February 2012

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Philippians 1:8-11 (ESV)

8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,
10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Around Valentine's day there seems to be a rash of sermons and articles talking about the need for Christ-like love...and here is another one! Except Paul’s letter to the Philippians didn’t need a national holiday to bring up the issue of love. In fact, he writes to the church in Philippi in the same spirit that we ought to have for each other in the Strawberry Baptist Association. One of our goals as an association is to edify each other—praying that God would grow all our churches. But often the prayer for growth is so vague that we are reduced to the tired old ‘how big is your church’ view of growth. Instead, let’s offer up a prayer for each other that yearns for love to abound as Paul prayed for the church in Philippi. But we ought to make sure that what we see as love is more akin to Scripture than the world’s views on it.

There is a clear distinction between the self centered ‘love’ of the world and what Paul was seeking on behalf of fellow believers. Too often the love of the world is merely an expression of self-centeredness. I ‘love’ you means that you make me feel good. Paul takes joy in the church’s love growing—not because it benefits him in any immediate manner, but because it glorifies God—which definitely does cause Paul excitement and joy. He, while not present with them, is asking God to grow their love for very specific reasons. Those reasons can direct our prayers today for the growth of love in the churches of the Strawberry Baptist Association.

First he seeks that their love is characterized by knowledge and discernment. We ought always to love in such a way that is discerning and wise. We don’t just love ‘as is’ but in order to seek what is excellent. And that is to equip us to grow in purity and blamelessness. Love is not a complacent acceptance of things as they are in a sinful world. It is instead a pursuit of holiness and the potential that can only be found in Christ working through us! Our prayers for each other ought to be that we grow—in love, in righteousness, in purity, and in the “fruit of the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God”!


Feb 17 Bill Mitchell (Mount Zion)
Mar 2 Philip Ayers (Glade Creek)
Mar 4 Daren Davis (IMB Missionary)
Mar 7 Rick Mallory (Morgans)
Mar 24 Dennis Moore (Retired)
Mar 31 Harold Lewis (Walnut Grove)

Wedding Anniversary

Feb 14 Todd & Dana Childers (Norwood)

Church Anniversary

Mar 1 Bill Mitchell (Pastor/5 yrs./Mount Zion)

Click for February Calendar

Focus on Our Family

Mentow’s Youth and Children’s Ministries are hosting a Valentine Dinner for the church family on Saturday, February 18.

To thank the women of Norwood and throughout the Strawberry Baptist Association
for their many ministry efforts in serving the Lord, the men of Norwood will be hosting a Valentine Sweetheart Spaghetti Luncheon on Sunday, February 12, 2012, starting at 12 Noon. All SBA churches are invited. All donations accepted will be divided to help our “local Christian charities” (Daily Bread, Shepherd’s Table, etc.) and nationwide emergency relief efforts by “Gleaning for the World.” Together, we can make a huge impact for the cause of caring for those in need as Jesus himself commanded us to do. May God Bless You Greatly so you can bless many.

Thaxton’s Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions totaled $2800.

Thaxton will host a Wild Game Dinner on Saturday, February 18, 2012, 5:30 p.m. Bring your favorite wild game dish to share! TBC will provide additional meats, vegetables, desserts and beverages. Door prizes & drawings will be held—you must be present to win. For tickets ($7 each), call Wayne Overstreet, 540.874.5591, or the church office, 540.586.8348.

Timber Ridge would like to invite you to “Date Night Challenge,” Saturday, February 11, from 6 until 9 p.m. There will be a special Focus on the Family web cast featuring Dr. Greg Smalley. The program will also feature Comedian Jeff Allen and Musician Michael O’Brien. There is no cost, but because space is limited, registration is required. Please call the church, 540.586.9267, for other details. A nursery will be available.

Representative to the VBMB

As I begin my second year serving on the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, I continue to be amazed at the work that is taking place with Virginia Baptists.
The individuals serving on staff are professional and more than willing to help any and all Baptist churches. There are a total of 1,419 churches listed as members of the BGAV. The Virginia Baptist Mission Board is made up of five teams: 1) Courageous Churches, 2) Emerging Leaders, 3) Empowering Leaders, 4) Glocal Missions, and 5) Support Ministries. Each of these teams (made up of 18-20 board members) has specific responsibilities, goals and objectives. I serve on the Support Ministries Team which provides caring, educational support and information for our ministry partners, in a manner dedicated to stewardship and integrity, enabling the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

A great deal of activity is taking place in our own back door at Eagle Eyrie where Rod Miller is doing a superb job. A gift of $50,000 has been donated to upgrade the playground there. An initiative has been undertaken to renovate the rooms at the Voight Center. For a $5,000 donation, a guest room can be completely renovated. If you or your church has an interest, contact Rod Miller for details. Also, a multi-purpose facility/gym is anticipated to be constructed at a cost of some $1.5 million. A gift of $250,000 has been received for the facility from Bill and Ellen Jamerson of Appomattox. This is just a small sample of things happening within the Virginia Baptist family.
Virginia Baptists work diligently to communicate their mission. I have outlined below a couple of key resources that may be helpful to you.

