Churches Working Together
Churches Working Together
Have you ever wondered how Baptist churches, given their strong sense of autonomy, have managed to maintain viable and effective associations? Is it the need for a visible entity that signifies unity? Or is it the ability to maintain doctrinal purity? Or could it be the need for a vehicle to do local missions beyond the church. Or does it satisfy the need for fellowship with other Christians in the larger community of faith? If this were a multiple choice test, would we add another selection—all of the above?
As I consider defining the glue that holds churches together in associations, I sense that there is another influence that does it. While all of the reasons in the previous paragraph could well apply, it seems to me that the concept of covenant is what really holds our churches together in an association that makes an impact on our Judea. Covenants are the bases for all successful human relationships.
Some of those covenants are tacit—they are understood by both parties without any written document—and just as binding in the minds of the participating parties as written covenants would be. Can you see how that applies as churches join associations?
There is the notion that we are a part of this family of churches because it is right and proper in order to fulfill God’s mandate for our churches to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Agreed, churches make a decision to apply for membership in an association, but that decision is based on the need to be a part of something bigger than the local body of believers. It is the right thing to do.
Other covenants are spelled out in print. In a sense that is true of membership in an association. Our Bylaws delineate the requirements that a church must fulfill in order to be a member of SBA. Petitioning churches expect to meet the written criteria established by the association. Those criteria include proclaiming salvation by grace through faith and believers baptism by immersion, cooperation in association affairs by contributing financially to the work of the association, sending an annual report (ACP) to the association, and sending messengers to the annual meeting.
All covenants are based on some kind of negotiations. In the beginning of an association, representatives of the churches meet and consider the areas of need and agreement that they wish to include. They establish the parameters for participation in the family of churches. Once the criteria are agreed upon, the covenant becomes effective. The maintenance of that covenant depends on the trust that the churches have in one another and in the association to do what has been agreed on. The faithfulness to carry out the terms of the covenant by all parties is called integrity.
Of all people, Christians should be examples of integrity. That includes both our personal lives as well as our life in the local body of believers where we are members. And by extension, that includes our participation with other bodies of believers of which we are a part. And the larger entity—association, state, and national—must function with integrity within the bounds of the covenants—tacit and written—under which they claim to operate.
When we cooperate with integrity as we have agreed, trust is strengthened and our ministry is made more effective for the glory of God.
This article by Seaburn Daniel (SBA’s DOM from 1986-2000) was taken from the June 1998 issue of the Spirit .
It is hard to believe that another year has passed, and as we look back as Virginia Baptists, we can feel good about our accomplishments. I continue to be amazed at the staff we have in Richmond--their attitudes, enthusiasm, professionalism, and willingness to do whatever is necessary to achieve the Boardís objective to spread Godís Word. Significant accomplishments continue to be achieved even with declining revenue and reduction of staff due to finances.
The BGAV had a very successful November meeting in Roanoke, electing very capable leaders, adopting a 12.1 million dollar budget ($300,000 less than this year) and dealing with a church that ordained an openly gay individual. It was also noted that financial contributions from BGAVís 11,420 affiliated churches have declined every year for the past decade. We should all be concerned about this and keep it in our daily prayers.
Also, on a positive note and closer to home, the President of Lynchburg College took the initiative recently to contact the VBMB about establishing a Baptist Collegiate Ministry at their college, saying there were a significant number of students who were Baptist and that Lynchburg College would provide $20,000 to help fund the position. The Lynchburg Association voted to provide $10,000 and the position is now funded.
I encourage each of us as individuals, churches and as an association to become more involved in the coming year with the efforts and work in the BGAV. This is a great organization and is doing great work for the growth of Godís Kingdom.
There is a lot of information and assistance from the staff in Richmond. Just log on to www.vbmb.org or call 800.255.2428 for the information.
Again, thank you for allowing me the privilege to be your representative on the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. It is truly a blessing.
Flint Hill is planning on going on another short-term mission trip this summer. If you or your church would be interested in joining them on mission, please contact Pastor Mark Oblinger, at 540.297.6783.
Quest Ministries of Palestine Baptist Church is sponsoring a Wild Game Dinner on Saturday, February 23, 6:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 540.297.4442. This year’s speaker is Terry Chupp, former PRO Fisherman.
Thaxton will host a Wild Game Dinner on Saturday, February 16, 2013, at 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale now. The guest speaker will be Brad Mullinax who is a full time pastor of River Church in Madison Heights. He is a graduate of Liberty University and is married with two children. He is originally from Alabama.
On Sunday, January 27, Thaxton voted to call Rev Mark Beck as their intentional interim pastor. His ministry with the church will begin on Sunday, February 24.
Fall Community Revival
(We are doing two times to serve those who are bi-vocational. You can come to either or both. If you have any questions please call Pastor Phil Kelley at 540.586.9267.)
Through the Praetorian Project, Trinity is partnering with 99 other SBCV churches to establish churches close to the four main Marine Corp installations worldwide. To date the church has collected $485.
A planning meeting for Youth Encounter 2013 was held at Mentow Baptist Church on Thursday, January 24. Eleven people were present from four churches in Strawberry Association. The group decided that the date for the Youth Encounter event will be Saturday, September 21. The main focus will be to reach out to all the youth in our area. (Youth was defined at 11-18 years old.)
Those who missed the meeting on the 24th are invited (and encouraged) to attend the next meeting on Thursday, February 21, 7 p.m., in Mentow’s fellowship hall. At that meeting, we hope to be able to decide on a location for the Youth Encounter event as well as make some decisions regarding activities, speakers, etc., that would appeal to youth, especially those who don’t have a relationship with our Lord and Savior. If you have questions or would like additional information, contact Kim Kirby at email@example.com or 540.330.8071.
Rev. David P. Shreve, who served as bi-vocational pastor of Diamond Hill from 1984 to 1990, has recently retired as associate pastor of Manly Memorial Baptist Church. A Virginian, he is a graduate of Carson-Newman College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is now available for interim/supply preaching. Contact info is home: 540.462.2920; cell: 540-570-4620; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb 17 Billy Leonard (Retired)
Feb 14 Todd & Dana Childers (Norwood)
Church Ministry Anniversaries
Feb 19 Skip Irby (Intentional Interim/1 yr/Big
Mrs. Rebekah Overstreet, WMU Director
1813 Oakwood St., Bedford 24523
Women on Mission : Radford will lead weekly devotionals at Oakwood Manor for January, February, and March. Mount Olivet will host the February birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Diamond Hill will host it in March. Mentow’s Women on Mission will host a soup lunch following the February 17 worship service. Donations will be accepted to support the Stop Hunger Now project which Mentow’s youth are sponsoring.
Phyllis McDaniel, associational WMU secretary/treasurer, would like to thank the following churches for submitting their Annual Dues for 2012-2013: .Beaverdam, Bethlehem, Big Island, Flint Hill, Glade Creek, Hunting Creek, Mentow, Morgans, Mount Hermon, Mount Olivet, Mount Zion, Pecks, Quaker, Sedalia, Suck Spring, and Thaxton.
At the planning meeting on January 15, the WMU Executive Board agreed to ask members to bring items for The Bedford Community Christmas Station to the 2013 Annual Meeting. The items that are always needed are winter pajamas in ALL sizes as well as other winter clothing. (This would be a good time to buy them since they are on sale.) Other items include personal hygiene such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc., as well as children’s toys.
The Nominating Committee for the 2013-2014 Leadership Team is Hazel Burnett, Reva Orange, and Teresa Waldron, Chair.
Strawberry WMU Annual Meeting
Our guest speaker will be Spencer Merricks, Assistant Program Manager for Stop Hunger Now! At the meeting, the WMU Executive Board will recommend that we sponsor a Meal Packaging event with this organization. The cost to host the event is 25 cents per meal, with a minimum of 10,000 meals for a mobile packaging event. So our cost would be $2,500. It is a fun, hand’s on mission project that is suitable for all ages. If we vote to do this, the Executive Board will also recommend that the offering received at our meeting be used toward the cost of the project which will be undertaken at our 2014 WMU Annual Meeting at Hunting Creek.
The assembly process combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packages. These meal packages are shipped around the world to support school feeding programs and crisis relief. The food stores easily, transports quickly and has a shelf-life of five years.
For anyone interested in the WMUV Mission Trip to Standing Rock Indian Reservation, July 28-August 2, 2013, orientation for new volunteers is February 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Virginia Baptist Resource Center. Training for all 2013 Missions Teams will be on March 2, same time and place. Volunteers will be involved in construction, medical, VBS, cooking, adult crafts, recreation, traveling fair. Register for training by calling 800.255.2428, ext, 8267. If you can’t go on the mission trip, you may be interested in engaging in the following ways: collecting new shoes, socks, and underwear; sewing tote bags, or donating gift cards for food and supplies.
Just a note to thank those who remembered me with cards and phone calls for my December wedding anniversary and for Christmas. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and kind words.
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.
There is in the world far more hunger for love than there is for bread.
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, February 20.
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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