July 2007

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Getting the Most out of Worship
and Making It Personal

I'm sure this has never happened to you, but just in case you know someone else who has struggled with getting the most out of a Sunday morning worship experience, I thought it might be wise to share these thoughts for the other person's benefit.

What was the intent and main points of the sermon you heard two weeks ago? How did it minister to you personally, and what changes, insights, or growth came about as a result of that message?

Most folks will sit through a Sunday morning worship hour having never been personally involved in the experience. This is hardly what God desires, and it leaves many feeling empty and asking themselves more than once during the hour, "how much longer?" This sense of emptiness and mundane ritual is almost fully our own fault, because we do practically nothing to prepare ourselves for worship beforehand, take a passive role during the course of the worship hour, and exit with no plan or even intention of applying truth gained to real life situations in the days to come. We are freewheeling or coasting through what should be one of the most helpful spiritual exercises of our lives.

  • 1. Pray for the hearers. Before Sunday ever arrives, ask God to prepare your own heart to receive and act upon the upcoming message. Do this with a humble awareness that you are not spiritually complete, and there are many rough edges that need to be chipped away. Beware of the nagging urge to pull splinters out of other people's eyes while the log is in yours. Ask that individuals will be responsive to the Spirit's urging to be present and equally anxious to experience God when the Word is preached.

Special Fall Ministers' Conference

We are planning a special event for our ministers on Tuesday, October 2, 2007, at Beaverdam Baptist Church. Two videos addressing contemporary life in ministry will be selected from the CCN DVD library, and each attendee will then choose the showing he/she is interested in. Following the 10:00 a.m. presentation we'll gather for fellowship and enjoy the luncheon that Beaverdam will have prepared for us. The titles will be announced a bit later, but we do ask that those wanting to share in this Fall Ministers' Conference to please RSVP the SBA office by phone or e-mail no later than September 25. There will be no charge.

Attention Ham Radio Operators

Following the Katrina disaster the state convention reevaluated the need for radio communications during emergency situations. They have now completed installing equipment at the Baptist Resource building and are developing their database of qualified hams who will be called on to serve either in Richmond or on-site through the mobile response vehicles.

If you are a ham and interested in learning more about how to help fill this emergency communication need, please write or call the Association office so we may help put you in contact with the appropriate people.

Associational Missions Week Report

We want to thank the churches and individuals who have contributed thus far to our Associational Missions Week Offering. Through June 20, we have received $2,541.05 for the work of the ministry in our local mission field. Though AMW was calendared for May 20-27, we know that some have chosen to promote the emphasis later in the year. Thank you for considering Strawberry a genuine and worthy mission field to invest in. Without the faithful contributions of those who make up this Association it would be impossible to do what we do.

Focus on Our Family

Bedford's VBS begins Friday, July 20, and ends Monday, July 23.

Flint Hill will have Vacation Bible School, beginning July 22 and ending July 26, 6:30-8:30 each evening. They will use LifeWay's Club VBS Jungle Jaunt curriculum.

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.

Rock Chocklett and Mentow Church are planning a Summer Jam Youth Event for July 15, 2007, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Weather permitting it will be held outside. The Liberty University Kings Players and Don Shire will be on hand. Please share this with other area churches and youth ministries.

Fred Anderson, of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, will portray Dr. William E. Hatcher during Homecoming services at Mount Hermon on September 23, 2007, 11 a.m. The church is celebrating its 220th anniversary since it was founded by Dr. Hatcher's grandfather.

Report from Vermont

As I am writing this article, our five missionaries to Vermont are only half way through their week, but the reports have been excellent. Lynwood & Alma Blankenship of Quaker, Raymond & Elaine Strachan of Staunton, and Suzann Timma of Quaker arrived in North Bennington, Vermont, on Saturday, June 16, to spend one week ministering with the Green Mountain Baptist Association at the historic Old Stone Church doing construction and renovation. They've been very busy installing and prepping drywall and putting up insulation. The building has been abandoned for some years and needs major attention before the local Baptist mission may begin meeting there. Our team is one of many through 2007 that will work to bring this together. Thank you for your prayers and financial support which have helped make this mission trip a reality!


Aug 4 Tim & Ruby Dooley (Bethlehem
Aug 7 Vernon & Wanda DeLong (Trinity)
Aug 7 David & Suzann Timma (Quaker)
Aug 9 Steve & Barbara Manuel (SBA)
Aug 12 Rick & Laura Mallory (Morgans)
Aug 17 David & Donna Henderson (Bedford)
Aug 19 Dennis & Mary Moore (Beaverdam)
Aug 20 Gary & Becky Fowler (Flint Hill)
Aug 20 Ed & Nancy Greer (Retired)
Aug 26 Mike & Edith Grooms (Rainbow Forest)

Click for July Calendar

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.

CenterFest - September 29, 2007

For the sixth year, our Association will have a booth where we will be privileged to minister to thousands who will walk the streets of our Jerusalem.

Our volunteers serve up free cold water and lemonade; provide a baby changing table for life's little emergencies; minister through puppets, music, and more; and distribute literature. We also encourage churches to put together teams who will mingle among the crowd to meet neighbors, share who we are and what we are about, and spend time prayer walking the streets of Bedford.

If you are willing to be a missionary for a day at the SBA booth, pray, or take part in the various street ministries, please contact Julie Arthur at or the Association office at 540.586.8345 or

The week before CenterFest we will conduct a rally to help us get ready for the big day. This brief orientation session will prepare everyone for what we will be doing in the booth, on the stage, and among the crowd as we prayerwalk and pass out literature. We'll share rally details later.

Our service as witnesses must first begin at home if it is to be genuine and effective on the distant field. Please help us promote this "mission trip," and come join your brothers and sisters for a fun and eventful day at CenterFest 2007!

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

Women on Mission: Rainbow Forest will lead devotionals at Oakwood Manor in August. Radford will host the July birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Morgans will host it in August.

The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self.
Whitney Young (1921-1971) Civil Rights Leader

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, July 23.

Archived Newsletters
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July 2002 - August 2002 - September 2002 - October 2002 - November 2002 - December 2002
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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 - June 2007

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

Copyright© Strawberry Baptist Association
Updated 7/1/2007
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