Volume 49
Issue 47
December 5, 2019
              
Magic City Nutcracker
Please join us for our 7th season of The Magic City Nutcracker this weekend, December 6-8. We are Birmingham's only community Nutcracker performance with 19 dance studios represented. Performances will be at the historic Virginia Samford Theatre and tickets can be purchased by using the link.

Advent Sermon Series
The prophet, Jeremiah; John the Baptist; and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, lived in cultures and situations that were far from perfect, but their lives show us how to make purposeful choices to follow God. Hope, peace, and love are not the first words that we would choose to describe our culture, but our Advent sermon series, "Choosing Christmas" will help us explore together how to make our own purposeful decisions to follow God in the midst of a hectic, even frantic holiday season.
Welcome New Members
Please join together to welcome our newest members.
  • Chad and Jennifer Black (Rooks and Vincent) - 11:00 Traditional Worship
  • Phyllis Haynes - 11:00 Traditional Worship
  • Jacob Green and Anna Grace Blackman - 11:00 Traditional Worship
  • Michael Johnson - 11:00 Contemporary Worship
  • Morgan and Jennifer Sawyer (Olivia) - 11:00 Traditional Worship
  • Allison Stone - 11:00 Contemporary Worship
  • Jason Ware - 11:00 Contemporary Worship
Our churh is stronger because of these new members. Please look for them on the monitors across the church and on the bulletin board by the front office.

Advent Offering
Rise Against Hunger is an organization that is striving to end hunger by 2030. Through their global initiatives, we can all play a part to reach that goal. At VHUMC, this year's Advent offering will benefit Rise Against Hunger. In April, our community wide meal packing event will pack over 300,000 meals to be sent to early childhood development centers around the world. This meal is sometimes the only hot, nutritious meal that those children receive every day.

Let's make this year's Advent offering one where thousands of children will receive what is truly needed. Your check or donation can be put in one of the Advent offering envelopes and marked RAH on the memo line. We will collect this special offering from December 8-29. It is truly better to give than receive, so let's give to those children. Your gift matters, no matter how great or small.
Christmas Mission Breakfast
This year, our student and mission ministries will continue their annual tradition of the Christmas Student Ministries Mission Breakfast. We will be serving breakfast at VHUMC to families from the Birmingham community this Saturday, December 7, from 9:00-11:00 am, in the Fellowship Hall. Students and adult volunteers are invited to help serve breakfast, socialize, share crafts, and help Santa deliver Christmas gifts.
End of Year Giving Plans
41% of giving from individuals to churches and non-profit organizations happens between Thanksgiving and December 31 each year. As you plan out your year-end giving, we would ask that you also consider a special gift to the General Fund of VHUMC. Our giving over the past four months has been the lowest in the past nine years, so we could really use your help! Our plans for ministry to you and your family in 2020 will be affected by what we receive in these last two months of 2019. If you have any questions about the church's finances, please contact Gary Wyatt (gwyatt@vhumc.org / 769-0108) or John Sweeney (jsweeney@vhumc.org / 769-0101).

Giving to VHUMC from an IRA
As you plan your year-end giving, several members are now giving to the church from their required minimum distribution on an Individual Retirement Account. If you are 70½ or older and would like to explore this option, we have a web page with information and instructions for giving to the church and reducing your taxable income. Click the link for more information.

Pajama Polar Express Party
Wear your pajamas and join us for dinner, hot chocolate, and the Polar Express Movie on Wednesday, December 18, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, in Tyson Hall! Children 5th grade and under are invited to come with their parents to experience our Pajama Polar Express night. Pajamas are highly encouraged, as are blankets or lawn chairs, for viewing comfortably. For more information contact Emily Boles (eboles@vhumc.org / 769-0130).
Angel Tree Deadline Sunday
This Sunday, December 8, is the deadline to have all gifts purchased for the Angel Trees and turned into the main office. For everyone who participated this year, thank you so much for making Christmas extra special for someone this year.
Family Caroling Night
VHUMC will be taking families to sing at Galleria Woods on Wednesday, December 18. We will meet in the Lighthouse lobby at 6:00 pm. This is for all ages, but an adult must accompany anyone under 18. For more information please contact Jim Frazier (jfrazier@vhumc.org / 769-0126).
Christmas Around the World
Come join our Children's Choirs as they present a concert of Christmas music from around the world. From America, France, Germany, China, Syria, and more. The concert will take place in the Sanctuary on Wednesday, December 11 at 6:00 pm. For more information, please contact Quint Harris (qharris@vhumc.org).
Sounds of the Season
Come as you are to our 5th annual Sounds of the Season on Sunday, December 15, at 5:00 pm, in Tyson Hall! This is a wonderful time of Christmas singing as we celebrate this joyous time of year! Join Santa and music leaders from every corner of VHUMC. 
Christmas Flower Memorials and Honorariums
In celebration of Christmas, the Flower and Altar Guilds will be adorning the worship services with poinsettias and fresh cut greens. You can participate by donating flowers in memory or honor of a loved one for $20. There will be a limited number of poinsettias available to be picked up after the last Christmas Eve service.

If you wish to make a memorial or honorarium tribute, you must contact Margaret Flowers (769-0112 / mflowers@vhumc.org) by Monday, December 16. Order forms will also be available in binders on the desk counter in the church office.
Our Guests Over Christmas
This Christmas season, Family Promise guests will be hosted by our church from December 22-29. Thanks to many generous donors, we will host our guests at an Extended Stay Hotel for the holiday week. Even though the hotel is paid for we still need Christmas goodies to make them feel right at home. If you would like to contribute any Christmas decorations (smaller items that would be great for their room) or gift cards to Walmart or restaurants that they can use during their stay, please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org) or drop off at the missions office from now until December 17.
December Hilltopper Meeting
Our next meeting is Tuesday, December 17, at 10:30 am in the Fellowship Hall. Ray Reach will be performing for us. For information or to make a lunch reservation ($6.00) contact Harriette Woodring (822-9318) or Margaret Flowers (mflowers@vhumc.org / 769-0112) no later than 11:00 am on Friday, December 13. If possible, have correct change or an extra dollar bill.
Prayer 2020
VHUMC is declaring 2020 the Year of Prayer. In the coming year we will dedicate ourselves to growing in prayer, both personally and as a church. Join us as we seek God's will and purposes for the new decade and beyond. Stay tuned for opportunities and events coming soon.
Disciple Fast Track 2
Don't miss the 2nd series of Disciple Fast Track. Spring 2020 will focus on going deep into Genesis and Exodus. Participants will purchase a study manual with suggested readings of about 30 minutes/day. Groups will meet weekly for 75 minutes, listening to a video and discussing the material. The daily reading assignments are shorter than in Fast Track 1 allowing more time to practice the spiritual disciplines highlighted in each session.

Please specify days of the week that work best for you to meet in a small group. We will be putting together leaders and participants, based on these preferences. Books are $16 and can be picked up in the church office prior to your class starting. Classes will be the weeks of January 12 - April 26.

Women's Story Teller Groups
Join these exciting new small groups for women as we learn how God is working in our lives. Growing in community and love has always been the call for the Church as we share our stories and lives together. Please register to let us know the day and time you can attend these weekly meetings, either in homes or at the church. For further information, please contact Suzanne Scott-Trammell (sstrammell@vhumc.org / 769-0136).

Live Stream Maintenance
Due to recent technical issues, we will be suspending live stream in the coming weeks in order to perform proper maintenance. However, recordings our Sunday service will still be published on the website and church app each week on Tuesdays. We are still planning to live stream the 4:00 pm Christmas Eve Service, so please join us from the comfort of your own home if you are unable to attend. If you are interested in operating the live stream, please contact Peyton Chandler (pchandler@vhumc.org).
Service of Healing and Light
The holly-jolly Christmas atmosphere can be difficult if we are experiencing the recent loss of a loved one or a significant life-changing event. We need the space to acknowledge our grief and hold it up to the light of the Christmas message: God is with us. Come be a part of this very special service on Saturday, December 21, at 6:00 pm, in the Chapel!
Travel to the Holy Land
Join Dr. Bill Brunson and Rev. Jeremiah Stone on a once-in-a lifetime trip to experience the Holy Land and see your faith come to life! We all know the importance of serving as the hands and feet of Christ in our world, but we want to invite you on another faith journey during spring break, March 21-29, 2020.

Walk where Jesus walked, sit and hear the stories from the Bible in the places where they actually happened, and experience a trip that will help you take a deeper step in your relationship with our Risen Lord. For more information please contact Jim Frazier (jfrazier@vhumc.org). We have families, couples, friends, and individuals already signed up, but there is still room to join the group.
Julian Family Recital
The Julian family would like to invite you to their annual Family Recital in the Sanctuary, on Friday, December 20, at 7:00 pm. The evening will feature Rachel Julian on the organ, Karl Julian on the piano, Katrina Julian Booth on the violin, and Kyle Julian on the French horn. A reception will follow the performance in the church parlor.
5-Minute Mission
On Sunday, December 15, we will have a 5-Minute Mission during the coffee hour to highlight our most recent Impact mission trip to South Africa with Rise Against Hunger. Stop by the table and see the faces of Rise Against Hunger. These children are the ones who receive our support, our hot meals that are packed with love each Spring, and the ones who truly benefit from your donation. You will be able to see first-hand the impact that VHUMC is having on so many. It is one 5-Minute mission you will not want to miss.
Special Christmas Gift
Are you still looking for that special Christmas gift? Well look no further! We still have a few VHUMC hats for sale that will make a great gift for anyone on your Christmas list. The hats are $15 and benefit Rise Against Hunger. If you would like to reserve yours today, contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org), or stop by the missions' office to purchase one. Supplies are limited, so first come first serve.
Ongoing Outreach
Urban Ministry Kids
Urban Ministry Kids needs gently used coats, jackets and shoes for their after-school children (ages 4 to 13). Please put them in the three wooden bins around the church. Circle One members will deliver them. Thank you.

Food Pantry
Food Pantry is thankful for the 5,000 cans we received from Vestavia West school! Thanks to all the wonderful students, teachers, and volunteer dads who helped our crew load and unload. Thank also to those who helped provide 400 turkeys to our food pantry families and another 190 turkeys to our Vestavia families. We continue to be thankful for all of your support for our food pantry.

Oak Mountain Mission
Oak Mountain Mission needs pots and pans, small working appliances, sofas, chairs, and working washers and dryers. For pick-up, please call Roddy (685-5757).
Wednesday Nights at VHUMC

Classes/Programs starting at 6:00 pm
  • Children's Concert: December 11
  • Dinner, Caroling, and The Polar Express: December 18 
Worship This Sunday
 
8:30 am Traditional  Service |  Sanctuary
Luke 3:7-18
"Choose Peace"
Bill Brunson
 
9:45 am Service of Word and Table |  Sanctuary 
Luke 3:7-18
"Choosing Christmas: Choosing Peace"
Sherry Harris and Butch Williams
 
11:00 am Traditional Service |  Sanctuary
Luke 3:7-18
"Choose Peace" 
Bill Brunson
 
11:00 am Contemporary Service |  Tyson Hall 
Luke 3:7-18
"Choosing Peace - Unravelling Unpeace"
Kipp McClurg
 
5:00 pm  Sunday Evening Worship
Luke 9: 1-6
"A Third Sacrament?"
Mike Harper

Attendance for last week: 567
General Fund Fiscal Year 2020
 
 
Donations this past week
 
July - October 2019
Donations
Other Income
Total Income 
Actual
$ 49,718
 
 
$918,786
$49,257
$968,043
Targeted  
-$95,954 
 
 
-$153,329
+$2,551
-$150,778
 
(+) 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: