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December 21, 2014   Vol. 17, No. 51
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Worship Preview

8:25 a.m. Worship

John Woods and the Worship Band will lead the congregation in worship through music. Dr. Fenton will preach a message entitled "The Christmas Story, A Christmas Story, And Your Christmas Story" from John 1:14.


9:40 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Worship

Advent 2014: Love

The love Christ offered us is mirrored by the Sanctuary Choir’s anthem No Eye Had Seen as we celebrate this final Sunday of Advent, looking forward to the coming of Christ. Dr. Fenton will preach a message entitled "The Christmas Story, A Christmas Story, And Your Christmas Story" from John 1:14.



Journey Worship

11:00 a.m., The Loft

Tim Simpson will preach a message entitled "The Christmas Back-story" from John 1:1-18.



Together in Worship
December Bible Memory Verse

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14



Sunday, December 21, Worship

 Worship Services

    8:25 a.m., 9:40 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. - Sanctuary

  11:00 a.m. - Journey, The Loft

  11:00 a.m. - Hispanic Service, Chapel


  Bible Study

    8:25 a.m. & 9:40 a.m. 



And In Closing


As Christians, every dimension of our lives is to be experienced through the filter, or governance, of the Lordship of Christ. Therefore, Christians celebrate differently than non-Christians. Below are five guidelines for celebrating Christmas as a holy season rather than just a holiday season.


1. Celebrating a holy season begins with gratitude. The Christmas event, or the incarnation, is a gift that God has given. Gratitude is more than obligatory words of thanksgiving to God about His gift; it is an approach to life. Recipients of grace should never resent their circumstances because we know we have life: forgiven life, Spirit-filled life and eternal life. So, what is there to resent?


2. Celebrating a holy season involves the language of the heart more than the language spoken with the tongue. Yes, it involves both, but some Christians get so riled up with hearing "Happy Holidays" that they do not experience a Christ-filled Christmas. By all means, say "Merry Christmas" but give some grace to people who do not. Grace is the language of the heart.


3. Celebrating a holy season always leads to worship. Worship is not a synonym for attending church. During this season, attend services at church with a sense of awe and splendor. Christmas is a miracle.


4. Celebrating the holy season of Christmas means we seek to be aware of the ways God is present and active in our world today. While God became flesh in Bethlehem, He is still present through His Spirit in His people in Birmingham. If you celebrate the presence of God in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago without the awareness of God’s presence today, you make Christmas only the anniversary of a holy day.


5. Celebrating the holy season will inevitably lead to serving others in Jesus’ name. The birth of Jesus is about the kingdom of God, or the rule/reign of God, being near. The rule/reign of God in our hearts always leads us to live out the role of the servant. We are to serve with our time, money, and energy.


Just personal: Alta Faye and I wish you and your family a Christ-filled Christmas, and may this coming new year be filled with the spiritual abundance that results from living under the Lordship of Jesus.


Your pastor,

Gary Fenton


P.S. I invite you to participate in the 35-minute Christmas Eve Family Communion Service at Dawson on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.



Christmas Eve Worship

Wednesday, December 24, 5:00 p.m., Sanctuary

Sacred and simple, that’s what Christmas Eve looks like at Dawson. With a telling of the Christmas story, familiar carols, and a casual atmosphere, this short service is a time for family of all ages to welcome in Christmas. Please join us at 5:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary for this special worship experience.



Together in Giving & Serving
Giving Supports The Dawson Mission Statement

During 2014, the generous giving of the Dawson Family of Faith has enabled Dawson to fulfill our mission statement – "To Become and Help Others Become Faithful Servants of Jesus Christ" – in many ways. Not only have we been able to provide the ministries to meet the wide variety of needs of our own members, but we also have reached our local community through KidLife, Dawson Egg Hunt, Family Fall Festival, the Family Recreation Center, and many more ministries. Please prayerfully consider making an end-of-the-year gift to Dawson as a reflection of your love for and commitment to God.


Last day for 2014 contributions is Wednesday, December 31

December 31 is the last day the IRS permits contributions to be given to Dawson for the 2014 tax year. Gifts must be received by the church or postmarked no later than midnight, December 31, 2014. For your convenience, the Church Office will be open on Wednesday, December 31, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Rowan Smith, Business Administrator, at 871-7324 or


Contact: Rowan Smith at 871-7324 or

Help Reach Our Missions Offering Goal

During this season of giving, what better gift could we give than to support God’s work? Please give generously to Dawson’s Commitment Day Missions Offering so that we can reach our goal of $225,000 by the end of the year. This special offering supplies the resources for KidLife Week and for the expenses for all of our mission trips in 2015.


