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Our 64th Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised February 16, 2018

First Sunday in Lent
10:00 am Worship with Baptism and Communion

Sunday, February 18

Loneliness bedevils far too many people in our region. Through worship and soup suppers this Lent, we will reflect on and practice the art of being and building community. We begin the journey this Sunday morning at 10 am by considering Jesus's journey into the wilderness, where he found community even amid desolation.

This Week

This Sunday's Anthem

Sunday, February 18

As we begin Lent, the Sanctuary Choir turns to a piece by Dave Brubeck entitled "Forty Days." Little River members may know Brubeck as the composer of the Christmas hymn in an odd meter, "God's Love Made Visible!" (Chalice #171) and long-timers as the composer of the Christmas cantata La Fiesta de la Posada, which the choir sang with a Mariachi-style band a decade or so ago. Brubeck is, of course, probably best known as an American jazz composer and pianist, who performed frequently (including here in DC) with his quartet; he passed away in 2012.

"Forty Days" comes from Brubeck's first oratorio, The Light in the Wilderness, and paints the Gospel account of Jesus' time in the wilderness with a combination of parallel lines set in contrary motion to other voices and recurring scale-like phrases with chromatic segments. While this piece fittingly starts our 40-day journey of Lent with relatively square rhythm and simple accompaniment (string bass played by Charlie Nilles and piano), the rest of the oratorio merits a listen for the sounds of Brubeck's classic jazz combo.

Food & Fun Session 1: Speed Acquainting

Sunday, February 18

We’re creating a new thing! You may be familiar with the idea of speed-dating, in which people participate in short conversations with many others in the hope of finding their match. We’re putting our own spin on this format to encourage members of Little River to get to know as many other members as they can in one evening! We’ll bring the conversation starters, you bring the soup! See you in the Social Hall from 5 to 7 pm.

LRUCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, February 18

Please join the Little River Meditation group on Sunday, February 18 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 .

Evolution of the Word: Adult Education Discussion Series

Sunday, February 18

Janet Mackey is leading 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. This week we will review and discuss 1 Corinthians 15 and Philemon. We will meet every Sunday until March 11 at 9:00 am in Room 8. Copies of the book are available in the church library and online.

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, February 18 & 25

On Sunday, February 18 & 25 and every Communion Sunday (every Sunday during Lent) 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, February 19

Monday Morning Bible Study continues on Febraury 19 at 10:00 am, with the 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. Topics are: Zwingli and Calvin in the Reformed Tradition, and the Anabaptist Radicals.

Food & Fun Session 2: Board Game Night

Sunday, February 25

Members and friends of all ages are invited to an evening of fun and games (literally!) from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the Jubilee Room. We will have board games, games, foosball, and more! Feel free to bring your favorite game and/or soup to share.

First Friday: It's Spring! Let's have Pi!

Friday, March 2

Join us for First Friday: It's Spring! Let's have Pi! on March 2 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Be prepared for the unexpected. You think you are familiar with Pi? Think again. And don't forget, it's reptile month and we are going to have a hands on experience this event. Don't miss out!

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 by Wednesday, February 28 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!

Open Mike Night: Sign Up!

Sign-up Deadline: March 25 | Event Date: April 14

On Saturday evening, April 14, beginning at 7:30 pm our social hall will once again be transformed into Club Little River. Performers of all ages will have the opportunity to share their talents, whatever they may be! We are hoping for a varied program, so all kinds of talent are welcome: vocal or instrumental performances, dance, reading poetry or other forms of recitation, jumping rope, etc. The possibilities are too numerous to list. Featured throughout the evening will be our own Open Mike Night band.

If you want to perform, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Sunday, March 25 and let us know what you will be performing. If you would like to have the band back you up when you sing or otherwise perform, please include that information in your email. You should get your music to Nancy Carey or Dave Shepherd by that date as well. Submissions can be sheet music or a recording (CD or MP3) accompanied by printed lyrics if it’s a song you will be singing.

Even if you prefer to keep your talents hidden, please be sure to mark your calendars so that you don’t miss this all-church sharing event. Audience members will be seated cabaret style, and refreshments will be served. Please join in the fun!

Writer's Workshop

April 2 – May 7

Attention, beginning and intermediate writers, we have scheduled a workshop that will be helpful to you! We will meet on Mondays from 7 to 9 pm for six weeks, starting April 2nd and continuing until May 7th. (The Board of Deacons is our official sponsor.) Our leader will be Lisa Liebow, a published author, and teacher at NOVA as well as throughout the DC area. To register, download the form, and follow instructions given there. This class will be of interest to those who are writing short stories, longer works of fiction, or personal history/memoir. We will discuss aspects of crafting good stories whether true or fictional. For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can learn more about Lisa at

Update! Books, Art, Movies, & Music Sale

Saturday, April 21

Thanks for the enthusiastic response to the upcoming Book Sale on Saturday, 21 April from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Social Hall. We look forward to having your used books, music CDs, movie DVDs, and framed art with which to part! We'd also welcome any paper bags with handles or soft cloth bags to use at the sale. Are your boxes ready now for pick up? Then let This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone at 571-384-0722. She can meet you at church or your house to pick them up so we can sort and price ahead of the sale! Proceeds go the LRUCC operating fund and leftovers will go to charities! Want to volunteer? Please contact Barbara Allen.

More Church News

Thank you!!

Thank you to everyone who contributed their time, talents, and treasure to our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper! We raised $526, which will go toward funding the youth mission trip to Back Bay Mission this summer.

Parents: Does Your Child Have a Birthday in February?

If so, then please come by the church office anytime during the week that is convenient for you so your child can pick up a “Happy Birthday” pillowcase from Pastor David or another member of the office staff. This is a small gift from Little River UCC so each child can feel special on his/her birthday.

Women’s Ministry Meeting

The Women’s Ministry Team met on Thursday, February 15 has lots of items for you to put on your calendar with more information to follow later.

  • Women’s Ministry Tea: May 20
  • Women’s Ministry Retreat: October 13 or 20 (TBD)
  • Women’s Ministry Breakfast: January 6 (2019)