The Witness
Volume 40, Issue 7
February 16, 2022
Disney’s new animated movie, Encanto, tells the story of a special family known as the Madrigals who live in a small village surrounded by the beauty of the Colombian mountains. Each member of the family has been granted a magical gift, except Mirabel. While one of her sisters is loved by all for her super strength and the other sister is adored by all for her gift of creating beauty through flowers, Mirabel struggles with her sense of value and self-worth. She is the only one in the family who does not appear to possess a magical gift; however, as their family home begins to crumble and the magic of Encanto begins to fade, Mirabel ends up being the only one who can save them. While everyone in her family and village is focused on the magic of each person’s gift, Mirabel is able to recognize something no one else can see—the magic and beauty of the person behind the gift. Through her courage and bravery, love and devotion to her family, Mirabel is able to restore the magic of Encanto by restoring the value of each person within themselves. As her grandmother begins to understand the error of valuing the gift over the person, she responds by singing: “The miracle is not some magic that you've got. The miracle is you, not some gift, just you. The miracle is you, all of you.”

The gift of Christian community provides a similar perspective. In every area of life, we are judged by our gifts—how talented we are, how well we can perform, how much we can achieve. We live in a world that is merit-based. Those who are loved and respected most are typically those who have excelled and achieved the most. And yet, Christian community is different. Through Christ, we are reminded that each person has value for who they are, not what they can do. As children of God who were created in God’s image, the miracle of each person is not a gift or talent they possess, but the uniqueness of who God created them to be and how they are able to reflect God’s image in a way that is unique to them.

Last Sunday, we saw the best of Christian community through the laying-on-of-hands during our observance of Deacon ordination. It was a time of prayer and encouragement, support and affirmation for our three first-time Deacons. It was an opportunity to share with them their value, not for what they can do, but for who they are in Christ. Through this sacred time of encouragement, smiles and laughter were seen and heard, tears were shed, hugs were given, prayers were offered, bonds were strengthened, and friends were made. By identifying and acknowledging the value we see in them, these three Deacons experienced a day they will never forget. This is what Christian community is all about—discovering our own value in Christ and acknowledging the value of others in Christ. How can we continue that practice this week? Who needs to hear from us: “The miracle is not some magic that you've got. The miracle is you, not some gift, just you. The miracle is you, all of you.” This is the message God offers us in Christ; this is the message God calls us to share with others in Christ. Who do we know that needs to hear it?
-- Travis
This Sunday, February 20th
Travis' sermon this week is "Conflict Is Unavoidable," and the scripture is Acts 15:36-40. Reminder: for those who signed up, we will be having a Safe Church Training Luncheon from noon until 2:30 PM in the gym. All evening activities will proceed as scheduled.

Please note that Suntrust/BB&T/Truist (across Washington Avenue from the church) has requested that we NOT park in their lot this Sunday, February 20th. They will be training their staff this Sunday and will need to reserve their parking lot for their own employees. Thank you!
Deacon Ordination
Wednesday Night Activities
Tonight is the last night for our Parenting with Love and Logic series at 6:15 PM in the small dining room.

The Spiritual Disciplines in the Narrative of Joseph study continues tonight in the gym, as we discuss the discipline of submission. Our scripture passages are Genesis 46:1-7, 28-34; 47:1-12, 27-31; 48:1-22. Click here for tonight's study notes. Next Wednesday, February 23rd we will wrap up this study with the discipline of service.

Dinner menu next Wednesday, February 23rd: herb-roasted chicken breast, mac & cheese, stewed tomatoes, dinner rolls, 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. Sign up by calling the church office at 540-343-7685 by 5 PM Tuesday.

