Volume 48
Issue 48
December 6, 2018
              
Advent Sermon Series
Advent refers to the coming of God into our world in Jesus. We often associate this time with warmth and comfort, but for that first Advent, it was a total disruption. Herod, Joseph, and Mary all had their lives interrupted and turned on end.

When God does something extraordinary, that is usually the case - God meddles with our ordered life and something unexpected intrudes. But, then comes the extraordinary. Join us every Sunday during December as we consider the wonderful disruption we call Advent.
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 10. Order forms will also be available in binders on the desk counter in the church office.
Advent Devotions
Our 2018 Advent Devotional Calendars are here! Get one for your family from the information racks around the church.
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 Friday, December 21, at 6:00 pm, in the Chapel!
Family Christmas Music Celebration
For the first time ever, music leaders from every corner of VHUMC will be performing together under one roof. Come as you are for our 4th annual Sounds of the Season, a joyous time of community worship through Christmas singing on Sunday, December 16, at 5:00 pm, in Tyson Hall.
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 Friday, December 21, at 6:00 pm, in the Chapel!
Christmas Eve at VHUMC
We would love for you to join us this Christmas for a powerful evening of worship, prayer, and celebration as we honor the birth of Jesus Christ. Services will be held at a variety of times throughout our campus, so find which time works best for you!
  • 2:00 pm - Candlelight Communion Service | Sanctuary | Children's Choir
  • 4:00 pm - Candlelight Communion Service | Sanctuary | Chancel Choir
  • 4:00 pm - Candlelight Communion Service | Tyson Hall | Ensemble
  • 6:00 pm - Candlelight Communion Service | Sanctuary | New Life Singers
  • 8:00 pm - Chapel Communion Service (30 Minute Service) | Chapel
  • 11:00 pm - Candlelight Communion Service | Sanctuary
The following Sunday, December 30, there will be no Sunday School since we will only have two services, 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Advent Offering
This year our Advent offering is going to benefit a long time ministry partner, Urban Ministry. Urban Ministry is a faith-based non-profit organization focused on alleviating poverty and improving quality of life for residents of Birmingham's West End community. This year they are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Many of our VHUMC members serve and volunteer at Urban Ministry throughout the year. Will you do your part and give a little extra this Advent season to Urban Ministry? Make sure to write Urban in the memo line or put your gift in an Advent envelope. This special offering will be collected December 9-25.
Sunday Evening Worship
Come as you are to the Rutland-Memorial Chapel at 5:00 pm this Sunday as Sherry Harris leads our worship. We'll sing the old, familiar hymns, share in warm fellowship, and listen as Sherry preaches on "It Happens at the Table."
December Hilltopper Meeting
Our next meeting is Tuesday, December 18, at 10:30 am in the Fellowship Hall. The Chuck King Ensemble will join us for a program of Christmas music & songs. For information or to make a lunch reservation ($6.00) contact Harriette Woodring (822-9318) or Margaret Flowers (769-0112 / mflowers@vhumc.org) no later than 11 am on Friday, December 14. Please note the price and, if possible, have correct change or an extra dollar bill.

Vestavia Hilltoppers is a VHUMC-sponsored organization for persons of retirement age, which meets each month for lunch and a program. They also sponsor trips and other activities that are publicized at meetings. Guests and new members are welcome.
Welcome New Members
Let's give a warm VHUMC welcome to our new members:
  • Christina Thomas (attends 9:45 service, has 3 kids: Gareth & Tristan - 10 years old and Lily - 8 years old)
  • Marilyn & Tripp Lindsey (attend 11:00 traditional service, has Hoke - 9 years old)
High School Girls Retreat Recap
We had an incredible time on our recent High School Girls Retreat. 27 girls traveled north to Cedar Bluff, AL and stayed in a beautiful house on Lake Weiss. We were also blessed to be joined by our interns, two amazing moms, and Emily Jackson, who led us in worship. We enjoyed our time away from the normal busyness of life and the stress our students face every day.

We worshipped and dug into God's Word highlighting some of the amazing women in the Bible, all the characteristics they exude, and the incredible example they set for us as we grow as Christ-following women!

Thank you to everyone who sent delicious meals, prayed for us, and helped financially with registration fees. Please continue to pray for these young women to reflect on what they learned to find God's path for them as they navigate this harsh world.
Fast Track Your New Testament Knowledge
Want to learn more about the Bible? Disciple Fast Track, an adaptation of the original, bestselling Disciple Bible Study, provides a viable option for busy people seeking comprehensive engagement over time with the entire biblical text. We'll start with the New Testament in January, for a 12-week course offered either Sunday at 5:00 pm, Tuesday at 10:00 am, or Wednesday at 6:00 pm. Childcare is provided for evening classes. Please register online so we can line up teachers and resources, based on demand.

Participants read a manageable 3-5 chapters of the Bible daily in preparation for the weekly meetings, which last approximately 75 minutes. A brief, illustrated review video enables participants to recall important facts and ideas. Lively and engaging video presenters then offer insights into the current week's session. For more information, please contact Suzanne Scott-Trammell (sstrammell@vhumc.org / 769-0136).

Congratulations to the Emerging Leaders
Congratulations to the 2nd Class of Emerging Leaders at VHUMC. These young people met each month in 2018 to learn about VHUMC and have now stepped into leadership as we grow into the future. Thank you for your commitment and service.
Stewardship Update
Our 2019 Stewardship Campaign, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", has been a tremendous success so far! We are thrilled to report that we have pledges for 87% of our 2019 ministry budget. That is significantly above our usual percent in early December! Within that wonderful amount, we have received 73 new pledges and pledge amounts have increased by nearly 4% from 2018.

All of this generous giving speaks to the essence of who we are as a church - we embody our mission to live a Christ-centered life of purpose. Our work, however, is not complete. If you have not yet submitted your pledge for the 2019 ministry budget, there is still time for you to do so. Please drop off a pledge card at the church office or make your pledge online at www.vhumc.org/give.

Additionally, as we enter into the end of the year, we encourage you to fulfill your 2018 pledge by December 31. Gifts received by midnight, December 31 will be credited toward 2018 giving. Please email John Sweeney (jsweeney@vhumc.org) with any questions. Many thanks for your continued generosity.
Financial Update
We wanted to update you on our finances since William Hocutt's article in October. Your response to his report of a slow first quarter start was good. In October, giving exceeded our budgeted amount for the month by $59,137! Thank you. That really helps us get closer to our budget, but we are still $105,190 under our giving budget. Naturally, we have asked our staff and committees to curtail any spending that they can, but that always reduces our ability to meet our programming, missions, and facility needs. As William mentioned, we are prayerfully asking that you review your giving to the church and do all that you can to help us finish the calendar year strong. Please know that every dollar you give to help VHUMC makes a difference.
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. Check out the link below for more information.

College Scholarship Opportunity
The Dick Kelly Scholarship Fund is one of our Foundation Funds with the purpose of providing college scholarships for church members. This year the fund can distribute up to $5,000. If you are a student or have a student already attending college or entering college next fall, we invite you to submit an application. Applications are available through the link and completed applications should be sent or given to Gary Wyatt (gwyatt@vhumc.org). Awards will be based on both merit and need. The deadline for applications is January 10. Donations are also welcome to continue replenishing the fund.

Bible Bearer, Acolyte and Crucifer Training
We love for the Cross, the Word of God, and the Light of Jesus to be carried into our worship services by our children! If your child would like to serve as a Bible Bearer, Acolyte, or a Crucifer we invite you and your child to join us for training in the Sanctuary on Wednesday, December 12.

Bible Bearers (1st-2nd graders) and Acolytes (3rd-5th graders) will train from 3:30-4:30 pm. Crucifers (6th-12th graders) will train between 4:30-5:00 pm. You may leave when your child is finished... no need to stay the full hour.

If your child is a part of Vestavia Day School After School Program and would like to serve contact Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org). We hope that you will consider encouraging your child to participate in this special ministry!
High School Retreat
Registration is now open for the 2019 High School Retreat, February 15-18, 2019. All 9th-12th Graders are invited to join us at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina for worship and skiing! The cost is $475 which includes the cost of transportation, lodging, skiing, a t-shirt, and most food. Siblings attending together can get type "sibling discount" on the registration. Register online by clicking the link below.

If you are interested in chaperoning this event contact Jeremiah Stone ( jstone@vhumc.org ).If you are interested in helping to sponsor the registration cost for a student in need of financial assistance please contact Emily Boles ( eboles@vhumc.org ).

December Memory Verse
Our 1st - 5th graders are taught 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 and chance to win a grand prize at the end of the school year. We hope that these verses help to guide them throughout their lives. December's memory verse is: "She will bear a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." -Matthew 1:21
Julian Family Recital
The Julian family would like to invite you to their annual Family Recital in the Sanctuary, on Thursday, December 20, at 7:00 pm. The evening will feature Rachel Julian and Katrina Julian Booth on the organ, Karl Julian on the piano, and Kyle Julian on the French horn. A reception will follow the performance in the church parlor.
Christmas Angels
Angel Trees have gone quickly this year! As a reminder, all gifts are due back to the church office by December 9. Remember, don't wrap them! Thank you for your continued support of our Angel Tree program.
Ongoing Outreach
Food Pantry
Thank you to the 22 wonderful volunteers who helped on Wednesday, November 14, as we distributed 475 turkeys for Thanksgiving! Thanks also to those who donated funds to buy the turkeys, the Day School children for bringing cans to the pantry, and Vestavia West for their huge food drive.

Oak Mountain Mission
Oak Mountain Mission needs coats of all sizes along with winter attire and new and like-new toys for Christmas families. No summer clothing at this time please. Linens and kitchen items are always needed (cookware, dishes, silverware, glasses).
Wednesday Night Menus
  • December 12 - Salad, Pork Loin OR Baked Flounder, Mac & Cheese, Wild Rice, Carrot Soufflé, Bread Pudding. Kids: Chicken Nuggets 
Worship This Sunday 

8:30 am         Traditional Service
Matthew 1:18-24
"The Message Comes Home"
Bill Brunson

9:45 am         Service of Word and Table
Matthew 1:18-24
"The Message Comes Home"
Bill Brunson

11:00 am         Traditional Service
Matthew 1:18-24
"The Message Comes Home"
Bill Brunson

11:00 am         Contemporary Service
Matthew 1:18-24
"Just Your Average Joe"
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm         Sunday Evening Worship
1 Corinthians 10:15-18
"It Happens At The Table"
Sherry Harris
Attendance for last Sunday:  970
Our Time and Resources
 

Donations this past week

July - October 2018
Donations
Other Income
Total Income
Actual
$53,511


$988,228
$47,100
$1,035,328
Targeted  
-$71,944


-$105,190
+$394
-$104,796
 
(+) 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: