Volume 48
Issue 47
November 29, 2018
White Christmas This Sunday
White Christmas envelopes will be in the pews this Sunday 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.
Nutcracker Magic City Nutcracker is Here
Performances for the Magic City Nutcracker start tomorrow, November 30, at 7:00 pm; Saturday, December 1, at 2:00 and 7:00 pm; and Sunday, December 2, at 2:00 pm. Don't miss this wonderful program by Vestavia Dance at the historic Virginia Samford Theatre. Tickets are still available by clicking the link below.

Advent Devotions
Our 2018 Advent Devotional Calendars are here! Get one for your family from the information racks around the church.
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 this Sunday, December 2. Be sure and bring a friend and get ready to sing along to some of your Christmas favorites.
Looking Toward the Future
VHUMC has always been a church that has a deep appreciation for our past, our history, and our heritage - while, at the same time, always looking to the future, and what God is calling us to next. I'm excited to say that still rings true. Recently I met with the leaders of various committees and ministry areas of the church to think through items for our next strategic plan. We believe that our church is poised to accomplish great things for God and with God across the coming years.

In our time together, we discussed what the church represents, and where the church can grow and develop over the next few years. We are a church that believes in the importance of worship. We are a church that believes in the importance of small groups, Sunday school, and growing as disciples. We are a church that loves our community, and seeks to be involved with them in any way possible so that they can know that we love them and that God loves them. We are a church that believes in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and believes that Jesus has a call and a purpose for each of us.

We know there are opportunities for our church to have a greater impact on our community. We know there are ways for our church to reach and to resource families. We know there are ways for us to reach out and to invite people to worship with us, to experience the love of Christ through our programs and outreach, and to find their place in God's kingdom. We know there are ways and opportunities for us to strengthen our ministries and help connect people to each other and to God.

While the world is changing, and there will always be challenges we face, we trust that as we work together as the body of Christ, loving one another and loving the world around us, responding (not reacting) to whatever comes our way - we will continue to be the tremendous church that we have been for 66 years. It is a great time in the life of our church, and I believe that our best years are coming.

As we continue working to develop the foundational pieces of our next Strategic Plan, please join with me in praying for our church and our leaders - that God will guide us to be the church He needs us to be in the years to come.

Senior Pastor, Bill Brunson

Stewardship Update
Our 2019 Stewardship Campaign, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", has been a tremendous success so far! We are thrilled to report we have collected, in pledges, almost 80% of our 2019 ministry budget! Within that wonderful amount, we have received 70 new pledges and pledge amounts have increased by over 5% from 2018.

All of this generous giving speaks to the essence of who we are as a church - we embody our mission to live a Christ-centered life of purpose. Our work, however, is not complete. If you have not yet submitted your pledge for the 2019 ministry budget, there is still time for you to do so. Please drop a pledge card at the church office or make your pledge online at www.vhumc.org/give.

Additionally, as we enter into the end of the year, we encourage you to fulfill your 2018 pledge by December 31. Gifts received by midnight, December 31 will be credited toward 2018 giving. Please email John Sweeney (jsweeney@vhumc.org) with any questions. Many thanks for your continued generosity.

Financial Update
We wanted to update you on our finances since William Hocutt's article in October. In October, giving exceeded our budgeted amount for the month by $59,137! Thank you. That really helps us get closer to our budget, but we are still $105,190 under that giving budget. Naturally, we have asked our staff and committees to curtail any spending that they can, but that always reduces our ability to meet our programming, missions, and facility needs. We are prayerfully asking that you review your giving to the church and do all that you can to help us finish the calendar year strong. Please know that every dollar you give to help VHUMC makes a difference.
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.

Confirmation Parent Meeting
Attention 6th grade parents! Thrive Student Ministries will be hosting a parent meeting this Sunday morning, December 2, at 9:45 am, in the Fellowship Hall to discuss Confirmation 2019. Confirmation is not simply a "rite of passage," nor just a class to complete. It is just one step in a life-long journey of pursuing the unending reach of God's love and vowing to live in relationship with Him for the rest of someone's life. We hope you will join us for a time of information about the Confirmation semester as well as answer any questions you may have. For more information or if you cannot make the meeting contact Jeremiah Stone (jstone@vhumc.org).
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 submit an application. Applications are available through the link and completed applications should be sent or given to Gary Wyatt (gwyatt@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.

Help Us Pack Tornado Buckets
Next Wednesday, December 5, immediately following dinner we will pack 100 tornado buckets to be delivered to areas affected by our most recent storms. Please join us and grab your friends, family and others to help make a difference to those on the coast. If you are not available on Wednesday night, then make plans to help with prep work on Monday at 2 pm in the Fellowship Hall.
Christmas Angels
The week of Thanksgiving stop by one of the trees near Tyson Hall or the Narthex to select an Angel off of the Tree. This year we will partner again with Inglenook, Southampton, Piper Place, Birmingham Dream Garden and AID to Inmate Mothers. All Angel Tree presents need to be returned to the church office by December 9.
4th Annual Madrigal Dinner
Don't miss our feasting and hilarity, our music and our revelry, at our 4th Annual VHUMC Madrigal Dinner. Our New Life Singers (youth choir) will be in full costume and full of clever comedy as we visit a 16th century castle for food, fun, and frolicking. The dinner will be on Sunday, December 9, at 6:30 pm, in Tyson Hall. The deadline to purchase tickets is Monday, December 3. For more information, please contact Quint Harris (qharris@vhumc.org / 769-0114).

Family Christmas Music Celebration
Come as you are for our 4th annual Sounds of the Season, a joyous time of community worship through Christmas singing on Sunday, December 16 at 5:00 pm in Tyson Hall. Music will feature performances by The Four Docs and the VHUMC Music Staff, and will also include sing-a-longs!
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 10. Order forms will also be available in binders on the desk counter in the church office.
Bible Bearer, Acolyte and Crucifer Training
We love for the Cross, the Word of God, and the Light of Jesus to be carried into our worship services by our children! If your child would like to serve as a Bible Bearer, Acolyte, or a Crucifer we invite you and your child to join us for training in the Sanctuary on Wednesday, December 12.

Bible Bearers (1st-2nd graders) and Acolytes (3rd-5th graders) will train from 3:30-4:30 pm. Crucifers (6th-12th graders) will train between 4:30-5:00 pm. You may leave when your child is finished... no need to stay the full hour.

If your child is a part of Vestavia Day School After School Program and would like to serve contact Jamie Meeks (jmeeks@vhumc.org).

We hope that you will consider encouraging your child to participate in this special ministry!
High School Retreat
Registration is now open for the 2019 High School Retreat, February 15-18, 2019. All 9th-12th Graders are invited to join us at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina for worship and skiing! The cost is $475 which includes the cost of transportation, lodging, skiing, a t-shirt, and most food. Siblings attending together can get type "sibling discount" on the registration. Register online by clicking the link below.

If you are interested in chaperoning this event contact Jeremiah Stone ( jstone@vhumc.org ).If you are interested in helping to sponsor the registration cost for a student in need of financial assistance please contact Emily Boles ( eboles@vhumc.org ).

Christmas Mission Breakfast
Our student and mission ministries continue their Christmas tradition with our annual Christmas Student Ministry Breakfast. We will be serving breakfast here at VHUMC to families from the Birmingham community on Saturday, December 8, from 10 am to noon. Students and volunteers are invited to help serve breakfast, socialize, share crafts, and help Santa deliver Christmas gifts. If you would like to help, please choose a yellow star from the Christmas trees on the Student Ministry hall after Thanksgiving. Purchase the items listed on the star and return them with the star to the front office or Student Ministry Hall by Monday, December 3. To volunteer or for more information, please contact Anna Watts (awwatts@bellsouth.net).
Passion Conference Deadline
The Passion Conference will be here soon and we cannot be more excited for our High School Seniors and our College Students to gather in Atlanta for three amazing days of worship. The conference will be held at the All State Arena and we will be staying in a hotel within walking distance. The Passion speakers are amazing and it will be an unforgettable experience.

We have limited space, so register as soon as possible! If your college student will be using their own transportation, please use promo code "mytransportation" and receive $50 off the regular price! Enter "siblingdiscount" to receive half off of your second student.
  • Regular Registration = $325 by December 1
  • Late Registration = $358 after December 1

November 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. November's memory verse is: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." -Psalm 46:1
Growing Pains: Renovating for Our Future
We are so close to completion that this will be our last "Growing Pains" article. We are still fine tuning our audio/visual items in the Sanctuary, waiting for our new outer Sanctuary Narthex doors, and completing a few punch list items. We will still have Notes articles about our improvements, but will not continue this special section.

Thank you for your incredible patience throughout the past 11 months. We are happy to be past the messiness of construction and enjoying the improvements to our facilities as we begin the Advent season.

None of it could have happened without your generosity and we will have an article to report on our construction finances when all the bills are paid.
Ongoing Outreach
Food Pantry
Thank you to the 22 wonderful volunteers who helped on Wednesday, November 14, as we distributed 475 turkeys for Thanksgiving! Thanks also to those who donated funds to buy the turkeys, the Day School children for bringing cans to the pantry, and Vestavia West for their huge food drive.

Oak Mountain Mission
Oak Mountain Mission needs coats of all sizes along with winter attire and new and like-new toys for Christmas families. No summer clothing at this time please. Linens and kitchen items are always needed (cookware, dishes, silverware, glasses).
Wednesday Night Menus
  • December 5 - Salad, Donato's Pizza, Baked Ziti, Ice Cream. Kids: Pizza
  • December 12 - Salad, Pork Loin OR Baked Flounder, Mac & Cheese, Wild Rice, Carrot Soufflé, Bread Pudding. Kids: Chicken Nuggets 
Worship This Sunday 

8:30 am         Traditional Service
Matthew 2:1-12
"The Message Comes Home"
Butch Williams

9:45 am         Service of Word and Table
Matthew 2:1-12
"The Message Comes Home"
Butch Williams

11:00 am         Traditional Service
Matthew 2:1-12
"The Message Comes Home"
Butch Williams

11:00 am         Contemporary Service
Matthew 2:1-12
The Disruption of Advent:Herod
Kipp McClurg

5:00 pm         Sunday Evening Worship
Jeremiah 33:14-6
A Righteous Branch
Butch Williams
Attendance for last Sunday:  643
Our Time and Resources

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July - October 2018
Other Income
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Prayer Requests
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