Local churches focusing on school ministries

July 19, 2013

BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH
As I was reading Matthew chapter 14, where Peter was walked on water, I was reminded that we generally focus on the fact that he failed, when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. To me it is more important to focus on the fact that Peter walked on water twice, which is something no one else has ever done.  That day started out as an ordinary day as Peter and the disciples were doing what they had often done many times before, fishing. A storm came and terrified the disciples. Jesus showed up in their time of need, and stretched Peter beyond his realm of thinking. The truth is PETER WAS SAFER OUT OF THE BOAT, surrounded by the waves, where Jesus was, than with his friends in the boat! 
What do I mean? I believe you are safer being where Jesus wants you to be, doing what Jesus wants you to do, than in the comfort of your own home. It's time God's people get out of the boat and into the service of the Savior. Let God stretch your faith, secure your confidence and use you to make a difference. We can't be afraid to get our feet wet for the Lord as we obediently, boldly and confidently do what he wants us to do.
Next Sunday, July 28, our pastor, Chris Stephens, will be celebrating his fifth year with us as our pastor. We are celebrating his anniversary by having Evangelist Dr. Jerry Thorpe come and be our special guest and speaker on that day. Our morning service will begin at 10:30 a.m. and we will not have Sunday school or our evening service on the 28th.  
We will have vacation Bible school for ages five through finishing fifth grade on Aug. 5-9. It will be from 6-8 p.m. on those nights. Our theme is “Movin’ On Up!” If you would like to sign up your child early, you will find a registration form on our website: bbcsweetwater.com. Just click on the apple that you will see on our home page. If you have any questions, you may call the church office at 235-2730.
This Sunday, the 21st, we have all of our regular services. If you don’t have a church home, we would love for you to visit us at Broadway Baptist Church on 710 E. Third Street. Our Life Groups, which is for all ages, starts at 10 a.m. Our morning service is at 10:50 a.m. and our evening service begins at 6 p.m. Come and let us be a blessing to you as we worship the Lord together.

EMMANUEL FELLOWSHIP CHURCH
We invite you to join us this Sunday at Emmanuel Fellowship Church. Our Sunday morning services are at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Both morning services are filled with the same warm fellowship, dynamic worship and life-giving messages, as well as top-notch children’s ministry and nursery care for children up to fifth grade.
This week, we will continue our July sermon series, “Box a Fox,” as we take a look at some of the “foxes” that sneak their way into our lives. God desires to show us how to knock out the things that can destroy us, so join us Sunday as we invite Him to do just that by studying His word together.
Lifegroups are on a summer break, but the Celebrate Recovery group is still meeting in the Sweetwater Prayer Center on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Our youth continue to meet as well on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Salvage Yard youth center.
We also invite you to step into The Growth Central Bookstore when you visit EFC. It’s stocked with Bibles, study aids, devotionals, marriage and parenting resources, worship music, inspirational gifts, original art and fiction books — there’s something for everyone! The bookstore is open between Sunday morning services, from 10:30-11 a.m. and 12:30-1 p.m.
For more information about the ministry of EFC, log onto the church website at www.efcsweetwater.com.

FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH
Faith Lutheran Church members come together each Sunday morning to worship our loving God and to receive His loving guidance and strength to do His will in our daily lives. It is our prayer that you would come and worship with us and receive meaningful blessings. We begin each Sunday with 9 a.m. devotions at Sweetwater Healthcare Center at 9:45 a.m. Sunday school and 10:45 a.m. worship service. We extend a warm welcome to come and worship with a friendly congregation.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
First Baptist Church invites you and your family to join us on this Sunday, July 21, for Bible study, beginning at 9:15 a.m. for all ages, followed by the Sunday morning service, which begins at 10:30 a.m. First Baptist Church is located at 213 East Third Street, next door to the Post Office. We warmly greet you. Your presence will enhance our worship experience and our fellowship together.
Koinonia coffee is held at The Welcome Center before Bible study each Sunday morning. Coffee is the perfect complement to meeting old friends and new. It is an invitation to sit and talk for a while, to share stories, to get to know one another better. You are invited to join friends each Sunday morning as we all share a warm cup of Koinonia Coffee.
There are many opportunities for service. If you have not received a church participation form, please pick one up in the church office. As members of the Body of Christ at First Baptist Church, we are all called to serve in one way or another. We have many areas of service available to you. Children’s Church facilitators are always welcome. Camp volunteers are still needed.
Sign up today for summer camp. There is a camp for every age group. Missions Camp will be July 30-Aug. 2 for grades 3-5. Lad and Lassie Camp will be Aug. 2 and 3 for grades 1 and 2. Day Camp for Pre-K and Kindergarten will be Aug. 3. These camps are at Lueders with the Big Country Baptist Assembly. P3 at Coral Cove will be Aug. 5-8. All the summer camps are tied together under one church theme: “Refuge: Who Is Your Strength?” with a theme verse of Psalm 46:1.
For our summer Bible study series, we will be going through The Purpose Driven Life. This study will continue July 21 at 6 p.m. and continue through Aug. 18. The Purpose Driven Life will help you understand why you are alive and reveal God’s amazing plan for you-both here and now, and for eternity.
It’s time to play coed softball. Each church participating plays against each other for a time of fun and fellowship. Please contact Tique by e-mail or text if interested in playing. The cost of $20 covers the T-shirt. We will play in August and September.
Once a month our volunteers go to Nolan Nursing and Rehab and hold a birthday party for the residents who have celebrated a birthday that month. You can join us. Our next birthday party is on Aug. 15, at 2:30 p.m.
Our ministry focus this month will be the Prison Ministry and the Hospital Ministry. The Prison Ministry has supplied our local prisons with experiencing God and downpour literature to teach and share with the local prisoners. Our worship choir has had the privilege to sing and share their testimonies with the prisoners as well. The Hospital Ministry is for newborn infants born in Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital. Each newborn infant will receive a gift bag with a fleece baby blanket and bottle along with a letter of congratulations to the new parents from First Baptist Church.
For in depth information on First Baptist Church Sweetwater, find us on Facebook or at www.fbcsweetwater.org.

