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Thanking Rev. Brian Dale and Ministry Update

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As you know by now, Rev. Brian Dale has been appointed to Bagdad United Methodist Church and will be leaving in the coming weeks. As his time with us winds down, I want to invite the congregation to participate in a Love Offering for Brian.

You can give online, by mail (P.O. Box 795, Shalimar, Fl. 32579), or by text by June 3rd (please mark Brian Dale Love Offering). This gift will be given to the Brian and Sue on June 7th. We will also offer a special honor to David on his last Sunday. You can find a save the date in the Beacon about an exciting parade to honor the Dales occurring on June 7th.

I featured several ministry updates in the last Beacon, and this week, I would like to focus on the Food Drive. I asked Pete Peters to share from his heart about the last five weeks. Here is his summary:

Two months ago, most of us couldn’t spell “Zoom,” and now that’s all we hear. SUMC is fortunate to have folks out there on the front line helping those in need. We all know there are people in our community and our church family that do not have Zoom or even the ability to Livestream. In fact, they are struggling to pay utility bills, put food on the table, or clothe their children. In the first week of April, the SUMC Missions team voted to do something about this problem in our community. The committee voted to divert funds from their overseas mission budget to a new COVID-19 Support Account. Going into the 6th week, the Missions team and volunteers have been collecting food every M-W-F and handing it out to those in need. Since starting, we have seen an increase of families with needs. Not only have we handed out food (over 4 tons to date), but we also have handed out over $3,000 in gift cards. The mission has impacted over 200 families so far! We have even helped folks with paying rent and utilities as needed. This has also married well with other outreach programs like Sharing and Caring and, especially, Blessings for Children, because we refer everyone with children to that valuable mission as well.

God is present in all we do, but never have I seen God’s love displayed more than when people (“Cheerful Givers”) who donate food ask what else can they do to help the recipients who are so humble and quite sad to be in this situation (“Tearful Receivers”). We on the front line are blessed to see God’s love each and every day!
We even have two individuals who were embarrassed to ask for help but needed food for their families. They both wanted to help in some way and have come every single day to help with collections and distributions.

If you are tired of Zoom, please contact us and come help! Donations are still needed!
DROP OFF 9-11 and PICK UP 10:30-11:30 M-W-F at the FLC

We are grateful to Pete and all the volunteers who have made this possible. It is so amazing to see our congregation use their gifts to serve our community! We have seen our church really step up during this time, and it is most exciting.


Posted by Philip McVay with

Task Force Update

Thank you to our church family for your continued prayers as your task force team meets to determine our recommendation for the various steps we need to take as we work to return to the numerous on-campus activities at Shalimar United Methodist Church.

It may help our church family to understand the why and how of the task force team:

• Our resident Bishop, David Graves, asked that each church form a task force team to give recommendations to the lead pastor in determining the steps needed to return to public worship. This directive came on Monday afternoon, April 27.
• Our church’s lead team—comprised of our church council chair, finance chair, SPRC chair, trustee chair, lay leader, church administrator, and our lead pastor—reinforced the need of this team on Wednesday, April 29.
• The task force team was recruited and our lay leader, Angie Turnbow, was asked to chair the team. The team had their first meeting on April 30.
• The church’s lead team asked the task force to work a two-step process. First, give recommendation of how we can begin to return to public worship. Once that recommendation is formed, the task force team will work the second step to provide a recommendation for how additional on-campus activities and ministries will resume. This step would include children’s and youth ministries.
• This past Tuesday, May 12, we received from our Annual Conference the minimum guidelines we must meet to resume public worship.
With this as our foundation, there are several updates we would like to share with you:
• Your task force team’s number one priority continues to be the health and safety of all who are a part of the Shalimar United family.
• The task force team is now taking each of the guidelines given to us by our Annual Conference and, working with our various expertise represented on the team, is developing a recommendation as to a step-by-step process in which we can begin to return to public worship, the venues of those services, and the on-campus logistics we will need to adopt.
• The task force thanks you for your response to the questionnaire and these results will be very helpful as we develop our step one recommendation.

