Retirement of the Rev. Canon John E. Kitagawa

jek preachingOn Sunday, April 12, our Rector, the Rev. Canon John Kitagawa, shared with us his plans to retire this summer. You may read his announcement here.

We rejoice with John and Kathy as they begin this new phase of their life journey. We ask for your prayers for the parish as we proceed through our transition and for the support and thanksgiving for John and Kathy Kitagawa during their time of transition.

John’s last Sunday with us will be Sunday, June 21. We will celebrate his ministry liturgically at the 7:45, 9, and 11:15 a.m. services, with special prayers, special choral and instrumental music, and presentations. A festive Coffee Hour at 10:15 a.m. will provide an opportunity for conversation and cake in cool comfort. The Sunday bulletin is posted here.

If you would like to write a letter of appreciation to John and Kathy, please use letter size (8.5 x 11) paper and bring or send unfolded to the office attn. Stella by June 14.

Want to contribute to a retirement gift? Make checks payable to St. Philip’s with “John Retirement Gift” in the memo line. Bring or mail to the office attn. Lois or Bonnie by June 14. Office address: P.O. Box 65840, Tucson, AZ 85728-5840

A party was held on Friday, June 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Music Center and Children’s Center Courtyard. Beer and wine donations benefitted Habitat for Humanity. It was a truly festive and heart-warming occasion, with lots of touching and inspiring words and an entertaining “thank you” skit from the Chalice Players.


We have been truly blessed to have John and Kathy with us for fourteen years, and we wish them happiness as they embark on future adventures.



Bishop’s Annual Visit

bishop5On Sunday, May 24, the Rt. Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith, Bishop of Arizona, will make his annual visit to St. Philip’s. Bishop Smith will preach and celebrate at the 7:45, 9, and 11:15 a.m. services. The 9 a.m. service will include baptisms, and the 11:15 a.m. service will include confirmations.

Special envelopes will be placed in the pews for contributions toward the Bishop’s discretionary fund. This fund is used to help clergy and their families in need.





bishop dexter

At 10:15 a.m., Bishop Smith, along with his puppet, Dexter, will meet with children and families in the Children’s Chapel. He will tell them about his job as Bishop, and we hope he will bless the Promised Land Puppet Church, our new puppet theatre.






bishop 2

After the 11:15 a.m. service, we will have a light lunch and Pentecost Birthday Party celebration (think cake). Afterwards, Bishop Smith will lead a question and answer session for the parish as we move into the exciting and challenging journey of transition now that our Rector has announced his plans to retire. All are invited.

Feast of the Ascension

ascension-window-close-upThe Feast of the Ascension will be observed at St. Philip’s on Thursday, May 14, at 7 p.m. in the Church. The service will include incense. Our preacher will be the Rev. Katie McCallister from St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. We are pleased to welcome the choir of St. Alban’s under the direction of Stephen Keyl, who, along with several of our staff singers, will provide inspiring musical leadership for our liturgy. Katie serves as the Assistant Rector for Children, Youth, and Family Ministries at St. Alban’s. While a student at the U of A and connected to St. Philip’s through the Episcopal Campus Ministry, Katie was a ministry-intern at St. Philip’s, 2010–2011. Katie left Tucson in 2011 for Virginia Theological Seminary. She received her M.Div and was ordained a priest in May 2014. Immediately following was a call to St. Alban’s. She says her time at St. Philip’s had a lasting impact on her formation and she’s thrilled to be invited to preach on Ascension Day.

parish life 14cA festive reception, hosted by the Parish Life Ministry in the Perry Garden, will follow the service.

St. Philip’s Day: Special Music and Festivities

St Philip croppedSt. Philip’s In The Hills Episcopal Church observes the feast day of its patronal saint in early May each year. Liturgically, the day will be marked with special music. On Sunday, May 3, the 9 and 11:15 a.m. services will feature the thrilling Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein, interspersed throughout the liturgy. St. Philip’s adult and youth choirs, with treble soloist, will be joined by members of the choir from Temple Emanu-El to present this monumental work, celebrating our joint Old Testament heritage and our community and friendship through music. This will be a rare occasion to hear the work sung with orchestra, including four percussionists. Well known for his striking musical language, as seen in West Side Story, Bernstein partners his musical expressiveness with one of the oldest of sacred texts, the Psalms.

The public is cordially invited to attend. A freewill offering will be collected during the service. On First Sundays, St. Philip’s has a “food for hunger” food drive to replenish our food pantry to help our neighbors in need. Donations of non-perishable food in unbreakable containers are gratefully accepted. Also on First Sundays, St. Philip’s Prison Ministry accepts donations of new or used paperback books, on any subject, which are donated to Reading Between the Bars to be distributed to prisoners in Arizona.

The day will include festivities in the Plaza beginning at 11:30 a.m. Activities include a dunking tank, karaoke corner, water activities for kids, and fantastic food. The cost for lunch is $7 per person ($20 per family), payable at the event. Proceeds support St. Philip’s J2A youth group.

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot or under our parking structure that houses our solar power array. The office phone number is 299-6421.