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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised March 17, 2017

Third Sunday in Lent
10:00 am Worship (Communion offered after worship)

Sunday, March 19

Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Meanwhile, we live in a world that seems to reward violence. How do we live in and promote peace in this era? Join us at 10 am on Sunday for a lively reflection!

Be sure to stay afterwards for the Congregational Listening Session -- share all of your concerns and ideas with the Church Council!

This Week

Congregational Listening Session - We Want to Hear From You!

Sunday, March 19

As is traditional for the church leadership, we’ll be having a church council retreat at the end of March. Prior to meeting, however, we’d like to get your thoughts on what should be the leadership priorities for the coming year. To get your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, we’d like to have a listening session on Sunday, March 19—right after church. Come for coffee and snacks, and share your ideas about the coming year.

If you are unable to make it to the listening session, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in person, via email or just stick a note in the Moderator’s box in the church office.

Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) Call for Volunteers!

Sunday, March 19 & 26

On Sunday, March 19 and March 26 a table will be set up during Fellowship Hour for volunteers to sign up for two opportunities. We would like to start an outreach program working with Annandale Terrace Elementary School. Options available will be reading, mentoring, or just taking time to have lunch with students at the school. If you are interested please stop at the table after church on the 19th or 26th and sign up. BOSJ would also like to know if you are, or would like to become, involved in outreach activities such as prison pen-pals, legislative lobbying, or advocacy of any minority groups in our area. A separate sign-up sheet will be at the volunteer recruitment table for this survey.

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sundays, March 19, 26 and April 2

Please join us this Sunday, March 19 at 4:00 pm 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’ll be gathering for the next three consecutive Sundays: March 19, 26 and April 2.

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 .

Sanctuary Open Early

Sunday, March 19

The sanctuary will be open at 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoons during Lent for quiet prayer and meditation preceding the Lenten Soup, Supper, and Discussion. All are welcome to partake in this quiet time.

Lenten Soup Supper and Discussion

Sundays, March 19, 26 and April 2

This Sunday, March 19 is the third session of this year’s Lenten Soup Supper and Discussion starts. This year, we will focus our conversation on the diverse spiritual practices of our faith, including fasting, prayer, and meditation. These sessions are intergenerational events hosted by the Board of Christian Education and the Board of Deacons. Meals will begin at 5:00 pm and discussion at 5:45 pm. (To help with clean up, you are encouraged to bring your own dish and utensils.) Childcare is available for our youngest. We’ll be gathering for five consecutive Sundays from March 5 to April 2.

And, as in past years, we are soliciting soup donations! Can you make or purchase a soup to share at one of the sessions? If you can bring soup, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Kathleen is trying to coordinate soup offerings so we don’t have too much one night, and too few another.

Order Your Easter Flowers Today

As soon as possible

You are invited to place Easter flowers in the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday, April 16, in honor or in memory of a loved one. The deadline for ordering is Friday, March 31. The order form is available here or you can pick one up on Sunday at church in the bulletin.

Next Week and Beyond

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, March 20

The Monday Morning Study Group invites you to begin the 'Study Of Jesus and His Jewish Influences’ from the Great Courses with Professor Jodi Magness, Ph.D., a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Explore excerpts and passages from influential texts such as the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Apocrypha. Follow the evolution of 12 Israelite tribes into a monarchy that crumbled over tensions about worshipping the God of Israel. Examine how the Book of Daniel is repeated in Jesus's own prophesies about the destruction of the Temple. We hope you will join us Mondays from 10:00 am to noon in Room 8. This study group is led by Richard Davidson.

Church Council Retreat

Saturday, March 25

The Church Council will be holding a Spring Retreat on Saturday, March 25. The Council plans to cover outstanding administrative business and discuss the priority issues facing the church in order to agree on areas of focus and put together a proposed action plan with of time frames. The Council will try to take all information received at today's Listening Session into account in order to incorporate it into the proposed action plan.

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Reception

Sunday, March 26

Following worship, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice will be holding a reception for all to learn more about the OGHS collection. Please join us to learn more about the vitality and global importance of the program.

The Tale of the Three Trees Musical

Sunday, April 2

Please join the Little River children and youth during worship on Sunday, April 2 as they present "The Tale of the Three Trees" by Allen Pote and Tom Long. Based on a classic American folk tale, this musical tells the story of Jesus' life from the perspective of three trees that dream of what their lives will become. The first tree wants to be a chest filled with treasure, the second tree wants to be the mast of a strong sailing ship, and the third tree wants to grow tall and reach toward God. Despite some twists and turns, they experience God's love and each tree's dream comes true in an unexpected way.