SUMC COVID-19 Task Force Update
Who will act on the task force team’s recommendation?

• The task force team’s recommendation for resuming public worship will be given to our lead pastor, Philip McVay. Pastor Philip will ask the church’s lead team to consider the recommendation and will then approve and implement or ask the task force to reconsider any part of it and then resubmit.
• Once the lead team is ready to implement, we will communicate to all of our church family the when, where, and how we will begin to return to public worship.
• The task force team will then begin the second step of working to form a recommendation for the other ministries and activities of the church. This recommendation would then follow the same path as the first to implementation.
We ask for your continued prayers and understanding as we diligently work toward these recommendations. The task force team is moving as quickly as possible to form the recommendation for us to be able to meet together in public once again.
Pastor Brad adds this final thought as adapted from an email sent to him by a friend.
It is very easy to be impatient right now, so let’s remind each other of this word:
Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30)
Let’s continually be in prayer for each other as we wait on the Lord. This waiting is a time that will require all the patience we can muster. A time that will require all the faith we can muster. A time that’s better measured as Kairos than Chronos. A time we must leave to God.

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!
Pastor Brad

Posted by Brad Bradford with

Bringing Worship to Sunday

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During this strange time of virtual worship, I am thankful that Shalimar UMC has a team to help each week make worship possible. As I reflect on how much I appreciate my worship partners during COVID-19, I want to honor all our team does. I also wanted to share with you the process, from start to finish, how we bring a Sunday service to execution.

Long-Term Planning

The first step is our long-term planning, specifically sermon planning. We sit down to talk about preaching anywhere from 1-3 months out. The preaching pastors bring ideas and we put onto the preaching calendar decisions about teaching. These are subject to change based on God's leading. This plan becomes the framework for how worship is planned.

Creative Free-for-All

Once we layout scriptures, topics, or church seasons to spend time with, we set time aside to look at the next 1-3 sermon series to talk about how we can engage people in the sermons. Philip expresses the big idea of the series that he has created which launches the conversation. This meeting helps us talk about:

  • Sermon illustrations
  • Graphics
  • Connecting the concepts within the congregation
  • Connecting with future church attenders
  • Reaching non-Christians

We talk about series titles, sermon titles, scripture passages, how long we'll preach this series, how it might be received, what questions might be asked, how we will advertise it, how it can engage others, and so forth. This meeting is where the sermon series takes form. The only time we use outside resources for these series is when we share with the congregation that we are using a book to guide us (i.e. The Circle Maker or The Red Sea Rules).

The Week Of

Sermon Planning

Each week, the preaching pastors gather to collaborate and help deepen that week's message. This meeting usually takes place on Tuesday. They take the notes from the previous conversations, review what has been planned for the coming Sunday, determine if there are any changes, and collaborate on how God is leading.

Worship Planning

Everyone on the staff that helps make the worship service possible gathers on Tuesday to talk about the next Sunday service. We look at:

  • All the details
  • Coordinate any changes
  • Ensure that the music and any liturgical elements connect with the sermon
  • Coordinate all things happening.

We also go over creative features, Church Life announcements, and look towards the weeks to come.

Worship Team Practices

From here, our different worship groups practice for Sunday. We have practices throughout the week for all the services, and teams to ensure all services have time to prepare.

Technology is Loaded

Thursday, our technology is loaded into the system for Sunday. We have volunteers that work on their training, and we button up as much as we can for Sunday.

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning, we ensure that everything is ready to go.

  • Do service run-throughs
  • Check all service cues
  • Ensure each piece of technology
  • Verify speaking scripts
  • Ensure each volunteer has what they need

Not every week looks the same. Some weeks we have more services and some are dramatically different. As a whole, our process is consistent. Even with our services online, this process continues. It helps us to maintain when things are unpredictable.

I am proud to work with the preaching pastors. They create powerful sermons from their own spiritual lives and congregational input. I love our creative team. This team helps enhance our worship by designing graphics, video clips, and even sermon illustrations used Sunday morning.

Most importantly, I am thankful for all of our volunteers making the plan possible and our congregation making the efforts worth it.

Posted by Faith Parry with

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