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Volume 62 / Week Number 47 / December 1, 2011

The Messenger firsT bapTisT hunTsville FIrST THOugHTS

David Hull, Pastor

In my sermon last Sunday I told the story of getting reconnected with a long-time friend on Thanksgiving Day. The visit was a wonderful surprise for me and a very rich and rewarding experience. But it never would have happened if I had not been outside of my normal routine. Because I was visiting my parents in Birmingham for a family gathering I was able to renew a long friendship with a visit. Sometimes we need to move out of our routines so that we can experience something new – or something very old – with people we do not normally see. December is like that at our church. Every year at this time we have a Family gathering for worship. We will move out of our normal Sunday routines to provide opportunities for the entire church family to come together for worship and fellowship. Each Sunday morning in December there will be one worship service at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Think of this as a Family gathering at Christmas. For those who regularly attend the First Fellowship Worship this will be outside of the normal routine. Hopefully, the experiences of our Church Family coming together during this Holy Season will be as rich and rewarding as those trips that we make to see members of our own family during the month. Perhaps we can be surprised by some long-time friendships that are rekindled; maybe some new ones will develop. When January 1 arrives, we will resume the normal schedule of two morning worship services. This Sunday morning we come together as a church family and decorate the Sanctuary. We call this Hanging of the green. The music of children, youth, and adults will add meaning to the beautiful symbols of the season that will adorn the room. Sunday afternoon will be the time that we assemble the Living Christmas Tree in the Sanctuary. Monday begins the opportunity for many to decorate the Tree with lights and greenery. Sunday night we offer a new Christmas experience. The musicians who lead our First Fellowship worship service will be presenting a Christmas program at 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. This will be a fun night for people of all ages in the church family to gather for refreshments, music, and the story of Christmas told in new and fresh ways. I am grateful to Jeremy and all of the First Fellowship musicians who will be singing and playing for us on Sunday night. So make your plans to come – invite friends to join you, and let’s gather for “The Christmas Session” on Sunday night. “My Heart Shall Sing of the Day You Bring.” Is your heart singing yet? See you on Sunday.

this sunday December 4, 2011 Second Sunday of Advent Hanging of the Green

Sermon “Let the Fires of Your Justice Burn” Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

Morning Bible Study - 9:15 a.m. Bible Study for all ages

Sanctuary Worship - 10:30 a.m. Music from: Music Makers Choir Young Musicians Choir Youth Choir FBC Orchestra Young Musicians Handbells Sanctuary Choir

Afternoon Construction of the Living Christmas Tree

First Fellowship: A Christmas Session 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall

knowing, loving, serv ing Christ...together

ministry calendar Sunday, Dec. 4 Morning Bible Study Sanctuary Worship LCT Const. Lunch/FH LCT Construction/Sanct. Children’s Handbells Youth Choir/CR Youth Choir Snacks/241 Young Ad. Bible St./107 The Christmas Session./FH LCT Const. Supper/242

9:15 AM 10:30 AM 12:00 PM 12:30 PM 4:00 PM 4:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM

Monday, Dec. 5 LCT Const./Sanct. Letter Writing/242 Hallelujah Choir/CR LCT Const. Lunch/FH Women’s Circle/241 BSF Classes

8:00 AM-9 PM 9:00 AM 10:30 AM 11:30 PM 12:00 PM 5:15 PM

We have had a great start to our memorial giving of Celebrating Grace Hymnals. Giving a hymnal to our church to memorialize a friend or family member is appropriate for all ages and is a lasting gift. A hymnal gift is great for Christmas, but you don’t have to wait. Make your $20 donation now. Contact the Music Ministry Office (256-428-9421) or the Church Office (256428-9400) if you would like to obtain the contribution envelopes or if you need more information.

Performance dates are

Tuesday, Dec. 6 LCT Const./Décor./FH Student Prayer Breakfast Tues. Morn. Intercess./242 LCT Construction/Sanct. LCT Const. Lunch/FH HYO Classes/140-141, 241 Forum/118 HSO Reh./141 Adult Handbells

December 15-18

FREE TICKETS are available at the East Welcome Center. For questions call the LCT Ticket office at 256-428-9422 or go online at

7:00 AM 8:00 AM 11:30 AM 5:00 PM 6:30 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM

Come help DECORATE the Living Christmas Tree! December 5, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and 6–8 p.m. December 6, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and 6–8 p.m.; December 7, 9 a.m.– 2 p.m. ONLY. Childcare and lunch will be provided for all morning sessions.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 LCT Construction/Sanct. Supper/FH Music & Missions/2nd, 241, 242 Partnering to Remember/111 Prayer Meeting/FH LCT Orchestra./Parlor LCT Choir/Chapel Lift Off/309-310 LCT Orchestra/Sanct. LCT Orc. Green Rm./Parlor LCT Choir Green Rm./Chapel LCT Reh./CR

8:30 AM 4:45 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 5:30 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:15 PM 6:15 PM 6:15 PM 7:00 PM

Contact the Music Office at 256-4289421 or

Thursday, Dec. 8 SILK/107-109

12:00-8 PM

Friday, Dec. 9 BSF Leaders/Parlor Fellowship Club/FH

Library Hours Sunday

Tuesday Wednesday

4:30 AM 10:00 AM

9-9:15 AM | 10:10-10:45 AM | 11:4012:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 4:00-5:00 PM

