RELIGION: Local churches planning many Christmas activities

December 14, 2012

Local church events continue through the Christmas holiday

BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married. We have a baby, then another, and we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough, and we'll be more content, when they are. After that, we are frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with and certainly we will be happy, when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete, when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation or when we retire.
The truth is there is no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. Just remember God’s promise that weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Paul declared that we should rejoice in the Lord always!
Make a definite decision today that the joy of the Lord will be your strength and then pass that joy along to others.
We at Broadway Baptist would like to give one and all an invite to come to our two Christmas programs that will be performed this month: The first invite is to our children’s program called: “Celebrate The Gift”. It will be performed this coming Sunday, Dec. 16, during the morning service. The second is our Cantata: “Mary Did You Know?”. It will be performed by our adult choir on Dec. 23, during the morning service. We hope to see you there.
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
With the Sanctuary phase of our renovation project complete, we are worshiping together this Sunday at 1418 Hailey Street, with services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. We invite you to join us! 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 Sunday, our children will be presenting their annual Christmas pageant. The kids have worked hard on their presentation and we know it will be a blessing to you. You won’t want to miss it. Pastor Eric will also be continuing our Advent Sermon Series, entitled “Following the Scarlet Thread: From The Garden to the Manger.”
Our Wednesday evening Lifegroups, children’s ministry and youth ministry will all join together this next Wednesday for the all-church Christmas party, hayride and live Nativity. Dress warm, bring a snack to share, and join us out at the Sweetwater Lake Campground/Ampitheater on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. Directions to the campground can be found on the church website at 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. It is also open on Wednesday evenings from 6-7 p.m.
For more information about the ministry of EFC, log onto the church website at www.efcsweetwater.com.

FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH
Advent is the first season of the Church Year which begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas. It is a period of preparation for the coming of the Lord at Christmas and at the end of time. Lighting of the Advent candles each week in representing the Prophecy candle, Bethlehem candle, Shepherd’s and the Angel’s candle. Christmas day is the lighting of the Christ candle. The Wednesday evening Advent service we learn what Isaiah had to say in scripture about the coming of the Messiah and the continuing “Interviews with Isaiah” we walk in the Light and go on the journey with Isaiah. Wednesday advent begins with a soup supper at 6 p.m. and services at 7 p.m.
Faith Lutheran MS welcome all newcomers within our community to come and visit with a friendly congregation. Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. and worship services are at 10:45 a.m. with Interim Rev. Chester McCown, Miles, Texas.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
First Baptist Church invites you and your family to join us on this Sunday, Dec. 16, 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 our fellowship together.
Many events are planned during the month of December. If you have a class party planned, please notify the church office so that it can be placed on the church calendar and bulletin. Also, please contact the church office if you would like to order a poinsettia “In Memory Of” or “In Honor Of” someone dear to you.
Anticipation is mounting as we look forward to “A Christmas Prayer’ to be presented by the worship choir on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. Sweetwater, Nolan County and all surrounding areas are invited to attend the extravaganza.
Shoeless Sunday will also be conducted during the morning service of Dec. 16. Please come in stocking feet bearing new pairs of shoes benefitting Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls. Please remember those less fortunate as we help collect new shoes for needy orphaned children across the world. Also, please turn in your gifts for the Angel Tree by this Sunday, Dec. 16.
Church-wide Christmas Caroling will be held on Dec. 19. The church office open house will be held on Dec. 20. The Christmas Eve service will be held on Dec. 24.
We want everyone to enjoy this wonderful time of the year as we reminisce
and fellowship together. We will celebrate the birth of Jesus, the greatest gift ever to walk this planet. We will celebrate in unity with hope, love, joy and peace for in our Lord is unfailing love and full redemption. Join us as we celebrate the birth of Jesus!
Mark your calendars for the new Church Directory. Sign-ups will be coming
soon. The photographer will be here Jan. 9-12.
For in depth information, find us on Facebook and check the website at www.fbcsweetwater.org.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
You are welcome to join us for the third Sunday of the Advent Season in preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. The sanctuary is adorned with Christmas decorations, an advent wreath and a chrismon tree filled with Christian symbols. Sunday school is at 9:30 a.m. and worship service is at 10:45 a.m., with a special guest speaker, Rev. Allen Brooks. 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 December is Mary Walker. Brenda will sing a special musical selection, “Joseph’s Lullaby.”
Come and celebrate “Christmas Joy” on Sunday, the 16th of December, as our church family observes the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Beginning at 2 p.m., our church wide fellowship starts with compiling Christmas remembrance sacks for our “Homebound Ministry.” In spreading “Christmas Joy” to our shut-ins, church family carolers will deliver the sacks. Upon our return to the fellowship hall, at approximately 5 p.m., activities will continue with singing, including special musical selections by one or more individuals, the reading of a favorite Christmas story, or the sharing of any other activity celebrating Christ’s birthday. For refreshments, bring your favorite finger or snack food and/or sweet. The celebration will conclude with a Christmas tree for the children and youth. Come and enjoy wholesome Christian fun and at the same time, sing praises and worship our Lord and Savior.
Come and join us on Sunday, the 23rd, at 6:30 p.m., for a special Christmas play presented by Lisa Peterson, Brenda Alexander, Jesse Riley, Jenene and Doug Taylor.
During the Christmas season, we sometimes find ourselves being consumed or under stress with the hustle and bustle. “Bless This House” calls for prayer that God gives us the strength to stay focused and not succumb to the pressures of commercialization of the season. Pray that our daily living conveys to our fellowman the true meaning of Christmas and that God has already given his most precious gift to mankind.
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.

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS (THE MORMONS)
First Presidency
Christmas Message
The Spirit of Christmas creates in our hearts a desire to give joy to others and to serve them. At this time of year we feel a spirit of giving and of gratitude for what we have been given. The celebration of Christmas helps us keep our promise to always remember the Savior and His gifts to us and, in turn to serve others.
Each act of kindness to anyone becomes a kindness to the Savior because He loves all of Heavenly Father’s children. And because that brings joy to His Father, to whom we owe thanks beyond measure.
Jesus Christ taught us that there is a way to give an even more priceless and lasting gift. He said: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). With all the kindnesses we give for Him, the greatest we can offer is to point those we love and serve toward Him, the only source of Eternal Life.
We bear witness of the living reality of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ. May the peace and joy that come through Him be present in the lives and hearts of God’s children throughout the world this Christmas season.
The First Presidency
Thomas S. Monsen
Henry B. Erying
Dieter F. Ucktorf
Calendar:
Sunday, Dec. 16 — Church service (visitors are welcome).
Monday, Dec. 17 — Family home evening.
Wednesday, Dec. 19 — Young men/young women, Cub Scouting.
We are located at 910 Elm Street in Sweetwater.
If you would like to talk with representatives of the church about the Saviors teachings, call 1-800-622-5595. Missionaries serving in this area are Elder Rose and Elder Weldon.
Call 325-864-2999.

TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH
The Trinity Sanctuary Choir will present their CHRISTmas Cantata, All is Well, this Sunday morning, Dec. 16. Everyone is invited to hear their presentation featuring soloists Chance Adams, Shailee Dahar and Jessica Stein, All is Well is narrated by David Green with the part of the watchman spoken by Paul McCarthy. We hope you will join us at 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning for this special presentation.
Trinity Baptist Church, located at the corner of Hailey and Santa Fe here in Sweetwater, invites you to worship with us at any time during this beautiful CHRISTmas season. Our Church Family consists of people from all walks of life and people who are at different places in their walk with God. The casual, family atmosphere works well with our weekly worship services, which include both traditional and praise music. If you are looking for a church home, please give us a try. Our service schedule is as follows:
Sundays
• 9:30 a.m. – Sunday school (for all ages, nursery through senior adults).
• 10:45 a.m. – Morning worship.
• 6 p.m. – Adult and youth Bible studies.
Wednesdays
• 6:30 p.m. – Adult prayer time; youth Bible study.
This Sunday, Dec. 16, we will continue the Sundays of Advent. The candle of Joy will be lighted by the James Flores Family.
During this CHRISTmas season, we are placing emphasis on Missions. Not only will we focus on the regular Lottie Moon CHRISTmas Offering, but also on the two missionary families that Trinity supports — the Baileys who minister in Mexico and the Lees who serve in Macedonia. We are challenging our families to seek “alternative gifts” this season…perhaps you could give a goat or a chicken or support a child through World Vision or Samaritan’s Purse. There is also a “Benevolent Fund” available through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. All three of these opportunities can be found on the internet. While most of us have all we need, there are people who do not. Please remember them this CHRISTmas season.
The Trinity Family will be caroling at the local nursing homes on Wednesday evening, Dec. 19, beginning at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to go caroling with us, please be at the church at 5:15 p.m. After caroling, we will return to the church for hot chocolate.
Please mark your calendars for our annual CHRISTmas Eve Candlelight Service. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on CHRISTmas Eve, this service features singing, candles and The Lord’s Supper. If you haven’t yet started a tradition of attending CHRISTmas Eve Services, why not begin this year? We would love to have you. Services generally last from 45 minutes to one hour, so you will be back home in plenty of time for CHRISTmas Eve activities.
It is our prayer that you find HOPE this CHRISTmas Season…HOPE in the form of Jesus Christ, born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem and dying on the Cross for all our sins. If you would like more information on how to accept Christ as your Savior, drop by our offices (located on the Crescent Street side of our facility) or call our church at 235-2991. We would be happy to share the Plan of Salvation with you. May God bless you all!

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