Volume 49
Issue 46
November 21, 2019
              
Magic City Nutcracker
Please join us for our 7th season of The Magic City Nutcracker the weekend of December 6-8. We are Birmingham's only community Nutcracker performance with 19 dance studios represented. Performances will be at the historic Virginia Samford Theatre and tickets can be purchased by using the link below.

Come Share A Bear
All children are invited to bring a new Teddy Bear on "Share A Bear Sunday" for our Fall Mission Project. Please bring the new Teddy Bear to the 8:30 or 11:00 Worship Service this Sunday, November 24. Our bears will be blessed during the Children's Moment and then given to the children at Children's Harbor. Please contact Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org) with any questions.
Upcoming Advent Sermon Series
The prophet, Jeremiah; John the Baptist; and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, lived in cultures and situations that were far from perfect, but their lives show us how to make purposeful choices to follow God. Hope, peace, and love are not the first words that we would choose to describe our culture, but during Advent (beginning December 1), our sermon series, "Choosing Christmas" will help us explore together how to make our own purposeful decisions to follow God in the midst of a hectic, even frantic holiday season.
Thanksgiving Holidays
The church offices will be closed next Thursday and Friday, November 28-29, for the Thanksgiving holidays. We hope you all have a great holiday.
A Bluegrass Christmas
Join Jim Frazier and Friends as they once again kick off the Advent season with some good ol' down-home toe-tappin' bluegrass music. They will be our song leaders in the Contemporary service on Sunday, December 1. Be sure and bring a friend and get ready to sing along to some of your Christmas favorites.
Welcome New Members
Please join in welcoming our newest members, Amy and Jeremy Hazelton, with their daughters Maddie and Chloe. They attend the 9:45 worship service. Please look for them on the monitors across VHUMC and on the new member board and be sure to extend them a warm welcome.
End of Year Giving Plans
41% of giving from individuals to churches and non-profit organizations happens between Thanksgiving and December 31 each year. As you plan out your year-end giving, we would ask that you also consider a special gift to the General Fund of VHUMC. Our giving over the past four months has been the lowest in the past nine years, so we could really use your help! Our plans for ministry to you and your family in 2020 will be affected by what we receive in these last two months of 2019. If you have any questions about the church's finances, please contact Gary Wyatt (gwyatt@vhumc.org / 769-0108) or John Sweeney (jsweeney@vhumc.org / 769-0101).

Make Your Commitment Today
We ask that you prayerfully consider making a financial commitment to VHUMC for the 2020 calendar year. Your pledge helps us ensure support for what God is doing in your areas of ministry, and throughout our wonderful church.

One additional step that we are asking you consider this year is to schedule your giving online. Through very simple steps, you can set your gift to be withdrawn in any fashion that suits your household best. You are able to set every detail of your giving (amount, frequency, etc.). To schedule your gift, visit www.vhumc.org/give. For assistance with setting up your online gift, please contact John Sweeney (jsweeney@vhumc.org / 769-0101).

Giving to VHUMC from an IRA
As you plan your year-end giving, several members are now giving to the church from their required minimum distribution on an Individual Retirement Account. If you are 70½ or older and would like to explore this option, we have a web page with information and instructions for giving to the church and reducing your taxable income. Click the link for more information.

Join the VHUMC Family
We would love for you to officially join us during our next Informal Joining Service this Sunday, November 24 in the chapel at 12:15 after worship. This service is great for those who have been visiting yet don't want to walk up front during worship. We will gather with pastors and church leaders for you to recite the membership vows before adjourning for lunch together. If this sounds like something you're interested in, please contact Suzanne Scott-Trammell (sstrammell@vhumc.org / 769-0136). She will get you all the information needed for you to join the community and fellowship of VHUMC.

Fall Musical
From the same songwriting team that brought you Fiddler on the Roof comes She Loves Me, an elegant romantic comedy about Maraczek's parfumerie and the people who work there. Adapted from the 1937 play that inspired You've Got Mail, The Shop Around the Corner, and In the Good Old Summertime, She Loves Me is a delightful exploration of friendship, anonymity, and, of course, love. Come experience this wonderful musical November 22-24 in Tyson Hall. Tickets are $15.

Family Advent Workshop
We invite families with children ages 3k - 5th grade to join us Wednesday, December 4, from 6:00-7:00 pm, in Tyson Hall for our Family Advent Workshop. Each family will be making their own Advent calendar. It will be exciting to open the drawers each day of Advent to find scripture and a treat for the day! Supplies are limited, so don't wait to register! The cost is $15 per family for this event. Contact Anne Strozier (astrozier@vhumc.org) for more information.

5th Annual Madrigal Dinner
Don't miss our feasting and hilarity, our music and our revelry, at our 5th Annual VHUMC Madrigal Dinner. Our New Life Singers Student Choir will be in full costume and full of clever comedy as we visit a 16th century castle for food, fun, and frolicking. The jester will once again attempt to cause royal mischief and confound the audience with his starring role in "May the Farce Be With You." The dinner will be on Sunday, December 1, at 6:30 pm, in Tyson Hall. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased by November 25. For more information, please contact Quint Harris (qharris@vhumc.org / 769-0114).

White Christmas Sunday
White Christmas envelopes will be in the pews on Sunday, December 1 for your donations to the United Methodist Children's Home. Please remember to bring your checks and write in the memo line "White Christmas" since this is a first Sunday only outreach. All offering donations will go directly to benefit United Methodist Children's Home.
Christmas Mission Breakfast
This year, our student and mission ministries will continue their annual tradition of the Christmas Student Ministries Mission Breakfast. We will be serving breakfast at VHUMC to families from the Birmingham community on Saturday, December 7, from 9:00-11:00 am, in the Fellowship Hall. Students and adult volunteers are invited to help serve breakfast, socialize, share crafts, and help Santa deliver Christmas gifts.

In addition to volunteering at the event, you can also support this event by choosing a yellow star from the Christmas trees on the Student Ministries Hall and in the Lighthouse lobby beginning Monday, November 25. Purchase items for your star and return the items with the star to the church front office or Student Ministries office by Wednesday, December 4.
Sounds of the Season
Come as you are to our 5th annual Sounds of the Season, a wonderful time of Christmas singing as we celebrate this joyous time of year! Join Santa and music leaders from every corner of VHUMC as they will be performing together under one roof. We hope to see you on Sunday, December 15, at 5:00 pm, in Tyson Hall!
Women's Story Teller Groups
We all have a different story, but we also have a part in the larger story of God's love for each one of us. Learning to tell your story allows you to see the many ways God has moved or is moving in your life. But your story should not be told in isolation because hearing it will allow other women to experience God in fresh new ways.

If you are a woman of any age or stage, looking for a small group where you can be vulnerable and authentic, join us starting the week of January 12. Please complete the online form to indicate what day/time works best for you (for childcare choose Sunday or Wednesday night). Books are available as we interact with others' stories on the journey to articulate our own.

Disciple Fast Track 2
Don't miss the 2nd in the Disciple Fast Track series. Spring 2020 will focus on going deep into Genesis and Exodus. Participants will purchase a study manual with suggested readings of about 30 minutes/day. Groups will meet weekly for 75 minutes, listening to a video and discussing the material. The daily reading assignments are shorter than in Fast Track 1 allowing more time to practice the spiritual disciplines highlighted in each session.

Please specify days of the week that work best for you to meet in a small group. We will be putting together leaders and participants, based on these preferences. Books are $16 and can be picked up in the church office prior to your class starting. Classes will be the weeks of January 12 - April 26.

Christmas Flower Memorials and Honorariums
In celebration of Christmas, the Flower and Altar Guilds will be adorning the worship services with poinsettias and fresh cut greens. You can participate by donating flowers in memory or honor of a loved one for $20. There will be a limited number of poinsettias available to be picked up after the last Christmas Eve service.

If you wish to make a memorial or honorarium tribute, you must contact Margaret Flowers (769-0112 / mflowers@vhumc.org) by Monday, December 16. Order forms will also be available in binders on the desk counter in the church office.
Thanking Our Tutors
For the past 20 years a group of dedicated VHUMC members have tutored children one-on-one in their reading skills at Jackson Elementary School and Urban Ministry in West End. Hundreds of students can read better today because of the dedicated efforts of Joan Rein and our team of tutors. Sadly, our team is turning over the work to others as it has become increasingly difficult to find consistent volunteers for this work. We want to thank this faithful group for all of their wonderful work over the past 20 years.
College Scholarship Opportunity
The Dick Kelly Scholarship Fund is one of our Foundation Funds with the purpose of "providing college scholarships for church members." This year the fund can distribute up to $5,000. If you are a student or have a student already attending college or entering college next fall, we invite you to apply. Applications are available through the link and completed applications should be sent or given to John Sweeney (jsweeney@vhumc.org). Awards will be based on both merit and need. The deadline for applications is January 10. Donations are also welcome to continue replenishing the fund.

We Are All Kids at Heart
Even as adults we would love to play on an age-appropriate playground. We have two great playgrounds at VHUMC, but the structures and motion rides are often damaged by older children who are too big for the equipment. Parents, please help us by keeping your children off of the small playground if they are over three years old and off the larger playground if they are over 4th grade. And please, never leave your children playing without adult supervision.
Inclement Weather Plans
Any time that Vestavia Hills Schools close, our Vestavia Day School, Vestavia Dance, Lighthouse, and Conservatory of the Arts will also close. The Kitchen will also close for breakfast meetings (although lunches and dinners may still be served). In some instances, these church departments may close when schools are still open. If so, all parents will be notified. School closures do not necessarily mean that church services or meetings are cancelled or that the offices are closed. Look for notices of closure by email, on our website, social media, or on local TV stations (ABC, CBS, and NBC). Always use caution and common sense going to and from church. Our Vestavia "Hills" become dangerous quickly with moisture and freezing temperatures.
Ongoing Outreach
Urban Ministry Kids
Urban Ministry Kids needs gently used coats, jackets and shoes for their after-school children (ages 4 to 13). Please put them in the three wooden bins around the church. Circle One members will deliver them. Thank you.

Food Pantry
The Food Pantry is distributing 550 turkeys this month to our families thanks to your generosity. Thanks also to those of you who took food to the Vestavia Library in lieu of fines.

Oak Mountain Mission
Oak Mountain Mission needs pots and pans, small working appliances, sofas, chairs, and working washers and dryers. For pick-up, please call Roddy (685-5757).
Wednesday Nights at VHUMC

Classes/Programs starting at 6:00 pm
  • Thanksgiving: November 27 - No dinner or programming
  • Family Advent Workshop: December 4
  • Children's Concert: December 11
  • Dinner, Caroling, and The Polar Express: December 18 
Worship This Sunday
 
8:30 am Traditional  Service |  Sanctuary
Genesis 12:1-3
"At the Heart of it All... to Be a Blessing"
Bill Brunson
 
9:45 am Service of Word and Table |  Sanctuary 
Genesis 12:1-3
"At the Heart of it All... to Be a Blessing"
Butch Williams
 
11:00 am Traditional Service |  Sanctuary
Genesis 12:1-3
"At the Heart of it All... to Be a Blessing"
Bill Brunson
 
11:00 am Contemporary Service |  Tyson Hall 
Galatians 3:25-29
"At the Heart of it All... to Be a Blessing"
Kipp McClurg
 
5:00 pm  Sunday Evening Worship
Matthew 11:28-30
"Rest from God"
Okai Gates

Attendance for last week: 817
General Fund Fiscal Year 2020
 
 
Donations this past week
 
July - October 2019
Donations
Other Income
Total Income 
Actual
$ 47,976
 
 
$918,786
$49,257
$968,043
Targeted  
+$30,763 
 
 
-$153,329
+$2,551
-$150,778
 
(+) 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: