Volume 47
Issue 3
January 19, 2017
              
Church-Wide Assembly
Plan to attend an informative meeting this Sunday, 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.
Soup & Stories
Join us for lunch with Dolores Hydock on Sunday, January 29, at 12:15 pm, in the Fellowship Hall. This Sunday, January 22, is the last day to purchase tickets which are $15 in the Church Office. Please email Barbara Porter to hold your ticket (bobarb@bellsouth.net). And remember to bring cans of soup to the luncheon for our Food Pantry.
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.

From a Grateful Church
The mission of a church is done with the feet that go, the knees that kneel to pray, and the hands that reach out and give. There are dozens among the VHUMC church family with sore feet, achy knees and callous hands, as well as contentment and full hearts. These volunteers worked many long hours at the Church of the Reconciler hanging lights, repairing electrical parts, laying carpet, doing plumbing, laying tile, painting, patching holes, sanding dry wall, renovating an old bathroom into a supply closet, and cleaning/repairing a bathroom and a beautiful room for bible study. They provided new awnings that dress our windows and made it possible to open our giant bay door and retrieve our church van for some needed repairs.

The past four months you have planned, made contacts, measured, evaluated, and prepared for the work on this special Martin Luther King Holiday weekend. His theme that "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'what are you doing for others?'" is what you have lived out before us and our community that we serve. The Reconciler family has a new look that is a new beginning, a new year, and hopefully new possibilities.

John 10:10 is our scripture for 2017, "I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly." Living an abundant life is making the extra effort, stepping out to serve others, to make life better for others as we go as one as the body of Christ. We are so grateful for your desire to work so hard to add some beauty to our church and to remind all of us that we are one family and do amazing things as United Methodists. Many blessings from all of us at Church of the Reconciler.
Outreach to Neighbors
Thanks to our outreach and bread baking angels who recently provided bread to families who live nearest to our church. Christmas is a time when we flood the streets with cars and activities, so we wanted to extend thanks to our neighbors for their patience during this time along with an invitation for them to worship with us. Our weekly bread-bakers made 80 loaves for six volunteers to deliver the week before Christmas with a note of appreciation and an invitation to join us anytime. That's how people are going to know we're His disciples - by our love for each other (John 13:35).
Join Us for Sunday Evening Worship
Come as you are and join us for an evening of worship and music led by Jim Frazier & Friends this Sunday, January 22, at 5:00 pm in the Chapel. Mark your calendars for January 29 when Butch Williams will be preaching.
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. So go and download it today! Simply search for "Thrive Student Ministries" in the app store, or click the link below.

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!

Volunteer Opportunities with Students
It's a new year and there are new opportunities to volunteer with our Student Ministries! Visit our online sign-up page to find a spot to serve or contact Emily Boles (eboles@vhumc.org / 769-0130) for more information.

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.

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 from February 1 to 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).
Women's Ministry Listening Sessions
Please come share your thoughts and ideas on where our Women's Ministry can be helpful to your life at 6:00 pm in room 201 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.

Our Women's Ministry has been successful for many years through the leadership of some wonderful women and now that Rev. Ruth Grissom is leading this area, we would like to hear from you if you have served or would like to serve. With all the energy contributed by these talented ladies, we want to honor them by listening to what has worked, what needs to work, and how we can go forward.

These sessions are a time of listening to one another and to God for direction in moving forward. Later, we will have planning sessions after a time of discernment, prayer, and assembling a leadership team. If you have been serving in a leadership role and wish to continue, you may want to attend both sessions. 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.
Coming Soon - New Online Bible Study
If you've ever wanted to read and truly understand the Bible, learn how to pray comfortably, and experience The Holy Spirit, this is the study group for you! Starting in February, join Shannon Raley and Scott McEwen as they guide us through the plan "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. We'll meet on Sundays at 9:45 am to 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. Throughout the year, we'll pray for this study to give us 'wisdom that is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere' - just as God intended us to have!
Vestavia Day School Registration
Registration for the 2017-18 school year has begun! Currently enrolled families can print registration forms from our website or get hard copies from the office. Please return them no later than Friday, January 27. Summer Days registration is also open.

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.

Let's Be Good Neighbors
It is exciting to see our parking lots fill up on Sunday mornings and people parking on the streets to attend our worship and Sunday School meetings. If you find it necessary to park on the street, please be careful not to park on our neighbors' grass. We appreciate their patience with all the cars and do not want to damage their yards in the process.
Informal Joining Service
If you have not made your membership official with us, we would love to welcome you officially into our VHUMC community at the next Informal Joining Service to be held on Sunday, February 5, at 12:15 pm, in the Chapel. This is a brief service, followed by lunch with pastors and church leadership. For more information, please contact Suzanne Scott-Trammell sstrammell@vhumc.org / 769-0136).
Bible Pathfinders is Back
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!
January Memory Verse
Our 1st - 5th graders learn a memory verse every month. Our verse for January 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 for more chances to win the bike.
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).

Get Fit and Stay in Shape
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 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 this Saturday, 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).
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. Open a new portal or log in to your existing one. There is a treasure trove of other things you can do through the portal:
  • Set up next year's reoccurring giving
  • Update any personal/family information (i.e. mailing address)
  • View the groups you are involved with
  • Opt in to the online directory
If you already have an account, please click here: https://vhumc.infellowship.com/UserLogin

Otherwise you can start a new account here:
https://vhumc.infellowship.com/UserLogin/New
Designated Giving Policy
Because of our Designated Funds, we publish the following statement twice a year and print it on your donation statements to comply with IRS guidelines:

VHUMC welcomes designated donations for pre-approved items such as benevolence, building, missions, and mission trips. In approving such causes, VHUMC is committed to using the collected funds for the intended cause. In the unusual event of the closure of a designated fund or project for which donations have been accepted, any remaining funds may be transferred to the General Fund or used for a similar purpose. Checks should be made payable to VHUMC, with the suggested designation listed on the memo line or on attached correspondence. Thank you for giving to VHUMC.
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. Thank you for your continued support!

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. 
Wednesday Night Menu
  • Jan 25 -  Salad, Chicken Cacciatore OR Baked Flounder, Wild Rice, Baby Lima's, Banana Pudding
  • Feb 1 -  Salad, Chicken Alfredo OR Orecchiette w/ Bolognese, Green Beans, Ice Cream
  • Feb 8 -  Salad, Lemon-Pepper Chicken OR Roast Pork Loin, Honey Glazed Carrots, Wild Rice, Roll, Cake
Worship & Music Focus
8:30 am         Traditional Service
" I Will Seek Wisdom "
Proverbs 12:15-20
Bill Brunson

9:45 am         Service of Word and Table
" What Did Mama Always Say?! "
Matthew 4:12-23
Butch Williams

11:00 am         Traditional Service
" I Will Seek Wisdom "
Proverbs 12:15-20
Bill Brunson

11:00 am         Contemporary Service
" I Will Seek Wisdom "
Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm         Sunday Evening Worship
Jim Frazier and Friends
Our Time and Resources
 

Donations this past week

December YTD Summary
Donations
Other Income
Auxilary Ministries Net*
Total Income
Actual
$82,768


$3,663,516
$189,072
($31,180)
$3,821,408
Targeted
-$3,191


-$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: 
Dale Beasley
Pat Bendall
Ginny Bourland
Margean Brasher
Jami DeMarco
Chris Dibble
David Dixon
Charlie Gray
Jeri Gray
Kendra Haddock
Fay Harbin
Cortez Harden
Fred Hatfield
Pug Kaufman
Anderson Lewis
Randy McClendon
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.