The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 18

May 3, 2022

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"Another Word on Preservation"

Parable of the Talents

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’"

Last Sunday we began our three-part series on Jesus’ final appearances to his disciples, following his resurrection. The first of these appearances took place in the upper room. According to John, the disciples were in the upper room with the doors locked “for fear of the Jews.” They were afraid of suffering the same fate as Jesus. If the Jewish leaders and Roman Empire would condemn their leader and Lord, what would they do to Jesus’ closest disciples? In order to ensure their safety and preserve their lives, the disciples remained alone and hidden. And yet, on multiple occasions when Jesus foretold of his death, his instructions for the disciples were clear: they were to go and testify in his name (John 15:26-27). As “fishers of men,” they were called to use the gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon them to testify and bring others to Jesus. Instead, Jesus found them hidden and alone, keeping the gift of the Holy Spirit all to themselves, refusing to use this gift in the way it was intended, in order to preserve their own lives.

In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus addressed a similar situation. In preparation for an upcoming trip, a man entrusted his property to three of his servants. To each one he distributed an allotment of talents. In the ancient world, one talent was the equivalent of 3,000 shekels; one shekel was the standard wage for one day of labor. Thus, a talent was considered the heaviest and largest unit for weight and value in scripture. It would have required the average day laborer to work seven days a week for over eight years to earn the equivalent of one talent. By distributing five talents to one servant, two talents to another, and one talent to the third, the landowner had given his servants the most valuable resources he owned, riches beyond what they deserved or could have earned through their labor. His only requirement was that his servants use what he had given them to grow this gift. The first two were rewarded greatly for their efforts; the third servant was punished. He did not forget, misplace, or waste the riches of this gift in an unholy manner. Out of fear, the third servant buried it; rather than using this gift, he opted to preserve it.

In a few weeks we will celebrate Pentecost, the descending of the Holy Spirit upon all believers in Christ. By the love and grace of God, when we commit our lives to Christ, we too receive the heaviest weight of measure and most valuable gift God could give his servants—his Holy Spirit. The power of his very presence descending upon us and abiding within us. His only requirement is that we use this gift. The power and presence of God’s love and grace is not meant to be hidden, preserved, or contained within a select few. It is a gift intended to be used for the world, grown and multiplied throughout all creation. Unfortunately, we too can fall into that same mistake as the third servant in Jesus’ parable. We too can get so caught up in what we want to preserve in our lives that we forget what is supposed to be shared and grown through our lives. Like the disciples, we turn and hide from the dangers in our world, rather than allowing Christ to work through us in order to heal and restore those places in our world.

The first two servants were focused on their master; the third servant was afraid and focused on himself. When Jesus found the disciples, they too were afraid and focused on themselves, rather than on their master and his mission. They wanted to save themselves; Jesus called them to save the world. They wanted to preserve their lives; Jesus called them to be fishers of men and save the lives of others. When the first two servants in Jesus’ parable were willing to take the risks and do the work of sharing the gift they had been given, according to Jesus, their master responded with those timeless words we all hope to hear: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matthew 25:21, KJV).”  In the parable, the master’s response was determined by the way his servants responded to the talents he had given them. By the love, grace, and generosity of God, we too have been given talents. How we choose to use what we have been given will reveal our response. Through this parable, Jesus revealed that the way Jesus’ servants respond to the talents they have been given will ultimately determine the master’s response to them. How will we respond?  

-- Travis

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This Sunday, May 8th: Mother's Day

This Sunday we look forward to celebrating Mother's Day, and we're also anticipating our Child Dedications that are scheduled to take place at each morning worship service! We hope that you will join us. Travis' sermon is "Interrupting Conclusions," and the scripture reference is Luke 24:13-35. We will have a special Mother's Day bookmark (courtesy of Susan Jones and our wonderful office volunteers) available for anyone who would like one.

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Youth Choir Student/Parent Meeting

There will be a Youth Choir and parent meeting on Sunday, May 15th at 5:00 PM.  All participants going on the Youth Choir trip June 4th - 9th are encouraged to attend, as some forms will need to be filled out, trip details disclosed, and special packing items discussed.

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Wednesday Night Activities

Tonight's Adult Bible Study will continue our "Voices from the Early Church" series, and our scripture is 2 Timothy 4:1-8. Children's Choirs, Youth Group, and adult choir rehearsals will continue as usual.

Please note that our last scheduled Wednesday Night Dinner for this school year is May 18th. Following are our remaining menus for May. Please sign up for dinner by 5 PM the day prior.

  • May 11th: hot dogs with all the fixings, fresh coleslaw, tater tots, and dessert.
  • May 18th: end-of-season "Chef's Choice" smorgasbord dinner with bread and dessert.

Please also note that the last Children's Choirs, Adult Bible Study, and Youth Group for this school year will be May 11th. EVERYONE is invited to our VBC Springtime Bash Wednesday, May 18th (see below).

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Thrive Student Ministry

Wednesday Nights (through May 11th): As we enjoy the newness of spring, we will explore ways we are called to be good stewards of God's creation.

This Sunday, May 8th: Final deadline (and full payment due) to sign-up for the mission trip to Charleston, SC. Total cost for the trip is $175. See Whitney with any questions.

Summer EventsClick here for a list of EVERYTHING going on this summer in youth! We also have a sign-up sheet for parent volunteers for our summer events. Just click here to chaperone.

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Worship Arts Camp at Eagle Eyrie

Next week, the forms to register for Worship Arts Camp will be available in the church office or can be emailed to those interested.  This year there are numerous classes for students to choose from.  It is always a great week to learn about Christ through music, arts, and crafts, and grow closer as a group.

JOY Seniors: Upcoming Events

Join the JOY Seniors Tuesday, May 10th for lunch at Liberty Station in Bedford. The only cost of this trip is your lunch, and we need you to sign up at the JOY Seniors table so we can get a count for reservations. The church bus will leave at 11:00 AM; if you prefer to drive, please meet us at Liberty Station at 11:45 AM.

The May JOY Seniors Luncheon on May 24th will feature lunch by Bellacino's (your choice of 8" personal pizza, salad, cookie, and water - $10/person) and program by musician Bryan Ratliff.  The deadline to sign up and pay is May 22nd.

Catch a round trip ride on the Cass Scenic Railroad to Walker Station on Thursday, June 9th. Experience breathtaking views at the overlook at Bald Knob, West Virginia's third highest point. This JOY Seniors sponsored Abbott trip includes breakfast and boxed lunch for $85. Sign up and pay at the JOY Seniors table by Wednesday, June 1st.

The June JOY Seniors Luncheon will be Friday, June 17th here at VBC so that we can support LET'S GIVE LUNCH for Meals on Wheels.  Each boxed lunch will cost $20, which will cover both your lunch and 3 lunches for seniors in need.  Lunches include your choice of sandwich, potato salad, fresh strawberries, brownie, and water.  Entertainment will be provided by John Tillery, who will be playing various instruments.  All orders must be placed and money received by June 2nd.  Sign up at the JOY Seniors table.

Plan ahead for our September 20-22 trip to Lancaster, PA!  We will enjoy the Sight & Sound production of David, a chalk talk program, visit to the Amish Village (to include a tour of the Amish countryside), admission to Landis Valley Farm & Museum, dinner in an Amish home, and a visit to Hershey Chocolate World.  Sign-ups begin now.  You can pay for the entire trip in one lump sum or begin making payments.  This trip also includes 2 nights' lodging, 2 continental breakfasts, 1 dinner, and round trip Abbott bus transportation.  Sign up at the JOY Seniors table.


Graduation Sunday is May 22nd

If you or someone in your family is graduating from high school or college this year, please email [email protected] or call the church office at 540-343-7685 and let us know the following: name of graduate, school graduating from, any special honors, type of degree, if/where they will attend college or military service, and whether they will be able to attend worship May 22nd (and which service). Even if your graduate cannot attend May 22nd, we would still like their information so that we can recognize them in The Witness.

If your graduate will attend worship May 22nd, please have them meet Whitney in the church library at 8:15 AM (for the early service) or 10:30 AM (for the later service).    Graduates attending worship will be asked to complete a short Graduate Recognition Form upon arrival; click here if you'd like to print the form and fill it out ahead of time. Please wear your cap and gown for worship Graduation Sunday.

Please note that Vinton Baptist will host the William Byrd High School Baccalaureate Sunday evening, May 22nd.

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5TH Sunday

On May 29th, we will follow our 5th Sunday schedule, with Sunday School at 9:15 AM, one combined morning worship service at 10:30 AM, and a church-wide luncheon following worship.  More details to come soon.

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Virtual Service Only June 5th

The Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 is scheduled to race in our area Sunday, June 5th.  Washington Avenue, as well as numerous side streets, will be blocked off for the triathlon beginning Sunday morning, and thousands of spectators are expected throughout Vinton and surrounding areas. Therefore, there will be no in-person services (or any other VBC events) June 5th. Instead, a pre-recorded virtual service will be broadcast at 10:30 AM. It will be accessible on our website or through Facebook at that time, or you can watch it at a later date or time.

Save the date for


July 18-21, 2022

Registration coming soon!

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Jack Lipscomb

1549 South Pacific Drive

Vinton VA 24179-1421

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Blessing Box

The Blessing Box is in need of paper towels; peanut butter; small, individual boxes of cereal; women's body soap; and canned fruit with pop tops (pears, peaches, oranges, etc.).  Please drop items off in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables.  Thank you!

Can You Help?

Please sign up to help out in Children's Worship and/or the Nursery. We need volunteers every Sunday. The more volunteers we can secure, the more we can spread the love for both our children and volunteers. Click here for the sign-up sheet, with dates available through the end of this month.

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Boys & Girls Club

We are excited to host the Boys & Girls Club at our church for their summer session. We would love to help provide snacks for the kids this summer. Financial contributions can be made to VBC with "Boys & Girls Club" in the memo line. They would also love contributions of individually packaged, peanut-free snacks, which can be dropped in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables. Thank you!


Charity Run/Walk Events

  • Keystone 5K Walk Day - Join us Wednesday, June 8th at 9:00 AM at the Goode Park Greenway lot to walk the Keystone 5K. Sign up here for the virtual race to contribute to Keystone.
  • Four on the Fourth - On Monday, July 4th start your morning off with a race or walk to support the Boys and Girls Club. This race is one of the club's biggest fundraisers, and it begins and ends this year at the Vinton War Memorial. Sign up here and enter "Vinton Baptist Church" under team name!
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Thank you so much to anyone who contributed time, creativity, money, or love while putting the Easter boxes together. Mom was so happy to get such a bright, cheerful and useful box. We are very lucky to have such a supportive church family.

The Family of Jean McGuire

Please Note: Due to Kim's vacation schedule, as well as the virtual nature of our June 5th service, all notices for the May 25th and June 1st editions of The Witness, as well as the May 29th and June 5th bulletins, are due to Kim by noon Monday, May 23rd.  Thanks!

May 2022 Calendar