Vestavia Hills Living

2018

Official magazine published by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce for the City of Vestavia Hills which details the quality of life, education, shopping and lifestyle of Vestavia Hills.

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ministries in Vestavia Hills and the Birmingham metro area, such as Urban Avenues, Five Loaves, Carpenter's Hands, Helping Hands in the Hills, and the Christian Medical Ministry of Alabama. A Trinity member, Keiah Shauku, won the Vulcan Award for Servant Leadership in the city of Birmingham last year. "Community involvement is crucial to any healthy church," Lusk says. "We believe that faithful churches serve the common good of the community in all kinds of ways. The most important thing we can do as a church is preach the gospel. When people have a right relationship with God and learn to worship him through Jesus Christ, everything else in their lives starts to fall into place. We want our church to be a place where people hear the message of God's forgiving and transforming love. But we also believe churches should serve the community through good deeds, to embody the message they proclaim." Trinity provides counseling services to help people struggling with finances, marriage problems, raising children, and other issues, as well as provides tangible help to the poor and disadvantaged in our area. Several times a year, the church holds special services and festivals to draw the community in to celebrate God's goodness, Lusk says, such as its popular Lessons and Carols service each December and its annual All Saints Sunday celebration in November. "We want to further God's purposes in renewing and transforming the culture of our city by the grace of God," Lusk says. G R A C E , A U N I T E D M E T H O D I S T C O N G R E G A T I O N . In 2000, when Liberty Park was a new community with few churches nearby, Liberty Crossings Methodist Church was founded and began meeting at Liberty Park Elementary School. Eight years later, the congregation moved to its own facility, located on 33 acres on Sicard Hollow Road. This year, the church changed its name to Grace, a United Methodist Congregation. "We needed a name that better reflects who we are as a body of Christ, a name that is inviting to all people regardless of where they currently reside on their faith journey," says Patti Rice, administrative director. "We receive the grace that Jesus has given us freely. We also extend grace to each other – our family, friends, co-work- ers, neighbors, and all who do not deserve it. We work to extend grace freely just as Jesus extends grace freely to us." In addition to a new name, Grace is adding a new ministry: A full-time, Christ-centered child development center, opening in Summer 2018. "The geographic area surrounding our facility has exhibited tremendous growth in population, especially families of young children," Rice says. "Real estate development plans and projections are for continued growth of new houses and new housing developments." To meet the needs of these new neighbors, Grace's new Child Development Center will accept students ages six weeks through pre-K4. Beginning in Fall 2018, the church will also offer after-school care and all-day summer camp programs for elementary school children. "We will leverage our 33 acres to provide outdoor play experiences as well as outdoor education for all ages of our students," Rice says. "This new ministry supports our mission, which is strengthening families by making and growing highly committed disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." Grace doesn't just work to serve its immediate neigh- bors; the church also works closely with an elementary school and a group of single moms in the North Birming- ham neighborhood of Norwood, for instance. Members also serve with and through Habitat for Humanity, Church of the Reconciler, the Appalachian Service Project, the Salvation Army, The United Methodist Committee on Relief, and Fair Haven Retirement Community. The church also hosts community organizations at its location, including Boy Scouts, Venture, and a Fine Arts Academy. 46 v e s tav i a h i l l s l i v i n g 2 0 1 8

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