Vacation Bible School begins Monday at Broadway Baptist
BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCHHow many times have we heard someone say, “There has been only one perfect person in this world AND YOU AIN’T HIM?” Truth is Paul tells us in Romans that there is none righteous, no not one. We have all failed but failure is not final. When it comes to becoming righteous, it can only happen through salvation and, as Paul states, “...we become the righteous of God in Him.” Salvation makes us a child of God, not a perfect person. We still falter, stumble and make mistakes. But we cannot let those failures stop us. Two of the most famous baseball players were Babe Ruth, known for how many homeruns he hit, and Ty Cobb, known for how many bases he stole. What you may not realize is that Ty Cobb was thrown out more than any other person in baseball trying to steal bases. And Babe Ruth struck out more than any other player in baseball. What does this show? These guys didn’t let their failures stop them and neither should we. According to Paul we are more than conquerors and we can do all things through Christ.Here is a simple formula to help you keep going when you feel you have failed: Fix your goal. Face your faults. Forget your failures and remember “Failure in the Christian life is not final.” There is always forgiveness and strength to move on.I hope you are having a great summer and you are taking time to vacation, refresh, refuel and spend time with family. My prayer is that as you do all of these much needed things that you also not forget the Lord that gives you these added blessings. Remember he is still God and Lord of all, even in the summer, so remember him in your prayer time, devotion time, and in your worship. Broadway Baptist Church 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.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.FIRST BAPTIST CHURCHFirst Baptist Church invites you and your family to join us on this Sunday, Aug. 4, 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.Koinoniacoffee 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. For our summer Bible study series, we will be going through The Purpose Driven Life. This study will continue Aug. 4 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.Our last P3 for the summer begins Aug. 5 at the Hillcrest Apartments and lasts through Aug. 8! So much fun will be held with recreation, songs, memory verses and Bible stories. Please join us!Aug. 14 is our regularly scheduled church conference. The agenda includes election of committee members for 2013-2014. Also, returning veterans and rookies are welcome at choir rehearsal which resumes Aug. 14 and continues at 7 p.m. every Wednesday.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.For in depth information on First Baptist Church Sweetwater, find us on Facebook or at www.fbcsweetwater.org.FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHFirst Presbyterian Church of 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. Communion will be served by the Class of 2014, Sunday Aug. 4. Greeters are Doug Richards and Keith Brock. Dylan Bennett will be worship assistant. Shelby Cason and Caroline Brennan will be sharing their experiences at Mo Ranch and Triennium 2013. The Session Retreat will begin right after worship at the home of Mike and Kary Fry. Sunday school will begin Sunday Aug. 25. The Story will be the used for all ages. The heart of the story will help you see God’s Word in a new and exciting way. You will learn more about the Bible stories, discover new meaning through history of God’s story for humankind. Come join us in Sunday school on Aug. 25, at 9:30 a.m. Sunday school is for all ages and a nursery is provided. 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 CHURCHSweetwater 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: What a great week of Music Camp! We are already looking forward to next year and making it even better. Thanks to everyone who attended and a special thank you to all of our volunteers.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 church’s position on capital punishment. Activities this week:Sunday at 8:45 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. — Worship.Sunday at 1:30 — Sermon Roundtable.Monday at 10 a.m. — Youth Golf.Tuesday at 10 a.m. UMK and 456 — $1 movie in Abilene.Wednesday at 8 p.m. — Church Pool Party.Friday at 7 p.m. — Youth Movie Night. Saturday at 7 p.m. UMK and 456 — Movie Night. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need prayer or have the need to contact our pastor you can call the same number or email him at email@example.com.HIGHLAND HEIGHTS UNITED METHODIST CHURCHOur 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, “Your life is required of you: Who knows what tomorrow will bring.” 