On February 25, 2018, the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Honeoye Falls selected by vote, the new pastor, Reverend Kirk Baker. Rev. Baker was installed as the Minister of Sacrament and Work on April 18th and has been actively working in the community, including an ecumenical Vacation Bible School August 6-10 2018 (http://www.firstpresbyterianhoneoyefalls.org/event-items/vacation-bible-school/). First Presbyterian invites everyone to come and meet the new pastor; summer worship service starts at 9:30 a.m.
Reverend Kirk grew up in the PennYan area and graduated from The University of Rochester. He spent four years (1988-1992) as a Foreign Language Teacher at the University Level in the People’s Republic of China. He was the first foreigner nominated for the Lei Feng Award. It was in China that he met his wife Jen. They have two adult children, one living in New Jersey and one living in Boston. They also have one grandchild. Jen works at the University of Rochester and has been active in the Park Presbyterian Church. Kirk and Jen are in the process of moving from Williamson to our area.
Upon returning to the United States, Kirk was Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Wayne County, a medium-sized nonprofit community-based organization. Reverend Baker is a 2005 graduate of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Following his studies at seminary, Kirk was an Adjunct Instructor at Crozer Divinity, Northeastern Seminary and Roberts Wesleyan College, as well as a Chaplain at Strong Memorial Hospital. In addition to his ministry studies and work, Kirk is a doctoral student in Higher Education at Syracuse University and has completed all requirements with the exception of his dissertation.
Kirk is an educator, possesses a great sense of humor and is dedicated to supporting mission projects. On February 10, Kirk went to Mexico with the goal of helping to bring clean water to Mission Sinai and their community of 5,000. This mission trip to Mexico resulted in the opening of the first safe-water treatment plant in Limones, a Mayan village in the Yucatan. The plant is owned and operated by Mission El Sinai, an active church in Limones. Anyone interested in hearing more about the project, or to help with the next mission trip are welcomed to contact Rev. Baker.
Kirk delivered several reflections at an Advent service the Pastoral Nominating Committee attended. Here is an excerpt from one of those reflections:
Hope is a choice. It’s not a feeling we get because we’re “good Christians;” it’s not a bright facial expression or words of optimism. I know – as any who are reasonably connected to their church families know – that on any given day, there are those who do not feel hopeful. Some say it is harder to hold onto hope than it used to be… but I challenge that!