The Witness
Volume 39, Issue 33
August 18, 2021
33 "But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers (Luke 10:33-36)?”

Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan in response to a lawyer who asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” After declaring the Great Commandment—“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.”—Jesus assured him, “Do this, and you will live.” Seemingly unsatisfied with Jesus’ answer, the lawyer asked, “And who is my neighbor?”

The story of the Good Samaritan was told as a means to clarify and specify who is considered to be one’s neighbor. In the ancient world, as is true today, a neighbor was typically defined by proximity; a person who is situated by or lives near another. Similar to our world today, in first century Palestine, one’s ancestry, type of occupation, level of education, and financial situation often determined where one lived. As a result, not only was a neighbor defined as someone who lived close to another, but also as one who lived similarly to another. In that respect, I am sure the lawyer in today’s passage was good to his neighbors—those who lived near him, lived like him, and could easily relate to him.

According to Jesus, the Kingdom of God defines a neighbor quite differently. Not only was the Samaritan in Jesus’ parable quite different from the Jewish lawyer posing the question, the Samaritan would have also been very different from the man he found who had been left half dead. This man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, which means he was probably Jewish. The road that led from Jericho to Jerusalem was the way most Jews took when traveling to Jerusalem because it routed them away from Samaria. Though this road would have taken them longer to reach Jerusalem, it would have allowed them to avoid any contact with Samaritans who were believed to be unclean. At that time, Samaritans and Jews did not live near one another, did not live like one another, and would have found it almost impossible to relate to one another.

And yet, according to Jesus, the Samaritan in his parable exemplified what it means to be a neighbor, despite his lack of proximity, similarity, or ability to relate to the stripped and beaten man he found. What was it then that made the Samaritan a neighbor? I believe it was his response to the needs of the person in front of him. He discovered a person in need, was moved with compassion, and chose to take care of him. This was the criteria Jesus used to define and illustrate what it means to be a neighbor—those who show others compassion and choose to help.

We may not encounter someone who has literally been stripped, beaten, robbed, and half dead, but we are surrounded by people in need. Those who have been stripped of their dignity and robbed of their self-worth due to sickness, disease, a health crisis or old age. We encounter people every day who have been beaten by the painful blows of grief, depression, divorce, abuse, bullying, and a number of other losses. We come face-to-face with people every day who are physically exhausted, mentally drained, emotionally shattered, and feel spiritually half dead. Their needs might not be as obvious as the man in Jesus’ parable, but if we look carefully and listen closely, it will not take us long to see and hear the desperate needs and heartfelt pleas of the people around us.

Fred Rogers, whose iconic invitation Won’t you be my neighbor?, once said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. '” According to Jesus, regardless of proximity, similarity, or relatability, a neighbor is one who helps. Someone who has compassion for the needs of another, and does what they can to take care of them. Apparently, loving God and loving neighbor is accomplished best by choosing to be a neighbor. When asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?,” Jesus offered the Great Commandment. When asked how to apply it, Jesus gave an illustration of what it looks like to be a neighbor. His conclusion, “Go and do likewise.”

Who it is that needs our help? How might we choose to be their neighbor?            
-- Travis
Worship this Sunday, August 22nd
Travis' sermon this week is titled "An Uncomfortable Detachment," and the scripture is Luke 19:1-10. Morning worship is at 8:45 and 11:00 AM, with virtual options. If you choose to worship virtually, you may access our livestream through our website or FB live. Sunday School is at 9:50 AM, and we have classes for every age and stage.
A Higher Note
Chris Monroe
I am planning to re-ignite our Steel Drum Band program in September. The Youth Band, "Steelin’ Away," will rehearse on Wednesday afternoons, 4:30-5:15 pm beginning on Sept. 8. Our Adult band, “Pandemonium," will meet on Sundays at 6:00-6:45 pm beginning on Sept. 19. I have space for 10 players in each band. Those who would like to join a group and play should let me know of your interest and I can tell you what will be involved.

Our Youth Choir is planning to re-start at 5:00 pm on Sept. 19. All youth grades 6-12 are invited to come and be a part of the 2021-2022 season. We had a plan to tour our way to FL in 2020 and visit the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island. We plan to proceed with that tour in June of 2022. We welcome all youth to come and be a part of a long Vinton Baptist tradition of youth choirs.
Additional Music Ministry Details:
  • Praise Team (6:30 PM) and Chancel Choir (7:30 PM) rehearsals resume TONIGHT!!
  • Children's Choirs are scheduled to begin Wednesday, September 8th (6:15 PM).
  • Handbell rehearsals will also begin Sunday, September 19th (5:00 PM).
Bible in a Year Reading
Read this week:
The Old Testament: 1 Samuel 5-13
The New Testament: Romans 5-11
Old Testament Prophecy: Jeremiah 43-50
Psalms: 19-29
Meditate: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23
Prayer: “A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, ‘I can’t prove a thing, but there’s something about his eyes and his voice. There’s something about the way he carries his head, his hands, the way he carries his cross - the way he carries me.’” -Frederick Buechner
Preteen Fall Kickoff!
Kids in 3rd - 5th grades are invited to attend our first crew of the year this Sunday, August 22nd! Meet in the church parking lot at 3:45 PM. We will head to Read Mountain Swim Club on the church bus. Cost is $9 for the pool, and pizza will be provided. Pickup at the church at 6:00 PM. More details to come through email. Questions? Contact Sarah.
JOY Seniors News
This Friday, August 20th is the deadline to sign up and pay for the JOY Seniors' August Luncheon next Tuesday, August 24th. Entertainment will feature Phyllis Ertell and the Hat Show Ladies, based on comedy and scripture. Box lunches will be ordered from Hollywood's Restaurant & Bakery. The cost of the boxed lunch is $10 and will include a sandwich side, brownie, chips, and ice cream. Please plan on joining us at noon in the gym. Come early to enjoy the fellowship.

The JOY Seniors will be taking a trip to Lexington on August 26th to tour the Jackson House and Museum, VMI Museum, and Oak Grove Cemetery. We will also take a narrated carriage tour of historic Lexington. The cost is $25 plus the cost of your lunch. We will depart the church parking lot at 8:00 AM. You can pre-order your lunch by making selections on the menu available in the church office. This trip is limited to 30 people, and the deadline for signing up is Tuesday, August 24th.
Thrive Student Ministry
*Sunday, September 12th- Welcome Back Night- We will be holding a church wide "welcome back" to our regular schedule and events at the Herman L Horn picnic shelter from 5:00-7:30pm. We will have some games and most importantly the Blue Cow Ice cream truck!!
*Sunday, September 19th- First Youth Choir and Extreme of the New Year- We will be returning to our pre-Covid Sunday night schedule. 5:00pm Youth Choir, 6:00pm Snack Supper, and 6:30 pm Extreme.

Parents and leaders: Please let me know if you would be interested in helping lead and chaperone in rotation or regularly for Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, or special events!
5th Quarter: We Need Your Help!
WBHS is planning for a full football season this fall, and we want to be able to provide a safe, fun place for students to go after home games. In order to secure volunteers and to ensure that we can operate safely, we are delaying the start of 5th Quarter until October, when there are three home games: October 1st, 8th (Homecoming), and 22nd (Senior Night). If you can help, please sign up in the church office. We must have enough volunteer support before we can commit to hosting 5th Quarter for the month of October.
Wednesday Night Dinners & Activities:
Volunteers Needed
Wednesday Night Dinners are scheduled to resume September 8th at 5:30 PM in the gym. Menus will be available soon. Please note: in order to begin holding dinners, we need a total of 5-6 volunteers who can commit to working Wednesday evenings:
  • 1-2 servers, who would need to arrive between 4 & 5 PM and work until approximately 7 PM.
  • 2 volunteers who can manage heavy lifting for beverage table cleanup (6 - 7:15 PM)
  • 2 volunteers who can manage heavy lifting for cleaning heavy pots and pans (also 6 - 7:15 PM).
If you can help, please call Kathi Costigan as soon as possible at 977-0294.

