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We are exhibiting at the AG General Council in Phoenix, AZ this year and are so excited to experience it for the first time. The event will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ, August 2-5. There are over 30,000 attendees expected and Shelby will be sending four of our own to answer any and all church software questions. We will also be discussing what our software does and how it can be beneficial to your church or nonprofit. If you are planning on going, please stop by and say hello. We will be in booths 1220 and 1222!!

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Shelby’s v.5.11.1000 Full Update is a complete software installation of all programs and workstation files and is now available! Year-end Tax and Form updates will be provided for v.5.10 and v.5.11. Click here to login for the full revision list.
Here are some of the major changes:
  • General Ledger: The following new columns have been added to the Account Information Budget grid:  Current Budget, Prior Year Budget, 12 Months Actuals, Current Actuals, Prior Year Actuals, and Prior Year Actuals 2x. Fund/Department totals have also been added to the bottom of the screen based on the row that a user selects on the grid.
  • Check In: Users can now send a text message to any and all guardians associated with the selected individual in Inquiry.
  • Payroll: There is now an option to mask Social Security Numbers (SSN) on the State and Local Taxes, Unemployment, and Workers Compensation reports.
If you have any questions, please contact Shelby Systems Support at (888) 697-4352 or .


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Steve Hewitt, founder of Christian Computing Magazine (CCMag), has announced the first five inductees into the Christian Computing Hall of Fame, an honor given to those who helped pave the way for churches using technology. We are so proud to have our founder, Ernie Hamilton, highlighted in this month’s cover story after being chosen as one of the first five. Hamilton started Shelby Systems in 1976 after establishing a data processing center at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the 1970’s. He saw the need for churches to have an easier and more organized way to manage their membership and financial data so he developed the first church and nonprofit software. Here is a snippet of what is said about Hamilton’s passion for helping churches:
His legacy not only includes being a pioneer in Church Management Software, but in the way he managed Shelby. His life was committed to helping churches use technology to increase and enhance ministry.
Check out the article in CCMag’s July issue here.
						

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Surprised GirlYou spend all day organizing events, managing finances, recording membership data… and all for what? For your church’s success, of course. For growth, for better community outreach, for better organization. What you do each day is important to so many people, and the way to stay relevant with those people is to keep them involved and to keep the church growing. The question that needs to be asked is, “What reaction is my church looking for?” Goals and visions for the future are necessary, but if your church isn’t sure of its perception or what kind of mark to make on the community, then the goals and visions are incomplete. Take a more contemporary and laid back church, for example. The reaction might be that this church is more comfortable and inviting than the average church. Being more conservative and formal might make people feel like they are getting a more serious, hard-hitting sermon on Sunday mornings. Both churches have their pros and cons, but it can be rather difficult, if not impossible, to be both. The idea of being the cool and relaxed church can fall to pieces if there are strict rules on dress or social activities. The look and feel of one part of the church needs to flow with the rest of the church, all while keeping Christ at the center. So ask your staff and volunteers, “What reaction are we looking for?” and use those answers to form a new vision that can make that happen. You’ll never be the “respected, straight-shooting” church if you don’t stick to your guns, right? How does your church work to build its reputation?


