News And Updates

2-8-21 Update Letter #50 from Pastor Nate Phillips

by Pastor Nate Phillips on February 08, 2021

February 8, 2021
Dear Kirk family,
Everybody is trying so hard these days.
The Chiefs tried so hard to stop Tom Brady. 
Everyone is trying so hard to stay healthy.
Parents are trying so hard to give their children some semblance of “normal.”
Children are trying so hard to keep their expectations in check.
We are all trying so hard to remember that it “won’t always be this way.”
But, as hard as we try, somedays it can feel like we can’t hold it together, that things are pulling apart, that something is tearing us in two.
As I preached on Sunday,
“Do you know that feeling? The one of being torn in two by something bigger than you?
The one where it seems like some cosmic enemy is working against you?
The one where it seems like something bigger than yourself is out to get you and keeping you from …
Getting ahead.
Getting hired.
Getting honest.
Getting happy.
Getting hopeful.”
And somedays we question if any of it is worth it.
But it is.
As I continued, 
“Real love makes all the tearing apart quite worth it.”
If you would like to dig into the sermon, join me tonight at the “talk back” via zoom join here.
Note: If you are prompted to enter a passcode, it’s “Kirk” with capital K.
If we know that God will meet us, like he met Jesus in the wilderness with the love of the angels, we can keep going, keep trying, keep believing, keep the faith - no matter what tears us in two.
And, so, here at the Kirk, we keep at it. 
We keep trying, trusting that the love of God is going to meet us and tend to us.
We keep trying by holding worship every Sunday in a myriad of ways! In-person registration is open for our 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services by clicking here. Our online options include the 9 a.m. pre-recorded broadcast and the 10 a.m. livestream of the sanctuary service. At 11 a.m. every Sunday we are on the radio at 92.7 FM.
This coming Sunday will be a special one! Continuing in our tradition of welcoming a “President” on President’s Day weekend, Dr. Jeff Abernathy, President of Alma College, will be our guest preacher. We look forward to welcoming him and hearing more about Alma! I am especially grateful Dr. Abernathy will join us, since this Sunday I am honored to be preaching at the installation of Rev. Ben Larson-Wolbrink at the Northbrook Presbyterian Church.
Also on Sunday, we will finish up our class on biblical archaeology with Dr. Brennan Breed at 12:15 p.m. over Zoom. We will also have a Valentine’s Day themed musical moment at 7 p.m. as Chancel Choir staff singers will sing beloved love songs from Broadway and operetta. You can count on offerings like these every Sunday!
The APNC embodied the “trying” too and I am so proud of the effort of the APNC to bring us Rev. Edwin Estevez to us as our next Mission Pastor! Anyone that has ever been on a searching committee knows how “trying” this work of finding a pastor can be, and they did such a beautiful job. Ruth Reading, the APNC chair, reported on the search in Sunday’s service and you will be receiving a letter from me in the next day or so that will tell you more about Pastor Edwin. He will have his introductory weekend and first turn in the Kirk pulpit on February 20 and 21 and then fully join our ministry the week after Easter. I hope we try to offer him a warm Kirk welcome!
One opportunity to meet Pastor Edwin will be by joining the “Walk in Love Weekend” where two groups will be working in our Kirk kitchen Saturday to provide food for 100 of the Lighthouse/SOS sheltered guests and Sunday for Micah 6 and their neighbors. In addition, Friday the 19th we are hosting a zoom seminar on how to be a mentor for Foster Care youth presented by Judson Center. As a mentor you could truly help change the trajectory of a child’s life. We have captains for all of these events so you will not be alone in this service. More details below.
Pastor Edwin will be joining all kinds of outreach already being tried! Baldwin Center is giving out 100 sandwiches a day and we have surpassed our weekly sandwich count for Baldwin Center again with 376 sandwiches given out daily to the men and women at Hope Homeless Shelter and food insecure folks around the Pontiac neighborhood. You too can make sandwiches from the safety of your own home! Glenda Herb is the Kirk captain of this mission and can give you all the details. Glenda has also agreed to take all the sandwiches over to Baldwin Center. Please contact her for more information:   or call 248-535-5196.
Accent Pontiac programming began at the Kirk last week and students were thrilled to be back together in person. At the end of the first day, one student shared that Accent Pontiac makes her feel powerful, strong, awesome, fearsome! Thanks to Kirk volunteers, all volunteer meal slots for February have been filled - a sign-up for March meals will be shared soon.
Our Kirk Prayer Cordon continues to be prayer warriors every Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. Anyone in need of prayers can submit their concerns on the website or email Julie Walker at  .
Pastor Kelsey keeps trying to get the youth together in this time of social distancing! This week the middle school Bible study “phygitally” (physical and digital) studied the book of Esther, a book that doesn’t mention God’s name. They painted, drew, and discussed where they saw God at work in the story. 
Plans are even being made for a summer mission trip to my hometown in Farmington, Maine the week of July 9! She hosted a meeting on Sunday and is available for questions from anyone - youth and adults - that would like to learn more. Just email her at  . If you would like to express interest, please register here.
It might be that this week we will need even more encouragement to be about love and life in the world. It is going to be cold. Things won’t be back to normal. We might question if any of this is worth it.
So, allow me close today with the words of Paul from his first letter to to the Corinthians,
“Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Stay warm,
Pastor Nate
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!

Jeff Reitmyer - Trustee

Hye Mi Kim - Deacon

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