The Witness

Volume 41, Issue 8

February 22, 2023

This Sunday @ VBC

This Sunday, February 26th, we are looking forward to hosting Nick Meyer as our Missionary Speaker. Nick serves as a prison chaplain at Coffeewood Correctional Facility, a level 2 men’s correctional facility in Mitchells, VA.

Virginia is unique in that its State Constitution (with its strong emphasis on the separation of church and state) does NOT allow taxpayer monies to be used to provide or support chaplains or religious programming/ministry in state facilities. Thus, GraceInside was formed in 1920 for the specific purpose of placing qualified, caring chaplains into state prisons. GraceInside has gone from one chaplain serving in one state prison to now 30 chaplains serving in the state’s 30 major prison facilities. GraceInside reaches and ministers to approximately 25,000 incarcerated men and women in state prisons across the Commonwealth.

GraceInside’s chaplains are required to have a Masters of Divinity, a minimum of one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, ordination, and denominational endorsement. Fifty one percent of the funding for GraceInside chaplains is through the generous support of churches, denominational partners, and individuals. GraceInside’s chaplains are dedicated to meeting the spiritual needs of all residents of Virginia’s state prisons. These chaplains provide one-on-one pastoral care, conduct worship services and work with the Department of Corrections staff in offering rehabilitative programs. Chaplains are also responsible for scheduling all religious programs conducted by volunteers representing many faith traditions.


Jesus commanded us in Matthew 25 to care for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned. Nick Meyer and his fellow chaplains at GraceInside spend their life vocation ministering to those often forgotten or dismissed, finding ways to share God’s love and hope to those in our prison systems. Join us this Sunday as we hear about his incredible ministry, the challenges he faces, and the way God is at work in the lives of those in prison. 

In addition to hearing from Nick Meyer in both worship services this Sunday, we will also enjoy the VBC Handbell Choir. If you cannot join us in person, tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

We hope you'll also join us for Sunday School at 9:50 AM. If you don't currently attend Sunday School and you're not sure which class would be best for you, give us a call in the church office at 540-343-7685 during the week and we'll help you get plugged in.

Show Your Support for Blair!

As many of you know, Blair Rives has been undergoing rigorous chemotherapy. February is her birthday month, and we want to show her some extra love and support! This Sunday, February 26th, we ask that everyone wear their "Team Blair" t-shirts in support of Blair and her family. If you have not yet ordered a t-shirt and would like to do so, click here. There are several colors and styles available. All proceeds go directly to Blair and her family.

Tonight's Events: Ash Wednesday

Reminder: today is Ash Wednesday. Join us tonight for dinner (5:30 PM for those who signed up), Youth Missions Group (6:00 PM), Adult Bible Study (6:15 PM - on Psalm 123), Children's Choirs (6:15 PM), and adult choir rehearsals (usual times). Adult Bible Study will be livestreamed through our website and on Facebook. It will also finish up a little early so that we can observe Ash Wednesday and the imposition of ashes. Parents, you will have time to receive your ashes and still pick up your child from Children's Choirs.

Following are our upcoming March menus:

  • March 1st - sausage gravy & biscuits, fruit, and a side
  • March 8th - stuffed green peppers, buttered potatoes, green beans, bread, & dessert
  • March 15th - chicken alfredo, broccoli, bread, & dessert
  • March 22nd - French toast, eggs, sausage, & fruit

Please be sure to make or change dinner reservations by calling the church office (540-343-7685) by 5:00 PM the Monday prior to dinner. Dinner costs are $7/adult (ages 13+), $5/child (ages 4-12), children 3 and under are free, and the max per family (living in the same household) is $20. First-time guests are complimentary.

JOY Seniors

This Friday, February 24th is the deadline to sign up and pay for our next luncheon on Tuesday, February 28th at noon in the gym. Our menu is grilled chicken sandwich, pasta salad, chips, dessert, & water. Our program is presented by Gerri Wade on the History of Virginia Indians. The cost for lunch is $10/person. We hope you'll plan to join us. Come early for fellowship!

Looking Ahead:

A trip to Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest is planned for Thursday, March 23rd. The cost of the tour is $15, plus lunch on your own at Liberty Station. We will depart VBC at 9 AM.

A Greenbrier tour is planned for Thursday, April 20th. We will have a private, guided tour of the bunker and interior of the Greenbrier. This tour is $60, plus lunch on your own at Cook's Country Kitchen.

Our first overnight trip of 2023 will be to Lancaster, PA May 9 - 11 to see the Sight & Sound production of "Moses." We will also enjoy a ride on the Strasburg Railroad through Amish Country, visit Landis Valley Farm & Museum, enjoy a dinner/show, and shop at the Farmer's Market. Pricing can be found at the JOY Senior table, and a payment plan can be set up (see Mary Kendrick).

