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Our 64th Year Roberta Croll, EditorRevised March 23, 2018

Palm Sunday
10:00 am Worship with Communion

Sunday, March 25

Holy Week begins with a traditional procession of palms this Sunday! We will be seated so as to see the children’s faces as they process.

Join us at 10 am for worship as we remember the last days of Jesus’s life, starting with his entrance into Jerusalem and moving toward his betrayal and suffering.

A Word About Worship...

Members and friends of Little River UCC who’ve been in worship the past few 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

March for Our Lives

Saturday, March 24

The LRUCC Board for Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ), invites you to join us this coming Saturday, March 24 for the March For Our Lives event.

We are planning to meet at the church for a light breakfast (bagels, coffee, juice) and sign making at 8:30 am. From there we will caravan as a group to Vienna Metro. From Vienna we will get off the Metro at Capitol South and walk to the Methodist Building (100 Maryland Ave, NE) where the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries Washington office is. Here, several UCC churches will gather to head down to the march route together. Once we get to the Metro it is possible that we may not be able to stay together as a large group due to the crowded conditions, so we recommend purchasing a SmartTrip Card and/or making sure that you have sufficient money on your card before arriving to the church on Saturday.

If you choose to make your way downtown on your own or get separated from the group, the official march program begins at 12:00 pm and will take place on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 3rd and 12th Streets NW. It is an easy (downhill) walk from the Methodist Building, and a short ride to the accessibility drop-off point at the intersection of 7th Street and Maryland Avenue, SW. You should be able to join the march at any point along the march route.

The UCC Washington Office, in partnership with the UCC Central Atlantic Conference and the Capital Area Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will provide hospitality prior to the march if you are interested in participating. They have more details on their website:

Please direct any questions about the logistics of this even to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We hope to see you on Saturday!


Open Mike Night: Sign Up!

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

On Saturday, April 14 the mists will once again part and Club Little River will emerge for a single night, like Brigadoon. Open Mike Night is our annual open talent show! All ages and all kinds of acts are welcome to perform. If you would like to be part of the night, let Nancy Carey or Dave Shepherd know this before March 25. Feel free to catch either of them during coffee hour, or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Dave. The dedicated email for this event will also get the message to those who need to know ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). You must submit your music to Dave if you want the band to back you up. However, even if you will not be working with the band, please let us know that you want to perform so we can put you on the official performers list. We ask performers and groups to limit themselves to one number each, in order that all may have the opportunity to perform.

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!

Food Pantry Reminder

Sunday, March 25

On Sunday, March 25 and every Communion Sunday 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 26

Monday Morning Bible Study continues on March 26 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.

Maundy Thursday Worship

Thursday, March 29

Beginning at 7:30 pm, we will remember Jesus’ last meal with the Disciples, and his words of prayer in the Garden. This service includes a ritual of hand washing and Communion.

Good Friday Tenebrae

Friday, March 30

The traditional service of candles and darkness will begin at 7:30 pm. We will share in an experience of the three days of self-exploration leading towards Easter. Music, Meditation, Communion, Scripture and the Extinguishing of the Lights.

Order Your Easter Flowers Today

Order Deadline: Friday, March 30

You are invited to place Easter flowers in the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday, April 1, in honor or in memory of a loved one. The deadline for ordering is Friday, March 30. The order form is available here or you can pick one up on Sunday at church in the narthex or atrium.

Easter Sunday Worship

Sunday, April 1

Sunrise Service at the Cross 6:45 am

A service of renewal and Communion followed by an Easter breakfast with hot cross buns.

A Service of Resurrection 9:00 & 11:00 am

The Sanctuary Choir and Brass Ensemble will call us to rejoice with the brass and tympani as we exclaim, Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed! The Sanctuary and Joyful Noise choirs combine forces to lead the service in music and song with the trumpets, trombones, and the full organ. From the prelude to glorious, familiar hymns and to the grand anthems, the music reflects Christ’s triumph over the grave and our redemption by his love.

As a part of the 9:00 am service, an Easter Time with Children will be offered, with an Easter Egg Search at 10:00 am.

Easter Offering - Rise Against Hunger

Sunday, April 1

On Easter Sunday, a special Easter Fund offering will be received to support our annual Rise Against Hunger meal packing event. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) asks for your support of this offering, which will again enable us to support the packing of highly nutritious dehydrated meals in September 2018. Our meal packing event in September 2017 produced 20,000 meals that were sent to school children in El Salvador. To support the offering, make a check to LRUCC and designate "Easter Fund" on the memo line or submit your contribution in the special Easter offering envelope that you will soon receive in the mail.

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

First Friday: Celebrate Earth Day!

