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Confidence in the Lord for the Future - A Look at the First Six Months of 2019

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In the church, we always proceed with confidence in the Lord! At Shalimar United Methodist Church, we are the Lord’s Church and His perfect plans are at work in ways we can and will see. Now that we have come to the mid-year point in 2019, what are some of the highlights of the first six months? What is just ahead? Let me share with you some of my highlights and hopes!

The first six months of 2019 have brought abundant blessings. As I observe and listen to our congregation, here are some of the distinctive ways I feel we have been blessed.

SUMC is making strides in our primary mission of making disciples. We have taken some extra steps in 2019 and it is all having an impact on people for Jesus. Our campus is vibrant every day with the sights and sounds of people of all ages feeling the benefits of the SUMC ministry. One of the greatest impacts thus far is how we have stepped up to make disciples. Below are some of the ways Shalimar UMC has made disciples this year.

  •  We began the year with 21 days of worship, prayer, and fasting at 6:00am. Those 21 days reignited the spiritual growth of many moving into 2019. This was our second year, and amazingly we had more participation than last year. We were also blessed by those in our community who joined in. In this journey of 21 days, many throughout our congregation and community began the New Year growing as a disciple first thing each morning.
  • On March 6th, we began a 40-day journey of studying the Gospel of Mark each day at 6:00am. During this Lenten Church Bible Study, we opened the Sanctuary before daylight for Bible Study. We were blessed by this journey in both bible study and in preaching through the Gospel of Mark for Lent. Discipleship happened every day in our Sanctuary. When you combine the 21 days and 40 days of Lent together you get 57 days where we formed disciples at the first light of day. How incredible for our church!
  • In February, a new 12x12 team was formed with excited persons from our congregation. Several of them had not been in a discipleship group before. This team is meeting now and deepening their discipleship while also dreaming of ways to impact others for Jesus. Growing asdisciples and plans to make disciples is happening through 12x12.
  • Our children’s ministry under Jennifer Guidoni’s leadership has made a dramatic impact on discipleship this year! We see the number of kids booming and now the volunteers are beginning to say “YES” to children’s ministry. Children are professing their faith in Jesus. Thanks be to God! We enjoyed a great VBS with over 300 kids and had wonderful volunteers. We celebrate the positive direction our children’s ministry is heading! Children are being taught to be disciples.
  • Our After School Care and Summer Camp are thriving under the leadership of Dawn Rozofsky. Every day our campus is filled with the sights, sounds, and happiness of children. In some ways, it seems like Vacation Bible School is here all Summer long. Our campus is alive every day with the sounds of children. Shalimar UMC has dramatically increased the impact to the number of children this year.
  • Our student ministry under David Garvin’s leadership has also grown in impact over the past year. Our youth program has made positive strides. The participation and spiritual focus is leading our students to Jesus. While I am writing this, they are away for their annual Oakwood retreat at Blue Lake. We look forward to the excitement the rest of the year 2019 will bring. We rejoice as our students learn about Jesus!
  • One of the most exciting things happening at Shalimar UMC now is the development of the Discipleship Roadmap. The vision of the roadmap is to help everyone determine their next step of growth as a disciple and is being prepared by a team of lay and staff to be launched soon. Our sermon series this summer will coordinate with this team in preparation for an upcoming roadmap. Our mission for the roadmap is to invite everyone to make the step in their discipleship journey.

    In addition to the positive disciple movement in our church, we are moving up in others ways and all reasons to give thanks to God!

  • We have been blessed through our weekly worship and special services thus far this year. Ash Wednesday, Easter worship, Great Day of Service, and Patriotic Service were all very inspiring.
  • Our church has been blessed this year by your generous giving to the Lord! Thank you. Our first six months of giving is a record year thus far for Shalimar UMC. This is even more amazing when you consider we navigated through the concerns of General Conference in February and some trying times with our Master Planning vote. Let us give thanks through it all. Our congregation continues to give to the Lord and make exciting ministry possible!
  • In May, we received good news that the Haverty’s lease was extended. This was especially good news as it allows additional time to focus on matters like the addition of Cross Corner. Even though we placed the Master Plan on pause, Shalimar UMC continues to be blessed as a church with good future options. Following the Master plan vote, let’s not lose sight of God’s blessings. God is able to do more than we think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). We only need to stay humble and work to-gether to be the Church God wants us to be and all will be well. The fu-ture is bright for Shalimar UMC.

    As I write this mid-year word, I want to thank our lay leadership for outstanding leadership this year. We have had some highs and lows and you have been dedicated and worked tirelessly for what is best for our church and I thank you! We have great lay leadership!

    I also want to thank our staff. You have worked long hours and the work has been demanding. It is all appreciated. We have a great staff! Thank you!
    We move into the second half of the year with great opportunities. One of the things we will be working on is strengthening our weekly worship op-portunities. This will be one of our top priorities for the second half of 2019. The building up of our worshiping community along with intentional discipleship making will be our two biggest priorities for the rest of the year! More to come on how this will happen!

    In closing, our confidence as a Church is in the Lord and not in our own plans. Let us go forward the next six months to be all that God is calling us to become!

Posted by Philip McVay with
in Teach

Do Your Eyes See? Do Your Ears Hear?

How well do you know the Bible? If you are like me, you might say, “The more I study the Bible, the more I realize how much I have yet to learn.” This is because the Bible is truly vast in scope, covering thousands of years, and the combined human experience of all generations. It is also because the Bible is the “Living Word” offering new meanings as we are confronted with new challenges and circumstances.

Jesus came into a Jewish culture in which their understanding of the scriptures had ossified into a rigid code of conduct. He was challenged to reveal the truths of scripture that had been lost somewhere along the way. He taught in parables, but some did not receive his teachings.

When asked why he taught in parables (Matt 13), the answer Jesus gave revealed more about the listeners than the speaker. Jesus replied, “The reason I speak to them in parables is that 'seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.' With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says: 'You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn— and I would heal them.’”

The keys to hearing and seeing what Jesus wants to show us are openness and humility. We must approach the scriptures, ready for God to reveal something wonderful and new. We must pray, expecting God to speak back. And we must study scripture together ready to learn something new.

In Acts 10:9-16, there is a wonderful story about Peter being confronted with such a challenge. He had a vision of a sheet being lowered, holding many unclean animals. He heard the voice of God saying, “Arise, Peter, kill and eat.” This mortified Peter, who could not stomach the idea of eating unclean food. Eventually he came to understand that the vision was God’s way of nudging him to share the gospel with Gentiles. Without humility before God, and an openness to understand scripture in a new way, Peter would have missed the point completely.

If I hear Jesus right, dull hearts shut eyes, and deaf ears is an impediment to healing. Let’s renew our sense of wonder that Jesus desires a broken heart (repentance) and from it he makes all things new.

Rev. Brian Dale

Posted by Brian Dale with

Around Shalimar UMC This Week

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This week our church had some good news! We are delighted to welcome Scott Newbold to our staff as the interim Church Administrator. Interim means Scott is stepping in for an undetermined period of time to help us until a permanent administrator can be hired by the SPR Committee. Scott and his wife Janet are longtime members of Shalimar and their kids have all grown up here. We thank Scott for his willingness to offer his gifts and help fill the void during this time of transition.

This coming weekend is also filled with wonderful opportunities for our church. It begins Saturday as we host a Beach Baptism and Reaffirmation of Baptism at Beasley Park 9am (weather permitting). If you are interested in exploring the next step of your discipleship, our Discover Shalimar Class on July 14th can help teach you how to become a member of Shalimar United Methodist Church.

One more reminder: Our next healing service is this Sunday, July 14th, at 12:30 in the sanctuary. If you are in search of healing physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually, come and allow others to pray for you. We will claim the promise of James 5:13-14 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”

How about some church joy? Did I say ice cream? There is a great relationship building opportunity just ahead this Sunday at 6pm called Sunday Night Live. This annual summer event is hosted by Fun and Fellowship and is for the whole church! Come and enjoy! I did say ice cream!

Hope to see you this weekend as we seek to learn more about GROW on our discipleship roadmap!

Have a great week!


Posted by Philip McVay with

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