VirginiaVoice

"VirginiaVoice" is the monthly newsletter of VAIB. This publication educates our readers regarding various topics that are of importance to our churches and communicates ways that pastors and church members can become involved in strengthening our position at the Capitol. We want this publication to be a tool to ensure independent Baptists speak with one united voice on the issues of vital importance to religious liberty in our state. The letter goes out the end of each month.

You can sign up for our emails here. Please take time to read this publication each month as we strive together to “advance the rights, values, and liberties of Independent Baptists in Virginia.”

VirginiaVoice newsletters are displayed below:

Sep05
VisionUpdate Aug. 2017

VAIB |VisionUPDATE                                 August 2017 The 2016-2017 Year in Review and Plans for the Future The Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists (VAIB) has a vision to advance the rights, values, and liberties of the independent Baptists in Virginia. To accomplish this vision, we work in the following three areas: Strengthen....

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Aug04
Virginia Voice July 25, 2017

Registration now open! ONE Voice for Liberties Conference  September 28-29     Landmark Baptist Church in Richmond! Future dates: Sep. 27-28, 2018; Sep. 26-27, 2019; Sep. 24-25, 2020 VAIB | Virginia Voice July 25, 2017 Dear Friends, It has been a joy for Carol and me as we re-connect with supporting churches. For some churches, it has been five or more years since our last visit. I am so thankful for the new churches which have allowed me to present the ministry and are considering...

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Jul03
Virginia Voice June 25, 2017

Registration now! ONE Voice for Liberties Conference-- September 28-29     Landmark Baptist Church in Richmond! Future date: Sep. 27-28, 2018; Sep. 26-27, 2019; Sep. 24-25, 2020 VAIB | Virginia Voice June 25, 2017 Dear Friends, I hope you’ve had a great summer and have enjoyed spending time with family as much as Carol and I have. Now, let me cover a few things quickly as I’m sure your time is tight: ·         Register today for...

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Jun05
Virginia VOICE May 25, 2017

VAIB | VirginiaVoice May 25, 2017 Dear Pastors and Friends, SB1239 Vetoed by Governor—What does this mean for religious exempt day cares? Governor Terry McAuliffe has finally vetoed Senate Bill 1239. The final version of the bill that was before the governor would have placed religious exempt day cares from its current regulated position to a completely exempt position with other exempt groups. This bill would have eliminated the fingerprint background check required by House Bill 1568. This...

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May05
Virginia Voice April 25, 2017

VAIB | VirginiaVoice April 25, 2017 Veto Session Update As I have stated in the past, most of my work is defensive—stopping bad legislation. Out of fifty bills we opposed, only three passed. But the impact of a governor who supports values in opposition to those of the VAIB (and most people!) cannot be minimized. Gov. McAuliffe will go down in Virginia history as the governor who made the most number of vetoes over his four-year term and whose vetoes were not overturned. This shows the stark...

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Apr05
VAIB/Virginia Voice March 25, 2017

SAVE THE DATE! September 28-29, 2017    ONE Voice for Liberties Conference At Landmark Baptist Church, Richmond, VA VAIB|Virginia Voice March 25, 2017 General Assembly & Washington, D.C. Lobbying Update The Governor still has not signed SB1239 nor HB1568, both impacting religious exempt day cares. He has until March 27 to sign, veto, or amend these bills. Pray for him to sign these! During March 13-16, I (and my wife, Carol) visited with all eleven of our federal representatives...

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Mar03
Virginia Voice Feb. 27, 2017

SAVE THE DATE! September 28-29, 2017    ONE Voice for Liberties Conference At Landmark Baptist Church, Richmond, VA VAIB | VirginiaVoice February 26, 2017 2017 General Assembly Update Over 2900 pieces of legislation were introduced this session and nearly half have passed the House and the Senate. Less than ten of the fifty bills we opposed are still alive. Almost half of the forty bills we supported are still alive. Yet the Governor has indicated he will veto some of these bills, as...

