BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH
Can you believe that it is just 12 days until Christmas? Does it make you want to sing: “On the first day of Christmas . . .”? Well, maybe not. Does it make you want to ask your loved ones what they want for Christmas? When you ask that question, you sure will get different responses. Some will tell you, others will keep it a secret, but everyone seems to have that special gift they would like to receive.
One starry night long ago the shepherds received a gift that they were not expecting. Their gift was announced by the angels. It was the birth of the Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ. According Luke 2:15 they said: “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.” I am both amazed and blessed that He sent the angels to the humble shepherds instead of a King. Remember, King Herod wanted to kill Jesus, but the shepherds went to worship Him.
In our world, today, people want to do away with Christmas, Easter, or any other holiday that has to do with Jesus Christ. Why? I believe the true reason is that they don’t understand who Jesus is, what He has done, and what He will do for them.
You see, if the world needed education, God would have sent an educator. If the world needed technology, God would have sent a scientist. If the world needed money, God would have sent a financier. The world needed salvation, so God sent His Son. I can say with conviction that the greatest gift ever given is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved He gave...” What did He give? God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
This Christmas, keep it simple, keep it a MERRY CHRISTMAS, and share God’s greatest gift with others.
We at Broadway Baptist Church would also like to invite you to some special events coming up. This Sunday, Dec. 15, the children are performing a Christmas program during the morning service at 10:50 a.m. Our adult choir is performing the Cantata: “There Is a Bethlehem” on Dec. 22, during the morning service. We also will have a Christmas Eve service on Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. You are welcomed to join us in the celebration of our Lord’s birth.
If you don’t have a church home, we would love to have you worship with us at Broadway Baptist Church where God is changing homes one heart at a time. 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 CHURCH
First Baptist Church invites you and your family to join us on this Sunday, Dec. 15, 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.
The Missions item to be collected for the month of December is macaroni and cheese. Each month we have collected different items which are being used to restock our pantry which is to be used as a resource for needy families.
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.
Advent devotional guides are available in the Sanctuary foyer. Please take one as part of your Advent devotionals.
Angel Tree is a ministry that provides gifts for children who have a parent who has been incarcerated. Please take a tag, purchase the items on the tag and return the gift to the church by Sunday, Dec. 15.
You can purchase a Christmas Poinsettia “In Honor Of” or “In Memory Of” to help decorate the Church for Advent Services. McVey Nursery has donated the poinsettias and all proceeds will go to the youth fund. Each poinsettia is $10 and can be picked up after the Christmas Eve service. To purchase, please call the church office.
The youth will be going to Six Flags Dec. 14. Tickets are $35 and the bus will leave at 10 a.m. Please call the church office to reserve a spot.
We are excited to be blessed as our children present “The Incredible, Gigantic, Humongous Veggietales Christmas Show” in this Sunday morning’s worship celebration. Thanks to each and every adult who helped to coordinate the Children’s Musical.
Please join us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! 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!
For in depth information on First Baptist Church Sweetwater, find us on Facebook or at www.fbcsweetwater.org .
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
First 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.
The Story Sunday School for all ages will resume study on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Richard Smola will teach Sunday school for adults on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 9:30 a.m.
Sunday is the Third Sunday in Advent. The Gee Family will be lighting the Advent Candles. Boo Nemir will be worship assistant. Richard and Patty Gesin will be greeters. The children and youth will present their Christmas program during worship service.
Kirk Stroman will present his gift of music, Reflections, Sunday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church. The community is invited.
Communion Christmas Eve Service will be Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m.
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 Sunday nights 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 (Fourth Street) entrance if you would like to receive God’s blessing through either of these ministries.
News this week: This Sunday Pastor Brian will be exploring the Christmas story from the perspective of the Magi. Due to the ice last weekend, “Breakfast with Santa” has been rescheduled for tomorrow morning (Saturday, Dec. 14) in the fellowship hall from 9-11:30 a.m. Santa will be there so bring your camera and take all the pictures you want. We will also have pancakes, juice and milk. The breakfast is a fundraiser for a mission trip to Romania next summer and the cost is only $5. This Sunday night from 4-6 p.m. we will be caroling so come join us as we sing of God’s great love at Christmas. We will have a trailer and hay ride to take everyone around town. We’ll also have cars so if you’re not big on hay rides don’t let that keep you from coming.
Activities this week:
Saturday, Dec. 14 — Breakfast with Santa in the fellowship hall.
Sunday — Worship at 8:45 a.m. and 10:50 a.m.
Sunday — 4-6 p.m. all church caroling and hay ride.
Sunday at 6 p.m. — Adoratio.
Wednesday at 10 a.m. — Morning Bible study.
Wednesday at 6 p.m. — Sounds of the Season.
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 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.”
We welcome you to join us for the third Sunday of 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 begins at 9:30 a.m. and worship service at 10:45 a.m., with Pastor Claude bringing the message entitled, “Who Warned You to Flee from the Wrath 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 the greeter for December is Don Hatter. Lisa and Eugenia will give a special presentation during the morning worship.
Upcoming December activities:
• Caroling and delivering homebound Christmas sacks at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15;
• A pre-Christmas service and fellowship from 4-6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 22.
December is filled with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas celebrations, including parties, shopping for gifts and traveling to different locations in order to share Christmas with grandparents and other family members. “Bless This House” calls for prayer that Jesus Christ is the center of all activities in giving thanks and praise to God for the birth of his precious Son. Pray our lives joyfully exemplifies that love during the Christmas season, not only to family and friends, but especially to ones who may be alone.
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. Clay will bring a message from the Bible. Our evening service starts at 6 p.m., and we will be going caroling afterwards.
On Wednesday evenings, we offer children activities for first through sixth graders; preschool activities; youth activities for 7th-12th graders; and Bible study and prayer for adults led by Bro. Clay. We have started practicing for our Christmas special, come join us for choir after the service. Our Christmas special will be performed on Sunday, Dec. 22 in the morning service.
The Women’s Advent Bible Study, led by Melissa Jacobson will meet on Thursday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Ladies of all ages are welcome. Material can be downloaded from our website.
The annual lighted Christmas parade is Monday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m.; we will meet at 6 p.m. in the Higginbotham parking lot, for anyone wanting to ride on float to represent our church.
To learn more about Lamar Street Baptist Church, visit us at 513 Lamar, check out our website at www.lamarstreetbaptist.com , 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
What Happened Next?
By Rosemary M. Wixom
This is the Christmas season, and children invite the magic of Christmas into our hearts. We miss something if we don’t see Christmas through a child’s eyes, for children see the lights, they hear the music, and they smell the fragrance of Christmas trees and candy canes with real anticipation. We see their rosy cheeks and little noses pressed against the glass of store windows as they dream of Christmas morning, and their tiny fingers count the days until Dec. 25. Parents also count the days until Dec. 25. They dream of being ready for Christmas morning as they plan and create surprises for their children.
Let me share how that question, “What happened next?” has real Christmas meaning.
It happened one mid-December day as Amy Johnston, a Cub Scout den leader in Gilbert, Arizona, took the opportunity to teach a group of energetic eight-year-old boys about the birth of Jesus. She felt impressed to set aside the Scout activity she had planned and talk to her Cub Scouts about the first Christmas. She gathered the boys around her on her family room floor and read several passages straight from the scriptures while using pictures to help tell the sacred story of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the star, and the baby Jesus’s birth in the stable in Bethlehem.
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; …
“To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. …
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
As she spoke of the birth of Jesus, she noticed that all the boys were listening part of the time, but one boy, John, was waiting on every word. John was a rambunctious boy who almost never sat still, but as she was telling the story, he listened intently and then asked, “Well, what happened next?”
So she continued telling the boys about the boyhood of Jesus. She said, “Jesus was a boy, much like you. He liked to run and play. But he also grew ‘strong in spirit.’” She told them that when Jesus was just 12 years old, he traveled with his family to Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph were returning home when they realized their son was not with them. They quickly returned to Jerusalem and found Jesus in the temple speaking with scholars and teachers who were asking Him their questions, and the scriptures say that all who heard Him were “astonished at his understanding and answers.”
“Well, what happened next?” asked John. Amy told the boys about Jesus Christ’s ministry, how He was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. We read in the Bible that He taught the gospel to the poor, He performed miracles, He healed the blind and the sick, and He actually raised people from the dead. He taught, “Love your enemies, [and] do good to them which hate you.”
John was visibly taken by what was said and wanted to know more. Again he asked, “Well, so what happened next?” She told the boys that some people rejected Jesus and did not like Him. They actually planned to take His life. She told those little Cub Scouts about the Last Supper, the garden of Gethsemane, and how Jesus was crucified and then resurrected. She could tell that all of these stories were new to John, who was anxious to learn more.
She then felt strongly to stop, call each boy by name, and say, “Jesus Christ died for you.” John listened intently as she spoke to each boy individually. Then she looked at him and said, “John, Jesus Christ died for you.” He looked at her and then asked in wonder, “He did that for me?”
Amy said, “The Spirit was strong in our family room that day as one young boy felt the stirrings of the Holy Ghost for perhaps the first time.” She said, “I don’t know what the future holds for John, whose family has since moved away. But I pray that the seeds that were planted in a Cub Scout den meeting two weeks before Christmas will grow and bring to him a full measure of the light of the gospel someday.”
After the season is over, the Christmas lights come down, the fragrance of pine dissipates into the air, and the Christmas music no longer plays on the radio, we, like John, may ask, “What happens next?”
The wonder and awe of Christmas is just a beginning. Christmas reminds us that the babe born in Bethlehem has given us purpose for living, and what happens next to us largely depends on how we embrace our Savior, Jesus Christ, and follow Him.
• Sunday, Dec. 15 — Church services “Family Christmas Program” at 9 a.m. Visitors welcome; Genealogy class at 1 p.m.
• Monday, Dec. 16 — Family Home Evening.
Tuesday, Dec. 17 — Institute class, study of The New Testament at 7 p.m.
• Wednesday, Dec. 18 — Activity days, Scouts and young women at 6:30 p.m.
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 Olsen and Elder Rentmeister. Call (325) 864-2999.