News And Updates

3-1-21 Update Letter #53 from Pastor Nate Phillips

by Pastor Nate Phillips on March 01, 2021

March 1, 2021
Dear Kirk family,
On Sunday when we read 1 Kings 19 and visited with Elijah, things had become “too much” for him.
Have any of you had a similar experience?
I hope that the sermon helped to offer a pastoral word to you!
As we learned that God sent an angel to feed Elijah - not once, but twice - we were reminded that God’s love does not give up. It comes back again and again.
“Love will not concede our moments of vulnerability to the forces of stress and pain. 
Love is creative and love is tenacious. 
Godʼs perfect love is perfectly tenacious.
It is going to keep coming for you. 
It is.”
Even in his toughest moments, Elijah was in good hands.
And so are we.
And when we trust in that - it changes everything. When we trust in God’s good hands, we are able to engage tomorrow with a new sense of adventure and imagination. 
On Wednesday of this week, you will receive an email from me regarding a potential 75th Anniversary Campaign - I hope we engage it with a sense of adventure and imagination! The email will include a preliminary background statement full of exciting ideas and an e-survey for you to share your feedback on the statement. I am so grateful for the years of work that the strategy team has put in for us to share in this moment.
Take a look at this video to get a taste of what is coming and have your imagination inspired by your fellow church members!

I think it is beautiful that the background statement and e-survey will be coming out on the first Wednesday of our Lenten fast. As you will read in my mailed letter (set to arrive in the next day or so), the Kirk pastors are inviting you to take the Wednesdays in Lent to join in this ancient prayer practice together. 

As part of that weekly practice, we are inviting you to participate by …

Accent Pontiac also offers an opportunity to help. Accent Pontiac students have been busy in February! Check out Accent Pontiac's February newsletter to learn more about the music programming at the Kirk and other initiatives. Accent Pontiac is still looking to fill 4 volunteer slots to deliver meals for up to 10 Accent Pontiac students in March. Meals can be delivered to Heritage Hall between 9 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. each day. Sign up here or contact Tina Rowan at   for more info.

When we trust that we are in God’s good hands, it gives us the energy and motivation to share that love with others. As we continue to extend the Kirk’s “footprint” and missional influence - we can see it happening all over the place …
A member of our Kirk FAM came up with the idea of creating Memory Boxes for use in senior living facilities as a part of the November Service Challenge. Our Kirk family stepped up in a big way and provided many different items to facilitate memories and conversations for the residents in local Memory Care Units located in senior living communities. The assembly of the Memory Boxes was completed this week and they were delivered to Cedarbrook Senior Living and Samaritas Senior Living to give their staff additional resources to work with the residents in a fun and engaging way. Thank you so much to all of the participants in the November Service Challenge who made this project a success!!
As one of the Lenten mission initiatives at Starr Presbyterian Church (one of our parish council churches), they’re partnering with the Kirk to make sandwiches for Baldwin Center in Pontiac, helping them to fulfill their mission of passing out 700 sandwiches every week!
Fox Run (Kirk West) hasn't stopped doing all they can to help local organizations in need. They held a Paper Bag drive last Tuesday collecting over 1000 bags for both Lighthouse and St. Vincent DePaul. Throughout lent, they are also encouraging those at Fox Run to give $1 a day for 40 days and they plan on turning that money into a Meijers program that supports Lighthouse on a day Meijers' will triple their donation. We love their energy and devotion to doing all that they can!
Our Ministry With Pontiac bought and delivered lunches to all of the Walt Whitman teachers and administrators Wednesday. And once again we topped our weekly sandwich delivery to Baldwin Center supplying 393 sandwiches for the homeless at Hope Adult Shelter and the food insecure neighbors near Baldwin Center. With our Parish Council partner, Starr church, we made a combined total of 428!
Pastor Kelsey is serving in the community too. Last week, she spoke with four different IB World Religions classes at Bloomfield Hills High School as one of two guest speakers for their Christianity unit. They discussed major divisions amongst Christian denominations and had wonderful conversations about how these divisions have negatively and positively shaped perceptions of Christianity today. 
The Parents of Teens group met this week with youth leaders to solve clues and work our way out of a virtual escape room! We managed to figure out the last clue with 10 seconds to spare. TheEscapeGame truly made this a memorable experience. Join us each month for different activities and conversations!
Just as God’s love keeps coming back again and again, so do are regular opportunities for worship and formation. We have been reaching our 25% capacity of our sanctuary and so I encourage you to reserve you seat early in the week. Register here
You can worship with us at 8 a.m. (Cedarholm chapel), 9 a.m. (prerecorded online), 10 a.m. (sanctuary and livestream), or 11 a.m. (radio and Kirk West). This is a communion Sunday so have bread and juice ready if you are worshipping online!
At 12:15, our Faith in Art series continues with a workshop to learn more about ‘walking’ a finger labyrinth. Using supplies you have around your home, artist and educator Jenny Gallo will teach you how to draw a labyrinth and embellish it with color and designs. This is a great activity for finding peace, taking time for reflection and creatively recharging as you journey through the Lenten season.
Finally, for our weekly Musical Moment at 7 p.m., we’ll be having a Carillon Tower Climb and Tour with Dennis Curry. Our camera will take you up the spiral stairs first to the practice room and library, then further up the tower to see the largest bells, and then to the actual playing cabin which houses the keyboard that controls the instrument. You’ll see close up the mechanism which connects the keyboard to the actual bells and Dennis will explain how it all works. If we are lucky and if the sky is clear, we may be able to see the Detroit skyline. 
We continue in this ringing rhythm of worship, mission, and formation because we pattern our life together on the perseverance of God’s love.
As I said in the sermon,
“How many times will God’s message of love keep coming back for us?
As many times as it takes.”
So we keep coming back with love - and I hope you are too - as many times as it takes.
Stay warm,
Pastor Nate

Tags: email, weekly update, letter, pastor nate


Previous Page