The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 39

September 28, 2022

"A New Thing"

Last week after putting the boys to bed, I went downstairs, turned on the TV, and planned to finish watching an old James Bond movie I had started a few days earlier. Within minutes, Carter came downstairs and told me he could not sleep. Apparently, one of the kids in his class had told a scary story during recess, and he could not stop thinking about it. I told him to get one of his books for us to read to help get his mind on something else. To my surprise, he returned with Wallace Smith’s book, Baptism Ahead: A Road Map for Young Disciples, which is the book Sarah had given him for her upcoming Walk With Jesus class.

Sarah offers this six-week course twice a year to all of our third-fifth graders who are interested in baptism and would like to learn more about it. This class is not a requirement for baptism at Vinton Baptist, but we strongly urge parents of young children to bring their kids to the class so that when they are ready to get baptized, they will have a deeper understanding of what this sacrament means. Carter has been asking us if he could be a part of that class since he was in kindergarten. He was so excited this year to be old enough to participate.

That night, as he and I read the first chapter of his book, his fear turned to excitement. His questions about the scary story he had heard at school turned to questions about baptism. Most of them were practical: Do I get to wear my bathing suit? How deep is the water? Will it be cold? Will you or Mommy baptize me? Do you think Mommy will cry? After about 30-minutes, I told him it was time to go to bed. Happily, he stood up with his book, hugged me goodnight, and started to go upstairs. Just before leaving the room, he stopped, looked back at me, and with the biggest smile stretched across his face he said, “Daddy, I’m so excited about my journey with God.”

Last Sunday in worship, we discussed God’s plan of restoration through John’s vision in the Book of Revelation. As John revealed in Chapter 21, God has a plan to “make all things new.” He has a plan to restore the goodness and beauty of all creation as it was in the beginning; he has a plan to make his home with mortals once again, wipe every tear from our eyes, cast away all evil and put an end to mourning, crying, and pain. John’s vision is one of hope and assurance; a glorious future we can await with great excitement and anticipation. And yet, just as John assured us that God “will” make all things new one day, Isaiah reminds us that God “is” doing something new today. Isaiah declared: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert (Isaiah 43:19).”

John promised God’s people that God will do something new with this world; Isaiah assured God’s people that God was already doing something new within them. I think we need to be reminded of both. Through Christ, God is doing something new in all of us right now. Through the power of his unconditional love, endless grace, and transformative spirit, something new is springing up within you and me today. Through the late-night joy and excitement of Carter, I was reminded of that this week. As simple as it sounds, may we all find space this week to be “excited about our journey with God.” God is doing a new thing; it is springing up in you and me right now! Do you perceive it?

-- Travis

This Sunday,October 2nd

Please plan to join us for worship this Sunday at 8:45 or 11:00 AM. Travis' sermon is, "As It Is in Heaven," and the scripture is Revelation 22:1-7. We will observe communion this first Sunday of the month, as well. We hope that you'll also join us for Sunday School at 9:50 AM. If you cannot join us in person for worship this Sunday, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

Children's Ministry Events this Sunday

Art from the Heart and CIA are scheduled for this Sunday beginning at 4:00 PM. Please meet in the small dining room for Art from the Heart. We will offer a pizza dinner at 5:00 PM, and then CIA will begin at 5:30 PM in room 206 (the preteen Sunday School room). These programs are open to Kindergarteners through 5th graders.

Wednesday Night Activities

Our Adult Bible Study on the exploration of our Baptist identity continues tonight at 6:15 PM. We intend to broadcast through our website (if the technology will cooperate) for those who cannot attend in person. Youth Missions Group (6:00 PM) and Children's Choirs (6:15 PM) will continue, as well.

Following are our menus for October:

  • October 5th - baked spaghetti, California blend vegetables, cold salad, garlic bread, & dessert.
  • October 12th - pancakes with syrup, scrambled eggs, bacon, & fruit.
  • October 19th - fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, green beans, cold salad, bread, & dessert.
  • October 26th - baked fish with rice pilaf, broccoli, cold salad, bread, & dessert.

Please make or change your dinner reservations by 5:00 PM each Monday. 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 make homebound visits and help with College Care Packages from 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM.

October 2nd - Regular Sunday night schedule (Youth Praise Band at 4pm, Youth Choir at 5pm, dinner at 6pm, Extreme at 6:30pm).

All youth & parents are invited to Extreme October 2nd & 9th, when Wally Mayo will be presenting 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! Wally will be leading a session for adults in the spring and for college/young adults in the summer.

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!

Preteen Events: Mark Your Calendar

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.

JOY Seniors

If you are still interested in going to the Attic Theater Saturday, October 15th it is not too late to sign up. Our seats may not be together, but we can still get tickets ($12/each). If you are riding the bus, it will depart VBC at 1:30 PM. If you are driving, please be at the theater by 2:00 PM.

The JOY Senior October luncheon will be out and about! We will depart VBC at 9:15 AM October 25th, travel to Heritage Market and Ikenberry Orchard, and enjoy lunch and fellowship at Cracker Barrel. Please sign up at the JOY Senior table. The cost of this trip is only what you spend.

A preliminary count for tickets for the "Christmas Spectacular" at the Wohlfahrt Haus on November 13th is due by October 13th. If you are planning to go, please sign up and pay ($62/person - includes lunch, play, tax, tip, and transportation) at the JOY Senior table as soon as possible.

Happy Hearts has two upcoming opportunities for service:

  • We will sponsor a candy sort on Tuesday, October 18th, 10:00 AM - Noon in the small dining room, to prepare candy for Trunk-or-Treat. This is a quick and easy way to serve our church and community. Please sign up at the JOY Senior table so we will know how many stations to set up. Hope to see you there.
  • We are also collecting coats for K-12 students in our local schools during the month of October. Please bring your new and gently used, clean coats to the rack near the Missions Tables starting this Sunday. Thank you for helping us keep kids in our community warm this winter.

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.

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 in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables.

Christmas Craft & Vendor Fair

On Sunday, December 4th from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM, VBC will host a craft & vendor fair in our gym to raise funds for summer camps. If you are a vendor, please click here for vendor guidelines and the registration form. If you have questions, please contact Whitney Russell.

Bill Barrett

489 Cameron Drive

Vinton VA 24179-1913

Thank you to the LOA Sunday School class for their donation to the Community Assistance Fund.

Thank you to the Dorcas Sunday School class for their donation toward postage for College Care Packages.

Christian sympathy is extended to Ann Allen, Ann Cranwell, Katie Furbish, and Ray Allen, Jr. and families in the September 27th death of husband and father Dr. Raymond F. Allen; and to Wayne & Barbara Wray and family in the death of his cousin, Mossie Neal Wray.

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.

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! This year's deadline for filled shoeboxes is Sunday, November 6th. 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.

Requests for Boys & Girls Club

One of our Boys & Girls Club classes needs empty 2-liter bottles, empty Gatorade bottles (small or large), and lids from either Pringles cans or cans of frosting. Please drop off in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables. Thank you!

Sweet Hour of Prayer

We are nearing the last few months of the Atlantic hurricane season for 2022. It feels to me like we are at our peak. These hurricanes keep coming back-to-back. I live up on a hill where our house juts out past all of our neighbors on the back side, so we pick up the roaring wind where the other houses have the safety of their neighbors to help block the gale force gusts. Or so they feel. Sometimes after dark or in the middle of the night it just gets eerie sounding if there is a sustained wind force blowing for very long.

Life gets like that sometimes, too, doesn’t it? Often, it’s just one hard event after another. And they just keep coming! We shake our head in disbelief, wondering what’s next. We might cry out asking God what we did to cause this or what can we do to stop it. We question everything. It’s scary, it hurts, and we just don’t know when it will stop. It’s like we’re having our own private hurricane season.

In Exodus 14 when God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, it seemed chaotic and confusing for them at times. He didn’t take them on the more predictable shorter route through the Philistine country. No, He zig zagged them on the desert road toward the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his armies right on their heels! They were terrified and argued with Moses in fear.

13 “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring to you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’” (Exodus 14:13-14)

We have a Savior. We have a deliverer. Please know that in the chaos and confusion of your life you are being lifted up in prayer. While we meet to pray together on the last Thursday of each month, we pray continually for you, our church family. We invite you to join us or to let us know how we might pray specifically for you. May God bless you this month, this day, this hour as you are still while the Lord fights for you in your hurricane.

Cathy Abraham

September 2022 Calendar
October 2022 Calendar