The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 41

October 12, 2022

"Into the Storm"

23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 A windstorm suddenly arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves, but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a dead calm. 27 They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him (Matthew 8:23-27)?”

It has been two weeks since Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, swept through Florida. The images of Ian’s aftermath are jolting, as they capture entire communities leveled, marinas devastated, homes and businesses flooded, as well as a death toll that has claimed over 100 lives. For many communities, it will take years to rebuild. May we continue to lift them up in prayer.

When I read today’s biblical passage in a recent devotional, I was reminded of Hurricane Ian, though I doubt the storm the disciples faced on the Sea of Galilee was anything close to a Category 4 hurricane. Nonetheless, considering these men were fishermen by trade, it seems this storm must have been pretty bad to scare them as much as it did. Typically, when I read this passage I focus on everyone’s response to the storm—the disciples’ fear and Jesus’ drowsiness. And yet, the detail that caught my attention this time was the fact that Jesus’ disciples followed him onto the boat—“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.” Though Matthew did not say that Jesus caused the storm, he was clear that following Jesus led his disciples into the storm.

Last Sunday we began our three-part sermon series on the bad news of the Good News. Yes, the Gospel of Jesus is all good news for what it offers; however, what it requires of us—the cost of discipleship—can feel like bad news. Today’s passage provides another example of this paradoxical nature of the Gospel. Though I do not believe God causes the storms in our lives in order to punish us or teach us a lesson, I do believe following Jesus can sometimes lead us into the storms of life.

When we choose not to gossip with that coworker who loves to share with us all of the latest rumors in the office, that may create a storm in our relationship with them. When we say no to what seems like a great opportunity because it will consistently prevent us from being involved in church, that may create a storm with our kids, grandkids, or friends. When we say no to a financial opportunity because it lacks integrity, that may create a storm with a business partner. When we speak for the voiceless or powerless who are being used, abused, or bullied, that can create a storm for us when the bully turns toward us. When we confront an addiction or destructive behavior within ourselves by choosing to get clean, the road to recovery will create a storm within our body. When we confront our own anxiety, depression, past trauma, or unresolved grief by choosing to seek professional help, the process of healing will create an emotional storm within us.

Jesus may not cause the storms in our lives, but faithfully following him will certainly lead us into a few storms. His Kingdom is not of this world, and therefore, when we adopt the values and obey the rules of his Kingdom while living on earth, our lives will collide with the differing values and voices of this world. Just as warm, moist air rising over water can form a hurricane when it collides with the cooler air above, or when one tectonic plate collides with another it can create an earthquake, when our Kingdom values collide with the world’s values, a storm often ensues.

What storms are you currently facing? What waves are swamping your boat? Today’s passage reminds us that the storms we face do not represent God’s anger, apathy, or absence. Instead, as was true for the disciples, following Jesus will lead us into a few storms in this life. That’s the bad news. The Good News is that if we will remain faithful and obedient to him in the storm, he will ultimately rebuke the winds and the sea, and there [will be] a dead calm. . . . [For] even the winds and the sea obey him.”

-- Travis

This Sunday,October 16th

You're invited to worship with us Sunday at 8:45 or 11:00 AM. While the Russell family is out of town, Chris will bring the message, entitled "Eagle or Chicken?" and based in Joshua 1:1-7. If you cannot join us in person for worship this Sunday, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

Wednesday Night Activities

Adult Bible Study on the exploration of our Baptist identity continues tonight at 6:15 PM. If you cannot attend, tune in for the livestream on our website or Facebook group page. Youth Missions Group, Children's Choirs, and adult choirs will continue, as well.

Following are our menus for October:

October 19th - fried chicken, mac & cheese, green beans, cold salad, bread, & dessert.

October 26th - hot dogs, baked beans, fries, slaw, & dessert.

Please make or change your dinner reservations by 5:00 PM each Monday. 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.

A Higher Note

The big announcement for the 2023 Youth Choir trip destination was made last Sunday evening. We will be touring our way from Vinton, VA to Niagara Falls, ON June 3-8, 2023. There will be ministry stops along the way. We have a fine group of young singers this year. I was proud of their leadership this past Sunday in worship.

Our Children’s Choir year is off to a great start. It is so fun to pass by the choir rooms on Wednesday nights and feel the energy that seems to penetrate the walls. Special thanks to Susan Foster, Mary Beth Monroe, and Lisa Nicely for their leadership.

The Chancel Choir has gotten a couple of new members this fall. On Sunday mornings you might see new faces. In the alto section, we welcomed Dorinda Mayhue. In the tenor section, Tony Dillow has joined us. Let these new members know we appreciate them sharing their talent and gifts. 

-- Chris

Upcoming Preteen 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.


Thrive Student Ministry

FALL RETREAT: November 11th - 13th at Camp Wilderness Adventure! Click here for all the details and registration form! Sign up by October 20th.

TONIGHT: We will head to Keystone Community Center for our missions activity. We'll leave the church at 6:00 PM and return at 7:15 PM.

THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16TH: - Extreme will be led by Taylor Davis in Whitney's absence.

Parents, can you help chaperone for various events? Click here to sign up.

JOY Seniors

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 ASAP. 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 tomorrow, October 13th. Please sign up and pay ($62/person including lunch, play, tax, tip, & transportation) at the JOY Senior table TODAY to help us get the most accurate count.

Happy Hearts has two upcoming opportunities for service:

1.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.

2.We are collecting coats for local K-12 students during the month of October. Please bring your new and gently used, clean coats to the rack near the Missions Tables.


Wednesday, October 26th at 6:00 PM

Invite your friends, neighbors, and family! Games will be provided by the Family Life & Rec Team. We'll also have balloon animals. And this year we'll have a contest for the best dressed trunk/theme! Click here to register your trunk and specify your theme. We currently have 11 trunks registered and we need at least 9 more!

We will have dinner at 5:30 PM October 26th, as usual, with hot dogs, baked beans, fries, slaw, and dessert. Everyone is welcome to join us for dinner, but we must have your reservation by 5:00 PM on Monday, October 24th. The usual dinner prices apply, and first-time guests are complimentary.

We are still collecting candy for this event: 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 as soon as possible. Thanks!

5th Sunday

Please note that October includes a 5th Sunday (October 30th), and we will have Sunday School at 9:15 AM and One Combined Worship Service at 10:30 AM. After worship, please join us for our first post-COVID potluck luncheon! The church will provide chicken, rolls, and drinks. Please bring your favorite potluck masterpiece to share. We're looking forward to sharing and fellowshipping together!


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.

Joan Williamson

805 Ruddell Road

Vinton VA 24179-2140

Blessing Box Needs

Oatmeal & grits (individual packets), men's soap, Jiffy cornbread mix, spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, baked beans, and cans of vegetables (any kind). 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.

Thank you to the Fellowship/Berean Sunday School class for their donation to postage for college care packages.

Thank you to the Pairs & Spares Sunday School class for donating funds to purchase new coats for the Helping Hands Coat Drive.

Please extend a warm welcome to Jane & Craig Bradley, who joined VBC by letter this past Sunday, October 9th. Their address is 1804 W. Ruritan Road, Roanoke VA 24012. Jane & Craig, welcome to Vinton Baptist Church!

Deacon Nominations

It is time for the church to submit nominations for next year's new deacons. As always, this is an important decision; please make it a matter of prayer. When you are considering who you want to nominate, please keep in mind that our deacon body is currently working on our vision for the future and our core values in a post-pandemic world. With that said, we need the experience and wisdom of our older members, as well as the unique and innovative thinking of our younger members. We have changed our meeting schedule somewhat - we are now meeting every other month for a little longer meeting. We have streamlined the meeting process, with signup sheets for benediction and communion, allowing our meetings to be more productive. We will be participating in some holy experiments and trying new ways to connect with our congregation and community. Please click here for a copy of the nomination form, which also lists our current and lifetime deacons; you will find green printed copies at the Welcome Center. Drop your completed form in the nomination box, which will be available at the Welcome Center Sunday.

Operation Christmas Child

The Operation Christmas Child deadline is right around the corner: November 6th! There are wrapped boxes at the Missions Tables that are ready to be stuffed (along with brochures with suggestions on how to stuff your box). You will also find at the Missions Tables a list of requested items for packing extra shoeboxes. Monetary donations to help cover shipping ($10/box) for extra boxes are also appreciated. 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 them up. Finally, if you would like to help but just don't have the time to pack a shoebox or shop for items, click here to build a shoebox online for as little as $25.

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!

October 2022 Calendar