News And Updates

January: Greetings from Pastor Nate

by Pastor Nate Phillips on January 01, 2021

January 2021

Dear Kirk family,

Have you met any new people since the start of the pandemic?

If you have, I imagine, the list is pretty short. Maybe you have a new mail delivery person, or you have a new friend from enlisting Grubhub or DoorDash, or someone new has started at work, or like with me, you have a new barber or someone who does your hair.

I realized something the last time I got my haircut, you might have realized it about your newer relationships too. I have never seen my new barber without a mask. If I walked by her on the street or she showed up for a church service, I would have no clue that it was her.

I haven’t seen her face.

I haven’t seen her completely.

Someday I will, but we are in an “in between” time.

We are “in between” pandemic time and post-pandemic time.

We are “in between” meeting people and seeing them completely.

As we set off into 2021, leaving Advent behind and anticipating Lent in February, we are even “in between” liturgical seasons.

Which makes now a perfect time for a sermon series on what it is like to live “In Between” things. As we do, we will take a deeper look at the life of Jesus “in between” the manger and the miracles. We will meet the Magi, Simeon, Anna, John the Baptist, the Wilderness, and the Angels - just as Jesus did in his “in between” season of life.

Through those stories, we can gain better perspective and guidance in our “in between” time and, hopefully, grow closer to one another and to Jesus.

Because the same can be said of him, can it not? Isn’t Jesus a bit like the new co-worker or barber that we have met, but have not fully seen? It is as the Apostle Paul writes, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.” We are “in between” meeting Jesus and seeing him completely.

At the time of this writing, our worship services will continue online, but we look forward to returning to our Phase 3 as soon as possible. Please keep reading my Monday morning emails and checking in on the website for updates.

January will bring our congregational meeting on January 3 (via Zoom and livestream) following the 9 am broadcast, the ordination and installation of our new members on January 10, and my “State of the Kirk” address on January 24.

Juergen Moltmann, my favorite contemporary theologian, offers, “Christianity is completely and entirely and utterly hope - a looking forward and a forward direction; hope is not just an appendix. So Christianity inevitably means a new setting forth and a transformation of the present.”

In other words - yes, we look forward! We look forward to what is after the “in between” time. We look forward to family reunions, Easter Sundays, and homecomings of every kind. May that looking forward shape our life together in worship, service, and formation, so that this “in between” time is for the sake of the gospel, and the good of us all!

Stay warm,
Pastor Nate


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