On September 8th, we plan to have a Ministry Matters meeting (in lieu of Adult Bible Study) at 6:15 PM; and Thrive Youth Ministry and Children's Choirs will also begin. Adult Bible Study will resume the following Wednesday, September 15th.
Ministry Matters
Plan to join us at 6:15 PM Wednesday, September 8th for our next Ministry Matters meeting. We will be discussing and/or voting on the 2021-22 Proposed Budget, among other business. You can find a copy of the budget by clicking here; paper copies are also available in the church office and on the table inside the C2 church office doors. If you have questions or concerns about the proposed budget, please contact a member of the VBC Budget Committee.
Wednesday Women
Our 7-session fall Bible study on Elijah (by Priscilla Shirer) begins September 8th in the Disciple Center. Plan to join us 10:00 - 11:30 AM each Wednesday, September 8th - October 20th. The participant's study guide is $16.99/each. You can sign up by calling the church office at 540-343-7685. Questions? Contact Susan Jones at 540-890-4887.
"Welcome Back, Church"
Sunday, September 12th, 5:00 - 7:30 PM
at Herman L. Horn pavilion/playground
(rain location is VBC gym).

Bring your own lawn chairs and dinner. Lemonade and water will be provided. We will have games, energizers, and free Blue Cow ice cream! Plan to join us!
Joe Brugh
316 E. Madison Avenue
Vinton VA 24179-4528
August 15, 2021:
8:45 AM
In person - 172
Online - 108
11:00 AM
In person - 127
Online - 87
Sunday School - 213
Thank you to the Dorcas Class for their donation to 5th Quarter.
Christian sympathy is extended to David Howell & Sara Fisher and families in the passing of their father, Wilson Howell, August 13th; visitation is 6 - 8 PM today at Oakey's Vinton, and the funeral will be at 2 PM tomorrow in the Oakey's chapel. Christian sympathy is also extended to Becky Ingram and family in the passing of her brother-in-law, Donald “Wayne” Ingram, Sr., on August 9th.
Children's Worship Volunteers Needed
The Children's Ministry is in need of Children's Worship volunteers every Sunday. Thanks to all those who regularly help out! If you're interested in helping, but don't know what is required, please contact Sarah. Otherwise, please sign up here (dates available through September).
Book Club
Use these questions as a guide as you continue reading Ruth Roe’s August book pick, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society:

1. In what ways were Juliet and Elizabeth kindred spirits? What did Elizabeth's spontaneous invention of the society, as well as her brave final act, say about her approach to life?
2. Numerous Guernsey residents give Juliet access to their private memories of the occupation. Which voices were most memorable for you? What was the effect of reading a variety of responses to a shared tragedy?
3. Kit and Juliet complete each other in many ways. What did they need from each other? What qualities make Juliet an unconventional, excellent mother?
4. How did Remy's presence enhance the lives of those on Guernsey? Through her survival, what recollections, hopes and lessons also survived?
Thank you for the book recommendation Ruth! Happy Reading!
New Website, App, & Realm
Our new VBC website and app are scheduled to launch August 29th!! We're so excited to be able to improve our technological capabilities. Bear with us the first couple of weeks while we work out any kinks in our new system.

We also plan to launch Realm in conjunction with our website and app. With Realm, you will have access to your own profile in our computer system, as well as church directory info, online sign-ups for various events, etc. In anticipation of the Realm roll-out,
  1. please make sure that we have your current email address on file
  2. note that every adult's name, email, phone (home/mobile), address, birthdate (month & day only), list of immediate family members, and groups you're in (like your Sunday School class) will appear in the online directory by default. That directory is only available to church members and regular attendees whom we invite to Realm (just like a printed directory). If you would prefer not to have this information available to our church family, you may make that change in Realm when you are invited to join by email, or you may call the church office and we will be happy to make that change for you.
Special thanks goes to Barbara Slusher, Ruth Roe, Carolyn Lyon, and Helen Foster for their help in the church office over the past week. Your assistance is invaluable!
The Administrative & Ministerial Office Staff