Volume 48
Issue 17
April 26, 2018
              
One Million Meals Packed
Mix 42,000 pounds of rice and soy, a whole lot of dehydrated veggies, thousands of hairnets and folks with servants' hearts and what do you get? Lifesaving aid and a volunteer experience second to none. Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church recently hosted our fourth Rise Against Hunger meal packaging event. People from all over the Birmingham community came together to pack 300,024 meals in three days. This year, we packed our millionth meal, something only six churches have ever accomplished. Thank you to all who volunteered and contributed to make this milestone possible. Now, let's work towards one million more!
Confirmation Worship Service
Over the past two months, our 6th graders have been learning what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. They now come to a decision time on their commitment to this call. This Sunday, April 29, at 5:00 pm, in our Sanctuary, our Confirmation Class will commit to faithful discipleship in Jesus Christ. We hope you will be with us as we celebrate the call God has placed on the lives of these 53 Confirmands. Please be in prayer for each of these youth, their faithful mentors, and for our church to help each of them faithfully follow their call.
Construction Update
We are thrilled to report that $270,350 was raised toward the needed $300,000 to fund the wish list of Sanctuary renovations, bringing our total amount raised for the NEXT campaign to $4,675,451 in gifts and pledges! Such generosity speaks to the commitment and faith of the VHUMC family. The Building Committee is being very responsible and insuring that we don't make any commitments that could leave us in debt. They will meet next week and plan to continue the work of finalizing plans for the Sanctuary renovations. Please be praying for the Building Committee as they work through these decisions in the next few weeks. Also, see our weekly construction updates in the Growing Pains article below.
The Revelation in Contemporary Worship
Our Contemporary worship sermons through May 27 will be based on the book of the Revelation. The last book of the Bible is known for its frightening, other-worldly images that often scare people away from its study. But there are incredible truths in the Revelation: hope against all odds, the prevail of God's Kingdom, the meaning of history, the nature of evil, the fragrant role of prayer, numbers as symbols, and Old Testament images in a new setting. Come hear the story of Jesus told from a kaleidoscope of images and word pictures at 11:00 am in Fellowship Hall.
  • April 29 - No More Sea - Revelation 21:1-5
  • May 6 - What is Not in Heaven - Revelation 21: 1-14; 22-27
  • May 13 - The Tree of Life and the Gardens - Revelation 22: 1-7
  • May 20 - The Spirit - Revelation 1:10; 2:7
  • May 27 - Evil & The Unholy Trinity - John 12:18 to 13:18
Sunday Evening Worship
"Who's Ready for Pruning?" is our sermon from John 15:1-8 ("I am the true vine"). We'll sing the great, old hymns, fellowship together, and Butch Williams will preach. Mark your calendars for May 6th, when Sherry Harris will preach.
Attention 5th Grade Parents
Plan to attend an important meeting for parents of 5th grade students this Sunday, April 29, during the Sunday school hour (9:45 - 10:45) in the Chapel. Jeremiah Stone, Assistant Director of Student Ministries, will be discussing the transition from Elementary Ministries to Thrive including some important summer trip and event dates! You don't want to miss out on this important informational meeting!
An Exciting Time in Our Church
With the success of the NEXT Campaign, we have just been through the largest fund-raising effort in this church's long history. It is nice to see the construction going and it will be wonderful once the changes are complete. Thanks to all who contributed their money, talents, and prayers to this very worthy cause!

Your Finance Committee takes the task of being a good steward of our money very seriously. It has been a pleasure to see this group work toward the best interest of our overall church. We meet at least monthly on a formal basis and usually more often when needed. We have a diverse group of both lay members and clergy who work to ensure that our funds are used to the best of their ability for both our church and congregation as a whole.

Currently, we are starting the process of drafting the overall church budget for our next fiscal year (July-June). One item that I feel is important to bring to your attention is that both our number of pledges and overall pledge dollars for 2018 are down from the 2017 amounts. Because we strive to remain a debt-free church and keep the church's finances in good standing, these lower stewardship numbers mean that during our upcoming budget discussions we may have to cut back in some areas. Rest assured this is not what we want and the board and clergy are working very hard to find efficiencies where we can. It is possible that some members have confused their NEXT pledge with their annual tithe. If you intended to but are not sure if you turned in a 2018 pledge card, please check with John Sweeny (jsweeny@vhumc.org / 769-0101).

In addition to Gary, Natalie, and John, you can contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns about our finances (william@bridgeworthfinancial.com).
Thanks again for all your generous donations.

- William Hocutt, Finance Committee Chairman
Bundles of Hope Diaper Drive
This year, VHUMC will host another diaper drive in honor and in memory of all mothers in the month of May. We will partner with Bundles of Hope and collect diapers of all sizes from Sunday, May 6, through May 20. Please bring your package of new diapers to one of the collection bins near the church office and chapel. For questions, please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org).
National Day of Prayer
Join us Thursday, May 3, for the 67th Annual National Day of Prayer. Our Chapel will be open from 7 am - 5 pm for prayer. This year's theme is "Unity" based upon Ephesians 4:3 which challenges us to mobilize unified public prayer for America. Prayer guides will be available for you to use as you enter the Chapel. Don't miss this important day of repentance and petition for us and our country. If you have any questions please contact Ruth Grissom (rgrissom@vhumc.org / 822-9631).
Vacation Bible Camp
Calling all campers! Vacation Bible Camp is coming up on June 11-15 and this year our theme is Rolling River Rampage. We will be experiencing the ride of a lifetime with God! Children grade 4k (by September 1st) through 5th grade are invited to register for this fun filled week of music, exciting science, creative crafts, fun recreation, and memorable Bible stories. Join us as we discover that God is always with them as they ride the rapids of amazing grace!

We are also looking for group leaders for 5k through 5th grade, as well as helpers in elementary crafts. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org) or Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org). If your 6th - 12th grader would like to volunteer as a student helper please contact Kathryn Groat (kgroatmom@gmail.com) before May 25.

April Memory Verse
Our 1st - 5th graders learn a different verse each month and have the opportunity to recite the verse before or after Sunday School in the elementary office for a sweet treat! April's memory verse is: Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die" (John 11:25-26). At the end of the school year we will give a grand prize to one boy and one girl. We hope that these verses help to guide them throughout their lives.
Fidget Mat Items Needed
It's Spring cleaning time! We are collecting items that might allow our fidget mats to have texture. The purpose of the sensory/tactile mat is to help those with dementia to stimulate their minds.

We need scraps, or objects, that will allow them to stretch, clip, button, move, squeeze, slide, etc. Items like lace, corduroy, shoelaces, old belts, ties, elastic, buttons, keys, puff balls, zippers, pockets, etc. Please bring what you might have and place in the collection bins located around the church.

And if you want to help assemble, come join our Sewing Bee on May 1, 10:00 am-2:00 pm in room 207A. Snacks and drinks will be available. Please rsvp to Peggy Patton (p_patton@bellsouth.net). We'll have lots of fun for a great cause!
Boomers and Beyond Trip
VHUMC Boomers and Beyond will be traveling to the Biblical History Center in LaGrange GA on Thursday, May 3. The cost is $40 for transportation, a full biblical meal, and includes a guided tour of the Archaeological Replicas as well as admission to the Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery. The Gallery houses 250 biblical period artifacts from the Israel Antiquities Authority. The deadline to register is Monday, April 30. Please contact Jim Frazier (769-0126 / jfrazier@vhumc.org).
Family Promise
VHUMC is hosting Family Promise in April and August. Due to construction, our guests will be spending the night off site during these two weeks they are usually here. This temporary arrangement will give our guests a change of scenery at an Extended Stay hotel off of Lakeshore. Our first week to host will begin on April 29.

We are looking for creative ways to help make our guests feel the same hospitality as they would receive at the church and also off-set some of the costs of the hotel rooms. The hotel rooms have mini kitchens where they will be able to fix breakfast and lunches. We will supply their kitchens with the necessary foods that are needed for these meals.