First Friday: Earth Day - Every Day Heroes!

Friday, April 7

Join us for First Friday: Earth Day: Every Day Heroes! on Friday, April 7 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. This month children will enjoy Earth Day crafts and games while parents enjoy some free time. The cost is $10 per child, with a family maximum of $25. Registration forms are available at If you’ve already completed a registration form for the 2016/2017 program year, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to let us know your child(ren) will be attending.

First Friday is a kids' night out program designed to give parents an evening to themselves. Volunteers provide creative and exciting entertainment for the children in a safe and fun atmosphere at the church. First Friday is for children aged six months through 12 years. All children in our community are welcome, whether or not their families attend Little River UCC, so spread the word and make your plans!

More Church News

Board of Outreach and Social Justice Committee Meeting (March 12)

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) met last week and would like to let you know what we talked about. We have a lot going on!

  • BOSJ will be collecting the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering throughout March. There is a reception planned for after worship on March 26 to explain OGHS.
  • We also discussed the “Sanctuary Movement” and decided that Little River is not well equipped to house people, but we will continue to financially support existing organizations that support these causes such as Legal Aid Justice Center.
  • Related to environmental justice, LRUCC will participate in the Alexandria Jones Point Cleanup (April 8th) and the Scientists’ March (April 22nd).
  • June is Torture Awareness month, so our plan is to show the movie "13th" as part of the Faith in Film Series in June.
  • We have scheduled a tentative School Supplies Drive for the Sunday(s) after the tax-free weekends in August. The drive will support Annandale Terrace School.
  • We are following up on institutional membership in NAACP and the Urban League.
  • Related to the Multiracial and Multicultural (M & M) congregation, the Conference has an official statement on M & M, similar to open and affirming (O & A) and we need to have more discussion, but it may lead to a vote on affirming the statement or not (as the church did for O & A).
  • There was a strong sense within BOSJ that we want to continue our progress on racial justice and to that end we proposed a “Racial Justice Coalition,” among the parts of the church involved in studying racial injustice. There are at least two aspects we want to continue: introspection as a church and advocacy (for example, working for gerrymandering reform). At the Church Council retreat on March 25, we would like to get feedback from the church about “What it means to be an Ally” from the white privilege curriculum.

Upcoming Events:

  • March 26: A United Response to Hate Speech, Bias Incidents and Hate Crimes (NOVA Community College, Annandale Campus)
  • April 8: Hands-On Earth Day Cleanup Project (Jones Point, Alexandria)
  • April 22: Scientists’ March on Washington

Stop Hate in Fairfax County

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages you to join local officials and faith leaders in presenting A Unified Response to Hate Speech, Bias Incidents and Hate Crimes in Fairfax County. Fairfax County's Dangerous Speech Prevention Committee, in partnership with the county's Community Interfaith Coordination Unit, is organizing a conference with community leaders and clergy to help identify how we as a community can be part of the solution to ending hate speech, bias incidents and hate crimes. The event will include presentations from experts who specialize in preventing hate rhetoric and hate crimes followed by a panel discussion. The event takes place next Sunday, March 26 from 3-5:30 pm at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center, Northern Virginia Community College (8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Virginia 22003). The location is listed as the "CE Building" on campus adjacent to the parking garage.

See the following link for additional details and registration information:

3rd Annual Film Series: Voices from the Holy Land 2017

Little River UCC is a supporter of the 3rd Annual Film Series: Voices from the Holy Land 2017, a film series that seeks to offer a different perspective and provide a voice to the people living in this Holy Land. It also seeks to present informative and compelling documentary films by Israeli, Palestinian, American, and European film makers to start conversations.

All film showings take place in the Washington National Cathedral, Perry Auditorium on Sundays from 2:30-4:30 pm. The series continues on Sunday, March 26 with the documentary film: Open Bethlehem. Drawn from 700 hours of original footage and rare archive material, Open Bethlehem follows the story of director Leila Sansour as she returns to her hometown as it is soon to be encircled by The Wall. Chronicling Sansour’s campaign to stop occupying Israeli forces encircling Bethlehem, this fierce and poignant story maps a determined and ongoing effort to unite Christians, Muslims and Jews in the desire for free access to the Holy City. Stay after the film for discussion. Need more details? See the event website: Let's show our support!

Volunteer for General Synod 2017 in Baltimore

At least 500 volunteers are needed to greet the wider church at the United Church of Christ General Synod (June 2017) in Baltimore. Let’s help the Central Atlantic Conference share in the extravagant welcome of the Conference. Register today at: