June 2007

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Our Corner of the World

Dr. Gary Chapman, Director of the Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network, penned this article that is worth sharing as we consider priorities in ministry.

Recently, I enjoyed lunch and conversation with a group of ministers of education and Bob Dale, formerly assistant executive-director of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. As we talked, one minister commented on the "busyness" of our churches. As he did so, I was reminded of the way one minister I know described the incessant activity of his church family. As he put it, "they're like ants on an ant hill."

I went on to share with the group a discovery I had made since no longer ministering on a church staff. While on staff, I just assumed the church was the center of everyone's universe. It certainly was the center of mine, sometimes tempting me to neglect the important relationships in my life. With that mindset, it's easy to fall into the trap of "measuring" a person's spiritual commitment by their attendance at all the events offered by the church.

What I've discovered is that persons have a life outside the church, too. At least we should hope and pray they do! After all, the world isn't touched for Christ by the fullness of our church calendars. Instead, it's impacted by Christians investing themselves in the lives of people in their neighborhood, workplace, schools, sports leagues, and so on.

The Baptist Association...
Then and Now

In America, the first association of Baptist churches was formed in Philadelphia in 1707. The Charleston Association, formed in 1751, was the first association in the southern colonies. Associations were formed from a desire to establish doctrinal parameters and from a desire for fellowship with like-minded believers. Associations also provided advice on Baptist practices, helped churches find properly credentialed ministers, and occasionally disciplined ministers. Associations enabled churches in a particular geographical area to cooperate in mission, educational, and benevolence ventures.

By the late 1700s, associations were focusing more on mission work, and new Baptist churches were springing up all along the Atlantic seaboard, and even West of the Alleghenies.

Focus on Our Family

Mentow is looking for a pianist to play for the Wednesday choir rehearsals and 2 Sunday services. Please send resume to Karen Woodford, 3282 Mentow Drive, Huddleston, VA 24104.

Mentow's Vacation Bible School will be June 24-28.

Staunton has called Jonathan Autrey as part-time Youth Pastor. He is a student at Liberty Theological Seminary where his wife, Rebecca, is employed. They have a son, Elijah.

On May 13, Suck Spring voted to call Rev. Michael Cox as pastor. Both he and his wife, Connie, are native Virginians.

Suck Spring's Vacation Bible School will begin on Sunday evening, July 22.

Children's Summer Music Camp

July 23-27, 2007
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Bedford Baptist Church
Special presentation Friday evening, July 27

"Nic at Night"

This delightful play-within-a-play cleverly weaves the Gospel of John account of Nicodemus with the mystery of rebirth and renewal. Discover the mystery! Discover Nic at Night!

Director, Susan Batten-Bell
Bells - Choir - Crafts - Orff Instruments - Puppets -Interpretive Movement

Registration fee: $25 per child

Click here for a PDF Registration form.

As you plan your summer activities, please keep this week in mind. (We ask that at least one adult [not necessarily the same one each day] from each participating church plan to accompany the children as they rotate through the various music opportunities that week.) More details will follow at our Website and in upcoming issues of The Spirit newsletter.

Click for June Calendar

Virginia Baptist Blitz Build (July 23-28, 2007)

As a part of this year's Missions Connection Celebration, Virginia Baptists will partner with Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity to build a house in less than one week. Virginia Baptist Blitz Build 2007 is open to anyone age 18 or older. Skilled labor crews are required for framing, roofing, siding, plumbing, and electrical work. Adults of all ages and skill levels are also needed for general labor and worksite assistance. For more information on MC2 and how you can participate, visit or contact Carol Seeley at 800.255.2428 or email

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540-586-7409

Women on Mission: Palestine will lead devotionals at Oakwood Manor in June. Beaverdam will host the June birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Radford will host it in July. From January through March, several Hunting Creek folks knitted/crocheted 190 baby hats for Virginia Baptist Hospital.

SBA WMU Annual Meeting
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Thaxton Baptist Church
Theme: "Live the Call"

13 churches represented
56 total attendance
$461.00 collected for Bedford Community Christmas Station

We thank Thaxton for hosting our meeting and for providing the delicious fellowship meal prior to the meeting.


July 8 Ed Greer (Retired)
July 11 Bryon LePere (Big Island)
July 23 Harry Leland (Shady Grove)
July 31 Esther Woodford (SBA Office)


July 1 Ken & Evelyn Butterworth (Diamond Hill)
July 18 Eldridge & Jennie Cullum (Thaxton)
July 19 Bryon & Annie LePere (Big Island)
July 31 Jackie & Glynda Carver (Palestine)
July 31 Marc & Cari Jantomaso (River Rock)

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.
—Chinese Proverb

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, June 20.

Archived Newsletters
October 2001 - November 2001 - December 2001
January 2002 - February 2002 - March 2002 - April 2002 - May 2002 - June 2002
July 2002 - August 2002 - September 2002 - October 2002 - November 2002 - December 2002
January 2003 - February 2003 - March 2003 - April 2003 - May 2003 - June 2003
July 2003 - August 2003 - September 2003 - October 2003 - November 2003 - December 2003
January 2004 - February 2004 - March 2004 - April 2004 - May 2004 - June 2004
July 2004 - August 2004 - September 2004 - October 2004 - November 2004 - December 2004
January 2005 - February 2005 - March 2005 - April 2005 - May 2005 - June 2005
July 2005 - August 2005 - September 2005 - October 2005 - November 2005 - December 2005
January 2006 - February 2006 - March 2006 - April 2006 - May 2006 - June 2006
July 2006 - August 2006 - September 2006 - October 2006 - November 2006 - December 2006
January 2007 - February 2007 - March 2007 - April 2007 - May 2007

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

Copyright© Strawberry Baptist Association
Updated 5/31/2007
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