Summer outdoor worship details

Dear Members & Friends–

This week we begin outdoor worship, and we can’t wait! We can’t wait to see more of you, to lift our voices together in worship of the Triune God, and continue to walk in faith together. We wanted to share a few details for those that are able to attend worship in-person this summer:

  • Summer worship time: We’ve moved the time to 9:30 AM to avoid some of the noonday heat as we move through summer. (Note: no sign up needed for outdoor worship) 
  • What to bring:
    • A lawn chair or blanket
    • A water bottle
    • A mask: With singing happening throughout our service and a number of unvaccinated people among us (mostly children), we are recommending masking during the service to continue to show care to the most vulnerable. After the service, please abide by CDC guidelines for outdoor gatherings based on your comfort and vaccination status. The med team and staff will review this policy at the end of June
  • Parking: Worship will be happening in the upper parking lot. Please park in the lower lot and walk up the stairs. There will be limited parking available in the upper lot for those for whom stairs are difficult.
  • Streaming: Our stream will continue for those not able to come in person with links provided in Connections and on our website. Both at-home and in-person participants will be helped by pulling up the weekly liturgy on their phones or tablets, as we will not be projecting lyrics outdoors. Folks at 1717 will also have the option of picking up a paper copy of the liturgy. 
  • Can I help? Yes, moving worship outdoors will take all of us working together! In the coming weeks we’d love to be able to use the gifts of the church to help with the following:
    • Communion servers 
    • Set tear down immediately following worship
    • Coffee helpers: set up, serve, and clean up
  • Weather plan: In the event we need to move worship inside, that decision will be made by 5 PM on Saturday evening and communicated through a special Connections email as well as posted on our church website and social media. If we do go inside, there will be a sign up open to 100 individual spots. 

One more thing: outdoor worship is the perfect opportunity to invite your friends and neighbors. That person you’ve been meaning to ask for years would probably be even more comfortable showing up in an outdoor setting! So let’s make the most of this shift in worship to invite others into the life God is giving us together. 

Together in Christ,
The staff of the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church

Annual Congregational Meeting

Sunday, June 20, 2021 @ 10:45 am

Our annual congregational meeting will take place on Sunday, June 20 following morning worship (10:45 AM). The congregational meeting will be held in the sanctuary; additionally, there will also be a streaming option for those who cannot attend in person.

We hope you will join us as we share some of the wonderful things that have been going on in the life of the church over the last 12 months as well as a presentation on the budget. We will also be affirming a new group of shepherding elders and deacons. The shepherding elder nominees are: Kellie Steen, Anita Lautenbach, and Marilyn McLaughlin. The nominees for deacon are: Mark Doorlag and John Bush.

So please mark your calendars, we are looking forward to gathering together with many of you.

On behalf of Council,
Jaime Ventura

Summer outdoor worship brings changes

Outdoor worship is almost here! I’m so excited to gather outside like we did on Easter. It’s going to be fantastic to gather without attendance limits, and I can’t wait to sing all the way through the service! There’s one drawback, though: it gets hot sitting on blacktop until 11:30am in July. Very hot. For some, this heat is just uncomfortable; for others, it’s a serious health hazard. So in order to have our cake and eat it too, this summer we’ll begin Sunday morning worship at 9:30am. This will allow us to experience the benefits of outdoor worship while avoiding the worst of the day’s heat.

One more thing: outdoor worship is the perfect opportunity to invite your friends and neighbors. That person you’ve been meaning to ask for years would probably be even more comfortable showing up in an outdoor setting! So let’s make the most of this shift in worship, to invite others into the life God is giving us together. I’m so glad to be following Jesus with you.

-Pastor Noah


Pastor Ryan leading outdoor worship on Easter Sunday morning

Pastor Noah checks out the keyboard connections during early morning setup for Easter outdoor worship


Outdoor worship starts
May 30
New time for summer worship
9:30 am

Bring your lawn chair and join us in the upper parking lot for worship
Worship will also be live-streamed

Sunny work day for Hesed Community Church

Guest post by
Matt Admiraal, AACRC Volunteer

This past Saturday, May 1, several members from our church had the opportunity to serve at the Hesed Community Church, which at first glance looks more like a house.  We divided into three work groups. One group worked on demolition projects at a house that Hesed purchased for ministry opportunities.  A second group worked on preparing raised garden beds for a community garden. The third group worked on cleaning up around the house of a neighbor who lives in the Brightmoor neighborhood and who is active with Hesed. All felt a sense of accomplishment as the day ended, and deeply valued the opportunities to connect with people in the Brightmoor community while reconnecting with members from our own congregation.  People of all ages from our church enjoyed serving together.

