Our Ministries
Our Ministries

Kirk in the Hills is one of the largest congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Michigan and is also among the largest congregations of the PCUSA nationwide.  On a local level, the Kirk has a recognizable presence in the Bloomfield Hills community; our bell tower is one of the highest structures in the area.  We often hear, “I drive past your church every day, it’s so beautiful”—and so it is.  But we are more than our beautiful building:

I have always deeply believed that the place of worship of our deity should be noble and inspiring in its conception and character; that to enter into its holy atmosphere we felt the very presence of our God—our loving Heavenly Father, and where, alone and without word of priest or chant of song, one could quietly and deeply sense the very presence of his God, and while in silent prayer, petitioning for grace and expressing thanksgiving for blessing, he may feel the very spiritual presence of God the Father.

The words above from the musings of our founder, Colonel George, are still relevant today to anyone who enters the Kirk’s sanctuary. Each Sunday, there is great joy in our worship as evidenced by the sound of our singing, the tones of the organ, and the wonderful preaching that we have come to expect and relish. Our family worship is inviting and engaging, and our traditional worship is respectful and unapologetic in its ancient forms.

Our large congregation (1600 members) offers many choices for members to be involved: weekly adult Sunday School classes; special adult education offerings; weekly Bible studies (on and off campus); women’s, men’s and seniors’ fellowship groups; Sunday School classes for children and youth; youth groups for middle and high school students; outreach and mission activities (local and global); congregational care and nurture of our own members.


Adult Formation

The Kirk enjoys many Adult Formation educational opportunities throughout the year.  In addition to weekly Sunday morning class offerings, the Adult Formation Committee endeavors to provide special programming in the fall and during the Advent and Lenten seasons.  Periodically, through a generous endowment fund, the Kirk is able to bring renowned scholars to teach and/or preach.  The Kirk also supports a variety of small group Bible studies, Kirk Women, Men of the Kirk, and Kirk Seniors – ministries that engage a wide cross section of our membership.

Adult Formation also offers yearly pilgrimage trips.  We recently went to Egypt and the trip in 2024 is Following the Footsteps of St. Paul.  We are planning to travel the Mediterranean with an in-depth exposition of Paul's letters along the way. 


Caring Ministries

The Kirk has several strong Caring Ministries that focus on ‘Proactive Congregational Care.’ Recently, pastoral and lay leadership of the church have worked to refocus the Deacons’ ministry of care. Each member of the current Board of Deacons is assigned a community of care and is tasked to make contact with every Kirk member household in that community at least once per quarter. The Care Network, another arm of the Deacons, connects volunteer Care Ministers with members who are unable to be regularly involved in the worship and community life of the Kirk. In addition to the ministry of the Deacons, the Kirk has a strong Stephen Ministry program and several support groups for specific challenging life concerns. The goal of each of these ministries is to provide care for our membership and increase the community life of the Kirk.

View descriptions of each of these ministries in Caring Ministries brochure.


Children, Youth, and Families Ministry

Our Children, Youth and Families Ministry (CYFM) is a loving, welcoming community of faith that fosters genuine relationships, as it energizes and equips children to extend the love of Christ to the world.  Programs include Sunday morning Christian education, confirmation, mid and senior high youth groups/retreats, youth mission opportunities, Christmas pageant, acolytes, youth Sunday and Vacation Bible School.  CYFM at the Kirk is thriving and has grown since the pandemic.  Our youth minister and volunteers create an environment where kids feel safe to ask and explore tough questions about faith. 

CYFM at the Kirk also extends into the larger community in many ways.  The Kirk Preschool has been an active part of the life of the Kirk for over 30 years.  About 80 children (ages 2-5) from the local community enroll each year in our well-respected program.  The local high school marching band has participated in our annual fall Homecoming event for several years.  Vacation Bible School had 135 attendees in 2023, and has set a goal of 200 attendees in 2024.


Music Ministry

The music program plays an integral role in worship at Kirk in the Hills. Sacred music, combined with The Proclamation of the Word and the Celebration of the Sacraments, brings us to a deeper understanding of our faith. Here at the Kirk, we sing glad praises to the God in whom we live and breathe and have our being. Drawing from our rich tradition of sacred music, we are blessed to have gifted musicians, vocalists and instrumentalists bring both transcendence and beauty to our worship. The Kirk embraces and celebrates music from many cultures and times. From Renaissance polyphony to spirituals, folk songs and recently-composed works, we offer it all to the glory of God. Choral opportunities at the Kirk include the Chancel Choir, (comprised of staff singers and volunteers), two youth choirs and a choir for pre-school children.  Additionally, Kirk in the Hills is host to concerts from Messiah during Advent to other offerings during the year, both instrumental and vocal. The Kirk is a cultural beacon in the community and concerts bring many visitors to our church.

Music guides us to the Spirit and calls us to more profound worship.


Outreach and Mission Ministry

Our Outreach and Mission ministry is a vital part of our church living out our mission statement: “We envision a world where every heart experiences God’s transforming love.” Over the past several years Outreach and Mission has grown significantly and become a large focus of our congregation.  We commit to give at least 10% of our stewardship offerings to our Outreach and Mission ministry.  It is hard to summarize in a few words all the love we are able to share with our surrounding community and world.

Locally, there are several organizations we support with our time, talents, and treasure. Our local mission work focuses largely on nearby Pontiac, a disenfranchised neighbor to our north.  Currently reaching over 280 children, Accent Pontiac—a program founded by the Kirk in 2016—is designed to engage social change through music education to the school aged children of Pontiac. This was started in large part due to our thirty-year commitment in the Pontiac Public Schools. Our Kirk Ministry with Pontiac Committee has been serving similar to a PTO for different assigned schools in Pontiac. Currently, we plan and make arrangements for grade appropriate field trips K-5, all school assemblies, count day support, teacher appreciation events and teacher development days for Walt Whitman Elementary School and have done so for the past decade. We deliver hundreds of sandwiches to people in Pontiac weekly. 

The Kirk is also highly engaged with Micah 6 Community, a non-profit organization in Pontiac, to renovate houses and neighborhoods, provide gardens of fresh fruits and vegetables to increase health literacy within the community. The Kirk is dedicated to Hope Against Trafficking, a 24-month residential program that provides restorative housing and comprehensive services focused on physical, mental, emotional and economic transformation for victims of human trafficking.

We also support Accent Pontiac, Lighthouse, Catholic Community Response Team (CCRT), Kids Empowered on the Move, Humble Design, Baldwin Center, Oakland HOPE and First Presbyterian Church of Pontiac, organizations centered around building communities that end homelessness and help people move from crisis toward self-sufficiency.

Beyond Pontiac, the Kirk is part of the Faith Communities Coalition for children in foster care.  The Kirk Foster Care Committee supports foster care children with scholarships for a week-long, overnight camping experience and supports the Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative for youth transitioning out of foster care.

Every fall, Kirk members organize and run our local CROP Walk to end world hunger.  We also participate in “Life Remodeled”, an organization dedicated to neighborhood revitalization in Detroit. The week of Thanksgiving, we have a team of Kirk volunteers to assist with the Detroit Westminster Thanksgiving Dinner, serving meals to over 1,500 people. During Advent, we collect Christmas presents in partnership with CARE House, to provide holiday gifts for children and teenagers who are victims of abuse.

Throughout the year, we partner with Presbyterian Village of Oakland Woods to connect with their senior community through special events.  We partner with Focus Hope to deliver food to seniors in Detroit monthly. There are numerous other local and global partners, ensuring our congregation and friends can find volunteer experiences that allow them to “love like Jesus”.

Because the Kirk Outreach and Mission team has been blessed to work with so many different organizations within our community, we found we have the ability to bring organizations, faith and civic leaders and businesses together for the greater good. In recent years, we have established an Annual Faith Leader Breakfast and a bi-yearly Pontiac Collaborators Conference. These have quickly become two signature community events hosted by our Kirk Outreach and Mission Committee. We are also currently working to bring together all of the Oakland County emergency resource providers to create The Helping Network: An Emergency Resource One Stop Shop.

Mission trips within the congregation include our middle school mission trip each year to support the Micah 6 community.  The high schoolers travel throughout the United States to support Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. College age members travel throughout Michigan, supporting the local community as well.  We are also hoping to resume adult mission trips soon. 

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