The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 43

October 26, 2022

Trunk-or-Treat Tonight 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 we're looking forward to the award for the best dressed trunk/theme! There will be no Adult Bible Study, Children's Choirs, or adult choir rehearsals.

"Elephants in the Room"

Last Sunday, we focused on Jeremiah’s message to the nation of Israel in Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22. In this passage, the prophet challenged Israel’s complaints about God’s absence by acknowledging an uncomfortable truth the people did not want to hear, which was the idols they had made. Like most examples of Old Testament idolatry, these idols were the pagan gods and goddesses they worshipped, along with Yahweh—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As Jeremiah revealed to them, if they wanted the drought to end, their land to be healed, and their circumstances to change, they needed to acknowledge and repent from their idolatry—the elephants in the room—that had “caused their feet to wander” away from God.

Though our idols look different from the ones found in the Old Testament—golden-calves, Asherah-poles, trinkets and shrines to countless pagan gods—we too have some “elephants in the room” that need to be acknowledged. What makes something an idol is not what it is, but how it is used. Idols are not always pagan deities or bad habits. An idol is anything that has captured our attention in such a way that it inhibits our faithfulness to God. If something in our lives is monopolizing our time, resources, and attention to the point that we can no longer devote the time, resources, and attention to God that faithfulness requires, that “thing” has become an idol. In essence, when a “good thing” becomes the “main thing,” then it has become an idol.

Some of you have asked me to post the idols I shared on Sunday. Below is a list of some of the elephants in the room that I see the church struggling with today.

1.     Materialism

Consumerism is not all bad; however, when our lives become consumed with all of the things that only money can buy, then all of our “stuff” has become an idol. Our consumerism has become materialism. We have “stored up treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal.” The problem with materialism, according to Jesus, is that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).”    

2.     Professions/Careers

Our careers are an important part of our lives; however, our careers are a means-to-an-end. Our profession is not our purpose. Our purpose is to be a conduit through which God’s purposes can be fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven. And yet, too often we have allowed our careers to define our identity and determine our sense of fulfillment. This is nothing short of an idol.

3.     Entertainment

At times, it can be easy to become so captivated by the things that entertain us that our entertainment can become an idol. We can allow a good thing (like a hobby) to become the main thing. As a result, it can be easy to forget that God does not call us to be entertained by the world; instead, Christ calls us to pick up a towel, wash some feet, and serve the people of this world in his name.   

4.     Technology

Living in the Digital Age, most of us need our phones, tablets, and computers to go to school and do our jobs. However, it is important to ask ourselves how much of our attention is given to screens outside of school and work? If we are spending hours a day focused on a screen (outside of school and work), then technology has more than likely become an idol.   

5.     Happiness

For many, the number one thing they want out of life is to be happy. Recent surveys indicate that happiness is what many people desire above all else. The problem with this mindset is that happiness was never meant to be a goal. Happiness is not a purpose; happiness is an outcome of living in relationship with God and allowing his purposes to be fulfilled through us. When happiness becomes a goal, then happiness can become an idol. The more happiness is idolized, the unhappier we will be.   

6.     Politics

While local, national, and global politics is a needed thing, for many Christians, politics have become the main thing. In some cases, political views, parties, candidates, stances, and policies have dominated our attention, hijacked our conversations, and determined who is considered to be friend or foe. Idolizing politics leads us to believe that a political candidate, leader, or party is ultimately going to save our country. We must not give to Caesar what belongs to God, which is our hope, trust, faith, loyalty, and praise. It is only through the power of Christ and his spirit working through his church that our land can be healed and world changed. 

7.     Children

Scripture is very clear about the importance of children. Jesus declared to his disciples, “Let the little children come to me, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these (Matthew 19:14).” Children need to know they are loved and valued. They need to know that they were intricately and wonderfully made by a God who loves them unconditionally. They need to know that their interests, feelings, thoughts, questions, and perspectives are important to us. However, when the interests of our children—what they want and enjoy doing—monopolizes our time, attention, and resources so much so that we can no longer be faithfully engaged in our relationship with Christ, then our children have become idols. Children do not need us to make them the main thing; they need our faithful commitment to point them to the One who is the main thing.   

-- Travis

This Sunday, October 30th: 5th Sunday Schedule

Please note our schedule for this Sunday morning - Sunday School at 9:15 AM, One Combined Morning Worship Service at 10:30 AM, and a Potluck Luncheon to follow worship. Travis' sermon is "Rescue, Defend, Plead," and the scripture reference is Isaiah 1:10-18. If you cannot join us in person, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

Potluck Luncheon this Sunday

This month's 5th Sunday luncheon will be potluck! The church will provide chicken, rolls, and drinks. Please bring your favorite potluck masterpiece to share. We're looking forward to fellowshiping together after worship!

Wednesday Night Menus for November

All of our usual Wednesday night activities will resume next week at their usual times, including our Adult Bible Study, which will continue to be livestreamed next week.

The menus for November are as follows:

  • November 2nd - stroganoff with egg noodles, vegetables, cold salad, bread, & dessert
  • November 9th - sweet & sour pork, fried rice, egg roll, soup, & dessert
  • November 16th - turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cold salad, roll, and dessert
  • November 23rd - NO Wednesday dinner. Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday!
  • November 30th - loaded baked potato quiche, vegetable, soup, bread, and dessert

Dinner reservations are due by 5:00 PM the Monday prior to each dinner. Costs are $7/adult (ages 13+); $5/child (ages 4-12); children 3 and under are free; max per family (living in the same household) is $20; first-time guests are complimentary; takeout boxes are 50 cents/each.

Fishing Trip Canceled

Please note that this week's Men's Fishing Trip has been canceled due to a tropical depression forming on the coast; unfortunately, the fishing charter felt the need to cancel this week/weekend's events for safety reasons.

JOY Seniors

Happy Hearts will collect coats and hoodies for local K-12 students through the end of this month (next Monday). Please bring your new and gently used, clean coats to the rack near the Missions Tables.

Our next JOY Senior Luncheon is scheduled for November 29th at noon on the gym. Our guest speaker will be Shannon Abell with "Updates to Medicare." More info coming soon.


Christmas Craft & Vendor Fair

As of today, there is only one vendor spot available for our December 4th Craft Fair (1:00 - 4:00 PM in the gym). Please contact Whitney Russell ASAP if interested in filling this spot.

Looking Ahead to Advent

The first Sunday of Advent this year is the Sunday after Thanksgiving - November 27th. The last Sunday of Advent is December 18th, and then Christmas Day is also on a Sunday. From November 27th through December 25th, we will follow a modified schedule which will allow us to prepare together for the birth of the Christ child. Sunday School will be at 9:15 AM, and we will have One Combined Morning Worship service each Sunday at 10:30 AM. Our theme will be, "Do Not Be Afraid." Please mark your calendars accordingly.

Jean M. Thurman

Harmony Independent Living

4428 Pheasant Ridge Road

Apartment 61

Roanoke VA 24014

Thank you to the Fellowship-Berean Sunday School class for their donation to Capital Needs.

Thanksgiving Offering

Please note that this year's Thanksgiving Offering will be split, with 50% benefitting the Capital Needs Fund and 50% benefitting the Blessing Box.

Please note the following information provided by the Finance Committee regarding the difference between the Capital Needs Fund and the Building Fund:

  • The Building Fund is used to track donations for major church construction or renovation projects, or to pay any loans used to finance major construction or renovations. We do not have any church construction or renovation projects at this time, so the funds are held for future use.
  • The Capital Needs Fund is used to pay for mechanical components, fixtures, furniture, or other assets needed by the church that would typically have a useful life longer than one year. It is often used for maintenance projects involving HVAC systems, roofing, or other building repairs, or can be used to purchase new furniture or equipment such as cameras, projectors, sound equipment, or computers.


Happy 90th Birthday to

Betty W. White (Mrs. Gene)

on Thursday, October 20th!

Congratulations to Mat & Alexis Parrish in the birth of Bearett-Adrian Elliott Parrish on October 21st, weighing 5.6 lbs and measuring 17". Proud grandparents are Mark & Terry Hough. Proud aunts and uncles are Ashleigh & Tim Pinion, Amanda Hough & Greg Mayo, and Tanner Hough. Proud great-grandparents are Sylvia Reynolds and Don & Ardella Hough.

Flower Bulbs for Keystone

In this fall season, when trees and plants are turning colors and dying off or going dormant, our friends at Keystone Community Center are already thinking about spring! Our youth group will be planting daffodil/narcissus bulbs at Keystone next Wednesday, November 2nd and would love your help providing bulbs. If you would like to donate bulbs or money to purchase bulbs, please see Whitney. The colors yellow and white are preferred. Thank you!

Please extend a warm welcome to Susan & Cody White (pictured here with son Holden; their other child, Riley, is not pictured). Susan & Cody joined VBC last Sunday by letter from Gayton Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. Their address is 209 Lynn Haven Circle, Vinton VA 24179. White Family, welcome to Vinton Baptist Church!

Deacon Nominations

Nomination forms are available at the Welcome Center for next year's new deacons. As always, this is an important decision; please make it a matter of prayer. When you are considering whom 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, or find originals at the Welcome Center. Please drop your completed form in the nomination box at the Welcome Center by Sunday, November 6th.

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.

Blessing Box Needs

Saltine crackers, vegetable soup, baked beans, spaghetti sauce (in can or jar), spaghetti pasta, women's shampoo, paper towels, and any type of individual snack items (nabs, cookies, Fruit Roll-ups, graham crackers, Cheez-Its, etc. in small, individual packages). Donations can be dropped off at the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables.

Nurse's Station Needs for

William Byrd Middle & High Schools

The Nurse's Stations at both the middle and high schools are in desperate need of items to meet student needs. Please consider donating any of the following items:

travel toothbrushes; travel toothpaste; shampoo; feminine products; ginger ale; juice; 8 oz. water bottles; cough drops; hair bands; contact solution; peppermint candy; hard candy (any flavor); individual hand sanitizers; individual tissue packets; safety pins; hairbrushes; individual packages of crackers, Cheez-Its, chips, cookies, fruit snacks, etc. (NO nuts of any kind, NO peanut butter); underwear (child & adult sizes, male & female); t-shirts; boys' & girls' pants with elastic waist (leggings, sweatpants, shorts). Please drop off items in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables. Thank you!

Bible Gateway on VBC App

For those who use our VBC app to access the Bible, please note that a slight change has been made to our app due to new requirements by Apple. Previously, Bible Gateway could be accessed by clicking the Bible icon on the bottom menu of our app. That Bible icon no longer appears on the bottom menu. You can now access Bible Gateway by scrolling through the main tabs on our app. Underneath the “Give” tab, you will find “The Bible” tab, which will take you to Bible Gateway.


Our Bible Reading Plan remains available through the icon on the bottom menu of our app. If you have questions, please contact Kim Yonce in the church office (540-343-7685 or

October 2022 Calendar