Volume 47
Issue 2
January 12, 2017
              
Let's Build a Well
This Sunday we will be taking up a special offering to provide a well for people in another part of our world. Through our partnership with Neverthirst, our goal is to raise $4,500 to have a well dug in an area that faces a shortage of reliable water sources. Our well will provide fresh water to 20-25 families. And who knows how many generations will be blessed. For those families the well means water and water means life.

To learn more about this campaign and how to give by visiting http://vhumc.org/neverthirst/
Weekend of Service in Missions
Over Martin Luther King weekend, VHUMC will be participating in a weekend of service at Church of the Reconciler. Church members will come together to work on several projects on Saturday, January 14, and Monday, January 16, from 8:30 am through mid-afternoon. This would be a great project for Sunday School classes, circles, or small groups. Click on the link below to register! Also, if you would like to be a part of this weekend but hands-on work might not be possible for you at this time, please consider making lunches for the volunteers. If you need any other information, or if you have a group that is interested, please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org).

Join Us for Sunday Evening Worship
Come join us this Sunday, January 15, at 5:00 pm, in the Rutland-Memorial Chapel, as Butch Williams will preach on "By Water & the Spirit" from Matthew 3:13-17. Mark your calendars for Jim Frazier & Friends, who will lead worship on January 22.
Martin Luther King Holiday
The church office will be closed on Monday, January 19, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
High School Retreat
Our high school students have an awesome opportunity to experience a great time of worship and learning in Panama City, Florida. High Schoolers will join other students from around the Southeast at the Meltdown Conference, January 27-29, with incredible speakers and worship leaders. The deadline to register is January 15!

A New Year and New Opportunities to Serve
We are very excited to announce two changes to our ministry team. Jamie Meeks has served as our Elementary Ministry Assistant for the past two years, and we are thrilled to announce that Jamie will now be our Director of Elementary Ministries. She has amazing gifts for leading this ministry forward, and we look forward to what God does through her leadership. Jamie will be working with the Elementary Council to continue strengthening and developing programs that bless our students and their families.

We are also thrilled to announce that Rev. Ruth Grissom, who has lead our Elementary Ministries for the past 13 years, will remain as a vital part of the ministry team at VHUMC, and will now be focusing her many talents in other areas. Ruth will devote her attention to Worship Planning, Women's Ministry, supervision of some staff members, continuing her involvement in pastoral care, and helping to develop new and exciting things for our congregation.

Please be in prayer for both Jamie and Ruth as they begin their new areas of service to our God and to His church.
Wednesday Night Class Offerings
Please come and be a part of our Wednesday night classes that we have this semester. Here are a few we have going on right now:

The Daniel Plan | 1/11 - 2/22
  • Experience 40 days of living a healthier lifestyle using faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends
  • Leader: Kevin & Leslie Cooke | Room: 203
Looking for Lovely | 1/11 - 2/22
  • Seeing God's transformative peace and love in the midst of life
  • Leader: Kathleen Lawrence & Kelly Lipford | Room: 202
ChristFit: Spiritual Growth | 1/11 - 1/25
  • Start 2017 with spiritual disciplines and practices to grow your faith
  • Leader: Scott McEwan | Room:  206
For more information, and to make meal reservations, please visit the link below.

Church-Wide Assembly
Plan to attend an informative meeting on January 22 in Tyson Hall at 9:45 am. Church leaders will be sharing reports on our progress in 2016 and our plans for 2017. As always, we will have coffee and time for questions and answers.
A Gift for Epiphany
January 6 is the day that is recognized as Epiphany - the day the Magi brought the gifts to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. This past January 6 Charlie Gray got up as he does every morning at 4:00 am to let his dogs out. But on that morning as he was walking down the stairs he noticed a glow from their dining room and soon realized that the room was on fire. He quickly got his wife Jeri, their dogs, and a cell phone and got out of the house. They called 911 and the fire department arrived quickly, but when the fire was extinguished, it was clear that the house was a total loss. With only the clothes on their back and their dogs they were taken to the hospital and cleared to leave. They went to son Ves' house.

Jeri's first thought was to call Jim Frazier so their church family would know what had happened. Jim and his wife, Rhonda, went to check on Jeri and Charlie. But, on the way Jim had a feeling that he should stop by the church and pick up a prayer shawl for both Jeri and Charlie. VHUMC has a group of ladies who get together and knit prayer shawls which are prayed over by one of our clergy. When Jim gave Jeri her prayer shawl she started crying because she had received one a while back during a hospital stay. It turned out that Jeri had slept with that prayer shawl every night, but left it behind and it was lost in the fire. Jeri said there was no greater gift someone could have brought her.

On the day that we recognize the gifts from the Magi, Jeri received two gifts: The gift of life and the gift of the prayer shawl that reminded her of the love of her Heavenly Father and her church family.
We Exceeded Our Pledge Goal
As we began our fall emphasis on stewardship, we set a pledge goal of $2,604,000. We are excited to announce that we have received pledges for 2017 from 457 households totaling $2,809,048 - $205,048 over our goal! This is encouraging on many levels. First it indicates increased discipleship and spiritual commitment among our membership. Second, it really helps us as we set a new income budget for the church. Thanks to each of you who have made a pledge to give in 2017.
Giving Statements Now Available Online
We are in the process of mailing your giving statements, but this year we have the ability for you to download your statement directly from our database. As well as this there is a treasure trove of other things you can do while you are logged in:
  • Set up next year's reoccurring giving
  • Update any personal/family information (ie. mailing address)
  • View the groups you are involved with
  • Opt in to the online directory
If you already have an account then please click here: https://vhumc.infellowship.com/UserLogin

Otherwise you can start a new account here: https://vhumc.infellowship.com/UserLogin/New
Vestavia Day School Registration
Registration for the 2017-18 school year is almost here! Currently enrolled families can begin printing registration forms from our website or get hard copies from the office beginning Tuesday, January 17. Please return them no later than Friday, January 27.

Summer Days registration will open on the VHUMC website January 17 as well. Currently enrolled VDS ASP families will be guaranteed a spot if they register within the first 48 hours.

Call-in registration for new part-time and After School students will be Wednesday, February 7, at 6:00 pm. Part-time preschool call 769-0129 and ASP call 769-0152. We will not take anyone from our waitlist until after February 7.

$100,000 Endowment Gift
VHUMC recently received a generous donation of $100,000 to expand our Permanent Endowment Fund! The PEF is a special fund, managed by our VHUMC Foundation. Deposits to the fund can never be spent and earnings on those deposits (up to 4% annually) provide for special Church needs related to programs, missions, and facilities. For every $25 that is deposited in the endowment, $1 will go to help the Church every year. With this new gift, our PEF balance is over $770,000. Consider a special gift to our endowment fund or adding the PEF to your will.
A Car for the Pruitts
Christopher Pruitt was a truck driver with a good job, a wife, and a daughter (Christy Lynn). But, when his wife became ill and he had to quit his job to take care of her and his daughter. Sadly, two years ago, his wife died. But, his bills and the needs of his daughter did not go away. Before long, Christopher and Christy Lynn found themselves with no place to live. Thankfully, they heard about Family Promise, a ministry for families that are homeless and are housed at area churches on a weekly basis. They received housing and help through Family Promise and Christopher was able to get a job at Over Easy on Rocky Ridge. But, without a car, it was difficult making it to work on time depending on public transportation.

This past Thanksgiving Day, Christopher was staying at VHUMC and Ashley Curry was helping serve the meal. The two started talking and they realized what a difference a car would make to Christopher and Christy Lynn. It just so happens that Ashley helped start the Car Ministry at VHUMC where we try to help people that need a car to get a job or to get to their job. Ashley went to his Sunday School class and told the story and one of the class members said he had a car that he no longer needed and he was trying to decide what to do with it. He donated the car as another part of how God used so many people from different ministries to make this one miracle happen. Here is a picture of Christopher and Christy Lynn with their car.

This is just another of many stories where ministries at VHUMC work together to help others. If you would like to volunteer to help with either Family Promise or the Car Ministry please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org / 769-0143).
Bible Pathfinders is Back
We invite our 1st - 5th graders to join us every Wednesday night 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!
January Memory Verse
Our 1st - 5th graders have a new memory verse to work on for January. It is: "Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor." ~Luke 2:52 Memory verses can be recited before or after Sunday School in the elementary office or the sensory room for a sweet treat and a chance to win a bike at the end of the school year! Don't forget, if you have memorized your verse you can work on the books of the Old or New Testament as well as The Apostle's Creed.
Passion Conference
Last week our student ministry staff took ten high schoolers and three college students to the Passion Conference in Atlanta, Georgia with more than 50,000 other students! They were able to hear speakers like John Piper, Louie Giglio, and Levi Lukso and worship with leaders including the Passion City Band, Chris Tomlin, and Hillsong. They had an incredible time and can't wait to go back next year! Check out the student ministries Facebook page and web page to see our recap video.
We Are All Kids at Heart
Even as adults, we would love to play on an age-appropriate playground. We have two great playgrounds at VHUMC, but the structures and motion equipment is often damaged by older children who are too big for the equipment. Parents, please help us by keeping your children off of the small playground if they are over three years old and off the larger playground if they are over 4th grade. And please, never leave your younger children playing without adult supervision.
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).

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. 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).

