“One Week Left” – Lenten Sermon Series
Lent is a spiritual period for fasting, prayers, and engaging in deepened spiritual practices. Lent will begin this year on Ash Wednesday, February 17, and end on Easter, April 4. Our Lenten Guide this year is a study of the last week of the life of Christ, as found in John’s Gospel. We also have weekly videos from Bill Brunson and Kipp McClurg as a guide to the study. Our Sunday sermons for those weeks will also be based on these studies.
Our theme is “What if there were just one week left?” We will study that critical week before Jesus’ death and resurrection. How did Jesus act? Whom did he visit? What conversations did he have? What fears did he face?
As we apply this same simple question to our lives, we will ponder some of the same questions that Jesus faced. What relationships would we attempt to strengthen? To whom would we say goodbye? What extravagance might we grant ourselves that we would never dream otherwise?
Finally, we will ponder – “What if we were to live every week as if it were our last? How should we live differently? Join us for this journey through John’s lens as we walk with Jesus to Jerusalem, and to the cross.
Jesus tells us that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. Many miles from Vestavia, our neighbors are counting on us to do just that. This year’s special Lenten offering will benefit Rise Against Hunger. You can easily give online. Just choose “Missions” and “Lenten Offering” in the “Give to” box. Nourish your soul by providing nourishment for those who need it the most.
Season of Prayer & Fasting
In January, we invited you to participate with us in a weekly fast, as an exercise to begin the new year with a heightened awareness of our dependency on God. This year, we will also be taking on fasting as a Lenten discipline. During each week of the Season of Lent, we invite you to fast between 5:00pm on Tuesday and 5:00pm on Wednesday, beginning on Tuesday, February 23. On each Wednesday of Lent (beginning on Wednesday, February 24 and ending on Wednesday, March 31) we will have a brief service at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary, as we break fast together with Holy Communion. We hope you will exercise the discipline of fasting with us throughout the Lenten Season. As we fast together, we pray that our senses may be heightened to our need for God, as we prepare to walk with Jesus to the Cross.
Stations of the Cross (offered weekly, and virtually)
This year, we will again offer our special “Stations of the Cross” experience, in two different formats! We invite you to come to our Sanctuary on one of two times each week to walk the Via Dolorosa, following the path of Jesus, leading to his crucifixion. Our Sanctuary will have different stations set up on the walls, guiding you visually through each station. There will be physical booklets to help prayerfully guide you through each station. We also have corresponding videos for each “Station of the Cross,” as well as a digital download of the booklet, if you wish to participate virtually in walking the Via Dolorosa.
The ‘Stations of the Cross’ will be available to you throughout Lent, starting on Monday, March 1st at the following times:
- Monday & Tuesday – Noon to 3:00 p.m.
- Wednesday & Thursday – Noon to 5:00 p.m.
- Holy Week on Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday – Noon to 4:00 p.m. (staff will be present)
- Holy Week Thursday & Friday – All Day (staff will be present)
Hike to the Cross | Saturday, March 13 | 9:00 am
Join the VHUMC clergy at McCallum Park (on Rosemary Lane) on Saturday, March 13, at 9:00 am, as we take a leisurely hike together. We will stop periodically to remember each of the 14 stations of the cross (the events that happened to Jesus from the Last Supper until his resurrection on Easter Sunday). Invite your friends as we enjoy a beautiful spring morning. Don’t forget to wear a mask. For more information please contact Jim Frazier (email@example.com / 769-0126).
Palm Sunday | Sunday, March 28
Join us for Palm Sunday on March 28 as we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem at each of our Sunday morning services. We will have in-person services at each of our standard Sunday locations and times (8:30 in Dick Kelly Park, 9:45 in the Sanctuary, 11:00 in the Sanctuary, and 11:00 in Tyson Hall). We will also, per usual, livestream our 8:30 traditional and 11:00 contemporary service on the VHUMC Facebook and on the VHUMC website and app.
Easter Egg Hunt | Sunday, March 28 | 4:00 pm
We are thrilled to come back together for our annual VHUMC Easter Egg Hunt! It will take place outdoors on Sunday March 28th. We will gather on the Sanctuary Lawn next to Kentucky Avenue at 4:00. Please bring a basket and your cell phone to have a picture made with the Easter Bunny. We are asking that everyone 4 years and older wear a mask please!
Lenten Lunches | March 29-31 | 12:00 pm
As we move through Holy Week together, please join us on Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (March 29 – 31) for a 30-minute noon worship service in Tyson Hall! The services will be brief and followed by a box lunches, served in the Fellowship Hall. We have three wonderful speakers (one per day) from our congregation who will be speaking from the collective theme of “Where Did I See God in my Life during the Pandemic?” The worship services will also air via Facebook live-stream for those who prefer to watch from home. These are always meaningful services, so we hope you will take advantage of this opportunity again this year!
- Monday – March 29 – Kelly Botcher
- Tuesday – March 30 – Anna Curry Gualano
- Wednesday – March 31 – Jim Sturdivant
Maundy Thursday | Thursday, April 1, 6:00 pm
Maundy Thursday is the name given to the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, known as the Last Supper, and we will do the same. Maundy Thursday is on Thursday, April 1, at 6:00pm in the Sanctuary. Limited, socially-distant seating will be available, and masks will be required at all times. Join us for this special service, as we remember the Passover Meal, and prepare for Good Friday together.
Good Friday | Friday, April 2 | 6:00 pm
We call Friday of Holy Week “good,” because we live on the Easter side of that day. We know the outcome and what Christ went through for us, so it is a “good” day. Our Good Friday service will be held at 6:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Limited, socially-distant seating will be available, and masks will be required at all times. We will reflect on the suffering of Christ, building the contrast between Jesus’ death and the resurrection. We cannot fully appreciate the resurrection until we have gone through the suffering. We hope you will join us!
Join us on Easter Sunday, April 4, as we worship together outside on our church lawn, under the same large tent that we used this past Christmas Eve! Services will be held at 7:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, and 11:00 am, with childcare being provided for all services except 7:00 am. Sunday School will be held, as usual, at 9:45am for classes that have been meeting. Join us as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Easter Cross Filled with Flowers
Every Easter at VHUMC a very special cross is placed on the front lawn facing Kentucky Avenue. It is special because it starts off barren and empty, but slowly as the day goes it is filled with flowers from family gardens. You are invited this Easter to help fill this cross! Please bring fresh flowers to place on the large outdoor wooden cross. Many families have an annual Easter picture in front of the beautiful, flowered cross. We invite your family to participate in this long-standing tradition that helps signify a promise made whole through life after death!