1. The website has a number of materials, resources, videos that will provide you with timely and downloadable information. Check it out.

2. This link may be of particular help: What Every Virginia Baptist Wants to Know: This is a compilation of three documents—On These Truths We Stand; BGAV: The Right Choice; and Truthfully Speaking.

Again, thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving and representing the Strawberry Association. I encourage you to spread the Good News of how God is working among us.

Cary Ogden
SBA Representative to the Virginia Baptist Mission Board

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Rebekah Overstreet, WMU Director
1813 Oakwood St., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540.586.2956

Women on Mission: Radford is leading weekly devotionals at Oakwood Manor in January, February, and March. Mount Olivet will host the February birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Diamond Hill will host it in March. For their January mission project, the Sedalia Stars got together and made 51 quarts of vegetable soup and delivered it to elderly and shut-in folk in the community.

Phyllis McDaniel, associational WMU Secretary/Treasurer, would like to thank the following churches for submitting their Annual Dues for 2011-2012: Bedford, Bethlehem, Big Island, Diamond Hill, Flint Hill, Hunting Creek, Mentow, Morgans, Mount Hermon, Mount Zion, Pecks, Sedalia, Shady Grove, Thaxton, and Timber Ridge.

Many of you have heard about the WMUV ministry to Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The 2012 Mission Trip is scheduled for July 29-August 4. Volunteers will engage in construction, medical, VBS, cooking, adult crafts, recreation, and a traveling fair. The first training session for new volunteers will be Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Virginia Baptist Resource Center. To register, call 1.800.255.2428. Items for collection are: NEW shoes, new socks and underwear for all ages, money or gift cards, make pillowcases for boys, girls, teens, and adults.

Shine 2012: April 13-15, especially for teen girls and their adult leaders. See more information. Registration opened January 2. Mission Focus: Pajama pants and pillowcases will be collected for teenage girls living on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and an offering will be taken to provide food for families living on the Reservation. Register online at

Mom & Me 2012: April 27-28 and April 28-29, for girls (1st-5th graders) and their moms. The theme is: Heart/Hand/Hope/Haiti. Mission Focus: Each participant will fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and will have the opportunity to give to support a water purification program for Haiti. Register online at

Strawberry WMU Annual
Meeting/Prayer Walk

Flint Hill
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 9 a.m.
Covered dish brunch

Our mission project for this year will be to collect household items—blankets, sheets (king/queen), towels, pots & pans, and silverware—for Bedford Christian Ministries. We want to provide the best to people who have little or nothing. So, as you donate, please either purchase brand new items or give gently used items (nothing broken/torn/smelly/stained/rusted.)

The Executive Board will recommend that the offering taken at the meeting (plus enough from our treasury to make a total of $500) be sent to the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association to purchase bed linens for their 50 beds.

Human Exploitation

WMUV is launching a new initiative in partnership with WMU’s Project HELP(SM). During 2012 our focus will be on awareness, education, prayer, and some basic ways to Engage. As we continue to emphasize prayer in 2013, we will target specific areas in which to respond more fully. We encourage you to explore the following issues, and prayerfully consider how you would ‘join Jesus Christ where He is at work in the world.’

Go to for a host of resources related to ministry in each of the following areas.
Exploitation of Natural Resources, Bullying, Media Exploitation of Children and Families, Pornography, Sexting, Human Trafficking.

SBA’s Vision Statement: Due to our common faith in Jesus Christ and His body, the Church, we Commit ourselves to Connecting with one another for Coordinating the missions and ministries of our member churches and Communicating opportunities to partner together to fulfil the Great Commission and Great Commandment.

"You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
—John Wooden, college basketball coach

Help us all stay informed. If you have information about what's going on at your church, please share it with us. Items for the next newsletter should be written and in the association office by Wednesday, February 22.

Occasionally the administrative assistant has to close the SBA office for errands or meetings. Before coming by to drop off or pick up items, please call 540.586.8345 to be sure the office is open.

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Strawberry Baptist Association
163 West Main, Bedford, VA 24523
Tel.: (540) 586-8345

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Updated 1/2/2012
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