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: https://network.crcna.org/faith-nurture/how-to-help-families-grow-gratitude-thanksgiving-and-beyond
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: https://network.crcna.org/church-renewal/thanksgiving-read-new-testament-first-nations-eyes
Here’s a prayer based on Psalm 96 that I find particularly wonderful. I can imagine this being used around the Thanksgiving table: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/05/thanksgiving-litany-reflections-on.html
This Thanksgiving Prayer is a modernized version of a George Webb prayer from 1625. This would also make a wonderful Thanksgiving table prayer: https://acollectionofprayers.com/2018/11/22/thanksgiving-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: https://day1.org/articles/5d9b820ef71918cdf2002c45/captured_by_gratitude
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.
AACRC Point Person, Refugee Resettlement
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.
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
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.
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.)
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
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