A Message From Pastor Kris
It has been great to transition back into in-person church services the last two Sundays! Thank you for everyone that has helped keep our facilities clean and ready for multiple worship services. I am truly appreciative of everyone being so patient, encouraging and loving toward one another. What a blessing to serve Jesus along side each one of you. As things begin to re-open more, we will continue to update you when events are scheduled and groups start meeting in-person. Communication on this will be posted on our website and on social media.
Again, I want to thank our congregation for their faithfulness to Christ, His Kingdom, and our church during these trying times. You have faithfully shared our online services with many friends who have no church home. We believe that our church services have been viewed by more unchurched individuals and families during this time than any other period in the church's history. My prayer is that we will continue to impact lives for Christ and experience life transformation as we provide both in-person and online service options.
In His service,
Contact Kris: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shawnee Alliance Church
Building a community of faith......Leading people to become fully transformed followers of Jesus Christ.
Our Core Values
- Faith. We love it when we see God make the impossible become reality in our lives.
- Biblical, meaningful teaching. Relevant, Biblical teaching is a primary catalyst for transformation in people’s lives.
- People. People are the life of Shawnee Alliance; people who are distant from God are especially important to us.
- Relationships. No one stands alone. The power of the Christian life is experienced in relationships where God transforms not only the individual, but also the community.
- Generosity. We value the giving of our time and energy for the greater cause of God’s kingdom. We aspire to always use our God-given gifts and talents with humility and integrity.
- Grace & Healing. Shawnee Alliance is a safe place to admit and confront life issues. This is a safe place to live and grow.
- Missions. We participate actively in sharing the message of Jesus Christ’s love in the whole world.
How To Connect With Us
What is Beulah Beach?
Did you know that there is a camp that has impacted many lives here at Shawnee Alliance? We wanted to take this opportunity to share a little more about this beautiful camp and retreat center that is located on the shores of Lake Erie. Here is how their website describes their ministry: "As a ministry of the Christian Missionary Alliance, amid the demand of the frantic pace of today’s world, Beulah Beach Camp and Retreat Center has been a place of rest, relaxation, & spiritual renewal for guests since 1921. Beulah Beach engages guests to encounter Jesus Christ. Some say they can sense the presence of God the moment they step on the grounds. God doesn’t speak any louder here, but for whatever reason, many claim they hear him better at Beulah Beach." Beulah Beach (BB) offers day camps, week long camps for individuals, family camps, as well as Beulah Beach on the Road. Please visit their website to find out more!
Shawnee Alliance is a supporter of BB and all their different ministries. We have held Beulah Beach on the Road here at the church, and celebrate when a child rings the bell to signify that he or she has asked Jesus into their heart! While we are unsure of what summer camps will look like this year, we would still love to share information on the yearly work trips to BB and past experiences at the camp.
Reflections from Nancy Mertz and Denise Darbyshire
Even as this is written, there is a work team from Shawnee Alliance at the camp helping them get the facilities and grounds ready for summer camps and retreats! This is our 12th Annual Spring Missions Work Trip to BB. We have sent over 125 volunteers of all ages over these 12 years, with an average of 40 going each year. These volunteers have completed big projects like framing buildings, roofing, siding and pouring concrete; along with smaller projects like clean-up and painting projects. Some of the project highlights have been developing new areas like the Hexagon Swing Set (a must see) and putting together the supporting structure for the famous Beulah Beach Bell! The Lord has blessed the community of volunteers as we have really formed great and lasting bonds and friendships through toiling daily efforts and relaxing evenings and ice cream trips.
Camp Reflections from Ryan
Ryan Jones, a congregant at SAC, reflects on his experiences on the Beulah Beach work trip and as a father in family camp. He writes, “My son and I are sitting in a room in the lodge at BB getting ready for the first Shawnee Alliance Work Day of the year. Looking out over Lake Erie, my mind is beginning to retreat from the routine worries and busyness of the real world. This is typical every time I arrive at BB. However, the camp is empty and missing the usual conversations, laughter and excitement that we are used to during a week at Beulah Beach's Family Camp.
If you ask my kids what they like about Family Camp, they will most certainly tell you about the games they played with their friends, conquering the zip line over the lagoon, building sand castles on the beach, and racing a friend or parent down the 90 foot long slip and slide. They will describe the boat, in great detail, that won the annual (recyclable derived) Wacky Boat Race on Lake Erie or tell you about that time that my oldest and I had a comeback victory to win the Father/Son Canoe Race. They might tell you about swimming at the pool, learning to dive in the deep end, or drying off by jumping in the pick-up soccer game in the field next door. Hay rides around camp are always on the agenda and Family Camp would not be complete without a bonfire on the beach and a healthy dose of s'mores.
If you listened a little longer though, they would tell you about who they had all of these adventures with. My daughter will tell you about the friend she made playing tag and swinging on the tire swing. She will let you know how much she misses her friends from camp. My boys will tell you about the brothers that they built the ‘biggest, best’ sand castle with or dug a hole almost to China with on the beach. They will share the plans they made with these friends to make it the entire way through next time they are together. They will recall the time(s) Dad almost threw them off the jet ski and when they sat with Mom on the swings and watched the birds and boats on the lake.
Most importantly, they will remember that I was there, that their Mom was there. They will remember that we had fun together as a family. We remember that they all cried as we loaded up the car to start towards home, partly from exhaustion, but mostly because ‘we want to stay here forever.’ They soon forget that moment as they begin to look forward to the next time they get to come back to Beulah Beach (or fall asleep in the car).
Mom and Dad head home exhausted too! We have to keep up with them for 5 days. It is the most refreshing form of exhaustion that I have ever experienced. We play together, sing and dance together, and compete in goofy camp games as a family. We also talk with our kids about God's purpose for their lives, Jesus’s sacrifice for them, and what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We get to foster lifelong friendships with other parents and grandparents that we see year after year. Marco Polo, Instagram, and Facebook don't hold a candle to sitting on the beach experiencing life together and connecting with others who want their children to develop their own friendships with Jesus. Each summer my wife and I get to sit at the edge of the water where our kids came up to us and asked if I would baptize them because of our willingness to make the investment of time and money to put them in a position to hear from God.
Beulah Beach is truly a special place for our family. While all of the ‘toys,’ games and friends help make it the most fun week of our summer, it is special because our family comes here and meets God. You can't help but look around BB and see God in the scenery, in the other families, in the staff, and in the joy and relationships that He is fostering. You recognize Him in the quiet time you have with your family, in the questions your children ask desiring to know more about Him, or the time carved out for couples to spend together.
If my wife were writing this, she may simply say, ‘We go to BB because I don't have to worry about meals for a week,’ which is testament enough for any mom to the level of rest and rejuvenation that she experiences.
During the work week, as I sit in a quiet, empty camp; I know that in a couple of weeks it will be full of staff, excitement, children, and families seeking to make memories. BB will be full of God's joy, healing, and love. Find yourself in a place, like BB, to bring your family into God's presence in a way that will last for generations.”
Camp Reflections from Emily
God has shown up in BB campers and adults alike, and continues to work His will in the camp today! Emily Manuel, a student at Shawnee Alliance, took a little time to reflect on her personal experiences at BB as well. She made many good memories at BB, and reflects that, “When I was younger, I went to BB with my siblings multiple times, including to “Wet N’ Wacky Wednesday”, “Beulah on the Road”, and week-long camps. Although it has been four years since I have last visited BB, I have many memories in my mind. I remember Lakeshore Lodge; racing down the hallways, playing cards in my room in my free time, singing downstairs and sitting on the porch playing games with my counselor and friends.
I remember the beach; at first carefully stepping on the hot sand to avoid broken shells and sticks but then giving up the slow pace to instead sprint to the water’s edge. I think of how we would watch ships on the horizon and swim with my friends.
I remember the experiences that caused me to be bold. I think of the Old Tabernacle and the New Tabernacle, and the singing, learning, and game-playing that happened in these buildings. In the Old Tabernacle, I remember singing with my best friend and sister, and even though it poured rain into and around the building, we were bold in continuing to sing out despite the storm. I recall in the New Tabernacle one particular weekend when a counselor talked about self-worth and confidence, to which my counselor and I prayed as we both cried. When I think of bold moments at BB, I also think of the jet skis and zipline. I was honestly terrified to ride on both of these, but with some encouragement from my friends, I did ride both, and ended up having a lot of fun.
I remember the funny moments; giving our counselors nicknames, decorating cookie cakes, glow in the dark dodgeball, the giant slip and slide and attempting to canoe, this being something we didn’t know how to do correctly, so we ended up paddling the canoe in circles.
