June 2009

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Called to Love

Love for God and love for our neighbor are inseparable. Jesus makes this very clear in the following scripture passages: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:24-35 (NIV)

"'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'" Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

While love for God and love for others are inseparable, loving God is not the same as loving our neighbor. Sometimes loving God is one thing, and we might feel pretty good about that. Then comes a time when we have to love a very difficult to love neighbor. C. S. Lewis said, "Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive."

There are other times when loving our neighbor is easier than loving God if for no other reason, our neighbor is more visible than God. And secondly, our neighbor might make less demands on us than God. There are those who take this to the extreme and say that loving others is the same as worshiping God. Yet worship is still our primary expression of our love for God. Calvin correctly stated, "Surely the first foundation of righteousness is the worship of God. When this is overthrown, all the remaining parts of righteousness, like pieces of shattered and fallen building are mangled and scattered." The relationship with and the worship of God must come first.

On the other hand, worship without neighbor love deletes the logical conclusion of loving God. The foundation of this neighbor love is the recognition that as God's own, we are called to love what God passionately loves.

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
Director, Susan Batten-Bell
Musical Program, Friday, 7:00 p.m.

Charming and witty, this superb children¹s musical captivates the heart through its memorable melodies and humorous dialogue that creatively tells the story of Elijah. From his confrontation with Ahab and Jezebel through his journey in the desert, Elijah shows his faith in the God who provides.

Registration materials will be mailed to Pastors or Music Leaders the first week of June.

Click here for 2009 Registration Form

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

Church Ministry Anniversary

June 1 Rick Foster (Pastor/Timber Ridge/1 yr.)
Focus on Our Family

Rev. David Williamson is resigning as pastor at Hunting Creek effective June 20, 2009, to accept the pastorate of First Baptist Church in Maiden, NC. David has pastored at Hunting Creek since June 2003 and served as Vice Moderator of Strawberry Association during the 2007-2008 year. On Sunday, June 7, 11 a.m., at Hunting Creek, Rev. Clinton Brooks will bring a patriotic message, "The Torch Is Yours," honoring veterans of all wars. Rev. Brooks is a veteran with 21 years of active duty. He served as an enlisted man in Korea and Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor in Vietnam and given a commendation from the Arm Chief of Staff for his service at the Pentagon. The public is invited and is encouraged to wear patriotic colors, ribbons, or emblems. Rev. Brooks will also bring a message at 7 that evening as well as messages at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on June 14 and 21.

John Woodford of Mentow served with the Virginia Baptist Feeding Unit from May 12-17. The unit is one of many responders to the flooding in Gilbert, West Virginia.

On May 19, ten folk from Mentow attended the Senior Adult Retreat at Eagle Eyrie.

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

On Saturday, June 20, Norwood will host a Gospel Sing, featuring Mark Templeton & Pocket Change. A love offering will be taken.

We've gone Wireless!

The SBA office has upgraded to high speed DSL. We're no longer using the Administrative Assistant's personal dial-up and email account. Call us about how you might be able to benefit from this—not just during office hours, but 24/7.

The new email address for the office is

Self Study Team

The Self Study Team (SST) met with Don Harvey on May 15, 2009, at Quaker Baptist Church, from 9 a.m. to-3 p.m. Following a devotion and some introductory questions of who we are, we discussed communication: building trust, pastors and laity, value of missions, and what is important. We discussed the diversity of the Association and why we exist.

The final outcome was to give members of the SST an assignment to contact all pastors of SBA one on one. After everyone has had time to make all their contacts, we meet again June 19.

Respectfully submitted, Rebekah Overstreet Co-chairman

Self-Study Team Contact Info:
Billy Burnette, 540.586.8087; Rita Calhoun, 540.297.5271 or; Hoyt Dellis, 540.297.5622 or; Vernon DeLong, 540.586.8010 or; Rick Mallory, 540.297.4959 or; Dennis Moore, 540.890.1294 or; Rebekah Overstreet, 540.586.2956 or; David Timma, 540.297.3715 or


June 6 Tim Dooley (Bethlehem)
July 8 Ed Greer (Retired)
July 11 Bryon LePere (Big Island)
July 23 Harry Leland (Shady Grove)
July 31 Esther Woodford (SBA)

Click for June Calendar

Associational Missions Week

We want to thank Shady Grove for hosting our 2009 Executive Board meeting on Tuesday, April 28. They did an outstanding job preparing for the meeting and making everyone feel welcome.

Mr. Carl Wells of the Nominating Committee presented the following Officers to be approved by the Executive Board for election at the Annual Meeting in October:

Moderator --- Rev. Vernon DeLong
Vice-Moderator --- Mr. Doug McDaniel
Clerk --- Mrs. Lois S. Stevens
Treasurer --- Mrs. Esther O. Woodford

The following were nominated and elected to take office immediately:

Personnel Committee Chair --- Mrs. Faye Eubank
(Filling vacant position)
Trustee --- Mr. Ed Overstreet
(Replacing Melvin Templeton who is no longer eligible to serve)
Vice-Moderator --- Rev. Vernon DeLong
(Filling vacant position)

Attendance of 33 included 8 pastors, 20 lay representatives, and 5 visitors, with 16 churches represented.

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

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

Throughout Bedford City and County a large group of churches faithfully supports Bedford Christian Ministries Association, Inc. This support is greatly appreciated. We depend upon you for a large portion of our operating budget. We are especially grateful to Strawberry Baptist Woman's Missionary Union for your generosity shown during this recent quarterly period in 2009. The $90.00 received is a much needed addition to our mutual outreach program. BCMA thanks you for your continued support and would invite you to visit us at any time during our hours of operation.

Sincerely, Jo Anne Bobbitt, Assistant Treasurer

Thank you all for your generous contribution to Bedford Ride. Contributions and thoughtfulness such as yours and volunteer driver and dispatcher efforts help to continue and expand Bedford Ride services for non-emergency medical transport.

Thanks, Ira F. Doom, Bedford Ride Administrator

Wedding Anniversaries

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) July 1 Ken & Evelyn Butterworth (Diamond Hill)
July 18 Eldridge & Jennie Cullum (Thaxton)
July 19 Bryon & Annie LePere (Big Island)
July 30 Marc & Cari Jantomaso (River Rock)
July 31 Jackie & Glynda Carver (Palestine)

(God) typically lays a foundation of character before building a superstructure of leadership.
—Henry Blackaby

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 24.

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

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Updated 5/29/2009
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