The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 48

November 30, 2022

Moved With Compassion

Yesterday, Whitney and I had the privilege of attending the 25-year anniversary celebration of Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Virginia (BGCSWVA). The event took place at the Grandin Theatre with a premiere showing of their new film, Impressions, which highlights the impact of the club in Southwest Virginia. Whitney and I were interviewed for the film, and were humbled by the amount of recognition and appreciation shown to Vinton Baptist throughout the film for our partnership with the BGCSWVA. Michelle Davis, CEO of Boys and Girls Club Southwest, could not have been more gracious when sharing about our church and the support our congregation has been for their club. As your pastor, I am so proud of the many ways you have embraced this ministry, shared our space, and welcomed an organization that is making such a positive difference in the lives of children in our community. Once the film is available, I look forward to the opportunity of showing it at Vinton Baptist and watching it together.

Throughout the film, a number of children, parents, and young adults were interviewed to share how BGCSWVA has impacted their lives. It was so moving to hear their testimonies, and the ways in which their lives were changed by the support, encouragement, and community they found through the BGCSWVA. As I listened to their stories, one of the common themes I heard from the young adults who had come through the club as children and teenagers was the way in which the staff saw and heard them. Despite the problems they were having at school and the difficult situations they faced at home, when they came to the Boys and Girls Club each day after school they felt seen and heard. For many of these graduates, being seen and heard by the adults of BGCSWVA is what they remember most, miss the most, and appreciate the most about their experience. It changed their lives.

One of the qualities that set Jesus apart from everyone else, among many, was his ability to see the unseen and hear the unheard in first-century Palestine. Once he saw and heard them, the Gospels repeatedly describe Jesus as having been “moved with compassion.” In Matthew, Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw the hungry multitude was without food (Matthew 14:14, 15:32), and when he heard the two blind men calling out to him by the roadside in Jericho (Matthew 20:34). In Mark, Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw the hurt and heard the frantic pleas of the man suffering from leprosy (Mark 1:41). In Luke, Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw the widow at Nain grieving over the death of her only son (Luke 7:13). All throughout the Gospels, Jesus saw and heard the people who were invisible to many in their community, and he had compassion for them. As a result of their encounter with Jesus and the compassion he showed them, their lives were forever changed.

The Boys and Girls Club testimonies presented in Impressions reemphasizes the biblical testimonies presented throughout the Gospels of the power of compassion. Showing compassion does not require us to understand or agree with the people we encounter; we don’t even have to like them. But if we will do everything we can to ensure they feel seen and heard, it can literally change their lives. And who knows, when we take the time to see and hear them, we too might just be moved with compassion. When we allow compassion to move us, it will most certainly change our lives.

On this first week of Advent, finding hope will likely depend on our willingness to give hope; giving hope to others often begins by our willingness to see them, hear them, and show them compassion. May we continue to light the candle of hope by allowing Christ to move us with his  compassion.

-- Travis

This Sunday, December 4th:

The Second Sunday of Advent

REMINDER: From now through January 1st, we have a modified Sunday morning schedule, with One Combined Morning Worship service at 10:30 AM each week and Sunday School at 9:15 AM.

The theme for the second Sunday of Advent is PEACE, and Travis' message is "When the Sandcastle Crumbles," based in Isaiah 9:2-7. We will hear from the Jubilate Handbell Choir, Craig & Jane Bradley will light our Advent wreath, and Tony Dillow will share our New Testament scripture. If you cannot join us in person, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

This Sunday:

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. Concessions will be available.

Advent & Beyond

Following is the remainder of our Advent and holiday worship schedule. Our Advent sermon series is based in Isaiah.

  • 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, "A Weary World Rejoices."
  • 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.

Wednesday Nights @ VBC

* TONIGHT – After dinner, Travis is speaking on the topic of divorce. Children's Choirs are meeting as usual, and our Youth Mission Group will deliver Christmas care packages to some homebound folks. Adult choir rehearsals will take place at their usual times.

* 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: turkey pot pie, salad, & dessert), and then stay as a family for a time of fellowship with crafts, music, a mission project (see request for Rescue Mission items below), cookies, & cocoa!!

* December 14 – Menu: ham, mac & cheese, sweet potatoes, bread, and dessert. Ministry Matters begins at 6:15 PM. Youth will visit the Rescue Mission for a Christmas Dinner & Party. Children's Choirs will have their Christmas parties. And adult choirs will meet as usual. This will be our last Wednesday night meeting this year.

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.

Thrive Student Ministry

Tonight our Youth Missions Group will make some homebound Christmas deliveries.

On Sunday youth will meet at 11:30 AM in the gym to set up and prep for our Craft & Vendor Fair. Lunch will be provided for youth and parent volunteers. After the youth help break everything down from the craft fair, we will have Youth Choir at 5:00 PM, but no other youth activities.

On Wednesday, December 7th we will participate in our Family Christmas Event here at VBC.

Christmas Brunch Fundraiser: December 18th

This Sunday you can purchase tickets at the Welcome Center for our December 18th Christmas Brunch Fundraiser, which will take place in the gym following the combined worship service and will be hosted by the Preteens. This event will be a fundraiser for the Preteen trip to Passport Camp this summer. Tickets are $10/person. The menu includes pancakes with toppings, bacon/sausage, eggs, pastries, fresh fruit, holiday punch, coffee, etc. Thanks in advance for your support!

Peggy P. Stovall

Berkshire Health Care Center #41

705 Clearview Drive

Vinton VA 24179

November 27, 2022:

  • 10:30 AM Worship: 276
  • Sunday School: 175

Christian sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Bill Barrett, who passed away November 28th; and to Cassie & Anthony Bryant in the death of her uncle, Tommy Booth.

Children's Worship Volunteers

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

Please extend a warm welcome to Holden White and Easton Epperly, who both joined VBC last Sunday by profession of faith.

Holden is the son of Cody & Susan White, who also recently joined VBC. Their address is 209 Lynn Haven Circle, Vinton VA 24179.

Easton is the son of Dock & Christina Epperly at 715 Laymantown Road, Troutville VA 24175.

Holden and Easton, we are so proud of you and welcome you in Christian fellowship!

Children's Basketball

TODAY is the deadline to register for 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. $40 per child.

Update from Ukraine

Last Friday morning, we received an update from the Zubtsov family in Ukraine. You may read their message by clicking here.


Rescue Mission Children's

Christmas Gift Bags

During our Family Christmas Event on Wednesday, December 7th we will make Christmas bags for the children at the Rescue Mission. The following items are needed for these bags and can be dropped in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables (or you can bring them with you December 7th): Walmart/McDonald's gift cards, small or travel size board games, fun athletic socks/slipper socks, Chapstick, lotion, cute hand sanitizers, books, brushes/hair bows, mini characters (Minecraft, Roblox, super heroes), small plush toys, journals, coloring books, pens/crayons/colored pencils. Our goal is to stuff at least 15 bags of goodies!

Boys & Girls Club Collection

This December the Boys & Girls Club will welcome Robert Mauck for a fire safety lesson. As a thank you, the 4th and 5th graders want to provide the firefighters with whom Robert works with high protein snacks and water bottles for when they are out on a call. Donations can include protein bars, beef jerky, granola bars, nabs, and water bottles, and they can be dropped off in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables.

Christmas Poinsettias

We are currently taking orders for poinsettias to beautify our sanctuary during the upcoming Christmas season. They will be purchased from Martin's again this year and 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 next Monday, December 5th. Plants may be taken home after worship on Christmas Day.

Christmas Giving Tree

The Giving Tree is now available beside the Welcome Center, and all tags are on the tree! Each tag specifies a local child's request (need or want) for Christmas. These children are from Keystone and our local schools. Pick up a tag or two, register your tag(s) on the provided clipboard, purchase the appropriate item(s), and return your wrapped donation(s) underneath the tree by Tuesday, December 13th.


Family Christmas Tree

Our annual Family Christmas Tree is on display across from the Welcome Center. 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. Please notate your name/family's name and the year "2022" on your ornament. When Christmas is over, we will store all ornaments here at the church to be used on next year's Family Christmas Tree.

Lottie Moon Post Office

The Lottie Moon Post Office will be open this Sunday at the Missions Tables. You may use it to "mail" Christmas cards to church members. Simply bring your Christmas cards for church members, place them in the appropriate cubby in the Post Office (organized alphabetically), and contribute 25 cents/card. All proceeds benefit the Lottie Moon Foreign Missions Offering. Members, drop by the Lottie Moon Post Office from time to time during the Christmas season to check for any cards that you may have received.

Updated List of Needs for Blessing Box

Pop Tarts, cereal, shampoo for women, Spam, Ramen Noodles, cornbread mixes, any type of individual snack (chips, Fruit Roll Ups, graham crackers), any type of snack crackers (peanut butter, cheese, white cheddar, etc.). All donations can be turned in at the Missions Tables. Thank you!

Dear Vinton Baptist Church Family,

Thank you so much for the lovely flowers. We appreciate you all thinking of us. Thanks again.

Tim & Michelle Rader

December 2022 Calendar