Join us October 17 - 20 for a trip to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. This trip will also include a riverboat dinner cruise on the Ohio River. Find more details, including pricing, at the JOY Senior table. Payment plans are available (see Mary Kendrick).

Thrive Student Ministry

We plan to have all our usual Sunday evening Youth activities this week.

March 5th is Youth Sunday!

DNOW weekend (March 17th - 19th) is rapidly approaching, and it's not too late to sign up! Click here for the registration form. Cost is $60/person.

Also, mark your calendars for our Youth Mission Trip to Nashville June 18th - 23rd. Cost is $175/person. Please click here for all the details.

Youth Volleyball practices will begin in March. See Ken Williamson or Whitney with questions or to sign up. Rosters need to be turned in soon.

Passport Kids Camp

This year's Kids' Camp will be June 14th - 17th at Eagle Eyrie. It is for all 3rd - 5th graders. The total cost is $175, $75 of which is due as a deposit by March 31st. Please click here for a packet with ALL the details!

Choir "Notes"

Youth and adults planning to go on the choir trip to Niagara Falls, Canada June 3rd - 8th should try to get their passport information together and appointments made at the post office. If you have any questions or need help, see Chris. We have been able to reduce the cost of the trip to $260/person. If you plan to go and have not yet signed up or paid your deposit, please do so ASAP.

Betty English

c/o Friendship North Health & Rehab.

327 Hershberger Road NW #426

Roanoke VA 24012


Congratulations to Mrs. Geneva Dillon, who celebrated her 92nd birthday last Saturday, February 18th! Her address is PO Box 24, Daleville VA 24083.

Thank you to the Pete Creasy Class for their donation to Blair Rives and her family.

Thank you to the Fellowship/Berean Class for their donation to Boys & Girls Club.

Thank you to the Pairs & Spares Class for their donation to Boys & Girls Club.

Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club is still in need of monetary donations to purchase snacks. If you are able to support them in this way, please make checks payable to Vinton Baptist and notate "Boys & Girls Club snacks" in the memo or on your envelope. Thank you in advance for continuing to support our Boys & Girls Club!

Christian sympathy is extended to Ann Lawhorn and family in the death of her son, Timothy Lawhorn; and to Carrie Tolley and family in the death of her step-father, Richard Sink.

Blessing Box Needs:

Shampoo (any size, any kind), Spam, spaghetti sauce (any kind), and oatmeal or grits (any flavor). Donations can be dropped off at the Missions Tables.

Congratulations to Dean & Ann Cranwell in the February 17th birth of grandson Robert Allen Ormont to parents Greg & Becca and big sister Goldie Rose. Proud great grandmother is Ann Allen.

Homebound Easter Surprises

We are requesting donations of the following items to assemble Easter baskets and boxes for our Homebound folks: small tissue packs, sugar free candies, fuzzy gripper socks, large print word searches, adult coloring books & colored pencils, travel size lotion, travel size comb/brush, travel size hand sanitizer, travel size lint rollers, band aids, and 300-piece puzzles. There is a bin available at the Missions Tables to drop your donations; please turn in all donations by March 19th.

These Easter surprises will be ready to deliver to our Homebound folks by Wednesday, March 22nd. If you would be willing to deliver a few baskets/boxes, please contact the church office at 540-343-7685. Questions? See Joanna Williamson or Rita Martin.

Bible Reading Plan

I was reading through Fee & Stuart's "How to Read the Bible Book by Book" and was focusing on their commentary on these last chapters of Exodus when I had a revelation: God truly wants to exist in physical proximity and in relationship with us, his creation.

When Adam & Eve were in the garden, they literally walked and talked with God. "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, 'Where are you?'" (Gen. 3:8-9)

In these tedious verses in Exodus, where God is explaining every minute detail of the construction of the Tabernacle, he is doing so in preparation to come live with his people. The Tabernacle will be the place for his presence to dwell with his people. "As you read these instructions [Exodus 24:12 - 31:18] keep in mind the reason for their many and very precise details - that the tabernacle will be the place of God's presence among them." (Fee & Stuart, 40)

God later sends his own Son in human form to not only dwell with humanity, but to teach us, to die for us, and to be resurrected through the power of God, thereby making it possible for us to live face to face with God eternally. (Romans 5:6 - 11, 17; 1 Cor. 13:12)

When it was time for Jesus to leave this earth, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to dwell WITHIN US. (John 16:7) God just wants to be with us! What a beautiful concept!

So as you finish these last few chapters of Exodus, keep your focus on the ways God wants to dwell with his people and how the Tabernacle made that possible for the Israelites. Also, click here for some artist's renderings of the Tabernacle and its furnishings. Click here for a printable copy of our Bible reading plan.

New Books in the Library:

  • "The Fairlawn Series" by Angela Hunt (3 books)
  • "Inn at Shining Waters Series" by Melody Carlson (3 books)
  • The Orchard by Beverly Lewis

Check them out!!

February 2023 Calendar