Most of all, I remember the tender moments with my group, my counselor and God. Although it was four years ago, I now recall sitting on the hillside with my group and gazing at the birds and sunset on the water as we talked about Jesus. At a different time, we sat by the hill at the top of the lagoon and watched the procession of a reenactment of Jesus’s death. The hillside was quiet as the counselors portrayed his crucifixion. As I reflected on BB, I was reminded of many memories, with these two memories not as prominent until I recalled them, but they now stand out so clearly.
I hope you can experience BB someday if you haven’t yet, whether it be as a camper, counselor, parent, volunteer, or even a visitor, as it provides so many different opportunities for everyone who attends, from times of bold singing to times of quiet retrospection, and continues to serve as a beacon of hope in this time and on.”
Missions at Shawnee Alliance and in the CMA
SAC Missions: A team is gathering and planning for a trip to Envision Providence the last week of June. Initially a youth basketball camp, the trip is now restructuring as a gardening and greenhouse outreach (to better abide by the state of Rhode Island's rules of social distancing and sport restrictions). Details are still being worked out and planning details will be last minute as they continue to deal with the ever-changing world around them, but the team and Providence site still hope to reach those lost and struggling in these times and their area in whatever ways they can.
CMA Missions: Small teams are still managing to make their impact around the world and are constantly facing health and isolation threats. They request prayers for all their churches, pastors and missionary workers as they navigate these strange times, but find ways to display and offer peace to those that are desperately seeking it right now.
The Impact of Ravi Zacharias: A Memorial of a Profound Leader's Life
Ravi Zacharias was a Christian evangelist and apologist known most notably for founding Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) and authoring 28 Christian books. The beloved theologian promoted living a Christian life dedicated to the pursuit of truth fueled by continual thought and the exploration of profound questions. Zacharias eloquently remarked, “Questions haunt our lives everyday: question of origin, the question of meaning, question of morality, and the question of destiny. These four converge into a world view.” Zacharias and his team have explored enumerable questions within these four categories through RZIM. Through his ministry, Zacharias encouraged individuals to develop informed world views which would allow them to better their walk with Jesus.
Ravi Zacharias’s story is one of a truly transformed life. He first dedicated his life to Jesus when laying in a hospital bed at the age of 17, recovering from an attempted suicide. Hearing the word of God: “Because I live, you will also live” delivered Ravi from a state of immense emotional pain and spiritual turmoil, and set his transformation into motion. From that point on, his life was centered around Christ, and around sharing His love with as many people as possible. Zacharias was able to reach people in a number of mediums. His ministry began with simply preaching, but due to his passion for our Savior and admirable drive, his influence soon expanded far beyond the limits of a single body of believers, or even a single country.
At the age of 20, Zacharias had moved from his home country of India to Canada, and at 25, upon the invitation of veteran missionary Ruth Jeffrey, Ravi flew to Vietnam to continue spreading the truth of Jesus on military bases, hospitals, and prisons. After this deeply moving and transformational trip, Zacharias and his wife moved to America, where he taught at the Alliance Theological Seminary while traveling the country preaching to the masses on the weekends. RZIM was first founded in 1984 with the help of businessman DD Davis. RZIM focused on connecting with individuals in person, as Ravi’s obituary alludes, “Meeting the thinker face-to-face was an intrinsic part of Zacharias’s ministry, with post-event Q&A sessions often lasting long into the night.” By continuing to go above and beyond his duties, Ravi proved that his devotion to helping others better their relationship with God was nearly as impressive as his love for Christ himself.
As technology advanced, and with it society, Ravi’s radio program Let My People Think was first born. The program is still popular today, although it is now a podcast, which can be found on the RZIM website, as well as a variety of music streaming services, such as Spotify. Ravi’s ministry far surpassed the bounds of a single church on Sunday mornings. It was through his preaching at events where he was a speaker, through his award winning books, such as The Logic of God, Seeing Jesus from the East, and Can Man Live Without God?, through his radio show, and later numerous podcasts, through the establishment of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, which the RZIM helped to found, and Wellspring International, that Zacharias’s great love for Jesus shone and his influence was felt.
Late into his life, Zacharias traveled the world, preaching to those who needed it the most. Although he had been a resident in India, Canada, and America, he had traveled to Vietnam, Russia, and Colombia, among other countries, to bring God to people who may have never known Him otherwise. His travels within America may have been just as influential though. He spoke on the campuses of countless universities across the United States, as well as in numerous prisons. Zacharias sought to explore some of the most difficult questions of life so that everybody he met could find a truthful answer of who Christ is and how their lives could best reflect His.