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Feb05
Ministry Update and General Assembly Review

ONE Voice for Liberties Conference September 28-29, 2017 At Landmark Baptist Church, Richmond, VA VAIB | VirginiaVoice January 27, 2017 Dear Friend of VAIB, The General Assembly has now met for just over two weeks of its forty-six-day session. Nearly one-hundred bills are on my “watch list.” I’ve spoken in numerous committees and to numerous legislators on bills.  You can bills of concern on our web site. I’m relieved that some bills are already defeated. I’ve listed...

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Jan05
Preparing for the 2017 General Assembly

Add to your calendar-- Future Conference Dates: Sept. 28-29, 2017   Sept. 27-28, 2018   Sept. 26-27, 2019   Sept. 24-25, 2020 Dear Friend, Preparing for the 2017 General Assembly Session For me, December brings mixed emotions. I love the Christmas season, decorations and special music. Yet, my work for the General Assembly begins in earnest. I’ve already reviewed over three-hundred pieces of legislation with the expectation of over 3,100 bills being introduced. Session begins...

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Dec05
Virginia Voice Dec. 5, 2016

VAIB | VirginiaVoice November 28, 2016 Add to your calendar-- Future Conference Dates Sept. 28-29, 2017 Sept. 27-28, 2018 Sept. 26-27, 2019 Sept. 24-25, 2020.  Dear Pastor and Friends, Thank you for taking time to keep up with the VAIB. You’ll notice the box to the right has the dates for our conferences through 2020. I hope you’ll put them on your calendar. By the time you receive this letter, this year’s work will be done. Here’s a quick look: We had a reasonably successful...

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Nov03
Monthly Update

VAIB | VirginiaVoice                                                  October 25, 2016 ONE Voice for Liberties Conference dates:  Add these dates to your calendar- Sep. 28-29, 2017    Sep. 27-28, 2018    Sep. 26-27, 2019   ...

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Oct03
Virginia VOICE October 3, 2016

VAIB | VirginiaVoice September 25, 2016 Conference Complete! 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...

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Sep03
The 2015-2016 Year in Review and Plans for the Future

VAIB |VisionUPDATE                                 August 2016 The 2015-2016 Year in Review and Plans for the Future   The Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists (VAIB) has a vision to advance the rights, values, and liberties of the independent Baptists in Virginia. To accomplish this vision, we work in the following three areas: Strengthen....

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Aug03
Virginia VOICE July 2016

ONE Voice for Liberties Conference-- September 15-16 Landmark Baptist Church in Richmond!  Register today at VAIB.org/education/one-voice-for-liberties-conference/  Dear Pastor,  September 15-16 is our ONE Voice for Liberties annual VAIB conference. Would you consider joining me and many others of God’s people for this very important conference? There will be a variety of workshops, forums, and messages that will strengthen, educate, and help us get involved in maintaining our...

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Jul03
Virginia VOICE June 2016

Register today for the ONE Voice for Liberties Conference-- September 15-16 Landmark Baptist Church in Richmond!  Dear Friends,  It’s not often that our entire family gets together for a vacation. Thanks to year-long planning by our son-in-law, we spent a great week enjoying each other’s company and doting on the grandchildren.  Back to Business  With politicians seeking to be elected this fall, I decided not to visit our Congressmen in Washington DC this summer....

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Jun03
Virginia VOICE May 2016

Register today for our ONE Voice for Liberties Conference, September 15-16 at Landmark Baptist Church in Richmond!  Dear Friend,  The majority of this letter is focused on upcoming primaries (June 14) and elections (November 8). Before I get to that, let me give another push for the ONE Voice for Liberties Conference, September 15-16. Go online (vaib.org) for a complete schedule, list of speakers and political guests, and lodging opportunities with conference pricing.  The transgender...

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May03
Virginia VOICE April 2016

SAVE THE DATE!  September 15-16, 2016 ONE Voice for Liberties Conference  At Landmark Baptist Church, Richmond, VA  Veto Session Update Most introduced legislation does not become law. Only about eight hundred of the over thirty-one hundred became law this year. Does this mean our legislature is ineffective? Absolutely not! It means that the process works. Yet there is still work to be done-- next year. Now to specifics. The prospects of overriding Gov. McAuliffe’s vetoes...

