We’re hosting the Rotating Shelter for the whole month of November! Buoyed by our experience in the spring and feeling the clear need expressed by the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, we’ve agreed to be one of the five, month-long hosts. We’ve also agreed to provide daytime shelter for any of the men who do not want to increase their exposure risk to Covid-19 or traverse Ann Arbor, with many of the homeless-friendly buildings closed. Find out the many different ways to volunteer and support this ministry.
Beginning October 4th we will begin to welcome a limited number of people back to 1717 Broadway for in-person worship. This will be our practice as long as we can continue it: worship re-opening logistics and sign-up
Pastor Ryan gave an update for Fall in worship on August 23. Below is quick summary of how things look as we navigate the pandemic landscape.
As fall approaches, many activities would be starting, and I’m sure you are wondering how things are going to look! Even with this pandemic we want to continue to have a fully engaged ministry at the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church heading into the fall. To do that we need three things. We need flexibility, we need creativity, and we need grace. We need these three things from one another as we plan, as we maybe have to change those plans, as we have to undo those plans. Right now, the plan is to not have any activities in our facility at 1717 Broadway through the end of 2020. (We will continually evaluate, but this is the plan right now)
Worship: For right now we’re going to be worshiping online via our live-stream on YouTube, with no one or limited people in the building, only those that are executing services. We’re going to keep re-evaluating that decision, and as soon as we can, we will figure out how we can begin to invite people back to the building. House groups are one way the elders hope people can gather in smaller groups on Sundays this fall, outside and socially distanced, to worship and join together to do the work of exploring the book of Acts. Groups will remain the same as last year, but if you aren’t in a group, Ross would love to get you connected.
Faith formation: We again are planning a fully engaged ministry fall. It’s not going to look the same, which is why we need that flexibility, that creativity, that grace. Program leaders for our children and youth are working hard to come up with great plans for how they can still build relationships and build faith with our children and with you. They will be in touch about how this fall will look. For Sunday school we are planning on using a great new Dwell Flex curriculum that you can engage in with your children. For adults, house groups, as mentioned above, will be continuing. Women’s ministry small groups are also planning a book study this fall. Men’s Wednesday Bible study has been meeting in our church parking lot!
Logistics: Jim Wagner, our custodian, and his team are still here making sure that this building is constantly clean. So, if you need to drop something off, if you need to get something, we know that this building is still needing to be open to do some tasks you need to do. Be assured that when you walk in here, this building is clean, and it’s a safe place for you. The church office will continue to be open through the fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Stewardship and reaching out: Something that has marked this church in this season so profoundly has been service: donations for Hope Clinic and Hesed Community Church in Detroit, walking alongside and being an encouragement and prayer support to our local organizations, hosting men for rotating shelter. Thank you for being so faithful in that. When we talk about giving here at the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church, we like to talk about giving of time, talent, and resource. Through this pandemic this church has given all three in ways that have overwhelmed and blessed this community. So, thank you for that and keep it up!
The Justice Calling: pastor-led book study
Summer 2020, you are invited to join us for a pastor-led book group. We will be reading The Justice Calling by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson. We invite you to pick up the book at a local seller when you get a chance or order it in the next few weeks. We will be having three opportunities to gather in the months of July and August to discuss the book. All discussion times will happen at noon on Wednesdays:
July 22: Forward-Chapter 2
August 5: Chapter 3-5
August 19: Chapter 6-conclusion– Pastors Kristen, Noah, & Ryan
Racism awareness: a summer book study
Another book group for Summer 2020 is focussing on books centered around racism awareness and will be led by Rachel Bush. The three books for this mini-series are the first three books she read on her own personal journey:
- Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debbie Irving (a more relatable read)
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (a tough but important read)
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (a young adult fiction read)
Discussions will be the week of July 13, August 10, and August 24. More details and signup can be found on our blog aacrc.org/racism-awareness-a-summer-book-study/
While our church building remains closed, we are still the church where we are. As you navigate this Covid-19 pandemic, may God’s grace and peace surround you. Praying that you are finding ways to be the body of Christ in the new “parish” that you are inhabiting right now. Please worship with us through the In Home liturgy and playlist found on our homepage, sign up for our newsletter, keep up with our blog, grow with us through House Groups or Thursday Bible study, find ways to serve, continue to tithe of what you have been given, and find grace wherever you are. Grace and Peace.