Contact: Tom Thompson at 871-7324 or

Pharmacist Needed For Haiti Mission Project

Dawson’s Haiti Mission Team needs a pharmacist or pharmacy students to assist their medical mission March 28-April 4, 2015. In addition to this specific need, volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks. If you or someone you know might be interested in serving, please contact Donna Adkisson at Partial scholarships are available.


Contact: Ben Hale at 871-7324 or

Together in Mission & Ministry
Dawson Members Supported By Lottie Moon Offering

Did you know that members of the Dawson Family of Faith are currently serving with the International Mission Board around the world? Four of our families work in four different countries to reach targeted people groups with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The primary source of their support that enables them to remain on the field is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The vehicles they drive and the homes they live in are a direct result of your mission giving.  Thank you for supporting International Mission Board missionaries through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.


Contact: Ben Hale at 871-7324 or

Give Used Clothes To Kids Connection

Your gently used children’s clothes, books, and toys can make a huge difference in the life of a child who otherwise may not have what they need. Kids Connection serves over 3,000 children each year. Each child receives 10 to 12 clothing items, so your donations are needed. You can bring donations to Kids Connection on Mondays and Wednesdays and the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or to the North Parking Lot at Dawson on Wednesdays between 4:45 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.


Contact: Tom Thompson at 871-7324 or

Nurses Needed For International Medical Projects

In 2015, Dawson’s international mission outreach will push the limits of our volunteer task force. If we as a church are to accomplish what God has called us to do, new volunteers, in addition to those who have gone before, will be needed. Due to the nature of several new projects, we have a specific need for nurses and nurse educators. Some examples are below:


Haiti – Nurses are needed to conduct blood pressure clinics at The JoyHouse in Gressier, Haiti. These clinics last three days and occur every three months.


Peru – Nurses are needed to conduct a one-week medical clinic that will treat 1,800 people.


North Africa – Nurse educators are needed to teach seminars at a nursing school in North Africa.


Tanzania – Nurses are needed at the Kigoma Baptist Hospital to improve training and patient care.


If you are a nurse or know of one who may be interested in joining one of our short-term teams, please contact Ben Hale at Partial scholarships are available to assist volunteers on these projects. Specific project information on these projects may be available now, but all details will be confirmed in January 2015.


Contact: Ben Hale at 871-7324 or

Together in Bible Study
Wednesday Evening Bible Studies

A vast offering of Bible studies for adults begins on January 7. Whether you are beginning Bible study or are experienced, there are studies offered at various levels of knowledge and participation. We encourage you to broaden your study of God’s Word by participating in one of these short-term studies.


Contact: Tom Thompson at 871-7324 or

Crown Biblical Financial Study

The Crown Biblical Financial Study is a ten-week study of all the Bible teaches about money and gives you practical application of those principles. The study is for ten weeks on Wednesday nights at 6:00 p.m. and starts January 7. Please register by contacting Tom Thompson at 871-7324 or


Contact: Tom Thompson at 871-7324 or

Receiving God’s Blessings

"Receiving God’s Blessings: How Your Finances Impact Your Spiritual Journey" is a four-week study that will give you the biblical foundation for sound financial management and introduce practical applications. Additional one- and two-week studies will provide more detailed guidance on all aspects of personal finances. Managing your finances the way that God wants will absolutely impact your spiritual journey. Classes meet on Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m. in Room 256 North starting January 7. There is no charge, and pre-registration is not required.


Contact: Tom Thompson at 871-7324 or

Together in Ministries
Candlelight At Dawson: Celebrating 40 Years

Candlelight at Dawson, December 20-21, is a Birmingham Christmas tradition. With the thrilling procession of lights, mass choir of over 300 voices, 1,500 candles aglow, and the singing of Silent Night, it is always a very special night to remember and share with family and friends, especially as we celebrate 40 years of ministry. You will not want to miss it! (Doors open at 4:15 p.m.)


Contact: John Woods at 871-7324 or

Music On The Patio

On this last Sunday of Advent, enjoy sounds of the season on the Sanctuary patio before and after each service presented by Dawson's pianists. This festive addition is sure to bring joy to your heart as you come and go in celebration of Christ's birth. 


