Big House Sundays

From September to May we continue to form our faith with Big House Sundays, large-group sessions that meet before worship a couple of times each month. Together we tackle interesting topics as we wonder together about how our faith connects to our everyday lives and are challenged to grow as Jesus-followers.
You are invited to these opportunities to grow together.

Upcoming Big House Sundays Winter 2021
Past Big House Sundays and Adult Education

December 12, 2021 — Advent Concert of Prayer– Together, let us ask the Father to make us one in spirit and purpose and to show us what it will look like for the Church at 1717 Broadway to: set our hearts and minds on the Kingdom of God, seeking God’s Kingdom above all; dwell in Jesus’ love and love Jesus as he loves us; and to hold firmly to the faith we profess and run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

November 21, 2021 — Jim and Ruth Padilla DeBorst

October 31, 2021 — Social Justice Team– White Work 2.0: Talking about Whiteness and Rightness, Session II

October 24, 2021 — Social Justice Team– White Work 2.0: Talking about Whiteness and Rightness, Session I

October 17, 2021 — Doug Campbell, CEO for Hope Clinic

September 26, 2021 — Pastor Mark VanAndel from Hesed Community Church, Hesed Community Church is a developing Church in the neighborhoods of Detroit that focuses on discipling indigenous leaders with a holistic Christian Community Development philosophy. Pastor Mark Van Andel will share updates on the ministry and stories of grace in the lives of God’s beloved people in Detroit.

September 12, 2021 — Themes from the Council Retreat Pastor Kristen will reflect on themes from the Council Retreat from the day before and lead us in a time of prayer and anticipation as we step into this new season at AACRC

February 2, 2020 — Funeral Conversation (Pastors Kristen, Noah, and Ryan)  Come and hear from our pastors how the Funeral is a theological event in the life of the church and why that matters for how we die in community.

February 16, 2020 — Christian Environmental Stewardship & The Plastic Problem  (Paul Steen) Join Paul Steen as he reviews the biblical and historical basis for the Christian Environmental Stewardship concept and movement, learn more about his work with the Huron River Watershed Council and the threat of plastic and microplastics on our rivers and creeks, and how the two topics intersect and interact.
Audio Recording – Download


March 1, 2020 — Rev. Cory Wilson, Calvin Seminary

January 26, 2020 — Olive Tree/Oikos Update (Led by Council) We have an exciting opportunity to partner with Olive Tree Campus Church (OTCC). Council has been in discernment on this topic for the past four months and is now asking the congregation to join this process of discernment. Join us for first of two identical sessions where you will be able to interact with the information Council has sent out via Connections and your church mailbox and to hear more about what Council has learned. We believe that your participation in one of these sessions is important and will be highly beneficial for helping as we discern about a partnership with OTCC. The second session (same content) will be held during youth programming on Wednesday, February 5 at 6:30 PM. Council’s invites to the congregation to join together in prayer for the rest of February as we discern this partnership together, followed by a congregational vote in March.

January 19, 2020 — Year in Culture (John Bush) We’ll look back at an exciting year that gave us both the biggest song and the biggest movie in history, plus a dizzying array of television, film, and music. Also, we’ll discuss whether streaming is making us forgetful, whether this was the year that image meant nothing instead of everything, and how much nostalgia we should feel for the death of the monoculture.

November 17, 2019 – Trevor Bechtel
November 3, 2019 – Travis West
October 6, 2019 – On Death and Dying
September 22, 2019 – Joel Huyser
September 15, 2019 – Troy Rienstra

Thinking Upstream, Drinking Downstream – CRC Office of Social Justice
March 3, 2019 – Room 24

Detroit’s Afro-American Mission
May 20, 2018 – Room 24
Watch the video of the presentation…

Maud Robinson and members of his group will be here to share about the work of Detroit’s Afro-American Mission.

Last year through SERVE, our youth partnered with DAAM on projects that have lasting, meaningful effects on the community. Our own Pastor Ryan later preached at DAAM, which was well received. Come and learn or catch up on what’s been happening in DAAM’s ministry and the work they have been doing within the inner-city in the City of Detroit and nearby suburbs.
Watch video of the class part 1…
Watch video of the class part 2…

Bread for the World’s 2018 Offering of Letters
May 13, 2018 – Room 24

Join us for a brief presentation on Bread for the World’s 2018 Offering of Letters campaign, “For Such a Time as This.” Learn about the great progress that has been made to cut hunger and poverty worldwide by 50% in recent decades and how you can participate in continuing the momentum. This Mother’s Day, take a few moments to speak for those mothers who have no voice and are losing their children to malnutrition and starvation.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8)

Saudia Twine – Emotion Focused Therapy
April 29, 2018 – Room 24

Everyone wants to love and be loved but may not know how to healthily give and receive the love they both want and need. God made us to be relational. With an understanding of our innate need for closeness and dependency, Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) together with its foundation in Attachment Theory, improves the relational functioning between couples by focusing on ‘heart’ matters.
This form of couple’s therapy increases our awareness of emotion in our relational experiences with our significant other (and primary attachment figure), enhances our ability to regulate our emotion, and increases our ability to transform our emotions. When successfully navigated in couples’ treatment, couples end treatment feeling validated, cared for and supported by their spouse (or family member), overall feeling a deeper sense of closeness.
Emotion Focused Therapy is one of the leading and successful forms of couple’s therapy today. In her presentation, Dr. Saudia Twine, Marriage and Family Therapist, Catholic Social Services Washtenaw, will discuss its development
and history, walk through the stages of treatment and identify how this form of treatment transforms the relationship.

Vital Worship Team
April 22, 2018 – Room 24

Worship can be imagined as a meal. We are welcomed, we gather for deep faith conversation, we share a meal, and we are sent out with love. What kind of table have we set at AACRC? What kind of table is God calling us to set as we change and Ann Arbor changes?
Read More…

Matthew Tuininga
April 15, 2018 – Room 24

Professor Matthew Tuininga, a John Calvin scholar who teaches Moral Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, will bring Calvin’s teachings on social justice into the here-and-now, explaining why they matter to the church today within the contemporary American context, especially with respect to the current challenges of poverty.
Time for questions will be included.
Watch video of the class part 1…
Watch video of the class part 2…

Health and Spirituality
April 8, 2018 – Room 24

The UM Medical School recently launched a program on “health, spirituality, and religion,” with the premise that “patient-centered care depends on the ability of a provider to effectively communicate with patients regarding the values and the beliefs that are important in their lives.” The Joint Commission (that accredits
hospitals) requires all patients being admitted to an acute care hospital to have a spiritual assessment.
Come to hear from and interact with a panel of our congregation’s care providers on how this is being addressed in practice, and bring along your perspectives as
potential future patients.

Do the Right Thing: The Social Conscience of the Early Church
March 11 & 18, 2018 – Room 24

Norm Fichtenberg will present a two-part intro into the social ethics of Christians in the first five centuries, exploring both guiding principles of Christian behavior and their application to specific societal challenges.
Slides – Do The Right Thing…

The Year In Culture
February 18 & 25, 2018 – Room 24

We’ll meet to learn about and discuss notable movies, TV shows, music, and books from the past year, plus take time to share recommendations of what we’ve loved.

Lynn and Mary Degener of China Outreach Ministries (China Friends)
February 4, 2018 – Room 24

Lynn and Mary share about their outreach to Chinese students, scholars and their families here at the University of Michigan. God has been doing some amazing things!

John Calvin–A Very Different View
January 21 & 28, 2018 – Room 24

At a Jesus and Justice Conference last year, Matt Tuininga, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Calvin Seminary, delivered a lecture on John Calvin which presented a view of Calvin’s teachings and theology which is different than most of us are familiar with — a view that challenges viewers to consider or re-consider the practices of evangelical Christian churches regarding justice issues. On each of the next two Sundays, a 20-minute video segment of Dr. Tuininga’s lecture will be shown after which there will be a discussion led by Bill Dahms.
Link to video on You Tube

Stephen Ministry
January 14, 2018 – Room 24

Do you have the desire to walk alongside someone who is hurting? Is God calling you to use your gifts to become a Stephen Minister? On January 14, we will have an adult Sunday School class to explain the process and time commitments of becoming and being a Stephen Minister. We’ll talk about the training that is provided and answer any questions you may have. If you have even the slightest interest, please come and learn more about it!

Council Q&A
January 7, 2018 – Room 24

Council will be hosting an open Q&A session about the reset year or anything else you’d like to ask about. This is a simple idea we read about on the denominational blog (, and it sounded like a good one! The description was apt, and so we’re borrowing their words: Attendance is voluntary; there is no agenda; no decisions are made; no discussion is held. But every Q&A offers an inherent promise: ‘Ask a question—any question—and we will do our best to provide you with a complete and transparent answer. And if we don’t know, we’ll find the answer and get back to you.’ If you’re unable to attend, that is fine; we’ll keep a record of what was asked and said to share with the AACRC community. And we hope to have more of these sessions in the coming months.

Advent Prayer Stations
December 17, 2017 – Room 24 & Fellowship Hall

On this third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy, you are invited into a meditative space during education hour. Advent is a season of anticipation and holy waiting. It is a season to slow down and pay attention, to listen to the prophets, to look for God in God’s distressing disguises.

Multi-sensory Advent prayer stations will be set up in Room 24 (quiet reflection) and in the Fellowship Hall (a bit more communal space), with instructions provided at each station. You are invited to participate in as many as you need, as long as you need, as many times as you need. God bless.

Christmas Memories
December 3, 2017 – Room 24
John Bush – Do you have special memories of Christmas to share, or would you like to hear from others about the interesting ways (and places) they’ve celebrated Christmas?

Arab American Friendship Center
November 19, 2017 – Room 24

The Forgotten Holy Land Documentary
November 12, 2017 – Room 24
A short documentary featuring modern-day footage of ancient biblical locations, shot from the air as well as the ground.

Ancient Rome from a Christian Perspective – Eric Wright
October 15, 22, 29 & November 5, 2017 – Room 24
Christians thrown to lions! Centuries of persecution! Where did ancient Christians *really* fit into the Roman world?
Eric Wright will give four multimedia presentations appraising ancient Roman culture from a Christian perspective. Sessions will focus on ancient Rome in its historical context, how the early church was threatened by–but also benefited from–the empire it arose within, its relationship to paganism, and on the continued legacy of Roman culture both in the church and in the western world.
Sound like a Western Civ. course requirement? NOT TO FEAR! The presentations will be informative *and* lighthearted, designed to foster the sharing of mutual expertise on the subject. Bring your prior knowledge and a willingness to have fun! *All* are welcome!

Presentation #1
Presentation #2
Presentation #3
Presentation #4

Martin Luther Documentary
October 1 & 8, 2017 – Room 24
To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we’ll watch a documentary about Martin Luther and spend time discussing his influence.

Bible Study – Galations – Tom Trevethan, George Lindquist
Starts October 1, 2017 – Room 18
Our class will attempt to rejoice in the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, being celebrated globally this year, by a close reading and discussion of St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.
Galatians was one of the key Biblical texts that fueled the Reformation. It is filled with glorious and comforting and challenging truth for the contemporary world.

Madelyn Beltz – Wycliffe/SIL
September 24, 2017 – Room 24
Madelyn Beltz will talk about how translating God’s Word helps preserve cultures, how digital technology helps distribute the Gospel, being aware of what oral learners need, and what she does.
Watch video of the class part 1…
Watch video of the class part 2…

Tech-Wise Family, with John Bush
September 17, 2017 – Room 24
Ever wonder how much screen time is too much for the young people in your lives?
In his new book, The Tech-Wise Family, Andy Crouch (a former executive editor of Christianity Today) has some philosophies about living with technology that can help.
Get tips for your own tech strategy, or share what you’ve learned with others who don’t yet have school-age kids (or tweens, or teens, etc.)

Hope Beyond Boarders – Pastor Kelly N. Anderson
May 21, 2017 – Room 24
Pastor Kelly N. Anderson, is a graduate of Luther Seminary and a 2016 recipient of their Graduate Preaching Fellowship.

The focus of her fellowship has been the Christian Church’s response to the global immigration and refugee crisis. She is spending this academic year traveling around the world and the nation to learn more about how churches and Christian organizations are serving refugees and displaced persons, especially in our current global immigration crisis.

She will share with us how we in Washtenaw County can support the resettling of refugees in our community. For more information about her travels and refugee work visit her blog at

Video of the class…


Walk with Me… – Health Ministry
April 23 & 30, 2017 – Room 24

On April 23 Therese Langan LMSW Owner and Director of Parkside Family Services in Adrian will present an overview of addiction(s), and how we might walk with those struggling with addiction.
On April 30 Dr. Daniel Clauw Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Psychiatry at UM will talk about addiction, the use of opioids and alternative measures in the management of chronic pain.

