Welcome
Shepherd of the Hills 
United Methodist Church
13658 W Meeker Blvd.        
Sun City West, AZ 85375-3730
Office: 623-584-2280
 
Saturdays, 4:00 p.m. – Sweet Hour of Prayer Worship Service
(Moved to Sanctuary until February 5 & No Coffee Hour After Service)
 
 
Sundays, Traditional Worship Service 9:00 a.m. – Sanctuary
 
Connections Class (Sunday School) – 10:15 a.m. Fellowship Hall Meeting Room
will not meet February 6, 2022
 
Sundays, Informal Praise Service with Praise Band 11:00 a.m. – Sanctuary
 
Coffee Hour at 10:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall
(has been canceled until February 5 & 6, 2022)
 
Worship with us www.shepherdofthehills.org (link below)
MASKS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
 
 
 
Email: church@shepherdofthehills.org
Pastor-On-Call for Emergencies: 623-584-7642
Prayer Requests: 623-584-2922
Partners in Prayer: prayers@shepherdofthehills.org
Sermons By Phone: 1-623-223-9151
 

UPDATES FROM THE COVID TASK FORCE

Our COVID Task Force met Thursday, January 20 to review updated statistics for zip codes in our area, which are all significantly worse than last week (these are reported every Thursday by Maricopa County). Our positivity rate of almost 30% is the best among all the nearby zip codes.

 

As a result, we will extend our new, temporary restrictions through, AT LEAST, January 30, including:

·       No choir or bell practice or worship participation;

·       No Fellowship Hour or any event involving serving of food indoors;

·       Saturday service and any memorials expecting more than 25 persons will be in the sanctuary;

·        Memorial receptions, if held, will be outside;

·       The prayer room will be closed;

·       No meetings in our smaller meeting spaces (conference room, Fellowship Hall meeting room);

·       Connections Sunday School continues on break;

·       Sandwich making will take place as scheduled with careful distancing and masking;

·        Our worship schedule will continue as planned: Saturday at 4:00, Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00.

 

The task force meets on Thursdays at 1:00 PM to consider new statistics and make further choices for our safety. You are welcome to attend if you are interested. Just let Pastor Deborah know and we will send you the zoom link.

I am grateful for each of these faithful servants as we make these difficult choices together.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Deborah

SPECIAL NEWS FROM THE COVID TASK FORCE

January 14, 2022

Please take a moment to read this entire update

 

Our COVID Task Force met Thursday, January 13, to consider the new COVID statistics put out by Maricopa County for our area and determine what an appropriate response might be. Total cases, case rates per hundred thousand and positivity rate have been going up rapidly across the state. On Wednesday, January 12, new cases totaling 18,983 were reported, with a 7 day average for new cases in Arizona of 14,972. 

In Sun City West, zip code 85375, the number of cases per 100,000 persons was 123.44 last week; but jumped to 524 this week. The positivity rate jumped from 10.76% to 24.1% in the same week. In 85374, just across Grand Avenue in Surprise, cases per 100,000 persons jumped from 224 to 793, with positivity rate rising from 14.7% to 30.45%. Other surrounding zip codes also reported extraordinary jumps in case rates and positivity.

Additionally, we have experienced a number of persons testing positive within our congregation, including at least one in our choir and likely a member of our VEW crew. 

This has caught our attention. We believe the situation calls for some temporary changes in our life together, including these:

  • There will be no choir practice and no choir participation in worship this week or next week (Sundays, February 6, 2022;
  • There will be no bell choir practice this week or next week (Fridays, February 4, 2022);
  • There will be no Fellowship Hour after either the Saturday service or after the 9:00 Sunday postponed until February 5 or 6;
  • We will move the Saturday service and any memorial services scheduled in the chapel that are expected to exceed 25 in attendance, to the sanctuary for at least the next two weeks, through February 1, 2022;
  • The memorial reception scheduled for Friday, January 21 will be held outside;
  • The prayer room will be closed until February 1;
  • There will be no meetings in our fellowship hall meeting room or the conference room until February 1.  Meetings may be held in our larger spaces;
  • The Connections Sunday School class until February 6. Keep watch for updates.
  • Sandwich making will take place as scheduled on Mondays at 9:00 a.m., with careful distancing and masking;
  • The Social Shepherds luncheon scheduled for Wednesday, January 26 is cancelled. Watch for further information about ticket refunds and/or re-scheduling the event;
  • Our new worship schedule will continue as planned: Saturday at 4:00, Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00.