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Apr03
Virginia VOICE March 2016

SAVE THE DATE!  September 15-16, 2016 ONE Voice for Liberties Conference  At Landmark Baptist Church, Richmond, VA    General Assembly Notes  While most of us are focused on April 15 because of turning in our income tax forms, I still have April 20 in my sights. That date is “veto session,” the day the General Assembly meets to consider bills that the Governor has vetoed or amended. Some bills we are still following are:  HB516 (Steven Landes) requires public...

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Mar03
Virginia VOICE February 2016

SAVE THE DATE!  September 15-16, 2016 | ONE Voice for Liberties Conference  At Landmark Baptist Church, Richmond, VA  2016 General Assembly—Almost Done!  For the second year, the number of bills requiring VAIB’s involvement hovered around one-hundred. This is much more than I experienced in my first several years. Over 2900 pieces of legislation were introduced! Truly, this is a huge task for one person. Thankfully, of the forty-five bills we opposed, only two passed....

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Feb03
Virginia VOICE January 2016

Dear Friend of VAIB, The General Assembly has now met for fourteen days of its sixty-day session. Nearly two-hundred bills are on my “watch list.” I’ve spoken in several committees and to numerous legislators on bills.  At the end of this letter is an update of some of the bills VAIB is tracking. If you receive our weekly email updates, you will be familiar with this list. You can see more bills on our web site. I want to emphasize that most of our work involves preventing bad...

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Jan03
Virginia VOICE December 2015

Dear Friend,  The Virginia Voice is usually sent to supporting churches. However, this letter is being sent to all the independent Baptist churches in Virginia to announce our next yearly meeting and to give a review of the year. If your church does not support VAIB, will you prayerfully consider doing so?  Preparing for the 2016 General Assembly Session  With the expectation of over 2,700 pieces of legislation being introduced, there will be much to do as the start of the General Assembly...

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Dec03
Virginia VOICE November 2015

Dear Friend, By the time you receive this letter, our traveling schedule will have been completed. Here’s a brief review of how God blessed this year! We visited fifty churches with thirty churches being non-supporting Praise God for six new supporting churches! We participated in two missions’ conferences and represented VAIB at the God Bless America Crusade held in Richmond, VA. We had a successful ONE Voice for Liberties Conference in September. But also pray for numerous churches...

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Nov03
Virginia VOICE November 2015

Preparing for the 2016 General Assembly A key focus for the 2016 General Assembly will be protecting religious liberty and moral values. In light of judicial decisions related to these areas and other activities, VAIB is working on: Preventing efforts by transgender individuals to have open access in locker rooms and bathrooms in public schools, Preventing the usual efforts to add sexual orientation to nondiscrimination protections, Protecting religious free speech and traditional moral values when...

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Oct03
Virginia VOICE October 2015

Conference Complete!   Our second conference is done and I am so thankful for the encouraging comments of those who came.    About 250 different people attended over the two days. The conference 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 Brent Hockema who encouraged all to be a voice with VAIB. Major Steve Drew of the Richmond Police...

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Sep03
Virginia VOICE September 2015

Registrations are coming in for the ONE Voice for Liberties Conference! In a few weeks, our ONE Voice for Liberties Conference will be here. This will be our most expanded speaking line up with seven forums on Friday and our challenge each night from David Andersen of Capitol  Commission. Register today! Remind your church folks to register immediately to receive materials when they arrive. Here are the quick facts:   September 17-18 at Landmark Baptist Church, 4000 Creighton Rd, Richmond,...

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Aug03
Virginia VOICE August 2015

The 2014-2015 Year in Review and Plans for the Future The Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists (VAIB) has a vision to advance the rights, values, and liberties of the independent Baptists in Virginia. To accomplish this vision, we work in the following three areas: Strengthen. We strengthen your liberty by staying informed on the issues and pursuing strategic relationships.  Educate. We educate God’s people on the issues that are facing independent Baptists at both the...

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Jul08
Virginia VOICE June 2015

Dear Friends,  This was a very special month for Carol and me, as we enjoyed our fortieth wedding anniversary. We took some vacation time together with family and spent a “second honeymoon” in Niagara Falls! We also scheduled time for lobbying in Washington, DC. Let me give you a picture of how those efforts went.  Washington, DC Lobbying  Over the years, God has given us some wonderful victories in Richmond at the General Assembly. Sadly, some of these victories were nullified...

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Jun04
Virginia VOICE May 2015

Dear Friends,  I’m glad things have slowed down for us and I can take time to express my heartfelt thanks to you who support VAIB through prayer and financial support. Be assured God has helped your voice to be heard in so many ways, and we’re thankful for you and for those in government who stand for religious liberties and biblical values. You hear so much on the news that I’m sure is discouraging, but don’t give up and don’t give in! Stay faithful to God. Stay...

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May04
Virginia VOICE April 2014

Legislative Update  Most introduced legislation does not become law. Only about eight hundred of the over twenty-seven hundred became law this year. Does this mean our legislature is ineffective? Absolutely not! It means that the process works. Careful consideration and debate dissects and examines each issue. Be thankful for how well our system works.  We are thankful that HB1570 and SB1168 have passed in the form VAIB wanted protecting religious exempt day cares from unnecessary changes...

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Apr06
VIRGINIA VOICE March 2015

Special Announcement: New Address for VAIB Effective immediately, VAIB has a new home! Carol and I have been contemplating downsizing, so we made the move to a smaller home in Hanover. However, the new mailing address is: VAIB PO Box 6686 Ashland, VA 23005 New office phone: 804-299-3986 Registration open for ONE Voice for Liberties Conference Our annual conference is September 17-18 and we already have seven speakers lined up! There is no charge to come, so join us as we are challenged with...

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Mar04
VIRGINIA VOICE February 2015

2015 General Assembly Review Whew! After sorting through 2700+ pieces of legislation, I am glad to see a good ending to this year’s session. The session started off with nearly two-hundred bills of concern to VAIB but it eventually reduced to just under ninety. Thankfully 95% of bills we opposed failed to report protecting gains of the past four years in the areas of abortion and parental rights in educating their children while preventing unreasonable special protections for...

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Feb04
Virginia VOICE January 2014

Dear Pastor, This is the time of the year when VAIB is working as “Your voice for Christian liberties” at the General Assembly. While this is the 45 day session, work began immediately on the first day. Below is an update of some of the bills VAIB is tracking including the current progress of each bill. If you receive our weekly email updates, you will be familiar with this list. You can receive our emails by going to vaib.org and signing up on our home page. We are tracking over 60 bills...

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Jan04
Virginia VOICE December 2014

Dear Friend,  Preparing for the 2015 General Assembly Session  With the expectation of over 2,500 pieces of legislation to be introduced, there will be much to do as the start of the General Assembly session rolls around on January 14. To date, several hundred bills have been reviewed. Even with budgetary woes taking center stage, it is clear that efforts are under way to remove or change good laws (ultrasound requirement), while also attempting to include language to give special protections...

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Dec04
Virginia VOICE November 2014

Dear Friend,  By the time you receive this letter, our traveling schedule will have been completed. We were in fifty churches this year, fifteen of which were non-supporting. Several churches began supporting us this year, with others expressing confidence that they would soon become supporting churches. We have already begun scheduling for 2015, so please call us now if you would like Eddy to be in your church.  Election Update  I believe many good conservatives, who stand with us,...

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Nov04
October 2014 visionUpdate

VAIB | visionUPDATE  October 2014 Great Conference—Messages Available for Free Download I will say more later in this letter, but the kickoff of the “ONE Voice for Liberties” conference was very well received. Some have asked about obtaining copies of the messages from the conference, and I’m happy to inform you that you can download the messages for free by going to the “Education” tab of the VAIB website at http://vaib.org/education/conference-recordings/....

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Sep10
2014-2015 visionUPDATE

VAIB | visionUPDATE  Year in Review: 2013-2014 The Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists (VAIB) has a vision “to advance the rights, values and liberties of the Independent Baptists in Virginia.” To accomplish this vision, we work in the following three areas: Strengthen. We strengthen your liberty by staying informed on the issues and pursuing strategic relationships. Educate. We educate God’s people on the issues that are facing the Independent Baptists...

