December 2007

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No Public Displays of Christmas Allowed

You have read the same headlines and heard the news. “City orders Christmas decorations removed.” “Local malls must include symbols of all faiths when decorating.” “School children are prohibited from singing Christmas Carols.” “Merry Christmas is now a politically incorrect greeting.” “Christmas will now be referred to as Winter Break so as not to offend or exclude.” “The Salvation Army is no longer welcome on the premises.

Even television and movies make a mockery of our faith and commit blasphemous attacks that leave us shocked and incensed. These blatant assaults coincidentally reach their peak during the seasons Christians hold most sacred. Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection are made fun of in the most vile and obscene manner possible, and the offenders are usually encouraged and praised through the media and by activist groups, big and small. All things Christian are portrayed as stupid, narrow, and obsolete by the standards of a modern society.

As believers, our first inclination is to take offense at the changes to our most sacred traditions and look for ways to confront the anti-Christian propaganda that dominates the landscape more and more. We wonder how such attitudes could be the true expression of the majority in this democratic republic. It must be a small minority of folks leading the attacks and policy changes, so let’s issue the rallying cry and set the sinners straight.

But before you get caught up in all of the uproar and ugliness, let me remind you that Jesus was not really popular in His own day and time. The religious institutions of the day refused to recognize Him, the people in the street loved Him one day but hated Him the next, and even His inner circle of closest and dearest friends abandoned Him when the government arrested, terrorized, and eventually murdered Him on false charges. It was a far darker environment than what we live in today.

Focus on Our Family

Bedford will present a Live Nativity on Saturday, December 15, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

On November 18, Diamond Hill had a special dedication service to celebrate completion of its new sanctuary and family life center.

Hunting Creek has called Daniel Foss as youth pastor. Also, the church has started an after school program called, “Monday’s on the Mount.” Bible foundations and discipleship are taught, time is allowed for snacks, homework help, structured and free game times, and supper for the kids and their parents is also provided.

There will be a children’s Christmas program entitled “The Story of Christmas” at Mentow on Sunday, December 16, 6:30 p.m. Fellowship/refreshments afterward.

Mt. Zion participated in “See you at the Pole” on September 26. There were teachers, students, parents, grandparents, and pastor present for a total of 36 who met at the Montvale Elementary School. What a privilege it was to gather with all ages, and pray for our nation, leaders, students, and teachers!

Sunday, October 28, was a busy day at Mt. Zion. Along with Sunday School and Worship Service, we observed Pastor Appreciation Day, and our Pastor, Rev. Bill Mitchell, was presented a monetary gift from the church.

On Saturday, November 3, Mt. Zion participated in a local mission project in the village of Montvale, building a new deck for a disabled man. The Lord blessed that day with good weather, good help, and good fellowship.

Family Day was held on Sunday, November 11, with many family members returning to worship and share lunch with family and friends.

Operation Christmas Child

The following churches reported participation in Operation Christmas Child:

Bedford			82
Mount Hermon	
Mount Olivet		40
Mount Zion		30
Norwood			150
Shady Grove		70



Earn College- and Masters-level credit in Southwest Virginia
Church History: Tuesday evenings, 6:30-9:30
Christian Education: Thursday evenings, 6:30-9:30
(Both classes offer 3 college-level credit hours)
Cost: $375 per class (Audit: $188)

Introduction to Preaching: Thursday evenings, 6:30-8:15
(2 Masters-level credit hours)
Cost: $600 (Audit: $300)

All classes offered at Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke
Week of January 28 through May 19, 2008

Tuition supplements available for BGAV church members
For further information and registration, please contact
The Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network
Phone: 540.777.3014 or 1.866.223.9344 (toll-free)

A Ministry of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board

Simple Church

What are we trying to accomplish with persons in our churches—to simply keep them busy, or something more intentional and significant?

