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“It’s the best conference I have ever attended” -Sally Stanley, Episcopal Diocese of Albany NY Check out our new podcast highlighting moments from the 2011 HQ Conference in Memphis, TN! You’ll see some of the fun and interesting things that went on, as well as customer feedback and what to look forward to in the future. HQ 2011 Video Highlights from Shelby Systems Media on Vimeo.    

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Shelby Systems offers FREE webinars and low-cost Training webinars to keep your church up-to-date with how our software works and what’s new. All live webinars are interactive so the viewers can type in questions via an online tool and it appears on one of the moderators screens… somewhat like an instant message. We work hard to answer all questions during the webinar, but if time is too short or a question goes too far off topic, those questions will be answered at a later time via email. The FREE webinars, also called product demonstration webinars, are done by our Sales Consultants to help you better understand how our software works and how it can benefit your ministry. Topics covered by the FREE webinars are: Arena Select, Arena Premium, Shelby v.5 and ShelbyTELLER (our Check-21 compatible, electronic, check-processing software). The FREE webinars are a great chance to hear about the features and benefits of Shelby’s church management software, as well as talk to a Shelby professional who can answer any questions that you might have. The Training webinars are an incredible value because you buy them once, but you can continue to benefit from the On-Demand version for as long as they are available. To date, all Training webinars (even going back to 2009) are still available in recorded or “On-Demand” form. Each Training webinar has a detailed handout to expand the learning experience. The webinar and the handout can be shared with other staff members. What other training venue can you purchase for under $40 and then use to educate your whole team? This is great for a staff that is always bringing in new hires or where staff change roles (which seem to be most church staffs). Shelby consistently gets great marks on our content, the presenters, and the affordability of our Training webinars. We have been intentional in this current economy to find the best ways to extend our customer’s training dollar and webinars have been a key element in that endeavor. If you are interested in a FREE webinar, click here. If you are looking for a Training webinar, click here.

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In an article from the ChristianPost.com by Jeff Schapiro, I was half surprised to learn that the more contemporary churches are seeing more of an increase in “attendance and spiritual vitality” than those that are sticking with more traditional worship services. In the article, Schapiro stated,
More than four out of 10 churches in 2010 either often or always used drums and electric guitars in their worship services. That was a 14 percent increase from the year 2000.
David A. Roozen, the author who conducted the study “A Decade of Change in American Congregations, 2000-2010”, noted that contemporary worship has had a dramatic effect on the growth of churches. The study points out that innovative churches are also doing things like taking communion every Sunday and holding Saturday night services. It also talks about how technology is becoming much more important to churches and those that are more contemporary are more likely to use visual projection equipment. To read the whole article, click here.


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Have you heard about the new option for serving time in Bay Minette, AL? The article, “Jesus or jail? Alabama town offers options for serving time” on the CNN Belief Blog, talks about how a small community is trying out a new tactic to get minor offenders back on the right track in life. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, you now have the option in Bay Minette to either pay a fine, serve time in jail or attend church every Sunday for an entire year. After that year, your case is dismissed. What do you think of this new option? Do you think this is a good step towards improving a community or do you think it could open a can of worms with other religions and the laws on the separation of church and state?


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The 2011 Shelby Headquarters Conference convened on September 21 – 22 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Memphis, TN. HQ and Church users from around the country gathered for in-depth instruction on getting the most benefit from the Headquarters software. Seasoned presenters Ken Emert, Mark Fisher, Geoff Johnson, and Bill Ballou provided knowledge and expertise for those in attendance. Alfred Johnson, National Accounts Manager, showed the development of HQ applications in the Arena browser-based environment. Shelby team members from various departments were on hand to meet one-on-one with customers to provide ideas and solutions to the customers’ specific operational needs. Wednesday evening, the entire group enjoyed a taste of New Orleans at nearby Owen Brennan’s restaurant. Sally Stanley, Accounting Manager of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY, was a first time attendee and had plenty to say about the conference. “This was the best software conference I’ve ever attended,” she said. You can see highlights of HQ 2011 in Shelby’s October podcast.


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Well, it’s almost time for Catalyst 2011 and we are so excited to exhibit again this year. If you haven’t heard about it, you might be interested to know that it is the largest gathering of young leaders in the country and it is a great opportunity to have some fun while connecting with others. Taking place next week in Atlanta (October 5-7), Catalyst will inspire and motivate the young up-and-coming leaders of our country to take action, be creative and incorporate God with all that they do. 13,000 people are expected to be at Catalyst and you can still sign up if you haven’t already. We will be in booth #35! We hope to see you there!

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This is a very popular saying. Ironically, it has many meanings: 1. Do all of the things that you’ve ever wanted to do and don’t waste time with regrets. 2. Go wild and don’t regret anything. Much like the expression, “Live fast, die young.” 3. Live a life that is close to God and be grateful for each day. In a tragic car accident, a girl from my high school was recently killed. I never got the chance to know this girl personally, but many people that I know were good friends with her. A friend of mine made a comment through a social media site about this tragedy and said that we should live our lives to the fullest with no regrets because you never know when God will take you. It was a very nice thing to say to say to bring light to this girl’s death… and there’s a lot of truth to it… but it all depends on how people interpret it. As someone who has known this person for a long time, I felt that his comment sounded a lot like the modern-day thinking of, “We are already forgiven so sin isn’t really an issue” (hence you not having regrets). It’s very possible that my friend meant to portray interpretation #3, but it wasn’t obvious if that’s what he was trying to do. It’s important to remember that you should live to be happy and to have fun, but you should also live to honor God and to better yourself. If you don’t have a relationship with God while on Earth, it won’t matter how much fun you had while you were here. Are we too casual with how we word things or are we just becoming more and more secular in our thinking?


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Looking for new financial church software that keeps you organized and up-to-date? Shelby’s Financials has it (and does it) all. Here is a list of everything available in Financials and what each feature can do for you: Accounts Payable The ability to pay bills, manage credits from and payments to vendors and keep records of invoices. Users operate on a cash, accrual, or modified accrual basis. Accounts Receivable Provides an easy way to place monies in the proper funds and tracks money you receive from varied sources, such as: daycare billing, subscriptions, loan payments and other billable items. Bank Reconciliation Electronically manages your checkbook (all transaction types: withdrawals, deposits, transfers), so dealing with statements is quick, accurate and painless. Check Express Process reimbursements instantly for those unexpected check requests and record withdrawals and deposits with immediate check printing. Expense Amortization A bookkeeping tool to more accurately indicate when expenses are incurred and to amortize prepaid expenses over a period of time, rather than having the expenses update your general ledger as a lump sum at the time of the payment. Fixed Assets Manages the physical assets of your organization by tracking warranties, calculating depreciations, managing preventative maintenance and documenting service history. General Ledger Stored data provides history and reports to handle planning and budgeting activities. Quickly send reports directly to Excel and enter next year’s budget details by directly importing files prepared by your staff. Source documents provide great audit information. General Ledger Plus Perfect for “umbrella” organizations with multiple locations, GL Plus provides consolidated reporting that spans all companies. Reduce staff expenses by handling accounting activities at a central office and provide companies the power to access their financial information from remote locations via the internet and Microsoft® Terminal Services. Payroll Manages all aspects of your payroll by providing gross wage computation, calculating all necessary taxes, determining voluntary deductions and printing a payroll check for the employee. It also accumulates necessary totals for monthly, quarterly and annual government & management reporting (including magnetic media reporting). Purchase Order Allows supervisors to establish and enforce an “approval process” that starts with a requisition and ends with an approved purchase order. The Desktop Dashboard alerts users when a requisition is awaiting approval and an automated email notifies managers when they need to approve requisitions. The module can automatically email a purchase order to the vendor upon approval, if desired. Receipting For on-the-spot receipts to assure givers that their contributions are accurately documented. ShelbyACH Electronic transfer of funds between bank accounts that replaces manual check writing for bills, as well as data entry for receivables & donations. ShelbyMICR Plus Print an entire check on secure blank check stock— including MICR information for each unique bank account, your church’s logo & address, dollar amount and multiple signatures— all in just one pass. Do this on your network from any workstation! Business Forms NELCO is the chosen provider of checks, tax and business forms for Shelby. NELCO has been in the tax and business forms industry for over 50 years and works closely with the developers of Shelby software. ShelbyQUERY Enables you to produce reports utilizing your expertise of Microsoft® SQL. It is designed to meet those unusual reporting needs for users who have some experience with report writers. Please call (800) 877-0222 or email sales@shelbyinc.com to speak to a Sales Representative today!

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If you aren’t familiar with Seth Godin, now’s a good time to catch up. He’s an eleven-time author, Marketing guru and entrepreneur. He does a lot of public speaking and is known for popularizing the term “permission marketing”. I’m telling you this because Godin has recently released another book entitled End Malaria, and at least $20 from each book sold goes to a charity called Malaria No More. I heard about this book and the wonderful things that it’s doing for people affected by malaria from a guest post by Dave Ramsey on the Kindle Daily Post. The book is available for $20-$25 on Amazon.com and includes snippets from many different writers. If you want an inspirational book while being part of a great cause, you should check out End Malaria (could be a great birthday or Christmas present for someone)!


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A video was posted on the CNN Belief Blog about a family whose house was spared from the fires that are currently destroying parts of Texas. I was curious as to what our readers’ responses would be on something like this. This family’s home did not take on any major damage from the fires and they are crediting their statue of the Virgin Mary for the miracle. You can see where the fire stopped right in front of the statue. Check it out here. What are your thoughts?