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Aug06
Letter from the Moderator

Dear Pastor, Since 1977, Virginia Independent Baptists have assembled annually to encourage and inform one another concerning religious freedom in the Commonwealth. Whether directly or indirectly, all of our ministries have greatly benefitted from the efforts of VAIB over these many years. And the need is as urgent today as it has ever been! As we plan to meet again for the thirty-eighth time, I encourage you to make plans to attend September 18–19 as we unveil our “ONE Voice for Liberties...

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Jun20
State Government Update

State Government Update As of June 23, the state of Virginia had a budget in place with no plans to expand Medicaid. The governor, however, seems to believe he can still expand Medicaid in Virginia. This issue will likely be decided by the courts. While the next statewide elections are not until November 2015, the resignation of Sen. Phil Puckett, changing control of the Senate to the Republicans by the slimmest of margins, had a huge impact on how the budget issue played out. More have announced...

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Apr30
Reflecting on the 2014 General Assembly Session

Dear Friend, While the biggest issue, the budget, has yet to be resolved, we are thankful for a relatively good General Assembly session. Thanks to the persistence of VAIB and others who stand for biblical, conservative values, we were pleased to see many harmful bills stopped and some good bills get through—bills that help protect the rights of Independent Baptists in Virginia to proclaim the Gospel and minister effectively in their sphere of influence. However, there is still much work to...

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Feb14
To end, or not to end, that is the question

Dear Friend, As this year’s General Assembly session is coming to a close, we want to remind you that our purpose in having a presence at the Capitol is bigger than just fighting for our positions. We believe that the mission of our independent Baptist churches to proclaim the Gospel in their areas of influence is at risk every day with legislation that seeks to limit our ability to minister effectively to the world around us. This is a task that we treat very seriously as we make sure “your...

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Jan10
General Assembly 2014 Underway!

Dear Friend, Have you ever wondered why it is that we choose to attend the Virginia General Assembly session each year? It’s because we want to play an integral part in the legislative process as bills are prepared, discussed in committee, and sent to the floor for a vote. This process requires constant vigilance and key relationships to ensure successful influence of key legislation. The report below includes our current session update. We also post our mid-session update on vaib.org. General...

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Dec12
Preparing for 2014 General Assembly Session

Dear Friend, Preparing for 2014 General Assembly Session In life change is inevitable. This is true for the upcoming General Assembly session which begins January 8, 2014. Even now there are elections still to be held to fill the vacancy of Senator Ralph Northam, who was elected Lt. Governor; to fill the vacancy of Senator Mark Herring who was elected Attorney General; to fill the vacancy of Delegate Onzlee Ware of Roanoke; and perhaps other surprises coming soon regarding various legislators. Life...

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Nov22
After the Election Update

Dear friend, By the time you receive this letter, our 2013 travel schedule will have been completed. We visited a total of 55 churches this year, including 8 new churches! We’ve already begun contacting churches for next year’s itinerary, and our goal is to be in at least 20 new churches for 2014 and to see most of these churches become involved with VAIB. Will you pray with us in this matter? After the Election Update On the day after the election, I got up, prayed, looked at the election...

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Oct31
Are our children in danger?

Dear Friend, This letter represents the roll out of our new monthly letter, VirginiaVoice. This letter will update you on current events and ministry activities, and it will emphasize one of the three key aspects of our mission: Strengthen, Educate, Involve. Effort to Change Requirements for Sprinklers for Small Christian Schools Defeated! An effort to require fire sprinklers in new construction of very small Christian schools was defeated on October 28, 2013, at the Department of Housing and Community...

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Aug09
Letter from the Moderator

August 9, 2013 Dear Pastor, The Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists (VAIB) began in the heart and mind of a small group of Independent Baptist pastors in 1977. The Assembly came into being for the specific purpose of protecting religious liberty in the Commonwealth. Some of the first issues that the Assembly faced were taxation of churches and the licensure of church ministries. Over the intervening years, God has given the Assembly many victories dealing with moral and freedom issues on behalf...

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Jul09
37th Annual Meeting

July 9, 2013 Dear Pastor, On September 19-20, you have that opportunity to be involved, whether pastor or “person in the pew.” How? You can attend our 37th Annual Meeting! Our theme is “Be of Good Courage”. You will be encouraged and challenged by our special guest speaker Dr. David Gibbs Jr. of the Christian Law Association; by music that will inspire; by our present and past work at the Virginia General Assembly. You will also be seeing our “new look” as we show...

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Jun06
Primary Elections June 11

June 6, 2013 Dear Pastor, While the summer is starting to heat up, so is the political scene. Be informed. Do not be confused by political rhetoric. Contact our office for information if you feel confused and frustrated. Primary Elections June 11 To determine the candidates for the November elections, there will be a primary June 11. In some cases, candidates are running unopposed. However, you can only vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary. Word is out that “party crashers”...

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May07
Virginia Abortion Clinic Regulations Finally Pass

May 7, 2013 Dear Pastor, September 19-20, 2013: Annual Meeting—Are You Coming? Join us as we are challenged and informed by our special speaker, Dr. David Gibbs, Jr., plus our in-state speakers Pastor Brad Weniger and Pastor Sherman Davis. Go to our web site www.vaib.org to get more details, find directions, and locate lodging. Join with us so you can “Be of Good Courage” as we fight for the faith. Note the following areas where the fight rages! Abortion Provider Gosnell on Trial...

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Apr10
General Assembly Wrap-up

April 10, 2013 Dear Pastor, General Assembly Wrap-up Reconvened session is the final opportunity to determine the fate of legislation and the Governor’s amendments. The Governor placed one amendment to HB1900 which we supported: prohibit health insurance plans in the federal health exchange from covering abortion (except in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother). Why? The federal health exchange has our tax dollars included in it which we do not want to be used for abortions. Bills introduced...

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Mar15
Some Legislators Call It Quits!

March 15, 2013 Dear Pastor, Some Legislators Call It Quits If I have spoken in your church, you may have heard me ask, “How many of you would be willing to serve as a legislator if everyone quit?” As is fairly normal for Virginia, several good legislators will not be running for re-election this fall: Sal Iaquinto of Virginia Beach (served since 2006); Joe Johnson of Abingdon (served since 1990); Don Merricks of Martinsville (served since 2008); John Cox of Ashland (served since 2010)....

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Feb25
Is your church constitution up-to-date?

February 25, 2013 Dear Pastor, Is your church constitution up-to-date? I have encouraged churches to update their church constitutions in previous letters, but now there is urgency to this consideration. The US Supreme Court is to decide on two cases involving recognition in all 50 states of same-sex marriages done in other states. Various legal experts have suggested some churches may be open to lawsuits on the grounds of discrimination based on sexual orientation. For more information, I suggest...

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Feb15
Legislation Spotlight 2013

February 15, 2013 Dear Pastor, Legislation Spotlight SB701 establishing nondiscrimination in state government hiring based on sexual orientation. The foundation of society is strong families. Efforts to protect lifestyle (“sin-style”) choices such as “sexual orientation” weaken this foundation. Unfortunately, so many children are not being taught proper values and, in the guise of “Constitutional equality,” are accepting the idea that people of varying sexual orientations...

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Jan25
January Session Update

January 25, 2013 Dear Pastor, Session Update We are thankful that efforts to undo prolife gains regarding abortion were stopped. We are thankful that bills to affirm parental rights are moving forward. We are praying that efforts to protect immoral sexual orientation in the law will fail. News Briefs January 16 was quietly proclaimed “Religious Freedom Day” by President Obama. Thomas Jefferson, who authored the “Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom,” would probably be appalled...

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Jan12
Heartfelt Thank You

January 12, 2013 Dear Pastor, A new year is here and so is the 2013 General Assembly. Let me give a heartfelt “Thank You” for the notes and prayers of encouragement. It is such a blessing knowing you are standing with me! Let me thank those who attended the “Virginia Stands for Life” gathering on January 9. Over 750 folks attended reminding our legislators of the value of a life! While God never promised us life would be easy, we all can appreciate an encouraging word (Pr 25:11...

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