December 2014

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The Birth of Jesus

1 About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books.[a] 2 These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.[b]

3 Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed. 4 So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family.

5 Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, 6 and while they were there, 7 she gave birth to her first-born[c] son. She dressed him in baby clothes[d] and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds

8 That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. 9 All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. 10 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. 11 This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12 You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

13 Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:

14 “Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.”

2.1 names. . . listed in record books: This was done so that everyone could be made to pay taxes to the Emperor.
2.2 Quirinius was governor of Syria: It is known that Quirinius made a record of the people in A.D. 6 or 7. But the exact date of the record taking that Luke mentions is not known.
2.7 first-born: The Jewish people said that the first-born son in each of their families belonged to the Lord.
2.7 dressed him in baby clothes: The Greek text has “wrapped him in wide strips of cloth,” which was how young babies were dressed.

Luke 2:1-14 (CEV)

In Gratitude

We offer our thanks to Pastor Mike Jones and the congregation of Sedalia Baptist Church for graciously hosting our 238th Annual Meeting on October 27. They couldn’t have done more to make their extended SBA family feel welcome .

Registration: 74 messengers; 50 guests/visitors; 124 total attendance. 22 churches were represented, with 17 having full messenger representation—Beaverdam (3), Bedford (8), Big Island (2), Diamond Hill (2), Flint Hill (6), Glade Creek (2), Hunting Creek (3), Mentow (6), Morgans (4), Mount Zion (2), Norwood (3), Quaker (2), Sedalia (2), Shady Grove (2), Thaxton (2), Timber Ridge (4), Trinity (5). Other churches represented were Bethlehem, Mount Hermon, Mount Olivet, Palestine, and Suck Spring. Thanks to Joyce Hawkins, Ellen Mitchell, Hertha Nichols, and Estelle Ogden for registration assistance.

Next year’s Annual Meeting will be Monday, October 26, at Beaverdam Baptist Church.


Dec 7 Steve Parker (Morgans)
Dec 28 Monroe Baldwin (Diamond Hill)
Dec 31 Charles Stinson (Retired)
Jan 11 Vernon DeLong (Trinity)
Jan 17 Bill Mitchell (Mount Zion)

Wedding Anniversaries

Dec 5 John & Esther Woodford (50 yrs) (SBA)
Dec 20 Greg & Maryanna Soult (Mentow)


Focus on Our Family

On Sunday, November 2, Bethlehem hosted a luncheon in celebration of Clyde Roberts’ 101st birthday. He is very active—still drives, comes to church each Sunday, and loves to deer hunt (got two, this month!). In his honor, members gave 101 Bibles to “Hands for Christ International.”

Bedford’s Advent Opportunities include:

* Sunday, December 14, 5 p.m.: Churchwide covered dish Christmas dinner and music program, “Make Room for Christmas.”
* Saturday, December 20, 6-8 p.m.: Children’s Live Nativity * Sunday, December 21, 11:55 a.m.; Sanctuary choir presents “Celebrate His Name! Proclaim His Birth.”
* Wednesday, December 24, 6:30 p.m., concert; 7 p.m., Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service.
* Throughout the month, the Joyful Singers will be singing at Oakwood Manor, Bedford County Nursing Home, and Elks Home.

Big Island activities:

* November 8: Dinner and a Movie, “God's Not Dead” an outreach ministry in the community
* November 16: Blessing/Dedication for Shoebox Ministry
* November 25: Thanksgiving Dinner and Worship Service
* Youth held a bake sale to help sponsor their Haitian child
* Missions Committee's project for the Christmas season—Horizon Wellness Crisis Stabilization and Detox Services
* December 14, 7 p.m.: Christmas Cantata, "Come and Worship"
* December 21, 11 a.m.: Children's Christmas Program & fellow-ship meal; 5:30 p.m.: Christmas Caroling in the community

Diamond Hill will present “The Homecoming” Christmas play on Sunday, December 14, 6 p.m., followed by a time or fellowship and refreshments. All are invited.

Thaxton’s adult choir will present the Christmas cantata “A Song was Born at Christmas” at 10:30 a.m., on Sunday, December 7. Thechildren will present “One Starry Night” on Sunday, December 14, 10:30 a.m. A covered dish lunch will follow. At 5 p.m., there will be a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. There will be a New Year’s Eve Watch from 11 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.

Trinity will present the cantata, “The First Noel,” on Sunday, December 21.

The following churches reported participation in the 2014 Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Ministry: Beaverdam, Bedford, Bethlehem, Big Island, Flint Hill, Hunting Creek, Morgans, Mount Hermon, Mount Olivet, Mount Zion, Palestine, Sedalia, Suck Spring’s Youth and Hearts on Call, Timber Ridge, and Walnut Grove. Together, they packed 2,491 shoeboxes. Of that number, honorable mention goes to Hunting Creek for packing 515; Mount Hermon, 350; and Sedalia, 336.

Click for December Calendar

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Round Tree Dr., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540.586.7409

Women on Mission : Diamond Hill will lead weekly devotionals at Oakwood Manor in December; Radford will lead them in January, February, and March. Mentow will host the December birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Bethlehem will host it in January. Timber Ridge is preparing gift bags for residents of Campbell Rest Home. Mentow sent over 500 Christmas cards to residents of area nursing homes.

WMU Executive Board Planning Meeting
Thursday, January 15, 5:15 p.m.
SBA office

A Mission Field

Trinity is participating in Transformational Church, including a Church Health Assessment from Lifeway. A Transformational Church is a Church that is joining God on His Mission, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and making disciples. Those disciples become more like Jesus and begin transforming their community and the world for the Kingdom of God. Romans 12:2, “be not Conformed to this world, but be Transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good & acceptable will of God.”Conformed is the outside pressure to change us to be more like the world, whereas Transformed is changing from the inside, renewing, revitalizing, becoming more like Jesus.

To be Transformational, we need a Missionary Mentality, to see the world around us as a Mission Field.We give to the Cooperative Program to support Foreign & Home Missions. We send members from the Church on Mission Trips, internationally, & here in the US. In the midst of Giving to Missions & Going on Mission, sometimes we forget there is a Mission Field out there, just outside the Church walls.

Lost Souls Call us to the Mission Field. Over70% of the people in the US are Lost & Dying, Living without Hope. Over50% of the people in VA are Lost & Dying, Living without Hope. North America Missions covers Alaska, Canada & United States, a lot of Lost people. International Missions covers the rest of the world, where some have never heard the gospel. Is it easier to go overseas where there may be more response rather than focusing our efforts here at home? People Do Not Know God Loves them, that Jesus Died to Save them, unless we tell them. How shall they Believe in whom they have not heard?

Love for All Souls Calls us to the Mission Field. In Romans 9, Paul’s tells of his Love for the Jews, that he would give his life for them. The book of Acts tells of Paul’s Love for the Gentiles, he goes on 3 missionary journeys to tell them about Jesus. Paul wanted to go to Asia, but God prohibited him, calling him to Macedonia instead. “Come over & help us.” (Acts 16:9) Remember singing, “Jesus Loves the little Children, all the children of the world, red & yellow, black & white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus Loves the little Children of the world.”Paul & Silas went to prison so that 1 jailer could be Saved.

Look at the Mission Field Around us. Jesus said, “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers.” (Matt 9:37-38) “Lift up your eyes & look at the fields, they are white unto harvest.” (John 4:35) “You shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria & to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Bedford has 6,800 people in the town limits (a 3-mile radius), 3,500 of whom are unchurched. Within a 1 mile radius of Trinity Baptist Church, there are 1,000 homes, with approximately 2,500 people living in them. If All the Churches got together & we packed them all out, there still wouldn’t be enough room for everybody. What a Mission Field! What an Opportunity! Look at Your Community!

Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes.” Stop thinking about yourself, notice the Needs of those around you. ”Look unto the fields.” Can you see the people like Jesus saw them, as sheep without a shepherd, Hurting, Hopeless & Helpless? It’s time to “Labor for the Lord.” The harvest is ripe; the time is urgent. As you leave the Church Building, you are Entering a Mission Field!


Church Ministry Anniversaries

Dec 6 Wade Locy (Music Minister/10 yrs/Thaxton


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.

I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.                         —Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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
submitted by Wednesday, December 17.

Occasionally the administrative assistant has to close the SBA office for errands or meetings. Before coming by to drop off or pick up items, please call 540.586.8345 to be sure the office is open.

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Strawberry Baptist Association
947 Lyle Street - PO Box 91, Bedford, VA 24523
Vernon DeLong, Moderator - email: - Cell phone: 540.871.0588
Esther Woodford, Administrative Assistant - Tel.: (540) 586-8345

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Updated 11/29/2014
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