May 2011

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Today’s church faces unprecedented challenges, with rapid cultural change, extreme diversity, and transitioning communities. However, these challenges bring new opportunities for churches to impact their communities. Effective churches are passionately pursuing innovative strategies to meet these new challenges.

Strawberry Baptist Association is ready to assist each church with resources that help fulfill their commitment to the Great Commission.

Precept Schools of Virginia

Thursday, May 19, 2011, Noon-6 p.m.
1987 Big Island Highway, Bedford, VA

The community is invited to come and meet students, teachers, and families in order to discuss the many benefits of Christian education. Holy Scripture commands its followers to be steadfastly devoted. Are your children seeking God daily? What happens when students learn to live without God? Come! Join us as we seek the perfect will of God for children. Precept Schools of Virginia is located at Liberty Baptist Church, which is next to Liberty High School.

2011 Summer Music Camp

(Children who have completed grades K-6.)

Monday, July 25, -Friday, July 29
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Bedford Baptist Church

Musical Program, Friday, 7:00 p.m.

Registration fee is $25.
Registration materials will be
in the June newsletter packets.

HEROES OF THE FAITH is a unique field trip. Biblical characters come to life to teach modern day children how to become heroes. The children learn lessons of faith when they discover David, Deborah, Elijah and Moses while touring a museum exhibition. These Bible heroes tell about their exciting adventures and how ordinary people become extraordinary heroes who can change the world—or at least their world—when they listen and follow God's command.

Hospice Foundation of America
18th Annual Living with Grief® Program

Spirituality and End-of-Life Care

Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 1-4 p.m.
Bedford Memorial Hospital
1613 Oakwood St, Bedford, VA 24523
(2nd Floor Auditorium)

Panelists will discuss differences between spirituality and religion, while also addressing spirituality during illness, death and grief; spiritual assessment and empowerment, and life review.

Panelists include:
Kenneth J. Doka, Ph.D., M.Div.
Gary S. Fink, D.Min.
Carolyn Jacobs, Ph.D., MSW
Betty Kramer, Ph.D., MSW
Reinette Powers Murray, MSN, CNS, RN
Martha Rutland, D.Min., BCC, ACPE

For more information call 540.587.6592.


May 3 Woody Elliott (Bethel)

Wedding Anniversary

May 19 Marc & Mindy Reynolds (Mount Olivet)
Jun 2 Mike & Debbie Jones (Sedalia)
Jun 9 Harold & Nancy Lewis (55 yrs.) (Walnut Grove)
Jun 12 Grant & Sheila Harbridge (Bethlehem)
Jun 13 Woody & Phyllis Elliott (Retired)
Jun 17 Philip & Lois Ayers (Glade Creek)
Jun 20 Harry & Nilah Leland (Shady Grove)
Jun 23 Daren & Shawna Davis (IMB missionaries)
Jun 27 Charles & Irene Stinson (Retired)
Jun 28 Mark & Julia Flores (Mount Hermon)
Jun 29 Michael & Connie Cox (Suck Spring)

Church Ministry Anniversary

May 1 Harold Lewis (Pastor/10 yrs./Walnut Grove)
Jun 1 Bryan Sheehan (Pastor/5 yrs../Pecks)
Jun 1 Carey Snellings (Pastor/1 yr./Hunting Creek)
Jun 6 Edward “Bish” Creel
(Interim Pastor/1 yr./Beaverdam)

Click for May Calendar

Focus on Our Family

Bedford will celebrate Senior Adult Day in worship on Sunday, May 1. That afternoon at 5:00, they will have a Sunday School Picnic followed by their annual Spring ring/sing/fling thing. On May 22, Children’s Day will be celebrated in worship.

Morgans will host a Soccer Camp in June. For further information, contact the church at 540.297.4959.

Mount Zion will host a Soccer Camp at the old Montvale Elementary School, on Saturday, April 30, 9 a.m.-12 Noon (rain date May 14).

Suck Spring is planning another mission trip to Nicaragua on October 8-15, 2011, and invites folk from other churches to become a part of their team. To receive more information, contact Pastor Michael Cox at 540.586.4502.

Rev. Garry Sims has been serving as interim pastor at Timber Ridge since February 2011.

