To all Church Talk readers, this is my Christmas gift to you:

“…and the angel said unto them (the shepherds), ‘Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David (Bethlehem), a Savior who is Christ the Lord.

“’And this shall be a sign unto you, You shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!’”

(Luke 2: 10-14)

“More than 2,000 years ago, there was a man born contrary to the laws of nature. He laid aside His purple robe for a peasant’s tunic. He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor. This Man lived in poverty and was raised in obscurity. He received no formal education and never possessed wealth or widespread influence. He never traveled extensively. He seldom crossed the boundary of the country in which He lived.

“But this Man’s life has changed the course of history!

“In infancy, He startled a king. In childhood, He amazed religious scholars. In manhood, He ruled the course of nature, walked on stormy waves and hushed the raging sea to sleep.

“He healed multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never practiced psychiatry, yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near.

“He never wrote a book, yet His life has inspired more books than any other man. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all songwriters combined.

“He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army; He never drafted a soldier or fired a gun, yet no leader ever had more rebels surrender to Him without a shot fired.

“Herod could not kill Him. Satan could not seduce Him. His enemies could not destroy Him. The grave could not hold Him. After three days He rose from the dead, alive forevermore!

“He is the ever-perfect One. He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. This Man stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed by God, acknowledged by angels, adored by His people and feared by demons as the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!”

(Incomparable Christ has been written, preached and read thousands of times. Original author unsure)

“I cannot tell why He, the King of Heaven, should leave the peace of all eternity; why God Himself should lay aside His splendor to leave the Father’s side and come to me. But this I know: our silence filled with singing, and all our darkness fled from heaven’s light when Christ the Lord, so human yet so holy, in love was born a child for me that holy night.

“I cannot tell why He, the Joy of Heaven, should give Himself to suffer for my sin; why Holy God should love me in my shamefulness, why He should die to draw my soul to Him. But this I know: that Christ the Lord is risen, and praise His name, He’s risen now in me! Because He lives, I’ll rise to life eternal! He took my guilty heart, and I’m forever free!

“I cannot tell when He will rule the nations, how He will claim His loved ones as His own; and who can tell the holy jubilation when all His children gather ‘round His throne. But this I know: all flesh will see His glory, and skies will burst as all creation sings. The Son will rise on one eternal morning, when Christ, the Savior of the world, is Lord and King!”

(Ken Bible; inspired by William Y. Fullerton)

To all the readers of the Waccamaw Publishers newspapers and to all the employees of the newspapers, I wish a safe, happy and joy-filled Christmas and 2021. Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus – Savior; Emmanuel – God with us! Remember, God is still on His throne!

Continue to Pray Without Ceasing

The Bible encourages God’s people to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), “pray always with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:17), and the exhortation from Paul to Timothy (I Timothy 2:8) that “men (and women and children too) pray everywhere.”

I’m sure your church, like mine, has a long prayer list and I’m sure you have your own personal prayer list, too. Here are some things that we, as God’s church, can and should be praying about daily:

■ Pray for our leaders, at all levels and right now, our elected incumbents and newly-elected leaders, that they will lead wisely and seek God’s wisdom and will in their new positions of authority;

■ Pray for the church in America and the church around the world (especially the persecuted church). In the increasing darkness of sin, the church is the light and if we’re willing to be the light, then darkness cannot extinguish God’s truth!

■ Pray for our nation that we will return to a time of mutual respect for each other, of love, real toleration, and as the Bible tells us “accepting and bearing with” one another. Pray that the hate, the violence, the malice will end.

■ Pray that we’ll all respect life as a gift from God who alone has the right and power to begin and end it. Pray that we’ll realize that all life matters from conception until natural death.

■ Pray for our homes and families that love between parents, and parents and children will be the “rule of the day” and that families will follow God’s pattern to be the solid basic building block of society.

■ Pray for our schools (all levels), students, teachers, administrators and service personnel. These are incredibly difficult days in education.

■ Pray for the sick, the infirm, the elderly, the needy and be willing to be God’s hands and feet to meet needs as you can.

■ Pray for each other. Each week as I share prayer requests at church, I ask our folks to look around and tell them everyone they see needs prayer. But we have a great God who can hear every

Your Help is Making a Difference!

The ongoing COVID-19 “pandemic”. The upcoming “flu season”. Financial upheaval caused by the current situation. Storm devastation. Wildfire destruction. The list of difficulties and problems seems never-ending.

And all of these seem worse during the “holidays”. Inventory what you have. Do you have more than enough? (Be honest, God has given to most of us abundantly!) If you do, someone has said that God gives that so you can share with others.

Share your resources (food, clothing), your time, your monetary resources with others. And you don’t have to look far to find the needy or good faithful organizations that are ministering to them. Don’t be a Grinch or a Scrooge. Open your hands and your heart to others! You’ll be blessed as you bless.

January Life March and Rally

Grand Strand Citizens for Life will again provide buses to the State March and Rally for Life in Columbia on Jan. 9, 2021. Pickup times and locations are: 6:30 a.m., St. Michael’s Church parking lot, 542 Cyprus Drive, Garden City; 6:45 a.m., St. Andrews Community Life Center, 37th Ave. North near Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach; 7:15 a.m., Belk’s Mall on U.S. 501 in Conway.

Cost to ride the bus is only $10 per person and reservations are required. (But please do not let cost deter you from attending; if you need assistance, let the group know.)

