Volume 50
Issue 5
January 30, 2020
              
Family Ministry Parent Class
If you have children in elementary school, middle school, or high school, we encourage you to come hear well-known child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Dale Wisely, discuss the important issues facing our youth today. In this 2-part series, we will chat about current crises among our youth related to mental health, substance abuse, suicide, and troubled relationships with social media. Most importantly, Dr. Wisely will offer specific recommendations about how all of us who care about our youth can help them survive the risks that our youth confront. Join us on Wednesday, February 5 and 12, 6:00-7:00 pm, in room 202.
Upward Soccer Registration
Upward Soccer Registration is open! This league is for K4-4th grade boys and girls looking to learn soccer basics, teamwork, and have fun through the fellowship in the community. The season will start with evaluations at the Lighthouse gym on February 17/18 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Practices will start the week of February 24 and games will end on May 2.

You can register in person at the VHUMC Lighthouse or online by following the link. Contact Miles Erbe (merbe@vhumc.org / 769-0134) with any questions.

In Case You Missed It
We had a great Church-Wide Assembly this past Sunday morning during our Sunday School hour. Our theme for the presentation was the "Top 10 Incredibly Hopeful Elements of This Church:"
10. We are driven to love and care for God's Children and God's World.
9. There is an increasing interest in studying Scripture and living out a Christ-centered life of purpose.
8. We have a team of people who are focusing on how to invite our community to events that impact their spiritual lives, and connects them increasingly in our congregational life.
7. This is a congregation that is generous in supporting God's church.
6. The NEXT Campaign is a wonderful success.
5. We have a team of lay persons asking the question, "What can we do to connect more people to God in our weekly worship."
4. We have a team of laity and clergy who have been monitoring the upheavals of the United Methodist Church. They are confidently guiding us to a future that, increasingly, we guide locally, and that we can own with grace and confidence.
3. Children and students.
2. It's a privilege to be part of a pastoral team, and to be part of this ministry for 8 years.
1. We have a great lay leadership team.
An Evening with Ray
For the first time at VHUMC, Ray Buchanan, founder of Rise Against Hunger, will share how he equipped millions to feed the masses. A former Methodist minister, Ray envisioned a world without hunger and recognized that accomplishing a mission required "commitment to something larger than yourself." Over the past three decades, that principle has driven Ray's mission to eradicate world hunger.

Join us on Sunday, March 1, at 6:00 pm, for this free event in Tyson Hall to learn how the Vestavia community is making a difference around the globe. The idea that "ending hunger is more than just feeding people" is the driving force behind Ray's mission, and we are grateful for the opportunity to learn from this servant leader and master storyteller.

Learn how Rise Against Hunger focuses its feeding programs in areas where they can see transformation development. All ages are welcomed. The event is free, but we will accept a love offering for our annual Rise Against Hunger meal packing event in April.
Prayer 2020
Please complete a prayer commitment card indicating how you will continue to support the church with your prayers in 2020. Pray on your own for a specific area or join a team with various ways to serve in prayer. Cards are available in the pew pads and around the church. Baskets for completed cards are found outside the worship spaces and the church office. For more information, contact Jill Kimbrough (jillkimbrough@bellsouth.net).

To continue in the practice of a church-wide daily devotion, the congregation is encouraged to begin using the devotional book, "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. This is also available in a youth version or as an app for any device. Contact Suzanne Scott-Trammell (sstrammell@vhumc.org) for more information.
Rejoicing Over Baptisms
We rejoice in the baptism of:
  • Hamilton McBrayer ("Ham") Edmonson on January 26. Parents are Holly and Mac Edmondson.
  • Raleigh Dixon on January 19. Parents are Emily and Cannon Dixon.
  • Joseph Kelly on January 19. Parents are Megan and Whit Kelly.
Sounding the Financial Alarm
In our Church-Wide Assembly this past Sunday we talked about how this congregation is generous in supporting God's church. You are wonderful in your giving and we want you to know of our appreciation. We also covered the new trends we are seeing in donations to the church and how we are once again $255k behind our budget as we were at this time last year. We plan to budget differently next year to try and avoid this, but we are having to sound the financial alarm and let you know that we need your help to get back on budget. Similar to last year, if every giving family gave an additional $176 in February, we would be back on track. Please consider what you and your family can do to help.

Except for this budget short-fall, our finances are doing great! So far this fiscal year, we are $71k in the black. We have controlled our spending and have spent $100k less than our budget. For the first time in many, many years, we did not have to borrow from our bank line-of-credit at all in 2019. All of our 35 designated funds are fully funded. Additionally, we just completed a "flawless" financial audit by Borland Benefield. Contact Gary Wyatt if you want a copy of the audit (gwyatt@vhumc.org / 769-0108).
NEXT Financial Update
We are happy to report that we have completed all the spending of our NEXT Capital Campaign and we fulfilled our commitment to not spend beyond what you have pledged and given. Not only were we able to complete our major construction items, but because some of the items ended with substantial savings, we were able to complete a few additional items within the original scope of the project. Click on the link to see a financial summary of the project so far.

