May 2009

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The Strawberry Association has commissioned a re-visioning team because people are concerned about the purpose, direction, and future of the Association. The re-visioning team faces the sobering task of evaluating, re-visioning, and restructuring the Association. Then, bringing back a proposal to the Association for consideration and either acceptance or rejection. It is a large task and a hard one—there will be (and already has been) a large amount of prayer and time put into it. But regardless of the size of the job, I believe that we as an association can be encouraged by Paul's attitude as he headed for Jerusalem as described in Acts 21. We are facing difficult choices in the future of our association—so how do we face them? There has been a growing discontent in the churches and lack of involvement and commitment within the association. Any choice that is made is going to require sacrifice in some way. The Apostle Paul in Acts 20-21 was on his way to Jerusalem and as he went he had several encounters that would have proven a discouragement in any age! He was made aware by testimony of the Holy Spirit, the counsel of wise believers, and even by direct prophecy, that to go on would involve his imprisonment and suffering. Yet, in spite of such warnings of what lay ahead, he boldly pushed on.

The apostle Paul in his visit with the Ephesian Elders in chapter 20 of the book of Acts acknowledged his awareness of upcoming trials. It is challenging that instead of changing his plans because of the coming difficulties, Paul refuses to let them dictate his choices. We in the Strawberry Baptist Association are in a position where we are beginning to realize (or at least openly admit) that the association is facing tough choices and possible difficult times. In a period of economic 'crises' in our country we have a choice to make. The world—even in Paul's day—understands that there are going to be rough times. But one of the distinguishing marks of our faith is in how we see those times, and in how we react. Paul could be absolutely certain that to go forward was going to be painful. So as Christians we need to be aware of how Paul was able to boldly step forward when there was a tremendous temptation to avoid trouble! Our best insight into this occasion takes place in Acts 21.

Masters Class in Spiritual Formation

Explore the history and exercise of Christian practices such as worship, Bible study, prayer, meditation, fasting, submission, service, evangelism, stewardship, simplicity, Sabbath, and Spirit-led guidance.

June 12-13 and June 26-27
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day
All classes meet at
Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke
2 academic credits provided
(Can also audit course)
Facilitator: Gary Chapman, Dir., SW VA Christian Leadership Network. For more information, call (Roanoke) 777.3014 (toll-free) 866.223.9344 or email

Mark Your Calendars!

Children’s Summer Music Camp
(For children who have completed
grades K-6)
Monday, July 27 through
Friday, July 31, 2009
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Bedford Baptist Church
Musical Program, Friday, 7:00 p.m.

In Memoriam

James Thomas Cravens passed away February 24, 2009, in Dallas, TX. He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Ann Thomas Cravens. He was born on May 9, 1918, and was educated at Scranton High School, Ouachita University, (AR), and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (KY). Jim served as Director of Missions in Strawberry from 1961 to 1965. Cards/memories may be sent to Karen Cravens, 42500 Moraga Rd., Apt. 202, Temecula, CA 92591.

Click for Financial Summary

Focus on Our Family

Bedford Baptist will be hosting a VBS Workshop for SBA churches on Thursday, May 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. We plan to make the workshop effective for all curriculums by focusing on how to teach the Bible to preschoolers and grade school children. We will discuss how to use Bible learning centers to keep the child actively involved in learning. We want each teacher to bring the curriculum that their church will be using so that the principles can be applied for them. We would also like for the churches to register their teachers who will attend so that we can have handouts and refreshments for all. Register by calling 540.586.9564 or emailing Pray with us for God's leadership and blessing.

Mount Olivet will celebrate Women's Day on May 17, 2009. DeeDee Hoosier, Director of the Bland Ministry Center and Dental Clinic, will be the speaker at the 11 a.m. service. She will share how God's work is being don in Virginia's Appalachian Region. The Ministry operates from donations of new or used clothing, non-perishable food, paper supplies for the office, dental care products, and also collection of Campbell's soup labels. If you would like to join in donating items for DeeDee to take back to the Ministry Center, please contact Shirley at 540.587.8858.

Mount Olivet needs a pianist (paid) for Sunday morning worship services. For more information, contact Judy Meador, 540.586.1008.

Shady Grove will be hosting John Crawford and Special Guests at their Spring Revival on May 17-20. Please join us to hear the special music and a message from Mr. Crawford.

On Sunday, March 29, Rev. Chris Smith announced his immediate resignation as pastor at Staunton where he has served since November 2002. We pray for the church and for Chris and his family as they continue to seek God's direction in their lives.

Suck Spring reports: On Easter Sunday morning, the cantata "In The Presence of Jehovah" was presented by the adult choir, with character narrations and video footage from The Visual Bible - Matthew.

On April 11, an Easter Egg hunt was held for the children at Raintree Apartments as a local mission effort by the youth ministry. An Easter Egg celebration was also held at the church for the neighborhood. Nine youth and two leaders are joining Thaxton Baptist Church for a mission trip with World Changers to Florida in June. A fundraiser to help with expense of the trip was held during the month of March. Each youth was provided with a nut and bolt assembly. For any donation of $10-$25, the donor wrote his name or a message on a metal washer. The washers will be placed on the bolt assemblies and taken on the mission trip so the youth can be reminded of the support and prayers of the church.

The youth are also participating in a 30-hour fast to bring awareness to hunger around the world. The fast began at noon on Friday, April 24. and while fasting the youth were involved in service projects in the community on Saturday. The youth sought their own sponsors, with all proceeds going to support world hunger through World Vision. A silent auction, with many interesting items including Longaberger baskets and a handmade quilt, was held to benefit this project. The fast was concluded at the church Saturday night. The Sunday following the fast, the youth sponsored "Chili in a Bag" to raise additional money to fight hunger. Lunch bags with a bowl of chili, corn bread, fruit and dessert were available for $5.00, following the morning worship service.

On Sunday, April 26, Rev. Steve Bradshaw was guest preacher at Suck Spring. Steve is our area representative from the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. He shared a message on how our church can reach out locally with evangelism and missions resources.

The Women of Norwood led worship service on March 15. On Sunday, March 29, Norwood participated in a Singspiration at Mount Hermon.

On Saturday, April 11, 2-3 p.m., Norwood will host an Easter egg hunt for children. Norwood’s Sunrise Service will be at 6:30 a.m. on April 12. At 11 a.m., the choir will present an Easter Cantata.

Associational Missions Week

Associational Missions Week Emphasis
May 17-24, 2009

(or anytime your church chooses)

Offering goal:
"One Dollar Per Day for Seven Days"

In addition to your prayers, we are asking our churches to promote this year's Association Missions Week just as we have in the past, challenging folk to set aside just one dollar a day for seven days. Remind one another how important this offering is to our work and also how easy it is to come up with just one dollar a day. Give up a soft drink, coffee, snack, or a gallon of gasoline a day, and you're there! The impact on this Association of that one dollar when combined with the dollar many others will share is tremendous. Thanks for standing together in this challenge.

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

Women on Mission: Sedalia is leading devotionals at Oakwood Manor in May; Palestine will lead them in June. Flint Hill will host the May birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Beaverdam will host it in June.

Our prayers have been answered! As you can see from our masthead, Rebekah Overstreet has agreed to serve as our associational WMU Director. Many of you will recall that Rebekah lead our WMU from 2002 into 2005, and we feel very blessed that she is willing to return to this leadership role.

GAs and their Leaders
are Invited to a
Teddy Bear Tea Party
& Mission Study on Venezuela

Sunday, May 24, 2009, 2 p.m.
Quaker Baptist Church

Each GA and adult is asked to bring a Teddy Bear to donate to the Forensic Nurses of Bedford County. The bears can be gently loved, newly purchased, or homemade.

For more information, please email Teresa Waldron at or phone 540.297.4598 in the evening.


May 3 Woody Elliott (Retired)
June 6 Tim Dooley (Bethlehem)

Wedding Anniversaries

May 23 David & Tammy Williamson (Hunting Creek)
May 30 Calvin & Paula Sacra (North Bedford)
June 2 Mike & Debbie Jones (30 yrs.) (Sedalia)
June 13 Woody & Phyllis Elliott (Retired)
June 17 Philip & Lois Ayers (20 yrs.) (Glade Creek)
June 20 Harry & Nilah Leland (Shady Grove)
June 23 Daren & Shawna Davis (IMB Missionaries)
June 27 Charles & Irene Stinson (50 yrs.) (Retired)
June 28 Mark & Julia Flores (Mount Hermon)
June 29 Michael & Connie Cox (Suck Spring)

Church Ministry Anniversary

June 1 Rick Foster (Pastor/Timber Ridge/1 yr.)

Click for May Calendar

Criticism is something you can avoid easily—by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.

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, May 20.

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Strawberry Baptist Association
163 West Main, Bedford, VA 24523
FAX: (540) 586-4246

Copyright© Strawberry Baptist Association
Updated 5/4/2009
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