Volume 47
Issue 5
February 2, 2017
              
Bikes Needed
Got a new bike for Christmas, but not sure what to do with your old one? VHUMC and Trips for Kids are partnering again for our 2nd annual bike drive. Trips for Kids will accept gently used bikes, biking apparel, helmets and equipment now through February 5 at the Lighthouse. For more information, please contact Megan Drumm (mdrumm@vhumc.org) or Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org).
#InstaLove - Relationships in the 21st Century
Interested in reinvigorating your marriage or relationship? Tired of dull conversations and a life too busy to stay connected or concerned about your spouse? Do you wonder where, or if, God is anywhere in your relationship? Explore what a committed relationship looks like in our touchscreen, instant gratification world. Led by VHUMC member Ellery Berryhill, a marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor, these three Sundays will allow you to reconnect with your partner, learn communication and behavioral patterns that create distance and disinterest, and identify how God can re-center your relationship. Join us February 12, 19, and 26 in the Chapel at 9:45 am.
Come Join Us
We would love to include your membership in the next Informal Joining Service to be held on Sunday, February 5, at 12:15 in the chapel. We will hold a brief service followed by a quick lunch with the pastors and staff. For more information, please contact Suzanne Scott-Trammell (sstrammell@vhumc.org / 769-0136).
Start the New Year with a New Bible Study
If you've ever wanted to read and truly understand the Bible, learn how to pray and communicate with God, and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit, this is the study group for you! Join Shannon Raley and Scott McEwen each Sunday, at 9:45 am, in room 105, beginning February 5, as they guide us through the "Bible in One Year 2017" on the Bible app. During the week, you'll use the app to independently read a daily devotional and several passages from the Bible. On Sundays we will discuss the amazing highlights that speak to us from the week, discuss any questions or struggles, and use some additional resources to help develop a deeper understanding of scriptures and the various books of the Bible.
Gospel Jubilee Singers
This Sunday our Gospel Jubilee Singers will gather in the Chapel at 4:00 pm to sing some of the great songs of our faith. We hope to see you there!
No Sunday Evening Worship
There will be no Sunday Evening Worship this week. Mark your calendars to come worship on February 12 when Mickey Morgan preaches. 
Great Financial Shape
I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and give an update on the church's financial condition as we enter 2017. First, let me say that I'm honored to serve as the Chairman of the Finance Committee for the coming year.

The church enters 2017 in very good financial condition. We ended 2016 with $32,829,484 in total assets and only $10,001 in liabilities (for our pickup truck). While giving in 2016 was $94,273 less than 2015, the church still ended the calendar year with a net surplus of $74,501 due to spending control. This continued the trend of the previous two years and allowed us to start 2017 with almost $200,000 in operating cash reserves. In addition, we have $583,678 in current and long-term assets fully supporting the balance of our 32 designated funds.

Additionally, a full audit of VHUMC's 2015 finances was just completed and Gary and team received the same positive remarks as they've received in recent years, despite having two different accountants handling our finances during 2015. Going forward, the church will continue to have annual audits performed which should bolster confidence in how your funds are handled by VHUMC.

Lastly, I can't be complementary enough of Gary, Natalie and the entire staff; they do a fantastic job of handling our finances and their door is always open if you have questions. That said, feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about the Finance Committee or the controls and procedures in place at VHUMC.

Jim Harper, Finance Committee Chairman
Boomer Spirituality Conference
Sudden events, like Pearl Harbor or 9/11, change history and set the forces of culture in a new direction. Political decisions, like Mao's Chinese Revolution, can shape the lives of billions of people. The Boomer Spirituality Conference will focus on a great demographic change - the high U.S. birth rate from 1946 to 1964, and how the baby boomer generation has had an impact on every phase of life.

Join us on February 25 as Craig Kennet Miller shares insights from his new book: "Boomer Spirituality, Seven Values for the Second Half of Life." We'll discuss how the values and beliefs we hold affect the whole of our lives - relationships, work, goals, faith, and most fundamentally, our self-understanding. We'll explore the values of brokenness, loneliness, rootlessness, and self-seeking which form the spiritual roots of boomers. Godliness, supernaturalism, and wholeness capture the boomers unique search for God as they look toward a future that is filled with peril and promise. 

We will also have the chance to share in a Boomer worship experience, and during lunch you will have the option to learn the model for ministry that VHUMC uses to reach the Boomer generation. We'll have breakout sessions for both clergy and laity in the afternoon and finish the day with a dinner and a dance featuring The Beatlads (a Beatles cover band). The cost for this event is only $25 and you can register at www.vhumc.org.

Mother and Son Dinner
Come be a part of our Mother and Son Dinner on Thursday, February 9, at 6:00 pm, in Tyson Hall. Tickets are $15 per person. This is an event for 5k through 5th grade boys and their mothers. If you have any questions, contact Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org).