The following Wednesday, March 2nd is Ash Wednesday. There will be no dinner or other activities. We will offer an Ashes-to-Go event similar to last year, where you can drive through between 5:00 and 7:00 PM and receive the imposition of ashes, as well as a Lenten devotional item. More details to come soon.
Thrive Student Ministry
Youth Volleyball: our first practice is February 27th. We plan to have two teams. Middle school practice will be from 1:00 until 2:30 PM. High school practice will be 1:30 - 3:00 PM.
Winter Jam '22: we will head out following Youth Choir to the Berglund Center; cost is $10 at the door. Bands/artists include Skillet, KB (the church clap guy!), Tauren Wells, Colton Dixon, I Am They, and Newsong!
Snow Tubing at Wintergreen: on March 5th we plan to go snow tubing, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. Cost is $24. Sign up by February 24th.
DNOW: a weekend of missions and discipleship April 8th - 10th. Our speakers are Kaidyn Settles and Deed Murphey; the Brian Gardner Band will be our music for the weekend. Sign up by March 15th.
Summer Camp: Week of Hope June 26th - July 1st in Charleston, SC. Sign up by March 13th with a $100 deposit.
Our youth recently spent
some time sharing the love
of Christ with Boys & Girls Club children by preparing Valentine's bags for them!
JOY Seniors Updates
The JOY Seniors February luncheon will be Tuesday, February 22nd beginning at noon in the gym. We will have our traditional beans and cornbread meal, plus chili, baked potatoes, and dessert. After our meal we will enjoy some table games. The cost is $10/person. Sign up at the JOY Seniors table by Friday of this week. We look forward to fellowship with everyone, so see you on the 22nd!

The Happy Hearts will be offering a spring/Easter wreath make-and-take project Tuesday, March 15th, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM in the small dining room. Please sign up at the JOY Seniors table. The cost is $10 to cover supplies. There will be a limit of 20 participants, so be sure to sign up early and reserve your spot. A completed wreath is on display on the bulletin board above the JOY Seniors table.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 19th and join the JOY Seniors for an Abbott bus trip to the Highland Maple Festival. Cost of the trip is $80 and includes breakfast. Join us for a day of fun and fellowship.
Ashes to Go
Mark your calendars for Ashes to Go on Ash Wednesday, March 2nd. There will be no dinner or any other activities that night. We invite you to drive through between 5:00 and 7:00 PM to receive the imposition of ashes, as well as a Lenten devotional item.
Youth Choir Mission Tour
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.
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.
Eddie Mae Rader
440 Bluebell Lane #301
Roanoke VA 24012-2480
Disciples' Sunday School Class
Please note: the Disciples' Class is currently meeting in room 115 (the Pete Creasy classroom) each Sunday morning for Sunday School for the foreseeable future. If you do not already have a Sunday School class, you are welcome to join us!
to Geneva Dillon, who turns 91 years old on
February 18th. (Geneva resides at Carrington
Cottage Memory Care #304, 270 Commons
Parkway, Daleville VA 24083-1707.)
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.
Christian sympathy is extended to Kathi Pennington and daughters Rae Lea, Amy and Ana, Judy & Hootie Kelley, and Staley & Carolyn Pennington in the death of husband, father, and brother Wayne B. Pennington on February 9th; and to Anthony & Cassie Bryant and family in the death of his mother, Avonda Bryant, on February 11th.
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!
Blessing Box
Following are items that we could really use for the Blessing Box: Hamburger Helper (any kind), toilet paper, paper towels, Manwich, canned chicken & dumplings, canned Chef Boyardee (any kind), potted meat, juice box drinks (any flavor). Please note that the Blessing Box is fully funded by donations only; it is not part of the Food Pantry, nor does it share the Food Pantry's budget. Please bring Blessing Box donations to the Welcome Center and place them in the appropriate container; please do not put items directly in the Blessing Box. The Blessing Box is restocked three times per week, and community members are utilizing it on a regular basis. Thanks so much for your support!
Pillow Mission
Our next mission project is for children who are going through difficult situations requiring police involvement. We will be making pillows or fleece throw that officers can use as gifts to comfort children. You can help from home, or we can work in groups at the church if there is enough interest. You can help in many different ways: sew pillows, hand tie fleece blankets, provide materials, or give monetarily for materials. We hope to get this project going in March, so stay tuned for more details. If you have questions, please see Whitney Russell or Laura Lea Harris. "...[W]hatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)
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!
Samaritan's Purse Shoebox Update
Colombia and Uganda are two countries whose children have received VBC shoeboxes, per Darlene McCaskill! If you donated a shoebox using a tracking label, please click here to track your box. Then let us know where yours have been delivered so that we can keep track of as many boxes as possible.
Realm Updates
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.