Shepherd of the Hills 
United Methodist Church
13658 W Meeker Blvd.        
Sun City West, AZ 85375-3730
Office: 623-584-2280


Because of high transmission rates in Sun City and Sun City West and high rates of infection recently within our congregation (almost 40 confirmed cases reported), wearing a mask is strongly recommended. 
Saturdays, 4:00 p.m.
“Sweet Hour of Prayer”
Communion Served Weekly
PRAYER ROOM MINISTERS are available Saturdays
after worship if you would like one-on-one prayer.
Coffee Hour at 5:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall
Sundays, 9:00 a.m.
Spirited Traditional Worship Service – Sanctuary
Communion – First Sunday of Month
PRAYER ROOM MINISTERS are available Sundays
after worship if you would like one-on-one prayer.
Coffee Hour at 10:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall
Sundays, 10:30 a.m.
Connections Sunday School – Fellowship Hall Meeting Room
Sundays, 11:00 a.m.
Informal Praise Service with Praise Band
Communion Served Weekly
Worship with us www.shepherdofthehills.org (link below)
Email: church@shepherdofthehills.org
Pastor-On-Call for Emergencies: 623-584-7642
Prayer Requests: 623-584-2922
Partners in Prayer: prayers@shepherdofthehills.org
8:30 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M




Friends at Shepherd,

I have requested to go on a Voluntary Leave of Absence beginning July 1, 2023. Due to personal reasons, I hope to stay away from ministry for a season of at least 12 months and will not be reappointed to Shepherd for the coming conference year.

It has been a true honor and pleasure to serve with all of you for 5 years. I know I will greatly miss you and the ministry we have done together. The opportunity to have you be part of my life and be part of yours is something I will always treasure. I will also miss our wonderful staff.

The Associate Pastor position at Shepherd of the Hills will be put on the list of clear openings sometime soon. This allows any clergy interested in the position to submit their names to the conference cabinet for consideration. The cabinet will work with our senior pastor and the SPRC to discern my replacement at Shepherd of the Hills.

Blessings Always,

Pastor Alma Aguirre-Olivares

A New Option for Online Worship:

Live Stream our Service

If you are unable to join us for in-person for worship, the 9:00 AM Sunday service will be livestreamed each week. We start with Bill’s gathering music at 8:45 AM and move into the service at 9:00 AM (Winter Hours).

To join: Click on the picture below sometime after 8:45 AM (and before the service ends).                   

We will send out an email to all persons subscribed to our Constant Contact list on Sunday morning at 8:00 AM as a reminder. It will also include a registration link (which will take you to the live stream after you register) and a direct link to the live stream.
After an edited copy of the service has been uploaded, this link will be discontinued. The new video will be available below or on the Worship page.
If you worshiped with us take a moment to let us know. Click here to fill out our online attendance card.

While you watch the live stream, we would like you to be aware of two things. First, you may notice a small delay (up to two minutes) when watching the live stream. Second, while you may still experience buffering it should be short lived (15-30 seconds), but it will recover quickly and there should be no loss of content.

 Thank you all for your patience as we worked to correct and improve our live streaming.

Previous Worship Services
Join us for online worship by clicking on the video below
OR go through our gallery of
past services and midweek devotionals on the Worship Tab.
Office staff are available through email or by phone during
normal business hours M-F 8:30-4:30 – 623-584-2280
if you need assistance.

9:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m.




Regular Worship Schedule Resumes Jan 7-8

                 Saturdays at 4 PM      Sweet Hour of Prayer

                 Sundays at 9 AM        Spirited Traditional

                 Sundays at 11 AM      Informal Praise 



Jan. 14-15, through Feb. 11-12   The Me I Want to Be Sermon Series Becoming God’s Best

Version of YOU



        January 5-March 30            Griefshare (For persons suffering loss) Community welcome.
January 20 – March 10        A Matter of Balance
January 29                          Travelogue to Mt. Vernon & Southampton UK to Vigo, Bay of Biscay                                                              to Madeira, and two of the Canary Islands
MISSION PROJECTS:          Souper Bowl Sunday now through Feb. 15
February 5                           West Valley Wind Ensemble Concert at 3:00 PM
February 11                         Desert Winds Steel Drums Concert



Now is the time to dust off your drama chops for a very special reason. We are planning on doing a live dramatization of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper for Maundy Thursday, April 6. We need a minimum of 13 men for this dramatization. Scripts for memorization will be provided. Also, we will be able to project your lines on the screen at the back of the church. We are ONLY able to offer this special presentation if 13 men step forward to participate.

We hope to set the first meeting for the first week in February. If you wish to be a participant or have questions, please contact Bill or Linda W. at 623-584-2280 before January 27. This will be a blessing for all those who participate or attend this special service. 


Now through February 15


It is time to collect soup and soup fixings for Souper Bowl Sunday! Each year, SHUMC collects food for Valley View and St. Mary’s Food Banks in honor of Super Bowl Sunday! This year, the Missions team will be receiving donations through Wednesday, February 15. 


We need soup, all the fixings for soup (beans, rice, tomato sauce or anything that goes into a big pot of comfy soup), chili, canned stews or canned meat. We  are also collecting crackers, corn muffin mix or other long shelf-life sides.


Collection containers are placed throughout the campus. Monetary donations can be made out to SHUMC with “Souper Bowl Sunday” in the memo section.  


Thank you for your generosity! Blessings

Sunday Connections Class

NEW Time and Location

Join us any Sunday at

10:30 AM in the Fellowship Hall Meeting Room.


The new series, The Numbers of Hope by Max Lucado.

  Information about books will be available after the first of the year.



A Matter of Balance Workshop, taught by Area Agency on Aging, will be held weekly on Fridays, beginning January 20 through March 10. The classes are specifically designed to reduce the fear of falling and improve activity levels of older adults. Practical coping strategies such as group discussions, problem solving and exercises to improve strength, coordination and balance. Class size is limited to 18 persons. Sign up at the Kiosk on Sundays or in the office.



Dr. Nicole Early, Clinical Pharmacist from Banner Health, will be coming to SHUMC to do individual medication reviews. She will provide a 20 minute personal review of your medications on Thursday, February 23 with appointments starting at 10:00 AM through 1:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall Meeting Room. Sign up on the sheet for your appointment at the kiosk or by the church office or call the office at 623-584-2280.


Bring all of your medications in a brown paper bag to review with the pharmacist. Bring prescription, over-the-counter and your supplements, including vitamins and herbals. Does this include cold remedies, Excedrin and other over-the-counter pain relievers? It sure does!


How about non-prescription sleep aides? Yes! Bring them all in a brown bag to your appointment. Why is this important? Because sometimes there are interactions that occur between medications of any kind, supplements and foods that are important to be aware of.


If you have any questions, please contact Debbi Reichert, Faith Community Nurse at 623-584-2280.

It is Citrus Gleaning Time Again


Each year SHUMC and PRIDES partner to glean citrus from homes in Sun City West. This is the 7th season of this partnership in service! Gleaning teams work together to pick oranges, grapefruit and lemons for St. Mary’s Food Bank. The oranges, lemons and grapefruit are distributed in food boxes to families and individuals through the food bank. Homeowners and HOA groups who have their trees gleaned also make a donation to the food bank.

Gleaning will start Wednesday, January 25 and continues through March. Last year the group gleaned over 180 trees, resulting in thousands of pounds of citrus for the food bank.

A mission project of this scope requires volunteers. There is no tree climbing involved! No ladders. We use claw like pickers. Jobs are: pickers, muckers (those that pick up the fruit that the pickers pluck and put it in crates) and mules (using handcarts to move the crates to the truck). It is a special type of fellowship, working alongside your church and community friends.

Volunteers meet at SHUMC at 8:15 am to get their assignments with the goal of starting gleaning at 8:30 am. The groups usually finish assigned trees by 11:30. If you have questions about gleaning or the gleaning program, call Kathy C. at 623-584-2280.


Confirmation letters are being sent and calls are being made to everyone who had a tree gleaned last year. If you would like to be added, please contact Kathy C. at 623-584-2280.




Social Shepherd’s Travelogue


Join us on Sunday, January 29 at 2:00 PM in Fellowship Hall, the Social Shepherds will present an armchair travelogue.

Tom Richardson’s presentation features a glimpse into an American landmark, Mount Vernon, which is located on the banks of the Potomac River, just a short drive south of Washington D.C.

Adrian Hagan will share a 12-day excursion, from Southampton UK to Vigo on the northeast coast of Spain and then across the Bay of Biscay to Madeira (Portuguese) and on to two of the Canary Islands (both Spanish). Then there is a short visit to Lisbon and back to Southampton.

Be sure to sign up on the sheet at the Kiosk or by the church office. Cake and coffee will be served.




As we move towards Valentine’s Day, a time for expressing love and commitment to those near to us, we invite those of you who are married to consider taking a moment to renew the vows you took as you said, “I Do.” Take a moment to say again, to your partner for life: “I Do. I Will.” Let him or her know you are glad you did! Join Pastor Ron at 10:30 AM on Sunday, February 12 in the Chapel. 


To help celebrate UWF weekend, the congregation is invited to help with an in-kind project that will benefit the residents of UMOM. Chaplain Ron at UMOM said the residents would love some journals or other stationary items, pens and pencils. For ideas, please see the display in front of the church office. We will be collecting these items until Saturday, February 19. Thank you for helping us help others.


14 Week Program 
Thursdays at 2:00 p.m.
                 Fellowship Hall Meeting Room
New Session beginning January 5, 2023

The Griefshare class will return with a new session to begin Thursday, January 5, 2023, from 2 PM to 4 PM.

 The group will meet on Thursday afternoons from January 5 through March 30 in Fellowship Hall. 


You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.


Each of the sessions are designed so that any person can feel welcomed, no matter what session number they are attending for the first time.


We affirm that each person’s grief journey is unique.  Therefore, in an environment of respect and confidentiality, each participant can explore the questions and experiences of grief they bring to this safe space.


Community members are welcomed. Sign up at the office or the Kiosk on Sunday. 

For more information, please contact Kathy C. at 623-584-2280.







Grief Group Support

Meets every WEDNESDAYS at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Prayer Room

Facilitated by Rev. Ron Friesen








Please return your pledge cards to the church office in person or by mail. We had hoped to offer them as an act of worship in-person on Consecration Sunday, but we will keep you safe instead.


It is helpful to our finance team and financial secretary to have these cards returned at your earliest convenience. Thank you.


The Rummage Sale folks were finally able to gather, review the ups and downs of the sale and discuss some business. 

About 25 people attended the meeting.  We had lunch together and had a great discussion about the sale and changes that seem appropriate moving forward. More details will be coming soon. 

After the final expenses are paid, the group will be able to turn over at least $13,000 to the Trustees for projects needed by the church. The group worked tirelessly over the week of the sale to be able to provide this amount of money to the church. When you see someone who helped with this endeavor, please tell them “Thanks!” 



We are not having new member classes right now, but we welcome persons who wish to join.  Let the church office know you are interested or have questions and Pastor Deborah will contact you.  If you want to remain a member of “the church back home” you are welcome to become an affiliate member (a person who belongs primarily to another United Methodist Church or an associate member (a person who belongs to a church from another denomination).




The Missions Team at SHUMC provided us with an opportunity to give thanks for our many blessings through a combined Thanksgiving and Christmas offering. Your gifts will support the services offered by UMOM and Valley View Food Bank.


UMOM New Day Centers provide safe shelter and supportive services for people who are experiencing homelessness. Valley View Food Bank provides resources for people in need to feel their families. 


If you have not had an opportunity to contribute to this worthy cause, please take a moment and make a check payable to SHUMC with a note indicating the holiday offering. 


Thank you for donating to this collection and supporting the work of these deserving charities.



Food banks are way down.  But hunger is up!  Can you help?  The Missions Team is extending food bank collections to be continuous during the summer.  Next time you shop, please grab a few extra items that can be donated to our local food banks.  Donations can be brought to the church during office hours and placed in the hall between the Library and Choir Room.  Or feel free to donate by phone or online, 

           Call (602) 242-FOOD


Your donation is 100% deductible and may


Volunteers are needed to help at St. Mary’s Food Bank, located at 13050 W. Elm St., Surprise. 

