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Our 64th Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised January 5, 2018

10:00 am Worship with Communion

Sunday, January 7

Start your new year off right with worship this Sunday!

Pastor David will reflect on the story of the Magi, and we will celebrate communion.

This Week

Another Guantanamo Anniversary

Sign the Letter! Sunday, January 7

January 11 is the 16th anniversary of the establishment of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Forty-one men remain incarcerated there; five have long been cleared for release by the U.S. intelligence community, but the government has no plans to release them or find another country that will accept them. Most of the others will also remain in prison forever even though they will never be charged with a crime or tried. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture and BOSJ will have a table after worship on Sunday, January 7 where you can let Secretary of Defense Mattis know you would like to see the prison at Guantanamo closed for good. Please come by and sign the letter!

New Adult Education Discussion!

Sunday, January 7

Janet Mackey will lead an 8-part discussion of Marcus Borg's Evolution of the Word, which examines the books of the New Testament in the order they were written. The discussion will focus on the undisputed letters of Paul and will be held every Sunday from January 7 to February 25 at 9:00 am in Room 8. Interested but can't make Sunday mornings? Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and let her know. An additional weeknight discussion will be scheduled if 5 or more people are interested! Copies of the book are available in the church library and online.

Little River UCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, January 7

Please join the Little River Meditation group on Sunday, January 7 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 .

Sanctuary DMV presents "Rapid Response" Training

Sunday, January 7

Sanctuary DMV is a consortium of houses of worship that organize and advocate on behalf of immigrants and refugees in the Washington, DC area. Annandale, VA has been the site of several targeted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids over the past year, detaining and deporting many in our community. This Rapid Response Training workshop is designed to help communities respond to raids and support those at risk. If you are interested in attending, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The training will take place on Sunday, January 7 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm in the Social Hall.

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, January 7

On Sunday, January 7and 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.

Next Week and Beyond

Monday Morning Bible Study - The History of Christianity Part II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch

Monday, January 8

Five hundred years ago, Christianity was a faith centered in Europe. Monks battled emperors and popes over the right of ordinary believers to read the Bible; rulers assumed authority over the consciences of their subjects; and renegade intellectuals were beginning to challenge the notion that the Church was always right. Fundamentally, the history of Christianity is not a history of abstract “-isms.” It’s a story of human beings, and the story of how faith is actually lived. The Monday Morning Bible Study resumes January 8 at 10:00 am when we begin this new course taught by Molly Worthen, Assistant Professor of History at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Worthen received her B.A. in History as well as her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale.

Greenspring Ministry

Wednesday, January 10

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!

Women’s Ministry Presents Poetry with Jennifer Atkinson

Sunday, January 14

Jennifer will talk about poetry with some favorites. She will also talk about, and read poems from, Ordinary Light, the memoir of the new U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for her Life on Mars. We will have copies of Ordinary Light for resale at the gathering on January 14. We will meet in Room 7 from 11:30 to 1:00. Please join us for an exciting time.

PYF Outing to MLK Day Celebration in Reston

Monday, January 15

All 6th-12th graders are invited to a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration and luncheon at the Reston Community Center at 12:00 pm on Monday, January 15. Tamika D. Mallory, co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, will be the keynote speaker. We have a handful of tickets, so if you want to go, please let This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Footsteps to Hawaii

Deadline for Registration: Tuesday, January 30

Join friends and Pastor David in Footsteps XI in January/February, 2019, following “In the Footsteps of the Mikanele.” This is what the residents of the Sandwich Islands called the Congregational missionaries who first came to the Islands in 1820. Their heritage, for good and ill, remains visible today. Add whale watching, volcanoes, the Arizona Battleship Memorial, the Polynesian Culture Center, two church services, Waikiki, and much more on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island of Hawaii. Pick up a color brochure in the office or the atrium. To reserve one of only 20 spaces, write your check for $150 to LRUCC with “Footsteps” on the memo line. The deadline for trip registration is January 30, precisely one year before departure. For more information, talk to David or to Brian Payne. Aloha!

Books, Art, & Music Sale

Saturday, April 21

The Arts Committee has a winter project for every member of LRUCC! The Board of Trustees has approved our plan for a used books/art/music sale on Saturday, April 21. Between now and early April, please start perusing your already-read books, your CDs and your art at home to see what you might like to unload. Put them away in a box and bring it to the church in mid-April (details to follow) and we will make sure they find good homes! The purpose of our event is to raise money for the general operations fund in gratitude for the Board of Trustees funding our lobby renovation! We hope that this sale will bring bibliophiles, music lovers, and art lovers to our church and possibly new members as well. If you have any questions or you would like to volunteer, please see Katherine Schultz or Robin Petrusak.

More Church News

A Blessing for Nominations and Appointments

As we approach the January 28 Little River UCC annual meeting, we have good news to report. For our church-wide offices, we are blessed to have the following members express their willingness to serve as church officers. Their names will be on the 2018 ballot:

  • Moderator: John Mingus
  • Moderator-elect: Nancy Hall
  • Treasurer: Mary Summers

We are continuing to search for people willing to serve in other key leadership positions (including Assistant Treasurer, Members at large) as well as on various boards and committees of the church. Please don’t be shy about serving. Feel free to contact any of the Nominations & Appointment committee members: Bob Lingo, Barbara Allen, or Tom Ross if you have an interest. We’re happy to answer questions, suggest ways to serve, and help you as you offer Little River your skills and abilities.

2018 Flower Calendar

The 2018 Flower Calendar is posted in the social hall. You are invited to sign up to give flowers on the Sunday of your choice on a first-come basis. New this year, there are several options to choose from when donating flowers, so make sure that you take one of the information sheets that are hanging near the calendar.

Music Committee Meeting Update

The Music Committee met on Wednesday, January 3. The Committee commended Craig and Ashton for the beautiful music during the Advent season. The music featured all of our music ministry groups including the Sanctuary Choir, the Sanctuary Bells, Salt of the Earth, Joyful Noise, guest musicians, volunteer instrumentalists, and Joyful Noise alumnae. The Committee addressed planning for Hymn Sunday on January 28. The Committee proposed several ideas to enhance worship using hymn singing and will share them with Pastor David. Members Nancy Carey and Kathy Richardson agreed to lead a sub-committee for Open Mic Night on April 14. The Music Committee will assist in getting out the word for new acts of all varieties in music, spoken word, or dance! Ashton provided an update on the Orff instrument purchase for the youth ensembles which will be arriving in time for the Spring. The Committee also reviewed financial numbers for the 2018 budget. In order to cover expenses of guest musicians, the Music Ministries used funds from the Special Music fund in 2017. Our next meeting is February 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Opportunity to Serve as an Usher

Our Congregation is warmly greeted each Sunday by members of our Usher Teams. Each of the three teams would welcome additional members to distribute the duties among more participants. There will be an Usher Information and Training Session at church in January 2018 (date to be determined). If you are interested in attending this training, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it via email or 703-764-2525 to inquire and register for the session.