Friday, April 6

Join us for First Friday: Celebrate Earth Day! on April 6 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. This is one of the most important things we can teach our kids. Earth is our home so let's show her our love. See y'all then!

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, April 4 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

NOVA Pride: Open Closet

March 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) welcomes the NOVA Annandale Pride Alliance as they sponsor a one-day Open Closet event in our building on Saturday, March 31 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The group has been hosting a campus clothing drive to collect clothes for LGBTQ+ students in need of gender-affirming clothing. The Open Closet event will allow a safe space for students to come in, try on, and pick out some clothes they would like. Having clothes that truly capture one's identity and personality can be difficult for some students for a variety of reasons, so we need your help! NVCC Pride Alliance welcomes donations of:

  • Partitions for fitting rooms
  • Clothing racks
  • Shopping bags (non-clear bags only)
  • Light refreshments Hangers
  • Full length mirrors
  • Clothing, shoes, and accessories of all kinds and sizes!

LRUCC members who would like to donate additional clothes or volunteer to act as hosts for this event should 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 as soon as possible. THANK YOU!!

Please Hold Your Auction Donations at Home Until April 16

Thanks for all the many donations for the upcoming sale! We are busy sorting and pricing! Please hold all your items at your home until the week of April 16, then please bring them to the church that week. Volunteers are still needed to help set up on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21. Want to volunteer? Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The sale will take place on Saturday, 21 April from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Social Hall.

Board of Trustees Meeting Update

The Board of Trustees met on March 20 and began with a discussion of the budget for 2018 and how to prepare this year for what is likely to be a more challenging budget climate in 2019. This included discussion of budget adjustments needed to support the hiring of our new office administrator and a temporary assistant to help during our sexton’s recovery from a broken arm. The Board reviewed the status of the building and grounds focusing on repairing damage caused during the violent wind storm in early March and the need for additional security upgrades to address high priority improvements. This will include upgrades to door security and some additional camera coverage. Trustees scheduled the annual spring cleanup for May 19 (8am-12pm). Office operations were also reviewed with a decision to upgrade the church’s bandwidth to improve internet service. Trustees discussed how to prioritize projects in 2018 for both buildings and grounds and office operations including the parking lot, social hall, software and server upgrades, and IT support. Lastly the Board discussed a building use request from a Korean congregation and decided to seek a recommendation on the request from the Board of Deacons.

Board of Outreach and Social Justice Meeting

On March 18, a Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) meeting was held. We continued an ongoing conversation on identifying and prioritizing the responsibilities of the board. We voted on and approved our 2018 budget after making adjustments. We assigned responsibility for maintaining contact with individual benevolence partners to various members of the board. We discussed NOVA Annandale Pride Alliance’s request to offer a one-day Open Closet event at LRUCC on March 31 from 10 to 2. Additional upcoming events we discussed were LRUCC participation in events on the mall in honor of the MLK anniversary on April 4, a Potomac watershed cleanup at our local Accotink Creek on April 28, the UCC Justice and Witness Ministries Ecumenical Advocacy Days from April 20 to 23 and upcoming PRIDE dates in May and June. We finalized plans for the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24th. We will meet for a quick breakfast and sign making at LRUCC at 8:30 on the day of the march, all are welcome.

Stewardship Committee Meeting Update

The Stewardship Committee met on March 15 at the church. We debriefed on the Church Retreat and continued to discuss themes, messaging, and activities for the 2018 campaign. We also discussed the committee’s charge to educate the congregation on giving and supporting the silent auction to help raise funds for general operations. A reminder: if you are interest in joining the Silent Auction Subcommittee, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone (703) 256-4866. The Stewardship Committee’s next meeting will be the week of April 16.

Truth and Racial Justice Initiative

On April 3-5, 2018 the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, in conjunction with the UCC and other partners, will gather in Washington, DC for a historic event to launch its Truth and Racial Justice Initiative. As we mark 50 years since the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, we will commit to do our part to eradicate the entrenched racism that grips the United States and paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal. Please join us downtown for the following events!

  • Tuesday, April 3: Ecumenical Worship Service in the Orthodox Tradition
    • 6:30 p.m.: Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral (2815 36th St., NW, Washington, DC, 20007)
  • Wednesday, April 4: ACT to End Racism Rally on the National Mall
    • 7-8 a.m.: Silent Prayer Walk to the National Mall
    • 8-9 a.m.: Interfaith Service
    • 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Rally and Call to Commitment
  • Thursday, April 5: National Day of Advocacy & Action

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: or the flyer on the bulletin board in the social hall for specific details of each screening. Let's show our support!

Parents: Does Your Child Have a Birthday in March?

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.