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Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past few months, the final movie in the Harry Potter series came out last weekend. I don’t have the statistics on the number of people who are still opposed to the franchise, but I want to take today’s post and highlight a few things that I have gathered in my 10 year following of Harry Potter. I haven’t read past book two but my husband has read them all and we have seen every movie… and if you are doubting me because I am a Harry Potter fan, I am writing this just for you. (There are a few spoilers in this so please stop reading now if you are planning on seeing the movie.) Wizards, magic, ghosts, flying broomsticks, strange creatures, far off lands, violence… it’s all there. J.K. Rowling tells a story of a young boy whose life was spared by the most powerful and evil wizard to ever exist. That wizard, named Voldemort, had killed Harry’s family, but since Harry’s mother had sacrificed her life to save his, Harry lived. Voldemort’s power was weakened by this, and being one who feared death over anything else, Voldemort decided to cast a spell that would split his soul into seven pieces of tangible items, called horcruxes. Now I know what a lot of you are thinking… the idea of having the most evil wizard controling his own destiny sounds a little blasphemous, but that is why he ultimately fails. He cannot defeat the power of good. While at a school called Hogwarts, Harry encounters many battles, adventures and disturbing situations while being pursued by Voldemort, who wants his revenge.  To top it off, there is a wand, known as the Elder Wand,  that holds the most powerful magic in the world… and it has ended up in Voldemort’s hands. This wand is so powerful that it’s master cannot be killed while holding it. In the end, it is all up to Harry (and his friends) to destroy each of the horcruxes and to get the Elder Wand out of Voldemort’s possession. How is all of this relevant to religion? When Oprah interviewed J.K. Rowling a few months ago, the talk show queen asked her what she thought of all the naysayers (specifically the Christians) who opposed the books. Her response really stuck with me. I’m paraphrasing, but she told Oprah that she had only written the books to be fun and to give children a chance to really use their imagination. She did point out, however, that she added a lot of Christian symbolism into the stories. Snakes that represent evil, a good wizard that sacrifices himself to save others, an evil wizard that is still mortal no matter how hard he tries not to be, a battle between good and evil, the strength and power that comes from love and friendship, the purity of the unicorn… it’s all there. In the end, Harry stands around with his friends after he has defeated Voldemort and they ask what he will do now that he is the master of the most powerful wand in the world. He looks at them, breaks it in half and throws it over his shoulder. Harry tells them that it is time to give the wand back to Death himself, for it was his in the first place. My thinking during this scene was, “You can’t try to play God. Possessing magic that powerful can never be fully understood or controlled.” If you haven’t seen the movies or read any of the books, I really recommend checking them out! What do you think of the Harry Potter franchise? Would you recommend it or advise church members to avoid it?


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Two Sundays ago (the day before Independence Day), my minister talked about a lot of the current beliefs in our country and how our “citizenship” as Christians lies within the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of Earth. I recently wrote a post about interpreting God’s grace and I thought this was the opportunity to tie it in with what I’m talking about today. So, here I go… It seems like we live in a world where many of us believe in God but we don’t live like we believe in Him. Take patriotism, for instance. It’s a great thing, a fun thing and something to be admired. It makes us feel proud when the national anthem is played on the 4th of July and it makes us come together for a common love for our country. I am not at all demeaning the act of being patriotic, but have you ever thought about putting that much emotion or devotion into your love for God? We need to decide what is more important, and not create our own translations for what we think the Bible says. We can’t live a life of thinking, “We are already forgiven so sin doesn’t matter.” I know I sound very “preachy” today and I don’t want to give the impression that I am perfect in living by my own words. I fail at honoring God first on a daily basis. I get caught up in worldly things all the time. The point is, we invest a lot of time and attention into things that won’t get us very far in life, all while we are promised a better life and an eternity in Heaven if we just believe and have a relationship with Jesus Christ. You would think that with that kind of promise, we’d want to be a little more dedicated to Him… it just takes more of a conscious effort. So there you have it… my two cents for the day.


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We are coming to the Lincoln, NE area on July 14th to do a regional demo for anyone who would like to learn more about Shelby Systems’ software. Here you will have the chance to see how Shelby’s software applications work and how they will empower your staff, ministry and membership. Arena is Shelby’s advanced browser-based church software that offers various tools to help you manage things like membership, groups, attendance, check-in, and contributions. Shelby’s v5 software will manage your AR/AP, payroll and much more. If you are located in the area, we encourage you to take the day to come visit us and hear what we have to say about how this software could be beneficial for you. This free demonstration will be held at the Lincoln Berean Church in Lincoln, NE and lunch will be served. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Bettie Silliman at (800) 877-0222 or . The deadline to register is July 12, so be sure to sign up today!

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Shelby’s amazing Media Department put this video podcast together to highlight some of the best moments at ISC 2011. You’ll see performers Ryan Fonseca and Nicole C. Mullen, as well as an interview between Shelby’s Director of Customer Development, Ron Chandler, and Shelby’s CEO, Frank Canady. Also, see what customers were saying about the conference and watch ’til the end for a little teaser on what fun you will have at ISC 2012 in Memphis, TN!