Board of Outreach and Social Justice

September 20, 2019

Old Computers Needed for Homework Club

If you have an old laptop or desktop computer that you no longer need, please donate it to the Homework Club, a program that helps refugee families adjust to living in the U.S. All personal information will be erased from the hard drive and the operating system will be reinstalled prior to use by the Homework Club. Please contact Bill Perkett at 703-663-7865 or for more information.

September 13, 2019

LGBTQ+ Listening Session

All are welcome to join in a conversation about how we want to move forward with our Open and Affirming (ONA) commitment at Little River UCC and in the broader community. The NOVA Pride celebration has been cancelled this year, so we might want to talk about other opportunities for local outreach. See you on Sunday, September 22 at 11:30 am in the Jubilee Room. Contact Judy Moats at with your questions, ideas, or thoughts. All are welcome to attend!

August 18, 2019

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) met on August 18 to discuss upcoming plans for the fall. On September 29 from 2 to 4 pm we will pack 10,000 for Rise Against Hunger and need lots of volunteers to make that happen! Please sign up at or RSVP to BOSJ also decided to increase our participation in Fairfax County's Hypothermia Program by volunteering to prepare and serve dinner to homeless neighbors once per month rather than once per year. Sign-up info for that will be available in the coming months. We are actively working with other UCC churches in VA to oppose placing a child detention center in Northern VA and increased ICE activity in local neighborhoods. Please contact Pastor Alexis for more info on our immigration efforts. In the fall, look for another LGBTQ+ interest session, an Accotink Creek clean-up event, and a racial justice series based on Robin DiAngelo's book White Fragility.

August 18, 2019

Homework Club

Homework Club, an outreach to recent immigrant families, will begin again Saturday, September 22 at Peace Lutheran Church. We welcome new volunteers; being a driver for picking up and/or dropping off our families is a great opportunity for interaction.

Please set aside Saturday, September 7 to get ready! We are holding a 9:30 am orientation session for new volunteers, to be followed by a 10:00 am ESOL workshop for everyone.

Four local churches sponsor this program: Ravensworth Baptist, Peace Lutheran, John Calvin Presbyterian, and Little River UCC. A grant from Annandale Churches for Action (ACCA) funds our work, and Lutheran Social Services provides staff advice. Questions? Email Janet Parsons Mackey, or call her at 703-641-1552.

June 23, 2019

Conversation with Friends of Guest House

Friends of Guest House is a non-profit organization providing a residential program that helps women to successfully reenter the community from incarceration. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice invites you to a conversation with their staff and clients on Sunday, July 7 after worship in the Choir Room to learn more about the challenges women face when returning to community from prison and how you can support their efforts.

We will also be collecting items for the Friends of Guest House on Sundays in July (list will be posted on the bulletin board). In addition, donations can be made online via the Friends of Guest House Amazon wishlist.

For more information please contact Judy Moats and Cindy Fithian, BOSJ co-chairs. A light lunch will be served!

June 16, 2019

Board of Outreach and Social Justice Meeting Update

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) met on Sunday, June 16 to discuss several items, see below:

The Homework Club (Good Neighbor Project) will restart in Fall - 1.5 hours on 2nd & 4th Saturday mornings. Will need drivers and tutors. Contact Janet Mackey for more information and to volunteer

Congregations Action Network (formerly DMV Sanctuary Congregations Network) is still working to obtain relief for Rosa.

The Board was information that Rev. Martin Silver would like to meet with them and Alexis will talk with him about timing and agenda.

Friends of Guest House: Collections will take place Sundays in July. Guest House staff and residents will be available for discussion after service on July 7.

Pride Parade: The reception by crowd was wonderful (see photos on LRUCC Facebook page).

After discussion regarding LRUCC involvement, long-term association and areas served, the Board voted to combine $1,400 of Endowment funds allocated to homeless/hunger, distributing the entire amount to FISH.

May 5, 2019

Save the Dates! DC Pride Parade and Festival: June 8 and 9

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) invites you to mark your calendars for DC Pride! The Central Atlantic Conference LGBTQ+ Task Force is currently organizing volunteers to march in the parade and/or help out in 2-hour shifts at the United Church of Christ (UCC) table. Interested? Please contact BOSJ co-chair, Judy Moats at

Capital Pride Parade
Saturday, June 8, 2019

4:30 – 8:00 PM
Dupont & Logan Circles NW
Metro – Start: (RED) Dupont Circle
Metro – End: (GREEN) U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo – 13th Street Exit

Capital Pride Festival
Sunday, June 9, 2019

12:00 – 10:00 PM
Pennsylvania Ave. & 3rd St. NW
Metro: (GREEN) Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter

April 21, 2019

ACCA/Good Neighbor Project Update Several members of Little River UCC (LRUCC) have been helping to support refugee families through working with a Homework Club since January. We currently tutor eighteen to twenty children and four mothers during our Saturday morning meetings. This has been a wonderful opportunity to interact with recently arrived immigrants who’ve been granted asylum and enriched our lives. The Homework Club is a joint project of Ravensworth Baptist, Peace Lutheran, John Calvin Presbyterian, and LRUCC. Many thanks to Ginny Dowell, Deborah Growitz, Amanda Halstead, Karen Kleiber, Doris and Bill Perkett, and Jim Wallar for their generous gifts of time, books, tutoring supplies, and computers. We’ve identified three specific mentoring opportunities, two for women, one for a man. If any of these interests you, please contact Janet Parsons Mackey at for more information. First, there’s a high school senior who’s been accepted at a local college. She can use help navigating that system as she’s introduced to college life and challenges. Next, a young twenty-year-old woman will receive her GED in August. She needs support in figuring out her next steps. Both of these speak English well—mentoring them could be achieved through a variety of ways: skype, email, telephone, and personal meetings. Finally, a thirteen-year-old Afghani boy who’s been here for three months has remarkable ability in math and science—he won a national award in India recently. He needs help in raising his English skills and will benefit from a male mentor.

March 24, 2019

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) elected two new co-chairs for this year-- congrats and thanks to Judy Moats and Cindy Fithian! The board discussed plans to fundraise for our unbudgeted benevolences based on themes. Plans are developing to hold quarterly fundraisers as follows: Spring - Hunger and homelessness; Summer - LGBTQ+ concerns; and Fall - Immigration and Refugee issues. Plans were also discussed to partner with the Board of Christian Education to create a church t-shirt to wear in the community and increase the effectiveness of our outreach. Plenty of events focusing on social justice concerns are taking place in our community! To stay connected, please join our listserv by contacting the church office.

March 17, 2019

Community Organizing Update

On March 9th, six members of Little River attended the follow-up Potomac Association Community Organizing meeting at Faith United Church of Christ in DC. Our primary purpose was for to share the results of their 1-1 conversations with parishioners. After categorizing all the responses, the following six “Big Bucket Issues” received the most responses: Protecting Democracy/Voting Rights; Racial justice issues; Economic inequality; Gender politics; Incarceration and criminal justice; Climate change and the environment. The Little River UCC Board of Outreach and Social Justice encourages everyone to support these efforts.

February 17, 2019

Last Sunday, the Board of Outreach and Social Justice (BOSJ) met to establish our priorities for 2019. We discussed plans to host an interfaith Faith & Film event with the Rumi Forum in the spring. The film is called "The Sultan and the Saint." We also discussed several ideas for raising funds for our benevolences this year. For more information please contact Pastor Alexis at

February 3, 2019

The Board of Social Justice and Outreach met on Sunday, February 3 to review our work in 2018 and start to identify priorities for 2019. We were pleased to have our new board members join us and celebrate our outgoing board chairs!

December 16, 2018

Little River Food Pantry Feeds the Community

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice is proud to report that thanks to the generous support of Little River UCC members and friends over the past year, we have been able to distribute 65 very full bags of groceries and two large garbage bags of travel toiletries from the Little River pantry to the community. Recipients included FISH clients, detained immigrant children, Second Story (formerly Alternative House), the George Mason University student pantry, Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA), Thrive, Food for Others, and individuals who came to the church for help.

Thank You!

2018 White Gift Service (Photo courtesy of Alexis Kassim)

2018 White Gift Service (Photo courtesy of Alexis Kassim)

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice sends a hearty “thank you” to the music staff for organizing the White Gift service, and to congregation members for their generosity in giving and in helping with the post-service dinner.

2018 White Gifts (Photo courtesy of Craig Stapert)

2018 White Gifts (Photo courtesy of Craig Stapert)

December 2, 2018

FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help)

What is FISH?  At Little River, we bring food each month to restock the pantry, but do you know that FISH is much more than a resource for hungry people in our area?  For Immediate Sympathetic Help is an ecumenical effort of 14 churches from the beltway west through Fairfax City that work together to provide short-term assistance to those in need.  When Fairfax County Department of Family Services receives a request for assistance that does not fit a regular program, they may pass it along to the FISH phone captain for that day.  When the cupboard is bare, FISH can deliver food.  However, for folks living on the edge, missing a couple of days of work can mean they are unable to pay a rent or utility bill, so FISH can also offer financial aid to prevent eviction or to avert a related crisis.  The 14 churches provide financial support and volunteers who serve as phone captains and drivers.  Please consider volunteering; contact Susan Kennedy, our longtime church representative to the FISH council, for more information.

October 21, 2018

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice enjoyed another successful and spirited meeting Sunday, October 21, 2018. Following member check-in and prayer, updates were provided on several board initiatives. Fellow congregants can look forward to announcements on upcoming Open and Affirming/LGBTQ+, Global Ministries, and Racial Justice Coalition activities. BOSJ also completed the planning for the annual White Gift program. The next BOSJ meeting will take place on Sunday, November 18, 2018 immediately following the morning service.

August 19, 2018

The Board of Outreach and Social Justice met on August 19th.  We worked on plans for a number of upcoming events including the LBBTQA+  brainstorming session on August 26th, the Racial Justice Coalition discussion of The Color of Law on September 2nd, and the Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing event on September 30th. The board also approved a donation drive for items for detained immigrant children for the month of September, and the discussed the possibility of partnering with other churches to sponsor a refugee family. The board is also in the early planning stages of December's White Gift service in order to more effectively manage gift requests, and the board approved the purchase of a new Christmas tree.