News And Updates

3-15-21 Update Letter #55 from Pastor Nate Phillips

by Pastor Nate Phillips on March 15, 2021

March 15, 2021
Dear Kirk family,
The ninth chapter of Acts is commonly called “The Conversion of Saul” or “The Damascus Road,” but my sermon on this passage on Sunday focused on “The Hands of Ananias.” By way of his good hands, hands that might have lashed out in entitled anger, but were extended for mercy and healing, Paul was changed. There was power in that mercy.
I reflected, 
“It is true what someone said,
‘anger is fear’s bodyguard.’
If we lash out with anger - on our faces, in our meetings, with our keyboards, at our families - then we don’t have to face the fear we have that someone or something is going to turn … on us.
But do you ever think how powerful you could be ... 
if you were merciful? 
And kind.”
There is power in mercy and kindness. 
Just ask those that were commissioned as Stephen Ministers on Sunday! They have stepped into their call because they believe in following Jesus into using the power of mercy and kindness!
Here’s another example. This week I learned that one of our older members had not been able to make a successful appointment to receive a vaccine. I named this problem in a Bible study and again on social media. Within an hour, we had this member an appointment and a ride to it.
It made me wonder if there are others in our community that need the same help.
Are you needing help? Do you know someone that needs help getting a vaccine?
Let the mercy and kindness of the people here at the Kirk bring you aid. Let me know if you need help making or getting to an appointment. I have a team of fellow members waiting to help you. Just call the church office or email me at  .
We have seen the power of mercy and kindness made manifest over the course of the last year. One year ago today, March 15, 2020, I stood in an empty sanctuary and said into a camera,
“It won’t always be this way.”
Which was true - little did we know how we were about to face a year of profound challenge and change. But we engaged it with mercy and kindness. There was power in that.
And this powerful work continues.
We are doing everything we can to meet our Lenten Food Drive goal of filling 40 boxes in 40 days. Thank you to all that have participated so far! In honor of Youth Sunday, we would like to invite you to make a donation to a food drive “shopping spree” for the youth to take! Simply send a check to the church or text kith fooddrive to 73256 to give online through text messaging. All funds collected will be spent by our youth to purchase food for the drive!
Speaking of Youth Sunday, I am so looking forward to what Pastor Kelsey and the youth are putting together. My daughter, Grace, will be preaching! Proud papa! We will continue to have services at 8 a.m. in Cedarholm chapel, the 9 a.m. pre-recorded broadcast, 10 a.m. in the sanctuary and live-streamed, and 11 a.m. on the radio and at Kirk West (Fox Run). Please make sure you are registered if you would like to attend live on Sunday morning.  
Registration is also open for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. These services are already filling up! Of special note, at 10 a.m. on Easter we will have a special “family friendly” simulcast of the service in the refectory - hosted by Pastor Angela. The Easter egg hunt will be at 11 a.m. on the front lawn - please register for that too! 
All registration takes place at
Mercy and kindness were on display as, once again this past week, we had a Kirk crew serving at Forgotten Harvest and Lighthouse, packing up food boxes and making food deliveries! In fact, we have built such strong relationships with our Kirk Tutor families we have been delivering food to once a week for over a year that they have become like family! They make us beautiful gifts like a knit purse and greet us with welcome arms! In this way, we are truly walking hand-in-hand with these families and God is taking care of the missional part!!
Also, on Saturday, we helped prepare the gardens at Micah 6 for the spring. Their greenhouses are now prepared for planting fresh vegetables next week!
And more mercy and kindness coming up this week …
Accent Pontiac will hold a winter virtual concert on Friday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. The concert will stream on Accent Pontiac's website ( and Facebook page. If you can't tune in live on the 19th, the video will be posted on the Accent Pontiac website and Facebook page the following day. AP students will showcase all that they've been working on in programming at the Kirk over the last month!
Once again this week, Pastor Angela will produce a special “Children’s Church: Church for Children By Children” which will be found on our website or on Youtube.  
Also, at 12:15 she will facilitate the ongoing Faith in Art series. Our feature artist, Lisa Mistiuk, will share her art with us as she reflects on how God’s care for us culminates in the cross. Lisa studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she focused on oil painting, receiving her BFA with honors in 2009. Lisa paints primarily in oils with an emphasis on the elements that make up our everyday lives.
Musical Moments continues this Sunday with a program by Sonia Lee, violin, Nicole Joseph, soprano, and Glenn Miller, organ and harpsichord celebrating the 336th birthday of one of the greatest church musicians and most productive composers of western civilization – Johann Sebastian Bach. The program will include a number of well-known pieces as well as some lesser known works.
We are so richly blessed by all of this! Worship, mission, formation … relational service, fantastic art, and sincere community … it is such a unique blessing to be Kirk in the Hills these days!
That said, there have been reasons to feel powerless over the last year - lockdowns, quarantines, and mandates will do that to you. But, as we follow Jesus together, we learn where true power is and how COVID could never quell it. Over the last year we have learned how to answer the question that I offered in the sermon …
“Do you ever think how powerful you could be...
if you were merciful? 
And kind.”
Stay warm,
Pastor Nate
PS. Pastor Kelsey and I are looking forward to treating you to an extra special musical moment on April 1! I bet you can’t wait!

Tags: email, weekly update, letter, pastor nate


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