Philip's Focus: The Week of July 31

Special Opportunities for August
July has been a blur and school will be back in session in less than two weeks. The month of August is upon us. In this Beacon, I wanted to lift two upcoming opportunities for Shalimar United Methodist Church. I do not want you to miss this information.
The first opportunity is just incredible and neighborly. We are expanding our church neighborhood! Shalimar United Methodist Church is going to sponsor and welcome a Ukrainian family seeking placement in our area. You will be hearing much more about this sponsorship in the coming weeks.
Dr. Alice Bigger and other laity from our church have championed this vision for well over half a year. Prayers have led us to this exciting opportunity. This initiative will involve our church partnering with Samaritan’s Purse as we sponsor this family. Our church has really gotten behind this project of goodwill. Our Church Council, Finance Committee, and Missions Team have all been working to make this vision possible.
How can you help with this exciting new project? We can help by giving a special offering in the month of August which will be beyond our normal giving to the Church. There is a new designated fund established for supporting our family. You can give anytime during the month of August to support our friends from Ukraine. This is so exciting and here we go expanding our church mission again!
A second opportunity I do not want you to miss is a regional gathering with Bishop Graves. Many of you are extremely interested in knowing more about denominational matters in the United Methodist Church. Our congregation is invited to join Bishop David Graves and leadership from the Alabama-West Florida Conference at a regional meeting August 21, 4 pm, at Pensacola First United Methodist Church. Bishop Graves will bring a message to the laity of the conference and answer any questions they might have. 
If our congregation is not able to make the Pensacola event there are other options in August. These events are specifically focused on laity to help them understand current denominational matters and to provide accurate information. All laity in AWF local churches are invited to attend a meeting that is convenient for their schedule. Clergy will have an opportunity to meet with the bishop while he is in the area at other scheduled meetings Registration is not required for these meetings. Here is a listing of Bishop Graves gatherings for the laity.
Sunday, August 7th at 4pm, Dauphin Way UMC in Mobile
Sunday, August 21st at 4pm, First UMC Pensacola
Tuesday, August 23rd at 6pm, Dothan First UMC
Sunday, August 28th at 4pm, First UMC Montgomery
There are other important opportunities for August in this week’s Beacon. I hope you will take the time to read about all the exciting things going on in our vibrant church! Also, we hope you will join us for worship this Sunday, as we focus on another “Off the Wall” sermon. This week’s will be Numbers 6:23-26.  
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Abigail Denney

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