Ministering to those more needy than we are has never been easy. It almost always takes us out of our comfort zone into a world that can be inconvenient, unadorned, costly, and at times even scary. Perhaps for these very reasons we discover that most of us are not involved in any direct way in the lives of struggling people. It is easier to just not be bothered, especially when there are so many other things we can be busy with that aren't particularly uncomfortable, inconvenient, or even too scary.
I imagine that Jesus very much had us in mind when he did His teaching in Matthew 25. He was sitting on the Mount of Olives speaking about end times and judgement. It had to do with preparations, signs of the times, faithful servanthood, and at the end of the chapter Jesus speaks with very clear and even harsh words of those who will be blessed or not blessed by the way they treat or fail to treat people in need.
Jesus specifically mentioned people who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, imprisoned, or strangers as folks in need. He even went so far as to say that to the extent that we minister to one with such needs we are actually ministering to Him, and on the flip side, if we fail to minister to the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, imprisoned, or stranger, then we have failed to serve our Lord.
They were hungry and thirsty, not by choice, but by circumstance. In most instances in the ancient world, their place in life was fixed from birth. There weren't the freedoms, opportunities, and human rights that we've come to take for granted. A low position in life with its accompanying poverty and even slavery or bondage was passed from generation to generation. Without wealth many would experience hunger and thirst as they struggled to live.
The naked were those who likewise had found themselves destitute. They wore their rags as long as possible. Those suffering from demon possession or mental and emotional disorders were sometimes put out of house and home to survive wherever possible, even to live among the tombs of the dead. Only by the generosity of someone else casting off a used cloak or garment would they be able to clothe themselves against the elements. We are familiar with how Jesus ministered to the naked.
Mentow will celebrate homecoming on Sunday, October 29. Special guests will be Daren and Shawna Davis, IMB missionaries to Zambia. Daren served as pastor of Mentow from January 1993 to July 1997.
Calling all children, age 3 through 6th grade! North Bedford is offering an exciting AWANA program, free of charge, and welcoming of visitors, each Sunday, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Come join us for Bible-based stories, scripture, games, and more. For more information please contact Lori White, Awana Commander, 434.525.0042, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quaker has called David Timma as pastor, effective September 18. A native of northern Virginia, David graduated from VMI and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Immediately prior to coming to Quaker, he pastored a church in Madison, North Carolina. David and his wife, Suzanne, have three children, Jonathan (10), Daniel (8), and Emily (5).
November 1 Mike Grooms (Rainbow Forest)
November 3 Ken Butterworth (Diamond Hill)
November 22 Bryan Sheehan (Pecks)
November 23 Bill Vest (Retired)
November 28 Elmer Sellers (Retired)
November 19 Bill & Marion Vest (Retired)
Updates and Reminders
Theme: "Unto the Least of These"
Hunting Creek Baptist Church
As a matter of courtesy, the clerk (or another individual) from each church should call a meal count in to Hunting Creek at 434.299.5045 no later than Monday, October 16.
Names of messengers should be returned with ACP info or entered at your church's SBDS website by October 9. Visitors will register on arrival at the meeting.
Annual Church Profile info was mailed to clerks in August and is due by Monday, October 9. Please contact the association office with questions or if you need assistance.
Messengers need to prepare in advance to nominate someone to serve on the Nominating Committee. Four nominations need to come from messengers this year.
The following will be presented for election for 2006-2007:
Click here for the 2007 Budget that will be recommended for approval. The proposed budget has an overall increase of 2.8 percent and includes a cost of living increase for the Director of Missions and Administrative Assistant. If you have questions or comments, you may contact the committee chairman, Doug McDaniel, at 540.586.1823.
River Rock Church: Enclosed you will find our first six-month check for 2006 of $1,542 to the Strawberry Baptist Association as our investment in missions. As you all have blessed us as a church plant, it is our desire to return a portion of what God has blessed us so richly with to you, our church sponsor. Check our our new website: www.theriverrockchurch.com.
The 5th annual Hundreds of FeetóMiles of Care carewalk for Bedford Hospice will be Saturday, October 14, 2006, at Bedford Memorial Hospital. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the walk will start at 8:45. This year, a child's fun-run has been scheduled at 10:00 a.m. Funds raised go directly for patient care services, helping to provide for needs not covered by insuranceónone of the money raised is used for administrative costs. To participate, phone 540.587.6592.
The renovation of Cedar Crest Hotel at Eagle Eyrie is nearing completion, and Volunteers are Needed Tuesday and Wednesday, October 17 & 18, to help move in and set up new furnishings. Jobs range from heavy lifting to light chores, so if you are willing to help, there will be a job for you to do. To volunteer, call Eagle Eyrie at 434.384.2211 or email email@example.com.
November 6 Todd Childers (Pastor/Norwood/1 yr.)
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Women on Mission: Beaverdam will lead devotionals at Oakwood Manor in October; Diamond Hill will lead them in November. Timber Ridge will host the October birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Pecks will host it in November.
Attention WMU Directors: Please mail your Annual Report to Lois Stevens, Associational WMU Director, by the first week of October. The report forms were included in both your State Missions packet as well as a letter that Mrs. Stevens sent out in September. (The forms should be mailed to the address shown above, not the associational office.)
Annie Mae Broyles Group Meeting Thursday, October 19, 2006, 10 a.m. Quaker Baptist Church (Covered-dish lunch) Special Guests: Jose "Alberto" and Ilga Melo, who have recently returned from serving a two- year ISC/2+2 missionary assignment in Lithuania. Alberto, originally from Recife, Brazil, came to the Lord at a Christian camp in Brazil at age 20, and Ilga accepted the Lord at a Christian school chapel in Maryland at age 12. God called them into missions while they were single, and as singles they each served the Lord in missions around the world. Alberto primarily worked in Europe and Ilga in Brazil. They met in Recife, Brazil, in 1994 and married at Smith Mountain Lake in July 1997. God has blessed them with two children, Heidi, age 6, and Patrick, age 4. In 2002, the Lord led them to Wake Forest, NC, to study at SEBTS. Their time in Lithuania was part of a partnership project between SEBTS and the IMB. Alberto has finished his studies at SEBTS and will graduate this December. They are currently in the candidate process for career appointment to Southern Europe.
Women on Mission Get-Away "Living Beyond Words" November 3-4 (Repeat) November 4-5 Women's Rally/WMUV Annual Meeting Saturday, November 4, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
The SBA Mission Friends project to collect money to help build a "children's village" in partnership with Virginia Baptists and the Precious Children's Home in India has ended. We thank the following churches who contributed a total of $3,630.24: Bedford, $208.17; Mentow, $986.56; Mount Hermon, $91.19; Mount Olivet, $982.96; Mount Zion, $113.00; Suck Spring, $1,000.00; the Clark Group at Thaxton, $15.00; and Walnut Grove, $233.36.
WMU Dues ($2.00 for each member of Women on Mission and leaders of age-level organizations) are due now for the 2006-2007 year. Checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Mrs. Emily Morris, 2161 Penns Mill Rd., Big Island, VA 24526. Please mail by November 15.
Bob and Janice Newell, missionaries to Albanian immigrants in Athens, Greece, invite individuals and groups to have a personal connection and make a practical contribution to the opening of The Albania House in Athens. Every first-time Albanian visitor to the AHA will receive a framed, handmade, cross stitched gift. This handcraft from Christians in America will decorate Albanian homes all over Athens and will communicate love to these immigrant families. Five hundred cross-stitched gifts are needed by April 2007. Those wishing to sew some of these simple patterns should contact Janice Newell for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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