Randy and Delores Simmons will be at Trinity on Sunday, May 29, for the 11 a.m. “Fifth Sunday Sing” service. A husband and wife team who has been singing and playing gospel music for almost 40 years, their purpose is to spread the gospel through song and testimony. Their music is Southern Gospel with a unique twist. Delores not only sings but also plays a variety of instruments, one of which is a pedal steel guitar. Randy is a drummer and has been considered one of the best in Southern Gospel. Come join us in this unique service of worship through music!

Vacation Bible School Dates

Bedford June 15-18 Big Apple Adventure, 6-8:45 p.m. Where Faith & Life Connect

Big Island July 24-30, 6 p.m.

Mentow June 24-26 PandaMania, Where God is Wild about You

Quaker June 20-24 The Egypt File, 6-9 p.m. Decoding the Mystery of Life
FunFest: Saturday, June 25, Noon-3 p.m.

Timber Ridge June 26-July 1. Big Apple Adventure, 6-8:30 p.m. Where Faith & Life Connect

Trinity June 20-24 Gold Rush, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discovering the Rock of Ages Kick-off: Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m.

Help Wanted

Timber Ridge is searching for a pastor. For more info or to submit a resume, contact the church office at 540.586.9267.


We want to thank Norwood for hosting our 2011 Executive Board meeting on Tuesday, April 19. They did an outstanding job preparing for the meeting and making everyone feel welcome.

Prior to the meeting, Treasurer’s Reports for the 2010 fiscal year as well as for the first quarter of 2011 were distributed. (A copy is in each church’s newsletter packet.)

The following leaders for 2011-2012 were presented by the Nominating Committee and will be voted on at the Annual Meeting at Trinity on October 24:

Regional Representatives
Rev. Jackie Carver
Rev. Michael Cox
Rev. Todd Childers

Ministry Area Coordinators
Church Development.....Rev. Dennis Moore
Missions/Ministry.....Mr. Donnie Slusher
Pastoral Development.....Dr. David Henderson

Officers/Committee Chairs
Moderator.....Rev. David Timma
Vice-Moderator.....Mr. Gene Suggs
Clerk.....Mrs. Lois S. Stevens
Treasurer.....Mrs. Esther O. Woodford
Finance Chair.....Mrs. Wanda DeLong
Personnel Chair.....Mrs. Faye Eubank
Property Chair.....Mr. Richard Goode
Nominating Chair.....Mrs. Rita Calhoun

The nominated Ministry Area Coordinators spoke briefly about their ministry under the proposed new structure; Rita Calhoun promoted our tenth year of ministry at CenterFest scheduled for Saturday, September 24; and Susan Batten-Bell provided information about the Children’s Music Camp scheduled for July 25-29. Afterward, we divided into regional groups led by the proposed Regional Representatives.

There were 35 in attendance from 13 churches, with 8 pastors, 24 lay representatives, and 3 visitors.

Health Care Tax Credit for Churches

The IRS confirmed in Notice 2010-82 in December that the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit is available to churches who participate through a self-funded denominational church health plan, including GuideStone health plans. Churches can get help from GuideStone in evaluating whether they wish to pursue getting this credit that was created under the healthcare reform law.

GuideStone has created a resource page on its web site designed to help churches evaluate the new credit. These resources can be accessed free of charge on GuideStone's website at

The resource page includes a comprehensive Q&A, step-by-step guide for determining eligibility and amount of the credit, necessary forms and other frequently asked questions. The resource also includes a webinar with Danny Miller of Connor & Winters. Miller is a noted attorney who specializes in benefits issues for ministers.

If eligible and your church decides to pursue, you must claim the credit on Form 990-T no later than May 16, 2011, for the 2010 tax year.


Transition Team

Our Transition Team is in place! We are now ready to implement our new structure. We have found people willing to serve as Ministry Area Coordinators and Regional Representatives as part of the Leadership Team. A pictorial diagram of our new structure is found on page 35 of the 2010 Annual.

The Nominating Committee presented a slate of Officers at the Executive Board Meeting. These Officers will serve during the upcoming 2011-2012 year. David Timma and Gene Suggs were nominated for Moderator and Vice-Moderator. Lois Stevens was nominated as Clerk, and Esther Woodford as Treasurer. Three Ministry Area Coordinators and three Regional Representatives will begin serving immediately on the Transition Team.

Donnie Slusher will serve as Missions & Ministry Coordinator. Donnie has ministered in Venezuela, Haiti, Peru, Africa and India—building homes, churches, orphanages and sharing the gospel. He will serve as a liaison between the regions, keeping churches informed of mission opportunities and ministry needs, both here in Bedford and abroad.

