This week's church news

December 23, 2011

Avondale Baptist Church
Merry Christmas to all from the Avondale Baptist Church family!  We would like to invite everyone to come and worship with us. For this Sunday only we will only have one service. We will have morning worship at 10:50 a.m. This will be the only service we will have on Christmas Day. We are located at 1405 Hoyt Street.
Our regular Sunday schedule is coffee fellowship at 9:20 a.m., Bible study at 9:45 a.m., worship services at 10:50 a.m. and 6 p.m., choir practice at 7 p.m. On Wednesday evening we have On-Mission groups for all ages at 7 p.m.

Broadway Baptist Church
Here it is the Christmas season, a time of lights and trees, shopping and sharing and singing and caroling. It is a time where people debate over saying “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” and sending Merry Xmas cards. As one man said, “I just don’t have time to write the whole thing out.”  Lifetime and Hallmark stations are showing Christmas love stories while other channels show movies about Santa, the real Santa, Santa I, II, III, Santa’s brother, Santa’s daughter...” and the list just doesn’t end. Sadly, these don’t teach the real meaning of Christmas. It is about the birth of Christ not Santa or any of the other things this world uses to distract us. Pause with me for a moment and imagine what it would be like, if Jesus did not come. Without Jesus there is no Christmas, without Christmas there is no Easter, without Easter there is no salvation, without salvation there is no hope, and without hope there is no reason for living.  Not only is Jesus the Reason for the Season, but He is also our reason for hope and for living. 
This Christmas many churches are cancelling services, but I believe if there is ever a day to have church, it is on Christmas. We at Broadway will have only one service on Sunday, the 10:30 a.m. service. I would like to invite each and everyone to come celebrate the Reason for the Season. Merry Christmas from Broadway Baptist Church!

Emmanuel Fellowship Church
May your Christmas be filled with joy and celebration as you remember the birth of our Savior and the greatest miracle in human history, when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us!” Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events at EFC.
Our Christmas Eve candlelight service will be held, Saturday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. This special Christmas Eve service will take the place of our regular Sunday morning worship. We will not have services on Christmas morning.
On New Year’s Day, Sunday, Jan. 1, we will be in one service at 11 a.m. We will follow the morning worship service with a fellowship meal and college football will be on in the Salvage Yard (youth room) all afternoon.
We will have a Baptism Service Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. at First Christian Church. Make plans to join in this wonderful evening as we begin the New Year with a celebration of new beginnings for those who have recently become followers of Jesus!
We invite you to come and experience the life, love and joy of Emmanuel Fellowship Church this Christmas season. For more information about the ministry of EFC, log onto the church website at www.efcsweetwater.com. 

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
The staff and membership of First Baptist Church wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! FBC is located at 213 East Third Street in Sweetwater, next door to the Post Office and all are welcome. The church Sanctuary is beautifully decorated to honor God, as we praise and worship Him. Join us on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. and/or Christmas Day, at 10:30 a.m., as we celebrate the "Birth of the Christ Child." Your presence will enhance our worship experience and our fellowship together.
The Prison Fellowship Angel Tree Committee, for all of Nolan County, wishes to sincerely thank First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, First Baptist and Trinity Baptist churches, plus the Goodfellows organization, the Sweetwater Fire Department and a host of volunteers, for their invaluable participation in the lives of 30 children within 16 families.
A reminder that any contribution sent to the church by mail that is postmarked on or before Dec. 31, 2011 may be considered a 2011 tax deduction, even if it arrives in the church office, and is deposited in the bank after Jan. 1, 2012. Any contribution placed in the offering plate on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011, or hand delivered to the church office by Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 (office closed Dec. 26-28) will be considered a 2011 contribution for IRS tax purposes.
Per IRS regulations, any end of the year contributions not meeting one of these two criteria cannot be considered a 2011 contribution. To ensure the deductibility of your contributions, please do not file your 2011 income tax return until you have received from the church acknowledgment of your contributions. You may lose a deduction if you do not have acknowledgment from the church in hand when you file. Every effort will be made to have contribution statements mailed by Jan. 15, 2012.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Merry Christmas! We wish you and your family a day of sharing God’s Blessings with your loved ones in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Join us for worship service at 10:45 a.m., with Pastor Chris Rodriguez bringing the message. Two congregational members will do the reading and lighting of the Christ candle on the Advent Wreath. Worship assistants are Lisa Peterson serving as worship leader, Brenda Alexander is the song leader and plays the keyboard and pianist is Jenene Taylor. A special piano solo entitled, “What Child Is This,” will be presented by Natalie Barela.
Through sharing the love of Jesus Christ, “Deck the Halls and Line the Walls” delivered gifts and food to two families this past week. God’s Blessings flowed through the warmth and joy of giving and receiving with others.
“Bless This House” is calling upon prayers for all Christians to praise God and be thankful for the greatest gift he gave to mankind, Jesus Christ. Pray that we let Jesus show through our loving actions of words and deeds with our fellowman.
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
This Sunday at Lamar Street Baptist Church, we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus with a special Christmas Day service starting at 10 a.m.
The service will be held in the auditorium where we will observe the Lord's Supper, and our musical worship will be made up of hymns and praise songs that commemorate the birth of our Lord! Jerry Payne, our pastor, will be bringing the message on Christmas morning during the service.
We will not have Sunday school or an evening service this Sunday to allow our members to travel and spend time with their families. We will, however, have our regularly-scheduled Wednesday night services on Dec. 28.
Other announcements:
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering--We are still collecting this offering through the end of December that will help worldwide missions. Please pray for this project and how you can give.
God's Creation calendars--These calendars, purchased at $6 each, will benefit our children's and youth departments raise money for this summer's camps. Calendars can be purchased by a leader or member of these departments.
For more information on our services and announcements, call the church office at 235-1779 or find us on Facebook. We extend a warm, personal invitation to you and your family to join us for our Christmas Day service this Sunday at Lamar Street Baptist Church!

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
(THE MORMONS)
Jesus, who is called Christ, is the firstborn of the Father in the spirit and the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is Jehovah, and was foreordained to his great calling in the Grand Councils before the world was. He was born of Mary at Bethlehem, lived a sinless life and wrought out a perfect atonement for all mankind by the shedding of his blood and his death on the cross. He rose from the grave and brought to pass the bodily resurrection of every living thing and the salvation and exaltation of the faithful.
He is the greatest Being to be born on this earth — the perfect example — and all religious things should be done in his name. He is Lord of lords, King of kings, the Creator, the Savior, the God of the whole earth, the Captain of our salvation, the Bright and Morning Star. He is in all things, above all things, through all things, and round about all things; he is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; his name is above every name and is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved.
He will come again in power and glory to dwell on the earth and will stand as Judge of all mankind at the last day. (source: Bible Dictionary page 633)
Local news:
*Dec. 25 — Church will be only one hour this Sunday from 9-10 a.m.
*The  early morning seminary scripture memorization for this week is Isaiah 53: 4-5 - "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Seminary is for  ages 14-18 and meets every school day at 6:30 a.m. at the
chapel.
* Our Church is located on the corner of 10th and Elm in Sweetwater and the Sunday meetings are from 9 a.m. until noon. For questions, please feel free to call 325-320-3476.
Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
We will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Nativity on Saturday evening, Dec. 24, beginning at 7:30 p.m. There will be no service on Sunday morning, Dec. 25.

Trinity Baptist Church
The Trinity Family will celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ with Christmas Eve Candlelight Services on Saturday, Dec. 24, at 5 p.m. This traditional service will be led by our Associate Pastor, Bro. Kyle Tubbs. Your family will enjoy the casual atmosphere, classic Christmas hymns, scripture and the Lord’s Supper in our beautifully-decorated sanctuary. Bring the entire family and join us for this special time.
There will be no services on Sunday, Christmas Day, at Trinity.
Our church family sends each of you our love and best wishes for a Merry Christmas. Hope was born that Christmas Day so many years ago. May you find peace and joy this holiday season through your faith in Jesus Christ.
If you have questions about our church or need to make the decision to trust Christ as your Savior, please call the church office at 235-2991. Our church is located at the corner of Santa Fe and Hailey Streets here in Sweetwater and on the internet at www.trinitysweetwater.com. May God richly bless you.

WORD OF GOD Church
I look around during this time of year and see that a lot have forgotten the reason we even have a day called Christmas to enjoy. The commercialism has gone to the extreme. Events such as "Black Friday" where people go to the point of being aggressive toward one another in violent ways. The children are told by commercials that they have to have it. Expecting on that day to receive exactly what they wanted and disappointed if they don't get. Thinking that someone had failed them. I could go on in ways that Christ has been taken out of Christmas.
I'm not against the receiving of gifts on Christmas Day. One of the greatest gifts ever given was the one God gave to us on that day when salvation was born unto the world. Wrapped in cloth, presented in flesh. A King was given unto us. For unto you is born this day a Savior, which is Christ the Lord, Luke 2:11. We celebrate not the day, date or commercialism of Christ. We celebrate Christ the Lord. People used to celebrate Christmas because of the holiness that was born to the world. God's holiness presented to us as a gift of grace. Salvation to all the world through the bundle of a baby in swaddled clothes.
There's not a need to give gifts on Christmas. The gift was given already. Can we as people that believe in Christ Jesus celebrate this year as a time of rejoicing in the glory of a immaculate birth of a Savior born unto us, Christ the Lord. As you do give out gifts this year celebrating family, friends, children and all love ones will there be a lingering presence of the glory of Christmas in your home? We honor Christ by giving gifts to others, just as He was given to us. Not because we have to have it. All the spectacle of Christmas could never bring the joy of the gift of the salvation of our souls, reconciled back to God. Is Christmas to you a Holy day or a holiday? A holiday celebrates commercialism of Christmas, a Holy day celebrates the Messiah, Savior, Christ, Lord and King born unto us.
We will be having service on Saturday 24th at 10:30 a.m. We have put together something to honor Christ, with fellowship afterwards with assorted refreshments and snacks. It will not be a long service we want all to get back to family and friends. Come join us if you have no where to go and would like to be at service. We welcome all.

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