The Witness
Volume 40, Issue 6
February 9, 2022
An Ancient Tradition
Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven who are of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task . . . . These seven were presented before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:3, 6)

The process of selecting leaders within the church, praying over them, and laying hands upon them has been around since the beginning of the church. As Luke reveals in Acts, it was a way of ensuring the needs of the congregation and community were met. By expanding its leadership, the church was able to expand its reach and impact in the local community.

This Sunday we have the opportunity to continue this tradition. During both worship services, we will ordain three deacons: Belinda Williams, Joanna Williamson, and Nick Jones. We will also install our new deacons who have previously served. This a sacred event in the life of the church. It will be a time of blessing, affirming, and encouraging these new leaders. It will be a time of celebrating God’s call upon their lives, and the opportunity to expand our reach and impact in our local community.

One of the most important elements of this service will be the laying on of hands. This practice has been around much longer than New Testament Church. In Numbers, God’s people laid hands on the priests in order to commission them; Moses laid hands on Joshua to anoint him as the new leader of Israel. In the Gospels, Jesus healed the sick, blessed the children, and commissioned his twelve disciples by laying his hands upon them. In Acts, we find one of the most significant implications for the laying on of hands, which is the giving and receiving of the Holy Spirit among believers.

Luke recorded it this way: 14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16 (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17)

Through baptism, the people of Samaria became believers; through the laying on of hands, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. This Sunday, by laying hands on our new deacons, we have an opportunity to do the same. We can receive the power of the Holy Spirit once again by sharing in this ancient tradition. I hope you will join us, as we experience the gift of God’s presence among us through the power of God’s people gathered together.
-- Travis
This Sunday, February 13th: Deacon Ordination & Installation
Travis' sermon this week is "Community is Indispensable," and the scripture is Hebrews 10:23-25. Sunday afternoon activities: Youth "SOUP-er Bowl" from noon until 2 PM, Art from the Heart at 3 PM, and CIA at 4 PM. There will be no Youth Choir, Extreme, or Pandemonium Steel Drums rehearsals. We WILL have Handbells rehearsal at 5 PM.
Wednesday Night Activities
Tonight after dinner, we will be continuing our Parenting with Love and Logic series at 6:15pm in the small dining room.

The Spiritual Disciplines in the Narrative of Joseph study will also continue tonight in the gym. We will discuss the discipline of spiritual maturity. Our scripture is Genesis 44:14 - 45:28. Click here for tonight's study notes.

Next week's menu: February 16th - chicken fried steak with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans with pintos, buttermilk biscuits, dessert, & beverages. Dinner begins at 5:30 PM. Costs are $6/adult, $5/child (ages 4-12), children 3 and under are free, max per household is $18, first-time guests are free. Please sign up by calling the church office at 540-343-7685 no later than 5 PM Tuesday.
A Higher Note
The youth choir mission trip dates are June 4-9, 2022. We will be touring our way to Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, FL. Because of successful fundraisers in 2019-20 and earlier this year, the cost will be $200 per participant. This is the lowest cost for a tour of this type in more than 15 years. There is a sign up sheet in the choir room. All participants need to sign up indicating their interest in going on the tour. Payment can be made in full at one time or $100 due on March 6 and $100 on April 3. The deadline to sign up will be April 3. We are going to move forward and positively plan to have a successful trip together. Itineraries and permission forms will be available May 1.
Thrive Student Ministry
Children's Ministry Activities This Sunday
- Note Corrected Times
Sunday, February 13th we will have Art from the Heart and CIA for children 4 years old through fifth grade. Please note a change in times/schedule: Art from the Heart will begin at 3:00 PM and run until 4:00 PM. We will NOT have a pizza dinner. CIA will begin at 4:00 PM and end at 5:00 PM. We hope you will drop your child(ren) off at 3:00 PM for these special activities, and you can pick them up at 5:00 PM.
Safe Church Training Luncheon
All volunteers who work with children, youth, and special friends are invited to our annual Safe Church Training Luncheon, which will take place February 20th, Noon - 2:30 PM in the gym. We will review current Safe Church Policy, answer questions, hear from our Safety Team, and introduce classroom management procedures to be added to our policy. Please contact Sarah Hurt to register so that she can make sure you have a boxed lunch.
JOY Seniors Updates
The JOY Seniors would like to say a very special THANK YOU to everyone who supported our recent "Soup for Seniors Drive." Through your generosity, we were able to provide much needed canned goods to seniors in need. Donated items included soup, vegetables, fruits, canned meats, crackers, and more, as well as $395 in monetary donations to purchase needed food items. An extraordinary donation was made by the LOA Sunday School class that was greatly appreciated. Also, a special thanks to Sam Lewis for helping to transport the collected items. Thank you, Vinton Baptist Church, for all you do to support our community. - VBC JOY Council

The first JOY Seniors outing for 2022 is planned for next Tuesday, February 15th. We will meet for breakfast at 9:00 AM at Golden Corral. Everyone must provide their own transportation. The cost of breakfast will be $10 plus tip, payable directly to Golden Corral. We ask that you sign up at the JOY Seniors table so that we can give the restaurant a headcount; however, if you do not sign up, please feel free to meet us anyway.

The Beans & Cornbread Luncheon has been moved to February 22nd. The Council will provide beans, chili, cornbread, baked potato, and dessert. The cost is $10/person. A signup sheet is at the JOY Seniors table. Please sign up by the 21st so we will know the number to prepare for. Our program will be table games.
Passport Kids' Camp registration is underway! Camp will take place June 15 - 18 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. Register your child by March 27th by completing a registration form (click here or find a copy in the church office) and submitting a $100 camp deposit. Questions? Contact Sarah Hurt.
The Dr. Charlie J. Lovelace, III
Memorial College Scholarship
Attention: High School Seniors! Applications are now being accepted for the Lovelace Scholarship, which is given annually to a graduating senior who is a member of Vinton Baptist Church and who will be attending a four-year college or university. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded for the student's first year of school. Applications are available in the church office, at WBHS, or by clicking here. Completed applications must be returned to the church office no later than Monday, April 11, 2022.
Joe Brugh
316 E. Madison Avenue
Vinton VA 24179-4528
to Audrey Ferguson, who turns 97 years old
on Saturday, February 12, 2022. Audrey is
our oldest member at Vinton Baptist Church.
Congratulations to Jordon & Allison Bryan Bennett on the birth of their first child, Jameson Todd Bennett, on February 7th, weighing 9 lbs, 1 oz. and measuring 21" long. Proud grandmother is Susan Bryan, and great grandmother is Janet Bennett; aunts are Christina Epperly and Jennifer Garner.
Deacon Ordination Blessing Books
If you have not yet had an opportunity to write a word of encouragement, prayer, or scripture for each of our three new deacons (Nick Jones, Joanna Williamson, and Belinda Williams), please do so one day this week or on Sunday. A table is set up in the Welcome Center with materials for you; please remember to sign your name. Ordination Blessing Books, including all of your notes and affirmations, will be gifted to these new deacons.
Christian sympathy is extended to Chris & Mary Beth Monroe and family in the death of his brother Jerry’s step-son, Steve Black from Tennessee; and to Pat Barton, Becky Ingram and Kathryn Sowers in the death of their aunt, Gladys Smith Wilson.
Children's Worship & Nursery Volunteers
We need volunteers for Children's Worship and for open spots in our Nursery. We have combined those open volunteer positions into one sign-up sheet. Please consider helping us in these crucial ministries. Click here to sign up (dates available through the end of March). Thanks for serving!
Missions Moment
Our Adopt-A-School team is collecting items to fill the clothes closets at our local schools. Please drop off your used or nearly new, clean donations this week in the box on the Missions Table! Requested items:
  • Socks for boys and girls (all sizes)
  • Boys' sweatpants (sizes 4-12)
  • Girls' underwear (sizes 8-10)
  • Boys' underwear (sizes 8-10)
  • Men's khaki pants (high school sizes)
  • Men's dress shirts (high school sizes)
  • Girls' dresses (high school sizes)
  • Boys' & girls' dress shoes (adult sizes)
Realm Updates
Realm invitations have now been forwarded by email to all church members and regular participants for whom we have an email address on file. If you did not receive your invitation, please check your spam/junk folder. If you have not already done so, we invite you to create a login for Realm. If you do not find your invitation in your inbox or spam/junk folder, and you would like to create a Realm login, please contact the church office at 540-343-7685 or by emailing [email protected].

There are many church members and participants for whom we do not have an email address on file. We are working our way alphabetically through those folks and automatically adding them to our secure VBC "online directory." If you do NOT want to be added to our "online directory," or if you have questions about how your information is being shared, please call the church office at 540-343-7685.
Snacks Needed
Boys & Girls Club is once again in need of 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!
SPAM Emails
We have recently received reports from church members who have gotten bogus emails that initially appear to be sent by VBC staff. (I have received two already this week, both claiming to be from Travis Russell; I could tell by both the sending email address and the content of the email that it did not really come from Travis.) Oftentimes, such emails will ask you to click on a link or respond to the email. The intent may be to infect your device with a virus or to gain personal information from you. Here are a few ways that you can tell if an email is legitimate or SPAM:
  • The easiest way to identify a bogus email is to check the sender's email address. All VBC staff have addresses using their first name and "" (For example, [email protected].) If the sending email address does not follow this pattern, then the email is not coming from a staff person.
  • Does the email sound odd? If it doesn't sound right, chances are it didn't come from that individual. If in doubt, feel free to call and check.
  • Does the email ask you to click on a link that doesn't look familiar or have a specific purpose for you to click on it? If so, it could be SPAM. You can call that individual and check.
  • Does the email ask for money, gift cards, or personal information that you would not normally share? Our staff will never ask you personally for money or gift cards. If we are collecting funds for anything, it will be publicly advertised in The Witness or the bulletin; it would not be a personal request from an individual staff member.
Unfortunately, because we publicly list our staff's email addresses on our website, bulletin, etc., it is easy for someone who is up to no good to represent themselves as one of our staff. We hope that these tips help keep you and your information safe. If you have questions, please let us know.
Upcoming RVBA Sponsored Events
The following events are open to the public, and we want to encourage our congregation to participate.
  • WMU Mission Focus Training - "Weaving Our Stories" - Saturday, February 12th, 10 AM - 12:15 PM at North Roanoke Baptist Church. Please click here for more information.
  • Blessed Girl Teen Conference - Saturday, February 19th beginning at 3 PM at Villa Heights Baptist Church. Click here for more info or to register.
AXIS Training for Church Leaders
In August 2021, the BGAV launched AXIS, a ministry academy designed to meet the needs of today's church lay leaders and ministerial leaders. AXIS provides high quality, accessible, and affordable practical ministry education for church leaders. Whether you’re a church staff member seeking continuing education or a lay leader being trained for the first time, AXIS has a path for you. You can choose to take individual courses in any area or pursue a Certificate in one of four ministry focus areas: Children's, Youth, or Family Ministry, or Pastoral Leadership. Click here for additional information.