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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised September 30, 2016

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
10:00 am Worship with Communion

Sunday, October 2

Did you know that there are now more displaced persons in the world than at any time since World War II? To address this challenge, President Obama called a Summit on Refugees at the UN just a few days ago. In his remarks to the UN, the President suggested that the refugee crisis will only be solved if more people get more engaged, including (in his words) "more faith groups making this work their own."

In light of this crisis, Pastor David will preach a 4-week sermon series entitled "Faith in a Foreign Land". This series will examine the experiences of modern and ancient refugees, in order to see how God moves in and among displaced peoples. While each sermon will be distinct, the series is designed to be cumulative. Be sure to join us this Sunday at 10:00 am for worship as this sermon series begins (fittingly enough) on World Communion Sunday.

This Week


Dismantling the New Jim Crow Panel Discussion and Dinner

Sunday, October 2

Building on the historic mission of the congregation and the larger community to address the systemic evils that are the derivatives of Racism in America, and our current mission focus on advocating for all God’s creatures and creation, Little River UCC will host a multi-faceted series addressing the issues addressed in the 2015 Central Atlantic Conference (and General Synod 30) Resolution.

Join us at 4:00 pm in the sanctuary for the first session and learn about Virginia’s historic role in Jim Crow and how the New Jim Crow continues to affect persons of color. Virginia Delegate Vivian Watts will be joined by David Temple, who grew up in Richmond during Massive Resistance to school integration and has been deeply involved in shaping educational opportunities for black youth. Dinner and further discussion will follow the panel’s presentations with a time to brainstorm next steps. Please consider bringing a side dishes, salad, or dessert to share.

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, October 2

This 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.

Neighbors in Need Special Offering

Sunday, October 2

Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. NIN will be collected along with our regular offering on October 2. Gifts to the NIN collection should be placed in the special offering envelope or be made by check labeled NIN in the memo line. Donations may also be made online by using the Online Giving.

Welcoming Warmth: Coat Drive for Thrive DC

Sunday, October 2

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice is partnering with Thrive DC again to provide coats and winter items for homeless in DC. We are collecting earlier this year so start looking through your closets now! Do you have any used coats, hats, scarves, gloves, blankets or sleeping bags that could warm someone in need this winter? This Sunday, October 2 is the last Sunday that the collection box will be available in the Narthex. We will make our delivery of donated items to Thrive DC in early November for their first distribution of the winter.

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, October 2

Please join us on Sunday, October 2 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.

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 .

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, October 3

Monday Morning Bible Study led by Richard Davidson is studying Islam this year. Please join us at 10:00 am in Room 8 on Monday mornings.

Pastor David’s Class on Process Theology

Wednesday, October 5

Pastor David will be teaching a class on the first Wednesday of every month, starting in October and ending in June. The class is a 9-part series on process theology, one of the major threads of progressive Christianity. Process theology examines Christian belief in light of the scientific, mathematical, and philosophical advancements over the past century. Classes will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in Room 8, starting on October 5 when we will have an overview of the topic. Each month after that will focus on a specific aspect of Christian belief; we'll discuss God on November 2, Jesus on December 7, and so on. Bring your beliefs, bring your doubts — and bring a friend!

Next Week and Beyond


"Talking White Privilege"

Sunday, October 9

Beginning Sunday, October 9 at 9:00 am David Roach will begin this Adult Education program designed to invite members to engage in safe, meaningful, substantive and bold conversations on race. “It is time that this still largely white denomination wrestle with its investment in whiteness, and learn all it can about the manifestations and impact of White Privilege," said the Rev. John Dorhauer, UCC general minister and president. The curriculum will lead participants through four areas of focus: telling the story of your spiritual journey through the lens of race; looking at the dynamic of a culture in which whiteness is the established norm; learning how America attaches a cash value to whiteness; and inviting the participants to commit to becoming an ally in the pursuit of racial equity.

At the present time other dates are scheduled for November 6 and December 4. Lessons will be continued in the new year of 2017. We hope to see you there.

