RELIGION: Local churches plan special Easter services

March 29, 2013

This week's church news and Easter events

BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH
This week we have celebrated the passion, prayer and purpose of Christ, leading from the Last Supper, through Gethsemane, down the Via Dolorosa, to Calvary where Christ cried, “It is finished!” and gave His life for us. I am so glad the story doesn’t end there. Sunday, we will celebrate the greatest event in history – The RESURRECTION. Churches will be packed, families will celebrate, kids will hunt eggs and grandparents will take pictures. But what does Easter really mean? It is so much more than an empty tomb. It means our empty hearts can be filled with love. It means our empty homes can be filled with hope. It means everyday can be filled with joy, peace and a hope of eternal life. Bill Gaither put it best when he wrote: “Because He lives I can face tomorrow.” 
As you and your family celebrate Easter, remember it is about the death, burial and RESURRECTION of Christ. It is about the empty tomb, the risen Savior and the hope that the resurrection brings to you and me.
On Easter, Broadway Baptist is planning a sunrise service at 7 a.m. in the Family Center parking lot, as well as our regular services on that day. We will also have an Easter Egg hunt for the children directly following the regular morning service. You are more than welcome to come and be a part of these events.
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.

FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH
Faith Lutheran Church MS, Good Friday services will begin at 7 p.m. as a service of darkness and tolling of the bells.
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia! A triumphant hymn for the opening of the Easter morning worship service at 10:45 a.m. with Rev. Chester McCown. The morning begins with a breakfast at 8 a.m. and devotions at 9 a.m. with the residents at the Sweetwater Healthcare Center. We welcome visitors who may be looking for a church home as they are working in our area. Faith is a small congregation with friendship to share.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
First Baptist Church invites you and your family to join us on this Sunday, March 31, 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.
There are many opportunities for service. Children’s church facilitators are needed for November. High school camp sponsors are needed June 9-14. Vacation Bible School workers are needed June 24-27. P3 Circle Drive workers are needed July 7-11. Missions camp sponsors are needed for July 30-August 2. Lad and Lassie Camp sponsors are needed August 2-3. Day camp sponsors are needed for August 3. P3 Coral Cove workers are needed August 4-8.
The fifth and sixth grade Sunday school classes are partnering with Group Cares and World Vision to provide mosquito nets to children threatened by malaria. For a mere $6 donation, up to three children’s lives will be saved for years to come. Please help teach our children about the precious gift of life. You may send your donation to the church or place it in the basket in the lobby at the Squash Malaria information center.
Kid X continues on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. Kid X is an exciting way for children in Kindergarten through sixth grade to learn about Jesus.
On Good Friday, March 29 at 6 p.m., please join us as we walk with Jesus to the cross and the tomb, experiencing some of what the disciples might have felt that Friday, two thousand years ago. You have never experienced Good Friday like you will this year.
Join us at The Bowl at 7 a.m. on March 31, as we celebrate the Resurrection together with our sister churches. This is a special service sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance. This experience is amazing and there is no better reason to get up early than to celebrate the empty tomb that is our hope.
Join us again at 9:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, March 31, for a potluck breakfast and Sunday school followed by a 10:30 a.m. worship celebration of the Resurrection. The worship choir will present the musical: To the Risen King. This musical leads us to celebrate the most miraculous and life-changing event in history — the death and resurrection of our Savior. It will guide the choir and congregation to worship the risen Lord.
For in depth information on First Baptist Church Sweetwater, find us on Facebook and check the website www.fbcsweetwater.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 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 (Fourth Street) entrance if you would like to receive God’s blessing through either of these ministries.
News this week: Come join us this Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior! This Sunday, March 31 we will have both the 8:45 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. services. We will have the added blessing of a baptism in both services so join us as we worship the Lord on this sacred day. Also on Easter Sunday the Nolan County Ministerial Alliance will host a sunrise service to be held at the Sweetwater Mustang Bowl at 7 a.m. Come celebrate the resurrected Jesus with Christians from across the Sweetwater community.
Activities this week:
• Easter Sunday at 7 a.m. — Easter Sunrise Service at Mustang Bowl.
• Wednesday at 10 a.m. — Bible study.
• Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. — God’s Holy Mountain.
• Saturday April 6 from 7-9 p.m. — Club 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 churchoffice@fumcsweetwater.org. If you need prayer or have the need to contact our pastor you can call the same number or email him at pastor@fumcsweetwater.org.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Join the excitement at Highland Heights United Methodist Church. We are a multi-ethnic, multi-racial congregation, serving the Lord in unity and purpose, where the contribution of everyone is valued and welcome. The congregation and staff of Highland Heights is a friendly God loving people — join us as we praise God together and practice unity here on earth until he comes again in Glory.
For more information, call the church at 325-235-2454 or the parsonage at 325-933-4296 (Monday through Wednesday). Highland Heights United Methodist Church is located at 1801 Lamar Street in Sweetwater. The pastor is Rev. Claude A. McKiddy, and the youth pastor is Darren Williams.
Our 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 attend one of three Sunday school classes at 9:30 a.m. and worship service at 10:45 a.m., with Pastor Claude bringing the message entitled, “Why Do You Seek the Living Among the Dead? He Has Risen.” Worship assistants are Jenene Taylor 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 March is Lela Hatter. Brenda will present a special musical selection.
Sunday is Easter, the day we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection and give praises to our living Lord. Bless This House asks that when we spend time with our family and friends on Easter, that we give thanks to God for loving us so much that he sent us his precious Son to save us from our sins and offer us eternal life. Pray we not only tell others His Gift is for all people, but also exemplify and display God’s love through our daily interactions with everyone whom we encounter.
Highland Heights’s spring rummage and bake sale is scheduled for Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, in the church fellowship hall. We welcome you to come and shop for bargains and purchase delicious baked goods.
Our Samaritan Hospitality House collection will be consecrated on Sunday, April 21, during morning worship. A field trip is scheduled for delivery on the following Friday. “The House” is located in Colorado City and ministers to families visiting loved ones that are incarcerated in area prisons. With a homelike atmosphere, the facilities provide weekend lodging for family members during their stay free of charge. If you wish to contribute, please call the church office, phone at 235-2454, for further information.
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)
Easter Week
Our Savior, Jesus Christ, fulfilled the Atonement — which included His suffering in Gethsemane, His Crucifixion on Golgotha and His Resurrection from the tomb — during the last week of His life.
In the Council in Heaven before the earth was created, Heavenly Father presented His plan for us, His children. We shouted for joy when Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ to carry out the plan of salvation (see Job 38:7 and Abraham 3:27). Born of Mary at Bethlehem, Jesus lived a sinless life. Because of His Atonement, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and receive eternal life. Jesus Christ will come again in power and glory to dwell on the earth during the Millennium, and He will stand as Judge of all people at the last day.
Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Father, condescended to come to earth to redeem all people from the Fall. (See 1 Nephi 11:16–22, 26–33; Alma 7:10–13.)
On the fifth day before Passover, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as was prophesied. People recognized Him as their King, shouted “Hosanna,” and placed their garments and palm fronds on the ground in front of the donkey. (See Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–11; Zechariah 9:9.)
For the second time during His mortal ministry, Jesus cleansed the courts of the temple. “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves,” He told the money changers (Matthew 21:13). Then many of the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw His miracles, they became angry and sought for a way to destroy Him. (See Matthew 21:12–17; Mark 11:15–19.)
Throughout the week, the Savior delivered some of His most memorable sermons, including His teachings about the widow’s mite. (See Mark 12:41–44; Luke 21:1–4.)
During His last meal, Jesus promised His apostles that they would receive the Comforter, or Holy Ghost, when He was gone. He taught them to remember Him by partaking of the sacrament. At the end of the evening, Jesus offered the Intercessory Prayer, where He prayed that the disciples might become one in unity. (See Matthew 26:17–30; Mark 14:12–26; Luke 22:14–32; John 13–17.)
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Savior knelt and prayed, His agony for the sins of the world causing Him “to tremble because of pain and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” (D&C 19:18). Soon Judas Iscariot and a multitude of armed men arrested Jesus, and all the disciples forsook the Lord and fled. (See Matthew 26:36–56; Mark 14:32–50; Luke 22:39–53.)
After an illegal trial and cruel scourging, Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be crucified, completing the “great and last sacrifice” that made salvation possible for all the children of God (see Alma 34:14–15). Before nightfall, Jesus’s followers removed His body from the cross, dressed Him in linen and spices, and laid Him in a tomb. (See Matthew 27; Luke 23; Mark 15; John 19.)
Sunday morning dawned, and Mary Magdalene and other faithful women arrived at the tomb to further anoint Jesus’s body. They found the stone of the tomb rolled away and two angels who declared joyous tidings: “He is not here: for he is risen” (Matthew 28:6). The resurrected Savior had conquered physical death and made it possible for each of us to live again: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). (See Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20.)
Calendar:
Easter Sunday
• March 31 — Easter Sunday church service at 9 a.m.
• Monday April 1  - Family home evening.
• Wednesday April 3  - Scouts, young women, Achievement Day Girls at 6:30 p.m. 
If you would like to talk with representatives of the church about the Saviors teachings, call Elder Rios and Elder Cosman, our local Elders at (325) 864-2999. We are located at 910 Elm Street in Sweetwater.

LAMAR STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
Join us this Sunday as we celebrate the risen Christ 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 Oliver will bring a message from the Bible. We will have an Easter fellowship meal after the service and the church will provide the ham, so bring a dish or two and join us. There will also be an Easter egg hunt for the children, so bring their baskets. Our evening service starts at 6 p.m.
On Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., we offer GAs (Girls in Action) and RAs (Royal Ambassadors) for first through sixth graders, Mission Friends for preschool age, youth activities for 7th-12th graders and Bible study and prayer for adults.
We want to remind members that are many opportunities to give within our church, for example, our food pantry, our local mission projects and summer camps for our children and youth, our two Zambia kids we give to each month and more.
We will continue to accept offerings until mid April for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. The theme is “Whatever It Takes.” Please pray and prepare your heart to give to North American Missions.
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 church-wide breakfast at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 6; and workday. Come enjoy a wonderful breakfast and stay to work on some needed projects around the church. The 100th year committee will meet again at 5 p.m. on April 7 to continue planning the celebration. This meeting is open to anyone that wants to be involved.
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.

WORD OF GOD CHURCH
Transforming 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 those who receive.
Sunday morning from 9:30-10:30 a.m. there is praise and worship and prayer and from 10:30 a.m. to noon we have town evangelizing.
On Thursday evening from 5:30-7 p.m. we have discipleship Bible study.
On Wednesday evening from 6:30-8 p.m. is youth night.

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