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House Groups – Lent 2022

During Lent our House Groups will be reading The Love that is God by Frederick Bauerschmidt. If you are not in a group, you can still join for this session. Please contact Ross Weener ( If you are currently in a group, you can pick up your book in the church office.

Thanksgiving Resources

Hello dear church family,

I wanted to pass on a few resources to help us find our center in Christ this Thanksgiving. Though we’re not gathering in worship this year, there are many ways we can be encouraged to name our gratitude!

Here’s a resource from The Network that is geared towards families and kids, but could be taken up by anyone. It was published last year, but is still a great opportunity:

Another resource from The Network, this is a really interesting project that attempts to translate the New Testament in the style of First Nations storytelling. Given the complicated relationship of Thanksgiving and First Nations and Native American peoples, this might be worth checking out this season:

Here’s a prayer based on Psalm 96 that I find particularly wonderful. I can imagine this being used around the Thanksgiving table:

This Thanksgiving Prayer is a modernized version of a George Webb prayer from 1625. This would also make a wonderful Thanksgiving table prayer:

Finally, this blog post from 2010 has some really helpful reflections on how to take up the practice of gratitude in a deep and consequential way:


Afghan Refugee Resettlement

On Friday, October 29, members of AACRC’s Deacons, Mission Action Team and Social Justice Team had a meeting with representatives from Jewish Family Services to discuss an opportunity to co-sponsor a refugee family from Afghanistan.

The crisis in Afghanistan has resulted in the arrival of 53,000 evacuees in the U.S. thus far with many thousands more expected in the next year. More than 90 individuals have arrived in Washtenaw County in the past 3 weeks. It is expected that about 300 Afghans will be resettled in this area.

Jewish Family Services has resettled hundreds of refugees since 1993. They are the only resettlement agency in Washtenaw County. JFS provides a continuum of services so that when refugees arrive, they can access all the resources they need through one organization. They are launching a new co-sponsorship program with area congregations to help them deal with this large influx of refugees. The time frame for resettlement is about 3 months.

Before committing to a partnership, we will need to assess our congregational capacity in terms of willingness to commit the financial/material support and the time necessary to support the family, while maintaining appropriate boundaries to foster independence.

Please prayerfully consider this opportunity for service. We will be providing more information and ways in which you can participate in the next few weeks.

Barb Fichtenberg

AACRC Point Person, Refugee Resettlement

CAP Thanksgiving Baskets 2021

The need for CAP Thanksgiving baskets is greater than ever this year.  Although Covid is continuing to change our approach a little, we are still able to provide two options for supporting the hungry in Wayne County this holiday season.

  • Option 1 (Due by Sunday, November 14):  Back by popular demand!  We are happy to announce that the Roots students will do the shopping for you!  All you need to do is provide a donation of $50 ($25 for items plus $25 for a turkey) for each basket you wish to donate. The check should be made out to CAP and “CAP Thanksgiving Basket” should be in the memo line. You can place your check into the regular offering plate or bring it to the church office. Furthermore, you can also make this donation by selecting “CAP (Community Assistance Program)” when using our online giving platform.
  • Option 2 (Due by noon on Sunday, November 21): You can purchase all of the food items on the list below along with writing a $25 check to CAP for a turkey with “CAP Thanksgiving Basket” in the memo line. Any donation money remaining after turkey purchases will be used to support CAP’s other programs.  Please place your check in an envelope and deposit it in the designated box near the elevator on the lower level.  Meal donations may be placed on the tables in this area from Sunday, November 14 through noon on Sunday, November 21.

Help us reach our goal of 150 Thanksgiving Baskets for CAP!

CAP Thanksgiving Basket Shopping List

Please use a re-usable grocery tote bag for your items.  Also, the Jiffy pie crust mix has been purposefully removed from the list because this item will be donated for all the baskets (provided by option 1 or 2) and will be added separately.

