Sweetwater Reporter (Sweetwater, Tex.), Vol. 112, No. 35, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 24, 2009 Page: 6 of 28
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Page 6 ■ Thursday, December 24, 2009
Merry Christmas from local churches
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AVONDALE BAPTIST CHURCH
Greetings in the name of Christ Jesus, Emmanuel,
whose birth we celebrated this week! We at Avondale
Baptist pray that you were blessed with the joy of being
with family at this blessed time of year!
Bro. Kevin Shipp, our minister of music and education
will be bringing the message. He will be preaching from
the book of Ephesians, chapter 5.
BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH
Here it is Christmas morning. Children will be open-
ing gifts, mom and dad will be taking pictures, pets will
be scrambling for some place to hide, and houses will
be filled with laughter and ioy, proving once again that
this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I am
reminded of a song I once heard, and I want to share
with you today. The title, “Christmas Isn’t Christmas,”
says it all. The lyrics 50 like this: “Christmas isn’t
Christmas till it happens in your heart; somewhere deep
inside you is where Christmas really starts. So give your
heart to Jesus; You’ll discover when you do. That it's
Christmas, really Christmas for you.”
Let me encourage you to take time today and tell your
children the true meaning of Christmas, the fact that
Christ Was, and then sing Happy Birthday Jesus: “I’m
so glad it’s Christmas. All the tinsel and lights and the
presents are nice - but the real gift is YOU. Happy birth-
day Jesus, I love you.”
Merry Christmas to you and yours from Broadway
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
We wish all a very Merry Christmas on Friday. May
God's Blessings be upon you and your families as you
share his love with others in celebrating the birth of
Come and join us for Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.
and worship service at 10:45 a.m., with Pastor Chris
Rodriguez bringing the message entitled, “Synchronized
Waiting.” Worship assistants are Lisa Peterson serv-
ing as worship leader, Nelda Walker is organist, pianist
is Eugenia Hill, Brenda Alexander plays the keyboard
and our greeter for the month of December is Nellie
Through our desire to assist individuals in making this
an extra special Christmas, we enacted an additional
outreach for this specific purpose called, "Decking the
Halls and Lining the Walls.” Our collection of food and
gifts filled the altar and were consecrated last Sunday.
This week, on Tuesday, Dec. 22, a group of congrega-
tional members delivered our collection to each family
whose names had been provided for us.
For the month of December, "Bless This House” is
calling upon prayer for all of the families who lost loved
ones or individuals who survived the massacre at Fort
Hood, Texas. Pray they will all be comforted and receive
the Lord’s strength through doctors, nurses and others
who minister to them. This incident is a reminder that
our country continues to be threaten by Islamic terror-
ism. Pray that we, as a nation, do not become compla-
cent and fail to recognize the threat that is before us.
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, wit- Pastor, Phillip Thomas - a message which draws us
nessing lo o,hers. and ministering to ones in need. doner to attend ta55£Tw£> to ttet"
FIRST BAPI’IST CHURCH
First Baptist Church prays that everyone will feel the
warmth of the enduring love of God throughout this
Christmas season — and, if you don't currently have
a church home, come join us at 213 East Third Street,
next door to the Post Office, and see if you might wish to
spend 2010 surrounded by those striving to share Christ
with our community. Check out our website for more
detailed information at www.fbcsweetwater.org and
search FBC Sweetwater, TX for our logo on Facebook.
A reminder that “Year-End” contributions sent to the
church by mail that are postmarked on or before Dec.
31, 2009, may be considered 2009 tax deductions, even
if they arrive in the office and are deposited in the bank
after Jan. 1, 2010. Any contribution place in the offer-
ing plate by Sunday, Dec. 27,2009, will be considered a
2009 contribution for IRS tax purposes.
Per IRS regulations, any end-of-year contributions
not meeting one of these two criteria cannot be consid-
ered a 2009 contribution. To ensure the deductibility of
your contributions, please do not file your 2009 income
until you have received, from the church, a written
acknowledgment of your contributions. You may lose a
deduction if you do not have a written acknowledgment
form the church, in hand, when you file. Every effort
will be made to have contribution records in the mail by
Jan. 15, 2010.
On Sunday morning, Dec. 27, bring a favorite break-
fast casserole to share and join us for breakfast in the
fellowship hall at 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning worship
service is held every week from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Come
hear a message form God's Word, presented by out
vice on KXOX radio (96.7 FM and 1240 AM). Merry
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Visitors are always welcome at F’irsl Presbyterian
Church. The church is located at 14th and
McCaulley. Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. and wor-
ship service is at 10:45 a.m. A nursery is provided for
all church activities for children kindergarten age and
This is the first Sunday after Christmas. Howell's
sermon will be “They Grow Up So Fast.” Scriptures I
Samuel 2:18-20, 26. and Luke 2:41-52.
Gayle Biggerstaff is Elder for the month of
December. The greeters this week are Ruth Ann
Campbell and Dorothy Stroman.
Rawlins woman reflects on 50 years as organist
Rawlins Daily Times
RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) - Silence.
And then, a cascade of sound
surged through the sanctuary as
Marti Dodge plied pedals and keys.
Dodge, 73, has been playing the
organ for congregations around the
nation for 50 years and has often
also functioned as church choirmas-
ter. She settled in Rawlins in 2002
and is now a member and deacon
at France Memorial Presbyterian
Church. She was recognized for her
five decades of work recently at the
"I think people worship in dif-
ferent ways," Dodge said after she
had finished playing "0 Blessed
Emmanuel" in the church earlier
this month. "Some people will get it
from the sermon. Some people will
get it from the scriptures."
And then, there are people who are
stirred by music, sometimes drawn
to a church because of the music.
Dodge is one of those people. She
said that she has entered churches
with skilled choirs and "would feel
the spirit with me," she said.
She believes her music impacts
herself and her listeners.
"I know it means something to
other people, but it means a tremen-
dous amount to me because it's my
way of glorifying God," she said.
Dodge learned to play piano at the
Holy Angels Academy in Michigan
before mastering the organ.
"The sisters could put the fear of
God into you," she said, chuckling,
as she reflected on her days at the
When she was about 16, and when
her legs had grown long enough to
reach the pedals, she began playing
the organ. She continued to study
the instrument at Michigan State
University and, later, with an organ
teacher in Syracuse, N.Y.
She later cut a zigzag path across
the nation as she worked as an organ-
ist for churches in Michigan and
Vermont, Florida and the Bahamas.
Dodge played for, but often
wasn’t a member of, the church-
es she played for, which included
Episcopal, Lutheran, Baptist and
The experience strengthened her
musical capabilities, Dodge said.
Yet, her faith remained the same.
"I have a deep faith that I've had all
my life, and 1 try’ to bring that to any
church position that I’m involved
in," she said.
Still. Dodge added, that faith can't
easily be categorized into any one
That's where music comes in.
In her view, music is a "common
denominator," she said — an ele-
ment that can transcends boundar-
But, for Dodge, music does more.
"It feeds my soul," she added.
"Music always has and always will."
Australian Catholics celebrate
as country moves closer to
getting its first saint
SYDNEY (AP) — Australian Catholics celebrated last Sunday
a Papal decision that will give the countiy its first saint — the
feisty Mary MacKillop, who founded a network of schools for
poor children and was briefly excommunicated before being
set on the path to canonization.
The Vatican on Saturday said that Pope Benedict XVI
approved a decree that MacKillop was responsible for a second
miracle, one of the final steps in a complex and often yearslong
process before sainthood can be bestowed.
MacKillop founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St.
Joseph, an order that built dozens of schools for impoverished
children across the Australian Outback in the 1800s, as well as
orphanages and clinics for the needy.
With vows of abstinence from owning personal belongings
and dedication to helping the poor, MacKillop is credited with
spreading Roman Catholicism in Australia and New Zealand.
But she is also remembered as a strong-willed advocate who
sometimes got into trouble for challenging orthodox thinking
within the male-dominated church. In 1869 she was excom-
municated for inciting her followers to disobedience, though
the bishop who punished her recanted three years later and
she was exonerated by a church commission.
Iran's senior dissident cleric,
Grand Ayatollah Nossein
All Montazeri, dies at 87
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s most senior dissident
cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, who
emerged as the spiritual father of its reform movement,
died last Sunday. He was 87.
Thousands of his followers uuickly set out for the holy
city south of the capital where ne is to be buried, accord-
ing to an opposition Web site, presenting authorities
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with a challenge in trying to prevent Monday s funeral
from turning into another display of power by the gov -
ernments resilient critics.
For years, Montazeri had accused the country 's ruling
Islamic establishment of imposing dictatorship in the
name of Islam, and he persisted with his criticism after
June’s disputed presidential election.
His stance made him a hero to the opposition, and
his criticisms were even more stinging because of his
Police increased their presence in the city of Qom,
where he is to be buried, according to the pro-reform
Web site Rah-e Sabz.
Authorities there faced a difficult choice over whether
to try to prevent an outpouring at the funeral that could
turn into another opposition street protest. Doing .so
risks serious backlash from an influential group of cler-
ics based in Qom who are among the current leader-
The opposition's leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, called
Montazeri’s death “a great loss" and said he is hopeful
other clerics will fill the gap left behind and answer the
needs of Iran's younger generation.
Neo-Nazis rally on Hanukkah
at SoCal synagogue
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Congregants at a .Southern
California synagogue were met by a group of neo-Nazis
waving swastika flags on the last night of l lanukkah.
Rabbi Suzanne Singer says Friday's demonstration at
Temple Beth El in Riverside was the third at the temple
in recent months.
There were fewer than a dozen protesters at the site.
Police were called but there were no incidents or arrests
and the services went on as planned.
In October in Riverside, a scuffle broke out and
punches were exchanged between about 20 Neo-Nazis
rallying against illegal immigration and about two dozen
counter-protestors near a Home Depot store where day
laborers often gather. One man was arrested. A similar
rally was held a month earlier.
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Singer says members of her congregation have been
among the counter-protestors at those rallies.
Arson unit investigating
fire that destroyed northeast
CARNFSVILLK, Ga. (AP) An arson unit is investi-
gating an early morning fire that destroyed a northeast
Georgia church last weekend.
The office of Insurance and Safety l ire Commissioner
John Oxendine said in a statement that a fire around
4:30 a.m. Saturday destroyed the boo-seat clmreh at the
Refuge Baptist Camp in Carnesville.
It was reported to authorities by a deer hunter.
The fire has not been ruled arson, but Oxendine’s
office is asking anyone with information about the fire
to call the arson hot line at 800-282-5804.
Wyoming Catholic College
nlans new campus
IWNDl'.R, \\yo. (AP) — Students filtered into the pews
as church bells rang to mark the start of a Wyoming
Catholic College noon mass, a service conducted in Latin
on a recent fall day.
The prospect of daily church services mav not appeal
to many college students, but it's a draw for this tiny,
fledgling liberal arts college in central Wyoming.
Now in its third year, Wyoming Catholic College is
operating near capacity in Lander and developing plans
for a new campus 15 miles south of town. Applicants
interested in the college’s mix of academic, outdoors and
spiritual instruction have exceeded the college's limited
space in each of its three years, directors said.
“I think the educational model has been demonstrated
to be very workable by our students,” said the Rev.
Robert Cook, the college’s president. "We know how to
run it, we know how to operate it, and we’re paying for
it. So I'd say we’re well-established for a beginning col-
lege, and it’s working.”
Cook said the college has enrolled about 33 students
each fall since 2007 - for a total of 99 - and retained all
but one student. The student body represents 35 states
and applications for next school year have arrived from
The college is laying the groundwork to raise money
for its planned $120 million campus, which will sit on
a donated ranch, said Mark Randall, vice president ol
development. Randall spends two weeks per month
traveling coast-to-coast drumming up financial support
for the college.
The project will be built in phases and directors hope
to break ground in three to four years.
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Rodriguez, Tatiana. Sweetwater Reporter (Sweetwater, Tex.), Vol. 112, No. 35, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 24, 2009, newspaper, December 24, 2009; Sweetwater, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth561298/m1/6/: accessed June 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Sweetwater/Nolan County City-County Library.