David Henderson will serve as Pastoral Development Coordinator. David understands pastors needing to connect & communicate with each other for encouragement and support. He will be responsible for coordinating a network of pastors working together for fellowship and accountability.

Dennis Moore will serve as Church Development Coordinator. Dennis’ responsibility is to help churches work together, helping them grow & become healthy. He will be responsible for setting up a network of pastors available for supply and interim work as well as revivals and retreats. He will communicate opportunities for Evangelism to the churches, helping us fulfill the Great Commission.

Regional Representatives will be responsible for communicating and coordinating with churches for ministry and fellowship. They will meet with pastors/church representatives to communicate and coordinate mission projects, mission trips, and ministry needs.

Michael Cox is the Regional Representative for the North Region.
Jackie Carver is the Regional Representative for the South Region.
Todd Childers is the Regional Representative for the Central/West Region.

The Transition Team is in place. We have Ministry Area Coordinators and Regional Representatives along with Pastors and Representatives from the churches who will serve as our new Leadership Team. The Support Team is made up of the chairs of four essential committees—Finance, Nominating, Personnel & Property. The Administrative Team—Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Administrative Assistant & Clerk—is responsible for keeping the association running smoothly.

The Transition Team has started working. We broke up into regions at the Executive Board meeting to give each region an opportunity to meet. We are planning to have a couple more “Regional” meetings this summer. We will meet as the Executive Board, then break up into regions to allow us an opportunity to communicate and coordinate church events.

Let’s Be About Our Father’s Business!

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

Women on Mission: Sedalia will lead weekly 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. The WMU of Bethlehem recently made 15 blankets especially for children who visit the SBCV Disaster Relief Childcare Trailer.

Strawberry WMU Annual Meeting
Saturday, May 21, 2011, 10 a.m., Diamond Hill
Theme: “Unhindered
Guest speakers: Chuck & Lynne Stebbins (Disaster Relief volunteers)

Covered dish lunch (beverages/plates/napkins/plasticware provided)

The following items were discussed at the WMU Executive Board meeting on April 5 and will be presented as part of the budget to be voted on at the Annual Meeting in May:

  • Establishing a scholarship fund (not to exceed $800) to provide $25 scholarships for children (upon recommendation by their SBA church) to attend a missions camp.
  • Using the $418.43 designated since March 2002 for Acteen Activators to help create the scholarship fund.
  • Hosting another Ministers/Spouses Appreciation Dinner (cost not to exceed $500).
  • Giving the offering received at the meeting to the Bedford Pregnancy Center.
  • Our special project will be to bring “baby shower” gifts for the Pregnancy Center. Girls in Action, Mission Friends, RAs, and any other groups are invited to raise money for this project by filling baby bottles (available at Wal Mart & Dollar Tree) with loose change. The bottles will be presented at the Annual Meeting.

    Beginner Quilting Classes
    (Ages 8 & up)
    Monday–Friday, August 1-5, 10 a.m.-12 Noon
    Bedford Baptist Church

    We are requesting donations of prewashed and ironed 100% cotton fabric (at least 18 x 22 inches or larger) for this project. Fabric should be delivered to the SBA office by Monday, July 11. Participants should bring basic sewing supplies. including: sharp scissors, needles, straight pins, thimble, ruler, and washable marking pens (available at sewing supply stores). Be sure to put your name on items you want to keep. The quilt a person can make will vary in size not to exceed 36 x 44 inches. Sewing machines will be available as well as instructors. (If you have your own machine, it would be to your benefit to bring it.)

    Registration fee is $15, and deadline to register is Monday, July 11. Registration forms will be available at the WMU Annual Meeting on May 21 and at the SBA office. (If less than four register, the class will be cancelled and fees will be returned.) If you have questions, contact Rebekah or the SBA office.

    WMU Planning Meeting
    Saturday, June 4, 2011, 9 a.m.
    Rebekah Overstreet’s home (Carry-in brunch)

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.

We think that we’re in the land of the living on our way to the land of the dying, when in fact we are in the land of the dying on our way to the land of the living. —Dr. Howard Hendricks

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 Monday, May 23.

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Strawberry Baptist Association
163 West Main, Bedford, VA 24523
Tel.: (540) 586-8345
FAX: (540) 586-4246

Copyright© Strawberry Baptist Association
Updated 4/27/2011
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