We still need volunteers to be dinner hosts during these weeks. We are also asking for volunteers that have been involved with Family Promise and have a passion and a heart for this ministry to please prayerfully consider giving financially to help with the room costs, laundry, and other food expenses. This is a great opportunity for individuals, families, and Sunday School classes. Any other creative ideas and suggestions are welcomed. Thank you for your continued support of this long-time ministry of VHUMC.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org / 769-0143).
Ministry with the Poor
As part of our conference's priority of ministry with the poor, we have partnered with Quad W to provide missional internship experiences for young people throughout our conference. Students in Birmingham will work at East Lake UMC and Restoration mission. In Anniston, they will work with Community Enabler and New Life UMC. The students will live in intentional community at both sites.

We are helping people connect with the interns by taking them dinner and joining them for a meal one night. They will be living in a house that Restoration owns right across the street from Restoration UMC. Sign up through the link if you are interested in helping.

Growing Pains: Renovating for Our Future
Weather is currently a blessing and a curse to our renovation efforts. We are very thankful for the mild weather we are having while the HVAC system is completely out in the Adult Education Building. However, heavy rains this week have caused us to postpone the huge crane that will take away the old chiller for this building and install the new one. If the ground is too soft behind Tyson Hall, the 110-ton crane could get stuck. That means the HVAC will be out another week and weekend. HVAC unit replacements are continuing on the 2nd and 3rd floors so keep pardoning our mess. All mid-week meetings from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm are still relocated to other rooms. Be sure and check the room lists as you enter the building.

Thanks for your understanding on the cancelled Wednesday night dinner. Dinner will be served this coming Wednesday, May 2.

Tyson Hall is now painted and the new light "clouds" will begin to be installed soon. Work in the Sanctuary/Narthex areas will begin on May 7.

The Contemporary Service will continue worshiping in the Fellowship Hall until Tyson Hall renovations are complete. The Sanctuary Services may be moving into the Fellowship Hall if needed this summer. Remember that shorts and short-sleeves are perfectly welcome on Sunday mornings. We want you here and we want you to be comfortable!
Ongoing Outreach
Food Pantry
For the second year in a row, VHHS Relay for Life teams donated their canned goods to VHUMC's food pantry. Jay Lovell and Courtney Westhoven helped coordinate the efforts this year as Chairmen. The cans were used in lieu of sand in the illumination bags. This year's Relay for Life raised over $253,500. What an amazing event and what an amazing way to give back to so many with the donation to the food pantry. Thank you!

The Food Pantry needs tote bags for family portions of fruits and veggies. The farmers market opens again in May so we need a large supply of bags. We are also still looking for two volunteers with pick-up trucks who are available one Monday a month for help with our food bank order. If you are able, please contact Barbara Porter (bobarb@bellsouth.net).

Oak Mountain Mission
Oak Mountain Mission needs furniture to be given to families who have lost everything due to fires, floods or displacement. Call Brenda for pick-up 685-5757.
Wednesday Night Menu
  • May 2 - Salad, roast pork loin OR roast beef, au gratin potatoes, green beans, ice cream. Kids: chicken nuggets, mac & cheese
  • May 9 - Salad, chicken cacciatore OR shrimp creole, rice, broccoli, bread pudding. Kids: pizza
  • May 16 - Hamburger OR hot dogs, french fries, toppings, ice cream
Worship This Sunday 

8:30 am         Traditional Service
Luke 8:40-56
"Desperation"
Bill Brunson

9:45 am         Service of Word and Table
Luke 8:40-56
"Desperation"
Butch Williams and Sherry Harris

11:00 am         Traditional Service
Luke 8:40-56
"Desperation"
Bill Brunson

11:00 am         Contemporary Service
Revelation 21: 1-5
"No More Sea"
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm         Sunday Evening Worship
John 15:1-8
"Who's Ready for Pruning?"
Butch Williams
Our Time and Resources
 

Donations this past week

July 2017 - March 2018
Donations
Other Income
Total Income
Actual
$35,908


$3,012,991
$93,726
$3,106,717
Targeted  
-$24,545


-$59,683
-$999
-$60,682
 
(+) Better or (-) worse for the church than our target
   Attendance for last Sunday:  803
Care and Support
Congratulations, hospitalizations, and sympathies

Prayer Requests
Please be in prayer for the following persons: