Volume 46
Issue 49
December 15, 2016
              
Service of Healing and Light
The holly-jolly Christmas atmosphere can be difficult if we are experiencing the recent loss of a loved one or a significant life-changing event. We need the space to acknowledge our grief and hold it up to the light of the Christmas message: God is with us. Come be a part of this very special service on Wednesday, December 21, at 6:00 pm, in the Chapel!
Christmas Eve Services
  • 2:00 pm - Sanctuary | Children's Choir | Candlelight Communion Service
  • 4:00 pm - Sanctuary | Chancel Choir | Candlelight Communion Service
  • 4:00 pm - Tyson Hall | Candlelight Communion Service
  • 6:00 pm - Sanctuary | Youth Choir | Candlelight Communion Service
  • 8:00 pm & 9:00 pm - 30 minute services | Chapel | Communion Service
  • 11:00 pm - Sanctuary | Candlelight Communion Service
Annual Christmas Day Dinner
Vestavia Hills UMC sponsors a Christmas dinner for those who will not be with family or other friends on Christmas Day. We will begin gathering in the Fellowship Hall at 11:00 am with dinner at 11:30 am. The church will furnish turkey, dressing, rolls and beverages and we ask that each person who comes to bring a dish (salad, vegetable, or dessert) to contribute to the meal. This will be a time of fellowship, music, sharing of the spirit of Christmas, and, of course, good food! The dinner is for all ages, individuals, couples, friends, single parents, children. All are welcome!

Please make reservations by Dec. 20. For more information, contact Margaret Flowers (mflowers@vhumc.org / 769-0112) or Jim Frazier (jfrazier@vhumc.org / 769-0126).
Christmas Day and New Year's Day Services
  • Christmas Day - Two services at 10:00 am (Tyson and Sanctuary) - No Sunday School - No Sunday Evening Worship
  • New Year's Day - One service at 10:00 am (Sanctuary) - No Sunday School - No Sunday Evening Worship
Church Office Holiday Schedule

In observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays the church office will be closed on December 26-27 and January 2. 

Sunday Morning Options
Join us this Sunday during the Sunday School hour (9:45-10:45) in Tyson Hall for a lesson on "Who is Baby Jesus?" by Kipp McClurg. We will not have Sunday School on Christmas Day or New Year's Day.
Join Us for Sunday Evening Worship
Kipp McClurg will preach on "What Gifts Has God Given You that You Can Give the Child?" from Matthew 2:1-12 this Sunday at 5:00pm in the Chapel. There will be NO Sunday Evening Worship on December 25 or January 1. We will reconvene our normal worship on January 8.
Important Year-End Giving Notice
In compliance with IRS law, we are only allowed to credit donations to 2016 that are either postmarked in 2016 or physically received at the church in 2016. Someone will be in the church office until 3:00 pm on Friday, December 30 to receive donations. You can also drop off donations in the new church office mail slot through midnight on Saturday, December 31. Donations received on Sunday, January 1 will have to be credited to 2017. Thank you for your cooperation and for your generosity to VHUMC.
Lighthouse Holiday Hours
The Lighthouse will be open most days during the holidays! Come visit us to play basketball, workout, walk the track, play in the game room, or just hang out. Our holiday hours are posted on our website. Please contact Megan Drumm (mdrumm@vhumc.org / 769-0139) for gym availability.

Christmas Day Blessing of Toys
Join us in worship on Christmas morning, Sunday, December 25, at 10:00 am, in the Traditional service for a Blessing of the Toys for Children's Time. We want to help your child understand the link between the gifts they receive and the ones the magi from the East brought to the baby Jesus as a way to help kids connect their faith in Christ to their play. Have your child bring one gift with them to worship on Christmas morning. We will bless the toys and they can take them back home with a special blessing.
Confirmation 2017
Attention parents of 6th grade students. Confirmation is just around the corner and in order for your child to be a part of this process, we need you to register them online! This is not simply a "rite of passage," nor, just a class to complete. It is an important step in a life-long journey of pursuing the unending reach of God's love and vowing to live in relationship with Him for the rest of someone's life.

Confirmation 2017 begins on January 22, 2017. Each lesson will be on a Sunday night from 5:00 - 6:30 pm, in the Fellowship Hall, and facilitated by one of our clergy members. To register please click on the link below. If you have any questions, please contact Jeremiah Stone (jstone@vhumc.org / 769-0135).

Preschool Progress Notice
We are excited that re-flooring of our Preschool wing is about to begin. From December 17 through January 2, we will be "under construction" installing the same new finish on the upper floor that we installed on the lower floor this past summer. This will present some changes as you drop off and pick up your children. Many of our children's classes will be temporarily moved to other rooms. Everyone will need to enter through the lower floor Elementary doors from the east-side parking lot on Sunday, December 18, and also on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Please contact Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org) for preschool or Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org) for elementary children if you have questions.
What's Happening in the Day School
The Christmas season is upon us once again and we have a lot of exciting things going on in the Day School. Our preschool Christmas program is tomorrow, December 16, at 10:00 am, in Tyson Hall. Please join us. Thanks, in advance, to Ms. Sandy, our music teacher, who has done a wonderful job preparing the children to share the Christmas story.

We are renovating the Preschool level flooring while we are closed and replacing the tile and carpet with the laminate hardwood that was installed on the Elementary level last summer. We are very excited for everyone to see our new look in January. We will return from break January 3 for full time and after school students, and January 4 for CDO and part time preschool. Merry Christmas!
Serve on a Care & Support Team
As we approach the end of the year, how can you give some of your time to share in ministry to others? Can you give a few hours a month to extend loving care and encouragement? There are many ways you can give of your time and talents to help others each month. Two of our current needs are:
  • TLC Visitation Ministry - join others in visiting those who are unable to fully engage in the life and ministries of VHUMC.
  • Sacred Connections Special Worship Service - join our team of volunteers who assist this monthly service for those experiencing memory loss and mobility limitation issues.
For more opportunities and information, contact Butch Williams (bwilliams@vhumc.org / 769-0102).
Conservatory of the Arts

Give the Gift of Music
The Conservatory of the Arts has Gift Certificates available in any amount for music lessons, Piano Camp or Musicianship Classes. Give the gift of music to someone special in your life! Email Ellen Bryant (coa@vhumc.org) for more information.

New Musicianship Classes
Coming in January, the Conservatory of the Arts will be offering new musicianship classes for both adults and children taught by Dr. Kawai Shiu, from the University of the Philippines. You do not have to be a Conservatory student to enroll in these classes. In addition to Classical Music Appreciation and Composition, we will have three graded classes. Students should sign-up for their appropriate level of instruction: Level 1 (first & second year students), Level 2 (third and fourth year students), Level 3 (third, fourth, and fifth year students). Current students interested in one or more of these classes should discuss it with your teacher. You may also contact Ellen Bryant in the COA office for more information about dates and times (coa@vhumc.org).



COA Spring Session
The Conservatory of the Arts has qualified teachers available on all instruments and is now registering for our Spring Session. Voice Lessons, Children's Art Classes, and Theatre Classes for both children and teens are also available. Sign up now to get your schedule ready for Spring.



Painting with Darcy
Calling all ladies! Come enjoy some wonderful fellowship while creating a lovely painting to take home. Darcy will guide you step by step from a blank canvas to a finished masterpiece! Invite your girlfriends and you'll have a blast!

December Memory Verse
Our 1st - 5th graders have a new memory verse for December. The verse is, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life." - John 3:16. Children can recite their verse and receive a sweet treat before or after Sunday School in the sensory room. They will also get to enter their name into a drawing for the chance to win a bike at the end of the school year!
Volunteers Are Needed
Fairies don't magically restock and straighten our Sanctuary pews each week, but faithful volunteers do. We need a couple more volunteers on our team for 2017. Please contact Barbara Porter (444-9793) if you could help us once a month for about an hour at a time that is convenient for you prior to the first Sunday of each month. Thank you. 
Julian Family Recital
The Julian family would like to invite you to their annual Family Recital in the Sanctuary, on Tuesday, December 20, at 7:00 pm. The evening will feature Rachel Julian and Katrina Julian Booth on the organ, Karl Julian on the piano, and Kyle Julian on the French horn. A reception will follow the performance in the church parlor.
Outreach Corner

Family Promise Gift Wrapping 
VHUMC volunteers will once again be available to wrap your holiday gifts this season at Brookwood Mall benefitting Family Promise of Birmingham! Come by during mall hours through December 24 with your gifts and let the volunteers make your hectic schedules a little bit easier! Although you are welcome to come at any time during the season, VHUMC volunteers will be there this Monday, December 19. 

Stop Hunger Now
Our Stop Hunger Now event dates have been set. We will be hosting another event on April 23-25, 2017, so mark your calendars now and save the dates! Soon you will see more promotions for our event and our fund-raising efforts. We not only pack hundreds of thousands of meals here, but we also pay for all of the food that we pack. We could not host this great community event without our fundraising efforts, and we will need lots of support. You may also see some fund appeals to give to Stop Hunger Now through the United Methodist Church Advance program. We are excited to see the UMC embrace the efforts of Stop Hunger Now worldwide, but wanted to make you aware that giving through the Advance does not pay for the event at VHUMC. Only your gifts to the church marked "Stop Hunger Now" or "Lenten Offering" will pay for the food that we will pack. If you have any questions about this, contact Natalie Giesen (ngiesen@vhumc.org).

Health and Bedding Kits Needed
Thank you to everyone who recently participated, donated, or packed cleaning buckets. We received this note from Amy Fuselier, Director of the UMCOR depot in Baldwin, Louisiana: "I would like to thank all of the many churches who responded to our call for cleaning buckets in September after the flooding. The response was overwhelming. Because of your generosity, we were able to replenish our inventory and prepare ourselves for the next request for assistance."

The current UMCOR need is for health and bedding kits for those affected by fires in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. Click the links for kit directions:
If you are interested in helping with health and/or bedding kits, please contact Rachael Hayes, (rhayes@vhumc.org) or Ginny Slay (ksaop@bellsouth.net).

Food Pantry
The food pantry has been blessed and was able to help many families during this Thanksgiving and Christmas season thanks to each of you! We have also been blessed with too many plastic bags. So please save them for a few months. Thank you.

Oak Mountain Mission
OMM needs furniture. Please call Brenda at 685-5757 to arrange a home pick-up. 
Wednesday Night Menu
  • Dec. 21 - No Dinner
  • Dec. 28 - No Dinner
  • Jan. 4 - No Dinner
Worship & Music Focus
8:30 am         Traditional Service
"Words and Light"
John 1:1-18
Bill Brunson

9:45 am         Service of Word and Table
"Blessed to Reflect"
John 1:1-18
Butch Williams

11:00 am         Traditional Service
"Words and Light"
John 1:1-18
Bill Brunson

11:00 am         Contemporary Service
"The Underlying DNA of the Universe Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us"
John 1:1-18
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm         Sunday Evening Worship
"What Gifts Has God Given You that You Can Give the Child?"
Matthew 2:1-12
Kipp McClurg
Our Time and Resources
 

Donations this past week

October YTD Summary
Donations
Other Income
Auxilary Ministries Net*
Total Income
Actual
$114,782


$2,788,578
$167,991
($39,516)
$2,917,053
Targeted
-$47,647


+$26,163
+$11,892
-$34,951
+$3,104

(+) Better or (-) worse for the church than our target
* Includes COA, Summer Days, VDS, and Vestavia Dance
Care and Support
Congratulations, hospitalizations and sympathies

Prayer Requests
 
Careline: 205-822-9336 
Weekend or After-Hour Health Emergencies: 205-914-3121

Please be in prayer for the following persons: 
Dale Beasley
Margean Brasher
Danah Cornutt Craft
Chris Dibble
David Dixon
George Edwards
Kendra Haddock
Fay Harbin
Cortez Harden
Fred Hatfield
Risma Ilma
Pug Kaufman
Mary Morgan
Molly Morris
Pelham Morris
Paul Noto
Mary Owens
Jim Sanders
Diane Sausen
Annette Smith
Vicky Sullivan
Wallace Williams
Tom Williams

Requested prayers for service members in combat areas:
  • Darkhorse Unit, USMC, (Afghanistan) 
In an effort to keep the prayer request list current, names will be listed for two weeks unless we are otherwise notified. VHUMC will not publish the names and/or concerns of persons known to be minors (18 years of age or younger) without the permission of said minor's legal guardian. Thank you.