The Witness
Volume 39, Issue 46
November 17, 2021
"God's Purposes"
Last Sunday, our Fellowship of Deacons met in the gym following the eleven o’clock worship service for our quarterly vision meeting. We watched Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, entitled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Sinek believes the greatest leaders and organizations in history all share one thing in common—they start with “why.” He reiterates throughout his presentation: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it; what you do simply serves as the proof of what you believe.”

According to Sinek, many businesses define their “why” as profit. They believe the reason they do the things they do is ultimately to increase their profit margins, and thus, grow and expand as a company. He believes the problem with this mindset is that profits are an outcome, not a belief. Sinek explains that the companies who focus most of their energy on growth and profit margins usually are unsuccessful because they confuse profits and purpose. The most successful organizations understand their purpose, believe in their purpose, and focus their energy into fulfilling that purpose. These organizations clearly understand their “why”—the purpose for why they exist—and as they work to achieve their purpose, others are inspired and want to join their cause. As a result, these companies grow and their profits increase.

I think churches can also confuse outcomes and purpose at times. According to the Center for Healthy Churches, when asked about their goals, most churches share a similar answer—they want their church to grow. As a result, most of the decisions they make focus on that outcome. What can our church do to attract more young people? How can our church increase giving? What will bring more people into our church?

Like businesses, churches need people and money; effective ministry requires both. However, a growing budget and increased attendance is an outcome, not a purpose. Solomon, known for his wisdom, also confused outcomes and purpose. He thought his purpose was to build the biggest, nicest, most glorious house for God to abide amongst his people. His focus became the Temple, and all the money and people required to ensure its success. In response, God said to Solomon: “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, obey my ordinances, and keep all my commandments by walking in them, then I will establish my promise with you, which I made to your father David. I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel (1 Kings 6:12-13).”

God didn’t need a fancy house; God wanted a faithful people. By walking in his statutes, obeying his ordinances, and keeping all of his commandments, God’s people could fulfill the purpose of God’ covenant: I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing . . . and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3).”

Solomon wanted the Temple to be successful; God wanted his people to be faithful. Solomon saw the Temple as a place for God’s presence to go and stay. God saw the Temple as a conduit for his presence to move in and work through. Solomon wanted the Temple to be filled with God’s people. God wanted the Temple to equip and send out his people to fill the world.

I think sometimes the church today can fall into the same trap as Solomon. Is God more concerned with how many members our church brings in, or how many committed disciples our church sends out? Is God more concerned with how large our church becomes, or the size of our church’s impact in the surrounding community? Does God want a church that simply provides a beautiful space for him to abide with his people, or a church that serves as an effective conduit for his presence to move in and through his people? Solomon was focused on achieving certain outcomes; God was focused on fulfilling his purposes. Which one will we choose?
Sunday Worship, November 21st
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 a New Commandment," based in John 13:31-36. If you choose to worship virtually, please access our livestream through our website or FB live.
A Higher Note
Happy Thanksgiving!

I am happy to report that we only have 5 "Charlie Chattin bird houses" left. Individuals are buying them for Christmas gifts. Some are custom painting or staining them to add a particular flair. Come get them quickly before they are gone.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 4th for the Steel Drum Concert in our Sanctuary. Panamania, the group directed by Richard & Delilah Rudolph, will delight the audience with many Christmas tunes, both sacred and secular. The group is always a joy to hear and see.

The Chancel Choir will present "The Road to Bethlehem" on Sunday, December 12th at both worship services. The work will be accompanied by keyboard and bass guitar.

On Sunday, December 19th our Children's Choirs will sing in worship. The Young Musicians will sing for both services; the Cherub and Sonshine Choirs will sing at 11:00 AM only.
-- Chris Monroe
Wednesday Night Dinners & Activities
Tonight's activities are the last Wednesday night activities of this month; click here for tonight's Bible study outline. We will NOT meet next Wednesday; we hope you can celebrate Thanksgiving with your family and friends next week. We will resume Wednesday night activities December 1st.
Bible in a Year Reading
Read this week:
The Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 1-15
The New Testament: Hebrews 8-13
Old Testament Prophecy: Amos
Psalms: Psalms 144-150
Gospels: Luke 1-4
Meditate: “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24
Prayer: Let justice flow like streams
of sparkling water, pure,
enabling growth, refreshing life,
abundant, cleansing, sure.

Let righteousness roll on
as others' cares we heed,
an ever-flowing stream of faith
translated into deed.

 So may God's plumb line, straight,
define our measure true,
and justice, right, and peace pervade
this world our whole life through.

-Hymn by Jane Parker Huber
Thrive Student Ministry
Upcoming Dates:
*Sunday, November 21st- Thanksgiving Dinner and Bible study
           -Join us for a Thanksgiving meal and a special Thanksgiving study.
*No Extreme November 28th for the Thanksgiving Holiday
*December 5th- Students have signed up to help serve food, unload and load vehicles, and gift wrap at our Craft and Vendor Fair to raise funds for their Passport Trip this summer. If your student needs to sign up, please see Whitney!
-Meet around 11:30am to help for the afternoon! Dinner and lunch will be provided for youth. They can head to choir at 5:00pm.
           -No extreme after the busy afternoon on 12/5.
*December 19th- Christmas Dinner and Gift Exchange!
*December 20th- Meet at the church at 3:45pm to travel to the Rescue Mission to serve dinner before the children’s shelter Christmas performance.
JOY Seniors Events
Tomorrow, November 18th: The Ikenberry Orchard/Heritage Market/Cracker Barrel day trip will depart at 9:00 AM.

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 Wednesday, November 24th (note deadline change).

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.
Preteens Event
Preteens will meet this 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 host a Christmas Craft & Vendor Fair fundraiser for Passport Camps. Join us to spend the afternoon checking off your Christmas shopping list with local vendors! So far we have the following vendors scheduled: Carolyns Sparkles (jewelry), Trendy with Sindy (chalk couture), Briarwood Mountain Crafts (quilts), Gypsy Star Studio (womens clothing & accessories), Pampered Chef, Color Street, and more. We're still accepting vendors, so if you're a crafter, artist, or other vendor who would like to set up a booth, please register no later than November 28th. Click here for all the details and a vendor registration form.
Peggy P. Stovall
Berkshire #41
705 Clearview Drive
Vinton VA 24179-3605
November 14, 2021:
8:45 AM
In person - 144
Online - 113
11:00 AM
In person - 176
Online - 143
Sunday School - 221
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 this Sunday, November 21st? Otherwise, offering envelopes will not be issued. We have envelopes available; we simply need to confirm who wants to receive them. Thank you!
Please Note:
  • This year's Thanksgiving offering will benefit the Community Assistance (formerly "Benevolence") Fund.
  • The wooden prayer/offering box that has been located inside the C2 exterior office doors since COVID began has been moved into the Welcome Center; it is now located next to the interior church office door.
Christian sympathy is extended to Clinton Western, Larry, & Clinton, Jr. and families in the death of wife and mother, Nancy Lee Western, on November 15th. The funeral will be Thursday, November 18th at Oakey's Vinton Chapel at 10:00 AM.
Please extend a warm welcome to Kim Harris, who joined VBC Sunday, November 14th by letter. Kim's address is 2986 Emissary Drive, Roanoke VA 24019. Kim, welcome back to Vinton Baptist Church!
Operation Christmas Child
Nearly 400 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes were delivered by Vinton Baptist Church to the drop-off center yesterday and are on their way to being processed for distribution worldwide! Thanks to everyone who made another year of Operation Christmas Child possible!
Children's Basketball
Registration is open 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.
Lottie Moon Post Office
The Lottie Moon Post Office will be available this year, beginning the first Sunday of Advent, November 28th. It is an option for "mailing" your Christmas cards to church members and regular attenders at 25 cents/card. All proceeds benefit the Lottie Moon Foreign Missions Offering.
Children's Volunteers Are Needed
Children's Worship volunteers are needed every Sunday. Thanks to all those who regularly help out. A new volunteer sign-up has been created, with dates through January. The new year is a great time to get involved in a new ministry!! Please click here to sign up.
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 can use some additional snacks. 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.
The Giving Tree (formerly "Angel Tree")
We plan to have our Giving Tree up in the Welcome Center Sunday, November 28th (the First Sunday of Advent) with tags available for children from local elementary schools and Keystone Community Center. In the meantime, we will have some tags available in the Welcome Center this Sunday for those of you who do your Christmas shopping on Black Friday! Please pick up your tag(s) this Sunday; make sure to register your name in the Welcome Center to correspond with your tag(s) so that we can keep track of each child's gifts. Two gifts (one clothing and one toy/interest) are requested with each tag. Gifts can be purchased, wrapped, and returned to the church no later than Monday, December 13th. Please write the tag # on each gift before returning them to the church. Thank you!!!
Realm Updates
Realm has been rolled out to the deacons, and we plan to roll it out to all our teachers and group leaders by the end of this 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.
REMINDER: Please remember that the church is closed on Saturdays, except for previously scheduled events or activities. If you need access to the church on a Saturday, please make arrangements through the church office during the week prior.
Dish Towels Needed
The kitchen is in need of serviceable dish towels for Wednesday night dinners. They can be gently used or new, but we prefer nothing fancy. Please drop off your dish towels in the church office. Thank you!
The church would like to thank Angie & Barry Begley and friends for their generous donation of five full Thanksgiving meals (turkeys, pies, drinks, rolls, and all the fixins) for our Food Pantry recipients. This donation was made to honor the memory of their daughter, Brittany Shockey, who passed away October 15, 2018.
On behalf of my dad, I would like everyone to know how happy you made him with all the cards and the gift bag. Mostly he was so very happy for the cards and calls on his birthday. That really made his day. And also, thanks from me for the time you take for this.
Jack Lipscomb & Vanessa Sowers
Thank you again for your partnership and we are extremely humbled by your gift to our Council that helps us to continue to educate and advocate to communities on how they can love and protect our youth. We appreciate what you do for so many in the Vinton community.
Nancy Hans, Executive Director
Prevention Council of Roanoke County