The Barcroft Bible Church of Arlington celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony last Sunday at the site of its projected new location in Fairfax County.

The 55-year-old church had been in Arlington for about 50 years, but recently outgrew its space and decided to move to Fairfax County.

The congregation, which has been meeting at Fairfax High School for the last five years, has acquired a 15-acre tract at Pickett Road and Route 236 for its new church.

Among the guests at the ceremony were County Board Chairman Audrey Moore, and the mayor of Fairfax City. The church is expected to be completed is early 1992.

Gulf War Forum David Newton, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, will lead a forum entitled "The Gulf War: Background to the Conflict" at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Emmaus United Church of Christ, 900 E. Maple Ave., Vienna.

Newton, who served 17 years as a U.S. diplomat in the Middle East, is now an international affairs adviser and chairman of the Department of National Security Policy at the National War College. He is a member of Emmaus Church.

The forum is free and open to the public.

For further information, call Emmaus Church at 703-938-1555.

Classical Evening "An Evening of Classical Music" will be presented by members of the Kensington Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 8 p.m. Friday in the chapel of the Stake Center, 10000 Stoneybrook Drive in Kensington.

The free program will include performances of voice, piano, keyboard and strings, and will feature classical selections by Mozart, Pachalbel, Mahler, and Faure. Among the compositions scheduled for performance are a soprano aria from Mozart's Cosi` Fan Tutte, a group of art songs by Gustav Mahler, and a string ensemble of Pachabel's Cannon. A reception will follow the program.

For information, call 301-681-6546.

Congregation Honored The B'nai Israel Congregation was recognized for outstanding achievement in nine areas at the Seaboard Regional Biennial Convention held in Norfolk in December.

The congregation received awards for synagogue access for the handicapped, Soviet Jewry, congregational libraries, synagogue administration, outreach to college youth, bulletins and publications, congregational high school, nursery school and United Synagogue Youth and Kadima.

B'nai Israel Congregation is a conservative synagogue and has been a member of the greater Washington Jewish community for 65 years.

Black Writers' Book A collection of the readings and poems of 29 black people is now available in a book, entitled "Been in the Storm So Long," from the Unitarian Universalist Association Bookstore.

The book includes material from authors from 19th century poets to contemporary thinkers, and also offers biographies of contributors like abolitionist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper to "Eyes on the Prize" producer Henry Hampton. The selections are arranged in six chapters, including "The Black Experience," "Seeds of Change" and "The Dreamer and the Dream."

"Been in the Storm So Long" is priced at $5.95 and can be bought through the Unitarian Universalist Meditation Bookstore, 25 Beacon St., Boston, Mass. 02108 or call 617-742-2100.