The Witness
Volume 39, Issue 42
October 20, 2021
Reminder: Called Business Meeting Tonight
The Pastor Search Committee will be presenting their candidate for the Associate Pastor of Youth and Missions at our Called Business Meeting tonight at 6:15 PM.  The committee will share their journey through the process, and the candidate will have an opportunity to speak. A time will be provided for questions and answers.

We will have another Called Business Meeting Sunday, October 31st at the conclusion of our combined worship service to vote on the recommended candidate.
"Water Flow"
When Whitney and I traveled to the Holy Land about twelve years ago, some of our favorite sites were the bodies of water we visited. The largest was the Mediterranean Sea, which we saw first after landing in the metropolis of Tel Aviv. Some of the most breathtaking views could be found on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It was there that Jesus called two sets of brothers, Peter and Andrew, James and John, to be his disciples. It was there that Jesus calmed a storm and walked across the water. It was at the Sea of Galilee that Jesus’ disciples experienced the presence of their resurrected Lord, who called to them from the shore and invited them to breakfast.

Our group also visited the Jordan River. The body of water Joshua and the Israelites had to cross in order to enter the Promised Land; the river Jesus entered for baptism. It was a high and holy moment to stand in those waters. The last major body of water we visited was the Dead Sea. This is a salt lake located in the Jordan Rift Valley, which is just east of Israel. Its shores are the lowest land-based elevation on earth, and its water contains almost ten times the salt content of the ocean. The Dead Sea is so salty that its water feels more like gel than liquid, making it impossible for swimmers to sink. The land around the Dead Sea is rocky and sandy; there are no trees, and very little plant-life. It is a hot, dry, barren desert.

When I consider these bodies of water, I am reminded of an image offered by pastor and scholar, Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D. According to Dr. McMickle, one of the major differences between these bodies of water is what they produce. Draining off the mountains of Lebanon, rainwater flows into the Sea of Galilee. From the Sea of Galilee, this water flows into the Jordan River, which in turn, nourishes the land around it. Both the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee are surrounded by fertile soil, a variety of trees and vegetation, as well as acres upon acres of crops and farmland. But the land that surrounds the Dead Sea, which is less than 100 miles from the Sea of Galilee, is empty and desolate. There are no trees or farmland, wildlife and vegetation are scarce.

According to Dr. McMickle, the reason the land that surrounds these bodies of water is so vastly different is water flow. The Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River are nothing but a conduit for the water that flows off the mountains. Not only do they provide a place for this water to flow in, but they also serve as a pathway for this water to flow out. As a result, the land that surrounds them is nourished and able to thrive. However, the water that flows into the Dead Sea has nowhere else to go. Without the ability to flow out, the water in the Dead Sea stops, sits, and stagnates. Consequently, so too does the land that surrounds it.

Jesus was the perfect conduit for God’s presence. Through him, the presence of God flowed into human history and out into the world. Everywhere he went, people were nourished and healed by the power of God’s Holy Spirit that flowed into them from the life and words of Christ. Jesus lived his life not as a destination, but a conduit for God’s Spirit to flow into a human life, and out into the world.

As Christ’s followers and church, we must consider whether we are a conduit or a destination. Do we provide a pathway for God’s Spirit to pass through and flow out into the world? Or are we a destination—a place where God’s Spirit flows in, stops, and sits? In order to determine whether the bodies of water in Israel are a conduit or a destination, look no further than the land that surrounds them. I think the same can be true for us. When we consider the land that surround us—our relationships and interactions with others—is it full of fruit and life? Or are there some hot, dry, deserted places that need to be healed? Just as water must continue to be in motion, flowing in and out, so too must the Spirit of God. Like the Jordan River and Sea of Galilee, may we be a pathway for the healing waters of God’s presence to flow into us, and then out from us to nourish the land that surrounds us.  
-- Travis
Worship this Sunday, October 24th
This Sunday's sermon is "I Will Give You Keys"; the scripture reference is Matthew 16:13-20. We look forward to seeing you at 8:45 or 11:00 AM. If you choose to worship virtually, please access our livestream through our website or FB live. Sunday School is at 9:50 AM, and we have classes for everyone.
Preteens Event
Students in third - fifth grades are invited to meet us at church this Sunday, October 24th at 4:00 PM. We will take the church bus to Layman Farm. We plan to return by 6:00 PM. Cost is $15 (covers admission and activities).
A Higher Note
Jane Greene Goforth has traveled extensively throughout the United States for the past 30 years encouraging Christian believers in music and comedy. Jane started singing with the “Speer Family” in the 80’s then moved into solo ministry. While with the “Speer Family” she was awarded a Grammy, among other awards and accolades. Jane was once described as a comedian who also sings! She says she never really thought of herself as a comedian, but just in life itself, no matter how bad it might get, she looks for the humor in it. Proverbs 17:22 tells us, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."

Jane believes that laughter is truly like medicine that comes straight from the Lord. Jane draws much of her humor from her own life experiences. She has three grown children and three grandsons. Her antics as she travels, her children and new grandchildren provide much of her current comedic material. Her hope is to uplift the hurt and broken and point them toward Jesus. Please help to make her welcome on Sunday, November 7, as she shares with us during both morning services that day.
This Sunday the VBC Youth Choir is singing at both services. Choir members, please arrive 10 minutes early so we can get our seating all set up. Due to Fields of Faith, Halloween and Fall Retreat, rehearsals for Youth Choir will resume on Sunday, November 14. This Sunday is our Youth Choir “Meals to Go” fundraiser. Those who still need tickets can see me, as I have a few remaining for purchase.
We have received a generous donation of 30 bird houses built by Charlie Chattin to be used to raise funds for the Youth Choir Mission Trip 2022. Each of the bird houses will be $20. There are a couple of samples to see and purchase at the Welcome Center outside the sanctuary. 
-- Chris
Trunk or Treat Next Wednesday Evening
Invite your friends,
family, and neighbors!!
Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to host a trunk! We are hoping for a great community turnout, and we would love to have a few more trunks decorated. Please call the church office or simply click here to sign up to host a trunk if you haven't already; the deadline to sign up is this Sunday, 10/24. We will have our usual Wednesday night dinner prior to this event, but there will be no other regularly scheduled Wednesday night activities.

We also still need candy for this event. If you can't host a trunk, perhaps you could donate some candy. Please turn in your donations at the Missions Tables by this Sunday. Look for the tub marked "Trunk or Treat." Thank you!!!
Bible in a Year Reading
Read this week:
The Old Testament: 1 Kings 20-22; 2 Kings 1-4
The New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 3-5; 2 Thessalonians
Old Testament Prophecy: Daniel 1-8
Psalms: Psalms 106-116

Meditate: 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Prayer: “Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.” -Columba of Iona
-- Whitney
Thrive Student Ministry
Upcoming Dates:
  • TODAY! October 20th- Permission slips and payment due for Fall Retreat- Cost is $70. Money and forms must be turned in to attend! See Whitney with any questions!
  • Sunday, October 24th- Fall Retreat Leaders and Chaperones Meeting- After 11:00am service (~12:15pm)
  • Sunday, October 24th– Fields of Faith at Northside High - Meet at the church at 4:30pm to take the church bus to Fields of Faith featuring Emilie McCaskill as one of the speakers! Bring money for dinner on the way. We will plan to stop at Chipotle for dinner.
  • FALL RETREAT- November 5-7th at Camp Bethel - Our theme is Called2Follow: Examining who Jesus is and why we should follow. The trip is $70, which is due today. Sign up in the youth room or see Whitney!
  • Students, be sure to join our GroupMe group “VBC Thrive” for updates and announcements!
  • Parents, download the VBC App (Vinton Baptist Church VA). If you have not received an invitation or your channel is not working, please contact Whitney or Kim! You should be receiving regular menu and schedule updates at this point. You will need to sign up for an account through the Vinton Baptist App to join the group. This will ensure privacy protection.
Youth Choir Fundraiser
Reminder: If you purchased a meal from the Youth Choir “Meal to Go” fundraiser, be sure to pick it up this Sunday, October 24th between 10:45 am and 12:30 pm from the church kitchen. Chris has a few tickets left if you still need one. This is a wonderful way to support the choir and their future mission projects in 2022.
Wednesday Night Dinners & Activities
We hope you'll join us for our Called Business Meeting, Children's Choirs, and Youth Bible Study after dinner tonight. Following is the final dinner menu for October: October 27th - Battered Fish Portions, Seasoned Wedges, Superfoods Slaw, & Dessert. Ice tea, lemonade, & water are available every Wednesday. $6/adult, $5/child (ages 4-12), children < 4 are free, max per household is $18. Sign up by calling the church office at 540-343-7685 no later than 5 PM the day prior to dinner. We cannot take late registrations.
Fifth Sunday, October 31st
Plan to join us October 31st for our special morning schedule: 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM One Combined Worship Service, Called Business Meeting at the conclusion of worship, then lunch following our meeting. The menu: Baked Potatoes with Fixings, Salad, Chili, Assorted Desserts, Tea, & Coffee. Plan now to join us. Everyone is invited!!
JOY Seniors Events
October 21st: For those who have signed up for the Luray trip, departure will be 7:00 AM from the VBC parking lot, and approximate return will be 6:00 PM.

October 26th: Our October luncheon will include Fall Festival games and a boxed lunch from Chef Claytor's Dream on a Plate. Please sign up and pay in the Welcome Center by Friday, October 22nd. Cost of the boxed lunch is $10. Plan to join us in the gym at noon, or come early and start the fellowship. Tomorrow is the deadline to sign up and pay.

November 3rd: Sign up for the Senior Fun & Health Fair Day at the Salem Civic Center, with lunch at Famous Anthony's in Salem. Your only cost is your lunch, and we plan to depart the church parking lot at 9:30 AM.

