The Witness

Volume 41, Issue 36

September 6, 2023

REMINDER for TONIGHT: Praise Team rehearsal (6:30 PM) resumes, as does Chancel Choir rehearsal (7:30 PM). New Chancel Choir members are ALWAYS welcome. You do not have to be a church member to sing with us.

A Note from Chris: Oh! The Joy of Christmas! 

Believe it or not Christmas is right around the corner. Those silver bells and poinsettias will be out in the stores in no time. The Chancel Choir will have their big Christmas musical reveal next Wednesday night, September 13. We will begin rehearsing Christmas during the first 30 minutes of our weekly choir rehearsal starting next week. The time is 7:30-8:00. Stay on for the last 30 minutes (8:00-8:30) and sing with us on Sundays this fall or just attend the Christmas portion of the rehearsal. We always have room for more participants. Join us as we kick off the 2023-24 choir season.

Weeknight Worship: A Holy Experiment

Beginning next Tuesday, September 12th we will offer a weeknight worship opportunity at 7:00 PM each Tuesday through November 14th.

  • This option is for folks who cannot attend worship on weekends, due to work or sports schedules, for example, or who would simply prefer a worship alternative during the week.
  • There is no expectation that everyone would attend both Sunday morning and Tuesday night services; please participate in the worship service that best suits your schedule and needs.
  • The Tuesday night sermon content will include the same information as Travis' Wednesday night small group on faith formation in the home, but in a worship setting.
  • The music is contemporary and is integral to the worship experience. Our weeknight worship band has spent months practicing and preparing for this opportunity.

Please help us spread the word and pray for God's guidance. Everyone is welcome to join us for this holy experiment.

This Sunday @ VBC

Plan to join us this Sunday morning for worship (8:45 and 11:00 AM) and Sunday School (9:50 AM)! Whitney will bring this Sunday's message since Travis is away at Duke University this week. Her sermon is "Bonus Teaching: Hope," and the scripture is 1 Kings 19:9-13. If you can't make it in person, you can find our worship livestream at or on our Facebook group page.

This weekend many of our Sunday afternoon and evening activities resume:

  • 4:00 - 6:00 PM Art from the Heart and Mission Kids (formerly CIA), with a snack in between.
  • 5:00 PM Adult Handbells
  • 5:00 PM Youth Choir
  • 6:00 PM Snack Supper
  • 6:05 PM Adult Steel Drums
  • 6:30 PM Extreme Kickoff (Parents, please come with your student this Sunday for our kickoff event. We will discuss our calendar, events, forms, etc.)

Fun & the Son Play Group

On September 12th, Fun & the Son Play Group will take a field trip! We'll meet at 10 AM at Beaver Dam Sunflower Farm, followed by a picnic at Troutville Park. Questions? Contact Betty Jo Overstreet at 540-312-7235.

Also, we need your help collecting new AA batteries to keep our toys running for Fun & the Son. Please drop off your donations in the marked bin at the Missions Tables. Thank you!

JOY Seniors

The bus is full for the JOY Senior trip to the Beaver Dam Sunflower Festival on Wednesday, September 13th. If you are still interested, you are welcome to drive and meet the bus in Buchanan. If you do drive, you still need to sign up at the JOY Senior table for ticket purchase purposes. The cost is $5/ticket. We will depart VBC at 9:30 AM, and we will also have lunch at Bellacino's following the festival (at your own cost). Sign up and pay at the JOY Senior table by this Sunday, September 10th.

Our next JOY Senior Luncheon is Tuesday, September 26th at noon in the gym. AARP will present a program on Downsizing & Decluttering. Our lunch will be chicken salad croissant, tossed salad, pasta salad, dessert, and water. Cost of the lunch is $10. Sign up and pay as soon as possible.

A few slots have opened for the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum trip. If interested, please sign up at the JOY Senior table. For those who have signed up, the deadline to pay for the trip is Sunday, September 17th.

Children's Choirs

Children's Choirs will resume September 13th at 6:15 PM for 3-year-olds through 5th graders. We're looking forward to a wonderful year of learning, music, and fun!

Ministry Matters

We will have our fall business meeting in the gym Wednesday, September 13th at 6:15 PM.

  • The 2023-24 church budget will be presented, and there will be opportunities for questions and discussion. Copies of the proposed budget are currently available at the Welcome Center, or simply click here. The budget will be voted on at Called Business Meetings on September 24th at the conclusion of the 8:45 AM worship service and at the beginning of the 11:00 AM worship service.
  • There are also proposed changes to the Bylaws and Policies & Procedures. Please click here for that information and review it prior to the Ministry Matters meeting.

Small Groups Beginning September 20th:

Wednesday Women will begin September 20th, 10 AM - 12 PM in the Disciple Center, led by Susan Jones. Our study book is When You Pray: A Study of Six Prayers in the Bible. Please sign up in the church office so that we will know how many ladies to expect, and plan to purchase your own book. If you cannot obtain your own book, let us know when you sign up and we will purchase it for you. Each book is $25, and payment is due when you sign up or on the first day of our study. If you need us to order your book, you must let us know by September 10th.

