The prayer shawl ministry has been unofficial for many years. Our knitters have made shawls and blankets for people going through health challenges: Don Kelley, Peg Ross, and the Jodens, to name just a few. The recipients are touched that we would take the time to make a project that will comfort them. Our knitters and crocheters have made hats, scarves, and other articles of winter clothing that have been donated to the St. Paul’s Cathedral. This quiet ministry now has a home. Outside Maryjane’s office is a 4×4 shelving unit with drawers that will hold yarn, patterns, knitting needles, and completed projects. If you have more questions or are interested in participating in this “warm cozy blanket” of a ministry speak with Christine Cook or Margaret Petersen.

We have new solar panels! Over the past two years, members of StC and TBE have been working to have solar panels installed on the roof of our building. Our “roof” is actually eight different roofs covering different parts of our building, because our building’s sections were built at different times. We have different roofs over the social hall, the hallway leading to it, the offices, the elevator shaft, TBE’s chapel, the restroom areas, the narthex, and the sanctuary all have different roofs, and now two of them have solar panels installed above them. The new solar panels are challenging to see, but one group is on top of our social hall and are completely hidden. The other group is on the back side of the office roof. The panels on the office roof are visible from condominium property just south of our building. If you have questions on the project please speak with Barry Fuller, or Mark Davis-Craig. The solar panel project came out of the Genesis Sustainability committee.

Our sanctuary has three different personalities, all of which can be on display with the movement of a door. We see the Church personality when the side niches where we hang beautiful banners are open and the cross is formed from the two doors for the niches opening all the way and meeting in the middle. When the niche doors are closed, the cross is hidden, and the neutral personality appears. At that point, our sanctuary becomes a wonderful performance space. When the middle doors are open, the Ark of the Covenant, holding the Torah, is visible and our sanctuary shows its Temple personality.  We jointly own our worship space – this church-temple – with Temple Beth Emeth, through the Genesis of Ann Arbor corporation. The Genesis board and is composed of members from both congregations and are our stewards of this wonderful building and property. The Genesis staff handle cleaning, room setup, some building maintenance, schedule coordination, locking and unlocking the building, and otherwise making sure the three personalities of the space can function smoothly. Many volunteers from both congregations help keep our shared space functioning. There are Genesis committees to help with our grounds, building security, interior and exterior design, sustainability, and  sponsored events. Events include concerts, discussions, movies, and small dinner gatherings. I encourage you to inquire about Genesis and these activities we share with TBE. If you have questions about Genesis you may speak with me, Jim Downward or Jack Petersen. This month, I will complete my rotation on the Genesis Board, which also ends my sixth year of serving with the group. I have always thought the Genesis relationship is what makes our sanctuary a truly unique place, and I am honored to have been a part of its administration.

Ken Cook