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Our 63rd Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised November 24, 2017

Last Sunday After Pentecost: Reign of Christ Sunday
10:00 am Worship

Sunday, November 26

This Sunday is the exciting conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount series! How will it all end? Join us in worship at 10 am to find out!

This Week

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, November 26

Please join the Little River Meditation group on Sunday, November 26 at 9:00 am in the Archival/Historical Room (L6) 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 to meet every other Sunday throughout the year. 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 .

Footsteps to Hawaii

Sunday, November 26

This Sunday, November 26, join Brian Payne in the Conference Room following the service to pick up a color brochure and have your questions answered about the 2018 and 2019 trips, in the Footsteps of the Congregational Missionaries. The itineraries look great, filled with religiously important, informative, exciting, and beautiful things to see and do, plus very nice hotels. Hawaii is an expensive place to visit, but these trips should be well worth their cost. The first opportunity to sign up for either trip will be December 3. To guarantee your spot, bring your check that day for $150 per person made out to LRUCC, with Footsteps 2018 or Footsteps 2019, on the memo line. This fee will be used to pay tips and other expenses not included in the price. If you cannot be present in person, mail your check to the office in order to be added to the list on December 4. Aloha!

November Winter Coat Drive

Sunday, November 26

Every Sunday throughout the month of November, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice has been collecting winter coats (especially men’s XL and up), hats, scarves, and gloves as well as blankets, sleeping bags, and sturdy adult backpacks or book bags for distribution to the homeless at Thrive DC. Thrive is currently facing a $400,000 cut in government funding but is continuing its annual coat distribution dates as usual.

All final donations should be brought to church by this Sunday, November 26 for delivery to Thrive the following week. Questions? Ask This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it of the Board of Outreach and Social Justice.

Next Week and Beyond

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday, November 27

We invite you to join us on Monday, November 27 as we continue our study on “Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation” from the Great Courses with Professor Craig R. Koester, Ph.D., a professor at the Luther Seminary of St. Paul, Minnesota. His innovative teaching style interweaves the study of biblical texts with their impact on art, literature, and music. Explore topics such as Moses and the Drama of the Exodus, and many others. We hope you will join us Mondays from 10:00 am to noon. This study group is led by Richard Davidson.

First Friday: Santa! The Man, the Myth, the Legend

Friday, December 1

Join us for First Friday: Santa! The Man, the Myth, the Legend on December 1 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.  This month, kids will enjoy story time with Santa and his friends from the North Pole 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 2017/2018 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!

Racial Justice Coalition

Sunday, December 3

On Sunday, December 3, the LRUCC Racial Justice Coalition (RJC) will meet in Room 8 at 11:15 am. The RJC will meet to discuss current racial justice issues and to share information across efforts. A portion of the meeting will be dedicated to small group conversation about the various efforts. Everyone who is interested in working for racial justice is invited to attend. Please contact Gail Perry or Karen Kleiber This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions.

Advent Fun Shops and Hanging of the Greens

Sunday, December 3

Enjoy a joyful and magical Sunday afternoon together celebrating the approach of Christmas. Starting at 3:00 pm, we will have many Advent-centered crafts and a table of wrapping supplies will be available so you can wrap your gifts for the White Gift Service.

Also that afternoon, a merry crew will deck the halls and sanctuary. All are invited to join the fun, and give the church a “sprucing up" for the Advent and Christmas season.

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, December 3

Next Sunday, December 3 and every Communion Sunday (normally the first Sunday of every month) we invite your gifts of non-expired, non-perishable staple food and baby 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 ongoing generous donations to the pantry.

White Gift Christmas Tags And White Gift Service With Dinner

Sunday, December 10

Tags Available Now through Sunday, December 3

The White Gift Service is a beloved Little River tradition in which our members reenact the Nativity scene, then follow the Magi to offer gifts honoring the Christ child. In preparation for that joyful service, our White Gift Christmas tree stands in the atrium to express the Christmas hopes of young children from low-income families served by ACCA Child Development Center, Main Street Child Development Center, and Shaw Community Ministry. Allow yourself the pleasure of sharing God’s love with a child this Christmas season! Gift tags and a sign-up sheet (used this year again to assist the Board of Outreach and Social Justice in tracking gifts) will be available from Friday, November 17 through Sunday, December 3. Please take only as many tags as you are able to provide gifts.

Please also plan to attend our second annual White Gift Dinner following the service on December 10. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice would like to celebrate the season of giving with a catered pasta dinner. A sign-up sheet to RSVP is available in the atrium near the White Gift Tree; please let us know if you are able to attend so we can plan to have enough food. We are asking for a few contributions of salad and dessert with sign-ups for those also available in the atrium. Join us to come together as community!

Bereavement Tea

Thursday, December 7

As the holidays arrive, we remember those individuals who are no longer with us. The Deacons’ Annual Bereavement Tea welcomes everyone who has lost an immediate family member within the past year to gather, remember, and share stories. This gathering will take place at Greenspring Retirement Community on Thursday, December 7 from 1:00-3:00 pm, where we will share tea, treats and conversation in a comfortable setting. Invitations for the tea will be mailed by mid-November. If you have lost a close loved one this year, and do not receive an invitation, please contact the church office or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by December 1st.

