Tag: worship

More Advent 2020

Jesus is coming. That is what the celebration of Christmas is all about. Christmas is about celebrating that Jesus has come into the world to be with us, near us, one of us. Jesus is coming again. He will return to bring the fullness of the kingdom of God. Christmas is about Jesus being with us.

But, before Christmas, we have to wait. That is what Advent is all about. In Advent we wait for Jesus in remembrance and hope. This year our Advent theme is “Almost.” .  All of our waiting and yearning in this season for God to be near us when we are experiencing loss, loneliness and isolation is wrapped up in God’s promise to never leave nor forsake us. So, this Advent we wait together, like our sisters and brothers from long ago, and we wait with confidence that not only has Christ come to be with us, but that he will come again and make all things new.

As you mark the season this year—something that seems more important now than ever—we wanted to offer some thoughts on ways you could mark this season.

Wallpaper for your phone

Maybe one way you could mark Advent this year is by a reminder on your phone when you open it?  Here are two versions of our Advent theme “Almost”—minimal or with a reminder phrase—that you might enjoy through December.

DOWNLOAD Almost: we wait together with confidence
(these buttons save to your “files” area of your phone, otherwise download images below manually)

Advent Devotional

This Advent, our worship will be guided by the ancient Christian prayers known as the O Antiphons. These prayers are set to music in the familiar Advent carol “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” To help us enter into these prayers more deeply, we are thrilled to partner with Bellwether Arts to bring our congregation a creative devotional. Email Pastor Noah to receive a digital copy (for copyright reasons) or with any questions.  If you’re interested in a physical copy, Bellwether Arts has them available for $20 on their website along with a suggested accompanying playlist.

There are two suggested reading plans you can follow. Either way, the last day will be December 23.

Plan A: The week leading up to Christmas | Dec 17-23, #1-#7
Plan B: Wednesdays & Sundays | Dec 2,6 #1-2; Dec 9,13 #3-4; Dec 16,20 #5-6; Dec 23 #7

Children’s Coloring Pages

All kids from ages one to middle school should be receiving a purple envelope in the mail with some special coloring pages that link up to each week’s Scripture passages in Advent. If you don’t fall into this age bracket, but would like to color along, check out the first week’s page. (subscribe or watch our weekly  Connections or newsletter for additional pages)

Make Your Own Advent Wreath

As we spend more time at home, there’s more reason than ever to make your own Advent wreath. Advent wreaths don’t need to be fancy! Pastor Kristen shows how you can make one with items from around your house. Watch the video or read about it in her Advent wreath at home blog post.

We Wonder Podcast

We Wonder Podcast is an audio contemplative storytelling resource for kids and adults alike. You might remember that we shared this last Advent, and it was so well-received, we’re encouraging all generations of AACRC to listen in again! The podcast invites children into an immersive, contemplative experience of the words of Scripture. Try beginning a new practice to listen to this around the breakfast table together every morning or during the wind-down space of each day as we step into this season of Advent.

Prepare for and join in worship during Advent & Christmas 2020

Week 1: Nov 29 — Isaiah 64:1-9
Week 2: Dec 6 — Isaiah 40:1-11
Week 3: Dec 13 — Isaiah 61:1-4; 8-11
Week 4: Dec 20 — 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

Blue Christmas Service: Thursday, Dec 10, 7pm, Virtual (Zoom)

Please join us as we gather for a virtual Blue Christmas service. This service is a space to hold silence, lament, and longing in the Advent season. Pastor Kristen will guide us in prayer as we together bring our prayers to the God who promises to never leave us or forsake us. A Zoom link will be sent out closer to the date.

Christmas Eve: Dec 24, 4pm, Live & Virtual (live-stream) — Luke 2:1-20
(recorded and available for viewing at your convenience following the service)

a memory from Advent 2018


Worship fall 2020: Acts of the apostles in a culture of change

the static and dynamic nature of the called people of Jesus

For fall of 2020 we invite you to join us for a worship series on the book of Acts in the Bible. Acts is a book about the disciples of Jesus following the call of their Lord into the world to be his witnesses. They are led by the promised Holy Spirit into the future of the kingdom. This future was unknown and sometimes difficult. The Church was built through the acts of the faithful, empowered by the Spirit in a brave new world. Today, the Church continues to move forward toward God’s good future. We are guided by the Church who went before, and yet we continue to move into an unknown future. This fall we will look at how the Church lived in this tension of being rooted in Christ and led by the Spirit so that we too may stay faithful to the call of Christ on our lives and participate in God’s coming kingdom.

