The Witness

Volume 41, Issue 4

January 25, 2023

Celebrating 40 Years

As Whitney and I were preparing to come to Vinton Baptist for our call Sunday almost five years ago, my mom reached out to one of her closest friends, Earlene, to ask for prayer. Mom told Earlene that I was going to a church in Virginia to preach and possibly be called as their new pastor. Earlene asked, “What part of Virginia?” After telling her the name of the town was Vinton, Earlene inquired, “May I ask what church in Vinton?” A bit confused as to why Earlene wanted to know the name of the church, Mom responded, “Vinton Baptist.” With the most amazed looked in her eyes, Earlene said, “Colleen, my sister has been the secretary of Vinton Baptist for over 30 years!”

Mom knew that Earlene was from Virginia; she knew Earlene had sisters that lived in Virginia. But in all their years together, they had never discussed exactly where they lived and worked in Virginia. When I met Patsy Talbert for the first time on a Thursday afternoon in May of 2018, our lives were already uniquely connected.

In the years since then, I cannot even begin to describe my gratitude and appreciation for Patsy. She is one of the pillars of Vinton Baptist and a treasured part of our church family. I am still amazed by how many people Patsy knows. When someone comes into the office, not only does she know their name, but she can tell you the names of their spouse, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, children and grandchildren. She can name their profession, where they work and live, and even some of the hobbies they enjoy. Even more importantly, she remembers when important events have taken place in their lives: their wedding anniversary, a difficult loss they’ve experienced, an upcoming surgery they have scheduled, or a significant life transition they are trying to manage.

As impressive as it is that Patsy can remember all these things, even more extraordinary is the way in which she reaches out and ministers to our church family. Whether it is stopping to listen when someone comes into the office, making a phone call, or sending a card in the mail, Patsy is constantly reaching out to our church family with care and compassion. When someone comes into the office, she greets them with a smile and warm hello; she stops what she is doing and makes herself available to listen; she goes out of her way to help them with whatever it is they need.

Patsy loves God; she loves people; she loves Vinton Baptist Church. This Sunday, as we celebrate her 40-year anniversary at our church, we have an opportunity to show Patsy just how much Vinton Baptist loves her. We will take a moment at the beginning of the worship service to recognize her, offer a gift on behalf of our church, and continue celebrating her at our fifth-Sunday luncheon following the worship service. We will have a place available in the gym, as some have requested, to drop off any cards or gifts you may have for Patsy. I hope you will make plans to join us for this special day, as we celebrate Patsy, give thanks for her 40-year ministry, and look forward to many more years to come. 


This Sunday, January 29th

This Sunday is a very special day:

  • It's a 5th Sunday, so we'll have Sunday School at 9:15 AM, One Combined Worship Service at 10:30 AM, and a luncheon following worship. What's for lunch, you ask? Assorted soups, grilled cheese, desserts, coffee, tea, & lemonade.
  • We will have a Deacon Ordination and Installation service this Sunday. Two new deacons are being ordained: Lori Rodgers & Tyler Lyon.
  • We will celebrate Patsy Talbert's 40th anniversary with VBC (as of January 31st). Patsy will be with us for worship and our luncheon.

Travis' sermon is, "A Slow Faith," based in Luke 17:1-6. If you cannot join us in person, tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

New Deacons

This Sunday Lori Rodgers and Tyler Lyon will be ordained as deacons. A table is available in the Welcome Center with materials for you to write a word of encouragement, prayer, or scripture for each of them; please remember to sign your name. Ordination Blessing Books, including all of your notes and affirmations, will be gifted to these deacons.

Soup for Seniors Drive through January 31st

The JOY Seniors are asking for canned soups, meats, fruits, vegetables, and crackers throughout this month. These donations are part of the area LOA Meals on Wheels Soup for Seniors Drive. Collection boxes are available in the Welcome Center and in the foyer of the New Ministries Building. Monetary donations are also accepted if you want us to do the shopping for you; please make out checks to "VBC JOY Seniors" and mark "Soup for Seniors" in the memo line. All donations - whether non-perishable or monetary - are due by January 31st. Thank you!

Wednesday Nights

Join us tonight for Wednesday Night Dinner (5:30 PM for those who signed up), Youth Missions Group (6:00 PM - homebound visits this week), Adult Bible Study (6:15 PM - on Psalm 25:1-10, Healthy Regret), Children's Choirs (6:15 PM), and adult choir rehearsals (usual times). Adult Bible Study will be livestreamed through our website and on Facebook.

Following are our February menus:

  • February 1st - pulled pork, baked beans, veggie, slaw, & dessert
  • February 8th - chicken & dumplings, salad, & dessert
  • February 15th - fajita seasoned chicken, red beans & rice, corn, chips & salsa, & dessert
  • February 22nd - sloppy joe, tater tots, fried cabbage, salad, & dessert


Please 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.

Youth Choir Mission Tour

There is a signup sheet in the choir room for this summer's Youth Choir Mission Tour to Niagara Falls! Our dates are June 3rd - 8th, and the cost is $330/person. Please sign up as soon as possible. A $100 deposit is due February 12th to secure your spot.

Youth Choir Fundraisers

Let the Love Flow Fundraiser Meal: See a Youth Choir member to purchase your tickets ($10/each) for our February 12th luncheon. Our menu is fried chicken, twice baked potato, green beans, roll, & dessert. You may pick up your meal to go as early as 10:45 AM, or you may sit down with us in our valentine themed gym as early as 11:45 AM for food and fellowship.

Youth Choir Raffle: The Youth Choir is also selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a Gift Card Bouquet! First prize is $200 in gift cards, second is $100 in gift cards, and third is $50 in gift cards. Each ticket is $2.00. You may purchase your tickets before or after worship at the Welcome Center, or simply see Terry Hough. We will draw a winner Sunday, February 12th. You do not have to be present to win.

JOY Seniors: Upcoming Events

The JOY Seniors will get back into the swing of things beginning with our Annual Beans & Cornbread Luncheon Tuesday, January 31st. This year our meal will be prepared by our very own Chef Ashley and will consist of a variety of beans, chili, cornbread, coleslaw, potato salad, dessert, and water. We will review the 2023 luncheon/activity schedule and play "winter" table games. The cost is $10/person. Sign up and pay at the JOY Seniors table by this Friday, January 27th. Your payment is your reservation. We look forward to seeing you there.

Join us for food, fun, and fellowship on our first trip of 2023: we will have lunch at the Green Goat February 7th. You can ride the bus or drive yourself. Please sign up at the JOY Seniors table so that we can have a head count for reservations.

Happy Hearts is sponsoring an event Thursday, February 16th, 10:00 AM - noon in the small dining room. Want to wash away those winter blues? Join us for fun and fellowship as we make homemade, all-natural sugar scrub. Double the fun by inviting a friend or making a jar for a friend. These make great gifts! Please sign up and pay at the JOY Seniors table by February 9th. The cost is $7 per 4 oz. jar.

JoAnn Newman

1102 Halliahurst Avenue

Vinton VA 24179

2023 Offering Envelopes

2023 offering envelopes have arrived and are ready for pickup! You will find them at the Missions Tables. They are organized alphabetically by last name. If you do not see your envelopes, please contact Patsy Talbert. If you have not previously been issued envelopes and would like some, let Patsy know.

2022 Giving Statements

2022 statements are ready for pickup on the counter in the church office. Please stop by and pick yours up by this Sunday in order to cut down on our mailing costs. Any statements remaining as of Monday, January 30th will be mailed. Thank you!

Please extend a warm welcome to Lydia Burgess, who joined VBC this past Sunday by profession of faith. Lydia is the daughter of Matthew & Jessie Burgess, and their address is 1102 Pedigo Lane, Vinton VA 24179. A baptismal service will be planned.

Lydia, we are so proud of you and welcome you in Christian fellowship!

Christian sympathy is extended to Wayne Sink, Jeff & Julie, Denise & Jeff Jones, Tim & Melissa, Greg & Megan, and families in the death of wife and mother Gloria Sink on January 19th; also to Shannon & Ken Hoey and Sean in the death of Shannon's father, Bob Slay, Sr., January 23rd.

Help Refresh Our Youth Space!

We have a number of projects needing to be accomplished to refresh our youth space. Some involve basic cleaning and painting; others require more creativity and specialization. We would also love to entertain any ideas you may have for our space. Please click here for more details and consider signing up for a project.

Children's Worship Volunteers Needed

With Sarah's transition, we will need extra help in Children's Worship each Sunday. Please consider volunteering either as a teacher or as a helper. We need extra helpers at the 11:00 AM service because we tend to have more children at this service. Please click here for the sign-up sheet (dates run through February) and help us out. Thanks!!

Bible Reading Plan

Click here for a printable copy of our current Bible reading plan, or pick up a hard copy at the Welcome Center. You can also access the plan through our VBC app on your mobile device. Just click on "Bible Reading Plan" across the bottom menu of the app.

Part of this week's reading plan was Genesis 37:2 - 38:30. Genesis 37:2 begins the final "These are the generations of..." that characterizes the organization of Genesis. Fee & Stuart ("How to Read the Bible Book by Book") state, "You will find reading this story [of Joseph] to be a different experience from what has gone before, since it is a single cohesive narrative (the longest of its kind in the Bible), with just three interruptions (the story of Judah in ch. 38, the genealogy in 46:8-27, and Jacob's 'blessing' in ch. 49)." Various themes of Genesis resurface in the coming narrative, such as God choosing the younger son to accomplish his mission and God choosing a "despised son" to accomplish his mission.

Personally, I found Sunday's reading in Psalm 22 particularly striking. There is so much in this Psalm that is either quoted or echoed in the account of Christ's passion (see how Matthew 27:46 corresponds with Psalm 22:1, for example, and Matthew 27:41-44 corresponds with Psalm 22:6-8). It makes me wonder what the Psalmist must have gone through to elicit the same words that Jesus Christ echoed when suffering on the cross.

Just a reminder that Travis' current Wednesday Adult Bible Study is about the Psalms, and last week he discussed Psalm 23. If you missed it and would like to hear the discussion, here's the link: Tonight Travis will be discussing Psalm 25, which is part of today's reading.

Is there a particular passage that struck you in this past week's reading? Do you have questions or comments to share? We'd love to hear from you.

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Destinations

We have been informed that some of the nearly 400 shoeboxes donated to Operation Christmas Child through VBC in 2022 have been delivered in Ecuador, Malawi, Ukraine, Philippines, and Paraguay. If you used a tracking label for your shoebox(es), you can use the OCC Shoebox lookup tool by clicking here to learn where yours were delivered. If your box(es) were delivered in another country, please let us know where they landed. Contact Darlene McCaskill or you can call the church office at 540-343-7685.

AARP Tax-Aide

AARP Tax-Aide will offer free, in-person tax preparation at Vinton Baptist Church on Thursday mornings from February 2nd through April 13th. This program is open to taxpayers of all ages, and AARP membership is not required. The AARP volunteers have been trained in most basic tax situations; however, they are not able to process complicated returns. For more info on returns that can and cannot be processed through this service, click here. You may make an appointment now by clicking here, or you can call 540-345-2820 starting this Friday, January 27th. AARP will not accept walk-ins. Please note that once you have made your appointment, you will need to stop by the Lions Club building at 501 Elm Avenue to pick up your packet of information that will need to be filled out prior to your appointment.

Updated List of Blessing Box Needs

Please donate the following items if you are able: Hamburger Helper meals (any kind), pudding/Jello, men's and women's shampoo, cans of Chef Boyardee products (like Spaghettio's, ravioli, etc.) Donations can be dropped off in the Blessing Box bin at the Missions Tables.

Thank you, Vinton Baptist Church Family, for the cards. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers. It means so much to be remembered. And thank you to the youth for coming to visit me.

Thank you, Joan Williamson

I wanted to thank each of you for the cards, gifts, and words of appreciation that you all thoughtfully put together for me on Sunday. I am so thankful for memories that you shared and words of encouragement. My family is thankful for our church home at Vinton Baptist.

Peace, Sarah Hurt

January 2023 Calendar