The Witness
Volume 39, Issue 45
November 10, 2021
"The Miracle of Love"
This week, Whitney, the boys, and I traveled to Fairmont, NC to celebrate the life of Whitney’s grandmother, Annie Mae Edwards, who passed a few short days ago. Ms. Edwards was 87 years old and had battled Alzheimer’s for years. Thankfully, we were able to go and spend some time with her this past summer. During our visit, Ms. Edwards was not able to prepare one of her famous delicious meals for us. She was not able to engage in conversation, tell stories about all of the places she and Whitney’s grandfather had traveled, or share old memories with the boys about when Whitney was a little girl. During that visit, Ms. Edwards’ Alzheimer’s had advanced to such a degree that she could no longer remember our names or recall how exactly she knew us. It was a hard visit for all of us. The person we loved was no longer the person we knew. And yet, despite all of the changes and difficulties we experienced during our time together, there was one thing that remained the same: her love.

Upon entering her room, the moment Ms. Edwards saw Whitney her eyes brightened and she beamed with the biggest smile. After Whitney greeted her with a hug, Ms. Edwards took Whitney by the hand, sat her down beside her on the couch and held Whitney’s hand for the entire visit. She smiled as Whitney smiled; she laughed when Whitney laughed; she listened to every word Whitney said without wavering. Though she didn’t remember Whitney’s name, she knew for certain that she loved her. Though her memories had grown dim, Ms. Edwards’ love shone as brightly as it had before. Despite all of the difficulties of our last visit, we witnessed a miracle that day- the power of love.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote that love is supreme; it is greater than faith and hope (1 Corinthians 13:13). He explained that prophecies, different languages, and knowledge would all fade, but love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:8). According to Paul, with a power beyond anything else, love “bears all things, believes all things, hope all things, and endures all things.” According to Jesus, love is the greatest of all the commandments, upon which hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). According to John, love is from God because God is love (1 John 4:7-8).

Our world has yet to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. And yet, on Monday, July 19, 2021 at a nursing facility in Myrtle Beach, SC, I witnessed something more powerful than a disease even the best scientists and researchers, medical treatments and prescriptions have yet to overcome, and that is the miracle of love. At Ms. Edwards’ funeral service this week, despite all of the places she went, things she accomplished, wise words she offered, and memories she left, the only thing that really mattered was her love. Ms. Edwards’ love believed, hoped, endured, and overcame. It was her love that her family will miss and cherish the most; it was her love for God and others that ultimately led her home.

As we go about the busyness of our lives, may we be reminded and keep at the forefront the things that really matter. It is easy to get wrapped up in all of the things of this world that are temporary, things that will not last or endure. According to Paul, love is the only thing that never ends because God is love, and God is the only thing that is eternal. How might our lives reflect the supremacy and miracle of love today? One day, our pursuit of love and willingness to endure in love will be the only thing that matters.
Sunday Worship, November 14th
Please plan to join us for worship this Sunday at 8:45 or 11:00 AM (Sunday School at 9:50 AM). Travis' sermon is "I Give You My Peace," based in John 14:25-31. At 11:00 AM we will have a baptismal service, which will involve several of our children. If you choose to worship virtually, please access our livestream through our website or FB live.
Happy Anniversary!
We congratulate Chris Monroe on 28 years with Vinton Baptist Church, effective yesterday, November 9th! Chris, your faithfulness to God has truly been a blessing to our church and has furthered the gospel from Vinton, Virginia around the world to India and beyond. God bless you!
Wednesday Night Dinners & Activities
Tonight's Adult Bible Study will be led by Wally Mayo, as Travis & Whitney are returning from conducting her grandmother's funeral. The new topic beginning tonight is the biblical basis for our Christmas hymns. We hope you can join us!

Following are our dinner menus for the remainder of November:
November 17th - Thanksgiving Dinner: Hot Open-faced Turkey Sandwich with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cranberry Relish, & Holiday Desserts.
There will be no Wednesday Night Dinner or activities November 24th. We hope you can celebrate Thanksgiving with your family.

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.
Bible in a Year Reading
Read this week:
The Old Testament: 2 Kings 20-25
The New Testament: Hebrews 1-7
Old Testament Prophecy: Hosea 13-14; Joel
Psalms: Psalms 137-143
Meditate: “Land of Judah, don’t be afraid.
Be glad and full of joy.
The Lord has done great things.” Joel 2:21
Prayer: Dear Lord, Today we honor our veterans, worthy men and women who gave their best when they were called upon to serve and protect their country.

We pray that you will bless them for their unselfish service in the continual struggle to preserve our freedoms, our safety, and our country’s heritage, for all of us.

Bless them abundantly for the hardships they faced, for the sacrifices they made for their many different contributions to America’s victories over tyranny and oppression.

We respect them, we thank them, we honor them, we are proud of them. We pray that you will watch over these special people and bless them with peace and happiness.

--By Joanna Fuchs
Thrive Student Ministry
Upcoming Dates:
*At Extreme on November 14th, we will be packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for our Missions Night. Please bring items to put in a box. Emilie and Taylor have made an amazing video on Facebook and Instagram showing options to bring!

Fall Retreat 2021 Update
We had a wonderful weekend at our Fall Retreat exploring what it means to be called by God. We discussed why Jesus is worth following and that Jesus wants us to follow Him out of his great love for us. We explored what it means to be the salt of the Earth and the light of the world. We also threw in lots of time on the ropes course and team building outside, several games in the gym and a bonfire, lots and lots of junk food, numerous hair braiding sessions, and endless laughter. Thank you to all the adult leaders who spent their weekend on shaky bunk beds with little sleep to help exhibit the importance of putting faith first for our kids.

I am so blessed and thankful to be able to spend weekends like this sharing together, growing with, and learning from our youth. This weekend was a mountaintop experience! We are looking forward to sharing more about the weekend with you this Sunday in worship!
Youth Choir
Please note that Youth Choir will resume this Sunday, November 14th at 5:00 PM. We're looking forward to rehearsing together again!
JOY Seniors Events
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. Please sign up as soon as possible at the JOY Seniors table in the Welcome Center.

November 30th: What's going on with Medicare updates? If you want to learn about the most recent changes to Medicare, plan to join us November 30th as Shannon Abell provides this information. We will have boxed lunches from Honeybaked Ham at a cost of $10. Sign up and make your lunch selections by Friday, November 26th.

December 11th: A good belly laugh will be the order of business for the JOY Seniors' trip to the Attic Theater on December 11th. We will view the matinee of "Welcome to Mitford," then travel to Bellacino's for a pizza/salad and dessert dinner. Please sign up at the JOY Seniors' table by November 30th.
Monthly Children's Ministry Events
Art from the Heart (4:00 PM), Children's Pizza Dinner (5:00 PM), and CIA (5:30 PM) are scheduled for this Sunday, November 14th. Preteens will meet next Sunday, November 21st from 4:00 PM until 5:30 PM in the Gym and Small Dining Room.
2021 Christmas Craft & Vendor Fair
Mark your calendars for December 5th, 1:00 - 4:00 PM, when the VBC Youth and Children will be hosting a Christmas Craft & Vendor Fair fundraiser for Passport Camps. Join us to spend the afternoon checking off your Christmas shopping list with local vendors!

Are you a crafter, artist or vendor who would like to set up a booth? We're taking reservations! The vendor registration fee is $40 per 8' x 6' space with one 6' table included (if needed). Priority is given to vendors who are church members; their registration deadline is November 14th (this Sunday). All other vendors should register no later than November 28th. Click here for all the details and a vendor registration form.
Frances Obenchain
Woodhaven Nursing Home
PO Box 168
Montvale VA 24122
November 7, 2021:
8:45 AM
In person - 161
Online - 107
11:00 AM
In person - 145
Online - 80
Sunday School - 204
Realm Updates
Realm has been rolled out to the deacons, and we hope to roll it out to all our teachers and group leaders within the next week. Once we get their feedback and confirm that all is working well, we will send Realm invitations to the remainder of the congregation. Please keep in mind that you must have an email address on file with the church to receive an invitation.

One of the benefits of Realm is being able to access directory information for our VBC members and regular attenders. Accordingly, we plan to opt everyone in to the "online directory" available through Realm. The basic information available through this directory is your name, email address(es) on file, phone number(s) on file (home and cell), street address, month and day of birth (NOT year), and a list of the groups that you are involved in at VBC (like your Sunday School class). If we have your email address on file, you will receive an email when we opt you in to this directory. If you do not want this information available to other VBC Realm participants - or if you would like to customize the info available - you can either let us know in the church office or you can adjust your own directory settings once you receive an invitation. If you have questions, give us a call at 540-343-7685.
Offering Envelopes
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? Otherwise, offering envelopes will not be issued. Thanks!
Thank you to the Mary Martha Class for their donations to Passport Youth Camp, Passport Kids' Camp, the Youth Choir Mission Trip, Operation Christmas Child, and the Blessing Box.
Christian sympathy is extended to Whitney & Travis Russell and family in the death of her grandmother, Annie Mae Edwards, on 11/3; to Alysha Tolley and her mother, Janet Smith, in the 11/3 death of Blake Tolley (Blake was grandson of Pete Tolley); and to David & Julie Plunk Craun and family in the death of his father, Garland Craun. 
Operation Christmas Child
If you were not able to turn in your filled shoebox last Sunday, you still have time! Please turn in all filled shoeboxes by this Sunday, November 14th. We will make sure that they get to the local drop-off center. Thank you!!
Youth Choir Fundraiser: Bird Houses
We still have a few bird houses remaining for sale ($20/each) as a fundraiser for the Youth Choir Mission Trip 2022. These bird houses were built by Charlie Chattin. There are a couple of samples to see and purchase at the Welcome Center. Take a look!
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 games for 5-year-olds through 1st grade will take place here at VBC and will be on the weekends. The locations of practices and the locations/days of games for older children have not yet been determined.
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 through the end of November).
Blessing Box
Following is an updated list of items needed for the Blessing Box. Donations can be placed in the tub at the Missions Tables marked "Blessing Box." Thank you for showing the love of Christ to our community!

Muffin mixes, soups (any kind), canned green beans, canned tuna, canned chicken, spam, canned carrots, baked beans, toothbrushes (single only - we can't use multi packs), and detergent (large bottles available at Dollar Tree).
Boys & Girls Club Snacks
Boys & Girls Club is running low on snacks again. They need non-perishable, single serve items that do NOT include nuts of any kind. Please drop off your donations in the "Boys & Girls Club" bin at the Missions Tables. Thank you!!
It's that time of year again! We are ordering poinsettias to beautify our sanctuary during the upcoming Christmas season. They will be purchased from Martin's again this year at a cost of $10/each. You may order in honor or memory of a loved one. Please stop by the church office to place your order by December 5th.