Daddy Daughter Dance
Our Daddy Daughter Dance is coming up Sunday, February 26, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, in the Lighthouse gym. The cost is $12 per person. This is an event for 4k through 5th grade girls and their fathers. If you have any questions contact Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org).

Sunday Morning Optional Class
On Sunday, February 26 Craig Kennet Miller will share Biblical insights on the importance of developing the spiritual life, and share a spiritual life template that he has developed. Craig is the Director of Congregational Development at Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Join us at 9:45 am in Tyson Hall.
Vestavia Day School Registration
VDS is now registering our currently enrolled students for Summer '17 and the 2017-18 School Year. Registration forms may be found on the website, www.vestaviadayschool.org, or in the front office. We will have call in registration for new part time preschool and after school students beginning February 7 at 6:00 pm. Preschool call 769-0129 and Afterschool call 769-0152.

Whale of a Sale Volunteers Needed
Our Vestavia Day School is one of our strongest outreach ministries of the church and they need our help. The school's only fundraiser, Whale of a Sale, is coming up and in need of volunteers. This is a great opportunity for you, your friends, or your Sunday School group to serve our church and community. Please check your calendars and see if you have two hours that you could spare on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday; February 22, 23, or 24. Sign up and enjoy sorting and organizing clothing and toys for the sale. And, all volunteers  get an early shopping pass at 2:30 pm on Thursday before the sale opens! We take anyone over the age of 15 and willing to help! We have something for everyone. If you are interested in helping, please contact Dawn Fizer (704-300-8660 / fizerfamily@gmail.com) or visit the registration link and select a time and day that works for you! 

Thrive Student Ministries App
Our student ministry is excited to announce they have a new app! It is available for both Apple and Android devices. The app will have the ministry schedule and much more information. If you enable the push notifications, you can receive important information like deadline registrations or program changes. Download it today! Simply search for "Thrive Student Ministries" in the app store, or click the link below.

Confirmation Classes 2017
We are excited to announce that over 60 sixth graders began the Confirmation process this past Sunday night. Over the course of the next 10 weeks these students will look at topics such as God and the Old Testament, Who is Jesus, What is a Christian, among others. This is not the beginning, but rather just another step in these students' faith journey. We hope you will take time to pray for all of these students as they begin this amazing process. For a full list of who is going through Confirmation, click the link below. If you are the parent of a 6th grader and would like your student to go through Confirmation please contact Jeremiah Stone (jstone@vhumc.org). Thank you for your prayers!

Boomer Classes Coming Up

Come join our series for our VHUMC boomer generation on Wednesday nights at 6:00 pm. Each session will be led by counselors from Grayson & Associates.

  • Feb. 8  -  Improving Communication (with your spouse now that you are together every day, all day) - Ms. Christy Gragg, licensed professional counselor
  • Feb. 15  -  Dating as a Boomer - Ms. Melissa Delong, social worker
  • Feb. 22  -  Elderly Parents and Boomerang Kids - Ms. Tonya Nash, counselor
Soup and Stories Report
Thanks to everyone who attended our Soup and Stories event. It was an afternoon of delightful stories by Dolores Hydock, delicious soup by Chef Charlie and fun fellowship with our friends. Thanks for the cans of soup for our food pantry and to the women's ministry team for lovely decorations.
Veterans Care Kits in February
The Armed Services Ministry Committee of VHUMC is pleased to announce that it is coordinating the creation and distribution of Veterans Care Kits. These kits will contain basic items that will greatly help our Birmingham homeless and needy veterans. We are asking for item donations to help us fill these kits. Drop-off locations will be clearly marked throughout the church building. It is our goal to create 100 of these kits. If you would prefer to make a monetary donation for the committee to purchase items, please make your check payable to VHUMC and indicate "Veterans' Care Kits" on the memo line. Donations of items and your checks will be received through March 1. Items needed for the kits include:
  1. Travel-sized toiletries available for purchase in many drug stores, dollar stores, etc., or that you may already have on hand from your own travels (e.g. shampoo, soap, deodorant, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm/chap stick)
  2. First aid items (e.g., band aids, bandages/gauze, first aid ointment).
For more information, please contact Jarry Taylor (613-3875) or Butch Williams (bwilliams@vhumc.org / 769-0102).
Coping with Alzheimer's and Dementia
If you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer's, dementia, or other memory care issues, please come join us for a safe, loving worship service every 4th Thursday of the month, at 10:30 am, in Tyson Hall. Our Sacred Connections Special Worship Service is served by a number of volunteers to help care for all who attend. The service focuses on old, familiar hymns, familiar Scripture, messages that use visual and auditory stimulus in a manner for family members and care givers to actively share in worship with their loved ones. For more information, please contact Butch Williams (bwilliams@vhumc.org / 769-0102). Also, VHUMC hosts an Alzheimer's Support Group on the 3rd Thursday evening of each month. For more information, please contact Donna Lott (donnalott2@gmail.com / 253-4105).
Women's Ministry Listening Sessions
Please come share your thoughts and ideas on where our Women's Ministry can be helpful to your life in room 201, at 6:00 pm, on Sunday, February 12 or Wednesday, February 15. Our goal is to help each woman feel the presence of God in all circumstances and to connect with other women so that we can support and care for each other as we grow in our faith. These sessions are a time of listening to one another and to God for direction in moving forward. Please contact Ruth ( rgrissom@vhumc.org ) with any questions or concerns! Until then, we hope to see you for this important time for this vital ministry.
Bible Pathfinders
We invite our 1st-5th graders to join us on Wednesday nights from 6-7 pm in rooms 219/221 for Bible Pathfinders. Our path will take us into great music, Bible memory work, large group time, small group time and much more! Our focus for this semester is "Books of the Bible." Each week, you will learn more books of the Bible and be able to recite them by the end of April. We can't wait to see all of you!
Upward Soccer Registration is Open
The season begins with practices the week of March 6 and games beginning on Saturday, March 11. Games and practices will take place at Southminster Presbyterian Church. The cost is $95 through February 6. Be sure to register early! Children in grades K4-4th grade are invited to join in the fun! To register click on the link.

