The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 50

December 14, 2022

Love is Patient and Kind

The pace of the last few weeks has seemed to grow with every day that passes. There is so much to do, so many places to be, and so little time to accomplish it all. From trying to complete all of my assignments for the upcoming semester, shuttling the boys to parties and practices, making sure their homework is done, teeth are brushed, and pants (not shorts) are being worn, to all of the Christmas decorating, baking, shopping, and celebrating, the past few weeks have been moving at an unsustainable speed. I imagine for many of you that your weeks have been just as chaotic. As fleeting as our time seems to be this time of year, so often is our patience and kindness.

Last weekend, the Russell family ventured over to Valley View Mall for our annual Christmas shopping spree. Though Christmas carols could be heard playing all throughout the mall, their joyful melody and cheerful words were quickly drowned out by the sounds of car horns honking, babies crying, siblings squawking, parents yelling, and a multitude of anxious footsteps racing from one store to the next. In that sea of anxious and exhausted people, the hope, peace, joy, and love of Advent seemed more like an ideal than a reality.

And yet, at Christmas we celebrate that the hope, peace, joy, and love of God has been born to us in Christ. These gifts are more than a possibility or ideal; through the birth of Jesus, they have been fulfilled for the world. But how do we access them? How can we experience the fullness of God’s love through Christ’s birth in a way that fills us with the hope, peace, and joy of Christmas? What would it take for us to fully live into the promise of Emmanuel that “God is with us”?

I think it begins by choosing each day to personify the love that God incarnated in Christ. There are many ways to do that. In I Corinthians 13, Paul defined the qualities that exemplify God’s love. To begin, the apostle wrote that love is patient and kind. In order for us not to become arrogant or boastful, rude or irritable, selfish or cruel, we need God’s gift of love. In order for God’s love within us to bear, believe, hope, and endure all things, it must first be a love that is patient and kind.

Last Saturday at Valley View, I saw very little patience or kindness; in some instances, I too expressed very little. And yet, according to Paul, it is in these two virtues that God’s greatest gift of love begins. This week, as we eagerly await the fulfillment of God’s promises, may we experience the hope, peace, and joy of our God by choosing to become the fullness of his love born in Christ. In every place we go and with every person we meet, may we practice patience and choose kindness because God is love, and love is patient and kind.      

-- Travis

You are invited to a seasonal concert presented by the

William Byrd High School Choirs. It will take place tomorrow evening at 7:30 PM here in the sanctuary at VBC.

This Sunday, December 18th:

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

The theme for the fourth Sunday of Advent is LOVE. We will have several baptisms, and the Children's Choirs will share in song! Bobby, Jodi, & Colson Estienne will light our Advent wreath; and Tina & Jace Guilliams will share our New Testament reading. If you cannot join us in person, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

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. (No Sunday School on Christmas Day.)

Reminder: Christmas Brunch Fundraiser

If you purchased tickets for this Sunday's Christmas Brunch Fundraiser, make sure to stop by the kitchen after worship. You can eat in the gym, or you may get your brunch to go.

Holiday Worship Schedule

Following is the remainder of our holiday worship schedule:

  • 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 – Dinner at 5:30 PM for those who signed up. Youth will leave early (5:00 PM) for the Rescue Mission tonight for a Christmas Dinner & Party. Ministry Matters begins at 6:15 PM, along with Children's Choirs' Christmas parties. Adult choirs will meet as usual. This will be our last Wednesday night meeting until January 11th.

Wednesday Women

Wednesday Women will resume January 11th, led by Susan Jones. We will study Jesus & Women by Kristi McLelland, and we plan to meet in the Disciple Center. Please secure your own book if possible. If you cannot do so, please let the church office know and we will order one for you for $25. Either way, we ask that you sign up with the church office - by calling 540-343-7685 or by filling out the sign-up sheet on the office counter - so that we can get an accurate head count. We're looking forward to this study!

Audrey Ferguson

3120 Richard Avenue NE

Roanoke VA 24012

December 11, 2022:

  • 10:30 AM Worship: 387
  • Sunday School: 194

Christian sympathy is extended to Russell & Alicia Wise and family in the December 5th death of his brother, Michael Wayne Wise; and to Bonnie Hartsel and family in the death of her son, David Russell Short, on December 4th.

Christmas Giving Tree

Thanks to everyone who purchased gifts or donated funds to make Christmas possible for our local school children! If you would like to help wrap presents or deliver gifts, please touch base with Whitney for any opportunities remaining.

Please extend a warm welcome to David & Elaine Norris, who joined VBC this past Sunday by statement from Calvary Baptist in Waco, TX. Their address is 3345 Blacksburg Road, Troutville VA 24175. David & Elaine, we are so happy to welcome you in Christian fellowship!

2023 Offering Envelopes

New offering envelopes will be issued to all those who requested them in 2022. If you do not currently have offering envelopes but would like a set for 2023, please contact Patsy Talbert in the church office at 540-343-7685 or Thank you!

Updated List of Needs for the 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!

Lottie Moon Post Office

The Lottie Moon Post Office is open 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.

Play Group Coming to VBC in January

If you have a young child in your life (newborn - PreK) and would enjoy fellowshipping with other families, we have a new play group forming just for you! Beginning January 5th, our Fun & The Son Play Group will meet on Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:30 AM in the Kindergarten room on the first floor of the children's wing. We will provide interactive play opportunities for babies and toddlers and their families. Each child must be supervised by an adult parent, grandparent, or guardian for the full hour. Come out and spend some time playing with others and getting to know neighbors and friends. Questions? Interested? See Betty Jo Overstreet.


Thank you to everyone who purchased a poinsettia in honor or memory of loved ones in order to beautify our sanctuary this Christmas. Please click here for this year's list of memorials and honorariums. You are welcome to take your plant home after worship on Christmas Day.

Community Assistance Fund

Over the past few weeks, we have had several requests from folks in our community to help them with rent, eviction notices, or other bills. Unfortunately, our Community Assistance (formerly Benevolence) Fund has dwindled down and we have been unable to help most of these individuals. If you are looking for a way to give back to your community this Christmas or before the end of the year (for tax purposes), please consider giving to our Community Assistance Fund. Checks can be made payable to Vinton Baptist, with "Community Assistance Fund" notated in the memo line. Or you can make a donation online and notate the same in the memo field. Thank you so much for your willingness to help our neighbors in need.

Please note that The Witness will NOT be published the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. If you have announcements that need to appear in The Witness prior to the end of this calendar year, please submit them to no later than noon Monday, December 19th so that they will appear in the December 21st issue.

December 2022 Calendar