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 August is Donna Axe. Our collection for the “school ministry” articles for needy students in the second and third grades at the East Ridge Elementary campus will be consecrated during the morning worship. We observe the Sacrament of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month. It is a time to give thanks to God for the sacrifice of His one and only begotten Son for saving the souls of mankind. Each one has the opportunity to recommit his/her personal walk in their daily lives with Jesus Christ. Remember to bring your altar rail offering that is designated for our family funds as directed through the United Methodist Church of the Northwest Texas Conference.Evangelism committee meets on Monday, Aug. 12, at 6:30 p.m., in the Friendship Sunday School classroom. Following coordinators reporting on their individual outreach ministries, decorative snack sacks will be compiled for “West Texas Children’s Advocacy Center.”As school begins in August, there are financial limitations for some families in purchasing school supplies and other items that are required. With our “School Outreach Ministry” our desire is to help alleviate the burden that is placed on families in providing for their children’s needs. Bless This House is calling upon prayer for these children and their families as they begin the school year. Pray that our contribution of articles that will be delivered on Monday, Aug. 5, will be distributed wisely to the benefit of needy students, giving each one an opportunity and desire to give their utmost in their studies. Pray a wholesome atmosphere at all school campuses produces both students and teachers performing at their highest level. May the parents also assist their children at home by reiterating their education, being helpful with their homework, participating and being involved in their extracurricular activities.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 SAINTSThe Relevance of Religion“Over the long haul, religious faith has proven itself the most powerful and enduring force in human history.” R. R. RenoResilience amid ChangeHow relevant is religion? It’s a question each new generation asks itself. As times change, new circumstances present new challenges and possibilities. And yet, through it all, this immemorial longing we call religion continues on.In the 1960s, sociologists came to a consensus that religion was fading. As knowledge and freedom increased, they theorized, so modern society would outgrow religion. Thirty years later, however, that hypothesis was reversed. One of these sociologists, Peter Berger, explained the miscalculation this way: “Religion has not been declining. On the contrary, in much of the world there has been a veritable explosion of religious faith.” He concluded that just because the world is becoming more modern doesn’t necessarily mean it is becoming less religious. Religion, it can be said, is just as relevant now as it has ever been.The value of religion speaks less through sermons and more through the soup kitchens, hospitals, schools and countless other humanitarian works it nurtures. Simply put, religion builds social capital. Research shows that more than 90 percent of those who attend weekly worship services donate to charity, and nearly 70 percent volunteer for charitable causes Such giving also benefits the giver. According to the landmark study American Grace, “the correlation between religiosity and life satisfaction is powerful and robust.”Religiosity, however, does not remain static. It might surge in one part of the world and decline in another. In America, for example, religion is in a state of flux. The number of those who claim no religious affiliation nearly doubled from 8.2 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2008. Now that number has crept to nearly 20 percent. And among those under 30 years old, disaffiliation jumps to 32 percent.In many ways religion finds itself on the margins of society, where one’s beliefs and values may be expressed privately but are often dismissed publicly. Conflicts sometimes arise when religious organizations or individuals share their views of right and wrong in the public sphere. Tension can be seen, for example, in rules banning religious clubs from college campuses or in regulations curbing the conscience of health care practitioners. Public figures and regular citizens often hesitate to articulate their religious values to avoid controversy.This separation of religion from public life is a feature of what is often called secularism. Philosopher Charles Taylor describes the current environment as a shift “from a society in which it was virtually impossible not to believe in God, to one in which faith, even for the staunchest believer, is one human possibility among others.” Meanwhile, the broader questions of religion get lost in narrow cultural divisions. What does religion mean in the actual lives of people? What role does religion play in forming communities? And how do religious beliefs address life’s most difficult problems? Such matters cannot be reduced to mere politics; they are perennial concerns, deeply interwoven in humanity’s rich fabric.The Good of ReligionHuman beings are religious by nature. They seek a higher purpose outside themselves. Whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or other, religion offers a framework by which people find meaning, belonging and identity. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has written, religion gives us “a feeling of participating in something vast and consequential.” And this feeling tends to flow into civic interactions. American Grace found that religious observance is linked to higher civic involvement, connected to trust and correlated with the neighborly virtues of charitable giving, volunteerism and altruism. Churches of all kinds bring communities together and provide a space and setting for individuals to serve people they otherwise would not. According to Rabbi Sacks, religion “remains the most powerful community builder the world has known.”Religion and the search for transcendence are integral to the human experience. Though they take many forms, religious beliefs help us make sense of life’s mysteries and provide answers to deep philosophical challenges. Professor Brian Leiter, who normally disagrees with privileging religion in public life, concedes that faiths “render intelligible and tolerable the basic existential facts about human life, such as suffering and death.”Religion and secularism, though, do not always have to be at odds. Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. Each can benefit from the other. The encounter between the two can be a productive tension that provides opportunities to learn, not contradictions to avoid. Mormons, for example, believe that “the glory of God is intelligence.” People of faith reject the notion that religious faith and practice are devoid of rational thought. Science can explain much of the human experience, but without faith we lack ultimate meaning.Modernity in FragmentsWith its teeming plurality of choices and possibilities, our modern world presents unique challenges to religion. Endless philosophies, ideologies and truth claims clamor for attention, magnified by instantaneous media. Globalization pushes peoples and cultures together. Different religions and worldviews interact and collide. Personal preferences alone become a guide in dealing with moral dilemmas. In this flux individuals can feel isolated and become disconnected from their communities.Modernity, therefore, is not just one thing; it is a commotion of many things. But it can tend toward fragmentation. In this competition of choices, according to Charles Taylor, living a religious life can be “an embattled option,” making it “hard to sustain one’s faith.” In such an atmosphere, he continues, many will “feel bound to give [their faith] up, even though they mourn its loss.” In much the same spirit, novelist Marilynne Robinson laments how the religious self is often reduced to “a sort of cultural residue needing to be swept away.”Even so, during the millennia of human existence nothing has been able to replace religion. Skeptics have misread and underestimated the religious impulse in the human spirit. It is part of who we are, and it won’t go away. Secular thinker Terry Eagleton describes the situation over the past century this way: “Culture made a bid for power, a bid as it were to oust God, to oust theology and religion. … But it didn’t work.”Religion’s Place in the WholePeople of faith have cause to believe not only in the good of their own religion but also in the good of religion in general. The conclusion of William James is fitting: “The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves, have been flown for religious ideals.” Religion can also be a powerful source of ethical reflection and orientation toward the moral.The roots of religion are so deeply planted in the values of society that to pull them up would unsettle the whole. Virtually all of us, believers or not, practice values laden with religious meaning. Our modern aspirations toward human rights and humanitarian aid, for example, have long religious pedigrees. Religion’s reservoir of moral ideas spills over for everyone to drink. Reflecting on what they called “the lessons of history,” scholars Will and Ariel Durant asserted, “There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.”All societies have some moral basis, whether derived from religion, philosophy, custom or any number of sources. Religious values should not be dismissed from the public square any more than the vast array of other positive values. Prominent thinker on religion and society Jurgen Habermas wrote that among the modern societies of today, “only those that are able to introduce into the secular domain the essential contents of their religious traditions which point beyond the merely human realm will also be able to rescue the substance of the human.”Religion is worth upholding and honoring in our society. It has both tremendous capacity and responsibility to lift individuals, support communities and uphold the dignity of all