  • 2 (7.25 oz.) package of macaroni and cheese (or 2 smaller boxes)
  • 1 (5 lb.) package self-rising corn meal mix (e.g. Aunt Jemima, Pearl Milling Company)
  • 2 (14 to 15 oz.) cans of one or more vegetables (peas, corn, green beans, please no carrots)
  • 1 (40 oz.) can of yams
  • 2 (6 oz.) package of Stuffing for Turkey (e.g. Stove Top)
  • 1 (14 or 16 oz.) can of jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 (box, any size) yellow or white cake mix
  • 1 (12 or 16 oz.) can ready mix frosting
  • 2 (20 oz.) cans of pie filling of the same flavor (e.g. peach, cherry
  • 1 (10.5 or 12 oz.) can or jar of turkey gravy

~ CAP Fall Clothing Collection ~

Finally, don’t forget about the CAP closet across from the bathroom downstairs at church. CAP would love to receive and distribute any winter clothing items that you are willing and able to donate!  All items should be separated by type, packed in bags or boxes and labeled appropriately.

AACRC Facilities Work Day

Thanks for all the help by individuals, families and kids last Saturday for the workday. We got a lot accomplished, and the grounds are looking much better.  Also thanks to Jim Wagner and his crew for chipping and distributing all the pruned branches. Thank you also to all the people who stop by church to water our plants, to weed and otherwise help to be good stewards of what God has given us.

I am hoping to host another workday in the first part of November, date to be determined.

Jim Bryson, VP of Council


House Groups begin September 19

Looking to dive deeper into our fall sermon series, Life Together? We’ll be using Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book by the same title to study and grow together in House Groups. Our first meeting date is September 19. Groups will meet five times in the fall during the faith formation hour, on the weekends, or even a virtual group. Contact Ross Weener ( with any questions or if you’d like to join a group.

Pizza Night Program Kick-Off Event!

Wednesday, September 15 @ 5:45pm

We are excited for the return of in-person program nights this Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Church will be hosting a pizza dinner from 5:45-6:30pm, prior to the start of programming at 6:30pm.

Everyone is welcome whether you are bringing children to GEMS, Cadets, or Roots OR if you just want to come, grab a piece of pizza and connect with others.

A few things to note:

  • We will be outdoors in the lower parking lot allowing families and people to spread out, run around, and socialize while eating.
  • Please park in the upper parking lot or in the spaces near the garden in the lower lot.
  • What to bring? Lawn chairs or blankets for seating if desired, your own tableware and water bottle.

Outdoor worship option

Two week test for Sunday worship: August 22 & 29

This week and next week Sunday, weather permitting, we will try moving the Fellowship Hall TV—which usually streams worship inside—outside to the deck just outside the Fellowship Hall. You will find space on the sidewalk and grass under the trees for participating in worship. If you are up for an experiment, bring your lawn chairs and try it out!  (The service will continue to be streamed to room 24 as a worship option. Masks are required for anyone 2+ in this space.)

August 2021 mask update

Dear Members & Friends,

On Wednesday, the Washtenaw County Health Department issued an advisory strongly recommending masking for everyone in indoor, public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. This advisory was issued due to increasing local transmission of COVID-19, now in “substantial” levels as defined in the CDC COVID Data Tracker. In addition, neighboring counties have also reached “substantial” levels of transmission. We plan to follow this advisory from our local health department and request that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask during worship services and any other indoor meetings at the church.

We will continue to offer additional spaces for families and individuals during worship services in the fellowship hall and Room 24 for those who desire increased physical distancing. At this time, there will not be any capacity limits in the sanctuary.

More information is available in the  Washtenaw County Health Department COVID-19 Advisory,  including an opportunity to order at-home COVID-19 test kits if you are interested.

Together in Christ,
Jill Fenske, Council President
Malo Engel, Shepherding Elder Chair

We are again requesting that everyone over the age of two wear a mask during worship services and any other indoor meetings at the church

Worship moving back indoors beginning July 11

Dear members and friends,

After significant discussion, and in consultation with the Medical Advisory Team, the Shepherding Elders have decided to move Sunday morning worship back indoors starting July 11. Although the 9:30 am worship start time was originally chosen to avoid late-morning heat, Council has decided that worship will remain at 9:30 am throughout the summer. Given current COVID conditions, we will continue to ask unvaccinated people over the age of 2 to mask at all times while in the building.

The Shepherding Elders realize that the move indoors will be a significant relief to some, while for others, it brings new concerns and challenges. In order to make as much room as possible, the service will be streamed to the Fellowship Hall and Room 24. Room 24 will be a fully-masked space. The YouTube stream will, of course, also remain an option.

As always, if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns, please reach out to your Shepherding Elder or one of the pastors.

-Jill Fenske, Council President

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