RELIGION: Nolan County Ministerial Alliance planning three Lenten luncheons

NOLAN COUNTY MINISTERIAL ALLIANCEThe Nolan County Ministerial Alliance is planning three Lenten luncheons over the next several weeks. These luncheons are an opportunity for community churches to come together for prayer and fellowship as we approach the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter. The first luncheon will be hosted by the First United Methodist Church at 309 Cedar on Feb. 20. On March 6, the luncheon will be held at First Presbyterian (1311 McCauley Street) and First Baptist Church (213 E. 3rd Street) will be our host on March 20. All luncheons will be from noon to 1 p.m. Come join us for this time of fellowship and preparation for Easter.BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCHWe all know and claim the promise that God will supply all our needs, but have you ever noticed Psalm 145? Here David reminds us of a God who is full of compassion, gracious and slow to anger. He shows a God who is good to all and shows tender mercies. In verse 16 of Psalm 145 the psalmist says, "Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the DESIRE of every living thing..." - not just our needs or wants but our DESIRES. That shows a tender, loving, caring, Savior, eager to bless us. Claim God's promise today, know that His presence is real, and enjoy His provision.This Sunday, we have special guests in both services. During the morning service, we have David Warren and Family coming and sharing their unique Gospel music. The Warrens Southern Gospel music is with a slight bluegrass influence. They sing and preach in an average of 150 churches a year across the U.S. They specialize in playing live music with singing. Those instruments are guitar, bass guitar, fiddle, keyboard, banjo, Dobro and steel guitar. In the evening service at 6 p.m. Tim Helton and family will be presenting their field and ministry to Peru. We would like to give you an invite to come and enjoy all that we have planned this Sunday. This Sunday, we will also continue our series of Growing in God’s Love by “Paying It Forward”. 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 CHURCHWe 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.February is family-building month! This Sunday, Pastor Eric will continue the “Marriage Coach” series with a look at marriage and finances. Come listen to this week’s message as we receive hope and insight into building strong marriages.To coincide with the “Marriage Coach” series, EFC will be hosting a Valentine’s Banquet on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. Join us for a great dinner, entertainment and a special presentation of “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.” Full children’s ministry will be available that evening, as well. Tickets are $10 a couple, and can be purchased in the church offices. All proceeds will benefit the Salvage Yard’s mission trip to Hurricane Sandy relief in New York!“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 Wednesdays 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.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 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 will be 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 LUTHERANFaith Lutheran MS will begin the Lent services on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13. For the next six weeks, the Lent services will cover the topic, “Looking to the Cross.” The first lesson is “Facing our Sins”. The evening will begin with a light meal at 6 p.m., with service at 7 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend and visit with us. We begin each Sunday with a 9 a.m. devotion at the Sweetwater Healthcare Center, 9:30 a.m. Sunday school and 10:45 a.m. worship service. Rev. Steve Misch of Borger, Texas will be our guest speaker, along with Rev. Chester McCown of Miles, Texas.FIRST BAPTIST CHURCHFirst Baptist Church invites you and your family to join us on this Sunday, Feb. 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.On Feb. 13, at 6 p.m., we will have our Quarterly Church Conference time. All members are encouraged to attend. Group Leaders and Committee Chairpersons are reminded to contact the church office at 235-6348 if your committee has anything for the agenda.On Feb. 23, we will deliver the shoes that were collected as a part of our Advent services. We will take a tour of the distribution warehouse in Mesquite, and learn more about Buckner International and its “Shoes for Orphan Souls” ministry. The church bus will leave at 6 a.m., arriving at Buckner around 10 a.m. The trip is limited to 20 people, so if you are interested, please call the church at 236-6348.XA Weekend is March 1-3. Host Homes are needed and also volunteers to deliver food to them. Please contact the church office at 236-6348 if you would be willing to provide your home or to help provide food for the weekend.On Sunday, Feb. 17, at 11:30 a.m., the Children’s Department will host our Senior Adult Appreciation Banquet. This is an annual event where the children like to give back to our Senior Adults and let them know how much they are appreciated. Join us as we will be serving a French inspired meal consisting of Boeuf Bourgignon, potatoes, green beans, French bread and as the French would say: a spectacular dessert – Crème Brulee! Join us for delicious food, good talent and outstanding fellowship.Don’t forget to sign up for our growth groups which begin Feb. 10. Most are at 6 p.m. on Sunday nights but there is also a Bible study which will begin on Feb. 12 at 9:30 a.m.On the schedule also, is an exciting marriage retreat on March 1-2 at FBC in Abilene. The Big Country Marriage Tune Up II will begin registration at 6 p.m. on Friday March 1. Breakfast will be provided at 8 a.m. on March 2. Topics will include Embracing Reality, Intimacy, Conflict Management, Financial Unity and The Power of a Promise. This will be a weekend of straight talk, humor, insight and laughter. Register online at or call 325-673-5031.For in depth information on First Baptist Church Sweetwater, find us on Facebook and check the website PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHFirst Presbyterian Church would like to invite you to worship with us on Sundays at 10:45 a.m.Pastor Kary’s sermon title is “Glorious Glimpses” on Transfiguration Sunday. The lectionary will be Exodus 34:29-35 and Luke 9:28-36. The worship assistant is Dylan Bennett and our greeters are Lou Ann Cumbie and Dorothy Stroman. Next week will be the first Sunday in Lent; join us as we celebrate the season.Visitors are always welcome at First Presbyterian Church; we hope you will join us. The church is located at 14th and McCauley. Adult Sunday school is at 9:30 a.m. Worship service is at 10:45 a.m. A nursery is provided for all church activities for children kindergarten age and younger. Coming up“The Bible in 90 Days” begins this Sunday! The Christian Education committee is pleased to announce a new course of study for the whole family: Reading the Bible in 90 Days! Call the church office at 235-5491 if you are interested it’s not too late to sign up. Shrove Tuesday “Pancake Supper” is this Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. This is our version of Mardis Gras and to celebrate the coming of Lenten. Great fellowship and fun!The Ash Wednesday service will be on the 13th in the Chapel at 5:30 p.m.All committee meetings will be on Wednesday, Feb. 13, following Ash Wednesday service in the fellowship hall.Reminders:Presbyterian Women meet on the first Wednesday of each month. The business meeting is at 5 p.m. and the Bible study begins at 5:30 p.m.Choir practice is every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.Plarning will meet every Wednesday in the fellowship hall at 1 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.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 am. 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 time and “Children’s Church” for kids in preschool through second grade.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: This Sunday we will be continuing a series on Holiness by looking at God’s intent for marriage, specifically it’s purpose for men and women as well as it’s design to be a life long commitment. THIS Saturday (Feb. 11) Club 456 will be having a movie night. Come in the south door on Third Street and enjoy a great movie with friends. The Administrative Council will meet at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday to hear reports from various departments as well as an update on the Capital Campaign.This Wednesday (Feb. 13) is Ash Wednesday and we will be marking the beginning of Lent with a service at 5:15 p.m. in the chapel. Come join us as we stop to prepare our hearts for the season of reflection that precedes Easter and the coming of our Messiah.Activities this week:Sunday at 4:30 p.m. — Ad Council in the sanctuary.Sunday at 6 p.m. — Adoratio.Sunday at 6:30 p.m. — SHEEP.Monday at 5:15 p.m. — Planting team meeting.Wednesday at 10 a.m. — Bible study. Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. — Ash Wednesday service in the chapel.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 If you need prayer or have the need to contact our pastor you can call the same number or email him at 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.”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, “This is My Son Listen to Him: Prophet, Messiah and King.” 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 February is Helen Rowlett. You are invited to attend a new “Young Adults” Bible study class led by Pastor Claude, starting this Sunday, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., in the Claudia Clift Lounge. The class will begin 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.Following Sunday’s worship service, decorative Valentine’s Day remembrance sacks will be available for congregational members to delivery to our homebound.Evangelism committee will meet Monday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m., in the Friendship Sunday School Classroom. Coordinators will report upon their respective outreach ministries, followed by goals being set and plans made for implementation of further outreach into the community.Be watching for announcements of location and date for the Lenten Services sponsored through the Ministerial Alliance. Local churches will host a noon hour meal with soup and sandwiches along with a short devotional. We encourage and invite the community to take the opportunity to participate in celebrating this special season of Lent.Looking at a map of the United States, it is apparent that the flu and other related winter illnesses have run rampant across the nation, effecting all ages. Many of us, loved ones and/or friends and neighbors have been sick. Bless This House ask prayers for God’s continued healing power, as well as, the caregivers that are ministering to the afflicted.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 CHURCHJoin us Sundays 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 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 and RAs for first through sixth graders, Mission Friends for preschool age, youth activities for 7th-12th graders, and Bible study and prayer for adults.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.Upcoming events include a Valentine banquet for “those who live alone” and has been extended for all Adult II SS class on Friday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall; also the youth will be having a Valentine’s party on Friday, Feb. 15, please contact Carolyn Mullican for details. Remember our church-wide breakfast the first Saturday of each month at 8 a.m. in the rec. building.We want to remind members that are many opportunities to give within our church, for example, our food pantry, our two Zambia kids we give to each month and more. The week of prayer for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is March 3-9, the theme is “Whatever It Takes;” please pray and prepare your heart to give to North American Missions.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)“We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.”—Thomas S. Monson, Living the Abundant LifeAt the advent of a new year, I challenge Latter-day Saints everywhere to undertake a personal, diligent, significant quest for what I call the abundant life — a life filled with an abundance of success, goodness and blessings. Just as we learned the ABCs in school, I offer my own ABCs to help us all gain the abundant life.Have a Positive AttitudeA in my ABCs refers to attitude. William James, a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher, wrote, “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment.Charles Swindoll—author, educator, and Christian pastor—said: “Attitude, to me, is more important than … the past, … than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.” We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.Believe in YourselfB is for believe — in yourself, in those around you, and in eternal principles.Be honest with yourself, with others and with your Heavenly Father. One who was not honest with God until it was too late was Cardinal Wolsey who, according to Shakespeare, spent a long life in service to three sovereigns and enjoyed wealth and power. Finally, he was shorn of his power and possessions by an impatient king. Cardinal Wolsey cried:Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my king, He would not in mine age have left me naked to mine enemies. Thomas Fuller, an English churchman and historian who lived in the 17th century, penned this truth: “He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.” Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities.You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith.Face Challenges with CourageC is for courage. Courage becomes a worthwhile and meaningful virtue when it is regarded not so much as a willingness to die manfully but as a determination to live decently.Said the American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide on, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”There will be times when you will be frightened and discouraged. You may feel that you are defeated. The odds of obtaining victory may appear overwhelming. At times you may feel like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember—David did win!Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve.Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required. “Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” May we remember these ABCs as we begin our journey into the new year, cultivating a positive attitude, a belief that we can achieve our goals and resolutions, and the courage to face whatever challenges may come our way. Then the abundant life will be ours.2013 CalendarFeb. 10 – Sunday church service at 9 a.m. Visitors are welcome.Feb. 12 – Tuesday Adult Institute of Religion at 6:30 p.m.Feb. 13 – Wednesday youth activities – young women and Scouts.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 Weldon and Elder Rios. Call 325 864-2999.WORD OF GOD CHURCHTransforming ordinary people into passionate followers of Christ through God’s Word, growing them into mature Christians, to be Jesus’ lights in this world and witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom of God, seeking the lost for the glory of God and His kingdom. We are a non-judgmental ministry — meaning that the ministry itself is not judgmental. We are not concerned where you have been or where you are at, but where you are going. Everyone needs hope and to feel the love of God’s mercy. Those who falter and are weak are welcome. We will guide all that come, into a direction for peace in their life.The teachings from the pulpit are deep rightly divided truth as 2 Timothy 2:15 speaks of. You will hear the unadulterated word of God ministered straight from the Bible, introducing deep truths and promises you can stand on, that will never crumble out from underneath you. These truths have discipled many to be followers of Christ as it can do for anybody, opening up the eyes and ears of these who receive.Services:Sunday morning — 10:30 a.m.Thursday night — 5:30-7 p.m. Adult Bible study.Sunday night — Youth hangout for those 11-17 years old and Children’s Rock night for those 5-10 years old. Adults are welcome to come fellowship with the youth.Wednesday night — 6:30 p.m. is teen and tween youth church, those 11-17 years old and children’s classes for those 5-10 years old.Ministries:T.A.G. and Tweens — These ministries are for 11-17 year-olds. They have youth church on Wednesday night. There’s praise and worship performed by them. Then the pastor brings a message of truth to seed in their lives that is in a way that they can understand and comprehend. They also have Sunday night hangout, doing all kinds of things and events with each other in the youth ministry, from movies to playing volleyball at Sonic or cookouts and other things. They get involved with fundraisers to raise money for their events. They have the Reaching Out While Reaching Up ministry that helps people around town. They have The Rock as a place to hangout before and after church time. There is summer camp at Extreme Camps that they have a blast at while deepening their faith.Children’s Ministry — Wednesday night there are classes set up to put a foundation of God’s word in the children’s life with a fun and enjoyable environment and experience. There is lots of love, guidance and good values seeded into their lives. Sunday night is fun at The Rock. Those children that come on Wednesday night classes get to come on Sunday night to play at The Rock youth center during regular adult discipleship. Sometimes there are movies, games and snack night. They also get involved in fundraisers and summer camp.P.U.R.E. Ministry — Ephesians 1:4 Princesses Under Royal Election meets every third Friday of the month. The ministry teaches young ladies their value to God by being a child of the King, loved by their Father, coming under a covenant with God to keep their purity until marriage. It is even for those who want to start over.The Rock youth center — Saturday night from 6-9 p.m. for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. A Christian atmosphere is presented, but not forced. It is fun for everyone. We have this generation’s Christian music, a 6ft and 3ft half pipe skate ramp, a foam pit, velcro wall jump, pool table, air hockey, foosball, skating, video games, basketball and volleyball area. There is a snack bar available with drinks, nachos, Frito pies, candy, chips, etc. It is a controlled environment with adult supervision, lots of love and a short time of a small seeded truth of God into their lives. 11-17 year-old Extreme Camp — It is an experience that will change their lives, a camp that reaches them at their level, setting the love of God on fire inside of them. It’s a blast!5-10 year-old camp is suited at the level to where it keeps their attention — it is a fun and a unforgettable experience with God.SWEETWATER AGLOWThe Sweetwater Aglow team would like to invite you to a time of worship and praise led by Dallas McFaul at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12, at Holiday Inn Express, located at 300 SE Georgia in Sweetwater. The guest speaker will be Andrea Hess, from Odessa, TX.Andrea graduated from Texas Bible Institute. She is the president of the Odessa Aglow and leads the Judah worship Warrior Dance Team. She has “passion with a purpose” as she has been called to bring God’s people out of the old and in with the new.She will be ministering on Forgiveness and Restoration and will share her testimony of how God restored her marriage. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Behold all things are become new; Old things have passed away.” It is time to let go of the past. For more information, call 766-2245 or 338-8924.