The Task Force will meet by Zoom weekly on Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. to consider new statistics and make further choices for our safety. You are welcome to attend if you are interested. Just let Pastor Deborah know and we will send you the zoom link.

 

I am grateful for each of these faithful servants as we make these difficult choices together.

 

Be careful out there!

Blessings,

Pastor Deborah

YOU ARE CHOSEN, BLESSED & LOVED

WORSHIP SCHEDULE CHANGE

Begins

January 15, 2022
 

Beginning Saturday, January 15we will return to our pre-Covid worship schedule by offering three worship services. 

 

(I)   Sweet Hour of Prayer

Saturdays at 4:00 PM in the Chapel.
(Moved to Sanctuary & No Coffee Hour)
Join us for weekly communion and a hymn sing.
Fellowship Hour: Saturdays at 5:00 PM after service in Chapel

 

(II) Sanctuary Spirited Traditional

Sundays at 9:00 AM in the Sanctuary.

Join us for a traditional hour of worship.

Communion served the first Sunday of the month.

 

Fellowship Hour: Sundays at 10:00 AM in Fellowship Hall (coffee and cookies) No Fellowship Hour, until February 5 & 6, 2022.

 

Connections class (Sunday School Classes) in Chapel. 10:15 AM
No Connections class until February 6.
 
 
Coffee Hour hosts are needed for Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings. Postponed until February 5 & 6.
 
Please sign up on the sheet at the Kiosk (on Sundays) or the hallway table in the church office (Monday through Friday) or call Peggy P. at church office 623-584-2280.
 
(III)  Informal Praise Band
Sundays at 11:00 AM in the Sanctuary.
Join us for weekly communion and a lively praise band.
 
 
 

CDC RECOMMENDATION:

In line with new CDC recommendations, masks are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for worship and other indoor and in-person gatherings. Thank you for helping to protect yourself and others.
 
 
 

Church Office Hours are:

Monday through Friday

8:30 AM until 4:30 PM

Please handle your church business

during open office hours.

 
PRAYER FOR TUESDAY MORNING CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER VIGIL
 
This week the Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) consulted with the Rev. Susan Brims, our District Superintendent, concerning the mandatory retirement of Pastor Deborah Lerner at the end of conference year. We know the news has caused a sense of loss and grief for many.
 
Part of our response as a church, will be to gather each Tuesday mornings in the Chapel, on January 25 and February 1 at 9:00 AM for a time of prayer and reflection . We invite everyone who wishes to join us.
 
We feel very strong about the power of prayer leading the Cabinet and Bishop to find the right pastor for our congregation’s needs. We know God is in control and our prayers will be heard. We also want to pray for Pastor Deborah and the future God has for her and for our church and all God has in store for us.
 
There will be materials to help each week for our time of prayer. You may join us in the Chapel or from your home each week.
 
This week’s prayer:
 

Come Holy Spirit and in Your mercy hear our prayer. We praise you, gracious and loving Father and bless your Holy name. In Philippians 4:6, You tell us not to be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present our requests to You. In this period of change may we remember that You know the plans you have for us; plans not intended to harm us, but to give us hope and a future. You, Lord, have a plan for our church that outweighs what is being felt by us right now. Guide us throughout this time of transition and may Your will be done.

From the beginning of Shepherd of the Hills UMC, You have blessed us with caring, compassionate and competent leadership when it was most needed. That is evidenced by the loyal and hardworking servants displayed in pictures on the wall of the fellowship hall. We were grateful for the appointment of Pastor Deborah as our Senior Pastor. She has guided us through a transition period and encouraged us in our walk with You. We are thankful. We pray for Pastor Deborah and what You have planned for her. We pray for the Pastor You choose for our church.