Campus Ministry for the Next 75 Years – Matt Ackerman
March 19, 2017 – Room 24
Anniversaries are a time to look back at what God has done, and forward to where we think God may be leading. Rev. Matt Ackerman, Pastor for Worship and Community at the Campus Chapel, will share reflections from a 75th anniversary year that celebrated the Chapel’s past and looked forward to what ministry with today’s and tomorrow’s students might look like.

Circles Washtenaw
March 12, 2017 – Room 24
Circles Washtenaw – Changing lives by empowering families to move out of poverty and achieve economic independence.
Suzanne Van Dam, the Circles Program Coordinator, Bill Dahms and Tom Larson will be introducing this new program as well as discussing opportunities to volunteer.

Church Between Borders
February 19 and 26, 2017 – Room 24
Representatives from the CRC will lead an interactive workshop to spark thought and discussion for Christians interested in engaging immigration from a Biblical perspective. If you’ve ever wondered “Why don’t immigrants just get in line?” or, “My grandparents came the legal way, why don’t they?”, you’ll find practical, fact-based, and hopeful answers to those questions.
Immigration Timeline In United States…

Lauris Kaldjian MD, PHD – Christian Practical Wisdom in Healthcare
February 12, 2017 – Room 24
Watch video of the class…
Many of us know Dr. Kaldjian. He has lived in Ann Arbor and has been a member of our community. He has written the book ” Practicing Medicine and Ethics: Integrating Wisdom, Conscience, and Goals of Care”.
Here is an endorsement of the book written by Gilbert Meilaender. “Both our shared political discourse and the day-to-day encounters between physicians and their patients are characterized by complex questions about the place of conscience in medicine. Lauris Kaldjian, trained as both physician and ethicist, offers a way to think through these difficulties by focusing on medicine as a practice shaped by its goals and marked by important virtues. Both patients and physicians can find here help for thinking in moral terms about the encounters they share.”
Gilbert Meilaender, Valparaiso University

Christian Practical Wisdom in Healthcare

As a Christian physician and ethicist, I am reminded every day that medicine brings both benefits and challenges. We have so much to be grateful for when it comes to healthcare and medical technology, yet we also have to be discerning and vigilant so that we are not mislead by false goals, mistaken assumptions, or fears that can drive decisions in a medical culture that is ready to use technology to satisfy both needs and wants, whether at the beginning of life, the end of life, or anywhere in between. To choose wisely between the options we encounter when we become patients, we need a Christian practical wisdom that arises from our identity and freedom in Christ and goes forward with trust in God’s abiding care. This practical wisdom is also a gift we can give to each other when as family members, friends, or pastors we are called upon to accompany our loved ones and “co-discern” with them when they are struggling as patients to know what should be done, or not done.

Christian practical wisdom in medicine encourages integration of faith and reason to understand health, illness, suffering, disability, and death, so that what we believe guides what we choose. We need such wisdom to respond to a wide range of questions in healthcare, such as: How should the belief that we are “embodied souls”, who bear the image of God, guide our care for persons with dementia? How does our understanding of death (as a “conquered enemy”), suffering (as within God’s providence), and hope (in eternal life with Christ) guide our decisions about palliative care and our rejection of assisted suicide? In what ways does a truly holistic concept of health (as the integration of the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual) invite Christians to harmonize the concerns of the body with concerns of the soul?

In outline, a Christian practical wisdom in medicine would include the following:
Pursuing goals that reflect our Christian calling (flourishing)
Seeing physical and spiritual reality accurately
Being guided by what is morally good (pleasing to God)
Deliberating humbly and praying to harmonize goals, reality, and morality
Committing our way to God and trusting in his gracious providence
Acting on conclusions with courage and confidence in Christ
Walking humbly, waiting patiently, and responding willingly to God’s leading

The challenges we encounter in making decisions about healthcare remind us that our love for God, and our love for our neighbor, must be discerning as it is expressed in and through the complexities of this world. Another way to put this is to say that our love needs to be wise, a point that was of great concern to Paul when he wrote to the Philippians, saying: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God (Phil 1:9-11).”