Grief Support Group

On September 20th, we will begin an 8-week Grief Support Group led by Cathy Abraham on Wednesday evenings, 6:15 -7:15 PM in the church library. Cathy is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Christian therapist.  No matter the initial reason for your grief (the loss of a loved one or a job, the breakup of a relationship, the death of a pet or deterioration of your health, etc.) or the length or depth of your grief, you are invited to come sit with us, participate with us, or choose to be vocal or silent with us. A sign-up sheet is available in the church office, and sign-ups will close when we reach a total of 15 participants or on September 19th, whichever comes first. You are welcome to call the church office at 540-343-7685 to sign up.

Faith Formation at Home

Travis will also lead an 8-week small group beginning September 20th; this group will meet in the small dining room, 6:15 - 7:15 PM each Wednesday, focusing on the cultivation of intentional and consistent faith formation practices that encourage both children and adults. Each week we will examine a different faith formation practice and seek to answer: What is it? Why is it important? How can we apply it in our homes?

Fred & Jean Swisher

422 Chestnut Mountain Drive

Vinton VA 24179

Thank you to the Open Door Sunday School class for their donation to the Playground Fund.

Happy 90th birthday to Charles West this Saturday, September 9th! If you would like to bless him with a birthday card, please send it to him at 8203 Meadowbridge Road, Apt. 4004, Mechanicsville VA 23116.

Children's Worship Volunteers Needed

If you could help teach or assist in the Children's Worship time (PreK - 1st graders) on any given Sunday over the next month, please click here to sign up or contact Whitney if you have questions.

Church Directory

Pictures will soon be taken for a new church directory, and we'd like to include everyone who calls VBC "home," whether you are formally a member or not. Every family photographed will receive a free copy of the directory, as well as a free 8x10 portrait. Please call the church office at 540-343-7685 if you want to set up an appointment.

Christian sympathy is extended to Joe Dillard, Wendy, and family in the death of Eleanor Dillard September 1st.

Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions

The WMU invites you to contribute to the Alma Hunt State Missions Offering; our church goal is $2,200. This project is a joint effort of the Woman's Missionary Union of Virginia (WMUV) and the BGAV. These funds are used to help with disaster relief, youth projects, missions funding for churches, camping opportunities for children, leadership development opportunities, etc. More info can be found at Special envelopes for this fund are in your box of church envelopes and also in the church pews. Thanks in advance for helping us meet our goal.

Coming Soon: Operation Christmas Child

Our Operation Christmas Child volunteers are gearing up for this year's shoebox season! Starting next week (September 11th), shoebox wrapping will take place every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 10 AM - noon in room 109 (at the end of the hall); anyone is welcome to drop in and help on any day that you are available. If you have empty shoeboxes to donate, please drop them at the Missions Tables at the church, or contact Darlene McCaskill (540-890-6748) so that she can arrange to pick them up. We will begin collecting items to pack in shoeboxes very soon. Questions? Contact Darlene.

Bible Reading Plan

We're in the middle of 2 Chronicles, and we're finding remnants of Kings in our reading (such as a listing of kings and their various deeds). We're also finding that the background material we've discussed (from Fee & Stuart's How to Read the Bible Book by Book and from rings true as we continue.

Take, for example, 2 Chronicles 14-16, which was yesterday's reading. These chapters are all about King Asa, Solomon's great grandson. They detail, from the Chronicler's point of view, Asa's early devotion to God, his reliance on God to protect Judah from enemies in battle, and his commitment to destroying idols and following YHWH. In Chapter 15 God tells Asa, through the prophet Azariah, "'The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded" (15:2b-7). Verse 8 goes on to say that Asa "took courage" by this prophecy to do more for God.

Just a reminder from Fee & Stuart: the Chronicler is writing during the tumultuous time of the return of the Jewish people from exile in Persia. It appears that in relaying the above history, he is also trying to encourage the Jews who have returned to their land and are trying to rebuild their community (literally and figuratively). Put yourself in the position of a Jewish person who has returned to Judah from Persian exile and who needs to be reminded of the faithfulness of God. The above message holds great promise.

Unfortunately, 2 Chronicles 16 goes on to explain how Asa fell away from God. The reality is that we are human, and our desire for self is constantly getting in the way of our desire for God. Asa is no exception, but we can learn from his example.

"Check out" more new books in our library!

  • "Pictures of the Heart" series by Tracie Peterson (#1 & #2)
  • Break of Day by Colleen Coble (#3 in the "Annie Pederson" series)
  • Must Love Flowers by Debbie Macomber

Anyone in our church family is welcome to check out books from the library. The library is generally open during office hours (except for scheduled meetings in the library - see calendar) and when the church is open for services.

To our church family,

We are so grateful to our church family for the food, cards, calls, and friendship you gave Eddie over the years. Your prayers meant so much to us. You truly showed your love. His spirit is with God, and he is no longer suffering. Thank you to Travis for a beautiful service and for Whitney's support. We appreciate the beautiful flower sent by the church. We will never forget your support and kindness. Remember his smile.

Love, Linda Kingery and Family

September 2023 Calendar