Posted in Uncategorized | By Tim Wheat | Posted on Thu Apr 2, 2020
Our greatest response during COVID-19 may actually be the hundreds of stories of how individuals and families are living sent. Whether it be chalk drawings to pray, making cookies for health care workers with notes of encouragement, prayer walking your street to meet neighbors to invite to join you in one of the three online services … you are living sent and the mission of God is advancing. Let us know your story and keep it up!
In addition to the personal ways to live sent, we are also partnering with a number of local mission groups to serve the greater Birmingham area. Here is a sampling of what Shades members have done, and are doing, as a church family:
- Each Friday 75-125 sack lunches are prepared and delivered to Green Valley Elementary School to provide meals for children through the weekend.
- Three times a week at least 50 sack lunches are prepared by Shades members and dropped off that goes to feed the homeless population in Birmingham through Urban Purpose.
- Twice a week sacks of groceries are bought and filled by Shades members and being dropped off for with enough food for five meals and distributed to churches and groups who are serving those in lower income areas and the elderly through Christian Service Mission.
- Several opportunities each week continue in partnership with Grace Klein Ministry and Serving You Ministry.
- Each week Shades supported missionaries, church planters, and mission organizations are contacted for updates and prayer needs.
The opportunities are endless. We’d love for each member and family to check out the Volunteer page and select a time and way to serve one of our partners.
As a church we began strategizing with personnel at UAB Hospital to determine ways to best serve the health care providers at UAB. They literally are on the front lines of caring for our city and are in need of being cared for as well. A number of ideas are being explored such as encouragement notes, providing for childcare needs, prayer teams focused on different specialties, goodies like cookies delivered to the offices, maybe even “favorites” given out, etc.
We will do this in partnership with our church plant partner, Antioch Community Church. This will strengthen their impact in the UAB family while leveraging the larger pool of resources of Shades Mountain. In the coming days we will post on the Volunteer page some specific ways we look to serve this selfless community of workers.
Finally as Easter approaches, digital invite cards are being sent to Shades members with the purpose of sharing with neighbors and friends. This is a tangible, specific resource to be used to invite people to join “with” you and experience Easter like never before. Even as you maintain social distancing, how easy it is to walk next door or down the street and be able to drop off a card at a neighbors door to share about the multiple opportunities to join in an Easter celebration.
In addition, it is even easier to text or email the invite to that friend, relative, or special “one” that you have been praying for opportunities to talk about faith. This Easter could make an eternal difference in lives of those we do life with every day through a simple card!
What an incredible season we are living in and what incredible opportunities are available to live sent. Our world has changed, but His mission hasn’t. This season of crisis is to be the church's finest hour … so may we embrace this opportunity … may we be the church … may we live sent!
Posted in Uncategorized | By Tim Wheat | Posted on Thu Mar 19, 2020
Although the world of personal connection and ministry seems to be literally changing every day, our mission as followers of Jesus is still the same. “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you…” are words that have relevance across time, culture, and place. This pandemic did not catch the Father off guard so we can trust that He has a plan and desire to use it for His Glory and our good. So how are we to live as “sent” people in a world that is shutting down, quarantined, and becoming more isolated? Below are suggestions intended to provide some initial thoughts. These suggestions are not to contradict the wisdom of officials and leaders in regards to gathering in groups but simple ways of how best to live our lives while still loving our neighbor in the midst of these days.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Shades Staff | Posted on Tue Mar 17, 2020
Beginning Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m., we'll move to limited on-campus operations at Shades. A very limited number of staff will work from our campus, and access for visitors will be limited. Our ministry and work will continue in a highly focused approach, but in large part will not be done from church facilities.
Entrance doors to the campus will remain locked during limited on-campus operations, and all visitor traffic will be pointed to the North Entrance. The on-campus receptionist will utilize the video doorbell to interact with visitors and give entrance as needed. The doorbell will be clearly labeled, with instructions. Anticipated visitors include those delivering contributions, seeking benevolence, or wanting ministerial counsel.
Our staff time will continue to spearhead our ministry efforts, and stay intentionally connected with our church family and community. The mission before us is the same, as we increase our creativity in pursuing it. Any questions regarding this decision can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Danny Wood | Posted on Sat Mar 14, 2020
Yesterday leadership within the Southern Baptist family issued a call for unified prayer among the 47,500+ churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. I’m asking that we at Shades respond to this call individually and collectively by committing to pray at 4:06 in the morning or afternoon daily for circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. As we pray, let’s specifically focus on the following areas:
- Ask God, in His mercy, to stop this pandemic and save lives in our communities and around the world, particularly in places that are unequipped medically to deal with the virus. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
- Pray for President Donald Trump and other government leaders -- international, federal, state, and local -- to have the wisdom to direct us in the best courses of action for prevention and care. (Romans 13:1–4)
- Pray that the Lord will give us wisdom in this moment of uncertainty. Pray that those far from God would realize how fragile life is and how real eternity is, and they would see their need to turn to God. (Psalm 90:12)
- Ask God to protect our missionaries, church planters, and their families around the world, using this global crisis to advance the good news of the gospel to all people. (Mark 16:15)
During our online service tomorrow, we will have a dedicated time of prayer centered around these requests. I hope that you’ll join us at 9:30am by clicking here. Also, as a reminder, you can access the latest information and resources regarding our updated schedule and programming.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Shades Staff | Posted on Fri Mar 13, 2020
Please watch an important update from Pastor Danny about plans for this Sunday and the coming weeks.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Tommy DeRamus | Posted on Thu Feb 20, 2020
One of the tent-poles of Shades’ Community Engagement ministry is to provide spiritual, emotional, and professional support to our school teachers and administrators. These leaders have tremendous influence over our children during their formative years, and we want to do our best to support and encourage them, and ultimately influence them for Christ.
