The Witness
Volume 40, Issue 14
April 6, 2022
Wednesday Night Activities
For tonight's Adult Bible Study, Travis continues his series on "Voices in the Early Church," and the scripture is Philemon 8-16. Dinner, children's choirs, youth group, and adult choir rehearsals continue, as usual.

There will be no Wednesday night dinner or other activities next Wednesday (please see the Holy Week schedule below).
"A Prayer of Indifference"
Most of us would not consider indifference to be a good quality. By definition, indifference is the lack of interest, to show little to no concern, or the quality of mediocrity. To say that we are indifferent about something is often another way of saying that we do not care about it. Either the topic is of little interest to us, or the outcome of a decision is of little significance. Indifference can also signify the absence of effort. When something is of little concern or importance to us, we usually do not work very hard for it. If we are indifferent about our job, we are unlikely to do our best. If we are indifferent about a decision, we are unlikely to spend a lot of time or energy making our choice. If we are indifferent about a person, we are unlikely to have a close, meaningful relationship with them.

And yet, according to Ruth Haley Barton in her book Sacred Rhythms, indifference is essential to the spiritual discipline of discernment. Barton says the practice of discernment is a quality of attentiveness to God’s heart. Just as David was a “man after God’s own heart,” discernment is our persistent and intentional effort to know God’s heart, and seek after the things that are closest to God’s heart. The more we are attentive to God, the more familiar we become with God’s voice—the tone, quality, and content—just as we become familiar with the voice of someone we know well. As Jesus described, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).” Discernment is a way of looking at all of life from God’s viewpoint; it is the ability to sense the movement of God’s spirit, and the willingness to abandon ourselves in response.

According to Barton, discernment begins with a prayer of indifference. After the angel told Mary she would give birth to the Messiah, she offered a prayer of indifference by declaring: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word (Luke 1:38).” Through this prayer, Mary revealed that she was willing to accept anything God’s will required of her life. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed a prayer of indifference. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done (Luke 22:42).” Through this prayer, Jesus revealed that he was indifferent to anything but God’s will. Though he openly and honestly expressed his desire to live, his greatest desire was to unite his heart with God’s heart, his will with God’s will. In order accomplish this, Jesus had to become indifferent to his own will; he had to develop a lack of interest for his own interests; he had to demonstrate little to no concern for his own desires.

In response to Jesus’ presence at the Jordan River, John the Baptist assumed a posture of indifference by stating, “He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).” If we want more of God in our lives, we must have less of ourselves. A prayer of indifference does not disregard our own needs, but it does ensure they are secondary to the primacy of God’s needs. Jesus explained it this way: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24).” Denying oneself requires us to develop an indifference to our own concerns; it is a quality that prioritizes God’s interests above all else. By choosing indifference, Mary became the mother of the Messiah and John was given the honor of baptizing him. Through a prayer of indifference, Jesus defeated death and saved the world. If we will have the courage to begin offering God prayers of indifference, what might God be able to do through us as he increases and we decrease?
-- Travis
This Sunday, April 10th
Please join us for worship this Palm Sunday! We will have a palms processional from our children, and we'll also enjoy a Palm Sunday Musical - the first one since COVID began! The musical is entitled "The Body of Christ," and will include an orchestra. It will be performed at both morning worship services. Travis' meditation this week is "Crisis of Peace," and the scripture reference is Luke 19:36-42.

Parents, please note: Children who wish to participate in the palms procession this Sunday need to meet in the church library before the worship service begins. See Sarah with any questions.
Wednesday Women
Wednesday Women's Bible Study will begin again April 27th, 10:00 - 11:30 AM in the small dining room. This session will explore the second season of The Chosen, as well as take a deeper dive into the Sermon on the Mount. Please sign up in the church office and make note if you would like for us to order your book ($14/each).
Thrive Student Ministry
DNow Weekend is here! We are looking forward to a weekend of worship, Bible study, mission projects, and lots of fun! We will explore being a light in the darkness, based on John 1:5. Please pray for our students and leaders to experience an impactful and meaningful weekend!

Mission Trip to Charleston, SC - A few spots remain for our Charleston Mission Trip. Join us on April 24th at 4:00 PM for an informational session about the week! Click here for trip details and participation form.

Wednesday Nights at 6:15 PM: We will continue in our study on worship leadership. Students will be learning how to write prayers and litanies, as well as the different elements of worship. Tonight, we will be preparing for roles in DNow worship.
Holy Week Schedule
Wednesday, April 13th - No activities.

