Women are invited to participate in our second year of journeying together with small group and large group gatherings this fall! The pandemic is making us reevaluate how we do things, but also makes it all the more important that we gather and journey together.
Small groups for 2020-21
Fall 2020 we will be studying Everything Happens for a Reason: and Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler. Small groups will be offered:
1st & 3rd Wednesday mornings
1st & 3rd Wednesday evenings
weekly Wednesday mornings
2nd & 4th Monday evenings
Please email our Women’s Ministry Leadership Team to join in – we’d love to have you! (If you participated last year, please reply to the email from your group’s facilitator.) You can join a group any time. However, replying by August 15 would be helpful for a group book order & to allow us to organize the groups.
Large group gatherings
Plans are for 2-3 fall/winter large group gatherings. (Since these activities may be affected by the pandemic, please watch for details closer to the events.)
Kick off brunch in early September (this depends on how we are able to gather at 1717 Broadway)
Bonfire in late September or early October
Advent by Candlelight on December 7
2019-20 was the first year of our re-formed Women’s Ministry. Over 70 women participated in small groups, delving into the liturgies of everyday life and walking through two books in the Bible, Jonah and Ruth, considering what it means to follow Jesus boldly. When the “Stay Home Stay Safe” order was enacted, some groups were able to transition to online gathering. In the midst of this unusual time, we are trusting that God will bless us as we journey together in the year ahead.
Members of the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team for 2020-21 are Kellie Steen, Kaitlyn Lubbers, Deb Weener, and Rita Aagenas.
This coming Sunday, July 19, we will begin to welcome a limited number of people back to 1717 Broadway for in-person worship. This is a week-to-week trial as we continue to put the safety of our people first and gain wisdom from our medical professionals. Continue reading
Guest post by Rachel Bush, deacon at Ann Arbor CRC
Over the past couple years I have been working hard to educate myself and struggle with my own personal role in racism. I found I have deep seeded tendencies and beliefs that I was not aware of being problematic until I took the time to read, weep, become angry, and admit that I’m not as anti-racist as I thought. The change begins within. My personal journey has occurred over the past three years as I have been moderating an Ann Arbor book club focusing on Race Relations. With the blessing of the AACRC Social Justice Committee and our pastors, I am now offering to moderate a 3-book summer series on the topic of racism. The three books that I picked out for this mini-series happen to be the first three books I read on my own personal journey:
Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debbie Irving (a more relatable read)
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (a tough but important read)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (a young adult fiction read)
Participants will be asked to read each book in its entirety before attending the corresponding 2 hour group discussion time for the book. Three options to meet per book will be provided in order to try to make this book study possible for more people.
Waking Up White will be discussed the week of July 13.
The New Jim Crow will be discussed the week of August 10.
The Hate U Give will be discussed the week of August 24.
Meeting days and times for each of those weeks are Mondays, 1-3pm; Wednesdays, 6-8pm; and Saturdays, 10-noon.
Please sign up via this link. Although it is not necessary to read all three books, it is recommended that you do so (even if you are not able to attend all three discussion sessions) as a deliberate and dedicated commitment towards truly putting the work in to tackling our own preconceptions, contribution to, and misunderstanding of race relations in the United States.
Discussions will take place at the outdoor pavilion at the Northfield Township Area Library in Whitmore Lake (125 Barker Road, Whitmore Lake, MI 48189). This location is just off of US-23 and is less than a 15 minute drive from AACRC. The large outdoor shelter will allow us to properly distance during this time of COVID and provide shelter in the case of rain. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Rachel Bush.
As the Pastor of Worship Arts, I wanted to write a brief word about changes coming this coming Sunday. I’ll start with some details, and then will transition to some broader commitments and rationales. Continue reading
Hey Friends, Last week I wrote an an open letter to you all about the events of the last few weeks and my response to them as your pastor. (“Whose House is it? A letter to God’s people of the Ann Arbor CRC”) I knew as I sent it that some would agree and some would not. These issues are hard and complicated and also necessary to speak openly about. I wrote this letter in love. And, in love, Ron Reimink crafted a response. What follows is his response to my letter in hopes that it may continue to move us all to have restorative conversations that are so central to who we are as the church of Jesus Christ. May God grant us grace as we have them. I am thankful to Ron for his words of wisdom and his spirit of love. Pastor Ryan
Whose house is it? the conversation continues
Guest post by Ron Reimink, member of Ann Arbor CRC
Whose House is it? A letter to God’s people of the Ann Arbor CRC
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I love you. That’s why I need to write you tonight, because I love you. I’m young by many standards, I haven’t even reached 40 but I’ve been with you for over one quarter of my life. We have woven our lives together in the last ten years and woven our commitment to Jesus together. You have made covenantal promises to my children and I have married your sons and daughters. You have trained me and my family in the faith and I have buried your fathers and mothers. Tonight I sit broken before you. But I need to speak with you. Please hear me out. This will be hard for some of you to read. It may make you angry. I’m sorry. I don’t delight in your anger. It may be too much and you may want to stop reading. Please don’t. I promise I will listen to you if you want to call or write or yell. I promise I will listen. I am not an expert. Seminary did not train me for this. I am feeling as much at a loss as many of you might be. Yet most of us do not know the pain of which I am about to write. As broken as I’ve been, it is nowhere close to the pain and brokenness that is erupting around this country. So, in humility, let’s walk the road together, knowing that God will hold us both as we move ahead.
Last week there was a post on the AACRC blog pointing us to a number of prayer resources that you might find helpful as we live amidst these unusual circumstances. One of the prayers, an evening prayer from the Northumbria Community, echoes familiar sentiments:
Lord, You have always given
strength for the coming day;
and though I am weak,
today I believe.
Lord, You have always given
peace for the coming day;
and though of anxious heart,
today I believe.
While we may not know what the coming days will bring, we continue to trust that our Lord will give us strength and peace for each day. Continue reading