Eric Geiger, co-author of the book, Simple Church, will attempt to answer those questions in a workshop on Monday, December 3, at Bonsack Baptist Church, 4845 Cloverdale Road (corner of US 220 and US 460) in Roanoke. Time for the event is 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the cost of $20 per person includes lunch and all materials. Registration for ministers and lay leaders interested in the workshop is being accepted NOW by contacting the Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network, 540.777.3014 or 866.223.9344 (toll-free). You may also register by emailing

In Gratitude

To Jackie, Bert, Rodney, Kitchen Crew, Decorators, and Everyone Else at Palestine Church!

Thank you so much for the way you prepared and hosted the 231st Strawberry Baptist Association annual meeting. It was outstanding! You contributed to a most excellent gathering. We appreciate how you worked and sacrificed to help us keep the meal cost as low as possible. The worship time could not have been sweeter or fit together any better. The Holy Spirit manifested Himself through the flow and coordination of music, Scripture, testimony, reports, and missionary message. Our prayer is that you will let us help you promote and even find volunteer laborers for ministry efforts in Huddleston and beyond. What a beautiful thing it is when brothers and sisters lift one another to the Lord, walk side by side, and flesh out the mind and life of Jesus. Thank you again!

Click for December Calendar

Etc., Etc., Etc.

Thanks for praying for the Uganda Mission Team traveling February 2-16, 2008. A number of folks from Strawberry will be going with Arise Africa Ministries to the city of Jinja where there will be preaching and much evangelistic work. This mission effort has been going on for a number of years now, and thousands have come to faith in Christ through the sacrifice and commitment of the volunteers. Pray that doors will be open and missionaries protected as they serve in harsh conditions. Pray that the many Muslims will experience dreams of Jesus coming to them and telling them to listen to the Christian messengers sent to their land to preach the Good News.

Virginia Baptists share an active and close partnership with our brothers and sisters in the Jamaica Baptist Union. As you likely know, the island nation of Jamaica was hit hard in August by Hurricane Dean. Our friends in the JBU have asked our help in support of their desired recovery ministries. Through our World Mission Initiatives Recovery funds, we have obtained funding to repair the roofs of 13 houses, seven churches and Nutshell, the JBU’s camp and conference center. Now, we need teams of volunteers who can go and accomplish the repairs.

It is estimated that a team of 6-10 volunteers, one of whom is knowledgeable and experienced in roofing, can complete two jobs in one week of service. With this in mind, a total of 12 teams are needed. The expenses will be $60 per person per day for in country travel, housing and meals plus airfare. (As you know, airfare fluctuates. The projection is that most will be in the range of $800-1000 per person round trip.) The VBMB will provide the international accident/injury insurance and construction materials.

Persons interested in forming a team may contact the Glocal Missions & Evangelism Team by calling 1.800.255.2428 or 804.925.5000 to speak with Craig Waddell (, Nichole Bulls ( or Terry Raines (

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

Women on Mission: Diamond Hill is leading devotionals at Oakwood Manor in December; Radford will lead them for January, February, and March. Mentow will host the December birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Bethlehem will host it in January.

SBA WMU Planning Meeting
(Church WMU Directors &
SBA WMU Leadership Team Members)
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 5:15 p.m.
SBA Office

WMU Dues ($2.00 for each member of Women on Mission and leaders of age-level organizations) are due now for the 2007-2008 year. Checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Mrs. Emily Morris, 2161 Penns Mill Rd., Big Island, VA 24526. The following churches have already submitted their dues: Bedford, Bethlehem, Big Island, Diamond Hill, Hunting Creek, Mentow, Mount Hermon, Mount Olivet, Norwood, Pecks, Radford, Sedalia, Thaxton, and Timber Ridge.


Jan 11 Vernon DeLong (Trinity)
Jan 17 Bill Mitchell (Mount Zion)

Church Ministry Anniversary

Jan 1 Mike Jones (Pastor/Sedalia/15 yrs.)

How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’Tis easier to keep holidays than commandments. —Benjamin Franklin

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, December 19.

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
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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 - June 2007
July 2007 - August 2007 - September 2007 - October 2007 - November 2007

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

Copyright© Strawberry Baptist Association
Updated 11/26/2007
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