Although Ravi Zacharias may have passed on May 19 of this year, his many accomplishments will continue to touch the lives of others and continue spreading the love of God long after his death. The small organization which he founded in 1984 has blossomed into a global team of nearly 100 intelligent, passionate speakers, who continue to reach and create more and more followers of Jesus everyday. Ravi’s influence should serve as an incredibly moving example of what we are capable of accomplishing through Jesus.
Youth Ministry Updates
Student Ministry - Meeting through Zoom
Have you or your student been involved in any groups outside of their schoolwork? SAC’s Student Ministry is still in session and meeting weekly! Hopeshakers meets in large online group formats through Zoom on Sunday nights at 6pm. In May, they have been taking on a series called “Atypical” which asks the question - how normal or dysfunctional is your family? It’s important to keep in mind that God used not-so-typical families because not-so-typical families pray for each other, have tough conversations, and forgive each other. Please feel free to reach out to Pastor Josh to get the Meeting ID and Password for the Zoom meetings. (Please note, in order to keep a safe online environment, we are no longer posting these meeting ID’s and passwords on social media.) For more info and to stay connected with what is going on in the Hopeshakers group, visit their page on Instagram and Facebook. We hope to see your student online with us!
Do you have a student that is a 2020 graduate? We want to honor them in our Graduate Recognition service on Sunday, June 7th. We will be meeting in person for that service, both at 9:30 A.M. and 11 A.M. in the Activity Center. If you can meet in person, we will recognize your graduate while maintaining appropriate distancing. If your family is unable to meet in person, we would still love to recognize your student through online viewership. Please email Pastor Josh at email@example.com with your students’ name, what school they are graduating from and a senior picture for their recognition. Your student will also be presented with a gift on behalf of the church after the service.
Children's Ministry Update
Summer events are still in the planning process, so please look for more information soon!
Check out this week's video for kids of all ages: https://vimeo.com/showcase/7173665/video/422640018 Remember to stay determined in sharing the good news of Jesus even when it becomes challenging! Not everyone will be open or happy about hearing about Jesus right away. Don't give up! Like Saul, God changes hearts! Jesus was sent to rescue all of us. Ask all the questions and keep going!
Contact Erin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for being generous stewards to Shawnee Alliance Church! We are grateful for your support that allows our ministries to continue and grow. Connect cards and offerings can be dropped off as you exit the service on Sunday or by mailing to the church office. Other ways to give:
- Text the amount to 84321
- Shawnee Alliance website - Donate Tab
- Church Center App (found in your App Store)
"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25
Our Prayer Ministry aims to teach and lead the church in both individual and corporate prayer. We submit to Jesus Christ as the head of the church and will strive to obey his command that his church should be called a house of prayer. We do this through prayer and fasting as a congregation once a month, prayer chain emails, classes on prayer and intercessory prayer team members praying prior to and during the Sunday morning services.
If you want to be involved or get more information on our prayer ministry, please contact Denise at email@example.com.
Do you have a request that you want to share with the staff or placed on the prayer chain? Feel free to contact us with prayer concerns for staff only or to share with prayer warriors by emailing your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly Bible Reading
The number one habit to bring transformation to your life is reading your Bible. You will get to know Jesus on a deeper level and learn wisdom for your everyday choices. You can find a free Bible in the Lobby. Take one today or download the YouVersion app on your phone. Use this simple SOAP format to guide your interaction with God's Word.
- Scripture. Take your time reading each chapter and allow God to speak to you.
- Observation. What do you see God doing in the Scripture? What is God saying to you?
- Application. Ask yourself how you can apply this to your life right now.
- Prayer. Communicate with God and ask Him to help you apply this to your life.
Try it out this week! Add a chapter from Proverbs every day to the below plan. (List is also posted every Sunday on social media.)
Thursday, May 28 -- Philippians 2:1-3
Friday, May 29 -- 1 John 1:5-7
Saturday, May 30 -- Acts 5:12
Sunday, May 31 -- 1 Peter 2:4-10
Monday, June 1 -- Colossians 3:11-13
Tuesday, June 2 -- Isaiah 43:19-21
Wednesday, June 3 -- Isaiah 28:15-17
Thursday, June 4 -- Matthew 16:18
Friday, June 5 -- Exodus 34:10
Saturday, June 6 -- Psalm 106:47-48