June 2010

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Children’s Summer Music Camp
(For children who have completed grades K-6)

Monday, July 26-Friday, July 30, 2010
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Bedford Baptist Church
Director, Susan Batten-Bell
Musical Program, Friday, 7:00 p.m.

Unforgettable melodies and poignant lyrics abound in this inspiring musical based on the account of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Found in all four New Testament gospels, the story reveals how one young boy with five loaves of bread and two fish–and an apparent willingness to share–leads to an event so startling that members of the crowd wanted to proclaim Jesus as King. Later, the event reveals an even greater truth as Jesus tells his disciples, “I am the Bread of Life. Those who come to me will never go hungry.” The musical remains true to the biblical accounts while underlining the theme that the most humble among us–especially children–can do great things with God’s help.

See your Pastor/Music Leader for registration materials
which were included in June newsletter packets.

Please click here to download the Registration Form in PDF

The Wonderful Unfairness

Jesus was a genius at telling stories. His marvelous mind conceived dozens of strange tales designed to tease tease his listeners into startling new discoveries. His stories were often puzzles. Some of them are beautiful, some of them are sad, some are just maddening. There is one story that still really bothers me.

Without naming the story up front, I will tell you that there are everyday experiences you and I have that are similar to that story. Those who drive an automobile know this story. You’re on the highway, there’s construction up ahead, and the sign says, “Merge Right.” So you merge right into this long line of cars that is just creeping along inch by inch to squeeze through the narrow lane of mess way up ahead. Then you see it in your rear view mirror: this hotshot in a four-by-four pickup truck in the left lane, roaring past everybody, speeding past all of us to the front of the line where he noses over and somebody lets him in, and then he’s through and off he goes down the highway. Can you feel that? That’s just not fair.

You have a job and a salary. There are people above you who make more than you do. It’s how things are. Time comes for the new budget year, and you learn everybody is getting a 2% raise. And you think about it. They’ll tell you everybody gets the same: 2% all around. But 2% for those with big salaries will dwarf your little raise. And you know who works harder. You’re there early, stay late, take work home while they are playing golf. Memo: “Due to the current economic crisis there will be no merit raises, but in the interest of fairness all employees will receive a 2% cost of living increase.” Fairness! You’re in the trenches and falling behind, while the fat cats get a little fatter. Do you feel it?

That’s precisely the kind of story Jesus told. It was about guys who worked in the vineyard for twelve hot hours receiving the same pay those piddlers got for working one hour, one-twelfth of the time. They felt the unfairness. And I feel it with them. Don’t you?

And in the way Jesus tells the story, he suggests this is a good thing. In the story he even has the boss say to the grievance committee, “Listen pal, I’ve done you no wrong. Didn’t we agree on the daily wage? Take what you earned and move on. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?”

I don’t know how you would answer that question, but I would have to be honest and say, “Yes, I am envious.” There is a question here that we really need to face and to answer: Why is it that in hearing this story, we all, or almost all, identify with the ones who felt cheated? Jesus showed us workers who got paid for more hours than they worked. How many of us were even tempted to think, “Yes! That’s my experience. I haven’t done near what I should, showed up late and begrudgingly, but I was valued and given more than I deserve!” Very few of us would identify with being in that part of the payment line.

How did Jesus know that almost all of us would identify with those who felt they didn’t get enough? He knew our way of looking sideways to see what others are getting and measuring our lives against theirs. I think he told this story to expose that ugly part of us to ourselves, and to invite us to get over it.
Let’s really take a look at our lives. Do we fit the picture of people who have served the purposes of God from the dawn to the dusk of our lives? Have we really been so hard at work for the Kingdom or so good at it? Standing in the payment line, we have been much too quick to notice and to resent how certain generosities have apparently been handed to others and not to us. Let’s rub our eyes and look again. We really don’t belong in the grievance end of the line. We are in the fortunate end where grace abounds. Before us is the very gift of life. We are called to the happiest purpose, crowned with meaning, and set into the company of the supremely fortunate.

There is every good reason for whooping and leaping and giving high fives. Who of us has earned this? And if we didn’t, then how shall we begrudge God’s generosity to anyone else? We have reason for laughing, weeping, singing, and embracing because God is so entirely and fiercely and beautifully unfair.
—John Upton
Executive Director, VBMB & BGAV
Copied from Summer 2009 Ministry Messenger

Focus on Our Family

Big Island will host Lindsay Comstock, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionary to Thailand, on Wednesday, June 2, 6:45 p.m.

Glade Creek’s VBS will be June 21-25, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Mentow’s Vacation Bible School will be Friday, July 9, 6:30 p.m.; all day Saturday, July 10; and Sunday, July 11, 6:30 p.m.

Mount Hermon’s VBS will be held Thursday, June 17, 6:00-8:30 p.m., Friday, June 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Saturday, June 19, 9-11 a.m.

Rainbow Forest will host Hot Rods for Haiti Car Show, June 5, 9-3 (rain date, June 12). Proceeds benefit Christian Light Fellowship Schools and Orphanages. Early registration through June 1, $10.00; day of show, $15.00. Call Tim DeGraff 540.977.1607 or Freddie King 540.977.0938.

Thaxton will host KidsFest at Thaxton Community Center, Saturday, June 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Thaxton’s Vacation Bible School will be held at the Community Center, June 27-30, 6-9 p.m.

at Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS!
Timber Ridge Baptist Church
Sunday, June 27-Friday, July 2, 6:00-8:30 p.m.


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

Wedding Anniversaries
Jun 2 Mike & Debbie Jones (Sedalia)
Jun 13 Woody & Phyllis Elliott (Retired)
Jun 17 Philip & Lois Ayers (Glade Creek)
Jun 20 Harry & Nilah Leland (45 yrs.) (Shady Grove)
Jun 23 Daren & Shawna Davis (20 yrs.) (Missionaries)
Jun 28 Mark & Julia Flores (Mount Hermon)
Jun 29 Michael & Connie Cox (Suck Spring)
Jul 1 Ken & Evelyn Butterworth (Diamond Hill)
Jul 18 Eldridge & Jennie Cullum (Thaxton)
Jul 19 Bryon & Annie LePere (Big Island)
Jul 31 Marc & Cari Jantomaso (River Rock)
Jul 31 Jackie & Glynda Carver (Palestine)

Church Ministry Anniversary

Jul 17 Mark Flores (Pastor/Mount Hermon/5 yrs.)


We want to thank Mount Olivet for hosting our 2010 Executive Board meeting on Tuesday, April 20. They did an outstanding job preparing for the meeting and making everyone feel welcome.

Rev. Rick Mallory 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
Representative to VBMB....................Mr. Cary Ogden

The following Constitution/Bylaws Revision Team was appointed by the Moderator: Reva Orange (Mount Zion), Todd Childers (Norwood), Lois Stevens (Flint Hill). Vernon DeLong (Moderator) and Esther Woodford (Administrative Assistant) will serve ex officio.

Attendance of 36 included 7 pastors, 26 lay representatives, and 3 visitors, with 15 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 will lead weekly 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. Staunton sent 70 witnessing bracelets to Ocoee Resort Ministries in Cleveland, Tennessee. The Sedalia Stars made and sent 280 witnessing bracelets to the Ocoee Resort Ministry. They also sent 100 knit caps to the neonatal unit at Virginia Baptist Hospital.

SBA WMU Annual Planning
Church Directors & Associational Leadership Team
Saturday, June 5, 2010,
9 a.m. - 12 Noon
Rebekah’s Overstreet’s home
(Covered dish brunch)

Self-Study Team

For input or questions, contact any member of the team by email or telephone:
  Rev. David Timma, or 540.297.3715
  Rebekah Overstreet, or 540.586.2956
  Rev. Rick Mallory, or 540.297.4959
  Rev. Dennis Moore, or 540.947.2091
  Rita Calhoun, or 540.297.5271
  Billy Burnette, 540.586.8087
  Rev Vernon DeLong, or 540.586.8010

Click for June Calendar

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.

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.
—Joseph F. Newton

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 23.

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

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