The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 38

September 21, 2022

"Dog Training"

For the past two weeks, our family has been adjusting to our newest four-legged family member named Ozzie—named after the Atlanta Braves second baseman, Ozzie Albies. It has been quite the learning-curve for all of us. As the training modules have instructed us, “dog training is people training.” In order to effectively train Ozzie, as new pet owners, we must first allow ourselves to be trained. If we want Ozzie to be house-trained, we must be trained on how to accomplish that within him. If we want Ozzie to stop playfully nipping and biting us with those razor-sharp teeth, we must be trained on how to respond to this common behavior in puppies. In short, our ability to train Ozzie will be determined by our ability to be trained. This means that our response to training will determine how we respond to Ozzie, and ultimately how he responds to us.

I think the same is true for our faith. As Christians, we are trained through the rituals of our faith—worship, Bible study, prayer, service opportunities, tithing, etc. In a broader sense, all of these disciplines fall under discipleship—the official term for Christian training. Discipleship is the process of becoming more like Christ by following the life and teachings of Jesus. At its core, discipleship is a response. Rather than a way to respond to the world, discipleship is training for how to respond to Christ in the world.

In his book, Run with the Horses, Eugene Peterson explains it this way: “Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather we come to God who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. . . . My identity does not begin when I begin to understand myself. There is something previous to what I think about myself, and it is what God thinks of me. That means that everything I think and feel is by nature a response, and the one to whom I respond is God. I never speak the first word. I never make the first move.”

Unlike dog-training, we will never be able to effectively train the world on how to respond to us, but we can train ourselves on how we will respond to the world. First, we must allow ourselves to be trained. As is the case with dog training, Christian discipleship requires two major characteristics—consistency and repetition. By consistently repeating the disciplines of our faith on a daily and weekly basis, we learn how to listen to God and how to respond to what we hear. A life of faithfulness is not found in how effectively we respond to the world; but rather, how faithfully we respond to Christ in the world. Despite our best efforts, as is the case with dog training, there will be accidents; we will get bit. At times, this world’s teeth can be razor-sharp. But with repetition and consistency, we learn how to hear and respond to a God who consistently shows up in our lives and assures us, “Take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” 

-- Travis

This Sunday, September 25th

Please plan to join us for worship this Sunday at 8:45 or 11:00 AM. Travis' sermon is, "All Things New," and the scripture is Revelation 21:1-5, 9-11, 22-27. We will have a brief Called Business Meeting at the conclusion of each morning worship service to vote on the 2022-23 Proposed Budget, which was presented at the Ministry Matters meeting September 14th. You may find a copy by clicking here. If you cannot join us in person for worship this Sunday, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

Preteen Events

*This Sunday's Preteen Event has been canceled. Following are upcoming events:

  • October 23rd we will meet at the church at 4:00 PM to head to Layman Farms on the church bus. Cost is $15.
  • November 20th we will meet at the church for regular Crew activities, 4:00 - 6:00 PM, with a meal.

Wednesday Night Activities

Our Adult Bible Study begins tonight at 6:15 PM and focuses on an exploration of our history as Baptists; the importance of Baptist freedoms, values, and principles; and how our identity as moderate Baptists equips us to create hope and unity. This study is scheduled to last 7-8 weeks and will be livestreamed on our website for those who are unable to attend in person. You can use one of the above links (website or Facebook) to access each study as it is being presented and for several weeks afterward.

Next Wednesday's dinner menu (September 28th): marinated pork loin with blueberry BBQ sauce, scalloped potatoes, seasoned greens, cold salad, bread, & dessert. Please note that all dinner reservations/cancellations must be made by 5:00 PM Monday of each week. Changes to your reservation can only be made after 5:00 PM Monday if you become sick before Wednesday evening, in which case we ask that you contact us as soon as possible. This year's dinner pricing is $7/adult (13 years and older); $5/child (ages 4-12); children 3 and under are free; the max per family (living in the same household) is $20. Takeout boxes are 50 cents/each.


Thrive Student Ministry

TONIGHT: We will head to the Rescue Mission's Children's Chapel at 6:00 PM and plan to return at 7:15 PM.

September 25th- Regular Sunday night schedule (Youth Praise Band at 4pm, Youth Choir at 5pm, dinner at 6pm, Extreme at 6:30pm)

Parents, can you help chaperone for various events? Click here to sign up. If you are willing to help provide snack dinners on Sunday nights from 6:00-6:30pm, please contact Ashleigh Pinion ( or Tiffaney Barrette (

Mark your calendar for Fall Retreat November 11th - 13th at Camp Wilderness Adventure!

Come see

Jeff & Sheri Easter

in Concert this

Friday, September 23rd

This is a free concert

(a love offering will be taken).

Doors open at 6 PM.

Concert begins at 6:30 PM.

JOY Seniors

The September JOY Senior Luncheon is one you don't want to miss. Our very own Butch Wright will be presenting about the History of Moonshining. He will share some of his experiences as an ATF agent as we learn about some of our local history. Plan to pack your own lunch and join us on Thursday, September 27th at noon in the gym. The JOY Council will provide ice cream; we ask you to sign up at the JOY Senior table so we know how much ice cream to have on hand.

The JOY Seniors will go to the Attic Theater to see "Steel Magnolias" Saturday, October 15th, departing VBC at 1:30 PM. The play will be followed by dinner at Bellacino's. The cost of the trip is $12 plus your dinner. It's not too late to sign up!

The October JOY Senior Luncheon is going on the road! We will visit Heritage Family Market and Ikenberry Orchards Tuesday, October 25th, with lunch at Cracker Barrel. The cost is only what you spend. Departure is 9:15 AM.

Make plans now to attend Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theater's Christmas Spectacular Sunday, November 13th. We will leave VBC at 11:15 AM, so we encourage everyone to attend the 8:45 AM service. The cost of $62 includes transportation, show, lunch, tax, and tip. Please sign up by Wednesday, October 12th so that we can give a head count to Wohlfahrt Haus.

Science & the Bible for Youth & Parents

Wally Mayo will be leading a study on October 2nd and 9th during Extreme (Sundays @ 6:30 PM) on Science & the Bible. Wally will present a dynamic study on how science and the Bible can go hand in hand. He will explore questions related to creation, the universe, and God's time and existence. This time will help students feel strengthened in their faith and confident in God's role in our scientific world. Parents are welcome to attend, as well! Wally will be leading a session for adults in the spring and for college/young adults in the summer.

Mark Your Calendars for Trunk-or-Treat!

This year's Trunk-or-Treat is scheduled for Wednesday evening, October 26th. The Family Life & Rec Team will plan and coordinate games. We'll have face painting and balloon animals. We'll also have a contest for the best dressed trunk/theme! Click here to register your trunk and specify your theme.

Starting this Sunday, we are also collecting candy for this event. We need the following: Starburst; Dum-Dums; Smarties; mini candy bars (like Milky Way, Hersheys, Twix, Kit Kat, Reese's, etc.); Halloween-themed gummy snacks; and salty treats (cheese puffs, pretzels, etc., in individual bags). Please turn in all donations at the Missions Tables.

Lillie Johnston

Clearview Manor #402

1150 Vinyard Road

Vinton VA 24179

Thank you to the Esther Sunday School Class for their donation to College Care Packages.

Thank you to the Fellowship/Berean Class for their donation to the Community Assistance Fund.

WMU Mission Projects

June - August 2022

$ 30.00        VBC Vacation Bible School plus needed supplies

$ 60.00        Keystone Community Center to send 1 child to camp at Ward Haven

$ 25.00        Boys & Girls Club

$ 25.00        Alma Hunt State Missions in honor of Alice Lackey

$ 50.00        Salvation Army Turning Point

$150.00    Project Forward to provide 5 children with tennis shoes & socks

Keystone Community Center - school supplies plus 15 back packs

Visits and cards to shut-ins


Envelopes for the Alma Hunt State Missions Offering are in your box of church envelopes, and also in the pews. Our church goal is $2,200.00. Please help our church reach this goal.

College Care Packages

Deadline: this Sunday, September 25th. We are collecting the following items for college care packages for our undergraduate students: popcorn, gummies, hard candy (no peanut butter or chocolate), Slim Jims, granola bars, gum, ramen noodles, hot chocolate packets, Fruit Rollups, and fruit snacks. Please drop items in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables by Sunday, September 25th. Monetary donations are also being accepted and will assist with the cost of mailing care packages; please mark your donations for "college care packages." Thanks!