Oh Lord, help us deal with the loss and uncertainty we feel. You are our rock, our fortress and our deliverer.  You are the one constant in this time of transition. Help us to remember our mission is bigger than any one pastor. Strengthen us to be your church in all times and under any circumstances. Guide us, Lord, in wisdom to be receptive to change. We need your Grace to redirect our hearts. May we enter this new era with excitement and open minds.

Our church has gone through many changes in leadership, but You do not change no matter the circumstances. You never leave us. Isaiah 58:8 says, You will guide us always. You are there to walk beside us or even carry us if needed.  “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10). We put our trust in You and put the future of our church leadership in Your hands. We know you will continue to bless our church with another leader to move us forward into the future.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in Him, so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   Amen, and Amen.

 

 
 

50th Anniversary Celebration

Are you celebrating your 50th Anniversary this year?

 

Social Shepherds is beginning to plan for their 50th Anniversary Celebration. Sunday, February 13, 2022, 9:00 a.m. Traditional Worship Service. Reception following.

 

We invite couples who, have not been recognized in the past for 50 or more years of marriage, to submit their names. Please send your name to: church@shepherdofthehills.org.

 

This is such an amazing milestone and we, as your church family, would like to be part of celebrating your very special occasion. Watch for more details.

 

SANDWICH MAKING FOR JUSTA CENTER

The peanut butter party (weekly sandwich making) will meet on Monday, January 31, 2022 at 9:00 AM in Fellowship Hall to make sandwiches for the Justa Center. Masks and social distancing.

 

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

 

Most needed items: 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.

 

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

 

 
Postponed for until February 3, 2022 due to increased Covid
 
 
GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP CONTINUES TO MEET
 
GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP MEETS ON THURSDAYS, IN FELLOWSHIP HALL MEETING ROOM WITH PASTOR ALMA. THIS IS A “DROP-IN WHEN YOU CAN SUPPORT GROUP.” FEEL FREE TO BRING A FRIEND!
 

Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room

with Pastor Alma.

 
 
 

LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY     

The weekly Zoom Bible Study will meet on Monday, January 24, 2022 at 3:00 P.M. We hope you will join us! N0TE: CHANGE T0 m0NDAYS AT 3:00 P.M.

The Zoom link will be sent out every Thursday morning to those interested in participating.

For more details, call Kathy Culliton at 623-584-2280

BOOK CLUB

The SHUMC Book Club will meet in-person on Thursday, February 17 at 9:30 AM in the Fellowship Hall. We invite all readers to come to the meeting. If you need a Zoom link to join in on the discussion, please let Jodi in the office know.

 

In addition to discussing great books, it is a good way to meet new friends! You can also bring a friend with you.
SEE SPIRITUAL GROWTH SECTION OF WEBSITE NEW CLASSES TO BEGIN:
 

CONNECTIONS SUNDAY Class

Moses: In the Footsteps of the Reluctant Prophet

Postponed for February 6, 2022

NEW PLACE: Fellowship Hall Meeting Room

NEW TIME: 10:15 am

(to allow you time to get coffee and cookies)
 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Renovate: Building a Life With God

 

 6 week Class & Sermon Series 2022

 

WEDNESDAYS at 11:00 am

in Fellowship Hall

Postponed: New date to be announced

Facilitator: Pastor Alma

Books available in the office in January: Cost 13.50
 

SOUPER BOWL SUNDAY

It is time to collect soup and soup fixings for Souper Bowl Sunday! Each year, Shepherd of the Hills collects food for Valley View and St. Mary’s food banks in honor of Superbowl.

This year the Missions team will be receiving donations between January 1, 2022 and February 15, 2022. We need soup, all the fixings for soup (beans, pasta, canned veggies, tomatoes, 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 bins will be placed throughout the church campus. Monetary donations can be made out to SHUMC with “Super Bowl Sunday” in the memo line. Blessings!
 
LOOK FOR A POSSIBLE SUPER BOWL WATCH PARTY SPONSORED BY SOCIAL SHEPHERDS!
SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS CITRUS GLEANING
 
BEGINS WEDNESDAYS 8:30 – 11:30 A.M.
JANUARY 26 THROUGH MARCH 23, 2022
CALL THE CHURCH OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION 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 6th 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. Home owners and HOA groups who have their trees gleaned also make a donation to the food bank.

Gleaning will start Wednesday, January 26 and continues for 8 weeks. Last year the group gleaned over 150 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 8:00 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 question about gleaning or the gleaning program, call 623-584-2280 and ask for Kathy C.

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

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas from the office staff!

We wish everyone a blessed Christmas!

Front Row: Esther Vallet, Julie Calvert,

Pastor Deborah

Second Row: Shawn McMullen,

Jodi De Luca, Pastor Alma,

Bill Moore, Ken Goodenberger
Miriam Dancers performing during December 19, 2021 Worship Service
 

Thanksgiving/ Christmas Letter and Offering

The Missions Committee has prepared the Thanksgiving/ Christmas letter and offering envelope and will be handing them out at the worship services this weekend. Be sure to stop by the table to pick up your envelope. The remaining letters will be mailed out during the week. The recipient of this collection will be UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief).
SATURDAY NIGHT AFTER WORSHIP DECEMBER DINNER 
See more photo at News & Events on this website
Photos by Doug Culliton
 
 

                                  NO! PASTOR DEBORAH WILL NOT ASK

YOU FOR GIFT CARDS OR MONEY!

 

Friends,

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 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

 

 

PLAN AHEAD – YEAR END GIVING

This is a reminder regarding your end-of-year giving if you wish to receive contribution credit for gifts in 2021. Because of IRS rules, we will only be able to accept gifts for your 2021contribution credit if the following are true:

Gifts are physically received by December 31, 2021. The office will be closed December 27 through December 31. There is a mail slot at the main door to the office. If you are hand delivering your contribution, please keep this in mind, OR a mailed gift must be dated AND postmarked on or before December 31, 2021.

A gift from distributions such as an IRA, must also be dated AND postmarked on or before December 31, 2021. 

Thank you all for your generous support of Shepherd of the Hills UMC and may you have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year.

 

Julie Calvert,

Financial Secretary 
 
Blue Christmas 2021
   
  THANK YOU FOR HELPING WITH SHUMC BLUE CHRISTMAS SERVICE

Friends,

THANK YOU to ALL of you who helped put together the Blue Christmas service. You helped us offer a space of rest and comfort, where we knew we are not alone in our grief and difficult journeys.

 

Some of you spent hours and hours in preparation of the liturgy, music, bringing together all the elements in the sanctuary, coordinating the delicious meal we all enjoyed, some of you prepared for the parts you helped with during the service, some of you helped us in many other various ways, but all of you blessed us tonight. And above all, it was the love from each one of you, which was felt in everything we did tonight.

 

Many persons in attendance expressed to me how glad they were to have come and experienced this service. You are greatly appreciated. Again, THANK YOU.

 

Blessings Always,

Rev. Alma Aguirre-Olivares

Associate Minister

 
SHUMC’S
PARKING LOT POSE HEALTH & SAFETY ISSUES.
$223,000 TO REPAIR. DONATIONS WELCOMED, PLEASE MAKE CHECKS TO SHUMC
AND PUT IN MEMO SECTION CAMPUS RENEWAL FUND

A New Option for Online Worship:

Live Stream our Service

If you are unable to join us for in-person for worship, the 10:00 AM Sunday service will be livestreamed each week. We start with Bill’s gathering music at 9:45 AM and move into the service at 10:00 AM (Summer Hours).

To join: Click on the picture below sometime after 9:45 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 livestream after you register) and a direct link to the livestream.

Let us know how your experience is with this. This is a new technology for us and we are still perfecting our technology. 

 
A New Season – Worship & Picnic in the Park
See additional photos – United Methodist Women, Gallery-Event Photos, Music, News & Events

 
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.
 
The latest sermon is also available by phone.
Simply call 1-623-223-9151.
Also below is our latest Midweek Devotional.
 
Office staff are available through email or by phone during
normal business hours.
Please have all articles in the office no later than January 15 in order to be included in the January/February issue of the Voice newsletter.
 
 

 

 

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 UMW to raise more funds and allow the opportunity to help support approximately 13 local charities.

 

Christmas 2021

Worship Video

If you worshiped with us take a moment to let us know. Click here to fill out our online attendance card.
 
 
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