November 18th: Ikenberry Orchard & Heritage Market day trip, with lunch at Cracker Barrel. Lunch is your only cost, and we will depart at 9:00 AM.
Keeping Our Children Safe on the
 Social Media Highway
We are hosting a community event Wednesday, November 3rd at 6:15 PM in the gym (in lieu of Adult Bible Study). Nancy Hans from the Prevention Council of Roanoke County will have an informative presentation for parents of children and youth about keeping your children safe in the age of social media. If you have an elementary, middle, or high school student, please plan to attend. Invite your friends and neighbors to this free event. Nursery is provided, and both Children’s Choirs and Youth Bible Study will run concurrently. 
Deacon Nominations
Deacon nomination forms are available at the Welcome Center. Please take time to complete a form, sign it, and drop it in the box provided at the Welcome Center. Forms are due by November 7th.
2021 Christmas Marketplace
Fundraiser for Passport Camps
Mark your calendars for December 5th from 1:00-4:00pm, when the VBC Youth and Children will be hosting a Christmas Marketplace fundraiser for Passport Camp. Join us to spend the afternoon checking off your Christmas shopping list!

Are you a crafter, artist or vendor who would like to set up a booth? Click here for all the details on reserving your vendor space!
Jack Lipscomb
1549 South Pacific Drive
Vinton VA 24179-1421
October 17, 2021:
8:45 AM
In person - 147
Online - 75
11:00 AM
In person - 144
Online - 90
Sunday School - 205
Christian sympathy is extended to Joan White and family in the death of her daughter Donna's husband, Michael Phillips; to Terry & Angie Kelly and family in the death of his father, Frank Kelly; and to Joy & Butch Wright and family in the death of her brother, Joe White of Culpeper, VA.
Operation Christmas Child
The November 7th deadline for Operation Christmas Child is fast approaching! We need the following:
  • empty shoeboxes
  • items to go in shoeboxes (see list below)
  • and money to help pay for shipping costs.
Click here for a video with more information about this important ministry.

There are wrapped boxes now available at the Missions Tables for you to pick up and fill with goodies for children in need worldwide; please also pick up a brochure with your box for the boy/girl labels. Items to include in shoeboxes (or donate for us to pack in extra shoeboxes): school supplies, toothbrushes, bar soap, wash cloths, combs, balls, crayons, yo-yos, jump ropes, trucks, cards, dolls, stuffed animals, etc. Older children like deflated soccer balls with a pump included. Flashlights with extra batteries are also great. We CANNOT include candy, food, toothpaste, lotions, vitamins, or any type of liquid. Items to go in shoeboxes are needed as soon as possible. Please return filled shoeboxes no later than November 7th. Questions? Contact Darlene McCaskill.
October Book Club
I hope you are enjoying Kate Bowler’s No Cure for Being Human.

a blessing for when there's no cure for being human

God, I feel it again, the burden of being human, and the fact that nothing will exempt us from the pain of it.

wherever you go, you bear yourself, and always find yourself.
(-Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, transl. Leo Shirley-Price, 1952.)

blessed are we, Your human creatures,
with mind and soul and spirit bounded in flesh and bone,
struggling in the seeming conspiracy against progress,
against the perfection that our minds can grasp and our hearts long for.

God, how we yearn for the completion of all things.
and we try, oh how we try to hurry it along
with our self-help elixirs,
slurries with a touch of truth and a handful of goodness, enough to be effective, for awhile.
the gospel of hustle, or of positivity, or peloton

but then life happens and we realize all over again that we are human, frail and finite,
and that there’s no cure for that, despite illusory promises that say otherwise.
this is where we live, in this reality.

come help us in our humanity. help us enjoy all the beauty that is here, the sweetness that comes to us unbidden. the light that gives us eyes to see.
it’s not all up to us, thank heaven.

-Kate Bowler, A Blessing for When There is No Cure for Being Human

Happy reading!
Children's Volunteers Are Needed
Children's Worship volunteers are needed 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 for October and November).
Blood Drive
An American Red Cross Blood Drive is being held at the Vinton Moose Lodge tomorrow from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM. It is sponsored by the Sassy Sisters. The need for blood is critical at this time. If you can donate, please make an appointment by calling 1-800-733-2767.
Volunteer for the DASH
The Rescue Mission of Roanoke is in need of folks to help with a number of tasks surrounding The Drumstick Dash, both on Thanksgiving Day and the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Volunteer roles include things like packet pickup, race course setup, course marshals, crowd control, post-race clean up, etc. Please click here for more specific information and/or to sign up.
Many thanks to my church family for the special Fall Gift Bag for the Homebound that Pat Barton and Jeanie Patterson delivered to me last week. I did so enjoy their visit and all of the little gifts in the bag. Most of all, I appreciated being remembered. I love you all.
-- Peggy Stovall
Thanks so much for the Fall gift Bag delivered to me and especially to those responsible for this project!
-- Karen Musselwhite