairs a challenge. We reaffirmed our decision to use table cloths and washable dishes rather than paper supplies. We decided to sponsor a pot-luck lunch September 18th after Fellowship Hour. We sorted several boxes of supplies for disposal or storage. The next meeting will be held August 5th (a change from the minutes) at 9.30 a.m. with Dee Cardiff leading.

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