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
First Presbyterian Church, Sweetwater welcomes all to join us for worship. Our church is a warm and loving church and we want you to feel comfortable and at liberty to call on us for anything you need pastorally. We would love to have you be our guest.
Adult Sunday school will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 21, and Richard Smola will be bringing the message. Anne Wilson will be worship assistant. Ruth Ann Campbell and Richard Gesin will be greeters. All are invited to stay after worship for the wedding shower honoring Kirsten Elliott and Dusty Burson. A light lunch will be provided. The middle school and high school youth will go to Abilene on Monday, July 22, for Bowling and Bonzai. They will leave the church at 5 p.m. A group picture will be taken.
The mission of First Presbyterian Church is to make disciples for Jesus Christ by being an oasis of God’s love. Worship services are each Sunday at 10:45 a.m. We are located at the corner of 14th Street and McCaulley, across from the high school. Find out more information about our ministry by calling 235-5491 or visit the church’s website www.fpcsweetwater.org.

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Sweetwater First United Methodist Church wants to invite you to join us on Sunday mornings to worship and praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The United Methodist Church is open to all persons and is a place where all are welcome and encouraged to “come as you are” with the expectation that by the grace of God you will leave different. The change that a relationship with Christ brings about is a life-changing encounter and we believe that while God accepts us as we are, He loves us enough not to leave us in our sins. We believe that Scripture informs all aspects of our lives and should be our rule and authority.
The first service begins at 8:45 a.m. and is built around a traditional model with great hymns of the church. This service uses a more liturgical framework and often employs a wonderful choir. Immediately following the first service we have Sunday school classes for all ages and stages of life. We invite you to try one of our many opportunities to come together and seek God in small groups that emphasize God’s Word and proclaim His glory. At 10:50 a.m. we have a second worship service that has a decidedly contemporary flavor and incorporates more of progressive style and pace. This second service also has a Children’s Church for kids in preschool through third grade. The children stay through our time of praise and then go to their own worship service.
Sweetwater FUMC also has youth activities on Sundays beginning at 6 p.m. with a prayer and praise time that we call Adoratio. Every Tuesday and Wednesday FUMC hosts the Gaylord’s Pantry and a clothes closet from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Please enter through the North (4th Street) entrance if you would like to receive God’s blessing through either of these ministries.
News this week: Next week we will continue our Music Camp from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It’s not too late to join us. It is for ages three years through seventh grade. Come to the north entrance on 4th Street.
This Sunday we will continue our look at social issues and where the United Methodist Church stands on those important cultural issues. This Sunday we will discuss the role and place of government from a Christian perspective. We would love to have you join us.
Activities this week:
Saturday at 5:45 p.m. — Send off for youth mission team to Louisiana.
Sunday at 8:45 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. — Worship.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon — Youth Music Camp.
Wednesday at 8 p.m. — All church pool party.
Friday at 7 p.m. — Music camp showcase.
Fun activities are offered at different times during the month for fourth through sixth graders (Club 456) and first through third graders (UMKids). If you have any questions call Linda at our church office (325-236-6617) or email churchoffice@fumcsweetwater.org. If you need prayer or have the need to contact our pastor you can call the same number or email him at pastor@fumcsweetwater.org.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Our Church's Mission Statement: "To glorify Christ in all that we do by bringing People to Christ and equipping them to serve Christ."
Join us for Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship service at 10:45 a.m., with Pastor Claude bringing the message entitled, “Behold the Lamb of God: Image of the Invisible God.” Worship assistants are Lisa Peterson serving as worship leader, Brenda Alexander leads the congregational hymns and plays the keyboard, pianist is Eugenia Hill and our greeter for the month of July is Betty Merrell.
Let us all lift up prayers of thanksgiving and praise God for the wonderful blessing of rain He has sent to quench the thirst of our land. One can see the revival of the trees, plants and grass as they soak up the nourishment that only God can provide.
Highland Heights focuses upon specific outreach ministries throughout the year. With school beginning in early August, the next community outreach is our School Ministry. We will once again collect school supplies for needy students in the second and third grades at the East Ridge Elementary campus. A list of suggested items to purchase is available at the back of the sanctuary. Please bring your selections to the church on or before Sunday, Aug. 4, and they will be delivered the following Monday to the school campus.
Bless This House is calling upon prayer for the families of the firefighters who loss their lives fighting the fires in Arizona. Pray the Lord surrounds the family members with love and comforts them in their sorrow. Give thanks to God for these dedicated and courageous men who gave their lives in protecting the residents and their property. May we always give firemen the highest respect for the risks and sacrifices made in protecting us and our homes.
You are always invited to join us at 1801 Lamar Street, sharing in our vision of making Disciples of Jesus Christ, growing spiritually, fulfilling our God-given gifts, witnessing to others and ministering to ones in need.