Men's Hiking Group September Trip
The VHUMC Men's Hiking Group will be heading to Rocky Mountain National Park September 9-16 to hike through a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments from wooded forests to alpine lakes and mountain tundra. The plan is to stay in a local motel at night and take a hike each day. As the days go by the hikes will become more ambitious. Features along the hikes will include lakes, waterfalls, and mountain summits. For those interested in backpacking and overnight camping, part of the group may go out for a two-day wilderness trek. Estimated expenses including airfare, motel, car or van rental, food, and miscellaneous items is $1,500. To register please contact Jim Frazier (jfrazier@vhumc.org / 769-0126).
New TRX and Personal Trainers at VHUMC
Our Health, Wellness, and Recreation ministry is excited to announce the addition of Every Girl Fitness to our personal training schedule. Every Girl Fitness currently teaches a women's group exercise class on Monday and Wednesday evenings in the Lighthouse. Their certified personal trainers will also be offering individual TRX and personal training sessions in the Lighthouse fitness center. Men and women ages 13 and older are welcome to join the training sessions. Each session costs $30/hour. Don't want to train alone? Bring a friend, train together, and split the session fee. Not sure if TRX and personal training is right for you? Your first session is free! Contact Paula Windle or Leigh Karagas (482-6720), to schedule your first session.
Ongoing Outreach

UMCOR Kits Needed
UMCOR has been able to replenish their inventory of disaster relief supplies and place themselves in a better position to respond to disasters. Although the inventory has increased, they are still in need of health and bedding kits. As you are aware, crisis can occur anywhere, at any time, just as with the recent tornadoes that hit Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Let's help to keep them prepared as best we can to answer the call should our brothers and sisters need us. Click on the link below to see what all a kit contains. If you and your Sunday School class are able to assist with this request, please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org).



Food Pantry
Thanks so much to Cahaba Heights Elementary School for the huge food drive last week. We appreciate the support of our youth. We actually have enough bags right now, please save them for a few months. Thank you!
Wednesday Night Menu
  • Feb 8 -  Salad, Lemon-Pepper Chicken OR Roast Pork Loin, Honey Glazed Carrots, Wild Rice, Roll, Cake
  • Feb 15 - Salad, Chili OR White Chili w/ Shrimp, Baked Potato, Crackers, Cheesecake
  • Feb 22 - Salad, Swedish Meatballs OR Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Carrots, Roll, Cupcake
Worship & Music Focus
8:30 am         Traditional Service
"The Certain Decision"
John 3:1-16 
Bill Brunson

9:45 am         Service of Word and Table
" How Can We Be Certain?  "
Matthew 5:13-20 
Butch Williams

11:00 am         Traditional Service
"The Certain Decision"
John 3:1-16 
Bill Brunson

11:00 am         Contemporary Service
"A Decided Heart" 
John 3:1-17
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm         No Sunday Evening Worship
Our Time and Resources
 

Donations this past week

December YTD Summary
Donations
Other Income
Auxilary Ministries Net*
Total Income
Actual
$106,335


$3,663,516
$189,072
($31,180)
$3,821,408
Targeted
+$20,375


-$229,484
-$13,877
-$81,256
-$324,617

(+) 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: 
Pat Bendall
Ginny Bourland
Ginger Peete Bramlett
Lynn Brasher
Margean Brasher
Jami DeMarco
Chris Dibble
David Dixon
Julie Duffe
Margaret Flowers
Kendra Haddock
Fay Harbin
Fred Hatfield
Linda Hill
Pug Kaufman
Mary Morgan
Paul Noto
Norma Owen
Mary Owens
Norman Ponder
Guice Potter, III
Jim Sanders
Claude Small
Charles Smith
Karen Webb

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.