We have six teams currently working in area schools. In Vestavia Hills, we serve in Dolly Ridge Elementary, Vestavia East Elementary and Vestavia West Elementary. In Hoover, we have teams at Bluff Park, Green Valley, and Shades Mountain Elementary schools. All told, the Lord has given us space to build relationship with and encourage more than 600 local school employees.
Our School Adoption Teams offer support at their schools in a variety of ways. We provide grab-and-go breakfasts for teachers as they arrive for their classes; we help with school cook-out days; we provide goodie bags with gifts, all in an effort to show our appreciation for the work our teachers and administrators are doing every day. Most importantly, all of these activities are bathed in prayer that our work will open doors for Gospel conversations with the leaders in our schools.
We’ve gotten great feedback from our school partners. Principals tell us the breakfast treats are a welcome start to the day for their teachers. Teachers say that the gifts are thoughtful and give them a nice pick-me-up in the midst of long days of classes. Our team members express genuine happiness as they serve in their schools as the hands and feet of Jesus.
We are always open to new team members and new ideas for ways we can express our appreciation in our schools. God has opened doors for us and we want to be faithful to use these opportunities to build up our teachers and administrators and share the love of Jesus with them. If you would like more information about our School Adoption Teams or want to get involved at one of our schools, please contact Tommy DeRamus.
Posted in Adults | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Wed Feb 12, 2020
In January, we launched a new ministry called the Shades Equipping Center. As a church, we want to send transformed people to influence their world for Christ. The Equipping Center helps us answer the question: “How do we become transformed people?”
Romans 12:1-2 says that we are, “transformed by the renewal of our minds that by testing we may discern what is the will of God – what is good, acceptable, and perfect.” But transformation is challenging because we live in a time and place where Biblical illiteracy is rampant, marriages and families are being torn apart, Christian beliefs are challenged in the public square, and the influence of the church seems to be fading.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Tommy DeRamus | Posted on Thu Jan 16, 2020
Earlier this month, we started a new ministry opportunity called PowerBreakfast. PowerBreakfast is a spinoff from PowerLunch, designed to help us reach business people who work in the downtown Birmingham area.
Through PowerLunch, God brings men and women in the business community to our campus who have little or no connection to Shades. But as we've continued to ask ourselves how God is calling us to Live Sent, PowerBreakfast seemed like a natural next step in this ministry. The generosity of the team at the Harbert Center provides space for us to bring gospel-centered leadership to those who work downtown.
A number of companies were well represented at PowerBreakfast, including The Southern Company, Samford University, the Burr-Forman law firm, The Alabama Baptist, Milo’s Tea and BBVA Compass. God has given our faith family a unique sphere of influence through a number of different companies, so we'd encourage you to invite a colleague for breakfast and a talk on leadership.
We also would love for you to serve by checking our guests in or greeting them and showing them to the ballroom in which we meet.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Shades Staff | Posted on Thu Dec 12, 2019
Christmas at Shades was a memorable one, not solely because it was the first one in our newly remodeled and repurposed Worship Center and Lobby. But because we met with God.
One of our favorite aspects of the night is the multigenerational display you see on stage. Our Worship Arts team creates space for the next generation to lead in our church family in worship.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Danny Wood | Posted on Wed Jun 19, 2019
As I reflect on the Pastors’ Conference, I have never been prouder of our church and especially our staff. I am proud, grateful and humbled to be your pastor and to have the privilege to serve alongside of you. What Shades did was epic!
Three strengths that made this "epic." The worship team was incredible. This was a CBC, GIC, and big Sunday all in one! One pastor commented they had never seen a freedom of worship at a PC like this ever before ... and he is right. Talent, love for Jesus, love to worship -- all of this was evident. At times I was smiling, singing, and crying at the same time both because of the message of the song and the joy on the faces of those leading.
The tech team and creative team. Wow, what can you say? Off the charts! I don’t know if any attendee can even fathom the number of painstaking hours that were involved in the making and editing of the videos and the book that was distributed. It is mind boggling, but all the effort was worth it and was of a quality not just in production value but in messaging that has never been seen before at a PC.
And our volunteer spirit. Over 500 volunteers giving of their time and loving it! EVERY speaker, EVERY program personality, EVERY representative from all the other organizations that we worked with went out of their way to tell me how outstanding our volunteers were. I never had to fish for a compliment because they sought me out and bragged on our staff and our lay volunteers. This is who we are; this is Shades.
Bottom line is that all the work of the Pastors’ Conference was outstanding ... but not unexpected. And that is the greatest compliment of all. What our staff and our volunteers did was a reflection of the quality of work I see every week. I am just glad that the rest of the convention was able to benefit from your immense talents, infectious spirit, and deep love for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again, thank you church for giving of your time to make the Pastors’ Conference special and meaningful for so many pastors and their wives. I love you and am blessed to be your pastor!
If you want to watch any of the sermons and/or the video trailers, click here!