Though Hesed Community Church doesn’t have the appearance of what we think of as a church building, what I saw on Saturday was the active church in which individuals shared the love of Christ by loving our neighbors through service and spending enjoyable time together.   Praise God for such a wonderful opportunity!

A big thank you to all who served and to those who provided food and drink for those who served.

COVID-19 recommendations update

We are so excited that our members are slowly getting vaccinated! Many of our 65+ members are at least one dose in.

If you are wondering what you can do once vaccinated, Barb Okonkwo, our parish nurse, pointed me to this information from the CDC. The following comes directly from the CDC (Read full text on CDC website) and is current as of March 23, 2021

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

How to Protect Yourself and Others

Updated Mar. 23, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more.

Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If it has been less than 2 weeks since your 1-dose shot, or if you still need to get your second dose of a 2-dose vaccine, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.

What’s Changed

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

What Hasn’t Changed

For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You should still take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions whenever you are:
  • You should still avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.
  • You should still delay domestic and international travel. If you do travel, you’ll still need to follow CDC requirements and recommendations.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Good Friday & Easter 2021

We will celebrate Holy Week together this year with an outdoor service on Good Friday evening and two services on Easter Sunday morning, an early outdoor service and a 10:30AM  service in the sanctuary that will be live-streamed. Continue reading

Celebrating 10 Years!

We have been blessed to have Pastor Ryan and the Boes family serving with us for ten years this month!  Enjoy these photos that tell some of the story of this journey together in faith, relive a few memories, share in Jaime’s reflections, and maybe think about sending them a note sharing your own memories and appreciation. Continue reading

Lenten prayer practice

The 40 days of Lent are a time when we pause to consider our relationship with God, the world, others, and ourselves. It is a time to reconnect and find a restoration of relationship, a renewed space of “withness.”

This Lent, we invite you into a Lenten prayer practice. This tactile prayer experience uses simple actions with paper and a scissors to invite us into a space of contemplation and commitment to our walk with Jesus. As we create leaf-like diamonds, we mourn our disconnect from Jesus, name what keeps us apart, ponder the Spirit’s call to return, and imagine what saying yes to God looks like right now.  How is God with us? How might we be called to be “with” ? Continue reading

with: Lent & Easter 2021

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021,  marks the beginning of the Lenten season. This day serves as a reminder of our human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God.

Ann Arbor CRC would typically have a family-oriented worship service with communion and imposition of ashes, but this year, we will mark it with an at-home worship liturgy that you are invited to use in your homes: liturgy and playlist.

The Ecumenical Ann Arbor Taize Ash Wednesday worship will be at 7:30pm and is going virtual this year. The worship will be live-streamed on the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor’s Facebook page and YouTube channel or join the zoom link found here. Continue reading

Hesed Church Christmas store

Guest post by
Matt Admiraal, AACRC Volunteer

On December 19, I had the opportunity to serve alongside members of Hesed Community Church in Detroit and Grace Church of Ann Arbor and Grace Church of Canton at the Hesed Community Church’s Pride for Parents’ Christmas Store.  This is the second year in which these churches have been active in helping individuals in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit in this amazing activity.  The Pride for Parents’ Christmas Store allows parents to purchase Christmas gifts for their children at a very reduced rate.  New items are purchased and donated by individuals from churches (some from members of Ann Arbor CRC as well as from members of Grace Church of Ann Arbor and Grace Church of Canton) and then sold at a “store” (in actuality at a church) for prices ranging from $.25 to $5.  Items that parents could shop for included toys, games, sports equipment, electronics, books, and clothing.  Parents were allowed to purchase two toys for each child in their family, one piece of sports equipment and one game per family, and one winter coat for each child in their family. Continue reading

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