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Social Justice at Little River United Church of Christ

Justice and Equality for All Persons

Founded as an integrated church in 1955, when it was illegal in Virginia, Little River United Church of Christ was an active participant in the civil rights movement. We continue to advocate and act on justice issues affecting some members of society.

Racial Justice

Our study of books and lectures on the historical Jim Crow era, the “New Jim Crow” era, and white privilege, and having had a series of “sacred conversations on race”, we formed a Racial Justice Coalition to discuss current racial justice issues and identify specific opportunities for engagement. Many of these issues intersect with criminal justice issues. We are also have begun discussions about whether Little River UCC should be identified as a Multicultural / Multiracial church in the UCC.

Sexual Orientation

In 2001, following more than a year of deliberation, Little River UCC voted to become an Open and Affirming church , affirming the dignity and worth of all persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and questioning (LGBTQ). In 2012, we passed a resolution for marriage equality and in 2014. we joined in a friend of the court brief in support of equal rights in marriage in Virginia. That case led to the October 2014 ruling for marriage equality by the US Supreme Court. We continue to be active and visible supporting the LGBTQ community in our metropolitan area.

Criminal Justice

The treatment of detainees in Guantanamo prompted Little River UCC to join the National Religious Campaign Against Torture in 2017. And, since many criminal justice issues predominantly affect racial minorities, the Racial Justice Coalition also works on issues involving criminal justice. In addition, some of our members are also active in the Lifelines to Solitary, a correspondence program with persons who are or have been in solitary confinement.

Religious Inclusion

Concerned about recent occurrences of Islamophobia, Little River UCC has made a prominent statement denouncing anti-Muslim bigotry. In 2017, this led to an instance of graffiti defilement of our building and signage and subsequent widespread community backlash against this hate crime and a gratifying support of our position.

Going Green

In January 2008, the congregation adopted a statement recognizing our responsibility to respond to global warming and use energy and other resources rationally. We have engaged with Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, a nonprofit initiative that helps faith institutions respond to climate change.  We have made some improvements in the energy efficiency of our facility, have studied the broad range of issues involving climate change and are considering additional actions.