RELIGION: Local churches to celebrate Easter

March 8, 2013

This week's church news and events

BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH
I believe that without a doubt we have before us, today, the greatest opportunity for living, showing, telling and sharing the gospel of Christ in all of history. I believe the fields are white unto harvest, and we as God’s people need to be sharing His love, mercy and grace. Someone said, “Preacher, I just don’t understand this thing called salvation.” That’s ok, for you don’t have to understand it; just stand on it. Believe it, and receive it. Salvation is free. The gift of God is eternal life. It is not cheap for it cost God His Son and the Son His life, but it is free to all who believe and receive. 
If you are saved, God has placed you here for “such a time as this”. He has you here to be a light in a world of darkness, a candle upon a hill, and a witness of His love to others. Let us not neglect our responsibility. Let us not mishandle our opportunity, but let us shed forth the love of Christ to a lost and dying world.
This Sunday, the 10th, is a special day for us at Broadway Baptist Church, and we would like to share it with you. Sunday, March 10, is Friend Day! During the morning service we have Dr. Gene Howard who is a John Wayne impersonator. Not only will Dr. Howard impersonate John Wayne, but He will give a spiritual message of Freedom and sacrifice with a patriotic flair. Come out and be a part of the fun and blessing.
If you don’t have a church home, we would like to welcome you to come and visit us this Sunday. 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.
“Worldchangers,” EFC’s Wednesday evening children’s ministry is in full-swing, with children ages birth through fifth grade exploring what living life with Jesus really looks like! They meet Wednesday evenings from 6:45-8:30 p.m.
The Salvage Yard youth ministry, for grades 6-12, meets Wednesday evenings at 6:45 p.m. for their worship service and again on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. for small group discipleship. They are very excited to be in their newly opened youth center. Come check out the great new facility. The youth will be hosting a garage sale on Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, to raise funds for the mission trips to Hurricane Sandy Relief and the Apache Indian Reservation. If you have items you would like to donate to the garage sale, please drop them off at the church offices anytime.
Lifegroups for adults meet Monday evenings (Young Adults Group, Tuesday evenings (Celebrate Recovery) and Wednesday evenings (Family Groups and Women’s Group) at 7 p.m. For more information on how to connect with a small group, check out the Lifegroups display in the church foyer, or log online to www.efcsweetwater.com.
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 MS observes the Lent season from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The past few weeks we have been "Facing the Cross" with looking at our sins and temptations. As we face the cross during these Lenten days, we will see our fears, worldliness and suffering. We face certain aspects in our lives which are not always in line with the cross. We come to terms with them through the cross of Christ who came to save us that we might see him face to face in heaven. Please join us as we face the cross on Wednesday evenings. You are welcome to a light meal at 6 p.m. and services at 7 p.m. Our Sunday worship begins with a 9 a.m. devotion at Sweetwater Healthcare, 9:30 a.m. Sunday school and 10:45 a.m. worship service with Rev. Chester McCown, interim pastor. Join us with the Lord's blessing.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
First Baptist Church invites you and your family to join us on this Sunday, March 10, 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. All are welcome. Your presence will enhance our worship experience and fellowship together.
XA Weekend will be changed to April because of conflicting extracurricular activities. If you would like to encourage, motivate or just say “I am praying for you,” please do! If you would like to write a prayer out for a student during XA weekend, please send it or give it to Tique Hamilton at tique@fbcsweetwater.org.
Facilitators for Children’s Church are still needed for March and November. Only one month during Sunday morning worship is required. You will receive such a blessing. The children are so fun and loving. The curriculum is user friendly and supplies are provided. Please call the church office if you are interested.
There are many opportunities for service. High school camp sponsors are needed June 9-14. Vacation Bible School workers are needed June 24-27. P3 Circle Drive workers are needed July 7-11. Missions Camp sponsors are needed for July 30-Aug. 2. Lad and Lassie Camp sponsors are needed Aug. 2-3. Day Camp sponsors are needed for Aug. 3. P3 Coral Cove workers are needed Aug. 4-8.
You can still join our growth groups. Most are at 6 p.m. on Sundays. There is also a Bible study which is on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. in the Welcome Center.
The fifth and sixth grade Sunday school classes are partnering with Group Cares and World Vision to provide mosquito nets to children threatened by malaria. For a mere $6 donation, up to three children’s lives will be saved for years to come. Please help teach our children about the precious gift of life. You may send your donation to the church or place it in the basket in the lobby at the Squash Malaria information center.
Kid X continues on Wednesdays at 5:45 p.m. Kid X is an exciting way for children in Kindergarten through sixth grade to learn about Jesus.
On March 17 at 6 p.m., the Zahasky Family, an Alaska String Band, will be at FBC. We are pleased to present an engaging and uniquely Alaskan musical entertainment. The Alaska String Band is a concert group comprised of members of a single family performing with guitar, twin violin-fiddles, bass, mandolin, ukulele, percussion and vocals. Their repertoire consists of a lively collection of bluegrass, old time, gospel, swing, blues, Celtic and original music. The concert is free, but a love offering may be offered.
The Lenten lunch/devotion will be at First Baptist Church at noon on March 20. Please come.
For in depth information on First Baptist Church Sweetwater, find us on
Facebook and check the website www.fbcsweetwater.org.

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
First Presbyterian Church would like to invite you to Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and to worship with us on Sundays at 10:45 a.m. Visitors are always welcome at First Presbyterian Church; we hope you will join us. The church is located at 14th and McCauley. A nursery is provided for all church activities for children kindergarten age and younger.
No Sunday school this week. This is a catch-up week or a get ahead week. There will be fellowship at 9:30 a.m. (nursery is provided). Next Sunday, March 17, The Bible in 90 Days will continue discussing days 22 through 28, 1 Samuel 28 ~ 2 Kings 15.
Pastor Kary’s sermon title is “Who is the Prodigal?” on this fourth week in Lent. The lectionary will be Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 and Psalm 121. The worship assistant is Boo Nemir and our greeters are Lou Ann Cumbie and Dorothy Stroman.
Coming up:
All committee meetings will be on Wednesday March 13, at 5:30 p.m.
The Lenten Luncheon will be at First Baptist Church on Wednesday, March 20 at noon.
Session meeting on March 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Holy Week: March 24 — Palm Sunday will have “One Great Hour of Sharing” offering, March 28 – Maundy Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Chapel, March 31 — Easter “Sonrise” service at 7 a.m. in the Mustang Bowl, fellowship at FPC at 9:30 a.m., Easter egg hunt at 10 a.m. and Easter worship at 10:45 am.
Reminders:
Presbyterian Women meet on the first Wednesday of each month. The business meeting is at 5 p.m. and Bible study begins at 5:30 p.m.
Plarning will meet every Wednesday in the fellowship hall at 1 p.m.
Kary Ann’s Clan will be at 11:45 a.m.
Choir practice is every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
All committee meetings are on the second Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m.
Session meetings are on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m.

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.”
You are welcome to join us for Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship service is at 10:45 a.m., with Pastor Claude bringing the message entitled, “Grace Beyond Human Comprehension: The Goodness of 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 March is Lela Hatter. Pat McKiddy will present a special musical selection, “When God Ran.”
Pastor Claude is leading a new young adults Bible study class from 9:30-10:30 a.m., in the Claudia Clift Lounge. The class is beginning with a comprehensive study of the Gospel of Saint John. This opportunity is not only open to congregational members, family and friends, but especially to other members of the community. Call the church office at 235-2454 for further information.
The evangelism committee will meet Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m., in the Friendship Sunday School Classroom.
In our spiritual preparation during Lent, we encourage the community to attend the Lenten services sponsored by the Nolan County Ministerial Alliance. Wednesday, March 20, Highland Heights will be helping First Baptist Church with sandwiches and chips during the noon hour. First Baptist will provide the soup and a short devotional will be given by the pastor.
For the next few months, Highland Heights will be focusing upon our “Samaritan Hospitality House Ministry.” “The House” is located in Colorado City and ministers to families visiting loved ones that are incarcerated in area prisons. With a homelike atmosphere, the facilities provide weekend lodging for family members during their stay free of charge. Articles being collected are paper goods — paper towels, napkins, toilet tissue and Kleenex; paper cups and plates, plastic forks, spoons and knives; dishwasher liquid, laundry detergent and softener; cleaning supplies — comet/ajax, 409/lysol and carpet freshener; new bath towels/wash cloths and soap; foil, plastic wrap and zip lock bags; coffee, creamer, tea bags, hot chocolate mix, lemonade/kool-aid mix and sugar/sweetener; books, magazines, crossword puzzles, sudoku and/or other activity booklets; board games, playing cards and dominoes; If you wish to contribute, please call the church office.
Lent is the 40-day season of preparation before Easter. Many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ — his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. “Bless This House” ask that we prayerfully use this period to examine our own lives and spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ.
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.
Come! Join the excitement at Highland Heights United Methodist Church. We are a multi-ethnic, multi-racial congregation, serving the Lord in unity and purpose, where the contribution of everyone is valued and welcome. The congregation and staff of Highland Heights is a friendly God loving people — join us as we praise God together, and practice unity here on earth until he comes again in Glory!
For more information, please call the church at 325-235-2454 or the parsonage at 325-933-4296 (Monday through Wednesday). Highland Heights United Methodist Church is located at 1801 Lamar Street in Sweetwater. The pastor is Rev. Claude A. McKiddy, and the youth pastor is Darren Williams.

