Bimonthly Bulletin

Some of you reading this do not know Sheila Robertson. Hopefully you will know her a little better if you read this.
The picture in her obituary said it all, and if you saw it, you would understand. There she was, in her red tinted wig, the one she wore to the Christmas party. What it said was, “Here is a free spirit.” And that’s what Sheila was. Both she and Ben had their own motorcycles. Her’s was one of those beauties with two wheels on the front.
She was not about frills and things like that. She was, first of all, about people, or as Ben said, “Fellowship.” If you said “Party” Sheila said, “Where?” She introduced more than a few people to Tai food restaurants, which was one of her favorite foods.
She drew people out of their shells and made them feel valued. She accepted people for what they were. That did not mean she didn’t want to help them grow into a better person, but she loved them as they were.
She had a strong conviction about right and wrong, but it was primarily on the level of how people judged and prejudged others. If you were hurting, she was there to help, not judge. I never heard her even get close to making a judgmental, or prejudiced remark about someone based on color, sexuality, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion or politics. Did she have opinions? Yes. But if you disagreed, she let you, even if down deep inside she thought she was right. What was known was that her feelings were based on what she really believed was best for you. But if you didn’t agree, that didn’t cause her to not care about you. I don’t think there was much of anything she wouldn’t do to help man or beast.
I first met her and Ben at Camp Alta Mons. Their daughter, Darci, was attending with some other young folks from Blacksburg, where the Robertsons were worshiping at the time. One night during the week was skit, or talent night, and parents were invited.
In a skit developed by some kids from one of the attending congregations, a girl was selected from the group to participate. At some point she was asked to get down on her hands and knees and simulate a dog, and obey the commands of her master, the boy who developed the skit. I was uneasy with what I saw developing, but I was not the director that year, and, in situations like that, we sometimes foolishly expect someone else to do what we should do ourselves. So I watched, hoping it would end quickly. But it didn’t.
Sheila and Ben were there, and Sheila called out the youth minister from Blacksburg and we could hear her doing what we should have done, except she was doing it louder. Needless to say, from that point on every skit had to be approved and meet certain standards.
If I needed something to describe Sheila, I’d say she was gold, coated with brass. She was up front with everything she did. She’d toss her head and gave a wave of the hand, and said what she thought. It might have been seen as flippant, but it wasn’t. It was her way of expressing her thinking and letting you know it was not going to be a serious problem if you didn’t agree.
I’m not sure how, or even why, but she found a favorite pew. Don’t we all? But the end cap on this one, again, I don’t know how or why, was not glued down. So on Sunday mornings when I stopped by to greet her, I always lifted the cap, and she would smile and look at me as if to say, “Of course.”
She died on Saturday afternoon, January 10. The next day, Sunday, we spent time remembering her and mourning together. The pew end cap was removed as a symbol of her absence. After a period of reflection and memory, it will be permanently attached.
Sheila had a sense about who needed her help. Her ability to do that came from her accepting attitude for the person. She and Ben believed that everyone should be welcomed regardless of where they were, or who they were on life’s journey, and she had a keen sense about the underdog, the left-outs and the overlooked. They were her people.
An avid reader, about four years ago she volunteered at the Williamson Road Branch of the Public Library. The first thing I was told when I talked to them was that she brought them so much joy and laughter. There was no doubt about how loved she was, because each thing I was told was told holding back tears.
They said Sheila always brought treats. (Remember her nickname was the “Cookie lady.) She prepared the story-time materials and crafts. She loved preparing the children’s programs and the Halloween Party. She helped with what is called the “Send List,” which involved sending materials to other libraries. She hated it. But she did it, allowing her dislike for it to become a source of laughter.
She arrived early so she could sit around talk and have fun before the library opened. It was a joke, one accidently repeated and soundly reminded, that they would lock her out. It seems that sometimes they would forget to unlock the back door so she could come in. Of course, she let them know about how they didn’t want her.
All of those who worked with her at the library said she was so much fun, so helpful and so willing to do whatever they asked, and that the children’s program was her favorite thing to do, other than bringing them treats. For those of you who know Sheila, I was also told she introduced them to exotic food places in Roanoke.
In all years the Robertsons have been with us I don’t think they missed a fellowship meal. Sheila loved being with people . She and Ben were part of the Peaks of Otter hike and picnic each October. No matter how cold, they were there.
One of the symbols of heaven is a party, a feast with all the others who are there. Sheila will be a grand addition to that and will bring both joy and laughter.

CONCERNS: Keep Ben Robertson in your prayers as he deals with Sheila’s death. Helen Nicklas’ health is rapidly failing. Keep the Bolin’s in your prayers. Leena’s aunt, Lee Nicklas is also being treated for leukemia. Remember also, Roger Fisher, Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson and Rich Crites. Jim Hunter is having diabetes related issues and is hopeful for good medical results. Keep Deana McRoy in your prayers that her aggressive cancer does not return. Kim Hall’s friend, Mary, who has MS. Also Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Matara and Tom Baumgardner, as he awaits a kidney transplant.

Monday: Genesis 28:10-22
Tuesday: Matthew 18:1-14
Wednesday: Luke 5:1-12
Thursday: II Samuel 12:15-25
Friday: Acts 19:23-41
Saturday: Psalm91:1-16

Monday: Genesis 2:1-14
Tuesday: Matthew 3:1-17
Wednesday: I Thess. 3:1-13
Thursday: Matthew 2:28-44
Friday: II Peter 1:16-2:10
Saturday: Psalm 33:1-22

The congregation was shaken and saddened by the sudden death of Sheila Robertson, who died suddenly after non-life threatening surgery on Saturday.
Our hearts go out to Ben and all the family during this time of grief and loss. The funeral was Thursday. Much of her eulogy makes up the article in the bulletin. ALSO: To Jo Wagner, who’s brother-in-law, John Powell, died on the 7th in Florence, SC.
The Community Bible Study Class got off to a great start last Sunday. More chairs needed to be brought in, and several more are expected today.
The process is to read through the New Testament in forty days. The text is set in book form, without chapter and verse. The structure is to read in something of a chronological order, starting with the book of Luke, then Acts, and so on. It involves reading eleven pages a day, and then in the class discussing what was read, and concentrating on five questions about the text. If you haven’t started, you may come at any time, but the sooner the better. All materials are available. See Susan Jordan
Susan Jordan has agreed to come in each month to check and rectify the financial situation via QuickBooks. We have been wanting someone to do this for some time, so thanks, Susan
We have only one or two more directory cards that have not yet been turned in. So we can anticipate starting the new directory at least by the end of the month. At this point, Keith will contact those who have not yet turned in a card. Pictures will start soon.
Kevin Cornett and his wife are hosting a Pampered Chef party. If you are interested, a card is on the table in the foyer with the time and place.
Today 1/18 is Super Sunday. Hopefully there will be enough dry wood for us to have a nice warm fire in the fireplace. Plan to stay for the fellowship meal following the service..

“Okey you guys, come in and take a seat at the table.
“As you know, we’re putting a New Testament together. The four of you were chosen to each write an account of Jesus’ life. What you’ve turned in has been proofread, and today we want to do some final editing.
“Mark, were you late for a dinner date or something? No mention of Jesus’ birth or anything about his childhood? Just jump right in with John the baptizer?”
“I wanted to get to the point. The point is that Jesus came, tried to teach the will of God and he was killed for it. Right?”
“I suppose. But you’re not much on miracles either, or the sermon on the mount, or on the plain. I thought the one about Blind Bartimaeus was good. It had a lot more going for it than met the eye. At least you got the transfiguration in, but the crucifixion story was a little lean.”
“Well, the transfiguration story was big. Some of them almost didn’t believe it. But the crucifixion was more about the resurrection than his death, in my opinion.”
“One last point. What is it with all this ‘immediately” stuff? I counted at least thirty-nine of them”
“Well, as I saw it, Jesus only had three years, so I wanted to stress the need to get it done.”
“Right. Matthew, good job on the birth story. But you left out some of Jesus’ ancestors in the genealogy. Can you explain?”
“First, my audience are primarily Jews like me. Genealogy is important to us. Material for scrolls is hard to come by, so I arranged the important ancestors in groups of fourteen, to make it easier to remember.”
“Okey, but you never said why Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and that story about the three magicians, where did that come from?”
“I wanted to be sure Jesus was seen as the king that he was. So I started the bulk of the story when he was about two years old. I used the Egypt story to show that he had also been banished and was called out just as Moses was. Sorry about ‘stretching that passage about “Out of Egypt I have called my son’.”
“I noticed that. Well, a little poetic licence won’t hurt. By the way, the sermon on the mount was great, as was the prayer of Jesus for the disciples.
“Luke! Good work giving the poor and the women their proper place in the Kingdom. However, some of the other guys were a little put off by your introduction. What’s with this ‘It seemed good to me to write an orderly account’? And who’s Theophilus? You were asked to do this for the compiling of four stories about Jesus.”
“Sorry, but I tell it like I see it.”
There was a notable grunt from Matthew and Mark. John just smiled as if he knew something they didn’t. “Fine. I do like the story of the good Samaritan, and that prodigal son story will go down in history.
“You did a commendable job on the crucifixion. Good take on the two thieves, especially the one who asked Jesus to allow him to be in the kingdom. That will keep people talking til time ends.”
“John, John, John, John! John! What is this? ‘In the beginning was the word’? No birth story. No mention of miracles. Everything is a ‘sign’. No Lord’s supper?
“You rushed to the cross like it was all there is. You did pause long enough to tell us about Lazarus. The was a hoot. And the details of the crucifixion. Pretty gory, don’t you think?
“If your story makes it in, it will have an asterias beside it.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. This thing has to be seamless, not all this mismatched stuff. Nobody will believe it’s inspired the way it is. No one will believe one spirit wrote this through four different persons. You can’t have witnesses telling different stories.”
John decided it was time to speak.
“You may remember I wrote about the time Jesus said something like,’If you seek to do the will of God, you will know my teaching is from God.’ (Jn 7:16) It’s not in how it’s written. It’s in how it’s heard.”
And they all said, “Amen!”

CONCERNS: It’s good to see, as we start the new year, that the “Concerns” list is shorter than it has been in a while. So this issue will have a little more information in it about the folks listed. Keep they folks in your prayers. Roger Fisher has asked for our prayers as he deals with some depression during this time of the year. Call him and let him know you’re praying for him. It does help. Elizabeth (Marie) Barnett is still job hunting. Nathan Beach is nearing the end of the period he needs to take it easy due to a heart related issue. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Also, her mother, Helen, is not doing well. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary (MS) Sue Huels, Betty Foy’s sister. Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson and Rich Crites. Jim Hunter is having an issue with his big toe, due to diabetes. As of now things are looking better. Debbie McRoy asks that we keep her daughter-in-law, Deana in our prayers. She is cancer free, but it was an aggressive kind. Also Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Matara, and Todd Baumgardner, who is awaiting a kidney transplant.

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
Monday: Psalm 16:1-11
Tuesday: Matthew 20:1-16
Wednesday: Amos 3:12-4:5
Thursday: Hebrew 10:19-39
Friday: Ephesians 5:3-20
Saturday: Psalm148:1-14

Next Sunday, January 11, will be the beginning of a new adult class. You have seen the notices in the foyer, and there will signs in the yard inviting the community to come and join us in a new approach to studying the New Testament.
The format will be similar to a book club, with each student reading a section of the NT at home and then discussing it in a casual setting on Sunday mornings.
Material for the class is in the adult classroom downstairs. You can also see updates on our web site, roanokechurchof
We were saddened to learn of the death of Mary Smith’s brother, Clarence. He died Christmas Eve in Chattanooga, TN
Stephanie Dixon passed al her finals as she takes one more step to becoming a registered nurse. She is in the home stretch. ALSO: The Wagner’s granddaughter,(and Megan Downing’s sister) Melanie, announced her engagement to Preston Thompson. No marriage date has been set.
Today we will adopt the poinsettas which have graced the building during the Christmas season. If you would like to have one, and promise to keep it alive for as long as you can, please take one. If you know someone who would give one a good home, feel free to deliver it to them. NOTE: Please leave the round trays they are in. They are used over and over each year.
We are about five people short in completing the information directory cards. These may seem insignificant, since once all the information is gathered it will be in the directory. However, these cards also contain information about what service you are willing to render, even beyond those of you who will participate in the Sunday worship service.
Once completed, they will be placed in a three-ring binder and will allow the office to let anyone who is looking for a particular talent to call and ask, such as teaching, cooking food, visiting shut-ins or other forms of service. If you are not sure if you’ve turned a card in see Keith.

by my friend, Ben
Pa saw it first. He did. It were gettin’ real dark an’ he were comin’ from the barn after checkin’ on Flossie, our milk cow.
He come to the door an’ called to ma an’ me to come out on the porch. He did. He pointed back toward town an’ we saw it. It were one of them sights what made chills run up an’ down your back. It did. The sky were all red-like. It were. Somethin’ were burnin’ an’ burnin’ bad.
I reckon it were as much concern as it were curiosity what made us get into pa’s truck an’ head toward the glow what were lightin’ up the sky.
In town we could see the fire were somewhere out Greasy Ridge Road. It were. Now, Greasy Ridge were one of them roads what were as twisty as a snake. It were. There weren’t too many folks what lived back there no more. But at one time when the oil wells were pumpin’ night an day, it were almost a town itself. It were.
The red glow got bigger an’ bigger an pa said he wondered iffen it were it were across the county line. He did. He reckoned iffen it were them fire trucks from Tucker County wouldn’t even have a chance to get there in time. He did.
As we were comin’ round Penningtons Bend, a fire truck come up behind us an’ pa squeezed over to let it pass. He did. It were about then we could see the burin’ house. It were just a skeleton of flames. It were. The fire truck what were there already were just tryin’ to keep the barn an’ some sheds from burnin’ too. They were.
As we got closer, I heard ma say, “Oh my goodness! That’s the Miller place!” She did. I were surprised that ma knowed the Millers. I were. Course I reckon iffen anyone woulda knowed the Millers it would be ma. She would. It weren’t that ma were nosey or nothin’. It were just that ma were one of them folks what took an interest in other folks. She did. Iffen they needed a helpin’ hand, ma wanted to be able to treat ‘em like a good neighbor. She did.
I knowed them Millers from their two boys, Jeremy and Josh. There were also two sisters, Margie and Bertha, but they weren’t in school yet. They weren’t.
Now them Miller boys were knowed round about as bullies. They were. Most of the kids what were smaller’n them gave them a wide berth. They did. An’ I’d had my time with the two of ‘em. I did.
When pa parked the truck I could see them two girls cryin’ an’ huggin’ their ma. She were crying too. She were. Elwood Miller, the pa, were pacin’ back an’ forth in the yard, hollerin’ at the top of his voice. He were. He were lettin’ out a string a cuss words and profanity like I’d never heard before. I looked over at ma, hopin’ she were too occupied goin’ to comfort Elsie an’ the girls to hear. But she did. I reckon she were more upset by Elwood’s rage than she were his words. She were.
He were sayin’ somethin’ about them boys playin’ with his cigarette lighter an’ catchin’ the Christmas tree on fire. He were. He said iffen he found them he were gonna beat ‘em within an inch of their lives. He did.
When pa asked where them boys were, ol’ Elwood said they’d taken off somewhere. He did. It were right cold that night. Pa took me by the arm an’ said I should come with him. When we were outta hearin’ distance, he told me that in the firelight he’d seen the face of them boys hidin’ behind an ol’ broken-down dump truck what Elwood owned. He did.
Usin’ the shadows, me’n pa come up on Jeremy an’ Josh. We did. In a calm an’ quiet voice pa told ‘em he were just there to make sure they was alright. He did. They knowed iffen they ran the firelight would give ‘em away, so they stayed put. They did. Pa told ‘em he reckoned they’d have to face their pa now or later, an’ bein’s that we were there, it would be better to do it now. He did. They said their pa would near skin them alive, cause he’d done before. Pa told them he weren’t gonna let their pa hurt ‘em. An’ he gave ‘em his word. He did.
When ol’ Elwood saw me’n pa walkin’ with them boys, he come arunnin’ with his fists clenched. He did. I didn’t know iffen I were more scared of him or the things he were sayin’ he were gonna do to Jeremy an’ Josh.
Ol’ Elwood were comin’ so fast pa hardly had time to step between him an’ the boys, who were hunkerin’ down like lightenin’ were about to strike ‘em. They were.Pa raised his hand as iffen to tell ol’ Elwood to stop. But Elwood ran right into pa’s outstretched hand. His face were twisted like some kind of demon. “Git outta my way!” Pa never moved his hand. He said, “Elwood, beatin’ your boys won’t bring your house back, so I can’t let you do it. Look around you.” Elwood hadn’t noticed that cars full of folks from all around what had seen or heard about the fire were fillin’ up the field. Pa never lowed his hand from Elwood’s chest. “Elwood, do you know why they’re here?” Ol’ Elwood went kinda blank. “They’re your neighbors. An’ they want to help, if you’ll let ‘em. You don’t want them to see you beatin’ on your boys on Christmas eve, do you?”
Elwood’s shoulders dropped all hopeless-like. He never looked at the boys. He didn’t. He just walked over to Elsie an’ the girls an’ watched the house finish burnin’ He did
But before an hour or so, the preachers an’ town folk had them Milles a place to stay. They did. Ned Kingsley said he knowed a feller what had one of them steel buildin’s what he wanted to get rid of. It could be taken apart an’ turned into a right good house. It could. Course, it couldn’t be done til after Christmas, but they’d get it done. Iffen Elwood wanted it.
On the way’ home, ma said, “Christmas is what caused all this to turn out good. It is. It’s all because Jesus were born long, ago. That’s what causes folks to have special feelin’s for folks at Christmas.”
I reckon ma were right. She were.