The Hallelujah Choir will extend our church’s Music Ministry in several wonderful ways during the next few weeks via Christmas music: December 5—Harbor Chase presentation December 9—Fellowship Club presentation December 19—Brookdale presentation The Hallelujah Choir will enjoy a Christmas Party on December 12 at 11:30 a.m.

knowing, loving, serving Christ...together


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Wednesday Night Dinner Menu Wednesday, December 7


Breakfast for Dinner Egg Casserole Hash Brown Casserole Sausage and Bacon Biscuits and gravy Sweet rolls

Experience the Blessing: Commitment Sunday To date, we have received 336 financial commitments totaling $2,194,729. This represents 52% of our $4.2 million budget. In comparison, most recently our commitments have averaged 365 totaling again approximately 52% of the projected budget. There is still time to make a financial pledge to the ministry of this church, and as you P L A N your financial priorities for 2012, note below the advice taken from the blog of Kevin DeYoung: P – Pray for a generous heart. Make people a priority over prosperity. Don’t think: “How much do I have to give away in order to be obedient?” Ask: “Give me opportunities to sow.” L– Lifestyle cap. As we earn more, we should give more. If you are wealthier than you used to be, have you done more to increase your standard of living or your standard of giving? A – Accountability. Set goals and find someone you can trust who won’t be threatened by talking frankly about finances. Money–we don’t talk about it nearly as much as Jesus did. N – No less than a tithe. Whether the Old Testament requirement is a binding prescription or not, I find it hard to imagine that Western Christians who have seen the glory of God in the face of Christ and enjoy great prosperity, would want to give less than was required of the poorest Israelite. Statistics consistently show that Protestants give less than 3% of their income to their churches. A tithe, for most churchgoers, would be a huge step in the right direction.

The Children and Staff of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home cordially invite you to

Salad Grilled Chicken Salad (Reservations for salad must be turned in by noon on Wednesday.)

STEWArDSHIP rEPOrT 11/20/11 Year-to-Date goal Offering This Week YTD Debt retirement This Week YTD

$634,200.00 $69,013.16 $618,509.54 $645.00 $4,995.00

Faith Steps to the Future: This Week YTD To Date:

$18,916.14 $224,498.80 $3,453,032.93

ATTENDANCE Sunday School Preschool Children Students Adults Brookdale Visitors TOTAL

59 78 117 656 18 30 961

Worship Services

Open House

First Fellowship Sanctuary Worship TOTAL

to express our appreciation for your prayers and support Sunday December 4, 2011 2 to 5 p.m. 1404 16th Avenue, Southeast Decatur, Alabama

310 501 811

FAMILY MATTErS OUR NEWEST Rigsby Ruth Dixon, daughter of Ray and Lacy Dixon, born November 9, 2011. Proud great-grandmother is June Moore. WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Chris Hall 2706 Dawson Circle Huntsville, AL 35811

CHRISTIAN SYMPATHY Daphine Collins in the loss of her brother-inlaw, Derek Collins, Denise and Mark Carter in the loss of their uncle, Wesley Collins

First Baptist Church 600 Governors Drive

office: 256-428-9400 weekend minister on call: 256-428-9457

Huntsville, AL 35801

24-hour prayer line: 256-428-9460 The MESSENGER (USPS 591-280) is published weekly except the week of Christmas by First Baptist Church, 600 Governors Drive, Huntsville, AL 35801. Periodical postage paid at Huntsville, Alabama 31801-5178. POSTMASTER send change of address to THE MESSENGER, 600 Governors Drive, Huntsville, AL 35801.

Calling All Cooks Our church family begins construction of the Living Christmas Tree on Sunday, December 4th and will continue with decorating through Tuesday, December 6th. We like to provide snacks (sweet or salty) for these workers. If you would like to help with this, please bring your goodies to the East Entrance that Sunday or Monday morning.

Fellowship Club December 9 at 10:00 a.m. The Hallelujah Choir will sing. Menu: Turkey and Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Peas, Rolls Call JoAnn Allen at 256-534-1958 to make reservations.

Historical Marker

CBF's Offering for Global Missions From Uganda to Miami and dozens of places in between, you will find God working and changing lives through CBF ministries. With the CBF Offering, you join God's mission by investing in life-changing ministries of more than 135 CBF field personnel who share Christ with the world's most neglected people.

2011 Missions Offering Goal: $39,900 Watch the posters with the mosiac logo to see how we are doing in reaching our goal in supporting CBF’s Offering for Global Missions and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® The 2011 theme is “His heart, His voice, His hands – I am Southern Baptist missions.” It reminds us that as followers of Jesus, we – the Church – are called to be the body of Christ. We are His heart, His hands and His voice in the midst of a world filled with unreached peoples. We are part of the task to fulfill the Great Commission. And although we Southern Baptists have been praying, giving and going for 160 years, the task is far from finished.

Replacement of the roadside historical marker near the Madison County Executive Airport, Meridianville, marking the site of the 1809 establishment of the Enon Baptist Church, FBC’s forerunner, was completed November 14. The original sign, in place for a dozen years, was badly damaged by a wayward vehicle earlier this year. The history committee, under the leadership of Jim Harrison, sent the sign for factory remanufacturing. It is now placed on a new all-metal post about four feet farther from vehicular traffic and somewhat higher in elevation than previously. A new six-foot concrete base will also tend to protect it from traffic abuse. See picture in last week’s Messenger

December 1, 2011