January Blood Drive
Due to the unpredictable Alabama weather, our January 8 blood drive was cancelled. We won't be able to reschedule this one, but we look forward to seeing everyone at our next LifeSouth blood drive on Sunday, March 12. Please mark your calendars now and look for more details later. Contact Megan Drumm (mdrumm@vhumc.org) for additional details.
Get Fit and Stay in Shape at VHUMC
Achieve your health and fitness goals with our Health, Wellness, and Recreation Ministry. Whatever your health and fitness goals might be, let our team help. Our ministry offers a variety of fitness options to meet your needs.
  • Individual and Group Training Sessions with certified personal trainer, Ali Sanders. Contact Megan Drumm, mdrumm@vhumc.org, to join a group session or schedule an individual training session.
  • Women's group exercise classes with Every Girl Fitness. Classes take place on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-7 pm. Visit http://everygirlfitness.com/classes to sign up for a class.
  • Train for a race or just get in shape by joining VHUMC's new running group, VHUMC Runners. Runners of any pace level are welcome to join our daily runs. Contact Megan Drumm, mdrumm@vhumc.org, for additional details.
  • Become a member of the Lighthouse and gain access to our track and fitness center. Lifetime memberships are only $5 and give you full access to our fitness amenities. Stop by the Lighthouse to join!
Contact Megan Drumm (mdrumm@vhumc.org), with questions about our programs listed above or additional details. We look forward to making 2017 your healthiest year yet!
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.

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.
New Musicianship Classes
Dr. Kawai Shiu will be teaching Musicianship Classes for both adults and students this spring who want to further their knowledge of Music Theory. You do not have to be taking music lessons to attend these classes. This material would be very helpful for instrumental students in middle or high school band or choir members. There are three modules based on experience level. Dr. Shiu will also will be teaching Music Appreciation and Composition (for advanced students). Contact Ellen Bryant (coa@vhumc.org) if interested, or sign up by visiting the link.

Painting with Darcy
Grab your girlfriends and register for this special one-day class on Thursday, January 19, at 11:00 am. This class is for ladies only! 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! Sign up by clicking the link below.

New Habitat for Humanity House Start
VHUMC and the VHHS Habitat Club will begin construction on a home for Victoria Whitlow and her young son on January 21 in Calera. This will be the 12th home built as a result of this amazing partnership! If you or members of your Sunday School Class would like to join us for all or part of any Thursday or Saturday to help build this home, please contact Cynthia McGough (mcgough.cynthia@gmail.com / 901-0956).
Soup & Stories is Coming
Join us for lunch with Dolores Hydock on Sunday, January 29, at 12:15 pm, in the Fellowship Hall. Please make your reservations with Barbara Porter (bobarb@bellsouth.net) or get tickets in the office starting January 15.
Memorials and Honorariums
Click on the link below or visit www.vhumc.org to see the memorials and honorariums given last month. Thanks to everyone who has given to help the church in recognition of a loved one.

Ongoing Outreach

Volunteers Needed to Help When it is the Coldest
During the coldest of winter nights, many places open up to provide a warm place for people that are homeless. One of those places is Grace Episcopal Church. They partner with the Red Cross during these cold months. They are looking for volunteers during the times they open as a warming station. If this is something you feel called to do, please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org) for more details.

Partnership with Trips for Kids Continues
Got a new bike for Christmas, but not sure what to do with your old one? VHUMC and Trips for Kids will partner again for our 2nd Annual Bike Drive. Trips for Kids will accept gently used bikes, biking apparel, helmets and equipment. The donation items will be accepted January 29-February 5 at the Lighthouse. For more information, please contact Megan Drumm (mdrumm@vhumc.org) or Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org). 

Food Pantry
The food pantry needs boxes of Ziploc sandwich and quart size bags for the Panera Bread treats that we distribute. Thanks to all who donated canned goods that they collected at Christmas parties - a great idea! We are still buying from the Community Food Bank, and have now purchased over 232,000 pounds of food from them. Thank you for your monetary donations that enable us to help feed our 500 families. 

Oak Mountain Mission
Oak Mountain Mission needs sofas, chairs, tables & chairs, dressers, and chests. Please call Brenda at 685-5757 to arrange a home pick-up. 
Worship & Music Focus
8:30 am         Traditional Service
"The Responsible Decision"
John 5:1-9
Bill Brunson

9:45 am         Service of Word and Table
"Responsible to Our Baptism"
Matthew 3:13-17
Butch Williams

11:00 am         Traditional Service
"The Responsible Decision"
John 5:1-9
Bill Brunson

11:00 am         Contemporary Service
"The Buck Stops Here"
Genesis 3:1-13
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm         Sunday Evening Worship
" By Water and the Spirit"
Matthew 3:13-17
Butch Williams
Our Time and Resources
 
November YTD Summary
Donations
Other Income
Auxilary Ministries Net*
Total Income

$3,033,962
$176,213
($22,913)
$3,187,262

-$19,941
+$10,194
-$62,908
-$72,655

(+) 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
Jami DeMarco
Chris Dibble
David Dixon
Karen Gilbert
Rodney Gilbert
Charlie Gray
Jeri Gray
Kendra Haddock
Fay Harbin
Cortez Harden
Fred Hatfield
Pug Kaufman
Mary Morgan
Paul Noto
Bob Odle
Norma Owen
Mary Owens
Norman Ponder
Guice Potter, III
Jim Sanders
Diane Sausen
Annette Smith
Vicky Sullivan
Wallace 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.