CONCERNS: Judy McWhorter’s friends, the Thurstons, have had several painful family issues lately. Nathan Beach is recovering well from a heart issue. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Kim Hall’s friend, Mary, (MS) Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson and Gil Richardson. It was good to see Wayne Phlegar out Sunday. Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood and Jenni Cullum. Helen Nicklas is not doing well. Remember Mary Smith, Tim Elder, Marie Barnett and her mother, as well as Mrs Mataro and Todd Baumgardner.

Monday: Isaiah 53:1-12
Tuesday: Matthew 28:1-20
Wednesday: Ezekiel 34:1-16
Thursday: Acts 15:1-11
Friday: Psalm 14:1-17
Saturday: Revelation 21:22-27

Monday: Psalm 139:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 8:1-13
Wednesday: Matthew 12:1-14
Thursday: Colossians 2:8-19
Friday: Revelation 2:1-11
Saturday: Matthew 16:13-28

Today is Super Sunday. Stay and enjoy the warm fire and good food following the service.
The steering committee will meet in the library following the Super Sunday meal.
The service Wednesday evening will be a Christmas service of songs and readings held in the auditorium. It will start at 6:00 PM and last about a half hour. There are a few folks who go out to eat following the service. If you want to join them, please do.
Megan and James Downing have given the church four long white table clothes. They are made of a type of material that resists stains and washes up well.
As you can see by the posters, a new class will be starting on January 11th. This will give everyone time to get back in tune after the New Year Weekend. The class will be similar to a book or reading club format.
Each person will be reading the NIV New Testament at home, written without chapters and verses, and then sharing what they learned with the class. This will include several questions concerning the material.
Book are available and more can be ordered if the supply runs out. See Mike Branch or Susan Jordan for more details.
Erma Williams has informed us that her cousin, Eleanor Brezee has died. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family,
We hope to publish the new directory after the first of the year. We still have a few of you who have not filled out a new information card for the office file, and from which we will get the correct information for the directory. If you don’t remember if you filled out a card, ask Keith.
As soon as we have the information, pictures will start t be taken.
The poinsettias will be “adopted” on the eleventh of January. Please feel free to take one home, or to someone who will enjoy it.

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