Virginia Voice 9.25.18
Released: Tuesday, October 02, 2018
VAIB | Virginia Voice
Volume 9 | September 25, 2018
Next ONE Voice for Liberties Conference will be September 26-27, 2019!
Future conference dates: Sep. 24-25, 2020 Sep. 23-24, 2021 Sep. 29-30, 2022
The 2017-2018 Vision Update
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 to:
- Strengthen. We strengthen your liberty by keeping 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 state and federal levels.
- Involve. We involve everyone as one voice in the process by providing opportunities for action.
We continued to build and strengthen relationships with legislators in the General Assembly. Of the 3200+ pieces of legislation introduced in the 2018 General Assembly, we opposed seventy-one bills with seventy being defeated and supported thirty-five bills with eighteen passing. Twenty other related bills were monitored for possible changes. Through our work, we see a slim majority of legislators supporting religious liberties in Virginia. Thankfully, our core values and issues are still being upheld but this can change with one election cycle.We continue to encourage our constituents to register to vote, to vote in every election and primary, and to contact elected officials regarding issues.
Our 2018 calendar has provided much opportunity for Eddy Aliff and Joe Naylor (the VAIB representative) to be in nearly seventy churches. Over 50% have been non-supporting churches allowing for greater opportunity to present the work of VAIB.
The website continues to be an important resource, as are the CapitolALERTs, to inform the nearly 2000 on our email list when there is a legislative issue.
In April of 2019, VAIB will be launching four legal seminars across the state. David Gibbs III of NCLL (National Center for Life and Liberty) will be holding legal seminars for us in Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Fredericksburg, and Richmond. And a legal hotline will be available to churches which financially support VAIB. More information will be coming as to the fee for the seminar and the exact dates and locations.
Thankfully, the financial condition of the ministry continues to improve. Financial stress is challenging many churches and therefore the number of supporting churches continues to fluctuate hovering around two-hundred. Those individuals who support VAIB, especially during the conference, have been a great help in offsetting loss of income from churches which dropped or decreased support.
Our “14K Voices” campaign continues to add more folks to VAIB’s email list. Nearly two-thousand are signed up and legislators are taking notice when CapitolALERTs are received by their offices. Pastors are encouraged to periodically remind their church members to sign up with VAIB.
What does the future hold?
No one knows what the future holds, but we can make plans for the future. I am thankful for the help Joe and Marty Naylor have been in expanding our outreach to churches. Currently, my work at the General Assembly has been manageable in spite of the over three-thousand bills introduced. I am excited about the opportunity to hold legal seminars which will greatly help those pastors which attend. It is always better to be proactive than reactive. As one pastor friend of mine told me, “VAIB is the only missionary which puts money back in our pocket.” You might say, “How does VAIB save my church money?” Consider the following:
- If your church takes advantage of the sales and use tax exemption (see Form ST-13A), you have this benefit because the VAIB continues to make the case for exempting churches and their ministries.
- If your church takes advantage of having a religious exempt day care, you have this benefit because the VAIB, along with ODACS, continue to make the case for exempting churches and their ministries.
- If your church has not been required to install sprinklers in its auditorium, retroactively I might add, in the past five years, you have this benefit because the VAIB was the only church organization to successfully convince the board reviewing building code to reject the proposed amendment.
- If your nursery staff, VBS staff, and Sunday school teachers have not been required to be licensed to work with children (and they haven’t), you have this benefit because the VAIB continues to urge lawmakers against such legislation.
- Bills to allow the State Fire Marshal’s office to charge for inspecting church schools and day cares continue to be defeated preventing unreasonable expense to our churches.
With over five hundred independent Baptist churches in the Commonwealth, there are still many churches which can stand with VAIB. I’m sure every church has liability insurance and maybe other types of insurance. I believe your investment in VAIB is just like insurance. It’s better to stop a problem before it has opportunity to become a reality.
While our Constitution gives us opportunity, we ought to stand for and exercise our religious liberties. Our forefathers gave us these freedoms through our Constitution, but it is our responsibility to keep them. So long as it is in my power and there are sufficient independent Baptist churches financially supporting, I will urge our government leaders to uphold religious liberties for you and your church.