The Witness
Volume 39, Issue 43
October 27, 2021
Trunk or Treat TONIGHT, 6:15 - 7:15 PM (outdoor games will begin at 6:00 PM)!! Dinner will start at 5:30 PM, as usual, for those who made reservations. We will have no other evening activities tonight.
A Note from Pastor Whitney
(which was shared during last Wednesday's Called Business Meeting)

Dear Church Family,
Over the past year- and especially the past several months- I have so greatly enjoyed my time working with our students and families to attempt to fill the gap and meet needs during the search process. I have attempted to balance my current responsibilities and pastoral roles with the needs of our student ministry. As the search process has taken longer and longer, I have felt more and more drawn to provide a consistent presence and programming for our students. Our incredible adult and student leaders have done a tremendous job continuing our youth ministry during Covid, and I have been so thankful to be a part of this important work and to be able to connect with our students.

As these months have ticked by, I have found myself becoming more connected and more invested in creating and sustaining an effective youth ministry for our church. The truth is that participating in student events, spending time with our youth, planning retreats and camps have become meaningful, purposeful, and fulfilling for me. Providing a thriving youth ministry for our students has become a priority for me.

When I started on staff at Vinton Baptist Church, I would have never imagined working with our youth and students. However, as I told our students, I do not just want to be a youth minister, I want to be THEIR youth minister. I want to be a part of this ministry, because of my love for these kids and our church.

When the Youth Pastor Search Committee was formed, I would have never seen myself as an option for candidate. Though I may not fit the traditional profile of a youth minister, I can promise you the following will happen in our student ministry:

*I will provide a place of love and acceptance for all our students. They will come to our church and know that they are loved and valued by me and by God. They will experience God’s unconditional love and know of God’s unending grace.

*I will be one of their biggest cheerleaders. They will know that they are supported and feel encouraged during their adolescent years to learn and grow into who God created them to be. It’s hard to be a teenager, so I want our kids to be assured that we are in their corner cheering on all the ways they are making this world a better place.

*I will be their teacher. I can’t be super cool and hip (obviously by that wording…), but I can teach them to love the Bible. They will leave our youth ministry understanding the stories of their faith and how to carry their faith into adulthood. They will be able to identify important characters and stories from the Bible. I hope that they will find a verse and story that speaks to them, as well as ways that God is calling and equipping them.

*I will work well with our existing staff! I look forward to the opportunity to create an umbrella of ministry that carries our children from birth to graduation to create a consistent, uniform, and complete plan of theological education for our kids and students. I’m also excited to collaborate with Sarah, Chris, and Travis to find ways to support the student ministries they already have and create new opportunities.

*I can be a safe space for our students. Our youth ministry will be a place where they are safe and cared for. They will know that they are loved. I want them to feel that they are safe physically and emotionally, as well as spiritually…whether we are in the youth room or off at camp or any other space. I want our students and their parents to be assured that we are following and doing everything we can to keep them safe.

*I will be their pastor. I will provide pastoral care and support during difficult times of life. I will celebrate their achievements and their wins. I want to provide stability and consistency for their growth and development as students to reflect the consistency and stability of God. I will help them to find the answers to the questions of their faith. Above all, I will love them, lead them, and care for them.

I’m excited about the possibility, and I am so thankful to continue to serve alongside of you in whatever way you feel God leading our church, my role on staff, and our student ministry.
With love and thanksgiving,
Whitney Russell
5th Sunday Worship this Sunday, October 31st
Our schedule is different this Sunday: Sunday School at 9:15 AM and One Combined Worship Service at 10:30 AM. This Sunday's sermon is "I Will Surprise You," and the scripture reference is Luke 24:13-21, 28-31. We will also hear from the Associate Pastor Search Committee, as well as their candidate for Associate Pastor of Youth & Missions, Whitney Russell. We will have a short business meeting at the conclusion of the service to vote on the candidate for Associate Pastor of Youth & Missions. Finally, please plan to join us for lunch in the gym: Baked Potatoes with Fixings, Salad, Chili, Assorted Desserts, Tea, & Coffee. Everyone is invited to stay for lunch.

If you choose to worship virtually, please access our livestream through our website or FB live at 10:30 AM or anytime thereafter.
Youth Choir Fundraiser: Bird Houses
We have received a generous donation of bird houses built by Charlie Chattin to be used to raise funds for the Youth Choir Mission Trip 2022. Each of the bird houses is $20. There are a couple of samples to see and purchase at the Welcome Center outside the sanctuary; they're going fast, so don't wait! 
Bible in a Year Reading
Read this week:
The Old Testament: 2 Kings 5-12
The New Testament: 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy 1-2
Old Testament Prophecy: Daniel 9-12; Hosea 1-4
Psalms: Psalms 117-119
Meditate: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; indeed, I will heal you. -2 Kings 20:5
Prayer: Blessing for a Broken Vessel by Jan Richardson

Do not despair.
You hold the memory of what it was to be whole.

It lives deep in your bones.
It abides in your heart that has been torn and mended a hundred times.
It persists in your lungs that know the mystery of what it means to be full,
to be empty, to be full again.

I am not asking you to give up your grip on the shards you clasp so close to you.

But to wonder what it would be like for those jagged edges to meet each other
in some new pattern that you may have never imagined,
that you have never dared to dream. 
-- Whitney
Thrive Student Ministry
Upcoming Dates:
  • TONIGHT- Our students will be passing out treat bags from the bus during Trunk or Treat. Dress up as your favorite Jungle Animal or Safari Guide! Meet at 4:30pm to decorate the bus, dinner at 5:30pm with reservation, and Trunk or Treat at 6:15pm.

  • No Extreme on Sunday, October 31st. Happy Halloween!

  • FALL RETREAT- November 5-7th at Camp Bethel - Our theme is Called2Follow: Examining who Jesus is and why we should follow. We currently have 55 students and chaperones planning to attend our retreat weekend. Please pray for a safe and meaningful trip for our group. We will meet at 4:30pm Friday, November 5th to pack the bus and head out for the weekend!

Students, be sure to join our GroupMe group “VBC Thrive” for updates and announcements!
Parents, download the VBC App (Vinton Baptist Church VA). If you have not received an invitation or your channel is not working, please contact Whitney or Kim! You should be receiving regular menu and schedule updates at this point. You will need to sign up for an account through the Vinton Baptist App to join the group. This will ensure privacy protection.
Deacon Nominations
Deacon nomination forms are available at the Welcome Center. Please take time to complete a form, sign it, and drop it in the box provided at the Welcome Center. There will also be forms included in the bulletin this Sunday. Please turn in your form by November 7th.
Wednesday Night Dinners & Activities
After dinner tonight, the only activity will be our Trunk or Treat. Children's Choirs and Thrive Youth Group will resume next Wednesday. In lieu of Adult Bible Study next Wednesday, we will host a community event with Nancy Hans, Executive Director of Prevention Council of Roanoke County (see below).

Following are our dinner menus for November:
November 3rd - Baked Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Garlic Toast, & Dessert.
November 10th - Oven BBQ'd Chicken, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, Cornbread, & Dessert.
November 17th - Thanksgiving Dinner: Hot Open-faced Turkey Sandwiches with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cranberry Relish, & Holiday Desserts.
Ice tea, lemonade, & water are available every Wednesday. $6/adult, $5/child (ages 4-12), children < 4 are free, max per household is $18. Sign up by calling the church office at 540-343-7685 no later than 5 PM the day prior to dinner. We cannot take late registrations.
JOY Seniors Events
November 3rd: Sign up for the Senior Fun & Health Fair Day at the Salem Civic Center, with lunch at Famous Anthony's in Salem. Your only cost is your lunch, and we plan to depart the church parking lot at 9:30 AM.

November 18th: Ikenberry Orchard & Heritage Market day trip, with lunch at Cracker Barrel. Lunch is your only cost, and we will depart at 9:00 AM.
2021 Christmas Marketplace
Fundraiser for Passport Camps
Mark your calendars for December 5th from 1:00-4:00pm, when the VBC Youth and Children will be hosting a Christmas Marketplace fundraiser for Passport Camp. Join us to spend the afternoon checking off your Christmas shopping list!

Are you a crafter, artist or vendor who would like to set up a booth? Click here for all the details on reserving your vendor space!
Barbara Karnes
3139 Richard Avenue NE
Roanoke VA 24012
October 24, 2021:
8:45 AM
In person - 180
Online - 128
11:00 AM
In person - 159
Online - 78
Sunday School - 204
Offering Envelopes
Please note that the church office will soon be preparing offering envelopes for 2022. We have a significant number of offering envelopes that were never picked up last year, and we are also aware that many folks are submitting their donations online and are no longer in need of envelopes. We do have 2022 envelopes and want to provide them for those who want them, without wasting envelopes for those who no longer use them. If you would like to receive a box of offering envelopes for 2022, could you please call the church office at 540-343-7685 and let us know by November 21st? Thanks so much for helping us to be good stewards of the resources God has given us!
Welcome Our New Members
Please extend a warm welcome to new members who joined VBC last Sunday, October 24th:
  • Frank & Martha Lang and their son Kevin, who all joined VBC by letter. Their address is 927 Pedigo Lane, Vinton VA 24179.
  • Paul England, who joined VBC by statement of faith. His address is 951 E. Cleveland Avenue, Apt. 112, Vinton VA 24179.
Christian sympathy is extended to Peggy & Gene Harmon and family in the death of her brother and sister-in-law, Water & Mary Darnell, on October 19th; to Debbie Cooper and family in the death of her friend, Ruby Shackle; and to Susan & Mike Foster and Chrissy Dinnerville and families in the death of their aunt last week.
Operation Christmas Child
Only a week and a half to go! The November 7th deadline for Operation Christmas Child will be here before you know it!! There are wrapped boxes available at the Missions Tables for you to pick up and fill with goodies for children in need worldwide; please also pick up a brochure with your box for the boy/girl labels.

Items to include in shoeboxes (or donate for us to pack in extra shoeboxes): school supplies, toothbrushes, bar soap, wash cloths, combs, balls, crayons, yo-yos, jump ropes, trucks, cards, dolls, stuffed animals, etc. Older children like deflated soccer balls with a pump included. Flashlights with extra batteries are also great. We CANNOT include candy, food, toothpaste, lotions, vitamins, or any type of liquid. Items to go in shoeboxes are needed as soon as possible.

Please return filled shoeboxes no later than November 7th. We can also use money to help pay for shipping costs. Questions? Contact Darlene McCaskill.
Children's Basketball
Registration is now available for Children's Basketball for Kindergarten - 5th grade! Please stop by the Church Office to complete a registration form, or simply click here to print your form (please complete the form appropriate for your child's age/grade level.) This year's fee is $40 per participant, payable by cash or check to VBC. Your registration form and fee are due in the Church Office no later than Friday, December 3rd. The season will begin in early January (check back for the exact date). The locations of practices and games have not yet been determined.
October Book Club
I hope you are enjoying Kate Bowler’s No Cure for Being Human. Use these questions as a guide as you continue reading:

1. “The terrible gift of a terrible illness is that it has, in fact, taught me to live in the moment,” writes Kate, except it’s not the rapturous moments but the mundane ones that began to sparkle. What moments are sparkling for you these days—and how is appreciating these moments different than “seizing the day”?
2. Kate tells a story about her father who tried in earnest to do what he loved. (And the money, the tenure, the decent office did not follow.) What stood out to you in this story? How do you understand the difference between a career and a calling?
3. According to Kate’s friend Luke, the Christian tradition has special language for our three experiences of time: tragic (when the world is not right), apocalyptic (when the world is not right but we see it more clearly), and pastoral (when the world is seasonal, ordinary.) Which of these best describes your current experience of time?
4. The psychologist makes it clear. Kate cannot stay here, here between before and after, in this heightened present. But she is afraid to move forward. “What if I forget what I have learned? And what if I can’t learn to hope again?” she asks. What are you afraid to move forward from? What fears and questions are companioning you?

Happy Reading!
Children's Volunteers Are Needed
Children's Worship volunteers are needed every Sunday. Thanks to all those who regularly help out. If you're interested in helping, but don't know what is required, please contact Sarah. Otherwise, please sign up here (dates available for October and November).
Keystone Community Center: Help Needed!
Pat Carter is in need of 1-2 volunteers to help in the afternoons at Keystone Community Center. The return of current volunteers has been delayed due to recent illness, and Pat is in dire need of assistance. Please contact her at 540-342-8452 for more information or if you can help.
Supporting VBC through Shopping!
Just in time for the holidays! You can support Vinton Baptist financially simply by using your Kroger card and doing your Amazon shopping through Amazon Smile. VBC is set up with both retailers to benefit from their charity programs. It doesn't cost you a thing. Here's how:
Kroger - Click here for the details of Kroger's Community Rewards program. If you need help setting up a digital account or changing the charity on your account, give us a call at 540-343-7685 (you will need your Kroger card number and a valid email address).
Amazon Smile - You can benefit VBC by shopping instead of (same login info). Click here for more details on Amazon's charity program. To select your charity, simply type in Vinton Baptist Church. Please note that three options appear: one based in Vinton, OH and two based in Vinton, VA. Please choose one of the options based in Vinton, VA (either one will work - both are for our church).
Once you designate VBC as your charity, each retailer donates a portion of funds to our church based on the amount of shopping you do with them. Again, these programs cost you nothing extra. But the benefit for VBC adds up over time.
To All the Church Family:
Thank you all for the prayers, cards (and the coloring pictures, Marissa), and the fidget blanket you have sent Steve. I read all the cards to him, and he smiles the entire time. The fidget blanket stays on his lap (since I tied it there), and he "fidgets" with it constantly. We are blessed beyond words to have such a caring family at VBC. With deepest gratitude and warm wishes - may God bless you all,
Jo-Ann Lonker