Fair Trade Sales Reminder

Sunday, October 9

Fair Trade Sales are happening next week. Stock up on your supplies of coffee, chocolate, and Palestinian olive oil while providing fair compensation to farmers in less-developed countries. Cannan Fair Trade — our supplier of olive oil products — has increased the price of the 500 ml bottles of Rumi and Nabali olive oil. And so in order to maintain the Oilive Oil Ministry's support of Tent of Nations, the West Bank organization working toward reconciliation, the price of these bottles is now $20 each. The cost of the 1 liter tins remains at $30, now an even better bargain!

Congregational Meetings

Sunday, October 16 & 23

Mark your calendars now to be sure you can join us for the Congregational Meetings on Sunday, October 16 & 23 following the morning worship.

On the 16th, we’ll begin with a light lunch and then start the program at 11:45 am and end by 3:00 pm. This is an exciting time in the life of our church! We will be sending out Dr. Claire Bamberg's initial written report 10 days prior to the meeting for you to review. Then on the 16th she will answer questions, guide discussion and help us consider options and choice points for our church, moving forward. There will be a survey (non-binding, and, providing guidance to Council) in which you will be asked to register your opinion with regards to which options you would like to see the church exercise. A recording will be made of the meeting for those who cannot attend, and, surveys will be available from the church office, for those who wish to watch the recording and register their opinion.

On October 23 we will discuss the 2017 budget, vote on an Amendment to the Endowment Fund plan, and vote on the current pastoral housing fund. A light lunch will be served.

Childcare will be provided for children up to age 10 at both meetings.

More Church News


Stop Hunger Now Meal Packing Event

Thank you very much to everyone who helped make the September 25 Stop Hunger Now meal packing event such a success. We had about 80 volunteers from young toddlers to senior members, and everyone had a fast-paced and fun afternoon packing 20,000 meals for children with limited resources around the world.

The funds to pay for those meals came from the Easter Offering received in March 2016. Each meal costs $0.29, and the offering raised almost enough to pay for the full packing event. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice used about $200 in Board designated program funds to pay for the balance.

Our meals are being sent to Baltimore, where they will be joined with meals from other events around the area before being shipped off to an international destination. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice will let everyone know where the meals land when we hear that from Stop Hunger Now. Thank you again to everyone who made the event possible!

Bible Presentation Sunday

Each year, our congregation celebrates the growth of our younger friends as they journey in their life in faith. On Sunday, October 23 we will be presenting the SPARK Story Bible to our children entering Godly Play (age 3, or ages 3-5 who have recently started attending LRUCC); and The Children’s Bible (NRSV) to our children currently in third grade. Parents, you will be receiving an email message in the coming weeks to verify your child’s personal information. If you do not receive this message by October 16, or have recently joined in the life of the congregation, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it via email.

Remembering Loved Ones Recently Deceased

On November 6, we will offer prayers of thanksgiving for loved ones who have died during the past 12 months. We invite you to contribute the names of family members and close friends whose loss you mourn. Please call or email the church office, (703) 978-3060 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , with the name of the individual and your relationship to that person. Information will be collected through noon on Wednesday, November 2.

LRUCC’s Lifelines To Prison Pen-Pal Project

A dozen Little River congregants recently began corresponding with individuals incarcerated in prisons across the country. This initiative is the product of a partnership between Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR) – an interfaith nonprofit operating in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. that opposes abusive treatment in prisons in our region – and Solitary Watch, which monitors and reports on the use of prolonged solitary confinement throughout the country. Solitary Watch supplied names of prisoners who might have an interest in corresponding with someone outside prison, and IAHR identified people in our congregation who were interested in connecting with someone in prison.

There have been a few false starts, when participants had to be matched with someone else after their initial assigned correspondent didn't respond, but other correspondents have eagerly grasped the opportunity to communicate with someone on the outside. The group has shared few first-person highlights of this experience here.