LAMAR STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
We invite you to join us Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday school, followed by our 10:40 a.m. service including children sermon, hymnals and praise songs and Bro. Billy Oliver will bring a message from the Bible. Our evening service starts at 6 p.m.
On Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., we offer activities for children in first through sixth grade “Soldiers for Christ;” activities for preschool age; youth activities for 7th-12th graders; and Bible study and prayer for adults led by Bro. Billy Oliver.
There will be a church-wide swimming party on Thursday, July 25, at the Sweetwater City Pool from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Come and join the fun! Bring your own drinks.
Camp for children in first through sixth grade is Tuesday, July 30, through Friday, Aug. 2. The kids are collecting the following items to take to camp for mission project: coloring books, sticker books, crayons, word search books and fuzzy socks (age 3-12). There is a box in the foyer to put items. Day Camp for Kindergarten through third grade is Saturday, Aug. 3. Please get forms to Linda Kite as soon as possible.
We have a Bible study for couples on Fridays in the fellowship hall at 7 p.m. and all couples are welcome.
We are excited to be celebrating our 100th year. We are gathering addresses of past and present members and staff, so please turn these address in the church office. The celebration is set for Sunday, Oct. 13. Our next committee meeting will be Sunday, July 21, at 5 p.m. in the fellowship hall.
To learn more about Lamar Street Baptist Church, visit us at 513 Lamar, find us on Facebook or call the church at 235-1779 and leave a message and someone will return your call.

WORD OF GOD CHURCH
I have always said that I would let everyone know what was going on at this ministry good or bad because it's never been about the fight of faith. It has always been about God and His will. My trust has and always will be in my Father, God through the salvation of grace through Christ Jesus crucified and raised to life and of my belief in my heart and confession out of my mouth Him, Lord.
I have fought a hard fight for this ministry, but Satan has won a battle on the front of the adults and has attacked our finances. Because of this I have made the decision to close down the adult parts of this ministry. We have no real support from the adults.
But, my wife and I have decided that we are not ready to give up the fight for the youth of this town. So we have decided through Spiritual discernment to do all we can through God's guidance to keep something going for the youth around here. There is such a need here in Sweetwater. Our very young children are getting on drugs and other things that are overtaking their lives. There is a destructive force that is going on that is destroying these children here. We want to try to keep The Rock open and going and to excelerate our youth into a relationship with God.
I watched this last week at teen camp. God took a bunch of kids that have hard lives that go to this church, even though their parents don't go to church, and He filled them with love, His Spirit and His glory and He used them to glorify His name. They are filled up with joy beyond all understanding because they felt God's presence so mightily and watched Him move in their lives and in others through them. They found their identity in Christ not in what the world tells them. It was glorious!
My wife and I believe that Satan is trying to tear us down so we won't keep reaching these children. Well we are not ready to quit the fight yet. So if the good Lord is willing we will continue to fight for the youth in this town. They are lost and we want to help. So we are trying.
We will be open on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. for youth church for teens and children. Our teen ministry is alive in Christ and strong with 30 to 40 teens. The children’s' ministry is a strong 40 plus at times. These ministries can grow because we have seen it go to 90 children, but I had to slow them coming in because we don't have the adult laborers to serve. But we are hoping that changes with just focusing on the youth.
And as you would think that since the adults have went in the direction they have, there are no finances coming in. So we are taking the time to search for Christian non-profit funding to keep the youth ministry going. In the mean time my wife and I,  and also some adults still standing in the ministry will keep at least Wednesday nights going until we can do no more.
If there is any that care, I ask for your prayers that we might be able to continue on reaching out for our youth in this town, pulling them out of darkness into the light of Christ. We have, through the years, witnessed hundreds of teens confess their salvation through Christ. We have watched them change and become different, affected by the working of this ministry. Not holy, just believers in the living God.
If there are any that would stand with me, I will be here to stand because I know that God can capture our children again. I know that I can fight the Spiritual battle for these children. But I cannot fight the worldly battles that is up to the adults that have the heart of children. I will serve the Lord no matter what but God needs people to fulfill His visions. A people without a vision will perish.
Our children are perishing. So please pray.
Except for youth night on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., all service times are shut down. The Rock is still open for parties.
God Bless, Pastor Dale

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