Please enjoy these excerpts from our weekly electronic newsletter Connections for May 8, 2020.
A note from your AACRC elders
It is hard to believe that this Sunday will mark our 10th Sunday of home worship. While we are committed to keeping distance and staying home to protect one another, some have started to ask what’s next. Therefore, the Shepherding elders would like you to know a couple of things. First, that the pastors are planning what worship could look like when we are able to return to 1717 Broadway again. Second, that the elders, staff, and pastors are thinking through the logistics of getting back into the building safely and quickly. Lastly, we are continuing to monitor the stay at home order and other instructions from officials and health professionals in order to communicate a date for our return to worship when it becomes available. Whenever we are allowed to meet again, we will have some transition time to get the building ready and make sure we have everything in place to meet safely. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your shepherding elder or one of the pastors. Thank you for your continued prayer and support.
God bless and stay safe,
WORSHIP WITH US
Pastor Kristen’s sermon will premiere on YouTube at 9:00am. Allow yourself about 20 minutes prior to this start time to move through the liturgy if you want to catch the sermon when it premieres.
For our youth: new children’s bulletin
For our young children, this week’s Children & Worship story can be found HERE
Please join us on Sunday @ 9:30am for a Fellowship time via a Zoom meeting: Join Zoom Meeting
**Worship resources can be found every week on the homepage of our church website: www.aacrc.org
We need your help with the Doxology!
Remember how the worship team has been recording collaborative videos during this season of social distancing? Pastor Noah is starting a project for the whole church! Watch this video, record yourself singing along, and send it to Pastor Noah (email@example.com):
Worship Time Feedback
As Council approaches the end of its leadership year, we will be making the decision of whether or not to continue in our current schedule of 9:15 faith formation and 10:30 worship. See your Connections newsletter for the link to a two question survey to gain your input and wisdom as we gather in June to listen and discern ourselves. This link will be active through May 22nd. Subscribe to Connections
GROW WITH US
Weekly Bible Study
You are invited to join the weekly Bible study on Thursdays at 10am. The pastoral staff will be leading this Bible study over Zoom. We’d love to have you join us when you can! Join Zoom Bible study
NEW!! The Sabbath: A Biblical Perspective
We’re excited to share the first in a series of videos about Sabbath! This series will look at what Sabbath is, what it means, and why it’s exactly the invitation from God we need to hear right now.
The first episode is a biblical perspective from our friend and Old Testament scholar, Travis West from Western Theological Seminary.
SERVE WITH US
Ways you can help out right now!
Continue our tithes and offerings
The AACRC supports many organizations and missionaries that are being directly affected by this pandemic and it is through our offerings and tithes that we can continue to support ourselves and the ministries we are in partnership with. Thank you for continuing to support the good work of God through the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church. Ways to donate:
- Mailing in a check
- Through My Well Giving online at: www.mywell.org/give/aacrc
Hope Clinic continues to collect donations for a number of items. The greatest need right now is for groceries, toilet paper and personal care items, and masks. Click HERE for their complete list of needs.
With the Governor’s order extending to May 28, we are committed to continuing our support of the vulnerable men staying at our church through the provision of shelter and food. Rachel Bush has compiled a list of ways we can support these men while they are staying at our church. Contact Rachel (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to help with any of these needs:
- Overnight volunteers (11:30pm-8:30am) one Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
- Monetary donations for groceries
- Sign up to provide snack bags for the men at the hotel: HERE
- Make a main dish and/or dessert at home for Rachel to pick up from your porch or for you to drop off at church
- Ruben, our guest who has been heading up all the food at church, is on the hunt for an inexpensive laptop. If you know of anyone who is willing to part with one for ~$100, please contact Rachel Bush
Nathan Groenewold, Associate Pastor and Director of Cohort Detroit
I woke up with these ancient words running through my head, and I felt some comfort. Perhaps these words had grown stale for me, but they came alive this morning, sticking in my mind and refusing to leave. “I believe in the resurrection of the body. I believe in the life everlasting.”
Eugene’s smile is a gift I will never forget. It seemed almost childlike, a smile that was part mischievous and part radiant. He would sway back and chuckle…
Click HERE to read the rest of this impactful story on the AACRC blog.
by Mike Waldyke
The House of Faith build project at 792 N. Ford Blvd in Ypsilanti has had more than its share of challenges this year. First, tearing off the old roof revealed water damage in the walls of the upper floor, so the upper floor was demolished and…
Click HERE to read the entire update.
AACRC Council Briefs
Sisters and brothers in Christ,
On Monday, the Council of the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church met and reflected on the words of comfort from Psalm 46. We were reminded that “God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble”. We encourage you to join us in dwelling in those promises this week.
We continue to give thanks to God for the faithful giving of this community. Council received the March financials showing the following: Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were facing a deficit to spending. During the months of March and April that deficit has shrunk because of your faithful giving and the church securing a forgivable loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. But we still have more work to do as the church’s fiscal year winds down. We ask that you continue to remember the church and its ministries in your giving. Don’t forget about the church’s newest option for giving: you can create an account on the web at mywell.org/give/aacrc or download the app for your smartphone.
In these uncertain times, Council decided to set aside its current budget process and propose to the congregation a carry-over budget of the 19-20FY. The goal would be to approve a modified budget at the end of the first quarter of 20-21FY. Look for more details about how we can, as a congregation, vote on budget and affirm new office bearers in the near future.
Sometimes it feels like returning to worship is a distant prospect. After all, we have been away for so long. But the pastors have already begun thinking about what it might look like to resume worship and other programming both in the short and long term. While there is an ongoing freeze on general expenditures, council unanimously approved a proposal to purchase video equipment that will facilitate and improve the quality of live streaming of our services. Under normal circumstances this funding would fit within the worship budget, but with the spending freeze Council approved this expense. We do this out of pastoral sensitivity for the vulnerable among us and out of the reality that we might not be able to gather as a large group for some time.
While most ministries have come to a halt, our involvement with the rotating shelter program has increased. There are many in need at this time and we are grateful to have been able to house 18 guests for the past six weeks. This is oikos. This is extending Christian hospitality to a group of marginalized people in our community. In case you missed it, there is a wonderful post and video on the church blog where you can hear from some of our guests. Thank you to Rachel Bush, and the deacons, for heading up this endeavor and to all of the volunteers that have donated time, money and food to make this possible.
We thank God for each one of you and hope you are all well and look forward to being together again soon.
Grace and peace,
Jaime Ventura, on behalf of Council
How can I stay connected?
You can keep connected with happening at the AACRC by signing up for Connections, our weekly electronic newsletter: Subscribe now