News And Updates

11-30-20 Update Letter #40 from Pastor Nate Phillips

by Pastor Nate Phillips on November 30, 2020

November 30, 2020
Dear Kirk family,
Our theme this Advent, “Those Who Dream,” will be an opportunity for us to look beyond what is “right now” and embrace what is soon to come. The call will be, as Pastor Kelsey closed her First Sunday of Advent sermon,
“In this time of Advent, allow yourself to be open to God’s wonder and awe.
Allow yourself to feel the ways that an intimate relationship with God brings richness to each moment.
Allow yourself to see the good.
Allow yourself to dream.”
If you would like to join Kelsey (and me!) for a “talk back” over Zoom on the sermon tonight at 7 p.m., you can find the link here.
Note: If you are prompted to enter a passcode, it’s “Kirk” with capital K.
We sincerely hope that our journey through this theme will help us to see the good and to dream of what God has planned, through prayer, music, worship, and tradition. You can visit our website for a complete menu (with handy links) for all that we have planned for the season. Bookmark this page for your own convenience and please plan to visit often since things are always in Covid flux!
Of special note is our Angel Tree Lighting and Carols on the Carillon event this Sunday night at 7 p.m. This “drive-in/ in-person” hybrid event will be an opportunity to hear your favorite carols and offer a gift to someone in need. Please watch the video below to learn more - and see you on Sunday night!

Many of us are dreaming of a Christmas Eve like the ones that we remember and, our hope and intention is to have an “in-person” (masks and social distancing) option for Christmas Eve at the Kirk. That said, we also plan to create a beautiful pre-recorded service and we hope that you will take part in the sharing of the Christ candle! You can learn about how to participate in the celebration by watching this video and following the instructions below. The deadline is tomorrow!

Our youth continue to help us to see the good and dream about the future. This week the middle school students have been working hard to prepare for and begin recording for the Christmas Pageant. We are putting together a pageant that your family can enjoy from your living room, and extra precautions are being taken to keep students safe during recording.

As we come to the end of the November, I hope that the service challenge has been an opportunity for you to “see the good” and participate in God’s dream of a better future for those in need.
Julie Walker asked me to share the great news that we have 5,926 hours logged for our November Service Challenge - and we know all the hours have not been logged yet! Please be sure to log your hours if you haven't done so yet, we want to see how far we surpassed our goal! The link is here
Kirk West delivered 60 flowers to Fox Run residents last week with a note from the Kirk. Most of them went to people who would be alone for Thanksgiving. A few "thank yous" to people who had done nice things. Kirk West members also have made a total of 29 blankets for the November Service Challenge!
Julie says, 
“November is always a special month for me because you know how important I think it is for us to serve others, but I have to admit this year seems extra special because people had to find new and creative ways to serve others while navigating through this pandemic! So the fact that we're crushing our goal again during these uncertain times is a tribute to God and his church, of course, made up of ALL of You! God has made us resilient people and we have continued to bring God's light and love into the world despite the darkness. I am so incredibly proud of our members here at the Kirk and at our partner churches! Thank you for being God's light in the world!
A big thank you to everyone, whether you stayed in making blankets, raising your community awareness, making phone calls or buying angel tree gifts or if you were someone who went out to the various scheduled activities including those who gave up part of their Thanksgiving day to serve the homeless and food insecure folks at First Presbyterian Church of Pontiac and Westminster Church of Detroit, I truly appreciate all of your wonderful acts of kindness!”
Finally, be looking forward to an interfaith “Advent by Candlelight” service on Thursday night at 7 pm. The service will be led by Pastor Marjorie and we know that it will bring a blessing to your week. You can find it on our website by visiting our livestream page or by hopping through the Advent at the Kirk page that I offered you above!
As we set off on this advent, let us be a community that allows the good to seep in … and God’s dreams to take shape … as we wait and watch for the coming of God’s marvelous morning.
Stay warm,
Pastor Nate
Upcoming Opportunities
A “Those Who Dream” Advent:
“Those Who Dream” Daily Advent Devotional 
Enjoy a daily advent devotional in your email and on social media from our members, partners, and friends. Hear interesting stories and reflections about the dreams we share about the coming of Jesus into the world!
Adult Advent Series: Dreaming of Advent Around the World
Have you ever wondered how people in different parts of the world celebrate Advent and Christmas? Have you ever wondered what their Christmas carol sounds like? Now is your chance to find out! Come and listen to our speakers from Iraq, South Africa, Israel and other places talk about Advent and listen to Christmas music they bring to us. Let’s dream of Advent in a different world this year. Join us on Zoom on Sundays (December 6, 13, 20) at 12:15 p.m.! Link here.
Family Advent Box for Dreamers
Let us help you celebrate Advent and Christmas as a family this year with a Family Advent Box! Inside the box, you will find family Advent devotional, Advent calendar, Christmas craft materials and so much more to make this Advent and Christmas very special. Pick up your box today! They will be available Monday-Friday 9-3 p.m. (except for Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday) and Saturday 10 a.m.-noon in the foyer of the Welcome Center starting on Thursday, November 19.
Advent sermon “Talk Back” via Zoom, Mondays at 7 p.m.
Join the pastors for a deeper dive on their “Those Who Dream” sermons and discover how the sermon came to be - and what they could have been! Link here.
Interfaith Advent by Candlelight, December 3 at 7 p.m.
Hope: a light in the darkness. A candlelight service of music, scripture and reflection on the meaning of Advent. 
Angel Tree Lighting and Carols on the Carillon, December 6 at 7 p.m.
We hope you come to enjoy this special “drive-in/ outside in-person” event! Pack a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate and celebrate with favorite carols from our carillon, Angel tree gift giving, and the lighting of the Kirk Christmas trees. Find out more about how to join the angel tree gift giving by clicking here. Special details for this event are still in the works and it promises to be fun for young and old - you will not want to miss it!
Holiday Brass online event, December 12 at 7 p.m.
Holiday Brass, presented by Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings brass ensemble, the Kirk Chancel Choir, the Stoney Creek High School Chamber Choir, and Nicole Joseph. Watch on the Kirk website or on Facebook. Click here to register! 
Lessons and Carols online concert, December 20
Details to follow.
Service of Comfort and Hope, online on December 16 at 7 p.m.
There’s an Advent tradition within Western Christianity of inviting people to come together for the Longest Night, a night around the time of the winter solstice, when there are more hours of darkness than light. It’s a time to come together for prayers and laments, to mourn the losses and griefs of the year, to let the tears flow for the hurting places in our own lives, as well as for our country and our world. We worship trusting in this darkness, even now, seeds are growing,
hope is being born, and new dreams are being dreamed.
“Do Not Be Afraid,” Virtual Christmas pageant, December 20
Enjoy a pre-recorded pageant featuring the children and youth of the Kirk! This virtual pageant is centered on the narratives surrounding Jesus’ birth from the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Christmas Eve Worship, “Dream Come True,” December 24
Broadcast and in-person worship (COVID permitting)
The Christmas story reminds us that we are all dreamers. Like those gathered around the manger, we come to this night each year with awe, wonder, and holy imagination for what is possible. Like Mary, we treasure God’s dream in our hearts and commit to keeping it alive. Like the holy family, we believe and trust in a God who comes to us in the vulnerability of a child.
Online: 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m.
In-Person and Online: 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.

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