The Year In A&E – John Bush
January 29, 2016 – Room 24

Oscar Nominees – Best Picture
La La Land (14 nominations)
Moonlight (8)
Fences (4)
Hidden Figures (3)
Arrival (sci-fi)
Hell or High Water (crime)
Lion (tear-jerker)
Manchester by the Sea (drama)
Hacksaw Ridge (war heroism)

Movie Recommendations
Hidden Figures (book, children’s, & film)
Manchester by the Sea (drama/depressing)
Hacksaw Ridge (but graphic)
Arrival (intelligent sci-fi)
Lion (tear-jerker; drama)
Silence (drama; Christianity in 17th cent. Japan)
Moonlight (drama)
Fences (Denzel Washington; drama)
Mudbound (book into movie; drama from 1940s Mississippi Delta)

Grammy Nominees – Album of the Year
Adele – 25
Beyonce – Lemonade
Justin Bieber – Purpose
Drake – Views
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

Notable Albums – Best Reviewed
David Bowie – Blackstar
Beyonce – Lemonade
Frank Ocean – Blonde
Solange – A Seat at the Table
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Notable Reviews by the Banner
Various Artists – God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson
The Avalanches – Wildflower
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Lily & Madeleine – Keep It Together
Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal – Johannesburg
Switchfoot – Where the Light Shines Through
Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
Crowder – American Prodigal
Lecrae – Church Clothes 3
Needtobreathe – Hard Love
Skillet – Unleashed

Music Recommendations
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Lecrae – Church Clothes 3
Kacey Musgraves
Margo Price
Maren Morris
Dinosaur Jr.
Childish Gambino

Notable Books
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
The Girls, by Emma Cline
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Evicted, by Matthew Desmond (non-fiction)
When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi
Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan
The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance (non-fiction)

Books Recommendations
When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi (fiction)
Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance (non-fiction)

Notable Television
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Atlanta (FX; comedy )
Westworld (HBO)
The Americans (FX)
The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
The Crown (Netflix)

Television Recommendations
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket; Netflix)


Mark from World Outreach
January 22, 2016 – Room 24
Book recommended by Mark – “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus,” by Nabeel Qureshi


Janet & Peter Payne
January 15, 2016 – Room 24
Janet & Peter are missionaries/former AACRC members, who now live in and serve out of Mt. Herman, CA.
They shared about their ministry and reflected on the state of faith in Europe.
You can see the video here: Watch video…

Sara Chang – Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
November 20, 2016 – Room 24
Sara is one of the missionaries supported by AACRC.
Online Video of the November 20 Adult Ed Sunday School

Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
Sara’s Story
Mission Ministries – Sara Chang – IVCF


Youth International Mission Trip
November 13, 2016 – Room 24
The youth team will share their experiences from this past summer’s trip to Casa Adobe in Costa Rica.
Online Video of the November 13 Adult Ed Sunday School

Trip Updates & Photos…
CRWM – Padilla DeBorst


A Missionary Love Story
October 30, 2016 – Room 24 – Jaye Starr
Jaye will share how she, an American Muslim, fell in love with the Reform Christian Mission in Oman.
Learn about her journey and the mission’s 125 year evolution to continue the work of Jesus in this far off land.

Theology 101: Why Do We Say What We Say? The Heretic’s Guide to Theology
October 2 and 9, 2016 – Room 24 – Harvey Stob
When Jesus calmed the storm at sea, the wide-eyed disciples literally asked, “What kind of being is this?!” (Matt. 8:27).
That question and its answer fully drew the church’s attention in the 4th cent. But then it deepened: “What kind of being is this God who is three and yet one?” Today there is “Latin Trinitarianism,” Relative Trinitarianism,” “Eternal Functional Trinitarianism,” “Social Trinitarianism,” “Perichoretic Trinitarianism,” and others I’ve yet to read about.
We will set the stage for in depth looks at these different trinitarian doctrines and try to see what they might teach us about the God who is in love with us.
What Kind Of Being Is This (A)
What Kind Of Being Is This (B)
What Kind Of Being Is This (C)
What Kind Of Being Is This (D)
PowerPoint Used In The Class (download)
PowerPoint Used In The Class (view)


September 18, 2016
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