Please note that we still need to receive $895,045 of what was pledged over the 39-month campaign - which ends on December 31, 2020. Our Finance Committee recently agreed to halt all spending on this project and decided that any surplus that we may have at the end of giving will be reserved as seed money for our next big capital project. Thank you for your giving to allow us to maintain and improve our church building.

Bible Pathfinders
We invite our 1st - 5th graders to join us on Wednesday nights, from 6:00-7:00 pm, in rooms 219/221 for our elementary Bible study, Bible Pathfinders. Our focus for this semester will be on prayer. We will use emojis to help us learn that prayer is simply talking to God. Each week, we will focus on something specific we can talk to God about in prayer using emojis as helpful reminders. We can't wait to see all of you! Please contact Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org) for more information.
Student Ministries Missions Fundraiser
We are excited to kick off our annual Student Ministries fundraiser on Sunday, February 23! We will be in Tyson Hall from 6:00-8:00 pm. The evening will include a seated meal, entertainment, silent auction and a live auction. You will want to be there! Tickets are $40 per person or $350 to reserve a table for eight. 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 Alice Bell Baker (abbaker@vhumc.org).

2020 Student Leadership Team
Thrive Student Ministries is so excited to announce the students who will make up our 2020 Student Leadership Team. These students meet monthly with the Thrive Staff to evaluate programs and brainstorm exciting new ideas for our students. Each of these students completed an application to be a part of the team and made a year-long commitment to making our ministry the best it can be! The students on the 2020 Team are:
  • Claire Isabelle Oglesby (7th grade)
  • James Bentley (7th grade)
  • Sally Isbell (9th grade)
  • Savannah Gann (9th grade)
  • Laura Ellen Hayes (10th grade)
  • Anna Robicheaux (11th grade)
  • Ella Sweeney (11th grade)
  • Maddie Hagler (11th grade)
Children's Sunday
Please join us as our children lead worship in our 8:30 and 11:00 traditional services on Sunday, February 9, in the Sanctuary. We look forward to worshiping with you as we look at God's limitless grace!
MLK Mission Thanks
A special thank you to all the volunteers and children who made our MLK Mission Day of Service a great success. A very special thank you to all the ladies of Mary Kay Cosmetics that donated make-up for our projects. Because of your dedication, VHUMC on MLK Mission Day contributed the following:
  • Towels and sheets delivered to the Birmingham Humane Society
  • Library books delivered to the Library in the Forest/Friends of the Library Bookstore
  • 100 Tornado Buckets packed and delivered to UMCOR Disaster Warehouse in Decatur
  • 65 Busy Bags Emergency Room kits packed
  • 100 snack bags packed for children that are food insecure in our schools
  • 100 hygiene and make-up kits packed that were delivered to the YWCA and The Lovelady Center
  • Arrival bags packed for our Family Promise guests
  • Valentine's Day Cards created for Hope Lodge, TLC Support Groups, and Veterans
  • Placemats and Posters designed for our Kairos Prison Ministry Team
  • Hundreds of PB&J Sandwiches made and delivered to the warming station downtown
  • Glasses collected for distribution on mission trips
We could not have done it without your support. We look forward to our annual day of service each and every year. Mark your calendars for next year to participate.
Pancake Dinner
Lenten Season is right around the corner. This year, Ash Wednesday is February 26. In VHUMC tradition, we will host our annual Pancake Dinner on Tuesday, February 25, at 6:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Bring your family, friends, Sunday School classes, and small groups to eat pancakes and enjoy jazz music performed by the Vestavia Hills High School Jazz Band and a few more surprises. Dinner is $5 a person and donations will be accepted for our Lenten offering.
Devoted to Writing
Do you have a favorite devotional book that accompanies your daily prayer time with God? Have you ever considered putting your own experiences on paper so that you, too, could share the Word of God with others? If so, this may be the class for you! Join us for a six-week, fun, light-hearted course designed to help you share your stories of devotion through the gift of writing. Each student is encouraged to bring a notebook, pencils, pens, and a desire to put your creative brain to work. Through brainstorming, language arts skills, understanding the process, and other tools of the trade, we can all discover the joy of devotional writing.

Classes are on Thursdays from 1-2:00 pm starting on February 27 in room 320. Cost for the course is $110. For more information, contact Zoe Wirt (769-0141 / zwirt@vhumc.org) or click the link.


Tanzania Missionary in the States
Our Tanzania UMC missionary, Eric Soard will be in the states the first part of the year. He will be visiting Vestavia Hills in February, and we are delighted to welcome him to come and be a part of our Wednesday night dinner and program. Eric has visited VHUMC in the past and most recently we had a team take a mission trip to Tanzania where they worked with Eric and his wife Liz to help build a church in the Geita District. Please join us, Wednesday, February 12, beginning with dinner at 5:00 pm and program at 6:00 pm to welcome and hear our missionary, Eric Soard.
Daddy Daughter Dance
The Daddy Daughter Dance will be Sunday, February 23, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Lighthouse gym. The cost is $15 per person (additional daughters are $10). This is an event for 4K-5th grade girls and their father, or grandfather, or favorite uncle! If you have any questions contact Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org).

Rise Against Hunger Event
Our annual community effort to end world hunger is coming up April 26-28! Our community-wide meal packing event, known as Rise Against Hunger, can make a tremendous difference in the lives of children that go to bed hungry. Over the course of three days we will have 90-minute time-slots that you or a group can sign up for and help pack nutrient rich meals. There is something to do for every age! It will be our 6th year to host, so plan to be a part of this powerful event and help us cross the finish line to end world hunger. Registration will be available soon!
Daily Devotions for 2020
We hope and pray that all our VHUMC family will continue in daily devotional reading and scripture reflection. After going through our January prayer guide together, we hope you will follow Jesus Calling every day starting in February. This daily devotion book that helps draw us closer to God is filled with uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year. You can order a copy online and pick it up in the church office, or download the Jesus Calling app on your phone from the app store.

Better Internet Connectivity
We are happy to report that we have replaced many of our wireless access points and have hardwired many of the tv's into our network. So, we should have plenty of connectivity in classrooms. If any of you have issues, please let us know by shooting a message to Nash Osborne (nosborne@vhumc.org). We look forward to more classes using online studies and RightNow Media. To get your free account on RightNow Media, please click the link below.

Soup and Stories Success
Soup and Stories was another huge success. We enjoyed Charlie's yummy soup and more delightful stories by Dolores Hydock. We also collected a grocery cart full of soup for our Food Pantry. Plan on joining us next year - always the last Sunday in January.
Designated Giving Policy
Because of our Designated Funds, we publish the following statement twice a year and print it on your donation statements to comply with IRS guidelines:

VHUMC welcomes designated donations for pre-approved items such as benevolence, building, missions, and mission trips. In approving such causes, VHUMC is committed to using the collected funds for the intended cause. In the unusual event of the closure of a designated fund or project for which donations have been accepted, any remaining funds may be transferred to the General Fund or used for a similar purpose. Checks should be made payable to VHUMC, with the suggested designation listed on the memo line or on attached correspondence. Thank you for giving to VHUMC.
Ongoing Outreach
Oak Mountain Mission
Oak Mountain Mission needs tables, chairs, sofas, and end tables. Pots and pans are always needed as well. No summer clothes, toys, or knick-knacks please.

Food Pantry
The Food Pantry thanks Vestavia Hills East School and Leadership Vestavia Hills for the 1,100 cans from their 100 Days of School Can Drive. Students showed up with the cans on MLK Day as a service project and unloaded and sorted the cans. Thank you!
Wednesday Nights at VHUMC
  
Classes/Programs starting at 6:00 pm
  • Men's Bible Study: January 15 - May 6 | Room 204
  • Women's Small Groups: January 15 - May 6 | Room 206 & 208
  • Disciple Bible - Fast Track: January 15 - May 6 | Room 323 & 203A
  • Family Ministry Parent Class: February 5 - 12 | Room 202
  • Tanzania Missionary: February 12
  • Sharon Lovell Bible Study: February 19 - May 6 | Room 202
  • Spring Party Art: March 11 | Fellowship Hall
  • SOZO Choir: March 18 | Tyson 
Menus: 
  • February 5 - Ginger Chicken or Sesame Glazed Pork, Fried Rice / Steamed Mixed Vegetables, Salad / Fruit / Cut Veggies with Dressing. Kids: Pizza
  • February 12 - Bowtie Shrimp & Pasta / Turkey Tetrazzini, Broccoli, Salad / Fruit / Cut Veggies with Dressing. Kids: Hot Dogs & Chips
  • February 19 - Pot Roast or Greek Chicken with Artichoke Cream Sauce, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy / Green Beans, Salad / Fruit / Cut Veggies with Dressing. Kids: Chicken Nuggets
  • February 26 - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce or Chicken Alfredo, Green Beans, Salad / Fruit / Cut Veggies with Dressing. Kids: Spaghetti
Worship This Sunday
 
8:30 am Traditional  Service |  Sanctuary
2 Corinthians 5:7-10
"Limitless Faith"
Bill Brunson
 
9:45 am Service of Word and Table |  Sanctuary 
2 Corinthians 5:7-10
"Limitless Faith"
Butch Williams
 
11:00 am Traditional Service |  Sanctuary
2 Corinthians 5:7-10
"Limitless Faith"
Bill Brunson
 
11:00 am Contemporary Service |  Tyson Hall 
2 Corinthians 13: 1-5
"Limitless Faith"
Kipp McClurg
 
5:00 pm  Sunday Evening Worship
Philemon 1
"What To Do With Those Crazy Kids" 
Kipp McClurg

Attendance for last week: 986
General Fund Fiscal Year 2020
 
 
Donations this past week
 
July - December 2019
Donations
Other Income
Total Income 
Actual
$ 69,203
 
 
$1,856,880
$73,872
$1,930,752
Targeted  
-$18,790 
 
 
-$258,550
+$3,813
-$254,737
 
(+) 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: