The Witness

Volume 41, Issue 7

February 15, 2023

Let Something Essential Happen to Me

I would like to offer a prayer that I shared a portion of with our deacons during our last meeting. It is a prayer written by Ted Loder in his book, Guerrillas of Grace. It is a prayer he wrote for restoration and renewal. My prayer is that it will be so for you today.

O God,

let something essential happen to me,

something more than interesting

or entertaining,

or thoughtful.

O God,

let something essential happen to me,

something awesome,

something real.

Speak to my condition, Lord,

and change me somewhere inside where it matters,

a change that will burn and tremble and heal . . . .

O God,

let something essential and passionate happen in me now.

Strip me of my illusions of self-sufficiency,

of my proud sophistications,

of my inflated assumptions of knowledge . . . .

O God,

let something essential and joyful happen in me now,

something like the blooming of hope and faith,

like a grateful heart,

like a surge of awareness

of how precious each moment is,

that now, not next time,

now is the occasion

to take my off my shoes,

to see every bush afire,

to leap and whirl with neighbor . . .

to dare to speak the tender word:

“Thank you”;

“I love you”;

“You’re beautiful.”

[O God, let something essential happen in me today.]     


This Sunday, February 19th

We'll hear from the VBC Youth Choir this Sunday in both morning worship services (8:45 and 11:00 AM). Travis' message is, "A Slow Kingdom," and the scripture is Matthew 13:44-48. If you cannot join us in person, tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

We hope you'll also join us for Sunday School at 9:50 AM. If you don't currently attend Sunday School and you're not sure which class would be best for you, give us a call in the church office at 540-343-7685 during the week and we'll help you get plugged in.

Preteen Ice Skating

Preteens will meet this Sunday, February 19th immediately following the 11:00 AM worship service. We will have lunch and a devotion. Then we'll head out to Lancerlot for ice skating, 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Cost is $8/child.

Wednesday Nights

Join us tonight for Wednesday Night Dinner (5:30 PM for those who signed up), Youth Missions Group (6:00 PM), Adult Bible Study (6:15 PM - on Psalm 121), Children's Choirs (6:15 PM), and adult choir rehearsals (usual times). Adult Bible Study will be livestreamed through our website and on Facebook.

Next week's menu (February 22nd) is sloppy joe, tater tots, fried cabbage, salad, & dessert. Please note that next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. We will have all of our usual Wednesday night activities at their normal times. For Adult Bible Study, we will focus on Psalm 123, as well as Ash Wednesday. The imposition of ashes will be available at the conclusion of Bible study, and you'll still have time to pick up your children from Children's Choirs after you receive your ashes.


Please be sure to make or change dinner reservations by calling the church office (540-343-7685) by 5:00 PM the Monday prior to dinner. Dinner costs are $7/adult (ages 13+), $5/child (ages 4-12), children 3 and under are free, and the max per family (living in the same household) is $20. First-time guests are complimentary.

JOY Seniors

If you signed up for the Happy Hearts make-and-take sugar scrub event tomorrow at 10:00 AM, please remember to bring a bowl (larger than a cereal bowl, but smaller than a mixing bowl) and a tablespoon. Also, be sure to bring your $7 per 4 oz. jar if you have not already paid.

Our next luncheon is Tuesday, February 28th at noon in the gym. Our menu is grilled chicken sandwich, green beans, chips, dessert, & water. Our program is presented by Gerri Wade on the History of Virginia Indians. The cost for lunch is $10/person. Please sign up by Friday, February 24th.

Thrive Student Ministry

We plan to have all our usual Sunday evening Youth activities this week.

March 5th is Youth Sunday!

DNOW weekend (March 17th - 19th) is rapidly approaching, and registration is OPEN! Please sign up as soon as possible. Click here for the registration form.

Also, mark your calendars and see Whitney to sign up for our Youth Mission Trip to Nashville June 18th - 23rd.

Youth Volleyball practices will begin in March. See Ken Williamson or Whitney with questions or to sign up. Rosters need to be completed soon.

