Volume 49
Issue 8
February 21 , 2019
              
Lenten Sermon Series: Soul Keeping
Far too often we think of Lent as one of those "church" things we have to do. We know it to be a necessary journey towards the cross, but we travel dragging our feet and keeping our heads down. We are mistaken. Lent is not something we have to do; Lent is something we get to do, and best of all, we travel together. This year, our Lenten sermon series will be based on a life-changing book, "Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You." Our world is plagued by depression, anxiety and loneliness: symptoms of a soul that has lost touch with its life source. As we move through Lent together, we will rediscover our souls, our most important connection to God, and find our way out of the spiritual shallows into the deep waters of grace. This is a journey you do not want to miss. Mark your calendar for Sunday, March 10 as we begin soul keeping together.
Whale of a Sale
The Spring 2019 Whale of a Sale is underway! We are open in the Lighthouse until 9:00 pm tonight and from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm tomorrow, February 22 (with our half-price sale starting at noon). Please join us and shop our huge selection of toys, baby items, and gently used clothing. Proceeds from the sale support Vestavia Day School, one of the strongest outreach ministries of the church. 

A Message from Bill on the General Conference

Lux Aeterna Collaborative Concert
Please join us for a wonderful concert event this Sunday, February 24, at 7:00 pm, in the Sanctuary. The combined choirs of Vestavia Hills UMC and First Tuscaloosa UMC will present Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna (Light Eternal) as well as several other well-known choral music pieces. Dr.'s John Ratledge and Quint Harris, conductors.
Masquerade Missions Fundraiser
We are excited to kick off our annual Student Ministries fundraiser on Friday, March 1! We will be off-site at Park Crest from 7-10 pm. There will be live music, hors d'oeuvres and desserts, and a live and silent auction. You will want to be there! Tickets are $40 per person and are available by clicking the link below! Please spread the word so we can make this an impactful event for our Student Ministries missions fund! For more information or to help by serving on the committee, please contact Emily Boles (eboles@vhumc.org).

Welcome New Members
Please welcome Wendy and Clay Cook into VHUMC. They have been visiting for a number of years, so we're glad they decided to make VHUMC their church home. They have 3 beautiful grandchildren who are active here (Hunt, Hayes, and Anna Clark Kincaid, along with their children Reese and Megan). Let's give them a warm welcome into our VHUMC family.
MLK Mission Still Serving Others
In January, we hosted our annual MLK Mission day where over 90 adults and student ministry youth participated in several hands-on projects on the youth floor. In addition, visitors from the Junior League helped out on this day of service. We completed over 120 Blessing bags, hundreds of hygiene kits and Christmas shoeboxes, and helped move items in the Food Pantry.

We could not have done this without the wonderful help and support of our church and the many student and adult volunteers. The completed projects have been delivered to the Boutwell warming station, Grace Episcopal Church warming station, and Hope Lodge. The Hope Lodge hygiene kits had special Valentine's in them made by our 4th and 5th graders during their Skate and Serve time on MLK day. Other bags will be delivered to Brother Bryan, First Light, and other mission partners in the community. Thank you VHUMC for continuing to make a difference to so many.
Hiking to the Cross
Join the VHUMC clergy at McCallum Park (on Rosemary Lane) on Saturday, March 16, at 9:00 am, as we take a leisurely hike together. We will stop periodically to remember each of the 14 stations of the cross (the events that happened to Jesus from the Last Supper until his Resurrection on Easter Sunday). Invite your friends as we enjoy a beautiful spring morning. For more information please contact Jim Frazier (jfrazier@vhumc.org / 769-0126).
Fat Tuesday Pancake Dinner
VHUMC will once again host their annual Fat Tuesday Pancake Dinner on Tuesday, March 5, at 6:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. This year as we kick off the Lenten Season, our annual dinner will benefit our Rise Against Hunger event this coming April. There will be games, king cakes, and the VHHS jazz band. Dinner will be $5 per person with another $5 suggested donation for RAH. Your $5 donation will feed 17 children. Any donation amount is appreciated. For more information, please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org).
Parking Lot Prayers and Ashes
Be sure to come by for our annual Parking Lot Prayers and Ashes on Ash Wednesday, March 6, from 6:30 - 9:00 am. Rain or shine, our clergy members will be stationed in both the west and east VHUMC parking lots, offering to drivers and pedestrians the traditional imposition of ashes and blessing. If a recipient does not want to receive the ashes, a prayer of blessing will be joyfully offered. Tell your friends and neighbors. All are welcome to drive thru that morning!
Soul Keeping Wednesday Night Study
In the book "Soul Keeping," bestselling author John Ortberg sheds light on the most overlooked, underrated, and least-understood part of our being: the soul. With a workable and relevant approach, he shows how living the "with God" life isn't just a good idea, it's the only way to find lasting peace and satisfaction. In addition to several Sunday School classes studying "Soul Keeping" during Lent, Rev. Sherry Harris will also lead a 5-week study of the book on Wednesday nights, March 13 - April 24, in room 203. You won't want to miss this study as we grow in our relationship with God through the keeping and tending of our souls. You may order your book using the link below to be delivered to the church office.

Sacred Places and Secret Spaces Tour
Ever wonder where all of the behind-the-scenes places at Vestavia Hills UMC are located? Over the decades, the church has been expanded and remodeled, creating a collection of unique, out-of-the-way spaces. (like the old television studio, the tunnel, the river in the basement, the three-story organ, and the six-story bell tower). There are also some mysterious and sacred places such as our prayer chapel, the architecture of the Sanctuary, the stained glass of the Chapel, and the room where all of our worship wear is stored. And, what do Bill and Kipp's offices look like? Join us on Wednesday, February 27, at 6:00 pm, in the lobby of Tyson Hall and we will visit as many of these as possible. Know that some of the spaces are reached by steps and ladders, but persons can skip those spaces if they wish.
Gifts of $169.00
In our January 27 church-wide assembly, we discussed the giving short-fall we have experienced over the past five months. At that time, we were $244,925 behind our General Fund giving budget. If you divide that by our 1,449 giving families, we mentioned that we would be caught-up with our budget if each family gave an extra $169. At least 11 members have given an extra $169 since then and some of you have given much more. This past week, we exceeded our weekly budget by $30,000! We are excited, but we have a long way to go in catching up. If you can help by giving an extra $169 (or any amount) it would really help us right now.

What's Your Money Language
Please plan to join us on Wednesday evening, February 27, at 6:00 pm, for a "What's Your Money Language?" workshop. We communicate differently, and we think of how we spend and save money differently. Join Lamar Mayton as he leads us in discovering tools for communicating about money and tips for working together to budget and save. This session will be one of our Wednesday evening options.
Great New Things in the Lighthouse
If you haven't tried Pickleball yet, come learn to play! We have open play in the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am-12:00 pm and Wednesdays from 6:00-9:00 pm.

Barre Sculpt classes started this week! Join us in Room 241 on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 12:00 pm and Wednesdays at 9:30 am. You can sign up for a class by visiting the link below. Classes are only $10.

Fidget Mat Sewing Bee
Our next Sewing Bee will be held in the Fellowship Hall on Tuesday, February 26, from 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Come and join us (for some or all of the time) to help create Fidget Mats. Laughter and giggles are guaranteed!
Training for Family Promise Volunteers
There will be a Safe Sanctuary training for all members who currently volunteer or want to volunteer with Family Promise. This training will be held in the Chapel on Sunday, March 3, during the Sunday School hour at 9:45 am. This is a great chance for your class to be trained as a group for future volunteer opportunities. Please make every effort to be there. Our next hosting week for Family Promise is March 3-10.
COA Summer Camps
  • Piano Camp - July 29-August 2 from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. Students with at least one year of Piano experience up through advanced students are welcome at this camp. You do not have to be taking lessons at the Conservatory to participate. Classes will be differentiated by experience level. All students will participate in ensemble classes, music theory, guest artist lessons, private lessons, and music history.
  • Showstoppers Camp - June 10-14 from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. This camp will focus on promoting performance skills through learning specific songs, dances, and scenes from established musicals. Elements of singing, dancing, and acting will be rehearsed each day with a performance for the parents at the end of the camp. Both boys and girls ages 11-16 are encouraged to sign up!
  • Art Workshop - July 15-19 from 12:30 to 2:00 pm for students in grade 3-8 and from 2:00-3:30 pm for students that have completed Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The class will offer creative projects such as cartoon drawing, painting, sculpture, and mixed media.

Upcoming Grief Support Group
All of us experience grief differently, and we have a dedicated ministry at VHUMC focused on providing loving care and support to those who have are suffering the loss of a loved one. As part of that ministry, we periodically offer our Grief Support Groups to help you during your grieving process. Our goal is to provide a loving environment with trained leaders who facilitate these grief support sessions. Participants learn valuable ways to cope with their grief, and they are able to share with others who have experienced the loss of spouses, children, parents, and siblings. Our sessions take place in a warm and caring environment, and they follow proven resources devoted to grief support.

The group meets on Wednesday evenings to dine together at 5:30 pm and start our sessions around 6:00 pm. We meet for about one hour. There is no cost for our Grief Support Group, and part of the joy of our ministry is also in furnishing dinner for all participants.

Our next Grief Support Group will meet for six sessions on Wednesdays from March 6 through April 17. Although you are not required to attend every meeting, you are encouraged to make as many sessions as possible for the benefit of you and for others in the Group who are helped by your attendance and participation.

To learn more about this upcoming Grief Support Group, or to register to participate, please contact either Cathie Amos (cathamos@bellsouth.net / 908-2731) or Butch Williams (bwilliams@vhumc.org / 769-0102).
Join a Car Placement
Have you ever wanted to see first-hand what the VHUMC Car Ministry is all about? Join us for one of our placements. It is truly a time where you can see God at work. One of the more special placements are when the car donor and recipient get to meet. Usually there is not a dry eye in the room. The outpouring gratitude that is shown and the connection and relationship that has begun is truly only something that God could put together. It is worth seeing.

If you would like to be present at the next placement, please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org / 769-0143).
February 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. February's memory verse is: "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you." -Ephesians 4:32
Ministry Board Opportunity
Bridge Ministries is an important non-profit organization that helps prevent homelessness by providing direct emergency assistance to at-risk individuals and families in the greater Birmingham area. They are a vital support to our VHUMC Missions office when we receive benevolence calls for assistance. They truly bridge the gap to those in need. Since 1978, they have assisted over 25,000 very low-income individuals providing direct emergency assistance with rent, utilities, temporary lodging, food, and case management services.

Because of our partnership, Bridge Ministries is looking for a representative from our church to serve on their board. Please prayerfully consider if this is where God is calling you to serve in 2019. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Rachael Hayes (rhayes@vhumc.org / 769-0143) in the mission's office.
Ongoing Outreach
Food Pantry
The Food Pantry needs quart-size Ziploc bags for sweets from Panera Bread. We are also in need of a like-new vacuum cleaner. If anyone has one they would like to donate, it will save us money that we can use on food. Thanks to the West and the Barrentine families for the two new freezers. Since we no longer receive produce from Sprouts, any fresh items (oranges, apples, potatoes, carrots, etc.) you would like to donate would be great. Thank you!

Oak Mountain Missions
Oak Mountain Mission needs working microwave ovens. Please call Barbara (444-9793) if you have one to arrange a transfer. Don't leave them inside the church. Coats of all sizes are needed and can be left in the bins around the church. OMM also needs clear glass square vases (5-7 inches tall) to use for centerpieces for our next annual luncheon. Please just put them in the OMM bin. Thank you.
Wednesday Night Dinners
  • February 27 - Wild Chicken and Rice Soup, French Bread, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Tomato Soup or Chef's Salad)
  • March 6 - Orecchiette with Bolognese, Marinara, or Alfredo Sauce, French Bread, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Baked Chicken or Chef's Salad)
  • March 13 - BBQ Pork, Mac and Cheese, Baked Beans, Steamed Broccoli, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Baked Fish or Chef's Salad)
  • March 20 - Chili, Baked Potato Bar, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Chicken Salad or Chef's Salad)
Worship This Sunday

8:30 am T raditional Service
Exodus 2:15b-22
"It Takes a Village"
Bill Brunson

9:45 am Service of Word and Table
Genesis 2:15-22
"When In-Laws Aren't Outlaws"
Kipp McClurg

11:00 am Traditional Service
Exodus 2:15b-22
"It Takes a Village"
Bill Brunson

11:00 am Contemporary Service
Genesis 2:15-22
"When In-Laws Aren't Outlaws"
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm Sunday Evening Worship
John 20: 24-29
"Wounded, But Still Alive"
Bill Bostick

Attendance for last Sunday:  767
Our Time and Resources
 

Donations this past week

July 2018 - January 2019
Donations
Other Income
Total Income
Actual
$83,496


$2,190,736
$78,868
$2,269,604
Targeted  
+$4,608


-$273,445
-$2,867
-$276,312
 
(+) 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: