News And Updates

1-18-21 Update Letter #47 from Pastor Nate Phillips

by Pastor Nate Phillips on January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021
Dear Kirk family,
In Sunday’s sermon, I invited you to ask how you would have approached January and February of 2020 “had you known” what the rest of the year would bring. "What would you have done … had you known?
Would you have made that visit to see a relative?
Would you have gone to the game or concert or event instead of saying “next time”…?
Would you have, and I don’t mean this with any intent to make anyone feel guilty, would you have made more time for being in this church sanctuary, or any church sanctuary, with people - to search for meaning, to find purpose, and to be guided in this life together?”
Join me tonight and tell me what you would have done “had you known” at the sermon “talk back” on zoom at 7 p.m. Join here.
Note: If you are prompted to enter a passcode, it’s “Kirk” with capital K.
The story of Anna from the gospel of Luke, takes the question of “had I known” at a different angle. She seems to know something that other people in her community did not know - she lived her life in anticipation for an encounter with Jesus. While others (while we?) might be stuck with “had I known” on our lips on our first occasion to meet him face to face, Anna holds meets him with joy and thanksgiving.
Might we take inspiration from her? 
Isn’t that what we are doing when we gather for worship? Aren’t we preparing to meet Jesus with joy and thanksgiving? 
It is what we were doing last night as we shared evening prayer via livestream. We prayed for well-being of our country and attended to the health of the human soul. If you find yourself needing spiritual nourishment, I invite you to go back and participate in the service here.
And it is what we will be doing this week as we will officially move back into Phase 3 of our reopening program, which means worship will be accessible in additional ways again this week. Register to join the 8 a.m. service in Cedarholm Chapel or the 10 a.m. service in the Kirk sanctuary. Our prerecorded online service will be available at 9 a.m., live-streaming will be available at 10 a.m., and we will be on the radio at 11 a.m.
And preparing for an encounter with Jesus is what we have been doing all year. I hope that you will set aside extra time this week to take in my State of the Kirk address. It will be presented after the 9 a.m. pre-recorded worship service and will be available on the church website thereafter. I plan to share all of the different ways we have been living into our vision statement, “We envision a world where every heart experiences God’s transforming love,” in the last year.
I am so excited to continue in this work of “anticipating Jesus” with all of you in the year ahead. I am especially grateful for those that have answered the call to serve as Kirk officers this year. Pastor Angela is creating introductory videos with each of the new officers to be included in the Monday letter and in our Friday e-newsletter. The first two are at the end of this note, be on the lookout for more to come!
So you think you know our incoming church officers? Think again! In these interviews, our incoming church officers—deacons, trustees and ruling elders—share their dreams and hopes with us!

These officers are doing a lot of training this month and those classes are open to all. In fact, this week’s class will include our new members. If you’ve ever wondered what it means to be a Presbyterian, come to the Presbyterianism 101 class on Sunday, January 24th at 12:15! Our guest speaker, Byron Wade, is a former Vice Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina. Here’s the Zoom link to join:

We are well on our way already. Opportunities for youth and their families are gearing up. The first parents of teens group was a huge success! Parents met and connected deeply with one another and are looking forward to meeting in the future - sign up with Pastor Kelsey at  . The Girls’ and Boys’ Choirs resume their rehearsals the week of January 24. Choristers will be hearing directly from Mr. Miller and Nicole about specific rehearsal times. Finally, the summer mission trip is taking shape - take a look at the video below to learn more!

Finally, we anticipate meeting Jesus in the way we serve and share.
Yesterday, Midge and Julie made 35 meals which were passed out to residents who live in the Micah 6 neighborhood of Pontiac. The Kirk has volunteered to do this the 3rd Sunday of every month. If you and your family or small group are interested in helping with this ministry, contact Julie Walker at   
Kirk West (Fox Run) rallied the residents together to collect bags this past Tuesday for Lighthouse of Oakland County to use at their food pantry and their warehouse for specialty items. They collected over 1000 bags filling our 16 passenger van and one SUV! Nothing can stop those folks when they're on a mission! And Lighthouse was thrilled!!
Starting February 1, the Kirk will host Accent Pontiac students Monday through Thursday for small-group in-person music instruction. Students will receive a percussion class, a brass or woodwind lesson, homework help, and dinner each day. Volunteers are needed to help provide dinner for up to 10 students each day - find more details and sign up for a slot here. Or reach out to Tina Rowan,  , for more information.
There is so much to be uncertain about these days.
One certainty we can count on is that we will all meet Jesus.
How is your life - and our life together - anticipating that encounter?
What will your first words to him be?
Stay warm,
Pastor Nate

Tags: email, weekly update, letter, pastor nate


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