Volume 50
Issue 22
May 28, 2020
              
Congratulations to Two Staff Members
Answering God's call to ministry happens at different times and in different ways in peoples' lives. John Sweeney first felt God's call early in his life, went to seminary at Duke Divinity, and then found his way into ministry with non-profits. Now, as he serves as our Director of Stewardship and Discipleship Ministries, he has felt that calling renewed. Kelly Bottcher found herself at a place in life where she was seeking God's plan and God's guidance, and in that process, she felt God's call. She joined our staff earlier this year filling the place left vacant by the retirement of Gail Ashe. Kelly is helping us with Discipleship Engagement.

Now both John and Kelly have reached the point in their relationship with the Annual Conference that they will be appointed to VHUMC beginning July 1. Their roles with us remain the same, but this is a tremendous validation of God's Call and their "Yes." So please congratulate Rev. Kelly Bottcher and Rev. John Sweeney!
Pop-Up Worship
When we shared our relaunch strategy, we mentioned that we have been looking for opportunities to worship together outdoors one or more times in June. The first date we are looking at COULD be June 7 at 9:00 in the Dick Kelly / Lighthouse Park / Parking Lot Area. There are many factors outside of our control that will determine if we can hold the worship event (weather, restrictions by the Governor, restrictions by the Jefferson County Health Officer, etc.).

Our plan will be to send an email 48 hours before and 24 hours before updating everyone on the status of the worship service and the precautions we will take in order to keep us safe. If, for some reason, June 7 doesn't work as a date for an outdoor worship experience, we will look at another date and keep you informed.
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!

5th Grade VBC Finale
We invite 5th graders who attend Virtual Bible Camp, and their families to join us on Thursday, June 11 for our 5th Grade VBC Finale! We will meet in the large Tyson Hall parking lot at 5:30 pm for pizza, Bruster's ice cream, a sidewalk chalk competition, music, and more fun!

Thrive Student Ministries will also provide parents with information about their ministry for middle school. We will maintain social distancing guidelines. Please feel free to bring your own lawn chairs. We hope to see you there!

Outdoor Meeting Spaces
As we try to find ways to make our spaces safely available for the summer, beginning June 1, all of our porticos and the student patio can be used for small group meetings. Attendees will need to bring their own lawn chairs. The spaces can be reserved be emailing Melinda Burnett (mburnett@vhumc.org) and a listing of reservations will be placed there daily. Many of our small groups are using the decks and porches of members' homes, but this hopefully will provide additional options.

Persons needing to go to the restroom can call the number on the door of the Lighthouse, and one of our janitorial staff will let one person into the restroom at a time, to enable social distancing.
Alpha: A New Type of Bible Study
Are you looking for a Bible study in the fall where you can learn the basics of the Christian faith? Alpha is a small group experience where we can discuss topics such as faith, life, and God. Each class starts with an engaging video to launch discussion. Please indicate the day and time of the week that will work best for you and invite your friends. This is a class each of us can dig into as we seek to experience our Christ-centered lives of purpose.

Fall Disciple: Luke and Acts
Join many others across VHUMC as we dig into deeper Bible study in the Fall Disciple series: Luke and Acts. The first few weeks we will finish out the curriculum from spring classes we didn't get to finish, then we'll launch into an exciting study of Luke and Acts. Please use the link below to indicate the day and time that works best for you.

Vestavia Hills Farmers Market
Our farmers market is 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 local farmers and food makers in our community. 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 to distribute through our VHUMC Food Pantry.

Elementary Awards
We are excited to celebrate our elementary award winners! Congratulations to our Sunday School attendance winners:
  • 1st Grade Bartholomew Class: Martha Rose Browne
  • 2nd Grade John Class: John David Reamey
  • 3rd Grade Thaddeus Class: Charlotte Watkins
  • 4th Grade Matthew Class: Ivy White
  • 5th Grade Simon Class: John Dawson Watkins
And our overall winners with the highest attendance:
  • Charlotte Watkins and Ivy White
Each of these children received a gift card to Bruster's Ice Cream!

Our 1st through 5th graders had a chance to memorize scripture each month during Sunday School. Since we have been unable to attend Sunday School they have had the opportunity to memorize scripture each week at home. Their names were put in baskets for a chance to win a grand prize! Congratulations to our memory verse winners:
  • Boy Basket: Michael Mizerany
  • Girl Basket: Lacey LaMaster
  • Weekly Basket: Katherine Creel
Each of these children received a swinging tent! We are proud of all of the children who memorized scripture this year. We hope that they keep those verses in their hearts and call on them when they need them.
Bundles of Hope Drive
Our annual donation drive with Bundles of Hope ends today! This year, we are providing wipes for their ministry since they are well stocked at the moment with diapers and are delivering to those in need as fast as they can. Our collection method is virtual, of course, with drop offs at the church office entrance.

The links below will give you more information and includes the option of sponsoring a child for a year. You can also donate to Bundles of Hope by texting "GIVE" to 205-374-9109. On behalf of all the mothers, thank you for supporting Bundles of Hope.
  • https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1F131NTGCHO8Z?ref_=wl_share
  • https://bundlesdiaperbank.networkforgood.com/projects/38440-sharing-hope-one-bundle-of-diapers-at-a-time
Website Pictures and Videos
We are in the process of creating the next generation of our website. Since we have not been able to take pictures or shoot video of crowds during the pandemic, we are reaching out to anyone who may have taken pictures or video at a student event, Children's event, baptism, worship service, Easter service, Christmas Eve, or any other activity that we might be able to use. We are trying to create a library of images and videos that we could pull pieces from to fill the graphic needs of the updated website. If you have anything you are willing to contribute, please send your images/videos to Timmy Collins (tcollins@vhumc.org).
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.

Prayer 2020: This Week in Prayer
"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Acts 1:4

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place." Acts: 2:1
Praise the Father! Praise the Son! Praise the Spirit, Three in ONE!

Lord, we rejoice today as we approach the celebration of Pentecost. We thank You for revealing Yourself to us in these past days of isolation when we have been waiting and seeking You. We have felt your constant presence! Now we praise you for the pouring out of Your Holy Spirit upon us as we unite in our celebration of the first Pentecost and as we continue to live out your commandment to be your witness to the ends of the earth. Let each of us be a faithful witness to your constant goodness, your transformational power, and your abounding love. Let our new normal be closer to You. Let us spread the Good News and be Your light in this dark world. We look forward to and pray for the day we can all be "together in one place" to worship you. 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: "And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." - Acts 2:38

We will choose our first winner this Sunday, May 31, at noon. The winner will be announced on our Facebook page.
Ongoing Outreach
Food Pantry
Our drive-thru food distribution every other Wednesday is working very well. 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 the Salvation Army.
General Fund Fiscal Year 2020

Donations this past week

July 2019 - April 2020
Donations
Other Income
Total Income 
Actual
$56,805


$3,203,378
$125,933
$3,329,311
Targeted  
-$1,894


-$177,745
+$9,168
-$168,577
 
(+) 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: