Volume 49
Issue 6
February 7 , 2019
              
Children's Sunday
We hope you and your family will join us during our 8:30 or 11:00 traditional services in the Sanctuary this Sunday, February 10, when our elementary children will be leading worship. We will focus on 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a; 13. We look forward to hearing how God speaks to us through His children.
Finding DysFUNction
Expanding on what we learned as a church from "The Wesley Challenge," we have begun our new sermon series on "Finding DysFUNction." Every marriage or family deals with some level of dysfunction. However, through this dysfunction, some are able to discover their own unique path, growing in themselves and in their relationships. This series looks at marriages and families in the Old Testament, how they found their way, and what we as a congregation might be able to learn and incorporate in our own lives. Don't miss this series throughout the four Sunday's of February as we continue our growth as a church in 2019.
Come Join Us
If you've been wanting to join the VHUMC community and just haven't gotten around to it, join us at the Informal Joining Service this Sunday, February 10, at 12:15, in the Chapel. You will be joined by others who want to join the church in a more intimate setting, as the pastors read the membership vows and we share lunch as a church family. If you're interested in joining in this way, please contact Suzanne Scott-Trammell (sstrammell@vhumc.org / 769-0136).

Important Financial Update
Your Finance Committee along with our church staff have been working hard to ensure we keep the church on solid footing while managing things in a transparent manner. 
Our finances look favorable - both in our recent past (a successful NEXT capital campaign, no long-term debt, overall positive momentum) along with our future (very strong 2019 Stewardship numbers). This being the case, we do need to call to your attention where we stand today.

Our year-to-date giving amounts through December (remember the church financial calendar runs from July to June each year) are our worst on record for the last eight years. What that means is that we are $244,925 behind where we had budgeted for giving at this point in the year. We have analyzed this and believe this shortfall is being driven by the new tax law, the year-end drop in the stock market, and the recent NEXT capital campaign.

We are committed to keeping the Church's finances on track and will not use any long-term debt for day-today operation needs. We have informed our staff and committees that for the time being there needs to be no nonessential spending. With this in mind, we prayerfully ask that you consider giving to the church at this time so that we do not have to start cutting back on our church activities.

In addition to Gary, Natalie, and John, you can contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns about our finances (whocutt@bridgeworthllc.com).

William Hocutt, Finance Committee Chairman
Daddy Daughter Dance
Our Daddy Daughter Dance is coming up on Sunday, February 24, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, in the Lighthouse gym. The cost is $25 per couple ($10 per additional daughter). This is an event for 4k through 5th grade girls and their fathers/grandfathers. If you have any questions contact Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org).

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).

Joint Sunday School Lesson
On Sunday, February 17, we have a joint Sunday school option in the Fellowship Hall with Rev. Caitlin Harper from Community Church Without Walls. Community Church Without Walls is a United Methodist mission congregation in the heart of Birmingham's West End. Through stories of hope, struggle, and resurrection, Rev. Harper will share how Jesus is on the move in a neighborhood with a bad reputation, how you can help, and the ways you already have.
February Hilltoppers Meeting
Our next meeting is Tuesday, February 19, at 10:30 am in the Fellowship Hall. The Gospel Jubilee Singers will join us for a musical program. For information or to make a lunch reservation ($6.00) call Harriette Woodring at 822-9318 or Margaret Flowers at 769-0112 or mflowers@vhumc.org no later than 11 a.m. on Friday, February 15. 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.
ASP Registration Now Open
Summer is approaching and we are excited to serve another year with our long-term ministry partners, Appalachia Service Project (ASP). This is an amazing experience for our students to travel to a poverty-stricken area of Appalachia and spend the week making homes warmer, safer, and drier for families who need a helping hand. 8th and 9th graders will be headed up on June 22-29, and 10th-12th graders will be going on July 13-20. The trip is open to any student who is currently in 8th-12th grades. For more information and registration please visit the link or contact Jeremiah Stone (jstone@vhumc.org). We are looking forward to another year of serving with our students!
Whale of a Sale Volunteers Needed
Vestavia Day School is one of the strongest outreach ministries of the church and they need our help. The Whale of a Sale, the school's only fundraiser, is coming up and in need of volunteers. This is a great opportunity for you, your friends, or your Sunday School group to serve our church and community. Please check your calendars and see if you have a few hours free on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, February 20, 21, or 22. Sign up and enjoy sorting and organizing clothing and toys for the sale. Plus, all volunteers get an early shopping pass at 1:30 pm on Thursday, February 21 before the sale opens to the public! If you don't have time to spare, please also consider donating a treat to the hospitality room! If you are interested in helping, email us (thewhaleofasale@gmail.com) or visit the link below and select a time and day that works for you!

Join the Lenten Study
In the book Soul Keeping, bestselling author John Ortberg sheds light on the most overlooked, underrated, and least-understood part of your being. 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. If you or your Sunday School class would like to participate in a church-wide study for Lent, please contact Suzanne Scott-Trammell (sstrammell@vhumc.org). She will be ordering leader's guides and DVD's for classes to discuss. To watch the trailer: https://binged.it/2COD7cr.
United Counseling Available
United Counseling is a ministry of the UMC that has provided professional counseling services for more than 45 years. Their counselors provide marriage, family, group, and individual counseling on issues spanning from anxiety to grief and more. They also file claims for United Healthcare and BCBS-Blue Choice and Blue Advantage. Visit the website or call the office to learn more. They are located at Canterbury UMC, 205-824-8320.

Lux Aeterna Collaborative Concert
Please join us for a wonderful concert event on 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.
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, and 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).
Sunday Evening Worship Schedule
Don't miss our great line up of leaders for the next six Sunday nights. Please try to join us at 5:00 pm in the Chapel and bring your friends. For more information, please contact Jim Frazier (jfrazier@vhumc.org / 769-0126).
  • Feb. 10 - Rev. Tom Bell
  • Feb. 17 - Jim Frazier and Friends (Bluegrass Band)
  • Feb. 24 - Rev. Bill Bostick
  • March 3 - Rev. Mike Harper
  • March 10 - Rev. Roger Thompson
  • March 17 - The Harmony Bells
Looking ahead:
  • May 12 - The Four Docs
Habitat For Humanity Kicks Off 2019
We have started construction on the 14th Habitat for Humanity house through the long-standing and successful partnership between VHUMC and the VHHS Habitat Service Club. If you would like to come work alongside the VHHS students on a Saturday or with the Thursday group, please get in touch with Cynthia McGough (mcgough.cynthia@gmail.com / 901-0956).
Join the "Like & Share" Team
The last chapter of the 21-day Wesley Challenge that we just finished as a VHUMC community was "When did I last speak to someone about my faith?" One way to do that is by sharing what we are doing as a community of faith to serve God with our hands, feet, and hearts. Please join this team to "Like" the VHUMC Facebook page and "Share" on your own pages. If you're interested in this, please respond to Nancy Remke (nremke@vhumc.org) to be added to the team. We will send information on notification settings that will allow you to see and share posts and/or share your personal experiences with the ministries and missions at the church and beyond.
Honoring Church Membership
Some of you have wondered how we handle priority registration for Vestavia Day School and some of our events when we anticipate that available slots will fill up quickly. We always want to make sure that our faithful, active members don't miss the opportunity to participate.

Some time ago, we adopted a policy (that is very similar to other churches of our size) that gives priority registration to a member who has:
  • Been a member of VHUMC for at least one year.
  • Had their attendance recorded in Sunday School or the worship service pew pads 1/4th of the time.
  • Given a minimum of $1,000 a year to the church as a donation (not as payment for services).
This seems a fair measure to use in giving priority registration to our members. For those who have (or plan to have) children involved at VHUMC, we highly encourage you to register your attendance. Also, if you contribute in cash, please use an offering envelope. If you have questions about this policy, please contact Gary Wyatt (gwyatt@vhumc.org / 769-0108).
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
Ongoing Outreach
Food Pantry
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. Since we no longer receive produce from Sprouts, any fresh items you would like to donate would be great. Thank you!

Oak Mountain Missions
Oak Mountain Mission needs cookware, silverware and dishes. They also need working microwave ovens. Please call Barbara (444-9793) if you have one to arrange a transfer. Don't leave them inside the church. For furniture and larger items, please call Brenda for a pick-up at 685-5757. Thank you.
Wednesday Night Dinners
  • February 13 - Turkey Tetrazzini, Steamed Broccoli, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Bow Tie Shrimp or Chef's Salad)
  • February 20 - Pot Roast, Roasted Carrots, Couscous, Mac and Cheese, Salad or Fruit (Healthy Option: Ginger Chicken or Chef's Salad)
  • 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)
Worship This Sunday

8:30 am T raditional Service
Children's Sunday

9:45 am Service of Word and Table
Genesis 12: 1-5
"Pulling Up Stakes"
Butch Williams

11:00 am Traditional Service
Children's Sunday

11:00 am Contemporary Service
Genesis 24: 63 - 25:1 & 25:7-11
"Family Ties"
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm Sunday Evening Worship
Psalm 118: 19-29
"What Really Matters?"
Tom Bell
Attendance for last Sunday:  968
Our Time and Resources
 

Donations this past week

July - December 2018
Donations
Other Income
Total Income
Actual
$66,881


$1,885,158
$66,468
$1,951,626
Targeted  
-$12,007


-$239,925
-$3,591
-$243,516
 
(+) 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: