We Are Open for Worship!
For many weeks we have been holding in-person worship, and as we continue in our COVID-19 safety protocols, in-person worship is continuing at VHUMC! Our in-person service times include 8:30 a.m. OUTDOOR worship in Dick Kelly Park, 11:00 a.m. INDOOR traditional worship in our Sanctuary, and 11:00 a.m. INDOOR contemporary worship in Tyson Hall.
Masks are required to attend any and all VHUMC worship services, as we remain committed to you and your family’s safety. Also, we are VERY excited to announce that our 9:45 a.m. Sanctuary worship service has started back! We hope to see you at any of our various in-person worship services, as we prepare for our new Advent sermon series and the Advent season together!
Advent Prayer Guide
For VHUMC, 2020 began with the vision of three women, Jill Kimbrough, Kym Prewitt, and Julie Harper Pappalardo. Working with Lee Mathews and the VHUMC Prayer Team, their vision was of a full year dedicated to prayer, and thus, 2020 became “The Year of Prayer” at VHUMC. Of course, none of us could have anticipated a worldwide pandemic, nor the even deeper need for prayer that the pandemic would create. We entered 2020 with a prayer guide for the entire month of January. So, it seems only appropriate to end 2020 with an Advent Prayer Guide to help us focus on the birth of the One who came to save our world.
This guide offers one prayer per day from the start of Advent, through the end of December. The prayers in this guide represent the variety of ways we lift our love and gratitude to our God. Our hope is that these daily prayers will bless you, comfort you, and bring hope, peace, love, and joy as we all anticipate and prepare for the arrival of Christ once again. To easily download the PDF version of the Advent Prayer Guide, please click the following link.
Christmas Eve 2020
After much thinking and dreaming, we are excited to announce that we will be having outdoor Christmas Eve services this year at 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 p.m. All services will be identical and will be thirty minutes in length. No reservations will be required. Childcare will be available for the all services EXCEPT 7:00pm and 11:00 p.m. To register, click the following link.
To enable as safe a service as possible, we will be installing a 120 x 40 ft. clear plastic tent parallel to the Sanctuary (pictured below). Kentucky Avenue will be closed to traffic all evening. This will allow people to sit or stand under the tent, or under the stars with the space available on Kentucky Avenue. Heaters will be around the tent to keep us warm and cozy! The outdoor area will be lit up like, well, Christmas! Even if it rains, we will be celebrating!
We will have communion, candle-lighting (with one-use candles), Sacred Dancers, Bill Brunson’s sermon, and our favorite songs: Silent Night, Oh Holy Night, Joy to the World, and O Come All Ye Faithful! Although not our usual tradition, our prayer is that this Christmas Eve will be one that we will long remember with joy. A few chairs will be provided for those who need to sit.
We encourage you to bring your own chair, or to stand around the edges of the tent. Regardless, Christmas Eve is ON! As with all our services, we will require that masks be worn and we encourage social distancing to be observed at all times.
Some have asked if they can contribute to the extra cost of this event. If interested, simply designate your gift for “Christmas Eve Expenses.” So bundle up, or maybe just wear your shorts (you never know in Alabama). We are looking forward to celebrating as a church family this most sacred event!
Symbols of the Season
We hope you and your family will check out our “Symbols of the Season” video series, on our YouTube channel! Each video will also post to VHUMC’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Each day during the Advent season, we will have different children and adults teach us about a specific Chrismon ornament or other symbol that we use during Advent. Each of these symbols prepares us, in some way, for Jesus’ birth. We hope you will enjoy learning more about the meaning of these decorations! Visit the YouTube “Symbols of the Season” playlist by clicking the following link.
Sounds of the Season
We hope you enjoy our Christmas Season Tradition featuring our Chancel Choir, Ensemble, and The Four Docs, with special appearances from our Piano Staff and our Contemporary Music Staff. Click the link below to watch.
Advent Offering – Rise Against Hunger
This year’s Advent offering recipient will be Rise Against Hunger. As we continue to hope and pray that the pandemic will be behind us in the Spring, we will move forward to help support our efforts to end hunger in our lifetime. Our efforts this year will be more impactful than ever before. Through this offering, we will be able to provide hot, nutritious meals to children in need through early childhood development centers through our community meal packing event. Those first few years are so important in the life of a child, let’s make a difference.
Advent Offering envelopes will be located outside the Sanctuary in the Narthex and in the hall outside Tyson Hall. Please use the envelope to make a donation or write Advent offering in the memo line on your check. If you prefer to give on line, then please click the Advent offering link below or on the VHUMC app to make your donation.
Help for the Holidays
Are you looking for ways to give back during the holidays? Do you want to serve others this holiday season? VHUMC Missions has put together hands-on serve opportunities for you or your entire family, Sunday School class, or small group. Some registrations have already begun. Prayerfully consider where God is calling you this holiday season to give just a little more to someone in need. You never know how that one act of kindness will not only help them, but help you too. Click the following link for a complete list of serve opportunities with our community mission partners and VHUMC. For more information, contact Rachael Hayes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Grief Survivors Preparing for the Holidays
The holiday season can be especially challenging for those of us who have experienced the loss of a loved one. In years past, VHUMC’s Grief Support Ministry Team has hosted a special event, Preparing for the Holidays, which focuses on navigating the holidays while experiencing a season of grief. However, in response to COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols, we now have an opportunity to restructure our event to reach more people.
This year, Preparing for the Holidays is entirely virtual, and it comes to you in the form of this special video (simply click on the following “Watch Video” link) that you and/or your loved ones can watch – whenever and wherever you please. In this video, along with our Senior Pastor Bill Brunson, you will hear from individuals who have lost parents, spouses, siblings, and children. As they share their own grief experiences in light of the holiday season, we hope that you will experience the comfort of community and understanding.
Also, we hope that you will make use of the attached Grief Survivors Guide (the guide can be accessed in the YouTube description, or by clicking the following link). The guide offers resources for navigating your own grief journey.
Service of Healing and Light
The holly-jolly Christmas atmosphere can be difficult if we are experiencing the recent loss of a loved one or a significant life-changing event. We need the space to acknowledge our grief and hold it up to the light of the Christmas message: God is with us. Come be a part of this very special service on Monday, December 21, at 6:00 pm, in the Sanctuary!