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Our 64th Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised March 2, 2018

Third Sunday in Lent
10:00 am Worship with Reception of New Members and Communion

Sunday, March 4

We are receiving new members this weekend! Join us in worship at 10 am this Sunday to welcome the five newest members to our congregation.

A Word About Worship...


Members and friends of Little River UCC who’ve been in worship the first two Sundays in Lent have noticed that in addition to having communion weekly during the Lenten season, we are also offering the option of anointing with oil as a part of our Eucharist celebration.

The decision to offer the oil of anointing was made by the Worship Committee in consultation with Pastors David and Alexis with the hope of expanding worshippers’ experience of Lenten practices.

Anointing with oil is an ancient and ecumenical tradition that bestows God’s blessings on those who receive it. Saul and David, Israel’s first two kings, were anointed with oil by the prophet Samuel as a sign of their having been chosen by God (1 Samuel 10:1 and16:12-13). It has also been and continues to be used to invoke God’s healing presence on those who are ill of body, mind or spirit. “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14).

Although not practiced by every United Church of Christ congregation, there are examples of UCC churches who do offer anointing with oil on different occasions. Some congregations observe the practice as a regular feature of their celebration of communion. Other churches anoint each newly baptized person with oil as a part of their baptism ritual. Pastors of some of our churches offer the oil of anointing to congregants on the Sunday they observe Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist (usually on the first Sunday after Epiphany).

Anointing with oil is also a mark of hospitality. Many are no doubt familiar with the story from Luke’s Gospel of the time Jesus was invited to supper by a Pharisee. “And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that Jesus was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind Jesus at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment” (7:37-38). Anointing with oil, we believe, complements well Little River’s commitment to offer extravagant welcome and radical hospitality to all those who gather to worship.

Think also of Psalm 23:5 - “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” In the case of communion, we gather around God’s table of bread and wine, receive the elements and then God’s blessings, of which the oil of anointing is a visible sign.

All this being said, since this is a new practice for Little River UCC, the Worship Committee would very much appreciate hearing from members and friends regarding your feelings about the decision to offer the option of anointing with oil during the Sundays of Lent. Please share your thoughts with Pastors David or Alexis, or members of the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (Carolyn Johnson, Drew Nettinga, Chris Weakley). We do want and value such feedback.

This Week


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 http://bit.ly/lruccfirstfriday. 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!

Food & Fun Session 3: Lunch and Labyrinth

Sunday, March 4

Did you know that we have a labyrinth right here at Little River UCC? We’ll meet for soup first in the social hall at 11:30 am and then head out for a short nature walk and to explore the labyrinth. Please sign up in the Narthex for each activity during Lent, or you can RSVP directly to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

LRUCC Meditation Group Meeting

Sunday, March 4

Please join the Little River Meditation group on Sunday, March 4 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, March 4

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 II Corinthians. 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, March 4 & 11

On Sunday, March 4 & 11 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, March 5

Monday Morning Bible Study continues on March 5 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 4: Serve Dinner at Hypothermia Shelter

Sunday, March 11

On Sunday, March 11 we will partner with Fairfax Baptist Church to provide dinner to those experiencing homelessness. Adult volunteers are needed to prepare dinner for 50 at LRUCC and take it to the hypothermia shelter at Fairfax Baptist. We will help serve dinner at 5:00 pm and stay until 8:00 pm to eat and fellowship with guests.

Children and youth are invited to make bagged lunches for the program after worship! We will take these with us when we go to serve dinner.

Please sign up in the Narthex for each activity during Lent, or you can RSVP directly to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Book Group

Sunday, March 11

Please join us after worship next Sunday, March 11 at 11:30 am for a discussion of Atul Gawande's book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters. All are welcome whether you have read the book or not.

One Great Hour of Sharing

Sunday, March 11

One Great Hour of Sharing is one of five mission offerings of the United Church of Christ and provides hope to people in more than eighty countries. The offering blesses people in need by providing clean water to drink and healthy food for the hungry. The offering helps build schools, medical clinics, and homes in communities that don’t have them or that have been badly hurt by earthquakes, hurricanes, poverty, and war. The offering will be collected during worship on March 11. Please use the special envelope that will be included in the Current Reflections mailing or mark your check with "One Great Hour of Sharing". Gifts also may be made via the Online Giving button.

Sanctuary DMV presents "Rapid Response" Training

Tuesday, March 13

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 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 Tuesday, March 13 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm in the Social Hall.

Greenspring Ministry

Wednesday, March 14

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!

Men's Fellowship

Wednesday, March 14

On Wednesday, March 14, the Men's Fellowship will be gathering at the First Watch Restaurant in the City of Fairfax City (Fair City Mall) at 10:30 for "brunch". We welcome men of all ages! If you will be attending or have any questions, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it via email or phone at 202-329-8641

March for our Lives

Saturday, March 24

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages members to consider participating in the March for our Lives national protest to end gun violence on Saturday, March 24. The stated objective of the march is to "demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be brought before Congress to address these gun issues." Those who wish to go with a group can meet at church for a light breakfast and caravan together to the metro. Sign up for more information at coffee hour after services on March 4, 11, and 18 if you are interested in attending this event.

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 Leibow, 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 www.LLLeibow.com.

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


New Office Administrator and Office Hours

We at Little River are delighted to welcome Kathy Heyman (pronounced "HIGH-man") as our new Office Administrator! Kathy comes to us with a wide array of administrative experiences, including her work as an Administrative Secretary at Christ United Methodist Church from 1999 to 2005. She most recently worked at Alteristic, an organization focused on reducing power-based violence around the world (and where our own Craig Stapert now works during the week). Kathy is working 30 hours per week in the church office as part of our new office hours, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Be sure to say hi to her when you stop by the church office!

Roster of Leaders

The 2018 Roster of Leaders has just been updated -- view it online here. Please send any corrections/updates and committee Chair names to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For specific questions on terms of office, please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Results from the LRUCC Branding Exercise

The Communications Committee is grateful to all the committees, boards, and individuals who participated in the LRUCC Branding Exercise over the past year. We thought you would like to see the results of your work. This summary has been shared with the website designer. Below are the top answers (Themes) from the exercise:

What Animal is LRUCC, and why?
Dog (strong, friendly, loyal, caring);  Bear (strong, friendly);  Owl (wise, alert);  Dove (peace);  Penguin (social, non-aggressive, collective)

What Vehicle is LRUCC, and why?
Bus (large, roomy, freedom, sturdy);  Minivan (togetherness, family, groups, inclusiveness);  Prius (environment innovative, socially aware)

What Color is LRUCC, and why?
Green (environment, trees, earth-friendly, growing);  Blue (calm, beautiful, honest, clear, open sky, positive);  Red (powerful, strong, noticeable, energetic)

What Ice Cream is LRUCC and why?
Neapolitan (variety, something for everyone, diversity);  Rocky Road (diversity, Christians follow a rocky road)

What celebrity is LRUCC, and why?
Meryl Streep (smart, versatile, powerful, strong, adaptable, independent);  Morgan Freeman (kind, friendly, outspoken, convincing)

Volunteers Needed for the 2018 Silent Auction

The auction committee is looking for volunteers to help with this year's LRUCC Silent Auction! If you are interested in working on this fun event, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The auction will take place in May.

4th Annual Voices from the Holy Land 2018 Film Series

This year’s series is supported by a coalition of forty-one interfaith (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Unitarian) faith organizations, including Little River UCC. Films will be screened at five different venues in Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia with six award-winning full-length and five short documentaries over six Sundays (and a Saturday) in March and April. That is a total of thirteen opportunities to learn about what is happening in Israel-Palestine, hear the voices of the people living in this region, and enter into the conversation on justice, human rights, and peace in the Holy Land. All screenings are free.

See the event website: http://www.voicesfromtheholyland.org or the flyer on the bulletin board in the social hall for specific details of each screening. Let's show our support!