An association of churches that chooses not to associate is an Association in name only. In the months ahead there may be a variety of studies, committee meetings, outside consultations, and pages of recommendations that address who the churches of Strawberry are and what their mission should be, but unless there is a commitment on the part of our pastors and churches to come together as one to share and imitate Jesus Christ, business will continue as it has for the past fifteen years or more.
In our hearts we know that what is missing is the willingness and discipline to love God with all we are and prove that we are genuine by loving one another. Christ-like oneness and shared purpose solves a multitude of problems when we allow the Holy Spirit to have His way with us. If we so choose we can come together to lovingly share the Gospel with every home in the County. If we humble ourselves it is possible to lift one another up and caringly serve our brothers and sisters as Jesus would do. If we take responsibility for having built walls of separation instead of bridges of fellowship we will be able to pursue more faithfully what Christ instructed the Church to be focused upon in the first place.
Without love we are noisy empty shells with painted-on smiles. We might have knowledge, beautiful facilities, gifted people, and even do good works, but without love we are nothing. If you have been envious, full of yourself, boastful, rude, seeking your own way, impatient, happy to see others struggle and suffer, and wishing evil on those you do not agree with, then God has a word for you—“Repent!” It is not about you.
Share these radical thoughts with your pastor and church family, and see what a big difference will occur over a short span of time if our pastors would covenant before God and one another to the following:
December 19 Eldridge Cullum (Thaxton)
December 23 David Williamson (Hunting Creek)
December 31 Charles Stinson (Retired)
December 5 John & Esther Woodford (SBA)
December 22 Rick & Tracy Foster (Timber Ridge)
Two Hundred Thirty-second
Todd Childers, “Building Bridges to the Community”
Ministers new to Strawberry were introduced: John Boyles, Mentow; Rick Foster, Timber Ridge; Gary Kingery, Mountain View; Mike Smith, Bethel.
Pastor Calvin Sacra accepted certificates from the International Mission Board recognizing North Bedford as the Top Giving SBA Church as well as the Top Per Capita Giving SBA Church to the 2007 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
A letter was read from Marc Jantomaso and the River Rock Church expressing their deep appreciation for the support and many prayers over the years, and another letter was read from Steve Manuel announcing his resignation.
The Options Study Committee presented its report, and the body approved a recommendation that an associational Self-study Team be formed and led by an outside Consultant independent of the two state conventions. The purpose of this Self-study Team is to reevaluate the ministries of the SBA, to consider restructuring the organization within the SBA, and to revision for the SBA.
Heartfelt thanks to Bedford for their gracious hospitality—their warm welcome, the beautiful decorations, the delicious meal, and the behind-the-scenes preparations that are part of hosting the meeting.
Thanks also to Joyce Hawkins, Ellen Mitchell, and Melinda Nichols for their invaluable help with registration. Gratitude is also offered to Trinity Church as well as Vernon DeLong and Carolyn Sumner for expediting the production of the Program and Reports booklet.
Guests/Visitors registered: 42
Total attendance: 195
Churches represented: 24
On Sunday, November 23, Mentow will host Palestine Baptist and Huddleston United Methodist churches for the annual Community Thanksgiving Service sponsored by the Huddleston Ruritan Club.
Thaxton is planning a Grand Worship Celebration, Meal, and Dedication of their new Multi-purpose Worship Center on December 7, 2008. The Worship Service will begin at 10 a.m. and be filled with jubilant praise & worship songs, hymns, and solos. The Hand Bell Choir will play, and the Children’s Choir will sing. There will be testimonies and a message from the pastor, Dr. Eldridge Cullum. Tours of the new facility will begin at approximately 11:30 a.m. and will conveniently end at the beginning of the Food Line. Once everyone has had some time to begin eating and to fellowship with one another, the Dedication Service will begin. This service will include special music, a PowerPoint presentation, recognition of leaders in the building process, and a time of worship and commitment.
Beginning in 2002, SBA churches accepted the opportunity and privilege to serve in the local mission and ministry field of CenterFest, an annual street festival that draws upwards of 25,000 visitors to our doorstep.
On Saturday, September 27, even though it was a cloudy and rainy day, our workers came with eagerness to do whatever they could. We carried on being servants and witnessing for our Lord. Our Child Care Tent was a welcome service to the moms and dads. Others enjoyed the free water and lemonade given in the name of Jesus. We encouraged the youth to also be involved while being trained here in Bedford to “Go and Tell.”
The team appreciates everyone of you that participated. Please mark your calendars for the last Saturday in September 2009 (the 26th). Our Rally is held about two weeks before CenterFest day. We would like for at least one person from each church to come to get the info that pulls the endeavor together and to participate in a special time of focused prayer for the event.
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Women on Mission: Beaverdam is leading devotionals at Oakwood Manor in November; Diamond Hill will lead them in December. Pecks will host the November birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Mentow will host it in December.
SBA’s Annie Mae Broyles Group Meeting was held on Thursday, October 16, 2008, 10 a.m., in the Bedford Baptist Church fellowship hall. There were 31 people (2 visitors) in attendance, and seven churches were represented. Donald Eggleston, Emergency Services Director for the Bedford Historic Chapter of the American Red Cross presented a very informative program on the history of the Red Cross, the services it provides in Bedford, in Virginia, and around the nation. He also gave us important information on how to protect ourselves in case of fire, natural disasters, and other emergencies. One of the things the Red Cross is doing is partnering with churches to find out what the churches could do to help in their area of the city or county if a disaster takes place. He distributed a form which churches can complete and return to the Red Cross if they are interested in participating. (Copies are available in the SBA office.)
A big thank you to Reverend David Henderson for sharing information about the Virginia Baptist Disaster Relief program.
Thanks, also, to Dana Reamy and Susan Batten-Bell and all the ladies of Bedford Baptist for all their preparations for the meeting and for making us feel so welcome at their church.
The next meeting will be at Bethlehem on Thursday, October 15, 2009, 10 a.m.
WMU Dues ($2.00 for each member of Women on Mission and leaders of age-level organizations) are due now for the 2008-2009 year. Checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Mrs. Emily Morris, 2160 Penns Mill Rd., Big Island, VA 24523. Please mail by November 15. Big Island, Hunting Creek, Mount Olivet, Thaxton, and Timber Ridge have already mailed their dues.
Lynn Litchfield, Chaplain at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, is conducting a Christmas Drive in 2008 for stamps, stationery, and all kinds of greeting cards—with a special focus on Christmas cards. Stamps are particularly appreciated since it takes an inmate almost two full hours of employment (at 23 cents an hour) to buy a stamp. Toiletries are NOT being collected. Stamps, cards, and stationery items should be mailed or delivered to Rt. 250 West, P.O. Box 1000, Troy, VA 22974, no later than November 15 to be included for this year.
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