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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised October 7, 2016

Twenty-first Sunday After Pentecost
10:00 am Worship

Sunday, October 9

God's people had gone into exile in Babylon, and all they wanted was to go home. Yet when they got a letter from a prophet back home, the letter told them to put down roots in Babylon.

Why in the world would the prophet Jeremiah say that? And what does Jeremiah's advice mean for modern refugees who want to go back to their homeland?

Join us at 10:00 am this week, as Pastor David considers this question in a sermon that gave the current sermon series its title: "Faith in a Foreign Land".


The business of the meeting is to receive and reflect on the recommendations of our consultant, Claire Bamberg, for the future of our church. Members will be encouraged to share their perspectives and identify their preferences from among the recommendations presented. See the official call to meeting here.

This Week

"Talking White Privilege"

Sunday, October 9

Please join us this Sunday, October 9 at 9:00 am as David Roach begins 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!

Service of Ordination and Installation for Melissa McQueen

Sunday, October 9

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.

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, October 10

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.

Office Closed – Indigenous Peoples Day

Monday, October 10

The church office will be closed on Monday, October 10 in observance of Indigenous Peoples Day. We will resume normal office hours on Tuesday, October 11.

Greenspring Ministry

Wednesday, October 12

On the second Wednesday of the month, Pastor David visits with our church members at Greenspring Village, a retirement community in Springfield. This visit happens in the Craft Room at Hunter’s Crossing from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. This month’s discussion will focus on scripture, and next month’s discussion will focus on faith in public life. If you or someone you know lives at Greenspring, be sure to let them know about this opportunity to get together with their neighbors and church friends!

Next Week and Beyond

Congregational Meetings

Sunday, October 16 & 23

This is an exciting time in the life of our church! Be sure you can join us for the Congregational Meetings on Sunday, October 16 & 23 following the morning worship. (See the official call to meeting above.) Dr. Claire Bamberg's initial written report has been sent out to members for you to review and on the 16th, Claire 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. We hope to end the meeting by 3:00 pm. 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 and childcare for children up to age 10 will be provided at both meetings.

Bible Presentation Sunday

Sunday, October 23

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.

More Church News

Moderator Transition

At the Church Council meeting in September, Rob Peters formally stepped down as Moderator and Cici Thompson assumed his duties in a planned transition. As you may recall, Rob took over as Moderator for Cici in August of 2015 last year after Cici had a sudden and serious illness. Cici (who is now in good health) has long offered to repay the favor to Rob. After 13 months of serving as moderator (a month longer than we ask most moderators to serve), Rob officially accepted her offer. Please forward any Moderator-related questions or topics to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . In the meantime, thanks to Rob for stepping into leadership so early last year, and blessings to Cici as she re-assumes the mantle of leadership at this time!

Proposed Amendment to the Endowment Fund Plan of Operations

The Endowment Fund Committee is proposing an amendment to the Plan of Operations for the Endowment Fund. The amendment will be considered at the Congregational Meeting on October 23. The amendment:

  • Corrects a drafting error in describing the process for calculating the amount of annual disbursements from the Endowment Fund. If the correction is not made, only a few hundred dollars will be available in 2017. If the amendment is approved, $12,000 will be available.
  • Changes the approval process for proposals to be funded. Currently the Board with jurisdiction presents a proposal to the Endowment Fund Committee (EFC). If the EFC determines the proposal is in furtherance of the mission of LRUCC, the EFC will specify the level of funding available for the project. We do not believe this is an appropriate role for the EFC. The proposed amendment provides for integrating proposals for use of the Endowment Fund into the Church’s regular budget process. The Congregation would approve proposals as part of the process of approving the annual budget. The amendment provides that proposals that are not approved as part of the regular budget process may be approved by the Church Council.
  • Facilitates planning for Endowment Fund projects in conjunction with the annual budget by calculating available funds based on 2nd quarter data, rather than 3rd quarter. This means information is available to Boards and Committees in mid-July.

The proposal makes no change in the intended process for calculating money available from the Fund. It makes no change in the Endowment Fund Policy, It makes no change in the distribution of money among the authorized uses. A copy of the proposed amendment may be viewed here.

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.

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 (October 2, 2016)

Board of Deacons Meeting Minutes (September 27, 2016)

Board of Trustees (September 20, 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.