Please note the change of location this year to Greenspring Retirement Community (not Green Spring Gardens as in previous years).

Women’s Ministry Team Brunch: "Finding Peace and Joy in a Stressful Season"

Saturday, December 9

The Women’s Ministry Team invites all church members and friends to this opportunity for fellowship with food, to be followed by a service of quiet music, readings, and meditation. Join us in this moment of Christmas preparation! Please RSVP at the welcome table and, if you are able, sign up to bring a contribution of fruit, sweet breads/rolls, or muffins. We will meet from 9:00 to 11:00 am in the Fellowship Hall.

Greenspring Ministry

Wednesday, December 13

On the second Wednesday of the month, Pastors David and Alexis visit with our church members at Greenspring Village, a retirement community in Springfield. This visit happens in the Craft Room at Hunters Crossing from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. 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!

More Church News

Advent Funshop Volunteers Needed

Come join us in this beloved Little River tradition! Have some fun with reindeer and angels and mangers and stars. We'll be crafting Christmas treasures from recycled materials. It's a wonderful way to begin the merriment of the yuletide season. We'll have cookies and carols and children with stars in their eyes and glue sticks in their hands. What could be better? Bring your kids and grandkids! And please come help make some Little River Christmas memories! Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to sign up or to find out more.

Pastoral Availability During the Holidays

The holidays can be a difficult time, and you or someone you know may need to visit with a pastor. For the sake of Pastors David and Alexis (and their families), they also need to make sure they have appropriate time off to be with their families. To balance these needs, David and Alexis have arranged their schedules such that at least one of them will available at any given time. You can This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call him on his cell phone. Alexis may be This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call her on her cell phone. Here’s who you can contact on which date:

Nov. 19 to 25: Alexis

Nov. 26 to 28: Alexis or David

Nov. 29 to Dec. 4: Alexis

Dec. 5 to 10: Alexis or David

Dec. 11 to 15: David

Dec. 16-24: Alexis or David

Dec. 25 to 28: David

Dec. 29 to Jan. 4: Alexis

Pastor David will be away from Nov. 20 to 25 to visit extended family; Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 for a trip with his wife Carrie; and Dec. 28 – Jan. 4 for rest. Pastor Alexis will be away from Dec. 11 to 15 for continuing education, as well as Dec. 25 to 28 for family.

2017 Blanket and Coat Drive Launches in Northern Virginia

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice would like to let you know about another local coat drive.

On November 16, the Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova, officially announced the 2017 launch of the Northern Virginia Blanket and Coat Drive for Syrian Refugees. Since 2013, Northern Virginia citizens, businesses, local governments, religious groups, and non-profit organizations have come together to collect and donate blankets and coats to assist Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have fled their homes to other countries to escape the violence from the civil war in Syria.

The 2017 drive is led and organized by the Northern Virginia Relief Center (NOVARC). The drive begins immediately and will continue until December 3, 2017. Upon the conclusion of the drive, Paxton Van Lines will transport all donated items to the Port of Virginia, where they will be shipped to Lebanon via Maersk Shipping for distribution to refugees in need. In past years, shipments were made to refugees who were living in refugee camps in Turkey. Donated blankets and coats should be new or gently worn, and may be dropped off at any designated drop-off location (list at In addition, a monetary donation may be made specifically for the drive. All monetary donations will go toward the purchase and distribution of coats and blankets. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit NOVA Relief Center’s website at

End-of-the-Year Financial Reminders

In order for your contributions to Little River UCC to be treated on our books and giving statements as having been made in 2017, they must be: (a) made via LRUCC's online giving option before 3:00 pm on Thursday, December 28 to guarantee that the online contribution will be processed by Vanco (our payment solution provider) as a 2017 charge to your credit card, or (b) placed in the mail --and postmarked-- by December 31, or (c) physically received in the church office before the building closes after worship services on Sunday December 31.

For Option (b), please keep in mind that the Post Office does not always date-stamp mail as a routine matter, so dropping an envelope in the mail will not necessarily guarantee that it will receive a postmark.

Also, all remaining expenses and reimbursements chargeable to the 2017 operating budget need to be processed and paid by Friday, December 29. To avoid a last minute paperwork crunch, please submit all vouchers for the payment of such expenses and reimbursements no later than Thursday, December 21.

Order Poinsettias for Christmas

You are invited to provide red or white poinsettias in the Sanctuary, in honor or in memory of a loved one. Deadline for ordering a poinsettia is Thursday, December 21. The cost is $16.00 per pot. Please make your check payable to LRUCC and note “Flower Fund” on the check and/or envelope. Place your order with payment in the offering plate or leave in the church office. Order forms are available in the bulletin or can be downloaded here.

Board of Christian Education Meeting Update

The Board of Christian Education did not meet in November, but celebrated the 9 children who received bibles on November 19th!

Multiracial & Multicultural Church Listening Session Update

On November 19th we learned about microaggressions. Using an exercise called Story Theology, we read several narrative accounts of people who have experienced microaggressions in church contexts, and discussed how we can try to minimize similar experiences at LRUCC.