We Are All Victims

Caryn James

Caryn James

Communications Director

On the afternoon of February 14, a gunman entered a high school in Parkland, Florida. The 17 victims and their families experienced unimaginable terror, unspeakable tragedy and devastating heartbreak. That afternoon, the teachers and students of the school, the first responders who rushed to the scene, the Miami metropolitan community, and the nation were completely terrorized with fear as the national epidemic of mass shootings came home to south Florida. And there I was, miles and miles away, with feelings of complete terror, horror, helplessness and outrage. It made me realize that we are all wounded—wounded by this experience and experiences of our past. In some way or another, we are all victims of this tragedy.

As tears filled my eyes and my heart ached in pain, I couldn’t help but reflect on our ability as humans to deeply empathize. The Scriptures refer to our innate capacity to feel another person’s feelings, thoughts, or attitudes vicariously. Empathy is not only a character that God designed us to possess, but it’s something the Bible encourages. The Apostle Paul instructs us to “be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8). We’re told to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).

My Moment of Terror

I thought I had blocked it from my mind. It was so long ago, yet the feelings I felt that spring morning are the same feelings I had when I heard the words “active shooter at south Florida high school.”

It was a beautiful spring morning. The dirty old piles of snow had finally melted, and the daffodils and crocus remind us that everything was being made new. I was living in a tiny first floor apartment having coffee with my now husband Bruce when a man, who had just attempted to steal a car from my neighbor, was approaching our apartment. We ran to the kitchen—the farthest point of the apartment away from the windows—and watched as he slashed our dusty screen with a screwdriver. Bruce shielded me behind him and grabbed the only thing he had to defend us: a tennis racket.

For some reason and by the grace of God, the man grew tired of slashing my screen and moved on to the next open door. The intruder climbed the stairs as we heard screams, “Someone help me!” At that moment, a young man that lived in the complex rushed the stairs to confront the intruder, who was moving toward a woman clutching a baby. As the woman fled to the balcony to get away from the man, people on the ground begged the woman to drop the child, which she reluctantly did. As crazy as it sounds, I believe throwing the baby down the balcony could have saved her life. While the first responder had the man pinned on the ground, the woman fled down the stairs to safety.

What happened after I don’t remember, but I’ll forever be marked with the terror I felt. I suspect it is the same type of terror anyone feels when threatened by someone or something.

Turning to God in Times of Terror

The truth is, we are all victims. And despite the terror, there are people who step through to save us, just as Christ saves us. Just as my neighbor stepped in, the nation is stepping into this shooting epidemic.

In these desperate times, we must revel in the truth that God has overcome the world. We must continue to pray that we will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the plaque that destroys at midday, because we have made the Lord our dwelling place—the Most High, who is our refuge (Psalm 91:5-9).

In light of recent terror, I am grateful that Kensington and the Troy Police Department have partnered to bring our communities Active Shooter Response Training on March 8. I know that I will be there, and I am encouraging everyone I know to be there, too. Together we can learn how to protect ourselves when terror meets us face-to-face. Learn more about the training and register for this free event at kensingtonchurch.org/activeshooter.

This training is through the A.L.I.C.E. Training Institute, which has educated and equipped hundreds of churches, thousands of schools, and more than one million individuals to handle crises of this nature. Learn more about the training program that teaches to proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event at alicetraining.com.

-Caryn James, Communications Director

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Financial Peace University (FPU)

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a catalyst to help people live in financial freedom and enable them to have a posture of openhandedness. We have witnessed numerous Kensington families experience life change as a result of applying Biblical truths to their personal finances. The real blessing is seeing people create lives of margin that allow them to hear and respond to the Lord’s calling on their lives.

Please email [email protected] with any questions.


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For additional questions, please contact [email protected] or call 248.786.0637


What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

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Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

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Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Marriage and Blended Family

The Marriage Course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Strengthen your communication and gain a deeper understanding of your partner. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

The Blended Family Workshop addresses the confusing roles and boundaries involved in blending families and identifies why parents so often struggle in blending their efforts. Find a community of people who are contemplating blending a family or are “in the trenches” building and growing their blended family!

Please email 
[email protected] with any questions.

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.


Helpful Blogs

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Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Learning Labs

Pathways is a series of open conversations exploring practices and rhythms for spiritual transformation and discipleship. We will unpack different ways to pray, read scripture, live in community, and encounter God by opening the floor to talk about our own lived experiences, perspectives, and insights on what it means to grow closer to God. Meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at Troy Campus, beginning September 21st. Contact [email protected] 
to sign up.

Together Again

updated June 23, 2021

It’s been life-giving to be in-person for our weekend services since last July when we reopened. If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us in person sometime soon.

Reservations and ticketing have been discontinued at all our campuses.

Masks are optional at all services, events, and ministry gatherings for kids, students, and adults. We know that everyone needs to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family, so if you feel comfortable removing your mask, you may. And if you’d like to continue wearing a mask or face covering, you may do that as well. This is a personal choice that only you can decide what is best for yourself when attending in person at Kensington.

If you are sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to COVID-19, please plan to stay home and participate in our services via our many online streaming options.

At the start of the pandemic, Kensington’s Executive Team commissioned a group of staff members as a COVID Task Force to establish protocols and procedures for the safety of our church community. Thanks for sticking with us throughout all the changes and adjustments over the past 15 months.

We’re grateful to be together again!