Bimonthly Bulletin


“Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared he fell into a trance.” Acts 10:9b-10.
Peter was in Joppa, staying at the home of Simon, who was a tanner,. It was about mealtime, so he relaxes and ends up in a “trance.” He sees something like a large sheet coming from the sky, with the four corners held up. Inside he saw all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles and birds. A voice told him to, “Get up Peter. Kill and eat.” He says, “No way Lord! I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” This happens three times. Does anybody notice that Peter refused a direct command from the Lord? If he had been obedient, what would he have killed and fried? It said all kinds of animals etc., so there must have been a clean one or two. Yet seeing them all mixed in together caused Peter to see them all as unclean and disobeys a direct command.
Of course, we could say the sheet and its contents were just a trance thing, not real. But in the trance, Peter is confronted with a real issue. An issue that may have been growing inside him for some time, who and what is clean and unclean before God? With whom would Peter have lunch?
The Roman soldiers arrive from Cornelius, who stop at the gate. Perhaps, because they were asking for a favor, they are sure to show respect by not entering without being invited. When Peter comes down and hears their request for him to go see Cornelius, he invites them in to be his guests. Which is a little weird, because it wasn’t his house, it was Simon’s
It seems the Romans spent the night there, and the next day Peter and some of the “brothers” from Joppa accompany the soldiers to Caesarea. Peter enters this gentile house filled with a bunch of gentiles, and says that they know a Jew, under the law, should not be in a gentile home, or even associate with them. However, God had told him not to call any man (person) impure or unclean.
Now, the thrust of the story is to get to the inclusion of the gentiles in the gospel. But let’s ask a question: How hard was it for him to actually go? What we do know, from his comment to Cornelius, he was stepping outside of Jewish law in so doing. Regardless of his quick response, he had reservations, based more on the interpretation of the law, than the law itself. Peter readily admits that he is doing something he was taught not to do, and from how he says it, he had something in the law to back it up. Yet he sidesteps all that. Why? Well, there’s the trance. How did he know it wasn’t just a bad dream? The arrival of the Roman soldiers helped with that.
Peter’s dilemma was not near as great as was Paul’s. For Peter, the relationship between Jews and gentiles was historically vague. For Paul, when he declared that circumcision was nothing he was in violation of a centuries-old God- ordained, covenant. In Genesis 17, after saying that circumcision was an “everlasting covenant” to be kept for all generations to come, it says in v. 13, “My covenant in your flesh (circumcision) is to be an everlasting covenant.” When did God or Jesus change that? Where in scripture is the authority for that change? Paul was commissioned to be the apostle to the gentiles. Fine with the Jews, as long as they kept God’s covenant of circumcision. It was in the Law, said the Judaizing Christians.
Both Peter and Paul were dealing with the “unclean”, the outsider, the ones not “God-approved.” We may say that the change they made in their attitude and teaching came, somehow, directly from God, but history has not limited such events to trances and a blinding light. It happens every time someone says “Do not call unclean what God has made clean.”
In our own time we’ve seen it. Africans were seen a slaves, and not equal (unclean like a gentile) and scripture was used to prove that. I remember a man back in the early 60s, a good Christian man, who said he could share the Lord’s Supper with blacks, but not at the table in his home. Where did he get that? From his understanding of the Bible.
When did God send a sheet or a blinding light to tell significant people that this view of the unclean (blacks) was wrong? I believe such people were as inspired by God as was Peter and Paul. “Do not call unclean what God has made clean.”
In I Timothy 2:15, after several statements about women, Paul clearly says, “But women will be saved through childbearing…” The statement by Paul would seem to carry a literal interpretation.
In Titus 2:4 women are told to “be busy at home…” It was taught from that passage that a woman should not work outside the home or have a career, especially in fields held by men. Did it take a sheet from heaven or a blinding light to reveal that was an unGodly view? No.
In I Cor. 7:40 Paul gives advice to widows about remarriage, and he says, “I think that I too have the Spirit of God,” relating to his advice. In the seventh Chapter he says v25 he says he has “no command from the Lord” but says he feels his judgement is “trustworthy.” Why does he say that? Because, under the current situation (v26) he believes, it is the right thing to do.
When did Isaiah (who was under the Law) have a trance or see a blinding light when he subverted the Law of Moses concerning eunuchs? (Isaiah 56:1-8)
In II Cor. 3:6 Paul he is a “minister of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” The “letter” is seen as referring to the Old Law. But the New Testament can be used as a “killer” when it does not include those “unclean” that God has made clean.
It is the Spirit of God that moves anyone to seek justice and mercy, regardless of a scripture that says otherwise in its historical or cultural context. Otherwise, we “quench” the Spirit of God. I Thess 5:19
Keith
CONCERNS: Richard Crites had a broken arm set on Monday. He is still in Raleigh Court Rehab, room 118. Judy Hall will have surgery on her throat on Wednesday. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, is in frail health. Jim Hunter is having some nausea from recent tests. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas has leukemia. Former member, Betty Shepherd, will need a kidney transplant. Remember Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, il Richardson, Deana McRoy, Jenni Cullum, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder and AC and Jake Fuller as they work in Lebanon with refugees.

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 17-22
Monday: Genesis 15:1-22
Tuesday: Psalm 2:1-11
Wednesday: Mark 5:1-20
Thursday: Hebrews 9:6-14
Friday: I Thess.4:1-12
Saturday: Psalm 112:1-10
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 24-29
Monday: Psalm 119:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 12:22-37
Wednesday: Revelation 3:14-22
Thursday: Galatians 2:11-21
Friday: John 15:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14

SYMPATHY
We extend our thoughts and sympathy with regard to the death of Larry Foy’s brother, Charles, who died on Saturday, August 8th. In Maryland.
THE NEW DIRECTORY
Several copies of the new directory have been completed and are available. Please check your page and see if everything is correct. It is difficult to develop a perfect directory. Just look at your local phone book. If you will note any needed changes and let Keith know, either via e-mail or a note, there will be a page printed so corrections can be made by you.
Thanks to Erma Williams for taking on this project and giving us a color cover picture of the building.
BACK FROM GUATEMALA
Susan Jordan has returned home from her week with the clinic in Guatemala. We look forward to hearing from her next Sunday if she is ready with her report.

THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR B QUE
Things are shaping up for our annual Labor Day Weekend Bar B Que. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the foyer. Please feel free to invite family and friends. We always have enough and more. The date will be Saturday, September 5th. Plan to enjoy the day together.
THE BULLETIN
Beginning soon, the bulletin will be sent to everyone via e-mail who has that service. Because of the transfer of the Roanoke mail sorting service being sent to Greensboro, NC and after sorting, then back to Roanoke, it is almost impossible to get a printed bulletin to you before Sunday. The only way would be to print it before Wednesday, which would cause a number of items to be missed until the next week. However, if you do not have e-mail a hard copy will still be sent to you.
There will always be copies available in the foyer for those who would want a printed copy. Please let Keith know if you change e-mail providers so we can keep the mailing up to date.

WALKER L. SLUSHER
1928-2015
Walker Slusher did not want an obituary, a viewing, or a funeral. He didn’t even want what he received; a grave side service attended by six of his friends.
This “obituary” is because everyone has a story, and this is only a very small part of Walker’s.
THE GOOD
For the last twenty plus years, Walker had been helped in one way or another by people in this congregation. For at least the last fifteen years or more, he would come to the annex Monday though Thursday while I was in the office, and wash up. He had a hot water tank but refused to use it because it cost too much. After he scalded himself carrying water from the kitchen to the bathroom, I told him to come to the office and wash in the restroom. He also had no central heat, and heated his bedroom in the winter with a space heater and an electric blanket.
He would come in, talk a little bit and go into the other office and lay down on the couch, take a nap and then wash up. On Mondays, when I took the contribution to the bank, he would go and do his banking and then we’d stop at Krogers so he could shop. Others helped him as well, but I don’t have room to list all that was done for him by others.
He was not marrying material due to his mental problems. If he had married, it would have been short-lived, because he was a hoarder, mostly of classical records and show tunes. He had an amazing love and knowledge of music.
However, because of memories of not having much growing up, he also collected clothes, lamps and just about any other useful item he could find in a dumpster. I’ll let you imagine what the inside of his house (inherited from his mother) looked like.
He never owned a car, and rode a bicycle, walked, or took the bus. He knew that exercise was good for his mental problems, which he described as “schizoid”. Winters were exceptionally hard on him.
At the burial, it was revealed by a former neighbor that he had been involved in an car accident as a young child and his head hit the metal dashboard and knocked him out. His parents didn’t take him to the hospital. The neighbor was told by Walker’s sister-in law that he suffered from brain damage that caused one part of him to remain somewhat childlike when it came to reasoning.
He lied a lot, or believed what he was saying, even though it wasn’t true. I soon got to the place where I let it go in one ear and out the other. I knew he was lonely and the more he socialized with me and others, the better off he was.
You would never know what the inside of his house looked like judging from the outside. His was about the best kept yard on the street, with the exception of a spare bike and lawnmower or two. He mowed his grass three days before he died.
THE BAD
His mental state often caused him to lie to get sympathy. He once told people he was homeless, and nearly had social services invade his life. When I asked him why he did it, he told me he was homeless, because, according to the dictionary, a home was a social unit where a family lived together, and since he was just one person, he was homeless.
The goal of those of us who cared about him was to keep him in his home as long as possible. We knew if anyone who didn’t care or know him, saw the way he lived, he would be taken out of his house. Had that happened, he would have died in a matter of days in a mental ward.
THE UGLY
He was, like many, obsessed with money worries. At 87 he was in good physical shape, except for a blood clot in one chamber of his heart, which they were treating with an anti coagulant.
On the day he died he complained of chest pains, but would not let me take him to the emergency room for fear of the cost, even though he had medical insurance.. He said he was going to lay down as he always did. He never got up. That’s the ugly. Fear and stubbornness can kill you.
Keith

CONCERNS: Richard Crites is now back at Raleigh Court in the same room he had before. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, is in a nursing home in WVA. Larry Foy’s brother, Charles, is in a nursing home in MD. Jim Hunter is home and the latest tests look good. Wayne Phlegar hasn’t been able to get out and about lately. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas is dealing with leukemia. Former member Betty Shepherd needs a kidney transplant. Remember also Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Jenni Cullum, Stephanie Ridney Marge Greenwood and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 3-8
Monday: Exodus 1:15-2:10
Tuesday: Mark 1:16-34
Wednesday: Genesis 17;1-21
Thursday: Job 42:1-17
Friday: Luke 4:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 63:1-11
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 10-15
Monday: Job 1:1-12
Tuesday: Jeremiah 1:4-19
Wednesday: Matthew 11:1-19
Thursday: Romans 2:1-29
Friday: Revelation 18:1-20
Saturday: Psalm 93:1-5

SYMPATHY
Our condolences to Debbie McRoy in the death of her cousin, Harold Tidwell. The funeral was in Memphis.
THANKS
Thanks to all of those who came to the building last Saturday and did yard work. There will be more done in the days ahead.
IN GUATEMALA
Susan Jordan left Friday to spend a week at the Ezell Clinic in Montellango, Guatemala. Keep her and the work there in your prayers. Susan loves this work and holds the record for the number of times someone from Roanoke has gone to the clinic. We look forward to a report from her when she returns.
TO HONDURAS
Dell Bolin will be part of a medical team going to Honduras. This is a continuing effort to bring aid and healing to this country Keep him and the other doctors and workers in your prayers.
TO LEBANON
AC and Jake Fuller will be going to Lebanon on August 10th to bring aid to those in refugee camps in that country. Pray for their safety during this trip.
THE SERVICE ROSTER
Erma Williams has volunteered to set up the service roster for each month, starting in September. This is not an easy job, so help her out by letting her know the dates you will be away. Also, if you would be willing to serve in a way you did not indicate on the information cards you filled out, please let her know.
GOODBYE
Today will be the last time we have Stacy and David Maharrey with us before they relocate to Oxford, Miss. They have been a wonderful encouragement to us while they were here. We wish them the very best and our thoughts and prayers go with them.
THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR B QUE
Guess what? Labor Day is on Monday, September 7th. So the Bar B Que will be on Saturday, September 5th. We will have a sign-up list on the table in the foyer sometime this month.
Since 1988 we have enjoyed these Saturday’s together. Plan to come.

“Oh, beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years.” (The first line in the fourth verse of America the Beautiful)
Anyone who knows me knows my idea of patriotism is not “America, love it or leave it.” Or “My country, right or wrong.”
I’ve read the accounts of the massacre at Wounded Knee, where Native American women were killed with their babies in their arms and little boys who were told they’d be safe were slaughtered. I’ve read about the Trail of Tears where Native Americans were marched in a Bataan-type death march where families wept as they had to leave the sick and dying along the trail. I know about the internment camps where loyal Japanese Americans were sent simply out of fear and prejudice. I know all that and more, and to deny those things happened or to explain them away, is not patriotic. I can only guess what Katherine Lee Bates envisioned when she wrote those words.
But when I watch the Fourth of July celebrations from Washington, D.C., I am always moved. In fact, I am moved by any aerial shots of the monument and capital complex.
My first time in DC was 1962. Jo and I had been to Philadelphia and stopped by on our way home to see what we could. Back then you could drive and park anywhere you wanted. We rode the elevator up the Washington Monument and then walked down. It was the last thing we did before leaving. My knees were jumping so much I had a really hard time holding the clutch in on the 61 Corvair we owned.
Our next trip was about ten years ago, when we, and some others joined Richard Crites’ biology class from Virginia Western on a DC trip. Again, I was moved. However, not so much by the actual buildings and monuments, as I am the “dream” of what the center of our government can mean, and should continue to mean, not only to us, but to the rest of the world. I use the word “dream” because it is still a dream in progress. Even those who wrote the first words of that dream had no idea the full meaning of what they were writing. Not all men and women were seen as equal, but the dream was there, as were all the dreams of liberty and justice for all.
When Martin Luther King Jr. stood in Washington and ad-libbed a line he didn’t intend to use the “I have a dream” statement became part of history.
For me the dream is beyond the “Beltway,” with it’s power-grabbing, egomania, greed and self-interest. Sadly, that’s part and parcel for all government. The “dream” is that which “sees beyond the years,” as Bates understood when she wrote the words of America the Beautiful.
To see beyond the years is to see beyond the issues which dim the dream until it is almost blurred beyond hope. Perhaps Bates also understood that when she ended the first line with, “Thine alabaster cities gleam, Undimmed by human tears!”
As a patriot, I’m not a flag-waver in the sense of a hands-off approach to what I think is the “mystery of America.” I say “mystery” because America is all of us, not just those who want America to belong to them. Flag-wavers are too often those who refuse to share America with those who see the “patriot’s dream” differently than do they.
Having said that, I still feel emotion when I see the stars and stripes and hear our national anthem.
It was pointed out during the last Olympics that The United States and Honduras are the only nations whose national anthem is about a symbol, and not the country itself. One theory is that the other nations have a background of monarchies and the anthem stems from that. Perhaps, but I’m glad the symbol of this country is its flag. Because the stars and stripes represent all Americans and no one idea in particular.
As I watched the Fourth of July festivities and saw the faces of adults and children of all colors standing side by side waving their little flags, I dreamed an impossible dream. I dreamed of a nation of people standing side by side to bring about the patriot’s dream. But I soon came to myself. I knew there would be anger and road rage as the crowds dispersed to go back to the world where dreams die quickly. Back to a world where we often fail to understand citizens of every nation love their country. We may feel, and openly say, that America is the greatest country on earth. But there are others who feel the same about their country, and we should respect that. Because, while we are all part of the United States of America, we are also citizens of the world. That’s why the layout of Washington, D.C. as a wheel with spokes pointing in all directions is significant to me. Not because we want to enforce our form of government on the world, but because the dream of freedom, equal human worth and dignity on which this country was founded is a dream for all people.
Has the patriot’s dream come true? No. Great dreams never come true, they just keep on becoming truer. Just as the words “All men are created equal” was an unrealized dream at the time they were written, they became, and will continue to become truer as the dream evolves. That’s the “sees beyond the years.” That’s what Martin Luther King Jr. meant. That’s what will keep the dream continually alive, because if it is ever assumed to be complete, the dream will fade into hopelessness. There is no utopian world. There is only the continuing challenge of bringing into reality as much of the dream as possible in our time. As in the past, so in the future, others will see beyond the years to continue fulfilling the dream.
The dream is much bigger than America. It’s the dream of a man named Jesus. His was a dream for the whole world and his teaching makes up the heart of all dreams for a world where all persons are equal. To be part of that means being a patriot in a nation without borders, a worldwide nation where God’s blessings are for all.
Keith

CONCERNS: Richard Crites hopes to be home soon, but is still in Raleigh Court Health and Rehab, room 118. Bud McWhorter is in Brandon Oaks after knee surgery. He may be home by today. Both Joni Beach’s mother and father are having health issues. Jim Hunter is now home. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, is now in a nursing home in WVA. Remember as well, Harold Tidwell, Debbie McRoy’s cousin, (brain cancer and heart problems) Larry Foy’s brother, Charles, T. J. Hall as he deals with medication issues. The Hall’s neighbor, Eliza Dyne (breathing problems) Perry Hall’s mother-in-law, Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Former member, Betty Shepherd needs a kidney transplant. Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 20-25
Monday: John 5:19-47
Tuesday: Philippians 1:19-30
Wednesday: Genesis 7:1-24
Thursday: Lamentations 1:8-16
Friday: Romans 8:12-25
Saturday: Psalm 133:134
OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 27-AUG. 1
Monday: Psalm 46
Tuesday: John 14:1-11
Wednesday: Psalm 23
Thursday: Isaiah 26:1-4
Friday: Matthew 5:1-16
Saturday: I John 2:7-11, 15-17

PANCAKE BRUNCH
Jack Thompson will be holding a fundraiser for his Eagle Scout Project in the Fellowship Hall next Sunday, July 26th following the morning service. Food will be served until 1 o’clock, or until everyone is served. The meal will include pancakes and breakfast ham, as well as butter, syrup and other condiments. Drinks will be Orange juice, coffee, tea and water.
Jack also wants you to know if you attended his last fundraiser, he does not expect you to donate again.
Jack is our second scout raising money for an Eagle Scout project. Nick Bolin raised money to build a nice and much needed storage shed at the minister’s home.
Please attend if you can.

THANKS
Thanks to Lyn Jordan and Holly Wagner for doing some trimming and clean-up work around the building. Weed and foliage killer has been sprayed on some out of place grass, as well as in the back of the annex. More will be sprayed in other areas as well.

THE SIDEWALK
As you can see, the sidewalk the city constructed along Brandon Ave is basically finished. It improves the property as well as the neighborhood. It was done without interfering with our parking lot.
SUPER SUNDAY
This Sunday, July 19th is Super Sunday. Make plans to stay and enjoy both the meal and the fellowship

THE DIRECTORY
The format for the new directory is finished and the printing and assembling will start soon. If any changes have taken place in your information, there still may be time to change it. Call Erma.

MOVING
Stacy and David Maharrey will be moving to Oxford, Miss. about the middle of next month. The contract was not renewed for the group who employed David at Lewis-Gale Medical Center. This put David in limbo as to if he would be hired by the new group, so he and Stacy have decided to move closer to their parents. We are sorry to see them have to make this decision as are they.

Next Page »