Reading plan

You are invited to read the chapters in the week approaching each Sunday as you prepare your heart to hear God’s word

September 13 Acts 1-2
September 20 Acts 3-5
September 27 Acts 6-7
October 4  Acts 8-9
October 11  Acts 10-11
October 18  Acts 12-14
October 25  Acts 15-17
November 1  Acts 18-20
November 8  Acts 21-22
November 15  Acts 23-26
November 22  Acts 27-28

Sundays in Acts, fall 2020

Sep 6, 2020: Acts 1, Our Call and our Center (Pastor Ryan)
Sep 13, 2020: Acts 2, Our Guide and our Path (Pastor Noah)
Sep 20, 2020: Acts 4, Peter and John before the Sanhedrin (Pastor Ryan)
Sep 27, 2020: Acts 6, The choosing of the seven (Pastor Kristen)
Oct 4, 2020: Acts 8:26-40, Phillip and the Ethiopian (Pastor Ryan)
Oct 11, 2020: Acts 10, Peter’s Vision (Pastor Noah)
Oct 18, 2020: Acts 13, Rooting the way of Jesus in the Hebrew bible (Pastor Ryan)
Oct 25, 2020: Acts 15, The council of Jerusalem (Pastor Ryan)
Nov 1, 2020: Acts 16:16-34, Paul and Silas speak the gospel to power (Pastor Kristen)
Nov 8, 2020: Acts 17, Paul in Athens (Pastor Ryan)
Nov 15, 2020: Acts 27:27-44, The shipwreck (Pastor Ryan)
Nov 22, 2020: Acts 28: 17-31, Paul preaches in Rome (Pastor Noah)

Worship streams live every Sunday on YouTube at 10:30 am
Find a weekly worship link on our homepage aacrc.org, archives at aacrc.org/sermons, or find us at YouTube.com/AnnArborCRC/videos.

You are invited to join a house group and dive a little deeper into Acts this fall.  Email Rachel at the church office to find a group.

Holy Week and other updates – April 3

Worship With Us

Palm Sunday

Worship Liturgy for In-Home Worship on Sunday, April 3

Pastor Ryan Boes
I Samuel 16:1-13Matthew 21:1-11

We are doing something special for Palm Sunday! The sermon video will go live in a YouTube premier at 8:30am. This means that you can log on at that time and chat with others in real time as the sermon unfolds! If you begin the order of service at 8:10, you will find yourself at the sermon section at about the right time. See you Sunday!

Songs & Pastor Ryan’s Message (YouTube)

If your children would like to participate and engage by using the new children’s bulletin for Lent, it is attached HERE. We would love to see their work and possibly share it on our website and social media pages. If that’s okay with you, email us pictures to the church office.

Upcoming Services for Holy Week: 

Holy Week: While we cannot gather in person this year for Holy Week devotions, the pastors will host Holy Week devotions by video chat at 7am every morning. Look for an email from your elder with the Zoom link.

For Maundy Thursday, we will be following an at-home liturgy, similar to our Sunday morning services during coronatide. Because of the importance of being physically gathered to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, this year we will focus on Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet with a Liturgy of Washing.

Good Friday: We invite you to join us on Friday at 2:30pm on Facebook for a live worship stream to mark the last moments of Christ on the Cross. Through scripture, prayer, and mediation, we will remember and reflect on the crucifixion. The video of the worship will be uploaded so those unable to make it at 2:30pm can watch it later.

Grow With Us

God’s Big Easter Story: A Holy Week Journey for Families  provides your family with a simple, meaningful way to grow in faith together as your children recall recent faith formation lesson and remember the events leading up to Jesus’ death and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.  Don’t forget to check out the Easy Extra Ideas at the end of the resource and send us your pictures of a LEGO creation that depicts the story of the day, your resurrection garden, mixing/baking/eating Hot Cross Buns, your Easter banner, or your family singing and signing an Easter song…

Serve With Us

  1. 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. You can donate by mailing in a check, through My Well Giving online at www.mywell.org/give/aacrc, or by downloading the My Well Giving app. Thank you for continuing to support the good work of God through the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church.
  2. Care for one another: COVID-19 affects those over 60 and those with health concerns most critically. Therefore, some have needed to distance themselves from others in this time. We’re looking for people willing to make a grocery run, pick up a prescription, or run an essential errand for those who are most at risk. You can sign up to be a helper by adding your name to the list found in your Connections electronic newsletter. If you have a need you would like assistance with, please contact a pastor or your elder.
  3. UPDATE–Rotating Shelter: Our church building is continuing to be used to house 15 men from the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County while the health department works to secure hotel rooms for them. Rachel Bush is facilitating the ways in which AACRC can help. She has put together a SIGN UP for food donations. You will find directions in the sign-up for dropping off donations. If you would prefer to provide a financial donation, contact Rachel Bush for details. Finally, please pray. These men value your prayers and have felt your support throughout this uncertain time. Thank you for your continued generosity and flexibility! 
  4. Hope Clinic: Hope Clinic is committed to staying open during this time. Please consider their requests HERE. (Hope has two immediate needs: masks for the Dental Clinic and hand sanitizer for entrances, waiting rooms and the food program.) and drop off the items or volunteer your time to help those most affected by stoppages of school and work. If you are unable to personally get out but would like to make a cash donation, that is also welcome at this time!
  5. Finally, the Red Cross is in need of blood as many blood drives have been cancelled. If you feel up to it, please contact the Red Cross and please consider donating blood to help with the shortage.