Volume 50
Issue 20
May 14, 2020
              
Feeding the Masses
During this pandemic, VHUMC continues to feed those in need. Since March, several groups, volunteers, Sunday school classes, and ministry teams have been feeding our homeless community every Thursday. We will continue to feed them through the month of May.

Also, during this season, VHUMC's Mission Team donated money to continue feeding children in the Vestavia Hills school system through Leadership Vestavia. This group partnered with local restaurants to pack and provide lunches for the children. It is a win for all involved - children get the food they need and restaurants get community support.

Our food pantry will continue its operations as a drive thru every other week to those needing food in the Birmingham community. Their next distribution will be May 27 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. All who participate must wear gloves and masks and stay in their cars when they arrive at the church.

Even in a pandemic, VHUMC continues to serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you to all who have helped make this possible over the last few months.
New Bible Study Coming Soon
Alpha is a new type of Bible study that allows participants to explore the basics of Christianity about life, faith, and God. It offers engaging videos to start conversations that help us understand and create excitement about our faith. If you are interested in participating in this new series launching in the fall, please fill out this form using the link below. Make sure to indicate your desired meeting day of the week and time.

Vacation Bible Camp
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Thou hast been summoned to join us at our Virtual Bible Camp, June 8-11, as we learn to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of God's power!

Since we aren't able to gather in large groups, we are going virtual! You can register your 4K through 5th graders (as of the 2019-2020 school year) now. Before the week of Bible Camp, you will have the opportunity to pick up supply bags and t-shirts for each child you have registered. Beginning June 8, your child will be able to watch interactive videos and use the hands-on supplies and ideas in their bags to help them learn about being strong in the Lord!

COVID-19 Response Team Update
We wait in anxious anticipation as the state reopens the economy, and we continue to pray and plan to be available to our community - meeting needs that arise. We thank all of you for checking on your neighbors, for responding to needs as volunteers, and for furnishing resources to help others. Please keep checking the web page: www.vhumc.org/coronavirus for the latest updates and information. These remaining weeks in May will be important ones for all of us - be wise with your choices, exercise patience, and keep loving your neighbors as we return to a more "normal" time.

In the interim, we are assisting our various mission partners, local and state agencies, and individuals with the resources we have available. Our HOW CAN WE HELP phone line at (205) 259-8835 continues to receive frequent requests, as does our HELP REQUEST FORM. Sunday School classes, small groups, and individuals of all ages are responding and helping. Together, we are making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Vestavia Hills Farmers Market
Our farmers market is now open every Wednesday as an essential service that is providing critical food access for our community. We encourage you to stay heathy and shop safely, while supporting your community of local farmers and food makers. The market is open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm every Wednesday through August 26 and will be located right off of Highway 31 in Scouts Square. Mark your calendars and come see the seasonal goodies from local producers. The farmers market is an outreach ministry of the church, and monies obtained from the fees (paid by the farmers) are used to buy fruit and vegetables that are distributed through our VHUMC Food Pantry.

A Financial Update
As our church continues to minister in creative new ways, I wanted to catch you up on how we are doing financially. Thankfully, we were in a good financial position when the Covid-19 pandemic started. That has made it easier to keep up with our bills and payroll over the past six weeks. Most impressive is that our giving was 7%, or $74,075, over what was budgeted for January-March of this year. Also, special thanks to our staff for their excellent stewardship in controlling their budgeted expenses. It appears that the church will continue to have funds unless we see a negative giving trend.

Our fiscal year is from July-June. Our year-to-date giving is still about 6%, or $184,476, under what was budgeted because of a difficult Fall. I hope you will join me in continuing to give to VHUMC during this crisis and help to catch up this amount to end the fiscal year in the black.

This is a time when we are focused on ministry and helping each other and our neighbors through the challenges of Covid-19. But I want you to know that your Finance Committee is still overseeing the income and expenses of the church and working to be good stewards of every dollar you donate. If you have any questions about out church finances. Please reach out to Gary Wyatt (gwyatt@vhumc.org), John Sweeney (jsweeney@vhumc.org), Natalie Giesen (ngiesen@vhumc.org), or me (hankpatterson22@gmail.com).

Thank you,
Hank Patterson, Finance Committee Chairman
Treasurers of Ireland Trip
Travel to Ireland with Dr. Bill Brunson November 2-11, 2020. We have been able to move the registration deadline back to August 4. Click on the link below to view more details about the trip. For more information contact Jim Frazier (jfrazier@vhumc.org / 769-0126).

Next Church Blood Drive
Our recent Blood Drive with the American Red Cross, was a huge success, surpassing our goal by 62 percent! Many thanks to our donors and volunteers who made this drive a success.

Our next blood drive will be Wednesday, July 1, in the Lighthouse, from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. This drive will be critical for the American Red Cross as they struggle to meet the demands of the current pandemic, and the spike in blood demand during the July 4th weekend. Your donation is really needed during this time. Please register using the link below.

Senior Sunday
Senior Sunday, originally scheduled for May 17, will now be held on Sunday, August 2, at the 11:00 am traditional service. Plans are still unfolding for this event. However, we hope you will put this date on your calendar for you and your family. Please note, in the event that social distancing guidelines are still in place at that time we will certainly adhere to and follow all such guidelines for the safety and wellbeing of our families.
Prayer 2020: This Week in Prayer
"Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation." Isaiah 12:2

Father, you are the king of kings, the lord of lords, and the great I am! You are our strength and our song. You have rescued us from sin and death by stepping down from glory to live a sinless life on earth and to die for our sins. You have done for us what we could never do for ourselves. You have paid the price for us and have said, "It is finished." We give all glory and honor and praise and thanksgiving to you, Father, Son, and Spirit.

In your great love towards us, you invite us to draw near to your throne of grace that we may have mercy and find grace to help in the time of need. When we falter, when we fear, when we take our eyes off of you, the one who holds the whole universe in his hands, draw us back to you. Help us to live out our faith in love to all of those around us and to be witnesses to your glory. We are so grateful for your presence, your provision, your mercy, and your faithfulness. Amen and amen.
Weekly Memory Verses
Between now and Virtual Bible Camp, children 4K through 5th grade will have the chance to learn a memory verse each week. You can send a video of your child reciting the verse to Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org). Their names will be put in a drawing for a chance to win a Sparky puppet that week! Sparky is our mascot for VBC.

Our verse for this week is: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31

We will choose our first winner on Sunday, May 17 at noon. The winner will be announced on our Facebook page.
Ongoing Outreach
Food Pantry
Food Pantry thanks all of the Vestavia Day School students for bringing canned goods during their parade to see their teachers this week. Thanks also to all church members that have been bringing items for our pantry to the church office doors. We are doing a drive-thru food distribution every other Wednesday. Items needed are dried beans, peanut butter and jelly, soup and breakfast items. Monetary donations are also being accepted through the slot in the office door. Please make checks payable to VHUMC marked for Food Pantry. Thank you!

Oak Mountain Ministry
Oak Mountain Mission is again distributing food. They are still not accepting clothing or other items. You might consider donating those items to Vapor Thrift Store or Salvation Army.
General Fund Fiscal Year 2020
 
Donations this past week
 
July - March 2020
Donations
Other Income
Total Income 
Actual
$110,819
 
 
$2,919,054
$112,275
$3,031,329
Targeted  
+$52,120
 
 
-$184,475
+$7,186
-$177,289
 
(+) 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: