Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: January 2015


In an amazing and unusual discovery, a small segment from the gospel of Luke was found stuffed in the face mask of a dead third century Pharaoh. It seems material for mummification is hard to come by, so any piece of parchment will do. In this case, it was a lost part of the gospel of Luke. Luckily, with my secret informant in Cairo, Abdul Bar Nero, I have been allowed to share it with my readers. It follows Jesus’ story of the Samaritan Jesus used as an example of someone who lived out the commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself, as found in Luke 10. It is as follows.
As Jesus and his disciples made their way to Bethany, a discussion arose among them concerning the Samaritan. They were afraid to speak to Jesus about the matter, because Jesus had seemed so clear about his reason to tell the story. James was the first to speak. “I don’t know about you brothers, but I’m having trouble with that Samaritan story the Master told back there.”
“Tell me about it brother!” said John. “We just got tossed out of one of their villages, which is the highest social insult, and he says their kind can have eternal life! He wasn’t born yesterday! He knows they are heretics who are not part of the people of God. That was settled centuries ago!”
Peter said, “Look, maybe it was just one of those shock stories he uses to put somebody in their place. You know how those experts in the law are. You know he was just trying to make Jesus look bad. Don’t take it seriously. Once a Samaritan always a Samaritan.”
Matthew said, “Well, if I ever decide to tell about our adventure with the Master, I’m not going to tell about that guy! If we’re going to have any credibility as followers of the Messiah, we can’t be aligned with Samaritans! It would make Ezra and Nehemiah turn over in their graves! They wouldn’t even let the returning exiles keep the wives they married in Persia.”
“Forget all that,” said Judas. “What are we supposed to do if Jesus meant what he said? You let the camel stick his head in the tent and the next thing you know, you’ve got the whole camel! Do you know what this will do to the purity of Judaism? Okey, so you treat a Samaritan the way you’d want him to treat you. Then what if he invites you over for dinner? It’s one thing to treat them right, but it’s another to socialize with them. You’ve seen the signs on the hostels that say ‘Jews only’. And those Samaritan women! Would you want your son to marry one?”
Andrew said, “I know what you mean. The rabbi’s say the devil lives in Samaritan women.”
Peter said, “Quiet down! Jesus is starting to wonder why we are lagging behind. Let’s get something straight. Jesus just said we had to treat them right. He didn’t say anything about eating with them. He didn’t say we had to worship with them. All he said was if we found one beaten up, we should help. That’s all. You have to be careful not to see more in what the Master said than he actually said. When Jesus says something, don’t add to it. All we have to do is treat Samaritans right. We do not have to believe they are the same as us. You just let them know there is a line that can’t be crossed.”
Andrew said, “But what if Jesus means this is how it will be in the coming kingdom? What if he meant everybody? You know, Gentiles?”
“That will never happen,” said Peter. “And if that’s what Jesus meant, it will take centuries. You can’t make changes quickly.
Bartholomew was listening to the rest of them and finally spoke. “But what about the lawyer’s question? He asked what he could do to have eternal life. The Master said the Samaritan did what it takes to have eternal life. That was the question. Remember? It seems to me the Master is basing relationship with God on how we relate to others, not rules and teachings. I think he said the Samaritan did what it takes to have eternal life.”
James said, “Bart, you’ve been eating too many fermented grapes…”
The text broke off at that point.

CONCERNS: Teryn Thompson as asked prayers for her sister as she has tests. Judy Hall hurt her back, and T. J.’s heart has been monitored. Remember those who have had to deal with recent losses. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Kim Hall’s friend, Mary (MS) Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson and Gil Richardson. Jim Hunter is making some progress. Rich Crites, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood. Remember also Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, and Mrs Mataro, and Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner, who is awaiting a kidney transplant.

Monday: Joshua 4:14-18
Tuesday: Acts 9:1-9
Wednesday: James 5:1-18
Thursday: I John 5-2:6
Friday: Hebrews 12:1-14
Saturday: Psalm 38:1-18

Monday: Job 38:1-18
Tuesday: Isaiah 25:1-5
Wednesday: Psalm 37:1-17
Thursday: Luke 18:35-19:10
Friday: John 18:1-14
Saturday: Hebrews 13:1-21

The new directory is being formulated. If you have not turned in an information card, the information about you will be taken from the old copy.
Pictures for the new one will be scheduled soon.
We’ve learned that Nathan Beach got married. He and his new bride live in Spain. Joni was able to fly over for the wedding. We wish them the very best.
Dear Roanoke Family
Where do I begin? First, thank you for the spectacular floral arrangement you sent to Oakey’s. Mom would have loved it! Flowers were such an integral part of her life; such a lovely arrangement was truly a fitting tribute.
Thanks also to everyone who provided all the delicious food after the funeral. We were reminded of your love for us with every bite.
Finally, words cannot express the depth of my gratitude for the ongoing love and support you have shown me and my family throughout our journey with mom, most especially during these last difficult months. Your prayers buoyed us, your words encouraged us, your offers of help warmed our hearts and your hugs reminded us we were not alone. We remain forever grateful.
Love you all, Leena and family
For years the adult classroom has been plagued with noise from a recirculating air vent in the back wall. No one is sure why it was placed there. In the coming weeks it will be vented along the wall and out into the hallway. This will take away the noise as well as provide better and more efficient air circulation.
We are in the third week of the adult class where we are reading the New Testament as if it were written in book form, with Luke and Acts being read first. If you want to take part and need a book see Mike Branch or Susan Jordan.


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.