Wish Craig Stapert Well at the National Cathedral

For nearly 18 years, our Music Director Craig Stapert has been employed full-time at the Washington National Cathedral, first in communications and later in development. He is now leaving the Cathedral to work for Green Dot, a nonprofit in Alexandria that works to prevent violence. As Craig wraps up his tenure at the Cathedral, his friends there are wishing him well at an Evensong service on Monday night, October 3. You are invited to attend the service, which begins at 5:30 pm. Best wishes, Craig, and welcome to working full-time in Northern Virginia!

NOVA Pride Festival

The 3rd annual NOVA Pride Festival will be held at the Bull Run Special Events Center on Saturday, October 1 from 12:00-8:00 pm. The festival will open with a multi-faith pride celebration service. This is a family-friendly event with a variety of activities and entertainment throughout the day. Little River UCC will not be hosting a booth at the festival this year, but encourages all those interested in attending to participate. More details about the festival are available at: http://www.novapride.org/festival2016/.

Front Office Volunteers – We Need You!

Thank you to Carolyn J, Pam B., Charlie N., and Katherine S. for volunteering to work in the office during the week of October 11-14. We still have one more afternoon shift that need filled: Wednesday, October 12 (12:30-4:30pm) – Is there anyone that could help out during these hours? Volunteers should have basic computer skills, experience answering phones, filing, and doing other light office work, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it via email or phone (703) 978-3060 if you are available.

Service of Ordination and Installation for Melissa McQueen

Many of you will remember Melissa McQueen, a Beckwith scholar who has preached in our pulpit on a few occasions (most recently October 2014). We are pleased to announce that she is being ordained! You are therefore cordially invited to the Ordination and Installation of Melissa McQueen as pastor and teacher serving Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay and Transgender Justice. The service takes place on Sunday, October 9 at 3:00 pm at Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ (3845 S. Capitol Street SW, Washington, DC 20032). A reception will immediately follow the Service of Installation.

VOICE Assembly: Deliver the Promise

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice would like to encourage you to attend VOICE’s (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) meeting on Sunday, October 16 from 3:30-5:30 pm at Oakton High School (2900 Sutton Road, Vienna, VA 22181). State and local officials will address concerns about schools, housing, safety and community in Northern Virginia. This is an opportunity for you to stand with your neighbors and demand a more just Northern Virginia. For more detailed information please see their information online.

Potomac Association Fall Meeting

The Official Call to The Potomac Association 2016 Fall Meeting has been released and all are welcome to attend. The meeting will take place at Rockville United Church in Rockville, MD on Saturday, October 29 from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm. See all the important details here.

Church Council News


Little River UCC Committee Meeting Updates

Board of Outreach and Social Justice (July 24, 2016)

Board of Deacons Meeting Minutes (July 31, 2016)

Board of Trustees (July 19, 2016)

Christian Education (August 22, 2016)

Communications Committee (August 9, 2016)

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.

Nominations and Appointments Committee Meeting Minutes (August 2, 2016)

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 Minutes (August 3, 2016)

Women's Ministry Meeting Minutes(September 12, 2016)

Women’s Ministry met in the conference room and discussed the following:
Our mission statement was discussed. We changed several words to bring it up to date.
We discussed the Spiral Walk to be held on Dec. 4th at 5:00 PM in the Sanctuary. The jobs for making it happen were divided up among the members.
The Book Group that we sponsor was discussed. Rachel Smith is the coordinator for gathering book titles and summaries of books from interested people. If you have a book title and summary of a book send it to her. It will be put on the list and voted upon by email. Her email address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The Book Group meets on the second Sunday of the odd months from 11:30-1:30 in room 7. November on the 6th we will be cosponsoring a discussion with Sacred Conversation on Race on the book “America’s Original Sin” by Jim Wallis. This will be done during the luncheon following church. The discussion will be on Chapters 5 and 6. On January 8th WM will have a Poetry Discussion given by Jennifer Atkinson. It will be from 11:30-1:30 in room 7.
There will be a Tea and Talk in Feb. At that gathering, Covenant Groups will be formed. It is time to meet people and discuss how these groups meet on their own. Our next meeting is October 27, Thursday at 10 AM in the conference room. Facilitator for this meeting was Bunny Jones.

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