Volume 50
Issue 15
April 9, 2020
              
Maundy Thursday Service
Join us by live stream today at 6:30 for the Maundy Thursday service broadcast from the Sanctuary. Maundy Thursday is the name given to the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, known as the Last Supper and we will do the same. Our service will focus on Holy Communion and we want you to partake with us from your home. If you did not pick up a communion set at the Lighthouse entrance, please gather some bread and juice at your home so you and your family can participate. We will end with the "New Command" that Jesus gave to his disciples and to each of us.

Also, with all of our live stream services, if you can't join us live or your viewing gets interrupted, each service will replay when you hit the live stream link until our next broadcast service. You can also watch any past service that was broadcast by searching our sermon archives.


Holy We ek and Easter
  • Maundy Thursday - Live stream starting at 6:30 pm
  • Good Friday - Live stream starting at 6:30 pm
Easter Sunday
  • Sunrise - Live stream starting at 6:30 am
  • Traditional Service - Live stream starting at 8:30 am
  • Contemporary Service - Live stream starting at 11:00 am
Time to Egg Your House
Our children's egg hunt had to be canceled because of the new social distancing guidelines, but our team has found a great way for your family to enjoy safely getting out of the house for a ride-along egg hunt! It is time for you to egg your house for this unique Easter egg hunt! You heard us right! This week we want you to download an Easter egg printout that you can cut out and hide in a window of your house so that neighborhood children can drive by and safely hunt to find your egg from the seat of a car. A full set of instructions and downloads can be found using the link. Spread the word so we can make this a fun way for our whole community to celebrate Holy Week from safely inside your home and car!


COVID-19 Response Team Update
1. Thank you to all of you who are taking care of your families and are continually checking on your neighbors. Please safely shelter at home and abide by the requests of our governmental and health leaders. Make calls to those around you, offer help when needed, and let us know if you see any needs that cannot be met by you, your friends, or members of your Sunday School classes. 

2. Please continue to direct people to our vhumc.org/coronavirus web page. If you log into our web site, a large COVID-19 popup will appear and take you directly to the most updated information and useful links. One link has a listing of ways that you can help. We are grateful to report that most needs are currently being met by family members and neighbors. We have been planning and preparing for weeks to be at the ready to respond the best ways we can to meet anticipated needs. Please stay connected and informed by visiting our web site regularly.

3. Our staff and lay volunteers have been working hard and being very creative in identifying ways to stay connected and serve all of you. We are constantly connecting with the families from our Day School, Food Pantry, Vestavia Dance, Conservatory of the Arts, and Upward Sports. We have been connecting with our friends in retirement and nursing homes, those who are homebound, and as many people in our congregation (and beyond our walls) as possible to make sure that they are loved and cared for during these challenging times. Please continue to join together in doing that whenever and wherever you can!

4. How can you help now? Keep checking the web site, keep staying in touch on social media (it's a big help these days!), keep praying for this virus to be contained and this suffering to end, and keep doing the wonderful job you are doing in caring for your yourself, your family, and your neighbors.

We are truly grateful for all you have already done, and we are thankful for all that we shall do together (in the days ahead): to do the most we can, to help the most people we can, in every way that we can.


Emergency Blood Drive
The blood supply in America is in extremely short supply, and VHUMC is strongly urging the community to donate blood. The American Red Cross will be using the Lighthouse gym as a donation site on Thursday, April 16. If you are able, please consider donating during this blood drive. In order to support social distancing guidelines, appointments are now required. Make sure to find an available time online by visiting their blood drive scheduling website. For more information, contact John Sweeney (jsweeney@vhumc.org / 769-0101).


An Act of Worship
While we are separated from worshipping together, we have become creative in finding ways to remain connected. Our online worship services are providing each of us the opportunity to share in the preparation that comes with Lent, in the humanity of Christ as we experience Holy Week, and the joyful resurrection we collectively experience on Easter Sunday. While we cannot all be together for worship, we can participate in an act of worship together - the giving of our tithes and offerings. Giving back to God what God has provided to us allows each of us to participate in the Glory of God. We give as a response to what God provides to us - grace, mercy, hope, and resurrection.

As we face these uncertain times, we are certain in the continuing presence of God, and for that we are grateful. Please take a moment this week as a response to the joy of Easter and share in the gifts God has given to you. Online giving is easy and safe, and will allow our church, God's church, to continue in the ministries we are called to each and every day.


Join a Virtual Group
If you're looking for a virtual way to connect with small groups, please contact Kelly Bottcher (kbottcher@vhumc.org). We're expanding our small group selections and group-types now and would love to include you. Please email with your name, contact info, and the needs you have and Kelly will be in touch.


Boomers and Beyond
Online Bible Study
Our Boomer and Beyond ministry will continue meeting online on Thursday nights at 6:00 pm. Tonight, April 9, we will meet online from 6:00 - 6:25 pm since our Maundy Thursday service is at 6:30 pm. Beginning the following week, we will be studying online "The Way Back To Mayberry." We will be watching an episode of The Andy Griffith Show together online each week. To join the Webex online meeting, please click the link below. For more information, contact Jim Frazier (jfrazier@vhumc.org / 769-0126).


Helping Your Children Through This
We miss seeing children at church! During this time that our lives have been put on hold, we want to show our children that God is still with us. Even though many activities have been canceled, learning about Him and growing closer to Him can still go on.Preschool and elementary parents, check your email for weekly newsletters updating you on what will be provided. You will also receive Sunday School lessons on Sunday mornings. These will be simple lessons you can do as a family. Let Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org) or Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org) know if you need anything!
Prayer 2020: This Week in Prayer
As a church, VHUMC is uniting, each of us in our homes, at 8:00 am for daily prayer. Our weekly fast is from Tuesday pm until Wednesday pm as we journey in prayer together.

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20

Prayer: Gracious God you are a God of mighty miracles and we praise your Holy name. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. We trust that you are good and that you plan good for us. From our human perspective, we don't really know what to ask for during this time. Even when we try, our requests fall so short of your limitless capacity to answer. So astound us Lord with your love. Blow our minds with your power. Pour your peace out on us and ignite in us a bold faith that proclaims your great name! Not because we deserve it Lord; we do not. But because of who you are.

We trust you Lord and we know that through this trial you will accomplish infinitely more than we even know to ask or think. And may your great name be known throughout the world! All Glory to you God! Amen.
Weekly Memory Verses
While we aren't able to attend church, our 1st - 5th graders will have the opportunity to memorize a different memory verse each week! Once they have memorized the verse they can email Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org) a video of themselves saying the verse for a chance to win a swinging tent at the End of the Year Assembly sometime in May! Also, Jamie will deliver Hershey Bars to the mailboxes of the first 5 children who send videos! This week's verse is: "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen!" - Luke 24:5
Little Lambs and Bible
Pathfinders
Wednesday night Bible Studies are a time when we learn somuchand have even more fun! We plan to bring that fun home each Wednesday during our social distancing. Our Little Lambs will be receiving Lamb Lovey bags that will contain a devotion and some activities so they can have their own fun at home!

Parents of elementary children, you will receive an email each Wednesday that contains a lesson about Incredible Faith. Each week we will look at a different hero from the Bible who showed incredible faith. You will be able to download a skit for the kids to perform, a lesson, discussion questions, and an activity. You won't want to miss our lesson this week about "Professor Positive!"

Please email Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org) and Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org) with pictures of your children doing these activities. We would love to see them in action!
Mel Sparkman Scholarship
The Mel Sparkman Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in honor of a faithful youth volunteer to assist deserving students through the award of a general scholarship grant. Scholarship applications must be completed and e-mailed to the Student Ministries office by April 15. Scholarship applications can be downloaded using the link below.


Ongoing Outreach
Food Pantry
The Food Pantry will be distributing food on Wednesday, April 15, by drive-thru under the Lighthouse portico. No one will be allowed to come into the building for food. Current registered families may pick up food between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm. Please wear gloves and masks as you drive thru.

Our Mission Partners Need Us
As we continue to stay at home to flatten the curve, we will continue to post ways you can serve to help support our mission partners. Each week, we will highlight a few of our partners and their needs for the week.

Urban Ministry
They are in need of canned fruits, canned meat, rice and soup. Please call Urban Ministry (205-781-0517) to discuss drop off.

First Light
Area shelters are not allowing anyone to come in or out, during this crisis. Our VHUMC ministry team is still delivering their meals to the door. But because of no one being able to leave, the shelter is now serving lunches too. If you would like to volunteer to prepare lunches to deliver safely or find other ways you can help First Light, please email volunteer@firstlightshelter.org.

Rise Against Hunger
Sadly our Rise Against Hunger event, originally scheduled for April 26-29, has been postponed. We are trying to find a time to re-schedule and are also working with Rise Against Hunger in ways that we can help support them besides a meal-packing event. Our Lenten offering this year is for the support of our next meal packing event. Funds collected will be protected for that use. Look for more details and opportunities to support their efforts to end hunger soon.

Thank you for always being the church to so many. Even if our church looks different at this time, we can continue to be the hands and feet of Christ wherever God is calling us.

Bunny Aid Delivery
On March 8, before Covid-19 began changing life in Birmingham, our students made 25 Easter baskets to help support our Bunny Aid project on their Serve Night. Later, when Bunny Aid was canceled, our bunny helpers did not give up. They reached out to our mission partner, Urban Ministry, who has arranged to have our baskets delivered by the Easter bunny to families in the Birmingham community. Thank you to all who made this possible! A special thank you to our Bunny Aid team who makes Easter a little brighter for so many each and every year.
General Fund Fiscal Year 2020
 
 
Donations this past week
 
July - February 2020
Donations
Other Income
Total Income 
Actual
$108,956
 
 
$2,640,151
$99,534
$2,739,685
Targeted  
+$39,558
 
 
-$164,869
+$6,122
-$158,747
 
(+) Better or (-) worse for the church than our target
Care and Support
Congratulations, hospitalizations, and sympathies

Prayer Requests
Please be in prayer for the following persons: