The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 46

November 16, 2022

Relational Diversity

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Harvard Business School, the more diverse human interactions we have on a consistent basis, the happier we will be. Using statistics from the Bureau of Labor and the World Health Organization, these researchers were able to analyze data of those who had shared their daily habits, schedules, and interactions. Among other findings, what they found was a clear relationship between relational diversity and overall levels of satisfaction.

According to Hanne Collins, a Harvard Business School doctoral student who co-authored the study, relational diversity is composed of two elements: richness and evenness. Richness measures how many kinds of people we interact with in a day, such as spouses, family members, close friends, co-workers, and complete strangers. Evenness measures the amount of time we spend in conversation with the people in each of these categories. Based on their findings, the more evenly our conversations are spread across a richness of the people with whom we interact on a consistent basis, the more satisfied and fulfilled we will be with the rest of our lives.

Tonight, we will conclude our Wednesday night Bible Study on the distinctives of our Baptist identity. At Vinton Baptist, one of our distinguishing characteristics is our identity as a “moderate” Baptist church. Being moderate does not make us better, healthier, or holier than a Southern Baptist congregation, but it is a distinguishing feature of our congregation that differentiates us in our theological approach to scripture and ecclesiological structure.

For many, the distinguishing characteristic of a moderate Baptist church is its willingness to ordain women deacons and pastors. Though affirming God’s call of women in all positions of ecclesial leadership is vitally important to our biblical understanding of Christ’s church, our identity is much richer and more unique than our theological approach on one issue. According to Wesley J. Wildman and Stephen Chapin Garner in their book Lost In The Middle?, Moderate Christians, which make up the majority of mainline Protestant churches such as Vinton Baptist, believe the church should model for the world a community that rises above the territorial instincts and insults of political and theological discourse that denies the complexity of these issues by reducing theology, morality, and politics to black-and-white contrasts. Instead, united in our commitment to Christ, the church must be a people who stress love and acceptance more than social identity and security. In a culture filled with divisive discourse and polarized communities, moderate churches seek to offer a "big tent" kind of Christian community where the center pole is our shared commitment to Christ, but on every pew one can find the full spectrum of political and theological diversity.

According to Paul, this is what the body of Christ is like: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).” Making a commitment to create and sustain a Christian community that is diverse within its many members and united as one in Christ, is what makes  Vinton Baptist a “moderate” Baptist church. This celebration of diversity, which remains committed to Christ and connected to one another, calls us to cultivate a safe and loving space that invites hard questions, remains open to other perspectives, stays connected in our disagreements, learns from our differences, and relentlessly invites and welcomes others into our fellowship. In doing so, not only may we discover more fulfillment in the evenness of our relational diversity (as Collins’ study concludes), but more importantly, according to Paul, we will provide the world a clearer image of Christ and his Kingdom. 

-- Travis

This Sunday, November 20th

Join us this Sunday for Thanksgiving worship: early service at 8:45 AM, Sunday School at 9:50 AM, and traditional worship at 11:00 AM. Travis' message is, "Cheerful Givers," and the scripture is 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. If you cannot join us in person, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

The following Sunday, November 27th is the first Sunday of Advent! (See our Advent worship schedule below.)

Community Thanksgiving Service

Please plan to join us this Sunday evening, November 20th at 6:00 PM at Vinton Wesleyan Church for our Community Thanksgiving Service, featuring music by Olivia Foster, Beth & Brad Radford, Ken Nicely, and others, as well as a message from Rev. Jonathan Moelker, pastor of Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church. We have a total of six local churches and organizations with participating representatives. A love offering will be taken to benefit the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club to assist in their Children's Christmas Project. Come worship the Lord in community!

Preteen Event this Sunday

Preteens will meet at the church at 4:00 PM this Sunday for a service project and dinner. At 5:15, they will head to the Community Thanksgiving Service for the remainder of our time. Parents, please check your email for more information from Sarah or contact her if you'd like to be added to the email list for new families or anyone who would like to attend.

Our next Preteen event will be a progressive dinner December 11th, so mark your calendars!

Wednesday Nights @ VBC

Tonight we'll follow a regular Wednesday night schedule: dinner at 5:30 PM, Youth Missions Group at 6:00 PM (to the Rescue Mission this week), Adult Bible Study & Children's Choirs at 6:15 PM, and adult choir rehearsals at their usual times.

Following is our Wednesday night Adult Bible Study schedule and dinner menus for the remainder of the year:

* Tonight – Travis will share the final installment on Our Baptist Identity. Our dinner menu (for those who signed up by 5 PM Monday) is turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cold salad, roll, and dessert.

* November 23 – No activities - enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

* November 30 – Travis will speak on the topic of divorce. Our menu is loaded baked potato quiche, vegetable, soup, bread, and dessert.

* December 7 – Family Christmas Event! Mark your calendars! This event will take place during the regular Bible Study and Children's Choir times. Sign up for dinner as usual (menu TBD), and then stay as a family for a time of fellowship with crafts, music, a mission project, cookies, & cocoa!!

* December 14 – Ministry Matters. Menu TBD.

There will be no Wednesday night activities after December 14th. We will take a break for the holidays and plan to resume January 11, 2023.

Dinner reservations are due by 5:00 PM the Monday prior to each dinner by calling 540-343-7685. 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.

JOY Seniors Luncheon

The next JOY Luncheon will be Tuesday, November 29th at noon in the gym. Our program will be "Updates to Medicare," presented by Shannon Abell. There will be free goodies and new information. Our lunch will come from Three Li'l Pigs and will include a BBQ sandwich with coleslaw, your choice of one side, dessert, and water. The cost is $10/person. Please sign up at the JOY Seniors table no later than next Wednesday, November 23rd.

Looking to Advent & Beyond

Following is our Advent and holiday worship schedule. Please note our modified Sunday morning schedule from November 27th through January 1st. Our Advent sermon series is based in Isaiah.

  • First Sunday of Advent, November 27th - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM One Combined Morning Worship Service. The Steel Drums and soloist Darian Garland are scheduled to perform.
  • Second Sunday of Advent, December 4th - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM One Combined Morning Worship Service. Jubilate Handbells will perform.
  • Third Sunday of Advent, December 11th - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM One Combined Morning Worship Service. The Chancel Choir & Orchestra will present our Christmas Musical.
  • Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18th - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM One Combined Morning Worship Service. Our Children's Choirs will perform.
  • Christmas Eve, December 24th - 5:00 PM Worship Service.
  • Christmas Day, December 25th - 10:30 AM One Combined Morning Worship Service (NO Sunday School).
  • New Year's Day, January 1st - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM One Combined Morning Worship Service.

You're Invited to Our Christmas Craft & Vendor Fair

We have nearly 30 vendors scheduled for our December 4th Craft & Vendor Fair, which means there will be many unique gifts to choose from! Plan to stop by between 1:00 and 4:00 PM and bring your friends!

Christmas Brunch Fundraiser

On December 18th, following the combined worship service, the Preteens will host a Christmas brunch for our church family. This event will be a fundraiser for our trip to Passport Camp this summer. Tickets are $10/person, and you can purchase your tickets at the Welcome Center beginning November 27th. Thanks in advance for your support!

Barbara Karnes

Springtree Health & Rehab #502

3433 Springtree Drive NE

Roanoke VA 24012

Thank you to the Berean/Fellowship 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.

Children's Worship Volunteers

Please consider volunteering to help in Children's Worship during November or December. Click here for the current sign-up sheet. If you're interested but not sure what's involved, reach out to Sarah.

Christian sympathy is extended to Josh Witt, former VBC Youth Minister, and family in the death of his father, David Witt, on November 10th; and to the family of Lecia Bohon's cousin, whose infant son passed away.

Please extend a warm welcome to Frances Hagerman, who joined VBC by letter on Sunday, November 13th. Her address is 727 S. Battery Drive, Roanoke VA 24019. Frances, welcome to Vinton Baptist Church!

Children's Basketball Registration

is OPEN until November 30th!

Children's Basketball registration forms are available in the church office or by clicking here. Please complete the form that corresponds with your child's age/grade level. This year's cost will remain at $40 per participant. Registration forms and payment are due in the church office by Wednesday, November 30th.

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 the following items: travel toothbrushes/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 & 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 by this Sunday, November 20th. Thank you to everyone who has already contributed!

Christmas Poinsettias

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. They are $10/each. You may order in honor or memory of a loved one. Please stop by the church office to place your order no later than December 5th. Plants may be taken home after worship on Christmas Day.

Christmas Giving Tree

Stay tuned for info coming soon about this year's Giving Tree. As in past years, we will have tags available on the tree; they will specify a local child's request (need or want) for Christmas. You can pick up a tag, purchase the appropriate item(s), and return your donation underneath the tree. Whitney already has requests available for some local children. If you're ready to start your Christmas shopping, you can contact Whitney for info now. When her list is complete, we'll be ready to officially launch this year's Giving Tree (target date: November 27th).


Family Christmas Tree

Our annual Family Christmas Tree will be displayed by November 27th, as well. This tree has an ornament representing each family at Vinton Baptist Church. If you are new to VBC, or if you have simply never donated an ornament representing your family, please bring your ornament and place it on our tree this season. It can be any ornament of your choice that represents your family; please notate your name/family's name and the year "2022" on your ornament. When Christmas is over, we store all ornaments here at the church to be used on next year's Family Christmas Tree.

November 2022 Calendar