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As I write this week’s Focus, I would be remiss if I did not take time on behalf of the church to thank Steve Larson for serving as our Church Administrator. Steve has determined that his career goals are better aligned by returning to the business sector and will be pursuing opportunities in the area effective the end of June. We want to thank Steve for his contributions in such a short time. Our staff and I also want to thank Steve for this past year of serving with us. We will all miss Steve and wish him and his wife Renee all of God’s blessings and favor as they begin a new season and chapter of their lives. Thank you again, Steve, and our prayers and love go with you.

SPR will be coordinating a search for a new Church Administrator in the coming days and will update our congregation as needed in this process. Please keep this search in your prayers and with the Larsons during this time of transition.

As the temperature soars, we are grateful for all the good things summer brings. Our Discipleship Roadmap sermon series continues through July. If you would like to respond to discipleship through baptism or reaffirmation of baptism, we would like to invite you to the next beach baptism on July 13th at Beasley Park at 9:00 am. If you are interested in exploring your next step of discipleship, our Discover class can help on July 14th. Discover also teaches about how to become a member of Shalimar.

If you are seeking fellowship and would like to get to know the people of Shalimar UMC, there is a great opportunity just ahead on July 14th called Sunday Night Live. Everyone is invited to come enjoy some ice cream! The event is planned by Fun-n- Fellowship and is for the whole church! Come and enjoy! Did I say ice cream!

Our next Healing Service will be hosted on July 14th at 12:30 in the sanctuary. If you are in search of healing physically, emotionally, or spiritually, come 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.”

The annual patriotic services are this coming Sunday at worship at 8:00 am, 9:30 am, and 11:00 am. Shalimar has a tradition of doing these special patriotic services so well and we look forward to what Dr. Brad Bradford, our chancel choir, orchestra, and worship arts volunteers have in store for us this year! I know it will be great!

May all in our congregation and community have a blessed and safe 4th of July! Our great nation is 243 years old this year! We are so grateful to all of you who serve, defend, and protect our freedom. Happy Birthday, America!

Shalom, 
Philip

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Discipleship Roadmap Series Invites Us to Walk with Jesus

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We have just begun the Discipleship Roadmap series and are focusing on “making disciples” which is our main mission as a church. We will ask basic questions in the sermons such as “Where do we find ourselves on the discipleship roadmap?” Or, put another way, how is it with our walk with Jesus? The affirming answers to such questions can spark a movement in our soul! A movement in our church! A movement into a world in need of Jesus!

Last week, I asked, “where do you find yourself along the discipleship roadmap?” The roadmap is of course a metaphor for where we are in our journey of “walking with Jesus.” What is your answer? Not Sure? Beginner? Confused? Doubtful? Long Time Disciple? Or are you eager to walk as a disciple for the first time? Everyone is somewhere and the goal is to invite each person to take either a first step or another step on the discipleship journey.

We are building this series around three strong words: KNOWING, GROWING, and SOWING. Each word will be a focus for two weeks. The words demand action and movement. Over the course of discipleship, we experience each of these words.

This series will engage us to become disciples, grow as disciples, and challenge us to invite others to become disciples as well. We can become a Christian in a few moments, yet we spend our whole lives becoming disciples. We never “arrive” and there is always a next step until we one day enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

The Discipleship Roadmap series has at least three positive outcomes in mind. First, we will walk more intentionally with Jesus. Second, we will walk more intentionally in discipleship together as a church. Third, our impact as walking as disciples together changes our focus to a hurting world in need of the Good News of Jesus! Can I get an Amen?

Shalom, 
Philip

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Thank You, Lay Leaders and Staff

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The last few weeks have been very demanding on our lay leadership and staff and I just wanted to pause and say thank you! Thanks to our lay leadership and staff for phenomenal work around Shalimar UMC in the last few weeks! Already this month we have held our special Church Conference, Vacation Bible School, Summer Camp, begun Choir Tour, hosted ten worship services, a funeral and reception, and many other events and ministries. The vibrancy happens at Shalimar because of wonderful lay persons and staff.

Thank you Lay leadership and Lay chairpersons! You have devoted countless hours to the glory of God and the Church and we are grateful for volunteering in your roles. You do it all for the glory of God! We have experienced some tough challenges this month and I thank you for your Christian spirit through them. Bless you and thank you to all our chairpersons. Words are so inadequate to say thank you! We are and will be a stronger church because of you! I am amazed and thankful for each of you!

Let us pause to say thank you to all our staff as well. We have a wonderful staff! Our church has something significant going on all the time. Balls are always in the air so I thank you for juggling so many responsibilities. It is not always easy since Shalimar UMC never sleeps but because of you so much happens each day and week! Thank you Staff for all your hard and conscientious work and giving the glory to God!

Let us as a congregation be quick to thank our lay leadership for their countless hours of loyalty to Christ and the Church. Let us also thank our ministry, office, financial, and campus staff. They make so much happen each week! We are so blessed to have such wonderful people on staff! They go the second mile for the good of the church and we are so blessed right now to have them. Your work is not always easy and it was on my heart today to say thank you all!

Shalom, 
Philip

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