While in-person gatherings have been suspended indefinitely as of March 16, 2020, you can still join a House Group, as groups are planning on continuing to dive into N.T. Wright’s Simply Jesus. Contact Ross to get connected: Ross Weener.
Epiphany Worship 2020
For the season of Epiphany we are celebrating the manifold wisdom of God that has come in Jesus Christ by celebrating the many people who have been called by God to proclaim the gospel for the church. In addition to our pastors, we also welcome our associate pastors as they share God’s word with us.
January 19—Pastor Noah
January 26—Pastor Ryan
February 2—Matt Ackerman (Campus Chapel, near the University of Michigan)
February 9—Rhonda Workman (Chaplin; St. Mary Mercy Hospital)
February 16—Pastor Kristen
February 23—Jon Cooper (Chaplin; Federal Correctional Institution, Milan)
Big House Sessions in Early 2020
You are invited to these opportunities to grow together before worship at 9:15 am in Room 24.
January 19, 2020 — Year in Culture (John Bush) We’ll look back at an exciting year that gave us both the biggest song and the biggest movie in history, plus a dizzying array of television, film, and music. Also, we’ll discuss whether streaming is making us forgetful, whether this was the year that image meant nothing instead of everything, and how much nostalgia we should feel for the death of the monoculture.
January 26, 2020 — Olive Tree/Oikos Update (Led by Council) We have an exciting opportunity to partner with Olive Tree Campus Church (OTCC). Council has been in discernment on this topic for the past four months and is now asking the congregation to join this process of discernment. Join us for the first of two identical sessions where you will be able to interact with the information Council has sent out (weekly Connections or your church mailbox) and to hear more about what Council has learned. We believe that your participation in one of these sessions is important and will be highly beneficial for helping as we together discern about a partnership with OTCC. The second session (same content) will be held during youth programming on Wednesday, February 5 at 6:30 PM. Council invites the congregation to join together in prayer for the rest of February as we discern this partnership together, followed by a congregational vote in March.
February 2, 2020 — A Funeral Conversation (Pastors Kristen, Noah, and Ryan) Come and hear from our pastors how the funeral is a theological event in the life of the church and why that matters for how we die in community.
February 16, 2020 — Christian Environmental Stewardship & The Plastic Problem (Paul Steen, Social Justice Committee) Join Paul Steen as he reviews the biblical and historical basis for the Christian Environmental Stewardship concept and movement, learn more about his work with the Huron River Watershed Council and the threat of plastic and microplastics on our rivers and creeks, and how the two topics intersect and interact.
March 1, 2020 — Rev. Cory Willson, Calvin Seminary
House Groups 2020
On February 9 our small group ministry, called House Groups, will begin meeting again. We will be studying N.T. Wright’s book Simply Jesus during Lent over six sessions. If you are not in a group, now is the perfect time to join. Groups meet either on Sunday afternoon or Sunday mornings during faith formation hour (9:15A). Contact person: Ross Weener.
2020 Dates: Feb 9 & 23, Mar 8 & 22, Apr 5 & 19
18-28 (give or take)?
In school or working or looking for work?
Like to eat?
Enjoy good fellowship?
Then come check out the Soup Group! We meet on Sundays, directly after the worship service in Room 23 from noon to 1:15 pm.
Soup Group Winter Dates:see the calendar
Our new worship schedule kicked off on Sunday September 8, 2019
Please join us at 9:15 am for Youth Programming (Kid Connection & REACH) and Big House Sundays or House Groups followed by worship at 10:30 am with coffee and fellowship time following worship.
9:15 Faith Formation Hour
- Kid Connection Kickoff (Pre-K to 8th Grade)
- REACH Kickoff (High School)
- House Groups or Big House Sundays
- BESEL (Believers with Christian Seekers who speak English as a second language)
Visit, welcome, and fellowship with one another.
Wednesday Night Programming began on September 4
The Roots (6th-8th grade), GEMS (2nd-5th grade girls), and Cadets (2nd-5th grade boys) meet first and third Wednesdays each month. All are welcome as we journey together in faith. Join us on 3rd Wednesdays for Pizza night before Roots, GEMS, and Cadets.