Note to parents of undergrad students: please call Patsy in the church office (540-343-7685) or email Joanna Williamson with your student's name and current address. We want to make sure that we include everyone, and we want to fully update our list of students.

Christian sympathy is extended to Jackie & Jeff McFalls and family in the death of her mother, Elizabeth "Betty" Wilkerson on September 18, 2022; and to Tim Rader and Eric Rader and families in the death of mother and grandmother Eddie Mae Rader on September 20th.

Fall RVBA Meeting

Several messengers were elected during our Ministry Matters meeting to represent VBC at the Fall RVBA Meeting to be held October 25th at Melrose Baptist Church. There is room to have additional messengers attend, as well. If you are interested, please contact the church office at 540-343-7685. The Fall Meeting includes a dinner, workshops, business, discussion regarding Ward Haven, and reports from local ministries.

Congratulations to Logan & Maddee Gibbs Harrison in the birth of Baylor Laine on September 15th, weighing 7 lbs., 3 ozs. and measuring 21" long. Proud grandparents are William & Sharon Gibbs, and great grandparents are Galen & Laura Conner.

Congratulations also to Logan & Alison Stultz Conner in the birth of Reba Lynn on September 17th, weighing 8 lbs., 2.2 ozs. and measuring 21-1/2" long. Proud grandparents are Brian & Leigh Anne Conner and Gary & Gloria Sultz; proud great grandmother is Becky Conner.

Sign Up for Children's Worship or Nursery

We need YOUR help in Children's Worship and Nursery! Please click here for the current sign-up sheet. If you have questions about what's required, contact Sarah.

Blessing Box: Updated Requests

Items most recently requested for the Blessing Box are as follows: Spaghetti O's, spaghetti in cans, potted meat, muffin mixes, any type of fruit in cans/individual containers, baked beans, canned pinto beans. Items can be dropped off at the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables. Monetary donations are always accepted; please mark your donation payable to Vinton Baptist with "Blessing Box" in the memo line. Thanks!

Operation Christmas Child

Our Operation Christmas Child volunteers have already been wrapping empty shoeboxes for this year's shoebox season! There are wrapped boxes at the Missions Tables that are ready to be stuffed (along with brochures). You will also find at the Missions Tables a list of requested items for packing extra shoeboxes. If you would like to help wrap empty boxes, come to room 102 on Tuesdays or Thursdays, 10 AM - noon. If you have empty shoeboxes to donate, drop them at the Missions Tables or contact Darlene McCaskill (540-890-6748) so that she can arrange to pick up your empty boxes.

Coat Collection Drive

Our Happy Hearts group will be collecting new or gently used coats for students in our local schools, ages kindergarten through high school, starting in October. Please bring your donation to the Missions Tables next month to help us keep kids in our community warm this winter!

Kroger Community Rewards

Do you shop at Kroger? Do you use a Kroger Shopping Card? Do you know that you can support Vinton Baptist simply through doing your weekly grocery shopping?

Here's how it works: if you have not yet done so, please create an online Kroger account and use it to link your Kroger Shopping Card with Vinton Baptist Church (organization number YV421). As you purchase groceries, a portion of your total is earmarked for Vinton Baptist, and Kroger will send us a quarterly check. This program costs you nothing additional; it is Kroger's way of supporting its communities. If you have questions or need help linking your card, call the church office at 540-343-7685; if you already have an online account, we will need your login info in order to help you link your card. You can also click here for additional information from the Kroger website.

Amazon Smile

Did you know that you can support Vinton Baptist Church simply through your Amazon shopping account? Instead of using the regular Amazon website/app, use instead. You will log in at this site using the same credentials you currently use for Amazon. When you log in at Amazon Smile, you will be prompted to enter a charitable organization of your choice. Just search for "Vinton Baptist" and make sure to select the Vinton Baptist Church in Vinton, VA (there are two that show up in Amazon's list - either one of them will benefit our church). Then you can do your usual Amazon shopping through the website, and VBC will receive proceeds totaling .5% of your purchases, at no additional cost to you. If you have questions, the Amazon Smile website provides most information that you will need. Or give us a call in the church office (540-343-7685) and we'll do our best to help you, as well. It's a great way to support your church while simply doing your usual online shopping!

September 2022 Calendar