July from the Pastor

Dear First United Methodist Family,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for receiving Jack, Levi and me into this great family of believers.   Your kindness, your warmth, and your love has made us feel right at home in such a short time.

We are excited to be in ministry with you.  Shallowater is ready for the Wesleyan message of grace and love that First United Methodist has witnessed to my family and continues to witness to our community.  God is about to do great things here and we are all blessed to get to be a part of it.

As you may remember from our amazing anniversary worship, Bishop Bledsoe talked about sowing seeds.  We are blessed to have fertile ground in Shallowater!  The Northwest Texas Conference participates in extensive surveying of all of our communities to give us a better picture of our neighbor.

It is probably no surprise that 80% of Shallowater residents have what we would consider as traditional-Christian values.  For example, we believe that God is love, that God is active in our lives, that God desires a relationship with each of us, and that Jesus was crucified, died and rose again.  That’s a great starting point for bringing new people into our family.

The interesting numbers come in the area of church attendance.  The best attended denomination in Shallowater is Baptist.at 23% of church goers, followed by Catholic at 14%then “Independent” which is 10%.  The United Methodists have the last of the larger numbers with 8%.

Keep in mind that 17% of the Shallowater population overall identifies as United Methodist.

The most exciting number and best opportunity I see from the study is that 55% of Shallowater residents who believe as Christians have no affiliation or even identification with a church or religion.

People are hungry for the grace and the love that First United Methodist offers.  I have no doubt that as the message and witness of our grace and love moves through the city, we will see some numbers changing.  Our mission field is literally just outside our doors.

These are exciting times for First United Methodist, and I am blessed to walk with you, stand by you, and celebrate all the wonderful things God is doing through us.

Blessings,

Jeff

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