Virginia VOICE October 3, 2016
Released: Monday, October 03, 2016
VAIB | VirginiaVoice
September 25, 2016
We were pleased that about 250 different people attended over the two days of the conference. Everything went so smoothly thanks to the work of staff, Landmark volunteers, the Steering Committee men and their wives! A huge amount of helpful information was provided by our speakers---
- Moderator Greg Rogers spoke on being “Independent, But Interdependent.”
- Tim Barton of WallBuilders spoke Thursday and Friday evenings on our country’s religious heritage.
- Attorney Terry Hamilton of Lighthouse Legal Ministries spoke in two forums on “Transgender Mania” and “The Twin Pillars of Religious Liberty Are Baptist Distinctives.”
- Dr. Stan Bennett spoke on understanding the cultural differences in reaching African Americans.
- Dr. Bob Vallier of Church Business Ministries spoke on “best practices” of church ministries.
- Dr. Chuck Harding of Awake America Ministries closed out the conference on Friday night with a challenge to pray daily for our country’s leaders.
There were two special opportunities to hear from elected legislators on Friday. On Friday afternoon was the Legislative Forum. We were honored to have the Speaker of the House, Delegate Bill Howell; Majority Leader Delegate Kirk Cox; Senator Bill Carrico; Senator Amanda Chase. Each legislator is a “born again” believer and added his or her voice to issues important to our churches and religious liberties. On Friday evening, we heard from Congressman Dave Brat, a strong conservative who stands with us regarding religious liberties.
This year we included forums during the evening services. There were many encouraging comments during and after the conference. Therefore, we are planning to have much the same format next year. Be sure to add September 28-29, 2017, to your calendar for our next ONE Voice for Liberties Conference. Pastor Don Sumpter has again agreed to host the meeting at Landmark Baptist Church in Richmond. Plan now to attend, and invite a friend! Look on our web site www.vaib.org for registration and information early next year.
Expanding Our Vision
As the Executive Director, I give a yearly review of how well we achieved last year’s goals and our goals for the future. As you may know, the Steering Committee has approved plans to add an assistant for the Executive Director who can duplicate his work in reaching churches and can lobby at the Capitol. This will be a process. A special fund has been established to begin the process. The timing is dependent on seeing God bless in two areas: increasing our income by at least twenty percent and bringing the right person to fill the position. The benefit of having two people in this work is huge. The need is great in light of the current political environment. If you know of a church or pastor which is not aware of our ministry, please email that information to email@example.com so the Executive Director can contact that church or pastor.
We are also undertaking the development of our new promotional video. Filming at the Capitol in Richmond will be October 4-6. I am excited (and nervous!) about this endeavor. This is another valuable tool to get into the hands of pastors unfamiliar with this ministry. Pray for this process to go smoothly and for the finished product to be ready by March 2017.
Elections are coming November 8. Who will get your vote?
I have already been contacted about voting guides. As usual, these will not be available until October. Until that time, would you do your part to learn where your candidates stand on issues? VAIB does not endorse candidates or parties. So, consider voting for candidates who stand with us on areas such as pro-life, traditional marriage, and biblical family values. Insofar as President, be sure to evaluate the party platforms. Ballots will list candidates for President and a House of Representatives member. Some will also be voting in “special elections” for a House of Delegate positon or State Senator to fill empty seats by those who have resigned for various reasons. Please go to the Department of Elections web site at http://elections.virginia.gov/voter-outreach/whats-ballot.html , enter your address and see what will be on your ballot, as well as your voting location.
Along with candidates, there will be two Constitutional amendments. One amendment on the ballot seeks to add a “right to work” without being required to be in a union. The VAIB believes this is a worthy initiative. The amendment states:
Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?
The second Constitutional amendment on the ballot gives a locality permission to give a property tax exemption for certain individuals. The VAIB also supports this initiative. The amendment states:
Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?
Prayer, the Critical Element
God is longing to hear from you.
Our country needs prayer. Our leaders need prayer. You need to pray for wisdom in voting (as well as research the candidates). Pray for Eddy Aliff to be an effective voice for our churches. Pray for revival of God’s people and for the lost to be saved. Remember God’s admonition to “pray without ceasing.”
Your voice for Christian liberties!