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Pastor Leigh Ann’s Monthly Blog

You are never too old…

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream,” according to C.S. Lewis. My dream is for the Kingdom of God to be realized at our church…within our congregation. The Kingdom of God is like the best buffet you can imagine, where everyone is cared for and nourished. I dream that our work at the church connects us with Jesus and sends us out into the world to offer hope for those who are hungry, lonely and lost. Worship is one big piece of claiming the Kingdom of God in our midst. In August we will be having ONE worship service on Sundays at 10 am. The goal is to have the whole congregation together so that we can share fellowship, build relationships and witness to our faith. It will be what 
some call a ‘blended’ experience meaning that some of the weeks we will have band music and other weeks we will have more traditional music. Some weeks we will share in formal liturgy and other weeks it may be more extemporaneous. I hope you will open your heart and come be a part of the community. August is the time to try new things and meet new people. Marcia McFee, a worship coach and planner, says that ‘worship is as necessary to our lives as breathing.’ Christians are people who have received and continue to receive the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit is God realized in our time. McFee says that worship is a time to in-spire (breathe in the spirit of God), ex=pire (breathe out the hurts and pains of the week) and con-spire (breathe with the family of God). The work of God’s Spirit is active and constant and physically within us. The work of worship is a part of this Spirit Respiration we do every week. The mission of the church universal is to make disciples of Jesus and send them out into the world to do ministry. Worship is the fill-up station for disciples to be made and empowered to go out into the world. It is the Holy Oxygen center where we receive breath into our body, both individually and corporately. The journey of discipleship is learning about God and Jesus from the lessons of the Bible for today’s world. It is a challenging world we live in and we all relate to it a little differently. So different worship experiences and songs will speak differently to each of us. I invite you to come to worship in August. Come to see your faith family and experience a variety of worship. The Kingdom of God is realized when we join together, work together, and offer one another the grace of Jesus. Let us celebrate in the month of August in worship! Amen. Grace and peace to you!

Rev. Dr. Leigh Ann Shaw


It’s just amazing

July, 2017  It’s just amazing…the work of our Annual Conference was interesting, engaging and powerful this year!


March 14, 2020

Beloved Congregation of the UMCV, 

After meeting with the administrative leadership of our congregation this morning, and reviewing and discussing the current covid19 health crisis, we have decided, out of an abundance of caution and with love for each of you, to cancel worship tomorrow morning, March 15.  None of us take this decision lightly, but do so with the conviction that we are a church family and part of our larger community, and so must act responsibly.  We do not know how this health crisis will unfold, and will strive to do what is right, consistent with the suggestions of every leading health organization.   

Please continue to watch your emails and other ways you receive information.  Next week we will have a live streaming worship online and a Lenten message will be emailed for you to pray and continue your Lenten season of reflection.  

During this time we will continue to email, call and contact you to hear your prayer needs and how we might be able to support each other more.  

My heart is heavy for this decision, but your well being is the most important concern at this moment.  All staff (and even a few musicians) will be at the church tomorrow to greet any of you who stop by, or don’t receive this email today.  

Grace and peace to you!  Rev. Dr. Leigh Ann Shaw

March 13, 2020

We’ve been talking about physical health and the flu season in our congregation since January (and before).  “Stay home if you are sick.”  “Wash your hands.”  Two weeks ago we ‘paused’ hand shaking and hugging.  Always, we have held one another in prayer for health. It is our way of faith.  Recently, we took extra steps of caution.  During this extraordinary time, we will take even more aggressive steps to protect your health and faith. 

Here is where we are: our way of being a Faith Family and Christian community is being disrupted.  And it is for good reason.  The health and well-being of every congregation member and every member of our community and our nation is at risk.  In the midst of this health disruption, we will and are committed to stay connected and caring for one another. 

We will continue with worship this Sunday at the regular times.  (If you are sick, or are concerned for your own well-being, please stay home and let us know how we can pray for you.)  If you come, please wash your hands before you arrive, while you are present and when you leave.  Use hand sanitizer if you can’t get to the sink.  (Bring your own hand sanitizer for an extra layer of precaution if you can.)  Doors will be propped open to reduce touching handles.  The situation and impact of Covid19 is changing rapidly and Sunday may require additional adaptations and changes.   Thank you in advance for staying flexible. 

After this Sunday we will likely go to a modified schedule, and (I hope) an online, live streaming feed of worship.  Watch for information to come on this.  (Thanks to Rob Pierce for taking lead on this.  If you want to support this effort, please email or contact Rob.) 



At this time of uncertainty, I am mindful of and praying for your physical health, and also your spiritual and emotional health.  To honor and care for your physical health, we are going to practice ‘social distancing’, reduce any gathering to a small group, cancel any committee or gathering we can or move them to online email, practice extreme hand washing practices and honor the expectations of the public health policies as they come out.  To honor and care for your spiritual and emotional health, our staff will continue to be on site at their regular times and available for phone calls, emails and personal visits.  I hope we can use every resource to be with one another in prayer, and mutual support so no one feels isolated or alone in these days and weeks we are facing.  Given the economic disruption to our community, it is important to our church to keep our staff employed and working, keep the folks to do work on our facility employed and working and keep the church open and active to care for one another, the people of Vista and beyond. 
It is clear that the most vulnerable of our community are going to be adversely impacted, both socially and economically, by this unfolding covid19 pandemic.  Individuals and families who have been concerned and fearful about paying bills and keeping a roof overhead are even more at risk.  Local ‘mom and pop’ businesses are facing a drop in business and will struggle to pay employees.  Families with school-aged children are struggling with childcare issues and whether school will be available for their children.  Seniors are being isolated.  The trickle down impact of corona virus looks like it will be profound and far reaching.   

Jesus has always called us to love God and love neighbor.  Putting this into bolder practice is critically important at this moment.  In order for us to continue faithfully walking our journey together, I ask that you keep engaged, keep reading emails and newsletters, keep sharing your prayers and prayer needs, and keep supporting this church with your financial gifts.  There is a small ‘Samaritan fund’ for special needs requests.  I’ve used it previously to pay for emergency needs like hotel rooms for homeless, pay for electric bills for families, pay for a car repair and more.  Please continue to remember your church with your financial giving so we can keep our doors open and if you are able to support the ‘Samaritan fund’ for any emergency requests, that will be a valuable resource also. 

I also want to thank each of your for your support, encouragement and prayers.  I am humbled to be on this faith journey with you, and the days are challenging.  We will do this together…

Your pastor and sister in Christ,

Rev. Dr. Leigh Ann Shaw


In response to the coronavirus pandemic and out of concern for the well-being of our community, we are postponing our church meetings and activities until further notice.  Don’t hesitate to contact us for prayer or to talk. 


The Education/Discipleship program is postponing meetings and activities until further  notice.

Family Game Night, May 8
Join us for Family Game Night, Friday, May 8, 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. For questions or for more information, please see Margene or John Haase.