Ministries

Connecting Lives, Transforming Faith

Listed below are active ministries and groups that are an integral part of our congregational life.

The Small House Ministry (Center for Spiritual Renewal)

The Small House Ministry is a joint project created and sustained by members of both Incarnation and the wider community. Due to the need for social distancing during COVID, the contemplative work of the Small House continues unabated on Zoom. The Practice of Presence, now in its eleventh year, continues to meet weekly. This year we have been exploring different kinds of love. The Small House also hosts morning prayers four times a week, and rosary prayer twice a week, during which we're joined by friends from Texas, Beaver Island, MI, and Georgia, thanks to Zoom. We continue to study religious and mystical texts. We hope this spring that we might be able to reopen the doors of the Small House for in-person and Zoom hybrid meetings.

The Men's Group

We started this group in 1991. Men’s groups were forming based on authors like Joseph Campbell, Robert Bly, Sam Keen and Richard Rohr. We found things to talk about that were important to us and used 12 step rules including confidentiality. We ate together monthly and became good friends. Some have been ECI and others not. After a period of hiatus, we are looking to resume meeting and are welcoming new members.

Issues of Adult Aging

IoAA is a weekly zoom group of 8-10 people that meets every Thursday from 7:30-8:45pm, and was originally inspired by the 2020 Zoom group, "People Get Ready," during which participants took steps to get their medical and legal paperwork (ex., living wills, estate wills, etc.) in order. Over time, IoAA has evolved to be a group of friends who share our thoughts and experiences about politics, food, families, health, illness, home repairs, travel, and more. During good summer weather, they've also gotten together for outdoor potlucks and other gatherings.

Meal Ministry

The cooks, bakers, deliverers, organizers, and diners in the Incarnation community have been busy with pandemic carry-out potluck Feasts: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas. As always, we have provide meals to folks within the ECI community, either on their own initiative, or through the Meal Ministry (MM).

Incarnation is a formal sponsor of the food truck of FedUp Ministries--a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which serves good, healthy, food truck-style food with dignity to communities that are food insecure and economically exploited by unjust racial and economic systems in the United States. Incarnation has participated with FedUp to prepare and distribute food from the food truck--for example, the weekly hot lunch served at Liberty Plaza in Ann Arbor.

Meal Ministry is always open to anyone who wants to bake, cook, deliver, or help think about ways Incarnation can serve through food, both inside and beyond the church community.


StoryTelling Group by Kim Fairley

Our Incarnation storytelling group started as a way for many of us to get to know each other and has evolved into a more free-wheeling, open, support group than anything else.

The first few meetings covered themes such as our favorite places, foods, and music. Over time the themes became more reflective. One week we discussed grace; another week, loneliness, then fear, then punishment, and later, our experiences of grief and loss. There have been meetings when we laughed from beginning to end. At other times, we heard a story for the first time and breathed a collective sigh.



The Inquirers's Book Club

The Inquirers’s book group has been meeting bi-weekly, usually with eight to ten regular members and with some people who join for specific readings. The discussions are robust, with different perspectives and, although the discussions are fairly closely tied to the reading material, they also raise spiritual questions of importance. We spent many weeks reading WEB DuBois’ massive treatment of Black Reconstruction, which all of us found compelling, deeply moving, and challenging. At the same time, we watched the Netflix series, Amend, which gives an accessible and engaging depiction across five episodes of the original battle to win the 14th Amendment and its continued implications for racial, gender, sexual orientation, and immigrant rights.

We next turned to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, another eye-opening historical account, in this book of settler colonialism, that most of us did not know in the depth with which she presents it. We are now reading Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us. What centers this group is a shared commitment to deepening our learning about race, class, and other forms of injustice to ground our spirituality and involvement with Incarnation.

We welcome anyone who would like to join us on alternate Monday afternoons from 1:30-3:00pm.

The Church Vestry


The Vestry is the body of lay people, elected by members of the congregation, who oversee our life as a congregation. It acts something like a nonprofit board of directors overseeing our finances, property, and working with our rector to oversee our community life.

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Our current members are Rick Boyd (Co-Warden), Mary Eldridge (Co-Warden), Jim Sweeton (Secretary), Barbara Duncan (Treasurer), Joe Summers (Rector), Dean Aponte-Safe (Associate Priest) Josh Hoe, Mary King, Gail Ross, Marta Schonfeld, Alan Simpson-Vlach, and Jamie Taylor.


Building and Grounds Committee

This group oversee the maintenance of the building, including all of its mechanical systems, as well as the grounds. The Building Committee is currently leading our multi-year carbon footprint reduction project. We recently installed air-source heat pumps in the chapel, and are now investigating options for insulating our historic chapel and installing a solar panel. Through this work, we've become members of Ann Arbor's A2Zero Initiative as well as the Ann Arbor Chapter of 2030 Districts. Our environmental focus extends to the grounds, with upcoming projects such as replacing invasive plants with native plants and possibly putting in a wet-meadow.



Stewardship Committee

Formed in 2020, this committee has focused on our yearly stewardship campaign. The first campaign, “Fabric of Faith,” highlighted our many ministries and programs and invited the congregation to support those ministries with their gifts and talents. Many responded, allowing us to continue our ministries even in the midst of the pandemic. During 2022, the committee will be pursuing an educational emphasis that teaches stewardship as life. All we have and all we do is a gift from God. What does that really mean in the context of our lives?



Pastoral Care Committee

The Committee meets monthly (or more frequently during trying times) to discuss how we can best support individual members of our community as well as address our collective concerns. We reach out to people with phone calls, cards, visits, and much more.



Hospitality Committee

The Hospitality Committee has a role of greeting people on Sundays and welcoming those who are attending for the first time. Periodically, we hold Newcomer Dinners--small gathering from new people, hosted by an Incarnation member and Joe Summers.