Make reservations by calling Andrew Woitko at (843) 734-0137 (H) or (302) 981-1528 (M). Your seat will be reserved when payment is received. Make checks payable to GSCL and mail them to 154 Woodlyn Ave., Little River, SC 29566. You may also pay online at https://www.makethelifechoice.org/bus.html.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ The Rock Church, 1408 Mill Pond, invites you to Christmas Eve services at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. The services will be streamed online at live.rockc3.com.

■ St. Paul’s Church, 710 Main St., will have Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Join in-person (masks required) or livestream at www.stpaulsconway.org. Phone (843) 248-4706.

■ The Catholic Church of St. James, 1071 Academy Drive, collects nonperishable food items for Catholic Charities and CAP Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the church. The church is also collecting new or gently-used coats for men, women and children! The coats will be distributed to those in need. You can bring your gifts to the church before Dec. 25.

Please help as you are able. Call (843) 347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.

The Mass Schedule for the holidays is as follows: Christmas Eve, Family Mass at 3 p.m. (live streaming); Christmas Mass at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Spanish Christmas Mass at 9 p.m. (live streaming) with Posada at 8:30 p.m. And Christmas Mass at 11 p.m.

Christmas Day: Christmas Mass at 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. (live streaming); Spanish Christmas Mass at 11 a.m. (live streaming)

New Year’s Eve: 4 p.m. (live streaming) and 6 p.m.; Spanish 8 p.m. (live streaming).

New Year’s Day: 9 a.m. (live streaming) and Spanish at 11 a.m. (live streaming).

■ Catholic Charities Pee Dee Christmas distributions are available for those in need if items for their Christmas. Assistance is available to families with children under the age of 18.

Registration is required for this assistance and has started. Registration is first-come, first-serve until all slots are filled. Call Catholic Charities Pee Dee at (843) 438-3108.

For the Christmas project the needs are: new, unwrapped toys and books for children through age 12; for teens 13-18, makeup for kids, nail kits, bath sets, curling irons, blow dryers, purses, teenage board games, tabletop games, dart boards, sports gear, headphones, watches, wallets, tool kits, $10 fast food or movie theater gift cards. Also new winter coats (newborn to adult XL), hats, gloves, earmuffs and scarves. Catholic Charities is located at 2294 Technology Blvd. in Conway.

■ Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road, will have a Watchnight Service on New Year’s Eve from 9 p.m.-midnight. There will be fellowship, music, games and skits, and food. Come and pray out 2020 and pray in 2021! Phone (843) 369-7729.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to go to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Please help as you are able. Call (843) 347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ St. Philip Lutheran Church, 6200 N. Kings Hwy., will offer three in-person Christmas Eve services on Dec. 24: 11 a.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The 11 a.m. service will offer the same music and liturgy and is a good option for those who do not like to drive at night, or young families with early bedtimes.

Both the 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. services will be traditional with candle lighting and communion. The church will also offer a live Facebook stream of the 8 p.m. service for those who wish to join on-line. Call the Church Office at (843) 449-5345.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, announces the following:

Farm fresh Christmas tree sales from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through December.

Journey to Bethlehem, outdoor drama, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m.; Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 7 p.m. Phone 843-236-1121; e-mail to christianchurchmb@gmail.com or go online to www.myrtlebeachchristianchurch.com.

■ Risen Christ Lutheran Church, 10595 N. Kings Hwy., will have the following on Christmas Eve: 3:30 p.m.-4 p.m., Jazz Prelude; 4 p.m., Family Service; 7 p.m., Candlelight Service. (COVID protocols observed!) Both 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. services will be streamed life on Facebook. Phone (843) 272-5845 or go online to risenchristmyrtlebeach.com.

■ Together in Christ announces the following events: Community Candlelight Caroling, Dec. 20, 5 p.m. at the stage in Plyler Park by the Sky Wheel; Fatherheart Conference, Jan. 8-9, 2021, at Catch the Fire Church; Candlelight Vigil (to pay respects for the homeless who died in Myrtle Beach in 2020); Jan. 15, 4:30 p.m. at Victory Baptist Church.

■ Help 4 Kids and Backpack Buddies continue to provide food for 400-500 families per week and need your help. Suggested food donations include: peanut butter, jelly, pasta and sauce, rice, beans, cereal, macaroni & cheese, canisters of Kool-Aid, canned meats, snacks and chips.

You may also donate grocery gift cards used for produce, meats, dairy and bread and monetary donations are always appreciated.

And let’s not forget the need for new clothing, sizes 4 and up (especially teens); shoes and sneakers (any size), socks and underwear. And send gift cards that Help4Kids can use to purchase necessary goods.

The office is located at 2523 Forestbrook Road, Myrtle Beach SC 29588 (gifts may be mailed to that address also). Go online to www.help4kidssc.org.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 406 65th Ave. North, Services (Virtual and Temple) Friday 6 p.m., Shabbat 10 a.m. Hebrew School Wednesdays, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; Adult Education Classes, Wednesdays 2 p.m.-3 p.m.; Advanced Hebrew Classes, Wednesdays 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m. (Masks required!) Phone (843) 449-5552; website www.mbsynagogue.org.

■ The next New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held Jan. 16, 2021, from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Cars can begin lining up at 7 a.m. Phone (843) 215-4500.

■ Together in Christ has a Wednesday ZOOM Prayer Meeting from noon-12:30 p.m. each week. Prayer changes everything and you are invited to pray with the mid-week group. Email hgprayer @sccoast.net.

■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet, has a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 17 business near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or email Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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