Show Your Support for Blair!

As many of you know, Blair Rives has been undergoing rigorous chemotherapy. February is her birthday month, and we want to show her some extra love and support! On February 26th, the last Sunday of this month, we ask that everyone wear their "Team Blair" t-shirts in support of Blair and her family. If you have not yet ordered a t-shirt and would like to do so, click here. There are several colors and styles available. All proceeds go directly to Blair and her family.

Thank You from the Youth Choir

The Youth Choir would like to thank everyone who supported our fundraiser last week. We were able to raise $1,520. This will help us with some of our meals and supplies.

Youth and adults planning to go on the choir trip to Niagara Falls, Canada June 3rd - 8th should try to get your passport information together and appointments made at the post office. If you have any questions or need help, see Chris. We have been able to reduce the cost of the trip to $260/person. If you plan to go and have not yet signed up or paid your deposit, please do so as soon as possible.

Wayne & Barbara Wray

3719 Bandy Road

Roanoke VA 24014-7215

Thank you to the Dorcas Class for their donation to Boys & Girls Club Snacks.

Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club is still in need of monetary donations to purchase snacks. If you are able to support them in this way, please make checks payable to Vinton Baptist and notate "Boys & Girls Club snacks" in the memo or on your envelope. Thank you in advance for continuing to support our Boys & Girls Club!

Christian sympathy is extended to Mary & Roger Saunders in the recent death of Mary's sister Nancy; and to Marie Crowder and family in the passing of Marie's sister Ruby Simms.

Updated List of Blessing Box Needs

Needed items are Hamburger Helper meals, Spam, muffin mixes, cereal (any kind, any size), and shampoo. Donations can be dropped off at the Missions Tables.

Congratulations to Brenda Phillips & Sam Lewis in the birth of great grandchild Madelyn Marie Tucker February 11th, weighing 7 lbs., 14 ozs; proud parents are Sabrina Scrotsky & Justin Tucker; grandmother is Wendy Hall. Congratulations are also in order for Brad & Erica Bohon in the birth of Cecilia Raquel February 2nd, weighing 6 lbs., 11 ozs. and measuring 19-1/2" long; Bo & Lecia are the proud grandparents.

Bible Reading Plan

So, I've gotten a little behind in the past week on our Bible reading plan. I keep reminding myself there's no need to rush to get caught up because we'll have some built-in catch-up days coming up soon. We're about 6 weeks into this new plan, so don't get discouraged if you've gotten a little behind, too. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. We're in this for the long (2-year) haul.

Just a few notes on this section of Exodus, found in How to Read the Bible Book by Book (Fee & Stuart):

1) Beginning in chapter 14, verse 10, "the grumbling motif" becomes apparent and continues throughout the remainder of the narrative. The Israelites are not only complaining to Moses and Aaron, but to God himself.

2) In chapter 20, the Ten Commandments are given. "Here fundamental responsibilities to both God and neighbor are addressed in proper order (first 'vertical,' then 'horizontal')."

3) Chapters 21-23 make up "The Book of the Covenant" and further explain how to put the spirit of the Ten Commandments into practice.

4) An interesting feature of "The Book of the Covenant" is that it addresses how the Israelites are to treat their slaves, "...standing first in order and in stark contrast to their conditions in Egypt...." After having suffered in slavery in Egypt, and having just been miraculously rescued, the Jewish nation is being taught how to treat people fairly.

What are your thoughts as you've been reading?

Click here for a printable copy of our Bible reading plan, or pick up a copy at the Welcome Center. You can also access it through our VBC app on your mobile device.


AARP Tax-Aide

AARP Tax-Aide offers free, in-person tax preparation in the Vinton Baptist library Thursday mornings through April 13th (other locations are also available). You may make an appointment now by clicking here, or you can call 540-345-2820. Appointments are required.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers while my Dad has been sick and in his passing.

--Shannon Hoey

February 2023 Calendar