News And Updates

2-15-21 Update Letter #51 from Pastor Nate Phillips

February 15, 2021

February 15, 2021
Dear Kirk family,
It was a wonderful blessing to welcome Alma College President, Dr. Jeff Abernathy, to the Kirk pulpit this President’s Day weekend. Alma, formed by the Presbyterian Synod in Michigan in 1886, has a long and important relationship with the Kirk.  

As a member of Alma’s “Swanson Society” (indicating cumulative gifts of $500,000–$999,999 in the past 125 years), we boast several alums and students. Dave Lau, a beloved Kirk member, was a Trustee for the college, and Pastor Angela and I have offered lectures on homiletics for Alma students in the past several years.
In preaching on the anointing of Saul and the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Dr. Abernathy reflected, 
“Each of us is always becoming. God calls us forth to be something more than we thought possible, not, as with Saul, a gatherer of donkeys but a King. Yet, as with the younger son, God does so with a loving and all-forgiving grace.”
What an appropriate message for us these days! Come and engage the sermon tonight with Alma College chaplain, Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville, at the “talk back” on Zoom - click here.
Note: If you are prompted to enter a passcode, it’s “Kirk” with capital K.
Like the college, the Kirk - and the church in general - is being called forth by God to do something more than we thought possible.
This is one of the reasons why I am so excited about the feasibility study being conducted by church leadership! With our 75th Anniversary coming up just around the corner, we are hoping to connect with God’s vision for our church and determine the direction of a potential “Anniversary Campaign.” Soon you will be invited to engage with this study on how God is calling the Kirk forth!
Last summer, as the healthcare system endured the greatest challenge of our lifetime, we partnered with the Pontiac Community Foundation to eliminate $5.5 million in medical debt. This week, that effort was written up in Crains Detroit Business and subscribers can find the article here.
Last fall, we participated in the Crop Walk under very difficult conditions and this week we found out that the Kirk was number 23 (Michael Jordan’s number!) in the nation in this fundraiser to end world hunger! Click here to check out this message to us from Crop Walk leadership.
And on we go, continuing to be called forth to do more than we thought possible …
Our Kirk members are sharing God's love all over our community. This past week, we had groups at Forgotten Harvest and Lighthouse packing food boxes, Focus Hope and Lighthouse delivering food boxes and valentine's day treats, and others making 360 sandwiches for the Baldwin Center.
We also used the Kirk van to help Hope Adult Shelter pick up 50 extreme weather coats that double as sleeping bags from the Empowerment Plan organization in Detroit. One day we will plan a tour to see this place that is employing homeless folks to make the jackets, helping to lift up the very people they serve!
This week we encourage all of you to attend our Foster Care Mentorship Seminar Friday February 19 at 4 p.m. The zoom link can be found below. The best way to help others is to form relationships with those in need and let God take care of the mission itself. As we heard Jim Tully say in service Sunday, "you could really save the life of a child" by becoming a mentor.

For those who aren't able to get out to serve yet, we are hosting a canned food collection to fill the shelves of local pantries serving our food insecure neighbors. We want to fill 40 large boxes throughout the 40 days of Lent - you can drop the food off at the Kirk throughout the week or on Sundays. And you know I love a good challenge! So let's go Kirk!

Perhaps you are feeling called forth by God to serve the good work of Accent Pontiac? AP is looking for volunteers to provide meals for up to 10 students throughout the month of March! Accent Pontiac students attend music programming at the Kirk every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Sign up to deliver a meal here or contact Tina Rowan at   for more information."

The High school youth group, under the vision of Pastor Kelsey and Joan Hanpeter, was called forth to share some Valentine’s love this week. Once laminated, these will become placemats for residents of Fox Run who have to eat alone during Covid to remind them that we are thinking about them!

Over the next few days we will be called forth to journey through the season of Lent.

On Wednesday night, Pastor Kelsey will lead our Ash Wednesday service which will be offered in-person and online. Please register to attend the in-person service by clicking here.

Next Sunday will be the first Sunday in Lent, the first Sunday of our “In Good Hands” series, and also the first Sunday for us to meet Rev. Edwin Estevez, our new Assistant Pastor for Mission as he prepares to join us full time after Easter. He will preach the sermon for all the worship services and I hope we will offer him a very warm welcome. Please register to attend the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services by clicking here.

Following worship, our children’s church and Faith and Art programs get kicked off.
What does children’s worship look like that’s FOR and BY the children? Find out by tuning into online children’s church every Sunday during Lent! These worship services feature our children participating in different elements of worship, our children’s choirs, animated Scripture readings, and children’s sermons that intentionally weave faith with puppets and art!
When we feel like everything is changing and nothing can be trusted, when we feel lost as to where to turn for comfort and strength, we’re reminded of God’s sovereignty and promise that God will never leave us nor forsake us. For six weeks of Lent, we are offering Faith and Art Lenten Series along with classes on the New Testament, a meditative Lenten study, Romans, and of course, our small groups! I hope you will join us! Click here to sign up!
To close out the first Sunday in Lent, our Musical Moment series continues with a program presented by soprano Nicole Joseph and pianist Alvin Waddles performing selections from the Gospel music tradition in celebration of Black History Month. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. on the Kirk website and on the Kirk social media outlets, and will remains active the following week.
On another cold and snowy day in February, I hope this letter serves as a reminder that we are not frozen or stuck, but that God is calling us forth to be something more than we thought possible. 
God is so good, we are in His good hands - being pulled forth together to instigate more goodness into the world.
Stay warm,
Pastor Nate

Tags: email, weekly update, letter, pastor nate


Tom Dickelman on March 12, 2021 11:36pm

Congratulations on adding the Reverend Edwin Estevez to the Kirk church family! I’m confident Edwin will be a spirited and cherished asset in your important work!


Previous Page