LAMAR STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
We would like to welcome all the visitors in town for the World’s Largest Rattlesnake Round-Up and extend an invite 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. Come again at 6 p.m. for our evening service.
On Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., we offer GAs (Girls in Action) and RAs (Royal Ambassadors) for first through sixth graders, Mission Friends for preschool age, youth activities for 7th-12th graders and Bible study and prayer for adults.
We want to remind members that are many opportunities to give within our church, for example, our food pantry, our local mission projects and summer camps for our children and youth, our two Zambia kids we give to each month and more.
The week of prayer for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering ends tomorrow, but we will continue to accept offerings until mid April. The theme is “Whatever It Takes.” Please pray and prepare your heart to give to North American Missions.
Please continue to pray and encourage the members serving on our pastor search committee and members church-wide. There is a mailbox in the foyer to send uplifting words to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
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.

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS (THE MORMONS)
Believe, Obey and Endure:
“Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day — and then one more and then one more after that — until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness.”
—Thomas S. Monson,
Is there a way to safety? Is there an escape from threatened destruction? The answer is a resounding yes! I counsel you to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. I have said it before; I will say it again: there is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety. This way to home.” It sends forth signals of light easily seen and never failing. If followed, those signals will guide you back to your heavenly home.
Through the winds of change
Encircled by the clouds of pain
I guard it with my life
I need the warmth—I need the light
Though the storm will rage
I stand against the pounding rain
I remain
A keeper of the flame.
May you believe and then may you keep the flame of your testimony burning brightly, come what may.
If any has stumbled in her journey, I promise you that there is a way back. The process is called repentance. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Though the path is difficult, the promise is real. Said the Lord: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
“And I will remember [them] no more.”
Finally, may you endure. What does it mean to endure? I love this definition: to withstand with courage. Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey. It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence.
I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me, “I have so many problems, such real concerns. I’m overwhelmed with the challenges of life. What can I do?” I have offered to them, and I now offer to you, this specific suggestion: seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness. The Savior promised, “Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.”
For this purpose have you come into mortality, my young friends. There is nothing more important than the goal you strive to attain—even eternal life in the kingdom of your Father.
You are precious, precious daughters of our Heavenly Father sent to earth at this day and time for a purpose. You have been withheld until this very hour. Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you if you will only believe, obey, and endure. May this be your blessing, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, amen.
Quotes from the World Wide Young Women’s Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
If you would like to talk with representatives of the church about the Saviors teachings, and his infinite love for us, call 1-800-622-5595.
We are located at 910 Elm Street in Sweetwater.
Elders serving in this area are Elder Rios and Elder Cosmas and their number is 325-864-2999.
Calendar:
March 10 – Sunday church service at 9 a.m. Visitors are welcome.
March 11 –Monday family home evening.
March 12 – Tuesday adult institute of religion at 6:30 p.m.
March 13 – Wednesday young women and Scouts at 6:30 p.m.

