I love Christmas music and listen to it in my car constantly. I have a lot of Christmas CDs from different artists and enjoy the different renditions of carols old and new (for you young folks, ask your parents what a CD is).
On my Statler Brothers CD is a song that asks this question: “Oh Daddy, just whose birthday is Christmas? The Bible says that Jesus was born. Oh Daddy, please explain, I had to ask because you hear so much about Santa Claus.”
I enjoy much of the Christmas celebration: trees, lights, busy stores, movies, music, church programs and so much more. And I have no problem with Santa Claus, as long as he’s kept “in his place”. (My parents never sat me down and told me there was a Santa, but I believed it until the year “he brought me” my slot car track and I heard my folks playing with it before going to bed!)
But with all the different cultural, religious and secular activities, one thing is certain: there would be no Christmas if it wasn’t for Christ!
Think about it: Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas presents, Christmas decorations, Christmas shopping, Christmas cards, Christmas programs and cantatas, Christmas movies and television specials, Christmas dinner, Christmas Eve, Christmas carols and songs, Christmas holidays from school, Christmas day off work, Christmas parties, Christmas bonuses…etc. What do they all have in common? They remind us that Christmas is the celebration of that day in history when Almighty God took on human flesh, and Jesus, Creator and Savior, was born.
I think we all would agree that He probably wasn’t born on December 25. But that isn’t the important thing. We can’t go find the exact stable where He was born or the manger that was His first crib. If we knew all of that, we’d worship them instead of Him. But without question, the holiday celebrated on every continent and in every country, each December, is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, God incarnate.
In our world today, the humanist and so-called atheist minorities would try, without success, to undermine Christmas and make it just a secular holiday, a mid-winter holiday, a winter solstice holiday. But the truth is, if the early churches did not decide to have an annual celebration of the birth of Christ (the day we call Christmas), there would be no such holiday! It would never have been initiated and would never have continued!
So, let’s not get all bent out of shape if the clerk wishes us a happy holiday, or the governor calls his state tree a holiday tree. They know what the day is all about. And have you ever heard of a so-called atheist or humanist demand to go to work on Dec. 25, when every one else is off. Do they refuse that Christmas bonus? Do they skip the Christmas party and pass up the office supply of Christmas candy and cookies? I think not!
No one can undermine your or my celebration of the birth of Christ. Because in actuality, it isn’t just a day; it’s a lifestyle. It doesn’t turn on and turn off, but goes on in our hearts continually. No Scrooge or Grinch can dampen your Christmas celebration; only you can do that.
So, let’s continue to celebrate Christmas. Let’s continue to wish others a merry or blessed Christmas. Let’s keep Christ in the forefront of our hearts, minds and lives always…on Dec. 25 and all 365 days of the year.
Yes, Jesus is the reason, the only reason for the season. And without Christ, there would be no Christmas!
Aynor Cemetery Remembrance Service
Aynor Cemetery will hold the 11th Annual Candlelight Remembrance Service Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. Luminaries will be placed on each grave in the cemetery. Come light a candle to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Community Christmas dinners
The 31st Annual Community Christmas Day Dinners will be served this year in three different locations:
■ Belin Memorial United Methodist Church, 4182 U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet; serving noon-2 p.m.
■ Flagpatch Apostolic Holiness Church, 630 Flagpatch Church Road in Loris; serving 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
■ St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 3301 U.S. 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach; serving noon-2 p.m. (at this location there will also be free kid’s shoes, preschool to high school by Samaritan’s Feet working with the Purdue Children in Need Fund).
These Christmas Day meals are free for everyone and meal delivery is available if you call (843) 781-1326 by Dec. 23. Help spread the word. We expect to serve at least 8,000 meals.
Proudly Pro-Life Weekend
As we continue to fight the good fight for the lives of our most helpless citizens, our unborn children we salute and support the organizations that lead us, groups like South Carolina Citizens for Life and Grand Strand Citizens for Life.
SCCL will again sponsor a Proudly Pro-Life Weekend, Jan. 10-11, 2020, in Columbia.
On the 10th, participants will attend the Proudly Pro-Life Dinner Theater featuring a one-act pro-life play entitled Viable. This will be held at Seawells, 1125 Rosewood Drive. Tickets are $45. Doors open and silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., buffet is served at 5:45 p.m. and the program begins at 6:45 p.m.
(If you wish to stay overnight, contact Graduate Columbia, formerly the Inn at USC at (843) 779-7779. SCCL has a block of rooms at a special rate available through Jan. 2
On Saturday join the Stand Up For Life March and Rally. And on Jan. 15 there will be a press conference on the Heartbeat Bill.
Meanwhile, may we all pray that the holocaust of abortion will end soon!
Invite Your Community
Share your good news with your community
Most churches, synagogues and other houses of worship have special services during the season of Christmas, Hanukkah/Chanukah and so on. Invite your community to come celebrate and worship with you.
Send your announcements to Church Talk in a timely manner and our four newspapers will help you get the word out. You can fax your announcement to (843) 369-7731 or e-mail to email@example.com.
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ The Music and Arts Ministry of First United Methodist Church, 1001 Fifth Ave., announces its 2019 Advent Concert schedule: Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. in the Hut Chapel: Candlelight Advent Concerts with members of Long Bay Symphony; Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. Angels Say What?, a children’s Christmas musical complete with set, props and wardrobe; Dec. 22 at 10:30 a.m. Festival of Lessons and Carols with Chancel Choir, members of Long Bay Symphony, organ and handbells. All programs are free and offered as a gift to the community. You are welcome to attend!
■ Friday, Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2105 U.S. 501 E (across from HGTC), at 5 p.m. will serve a free dinner to the community. This meal is open to anyone who would like to attend! Phone (843) 347-4914.
■ Langston Baptist Church, 763 S.C. 905, invites you to its Christmas musical drama Come See the Lamb to be held Saturday at 7p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. Suggested donation is one canned food item for INASMUCH.
■ Conway Christian School, 1200 Medlen Parkway, will host its annual Tip-off Basketball Classic this weekend. The first game will begin Thursday at 4 p.m. In addition to the homestanding CCS Eagles, other participants include Aynor, Trinity Byrnes, Socastee, Clarendon Hall, Scotland Christian, New Life Christian and Laurence Manning.
In addition to the games, Friday night will include a three-point shooting contest and slam-dunk contest. Phone (843) 365-2005.
■ You’re invited to Christmas Eve at the Rock with three services at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Visit rockc3.com.
■ 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 come 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.
n Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ St. Philip Lutheran Church, 6200 Kings Highway, will hold a Holden Evening Prayer Service on Wednesday beginning with a soup supper at 5:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The service will follow. Join them as they welcome the Light of the World through prayer and song.
St. Philip will offer two Christmas Eve services: at 4 p.m. they will worship the Christ child with an abbreviated yet uplifting service of Holy Communion, geared particularly for families, with familiar carols, scripture, sermon and candle lighting. And at 8 p.m. the church will have its traditional candlelight worship of Holy Communion with a full liturgy and festive singing. Phone (843) 449-5345.
■ Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church, 410 Sixth Ave. South in North Myrtle Beach, invites you to Sunday Advent Worship services: 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. Contemporary and 11 a.m. Traditional.
In addition, come Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. for A Celtic Christmas Celebration. And the Christmas Eve Candlelight Services will be held at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Go online to www.oceandrivechurch.org.
■ Now through Christmas, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, has its Christmas Tree and More sale: wreaths, trees, hot cocoa, red truck photo op and so on. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Sun Coast Christian Church, 4419 Little River Road (corner of 44th Avenue North and Little River Road) invites everyone to a festive Christmas Market Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Enjoy homemade Christmas cookies, baked goods and candies, luncheon items, jewelry, wreaths, table decorations and more. There will be exciting door prizes, too. Phone (843) 444-0731.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway, invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).
Sunday and Hebrew School, 9:30 a.m.-noon.
On Wednesdays: Advanced Hebrew 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Adult Education, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.; Conversion, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting items for New Directions of Horry County, which provides shelter and meals for those in need. Please bring paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, diapers), bath towels, laundry soap, toothpaste and brushes, and cleaning supplies. We are continuing to collect new packages of children’s underwear and socks. Bring your donations to the Rosen Center and place in the basket provided by the front door. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated! Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.
And Save the Date: next Mahjong tournament will be Friday.
Chanukah Dinner and Talent Show (children and adults welcome), Dec. 22, 6 p.m. Dinner will include salmon, spaghetti, salad, grilled vegetables, latkes, sufganiyot, ice cream. Adults $17; children 12 & under $10, 3 and under free. Make checks payable to Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood and mail to 406 65th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, SC 29572. Or call the temple office at (843) 449-5552 to make your reservation via credit or debit card. Your payment is your reservation and should be received no later than Dec. 16. Each family should bring a Menorah!
■ Faith Outreach Ministries of the Grand Strand and Lowcountry Food Back will have a Drive Thru Free Food Distribution at the Myrtle Beach Bowl, 101 Philip Gray Drive, Friday from 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Also, the New Beginnings food distribution that includes free groceries, lunch social services information and a children’s craft table will be held on Dec. 21 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Phone (843) 25-4500.
■ The Carolina Master Chorale will present Christmas and All That Brass at 4 p.m. on Saturday in Trinity United Methodist Church, 706 14th Ave. S in North Myrtle Beach, and at 4 p.m. on Sunday in Trinity Church, 3000 North Kings Hwy. Tickets will sell fast so don’t wait to get yours. Phone (843) 444-5774 or go to www.CarolinaMasterChorale.com.
■ Festive Brass presents Christmas Around the World Sunday at 3 p.m. in First United Methodist Church, 901 Kings Highway. The event is free and family friendly and accessible for all ages. Don’t miss it.
■ Each evening, from Dec. 22-30 at 5:15 p.m. gather at Valor Park in the Market Common for the Lighting of the Menorah. Temple Shalom will hold the service the first night.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-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.