Contact: John Woods at 871-7324 or

"Let’s Get Real" Marriage Conference

Friday-Saturday, January 9-10, Sanctuary

On January 9-10, Dawson will be hosting a Marriage Conference with guests Dale & Jena Forehand. This will be an incredible event to help encourage and strengthen your marriage. We hope that you will join us for this wonderful 2-day event. The cost is $20 per couple. For more information and to register go to or contact Andy Cartee at


Contact: Andy Cartee at 871-7324 or

Dawsonaires: Music, Friendships, And Service

Every Thursday morning, the hallways on the 3rd Floor of the North Building are filled with the heartwarming sounds of the Dawsonaires as they rehearse wonderful and inspirational choral music. The Choir ministers once a month in retirement centers, hospitals, ministry shelters, and churches. Monthly luncheons add to the spirit of being "family" together. Rehearsals are held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. every Thursday. The first rehearsal of 2015 is January 8. New singers are needed and welcome.


Contact: Bob Hatfield at 871-7324 or

Join Us At "The Cove" In 2015

"The Cove" is the Billy Graham Training Center located in the beautiful mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Dawson is planning to take a group for a special conference on November 6-9, 2015. The featured speaker is Anne Graham Lotz with music by Fernando Ortega. The setting is breathtaking, the fellowship with other Christians is invigorating, and the sessions are inspirational. The cost is $675 and includes transportation by chartered bus, three nights’ lodging, meals, and conference fee. There is a refundable registration fee of $75. This is a very popular conference, so please register online at or at the Church Office by January 30.


Contact: Bob Hatfield at 871-7324 or

Travel To The "Resorts of the Canadian Rockies"

Please save the date of October 6-15, 2015, to see the beautiful sights of the Canadian Rockies. All are invited to attend an informational meeting on February 22. This trip is sponsored by Dawson’s Second Half Ministries and is led by Doug and Sandra Arendall.


Contact: Bob Hatfield at 871-7324 or

DivorceCare Class Offered At Dawson

No one enters into marriage expecting it to fail. Yet divorce can happen – unleashing a flood of emotions and challenges that can be overwhelming. As a means of assisting individuals through the heartache and stress of divorce, Dawson will offer a DivorceCare© Class beginning Wednesday, January 7, at 6:00 p.m. in Room 100 West. DivorceCare© groups are designed to be a safe environment where you will find you are not alone. Topics include finding healing, facing anger and depression, experiencing loneliness, and dealing with finances.


The class size is limited, so if you are interested in attending, please contact Andy Cartee at your earliest convenience. The class facilitators are Richard Tucker and Shirley Ellison.


Contact: Andy Cartee at 871-7324 or

W-2 Will Break For Holidays

There will be no W-2 for 1st and 2nd graders on Sundays, December 21 and December 28. We will have additional children’s worship bulletins available. We look forward to W-2 starting again on Sunday, January 4.


Contact: Danielle Bell at 871-7324 or

Fenton's Friday Five

Read "Fenton's Friday Five" for observations and insights about being faithful at



Together in Prayer
Family Dedication

Samuel Christopher Whaley, son of Kathleen and Chris Whaley, will participate with his family in dedication this Sunday during the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Samuel was born on July 15, 2014. His grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Steve Johnston of Huntsville, Ms. Virginia Whaley of Memphis, TN and the late Mr. Ron Whaley.



In Love And Sympathy


Joan Smith and family in the death of Joan’s husband, Donald Smith


Pat and Frank Tobin and family in the death of Frank’s father



In Loving Memory


Donald Jackson Smith ~ December 8, 2014



Welcome To Dawson


Christopher Derrick

Caroline Griffin

Ainsley Hulsey

Ella Jayne Hyde

Drew & Heather Mitchell

        (Ava & Hudson)

Sydney Shepherd

Bailey Shepherd



Together This Week
Dawson Calendar
Sunday, December 21
  8:25 a.m. Worship/Sanctuary
  8:25 a.m. Sunday Morning Bible Study
  9:40 a.m. Worship/Sanctuary
  9:40 a.m. Sunday Morning Bible Study
11:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m. Hispanic Congregation Worship/Chapel
11:00 a.m. Journey Worship/The Loft
  5:00 p.m. Arabic Congregation Worship/100 West
  5:00 p.m. Candlelight/Sanctuary
Monday, December 22
  7:00 a.m. Men's Bible Study/Social Hall
Tuesday, December 23
  No Activities
Wednesday, December 24
  Church Office & FRC are closed for Christmas Eve
 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Service/Sanctuary
Thursday, December 25
  Merry Christmas!
  Church Office & FRC are closed
Friday, December 26
   FRC is closed

Sermon Audio

Sunday sermons, by Dr. Gary Fenton, are available on CD in the Marketplace (located in the Foyer) immediately following the 11:00 a.m. worship service ($4 each). 


Dawson’s 11:00 a.m. Sunday Worship Service is broadcast (one week delayed) on WIAT 42, Sundays at 10:00 a.m.


Dawson Worship Services on TV
Sundays, 10:00 a.m., WIAT 42
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