God’s children. Faith and society, therefore, are intertwined in important ways. As Christian Pastor Rick Warren has affirmed, “A truly free society protects all faiths, and true faith protects a free society.” With mutual respect and civility we can all live, even flourish, with our deepest differences. As long as we continue to seek meaning, purpose and community, religion will remain not only relevant but an essential part of what it means to be human.Calendar:Aug.4 – Sunday Church Service at 9 a.m. Visitors welcome.Aug. 5 – Monday Home Evening.Aug. 7 – Young Women’s, Scouts, Achievement Day Girls, and Cub Scouts 6:30 p.m.Aug. 10 – Youth Lubbock Temple Trip.Aug. 24-25 Stake Conference.We are located at 910 Elm Street in Sweetwater. If you would like to talk to representatives of the church about the Saviors teachings, call 1-800 622-5595. Missionaries serving in this area are Elder Sheffield and Elder Thorpe. Their number is325 864-2999. Call the local missionaries if you like a personal visit to learn more.TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCHTrinity Baptist Church, located at the corner of Hailey and Santa Fe Streets here in Sweetwater, cordially invites you to worship with us. Dress is always casual, so come as you are to worship. Our services are a mix of traditional hymns and contemporary music, complete with our own talented Trinity Praise Team. If you plan to join us soon, here is our regular worship schedule:Sundays:9:45 a.m. — Sunday school (there’s a place for every age!).10:45 a.m. – Sunday morning worship.6 p.m. – Bible study (adults, youth and children).Wednesdays:6:30 p.m. – Bible study/prayer time/TeamKID.For other activities taking place at Trinity, we encourage you to visit our website at www.trinitysweetwater.com. There you will find not only regularly-scheduled activities, but special events as well.Although we were deeply saddened to see our former pastor, Bro. Ward Hayes, move to Stephenville, we are really excited to have some great preachers sharing God’s Word with us through mid-September:Aug. 4 – Dr. Ken Lyle, Jr.Aug. 11 and 18 – Bro. Carter Edmondson.Aug. 25 – Bro. Emmanuel Jimenez.Sept. 1, 8 and 15 – Dr. Tommy Brisco.Come join us for these worship services. Bro. Ken Lyle, Jr. will be bringing God’s Word this week. We will also be privileged to witness baptism and partake of The Lord’s Supper. The loving Trinity family will welcome you with open arms and a warm smile and hug. This weekend will be the last of the summer camps for our kids. Lad and Lassie campers leave on Friday morning; Day campers leave on Saturday morning, with both groups returning Saturday afternoon. Your prayers would be appreciated as these young ones travel and experience God in the beautiful setting at Big Country Camp in Lueders.Youth will go to Adrenalin City in Lubbock on Sunday afternoon. They have been really busy this summer interacting with one another and forming a closer bond together. Please continue to pray for our youth all over the area as they bring their summers to a close and prepare to start back to school.A men’s breakfast will be held in our Family Life Center on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 8:30 a.m. This time is scheduled especially for men and will include devotionals, prayer and testimonies concerning the need for men to step up as leaders of their homes, their church and their community. There is no cost for this fellowship, but if you would be interested in attending, please call the church office at 235-2991 as soon as possible so that we can get an accurate count.Sunday School Promotion Day will kick off on Sunday, Aug. 25, with breakfast in the Family Life Center at 9 a.m. Following a great meal cooked by our Deacons, the children and youth will go to their new Sunday school classes if they are promoting. We’re looking forward to a great day, so plan on joining us for Sunday school, the heartbeat of the church!The Trinity Family would appreciate your prayers as we seek God’s will for the next pastor of our church. We know He already has someone chosen for the position and is preparing him as we are preparing to select him. Our church will choose a search committee in the coming weeks/months. That search committee will be responsible for seeking applicants, resumes, etc. and will ultimately bring the final candidate to the church for confirmation. This process is neither a short nor an easy one. We ask your prayers as we rely on God to help us choose the right committee members and as we seek the person God has in mind for Trinity. Rest assured, however, that during this process, all activities at Trinity will continue to thrive with faith and trust in our Lord and Savior. If you would like more information about Trinity, or if you would like to speak to someone about Christ, please call the church office at 235-2991. We would be happy to help you. For more information about our church, please visit us on Facebook or on our website, www.trinitysweetwater.com. Blessings!