Pastor's Bible Study

Every Wednesday morning during the school year, Dr. Furr teaches adults on a wide variety of topics with discussion – often a book of the Bible or some aspect of the Christian life or doctrine. All you need is a Bible and an inquisitive mind! Occasionally, a particular book is ordered for everyone who wants to purchase a copy. This group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Adult Seminar Room across from the Library. Find current topics under Latest News. Please join in.


Pastor's Column


march 14, 2017

Mike McBrayer’s Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration This Sunday

I have been so fortunate to not only have good staff, but great staff, in my time here at VHBC. Two of our six ministers were with me for the fortieth anniversary, and four of our five were here for the fiftieth. That stability, leadership and tenure have been decisive in our growth and continued strength. Celebrations are frequent here for the people who help our church do its work week by week. A church is the entire congregation as led by God, but God’s staff help a church do it well.

This coming Sunday, we will celebrate Mike and Melissa McBrayer and their family as we observe Mike’s fifteenth anniversary among us.  In 2002, Mike and Melissa came just as we were entering new facilities—the Preschool and Children’s Building was brand new, as were the Youth addition and many other features. Luke was two years old Maggie would come along after their arrival.

In that fifteen years Mike built a strong and vibrant Student ministry among us, and part of the fruit of that work is born out in the many lives engaged in full-time ministry and active Christian laity who passed through his area and now work as teachers, doctors, and in church leadership where they are. The last three years, Mike has transitioned to the Missions and Discipleship areas and has brought energy, new ideas and focus to those areas as well. We have been blessed to be part of both phases of his ministry, and we look forward to marking this significant occasion on Sunday.

Like all of our staff, we gain their families near and far as part of our circle, and the McBrayers, beginning with Melissa and the children, are so much a part of our congregational life. I thank God for them and for Mike, and I anticipate the opportunity to say a small thank you to them together at the end of the service Sunday morning.

A Church for This Time

Many years ago, President John F. Kennedy uttered the famous words, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Missing in the political conversation of our time is a simple question, “What can we all do to help?” We argue and blame and accuse one another on issue after issue, but the simple questions matter the most. “How can we best foster health and well-being among our citizens? What is my responsibility to make our nation better? How can we insure the highest and best education for our children possible? How can we manage our fiscal and other resources as caring stewards? How can we insure that our common life is fair to all and not a contest for privilege? How can I be a better neighbor to all around me? What can be done to bring out the best in us all and not the worst?”

All of these questions have implications politically, but politics does not give the full answer to these questions. It is easy to degenerate into “they” in controversial moments. What “they” did or didn’t do, what “they” owe me or what “they” expect.

“We” is the most important word of our time. How do we rebuild a sense of shared obligation and responsibility to one another and our principles? How do we find ways to sacrifice for the good of all? How do we honor one another through more listening and less talking? How can we be peacemakers in the storms of unreconciled people?

We have a great opportunity to be a church for this time. If ever we were needed to live out the teachings and way of Jesus it is now. Society will always be in conflict with itself because it cannot achieve what only God can do. But Christians can and must be those who shine a light into their world. Maybe now more than ever.