The Witness

Volume 41, Issue 9

March 1, 2023

Liturgies at Home

One night last week, our family began our nightly routine that typically follows dinner. Whitney and I clean up the kitchen, she wipes down the counters, and I wash the dishes. She packs the boys’ lunches and makes coffee, I straighten up the living room and playroom, and one of us takes Ozzie out for his nightly stroll. As we work our way through these tasks, the boys are supposed to be upstairs getting ready for bed. They are responsible for taking a shower, brushing their teeth, straightening up their rooms, getting into bed and reading a book until Whitney and I come upstairs. Though that is the plan, we usually find them rolling around the floor, wrestling, playing a game of hallway football, throwing a ball to Ozzie, drawing a picture, or doing anything else but getting ready for bed.

This happens almost every night. On most nights, I am able to address this frustrating pattern calmly and collectively. On that particular night last week, I lost my cool. After finishing all of my tasks, turning out all of the lights downstairs, and arriving upstairs only to find that neither one had even begun the process of getting ready for bed, my anger boiled over. After a busy day at the office, unrelenting school assignments, and several nights of sleep deprivation in trying to get it all done, I was just ready for a quiet house where the boys and all the day’s responsibilities were put to rest. Instead, I found two boys rolling around on the floor with Ozzie. After I unleashed my frustrated rant, instituted some consequences, and threatened more if they were not ready for bed in the next 10-minutes, the house was quiet, they finished their responsibilities, and sheepishly crawled into bed without a word.

I wish I could say this had never happened before. Unfortunately, this pattern has unfolded in similar fashion on more nights than I would like to admit. In some ways, it has become somewhat of a routine at bedtime. That particular night was a little more intense than usual, but the routine of their procrastination, our frustration, and ultimately lectures and consequences has become all too common. The problem, according to Justin Earley in his book Habits of the Household, is that “One of the most significant things about any household is what is considered to be normal. Moments aggregate, and they become memories and tradition. Our routines become who we are, become the story and culture of our families.”

One of Earley’s findings is the importance of the words we consistently use with those in our homes or with the people we love outside of our homes. Repeated words and phrases become our normal; our normal develops our habits; and our habits determine who we become. Standing in the hallway that night after the boys had gone to bed, I realized that this scenario was not what I wanted to be normal in our home. This is not the story or culture I want for our family. James wrote, “Look at ships: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits” (James 3:3-5).

According to Earley, what families need the most are a different set of repeated words; they need to develop new household liturgies. Historically, liturgies were developed in the church as a repeated pattern of worship. By definition, a liturgy is a rite or system of rituals prescribed for public worship, which includes the repetition of ideas, phrases, or observances. Various Christian liturgies include baptism, communion, kneeling, singing, praying, sermons, altar calls, and benedictions. Christian liturgies are the habits of the church because they are the repeated words, routines, and patterns of worship in the church. As a church, our liturgies shape who we are because in them we find the story and culture of our church family.

Whether we realize it or not, every household has its own set of liturgies—repeated words, routines, and patterns of living and operating in the home. Like Earley, I believe these patterns shape us more than we often realize. This is true for children and adults, whether we live alone or with others. The habits of our home have a significant impact on how we view ourselves, how we relate to others, and ultimately how we respond to God. What are the liturgies of your home? What are the repeated words, routines, and patterns of speaking and living that are the normal in your family? On that particular night last week, I realized that our family needed a new bedtime liturgy. One that reminds us of our love for each other, and draws us into the love of God. Earley writes, “The most Christian way to think about our households is that they are little ‘schools of love,’ places where we have one vocation, one calling: to form all who live here into lovers of God and neighbor."

What habits in your home draw you closer into your love for God and each other? Are there repeated words and patterns that pull you away? If so, as was true for the Russells at bedtime, it might be time for some new liturgies at home—those that shape and form everyone in your home by the love of God and one another.     

This Sunday, March 5th

This Sunday is Youth Sunday! Our youth will lead every aspect of our worship services, from prelude to postlude! We'll have two speakers: Collin Young on "Love for Others" (John 13:34-35) and Taylor Davis with "Build on a Rock" (Matthew 7:25-28). The Youth Praise Band will lead our congregational music, and the Youth Choir will also share their gifts. If you cannot join us in person, tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

Our youth will even be leading several Sunday School classes this week. We hope you'll join us for Sunday School at 9:50 AM.

Wednesdays @ VBC

Join us tonight for dinner (5:30 PM for those who signed up), Youth Missions Group (6:00 PM), Adult Bible Study (6:15 PM - on Psalm 130), 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 Wednesday, March 8th we will have a Ministry Matters meeting in lieu of Adult Bible Study. Our dinner menu will be stuffed green peppers, buttered potatoes, green beans, bread, and dessert. 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

Upcoming Events:

  • A trip to Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest is planned for Thursday, March 23rd. The cost of the tour is $15, plus lunch on your own at Liberty Station. We will depart VBC at 9 AM.
  • A tour of The Greenbrier is planned for Thursday, April 20th. We will have a private, guided tour of the bunker and interior. The cost is $60, plus lunch on your own at Cook's Country Kitchen.
  • Our first overnight trip of 2023 will be to Lancaster, PA May 9 - 11 to see the Sight & Sound production of "Moses." We will also enjoy a ride on the Strasburg Railroad through Amish Country, visit Landis Valley Farm & Museum, enjoy a dinner/show, and shop at the Farmer's Market. Pricing can be found at the JOY Senior table, and a payment plan can be set up (see Mary Kendrick).
  • Join us October 17 - 20 for a trip to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. This trip will also include a riverboat dinner cruise on the Ohio River. Find more details, including pricing, at the JOY Senior table. Payment plans are available (see Mary Kendrick).

Thrive Student Ministry

Youth Volleyball practices begin this Sunday (1:30 - 3:00 PM) for those who signed up.

There will be NO youth events this Sunday evening.

DNOW weekend (March 17th - 19th) is rapidly approaching, and TODAY is the deadline to sign up! Click here for the registration form. Cost is $60/person.

Also, mark your calendars for our Youth Mission Trip to Nashville June 18th - 23rd. Cost is $175/person. Please click here for all the details.

Passport Kids' Camp

This year's Kids' Camp will be June 14th - 17th at Eagle Eyrie. It is for all 3rd - 5th graders. The total cost is $175, $75 of which is due as a deposit by March 31st. Please click here for a packet with ALL the details!

Supper Club

A new Supper Club/Life Group will begin later this month, with plans to meet once every month or two. This month's Supper Club theme will be GAME NIGHT, and it will be held in the gym Saturday, March 25th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM. We ask that each family group brings a dish to share, and dinner will be potluck style. Paper products and cutlery will be provided. Each person should bring your own beverage(s) in a cup with a lid. If you have a favorite game (& rules/instructions) - Monopoly, Pop the Pig, Uno, Sorry - bring it to share! We will have game tables set up and hope to rotate to play 2-3 different games during the evening as we fellowship. This will be FUN for ALL AGES!

The Dr. Charlie J. Lovelace, III Memorial College Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the Lovelace Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a graduating senior who is a member of Vinton Baptist 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. An application can be printed by clicking here, or you can pick one up in the church office. Completed forms must be returned to the church office no later than Friday, April 7, 2023.

Ann Allen

Friendship North Assisted Living

320 Hershberger Road, #514

Roanoke VA 24012

Thank you to the LOA Sunday School Class for their donation to Blair Rives and family.

Thank you to the Fellowship/Berean Class for their donation to the Youth Choir trip.

Thank you to the Open Door Sunday School Class for their donation to Blair Rives and family.

Christian sympathy is extended to Ann Lawhorn and family in the death of her son Timothy Lawhorn; to David, Cindy, and Kim and families in the death of their father Charles Douglas “Doug” Laughlin; and to Mark & Kim Yonce and family in the death of his father Emmett Yonce on February 25th.

Blessing Box Needs:

Shampoo (any size, any kind), Spam, spaghetti sauce (any kind), and oatmeal or grits (any flavor). Donations can be dropped off at the Missions Tables.

Homebound Easter Surprises

We are requesting donations of the following items to assemble Easter baskets and boxes for our Homebound folks: small tissue packs, sugar free candies, fuzzy gripper socks, large print word searches, adult coloring books & colored pencils, travel size lotion, travel size comb/brush, travel size hand sanitizer, travel size lint rollers, band aids, and 300-piece puzzles. There is a bin available at the Missions Tables to drop your donations; please turn in all donations by March 19th.

These Easter surprises will be ready to deliver to our Homebound folks by Wednesday, March 22nd. If you would be willing to deliver a few baskets/boxes, please contact the church office at 540-343-7685. Questions? See Joanna Williamson or Rita Martin.

Bible Reading Plan

We're officially in Leviticus on our Bible Reading Plan! Some of you may not be terribly excited about that, but here are a few notes (from Fee & Stuart's How to Read the Bible Book by Book) that will help you in getting started:

  • The name of the book means "'pertaining to the Levites.'" Narrative is only found in chapters 8, 9, 10, and 24. Otherwise, it is a list of laws "having to do with holiness before God and with love of neighbor, including sacrifices, ritual cleanness, and social obligations, as well as laws for the Levites regarding their priestly duties."
  • These are laws given by God to Moses, continuing the conversation from the end of Exodus.
  • Fee & Stuart state, "In order to get the most out of your reading, you need to remind yourself of two things: (1) These laws are part of God's covenant with Israel, and therefore they are not just religious rites but have to do with relationships, and (2) Leviticus is part of the larger narrative of the Pentateuch and must be understood in light of what has preceded and what follows."

Happy reading!

Click here for a printable copy of our Bible reading plan.

Spotlight on Emma Little

Our very own Little family has made the news! Click here to take a look and hear more about Emma Little's journey.

New Books in the Library:

  • All My Knotted-Up Life: A Memoir by Beth Moore
  • When I Talk to God, I Talk About You by Chrissy Metz

Check them out!!

Dear Vinton Baptist Church,

Thank you for supporting our students and families over the Christmas Break! We all greatly appreciate all the time and effort it takes! Hope you all had a great holiday!

Sincerely, Melissa Dresser, W.E. Cundiff

Ashley McCallum, Principal

Conner Hill, Assistant Principal

Dear Vinton Baptist Church Family,

Your cards really made my day and always thrill me. They made me feel young again and so happy to get them from all the classes. I don't think now of being 98.

Love, Audrey Ferguson

March 2023 Calendar