Thursday, April 14th - You're invited to join us for a Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service, including communion, beginning at 7:00 PM. We will walk through the Last Supper and the events leading to Jesus' crucifixion.

Friday, April 15th - Good Friday.

Sunday, April 17th - EASTER! Come worship the resurrected Christ with us! We encourage you to bring flowers from your gardens to decorate our Easter cross.
The Dr. Charlie J. Lovelace, III Memorial College Scholarship
Attention: High School Seniors! Applications for the $1,000 Lovelace Scholarship are due next Monday, April 11th.
JOY Seniors
Crystal Springs Steam Pump Tour Tuesday, April 12th. We will depart VBC at 9:00 AM and will have lunch at The Roanoker. Your only cost is your lunch. Sign up today!

JOY Seniors Luncheon April 26th at noon in the gym. Lunch is $10/each from Canteen. Sign up at the JOY Seniors table and make your lunch selection by April 20th.

Morehead City, NC trip May 10-12, including various museums, tours, and other opportunities. Roundtrip motor coach transportation is provided by Abbott bus. See the JOY Seniors brochure for details, and sign up at the JOY Seniors table.
Joan Williamson
805 Ruddell Road
Vinton VA 24179-2140
Easter Offering
This year's Easter Offering will be equally split between the following two ministries:
  • VBC Blessing Box - The Blessing Box is the large, red, plastic box located in the edge of the Breezeway. Several times per week, the box is stocked with nonperishable food items and various toiletries for folks to come by and take what they need from the box. This ministry operates independently of the Food Pantry and does not share any Food Pantry funding. It is an alternative for individuals who cannot get to the Food Pantry during its designated hours, or who might need items in between Food Pantry visits. This local ministry has become important in meeting the needs of our community.
  • BGAV Ukrainian Relief - The BGAV is collecting funds, which are being channeled through the European Baptist Federation, to meet the needs of Ukrainians through established partners. The BGAV has asked for both financial and prayer support for these efforts. Please click here for a video explaining how your gifts help. This national relief effort shares the love of Christ to a hurting, war-torn world.
Please extend a warm welcome to Christiaan Sowers, who joined by profession of faith March 27th, and his sister Hannah Sowers, who joined by profession of faith April 3rd. Christiaan was baptized this past Sunday, and Hannah is scheduled to be baptized Easter Sunday. Their address is 799 Camp North Road, Salem VA 24153. Christiaan and Hannah, welcome to Vinton Baptist Church!
Can You Help?
Please sign up to help out in Children's Worship and/or the Nursery. We need volunteers every Sunday. Click here for the sign-up sheet, with dates available through May.
Pillows on Patrol
Thanks to all who have already supported this project by making pillows and blankets, as well as donating new fleece blankets. We have 8 pillow kits remaining and would love to have those finished up this month. Pillow kits DO require a sewing machine. Please pick up your kit(s) and other supplies at the Missions Tables. The deadline to return all completed projects is April 24th. All pillows and blankets are donated to local police officers to give to children they encounter in officer involved calls.
Egg My Yard
We still have a few spots open for Egg My Yard (one of our fundraisers for youth and children's camps). If you have a yard that needs to be "egged" with treat-filled Easter eggs, sign up ASAP. Please click here for the registration form, which you can print, complete, and return with payment. Forms are also available at the Welcome Center. This Sunday is the FINAL deadline for signing up.

Please also note that we are collecting plastic eggs and peanut-free candy or toys to stuff into the eggs. Please drop off donations at the Missions Tables ASAP. Thanks!!
Youth Choir Mission Tour Fundraiser
We have sturdy, wooden, handmade bird houses available for sale at the Welcome Center ($20/each), with all proceeds benefitting the Youth Choir. Now is a perfect time to place a birdhouse outside and fully enjoy the spring season.
Blessing Box
Items needed for the Blessing Box: peanut butter, syrup, and paper towels. There is a plastic tub at the Missions Tables for donations. Thanks so much for supporting folks in our community through the ministry of the Blessing Box!
"Check out" these new library books!
  • Sea Glass Inn series by Julie Carobini (4 books)
  • Unwritten by Charles Martin
Many thanks for the use of the sanctuary for Norma's funeral and for the beautiful potted flower.
-- Anita Bolton

Thank you to all my friends at Vinton Baptist Church for the many cards and remembrances on my 90th birthday in February. It meant so much to me. I miss everyone very much - thanks for remembering me.
-- Peggy Page Stovall