Around Shalimar UMC

It has been a while since I wrote a focus about the general happenings around Shalimar UMC, so I thought I would give it a whirl for this week’s Beacon. Some may assume that not much is happening right now, but on the contrary! We remain a vibrant church even in such times! Below are some of the highlights of church activities and ministries going forward that are on my mind today.

  • Our church is not only SURVIVING through this time of world pandemic but is in some ways THRIVING. The Church is more than our building! The Church is PEOPLE. We are seeing that lived out in so many ways now. Our people have been amazing!
  • The participation remains strong through Livestream worship, Zoom discipleship groups, studies, children’s ministries, youth ministries, and Sunday School classes. Church committees such as Church Council, Finance, Staff-Parish, and Trustees are not only meeting by Zoom but are functioning at a high level. I have been so proud of the leaders who have stepped in, stepped up, and stepped out!
  • The financial support of our congregation was amazing during the months of March and April. God has blessed Shalimar UMC with the gifts needed to move forward in such a time as this. Amazing generosity in such times! Thank you!
  • Our Missions team has functioned at a high and compassionate level in our community. As of this past week, 1,310 bags of food (three tons!) has been collected and over 135 families have benefitted! Thanks to Pete Peters and our Missions Team for offering both love and groceries!
  • We are also grateful that Blessings for Children has been open for our community during this critical time! Mary Jane Robertson writes,

“We are seeing many new families from our community (mostly Hispanic) that are coming to us from our church’s food drive. We are learning that God’s love does not need to share words. We do a lot of pointing at what is needed and a lot of smiling. All our Spanish bibles have been taken and the children are choosing books about Jesus, Jonah, and David. We served 12 children Wednesday. One of the mothers that came in for diapers brought us her outgrown clothes and toys that we can now offer through our Treasure Chests. That happens very often; our families come back to us bearing items to donate for others. We are so grateful for the church family’s donations of both financial offerings, diapers, and all the other items we distribute. Their support allows us to keep the blessings flowing!”

  • The newly formed Covid19 Taskforce Team has hit the ground running to form a plan to reopen the church for in-person worship. We really appreciate the leadership of Lay Leader, Angie Turnbow, who has been pouring through recommendations from the President to the Bishop, from national health officials to local leaders, and from other churches who are all chartering together in these unchartered waters.
  • We also appreciate our congregation taking the time to return the questionnaire to the Task Force. There were at least 300 surveys returned which represents approximately 600 people in the congregation. This is outstanding! All the information is valuable for considerations for Shalimar UMC and your input is greatly appreciated!
  • As of now, we know we will continue to worship online through Livestream until at least June 1st. As we know more, we will keep our congregation informed.

These are just a few of the highlights around Shalimar UMC! I look forward to seeing you this Sunday on Livestream as we continue to learn more from John 3:16.
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Philip McVay

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