Volume 49
Issue 9
February 28 , 2019
              
Ash Wednesday at VHUMC
Through the centuries, Christians have carefully prepared for Easter with spiritual practices and a recommitment to our faith. We call this forty-day season of preparation Lent - a time for growing in our faith through repentance, fellowship, prayer, fasting, and giving. It is a time to search our souls by reflecting and taking stock. Some Christians mark the Lenten season by "giving up" a specific food or something to which particularly attached to. Others add a new spiritual discipline or practice to their lives. In whatever way you choose to observe Lent, the season is designed to help followers of Christ understand God's redemptive act through Jesus Christ.

Ash Wednesday (March 6) is the official beginning of Lent. On this day of penitence, ashes are placed on our forehead to represent our mortality. They are placed in the sign of the cross to remind us that as Christians we die in Christ and are saved by His amazing grace. We are providing two opportunities for you to embrace the sacred meaning of this holy day and receive the ashes on your forehead to begin your Lenten journey.
  • 6:30-9:00 am - Parking Lot Prayers and Ashes
  • 6:00-7:00 pm - Traditional Ash Wednesday Service * Sanctuary
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!
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.
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).
General Conference Report
As many of you know, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church met in Special Session from February 23-26. The main purpose of this Special Session was to address requests to change our United Methodist Book of Discipline (the book outlining our church polity) regarding human sexuality. The United Methodist Church has more than 12 million members living in 132 countries all around the world. Delegates attended this meeting from most of those countries.

Click here to continue reading the report >>>
Masquerade Missions Fundraiser
We are excited to kick off our annual Student Ministries fundraiser tomorrow night, 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).

A Great High School Ski Trip
Over President's Day Weekend Thrive Student Ministries took over 50 students and adults to Lake Junaluska, North Carolina for worship and skiing! This was the first ski trip in many years and it was by far a success! For two full days our students and parents were able to experience the slopes and fellowship with one another. Each night we gathered with the other student ministries in attendance for worship as we talked about what it means to be Fearless. There was no shortage of laughter on this trip, but the most important thing was to see our students growing closer with each other and in their relationship with God. We can't wait to go back! For more information on Thrive Student Ministries or to get involved please contact Jeremiah Stone (jstone@vhumc.org).
Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting
VHUMC and the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce invite you to celebrate the new remodel of the sanctuary and other facilities of the church with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Join us on Tuesday, March 5, at 4:00 pm, in the Tyson Hall Lobby, as we prayerfully commemorate these sacred spaces to be part of the community.
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 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).
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).
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.

Easter Egg Hunt
Neighbors and friends, mark your calendars to come join us for the VHUMC Easter Egg Hunt! We will gather Saturday, April 13, at 10:00 am, in the Fellowship Hall. All toddlers thru 3rd grade are invited to bring a basket and camera to take pictures with the Easter Bunny and of course have fun with each other as we hunt eggs together!
You Asked and We Listened
Many of you have requested more weekend hours in the Lighthouse! So, beginning in March, the Lighthouse will be open on Saturdays from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm and we will now be open Sundays from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm. If you aren't already a Lighthouse member, stop by and see all the activities we have to offer including Fuel Exercise classes, Yoga, Barre Sculpt, D1 Bootcamp, and Pickleball!

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. We will also be hosting for Family Promise next week, 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.

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).
March 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. March's memory verse is: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8
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. 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 Missions is thankful for the donations from Whale of a Sale. They still need working microwave ovens. Please call Barbara (444-9793) if you have one to arrange a transfer. Don't leave them inside 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 Nights at VHUMC

Classes/Programs
  • Soul Keeping: March 13 - April 24 * 6:00 pm * Room 203
  • Spring Break: March 27 * No dinner or programming
  • Holy Week: April 17 * No dinner or programming
  • Music & Arts Concert: May 1 * Tyson Hall
Menus
  • 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)
  • April 3 - Tacos, Black Beans, Rice, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Grilled Chicken or Chef's Salad)
  • April 10 - Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Cheese Grits, Fresh Fruit (Healthy Option: Boiled Egg or Chef's Salad)
  • April 24 - Sesame Glazed Pork, Rice or Mac & Cheese, Steamed Vegetable Medley, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Ginger Chicken or Chef's Salad)
  • May 8 - Orecchiette with Bolognese, Marinara, or Alfredo Sauce, French Bread, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Baked Chicken or Chef's Salad)

Worship This Sunday

8:30 am T raditional Service
Luke 9:28-36
"Mountains and Valleys"
Bill Brunson

9:45 am Service of Word and Table
Luke 9:28-36
"Seeing His Glory"
Butch Williams

11:00 am Traditional Service
Luke 9:28-36
"Mountains and Valleys"
Bill Brunson

11:00 am Contemporary Service
Luke 9:28-36
"No Turning Back"
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm Sunday Evening Worship
Selections from John 17
"What Happened this Week at the General Conference in St. Louis"
Mike Harper
Attendance for last Sunday:  1,052
Our Time and Resources
 

Donations this past week

July 2018 - January 2019
Donations
Other Income
Total Income
Actual
$124,337


$2,190,736
$78,868
$2,269,604
Targeted  
+$45,449


-$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: