Numerous Challenges No Problem Shalimar UMC Just Keeps Moving Forward

How is the church doing? This is a question I receive often. My answer, we have a lot of steep challenges right now, yet Shalimar UMC keeps moving forward! In a year of uncertainties, adversities, and complexities, amazing things keep happening at Shalimar United Methodist Church! We continue to move forward as a church for three reasons that are getting stronger by the day. We have a steadfast REMNANT of leaders and people, a clarifying IDENTITY, and are more UNITED as a congregation.

We keep moving forward because of a REMNANT of unshakable people in love with God and the Church. This core of people keeps our church strong through thick or thin, crises, and uncertainty. I have seen this resilient remnant continue to live out their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness regardless of how great the challenges and the number of adversities to overcome. We have a powerful remnant of unwavering leaders as well. All in all, this remnant is strong, trusting the Lord in leading our church to better days ahead!

The challenges and adversity of recent years have sharpened our IDENTITY as a church. We are not trying to be like the church up the road or down the street. Our strength is in being the Church God wants us to be. We feel the strength of a 69-year-old church and the church's promise we are becoming now and in the future. We are a United Methodist Church and a church of Wesleyan theology. We continue to be a distinctive church with a significant impact on our community and region! COVID-19, the economy, division of people and cultural challenges have only made us stronger in our identity. I look for this clarity of identity to get much stronger in the years ahead. As this clear identity emerges, we are becoming more single-minded in "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." We continue to REACH, TEACH, and SEND for JESUS!

Our sense of UNITY is much stronger than a year ago. Last year, we had division not only in our Nation but also in our church. We are more united than one year ago as a church. Again, we have much more unity in our church now, and it is growing! Through God's grace and goodness, last year prepared us to face the adversity and challenges of this bizarre year. In the face of uncertainties and unknowns, we know God can pull us through if we are united together. We are more united as a church than at any time in my previous 6 1/2 years with you! This unity will go far in building our church back up, one step at a time, into 2021.

So how is the church doing? Our REMNANT is strong, IDENTITY is clearer, and UNITY is stronger. 2020 is making Shalimar United Methodist Church Stronger! Our God is awesome, and our congregation is steadfast! Shalimar UMC keeps moving forward, and I am honored to be your pastor!

See you Sunday as we continue to BE RENEWED in STRENGTH!
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Philip McVay

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