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Church News

Editor’s note: Due to some computer trouble, some church news was lost. The error has been fixed for next week. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Christ Independent Methodist Church

On this dark, wet, dismal day arriving at church was literally like turning the page in a new book. The sanctuary was warm, the candles glowed in the windows, the crismons on that special tree continued to visually tell their individual stories. While Christmas carols were played on the piano, it was a poignant goodbye to another birthday celebration for our Lord.

Dr. Mac Stinson took his beginning scripture from Isaiah 40 and proceeded through several other verses from other books of the Bible. Isaiah is a fantastic book of the Bible much of it dealing with Christmas. During Isaiah’s time, Israel’s people were experiencing hard times; wars, dispersals to other locations, and tumult at home. But God had a plan for His people. He has a plan for us today. Isaiah 7:14 says: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. This name means “God with us”.” Much of Isaiah is written to give us hope. In Revelation we are told to hold on and there will come a new beginning. Hope is what God gives us.

Dr. Mac’s morning service was followed by the Eagle Scout Ceremony for his grandson, James Macon Skillman. This young man and his family came here from Denver, Colo., so Dr. Stinson could make this impressive presentation to his grandson as he was asked to do. This Eagle Scout badge is the highest honor one can achieve in Boy Scouts. What honor could be more desirable than this which encourages love of God, country, family and other people? It also advocates that young men stay fit physically, mentally, and morally. Many good wishes go with Macon as he continues to follow his dreams through scouting and other avenues that he chooses.

Our sick list includes Sarah McEwen, Randall Miller, Mike Johns who fell and broke his hip, Raybon Ellison, and others in need of prayer.

Last call for anyone who would want to go with us to the Holy Land, Jordan, and Egypt for a 10 day trip in March. You may call Dr. Stinson at (205) 669-6498. This trip includes air fare from Atlanta round trip and two full meals each day.

Thought for the week: Even if you try and fail, tis better than succeeding without trying.

Have a blessed week and a Happy New Year.

Rocky Mount United Methodist Church

Christmas 2008 has passed. Now we start to worry about the extra bills to pay, the extra pounds to lose and all the gift exchanging and cleaning up the house. We’ve worked so hard to get the house ready, get the gifts bought, get all the food cooked, get the cards written and so forth and so forth. Was all the hurrying and the stress worth it? Is that all there is to that one day of the year? Does this sound like what is going through your mind right about now? The topic of Brother Willard’s sermon was “Christmas Letdown.” We all know that we’ve heard the high statistics of depression during the holiday season. It is easy to see how people can fall into the “Christmas Letdown.” What we all need to remember is that Christmas isn’t just about one day of the year. We don’t even really celebrate the joyous birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the same season in which it actually took place. We do have the blessed freedom to set aside one special day to celebrate this wonderful birthday, but we need to remember that the celebration and glad tidings need to keep going all year long. We need to feel the spirit the other 364 days too, not just that one day. Is it all worth it? Yes, it certainly is worth it. It’s so worth it that we should remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus 365 days a year. Perhaps we should all keep our nativity scene out all year as a reminder of that most special gift of all time.

We would like to thank everyone who helped our youth in their fundraising for their Christmas mission project. It was a gift to the youth and to all the others involved to see how good it feels to help those who are less fortunate than others and who need some special help during the winter and holiday times.

Rocky Mount will begin 2009 with another food, fun and fellowship day on January 8. Come join us from 9:30 AM until we’re too full to keep going and see what a good time we have together. We will also resume our Wednesday night Bible Study and youth programs on Wednesday, January 7 at 6:30 PM. Everyone is invited and there is something for every age.

Our prayer list is especially long and we know that this is an especially hard time of the year for sickness and for bereavement. Please remember to pray for all that need our special prayers. Read your Bible daily. Pray for our church and invite someone to worship with you.

Mt. Carmel No. 1

The Sunday School lesson was a study on missions from the book of Acts. God calls Christians as missionaries or calls for your support for those who are called to go.

Bro. Ricky’s sermon for Sunday morning was taken from Mark 14:66-72. The sermon was entitled, “Christian Undercover.” Do we deny that we know Jesus? Peter said, “I know not this man.” Peter went undercover.

Christians, are you undercover or do you let your light shine?

“I’m Standing on the Solid Rock” was the special of the adult choir Sunday morning. Sunday was Bro. John’s last Sunday as music director. Bro. John has done a wonderful job leading our music and our choir. We know that God will bless him and his family as they serve in the future. Be in prayer for Bro. John, Janet, Jessica and Jennifer. Thanks for all you’ve done here at Mt. Carmel.

Nursery workers for January are as follows: Jan. 4, Laura Liveoak; Jan. 11, Frances Higgins and Christine Smith; Jan. 18, Tiffany Cleckley; and Jan. 25, Shanda Griffin.

A church cleaning is set for today at 8 a.m. Everybody has a part, so please come and help. There is a job for you.

Prime-Timers will meet Saturday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. We will have hotdogs, vegetable soup, games, fun and fellowship.

We will host a singing with Holy Destiny Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. There will be no classes Sunday night, and a love offering will be taken for the singers.

Baptist Men’s Day is Sunday, Jan. 25. The men will be in charge of all classes and will fill the choir. Also, two men are needed to speak that morning and night. Contact Bro. Ricky or brotherhood director.

Please remember to pray for those on our prayer list. Remember the families that have lost their loved ones to death. Don’t forget to pray for our nation, military, leaders, churches and pastors.

Lime Springs United Methodist Church

Last Sunday, Dec. 21, we enjoyed our Christmas program with the reading of the Christmas story and special music. A special thanks goes out to Charlie Burnett, Debbie Becker, Jana Petty, our youth choir, adult choir and Bro. Shannon.

We enjoyed a special candlelight service on Christmas Eve. More than 50 individuals were served Holy Communion.

This week’s Sunday School lesson focused on the disciples James and Matthew. Bro. Shannon brought the morning message from Ephesians 4:21-32. As we celebrated the lighting of the entire Advent wreath, Bro. Shannon preached on the importance of exchanging unnecessary and unpractical gifts. Paul reminds us there are five things we need to exchange in our lives: lying tongues, sinful anger, theft, foul language, resentment or wrath. Getting rid of these things will help us become more Christ-like and will allow others to come to the Christ child through our living testimony.

Our Sunday evening Bible study focused on Colossians 3-4.

Happy birthday wishes to Heinz Benz.

We invite everyone to join us for worship at Lime Springs. Our Sunday School starts at 9:30, followed by morning worship at 11, evening Bible study at 5:30, and Wednesday prayer meeting at 6:30.

For more information, please call 755-4950 or 755-6356.

Friendship Baptist Church

Sunday our choir presented a special entitled, “2000 Decembers ago.” Bro. Mike’s sermon included the following points: 1) a new faith needs to be claimed; 2) a new position on a Solid Rock; 3) a new assurance over doubt; 4) a new service in serving our Lord; 5) a new joy because of the deliverance of the Lord; 6) a new prayer life (pray for our enemies); 7) a new life with a testimony.

During our evening service, we praised the Lord in music. Christmas carols were enjoyed by all.

Happy birthday to Jessie Moore, Bill Davis, Jacob Ellison, Sandra White, Jennifer Wyatt, Mark Riley and Steve Jones.

Prayer requests: William Killough and family, Joe Frank Paschall family, Jennifer Griffin, Connie Gray, Pat Brand, unspoken requests, Donielle Cleckley, Rita Lawrence, Lottie Kelley, our country, Anna Wilson, Debbie Kirkland and Dan Raymond.

Upcoming events:

Jan. 10: Wedding of Lauren Davis and Derek Collum

Jan. 11: Orientation and planning meeting for the 2009 Associational Guatemala mission trip at 2 p.m. at the association office. Nurses are needed.

Jan. 16-19: youth trip to Gatlinburg.

Feb. 8: Association 2009 Evangelism Rally at Clanton First Baptist Church at 6 p.m. Guest speaker will be Lynn Turner.

March 21-27: Guatemala medical mission trip

May 15-16: E Women Conference at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Mount Bethel Baptist Church

Jesus: He is Wonderful Counselor, renewing our minds. He is the Mighty God, encouraging our hearts. He is the Everlasting Father, lifting our spirits. He is the Prince of Peace, comforting our souls (Isaiah 9:6). What inspiring words! The best way to get to know Jesus is to be in his house with his people.

We started our morning worship with prayer before going into our classes for Bible study.

The Sunday School lesson for this week was “When Others Cared for You.” Paul loved the believers in Thessalonica but was forced to leave them. In his absence, Paul continued to think about them and pray for them. He missed them so much that he sent his friend and fellow believer, Timothy, to Thessalonica to encourage and exhort them in the right direction. Timothy brought back word to Paul that all was well and the people missed him as much as he missed them. We all need to show concern for fellow Christians.

The choir opened the morning worship hour with “I Saw a Man,” and the choir special was “Teach Me Lord, to Wait.”

The Rev. Oneal Cleckler’s morning sermon was taken from Joshua 1:1-2. Joshua had served God under Moses’ direction for many years, and now it was Joshua’s turn to lead the people. The new generation was to cross over Jordan River into Canaan. God had promised this land to them. Joshua was full of the Holy Spirit and God’s choice to succeed Moses and conquer the land. For a person to lead well, he first must learn how to serve well, and Joshua had. Joshua was obedient to God, and God said he would never fail or forsake him. God offers that same promise to us if we only believe on him and be obedient to him.

In Discipleship Training the lesson was “Pure Hands and a Clean Heart.” Psalm 24:3-5 reads, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his Holy Place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

In the evening service, Bro. Cleckler’s sermon was from Psalm 110. This Psalm might come under three different headings: 1) Sovereign King, 2) Eternal Priest, and 3) Victorious Warrior. The double reference to “Lord” in the first verse has created some interpretive problems, but only for those who refuse to accept Jesus’ deity. The first word “LORD” is all in capital letters meaning “Yahweh,” the name for God. The second “Lord” only has its first letter capitalized, meaning “Adonai” or “Master,” a name for Jesus. God and Messiah rule the earth as partners. Not only is the Messiah a unique King-Priest, he is also a warrior who will execute judgment and thus lift up the head in conquest. Our High Priest sits on the right hand of the Father, an honored place, as co-rulers for us.

We invite you to join us in worship and fellowship with our Lord. Sunday School is at 10 a.m., followed by morning worship at 11, Discipleship Training at 5, and evening worship at 6.

Bethsalem Baptist Church

Our service opened up Sunday with the congregation singing “Emmanuel.” Georgia Guy provided special music with “O Holy Night,” and our Celebration Choir sang “What Can I Give” with soloist Beth Green.

Bro. Brad Eubank preached from Matthew 2:1-23 a message entitled, “Because He Came I Must Follow.”

There were no evening services.

Prayer requests: Charles Bryant, W.L. Broome, Denise Minor, Hunter Moore, Meade Bryant, Carl Wylie, Mary Sue Hill, Hilda Allen, our country, leaders, Lois Terrell, Randy Martin, Debra Mims, Jerry Smith, Ella Seales, Wayne Fisher, Myra Burnett, Carolyn McClane, Justin Corn, Jared Duncan, Ensen Porter, J.T. Loyd, Bro. Hershell Blalock and family.

Happy birthday this week to Diane Moore, Alton Ellison, Sandra Mims, Tommy Corn and Monica Eiland.

Come join us next Sunday for Sunday School and worship. We will have a special men’s breakfast tomorrow morning at 7.

Everyone have a blessed week. Remember, God is so good. Share Jesus with someone this week.