We meet on the third Thursday of each month from 10 AM to Noon. The task is to sort food that has been donated. No heavy lifting is required. If interested, please contact Becky F. at






The peanut butter party (weekly sandwich making) will meet on Mondays, at 8:30 AM in the Fellowship Hall to make sandwiches for Justa Center. Masks are mandatory during sandwich making.

Please call Mary G. at 623-584-2280 if you would like to join them.

ITEMS NEEDED: big jars of creamy peanut butter and grape jelly (preferred).
Please bring donations to the church office or leave them on the counter in the kitchen.
“You are always touching more lives than you realize.” 


To learn more about how Justa Center provides for homeless seniors, justacenter.org


The weekly Zoom Bible Study will meet on Mondays at 3:00 P.M. We hope you will join us! The Zoom link will be sent out every Monday morning to those interested in participating.

For more details, call Kathy C. at 623-584-2280



The Chess Club meets on Thursdays at Noon in the Narthex

Call the office 623-584-2280 for more information.



A Note From Our New Bishop


Dear Friends in the Desert Southwest Conference,

This will be short and sweet. As you would imagine, it has been quite the week for us. Yet I don’t want to let this day pass without sharing even a brief greeting.

By now you may have already heard the news of my assignment to serve alongside you in ministry in the DSW as your bishop in the new year. Your delegation has warmly welcomed us on your behalf. We are so excited to get to know all of you and your communities and to see, hear and experience how God is moving in and through you and to discern how we can be part of that journey! I pray that you would receive this note with the same deep sense of joy and hope in which I write it.

Parabur ken kappia (Grace and peace),

Bishop Carlo, Radie, Caleb and Titus



The Mission Candle can be dedicated to anyone to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, honor or in memory of someone special. Please call or email the office to set this up.

Your request will be read during the worship services each week.

Your donation of $20 or more will enable the United Women in Faith to raise more funds and allow the opportunity to help support approximately 13 local charities.


Please have all articles in the office no later than Tuesday, January 17 in order to be included in the January/February issue of the Voice newsletter.


A Labyrinth is a sacred space where one can talk and listen to God. It is based on the ancient practice of pilgrimage. You journey away from the noise and distractions of life as you walk toward the center where you rest with Christ.
 As you walk your way out you are returning to the world renewed and empowered. 



Check out the painted rocks in the Prayer Labyrinth!                 

  They are absolutely beautiful!



United Methodists and others wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people in the wake of the Russian invasion of their country may contribute to Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund will provide direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.

Gifts to support the people of Ukraine can be made in the following ways:

Online at https://umcmission.org/advance-project/982450

  • By toll-free telephone: 888-252-6174
  • By check made out to Global Ministries/UMCOR with “Advance #982450-Ukraine” written on the memo line, either mailed and addressed to Global Ministries/UMCOR, GPO, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY, 10087-9068 or given at or through any United Methodist church

One hundred percent of all Advance contributions go to the designated cause.

The United Methodist community in Ukraine, though quite small, is actively engaged in assisting neighbors in need. Global Ministries is in touch with the church’s leadership as well as with church leaders in countries welcoming those who are fleeing from violence in Ukraine.



Lay Servant classes are being offered through the Southwest District. Click on the link below to register for the different classes being offered.

If you have questions regarding the classes, you may contact Betty S., West District Director of Lay Servant Ministries or John H., Desert Southwest Conference West District Associate Lay Leader.
Click link below:




Apparently they are at it again. Several members have received texts that purport to be from me asking for gift cards and/or money. The phone number is NOT MY PHONE NUMBER! (First thing to check). Call the church office to check phone number of pastor 623-584-2280.

But you really do not have to check, because you KNOW that I will not ask you for help/gift cards/money by email.

 Be careful out there.

      Blessings and Peace, 

      Rev. Deborah Lerner, Senior Pastor 

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