WORD OF GOD CHURCH
This ministry is not closing down. I know there has been false statements and rumors spread as to why the ministry has been closed at this time. But none of these have come from me, the pastor. I am following the lead of the one I serve. Being a believer in the Lord’s word, I believe what Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” For me it is important that I am able to be led by the Spirit of God. The scriptures tell us that those who can be led by His Spirit are the sons of God. So who are those who are not led by the Spirit of God? As believers you should read Romans chapter eight sometime.
In knowing that it is the Holy Spirit that leads me as a servant of the Lord God and a disciple of Jesus Christ, I have to give attention to when the Lord is Spiritually moving in my life. Even if it seems to go against tradition or religion or even structure, basically the norm. I have never, since I have been here, proclaimed to anyone that I was righteous in my own eyes. I have never claimed that God sent me here to become the pastor of this town. I have never claimed that I would build a church. I have never asked anyone to believe in me. I have never asked anyone for anything. I have always had an open love for my neighbors, never judging anyone, just guiding all into the light. I have been very forgiving toward all that have come up against me, accused me, talked bad or falsely about me, or have been offended or ill feeling towards me. I have never rejected those who have chose to reject me. I have continued to love everyone unconditionally. I came here not believing I was anything of any value. But what I did come here stating is that I am a servant of the Lord God and a disciple of Christ Jesus, my King. Not in a special way, but in the way of that I have chosen to make the decision in my life, over 15 years ago, to bow down to the Lord God only and to give my heart, soul, mind and strength to whatever He chooses to do. I am a total servant to Him. He is my total sufficiency. I serve not the world or the things of the world and God has proved to me that He is complete in my servitude. I have not told anyone they have to be this way, but I have the right to stand the way I see to stand. I am not out to build a “church.” I came here to follow the leading of the Lord’s Spirit and serve Him in whatever He sees fit for me as a servant. My belief is that He is real and that I can trust Him no matter what the circumstances are. Now I may be wrong, but I have been taking care of by the Lord for over 10 years now, completely giving my life, all of my life, to Him to follow Him where he chooses. My whole life is His. I came to Sweetwater to serve a vision that God has given for this area. That is the direction this ministry has been going toward since God opened the doors seven years ago. This time that we as a ministry are going through is not an ending it is a continuing of the vision to finish and fulfill the Lord God’s desire and will. It wasn’t closed because of money or problems of any sort. God allowed me to take some time in solitude with Him to get away from the service part of this ministry so I could hear His guidance. He is the one that directed me to temporarily shut down the ministries. This may seem crazy, but this is why I trust God because I cannot trust the flesh to tell me the truth. In spending time with the Lord away from here in a cabin alone, He has guided me for the next three months to shut down regular services at the church and to have a deep discipling for those who are strong in Christ on Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. and to open the services Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. for praise and prayer following with taking those who came out at 10:30 a.m. to the streets and lanes of the city to seek for what the Lord says is the rejected and lost. I know that this does not build a church as what traditions, religions or normalcy says is how to build a church. Some have said that I will lose my congregation. I am not out to build a church by numbers and they are not my congregation. They are the Lord God’s sheep. I am out to follow the Lord God as a servant, obeying the Lord and leaving the consequences to Him. I Corinthians 1:14 “The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned”. Only those who don’t trust God concern themselves with the failure of the ministry God has given them. Those who trust God know that they can trust God no matter what. Job said in chapter 13:15 “Though he slay me yet will I trust in Him.” Even though others may not understand, I have the right in my faith to stand this way, even though others may not. Whatever is said is said. It will not distract me from this one thing I have done, abandoned myself to the Lord God Almighty and His will, to serve my King, Christ Jesus and to always seek for His Holy Spirit leading. He has not failed me in this way. What God has opened no man can close and what God has closed no man can open.
There is a time of God’s wrath coming down on this world for turning away from Him and turning to their own ways. He will use His nature and creations to deal with the evil of this world. Floods, fires, famine, pestilence, sickness, droughts, earthquakes, storms, wars, hatred, financial substances, etc. just to remind us that we have forgot a real living God and our need for Him. The world has turned to their own ways and have forgot His ways.
The vision for this ministry is to loosen the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke, to give out bread to the hungry and clothes to the naked and to help the poor. This all being done by Christ Jesus and His redemption. By His grace are we saved. We are seeking the lost for the Kingdom of God, for the day of the Lord is at hand. Whatever is His outcome from this direction is what He will choose and I will trust Him.
For three months starting the Thursday of March 14, every week on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. we will have deep word study preparing believers to go out for their Lord God to be disciples. And on Sunday morning starting at 9:30 a.m. we will have praise and prayer. Following that at 10:30 a.m. we will go to the streets to be the church (body of Christ). No other services will be open during this time God has given us except missions in Mexico and evangelizing. I ask no one to believe in any of this or to trust me. It is my choice to loose my life for the Lord. You have to choose what you choose.
Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
In Christ:  Dale Stowe, Pastor

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