Week ending December 17

this weeK…

We have a beautiful 7’ lighted Christmas tree donated by Donna Callahan. Thanks, Donna!!!  We are hoping that each will bring one ornament from your personal collection to put on the tree. You can have it back!  When you come in Sunday, or Wednesday Bible study, put it on the tree. Choose a special one to honor our Baby Jesus’ Birthday! 

From our Christmas elf, Nancy McConnell. Any questions, call or text Nancy at 850 865-1140.


The long-term plan for hurricane relief has shifted to Puerto Rico, which will take years to recover. Getting people, even supplies there, is nearly impossible right now. However, we have multiple contacts on the island and are staying connected. The Puerto Rico trip has been pushed back until the first of the year because the area we were going to has been quarantined because of water contamination.

In the short term, we will be assisting the Immokalee Community in Collier County, Florida. This is an agricultural community that suffered a good deal of hurricane damage. Mostly tenants and renters, their housing is going to be taken care of, but the Guadalupe Social Services program is in need of supplies. We will provide further information in the days ahead, and deliver a load of supplies to them.


There will be a Bible Survey study beginning January 10th, and on every Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM, thereafter for eight weeks. Led by Ronnie, it will help Bible readers gain a better understanding of the “story of the Bible” and provide background for individual books. Meeting at A Simple Faith, all are welcome.


As the year draws to a close, I’m thinking about what needs to be done starting January 2.  And you can help. 

If you have moved but are still using checks with your old address for your contributions, please email me your current address – sthornton821@gmail.com

I’’ll be creating your yearly contribution receipts around the middle of January.  They will be available in the church foyer for a couple of weeks, then those not picked up will be mailed at the end of January.  if you need it sooner, just email me with that, too.

Thanks!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Susan Thornton


Trouble At The Inn

    For years now whenever Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain little town in the Midwest, someone is sure to mention the name of Wallace Purling. Wally’s performance in one annual production of the Nativity play has slipped into the realm of legend. But the old-timers who were in the audience that night never tire of recalling exactly what happened.

Wally was nine that year and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth. Most people in town knew that he had difficulty in keeping up. He was big and clumsy, slow in movement and mind. Still, Wally was well-liked by the other children in his class, all of whom were smaller than he, though the boys had trouble hiding their irritation when Wally would ask to play ball with them or any other game, for that matter, in which winning was important.

Most often they’d find a way to keep him out, but Wally would hang around anyway; not sulking, just hoping. He was always a helpful boy, a willing and smiling one, and the natural protector, paradoxically, of the underdog. If the older boys chased the younger ones away, it would always be Wally who’d say, “Can’t they stay? They’re no bother.”

Wally fancied the idea of being a shepherd with a flute in the Christmas pageant that year, but the play’s director, Miss Lumbard, assigned him to a more important role. After all, she reasoned, the Innkeeper did not have too many lines, and Wally’s size would make his refusal of lodging to Joseph more forceful.

And so it happened that the usual large, partisan audience gathered for the town’s yearly extravaganza of crooks and creches, of beards, crowns, halos and a whole stage full of squeaky voices. No one on stage or off was more caught up in the magic of the night than Wallace Purling. They said later that he stood in the wings and watched the performance with such fascination that from time to time Miss Lumbard had to make sure that he didn’t wander onstage before his cue.

Then the time came when Joseph appeared, slowly, tenderly guiding Mary to the door of the inn. Joseph knocked hard on the wooden door set into the painted backdrop. Wally the Innkeeper was there, waiting.

“What do you want?” Wally said, swinging the door open with a brusque gesture.

“We seek lodging.”

“Seek it elsewhere.” Wally looked straight ahead but spoke vigorously. “The inn is filled.”

“Sir, we have asked everywhere in vain. We have traveled far and are very weary.”

“There is no room in the inn for you.” Wally looked properly stern.

“Please, good innkeeper, this is my wife, Mary. She is heavy with child and needs a place to rest. Surely you must have some small corner for her. She is so tired.”

Now, for the first time, the Innkeeper relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary. With that, there was a long pause, long enough to make the audience a bit tense with embarrassment.

“No! Begone!” the prompter whispered from the wings.

“No!” Wally repeated automatically. “Begone!”

Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary and Mary laid her head upon her husband’s shoulder and the two of them started to move away.  The Innkeeper did not return inside his inn, however. Wally stood there in the doorway, watching the forlorn couple. His mouth was open, his brow creased with concern, his eyes filling unmistakably with tears.

And suddenly this Christmas pageant became different from all the others.

“Don’t go, Joseph,” Wally cried out. “Bring Mary back.” And Wallace Purling’s face grew into a bright smile. “You can have MY room.”

Some people in town thought that the pageant had been ruined. Yet there were others – many, many others – who considered it the most Christmas of all Christmas pageants they had ever seen.

Author Unknown



Art in the Park @ Topsail Hill Preserve State Park


Art in the Park is back at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and started on December 8, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. with Basket Weaving. Join local artist, Carol Dickson, for an opportunity to create your own beautiful work of art. Class fees for the December 8th class are $35 and include all materials needed. Regular park admission applies and is paid at the Ranger Station on the day of class. All classes need a minimum of five participants to occur. Classes are limited to 10 participants and participants must be at least 12 years of age. Registration is due seven days before class date and can be done in the park store or online at www.topsailparkfriends.org. The park store is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Future dates for Art in the Park include Watercolor on January 12, 2018 for $25 and Basket Weaving on February 9, 2018 for $35. A different theme and technique are used in each class.

For more information about Art in the Park, please email friendsofthsp@gmail.com. For more information about the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, please visit: www.topsailparkfriends.org.

To learn more about the park, please visit:

Directions/Location Description
Main entrance is located .25 mile south of Hwy. 98.


bible study!


Through December 14th, 2017.

We meet at Simple Faith Church.
Wednesday’s 10:00-11:30 a.m.

An “Explorers Bible Study” that incorporates a DVD lesson & workbook with discussion questions.
All are welcome to join us at any time throughout our study.

2018 Upcoming Bible Study!


Begins Wednesday, January 10th, 2018.
To order your workbook ($24) or for any other questions:
Jen Kelley: elle2897@gmail.com

Judy Skinner: judyskinner29@gmail.com

second bible study

A study of the book of Revelation began Wednesday, September 6th at A Simple Faith. The class is led by Art Pierce, and meets each Wednesday at noon directly following the 10:00 bible class. All are welcome to attend. 

Although the class began in September, there is no cut off time to attending the class. There is so much to learn and absorb about this incredible book of the Bible and anyone interested should feel free to join us at any point at noon on Wednesdays at ASF. 


Can we talk???

If you would like to have a Chat With Cyndi Talty call 850-585-0370 and plan to meet with her.


I am volunteering with a program for those who have lost loved ones.  It’s called Learning Through Loss and sponsored by SRB Community Church (we are currently in our third series this year having upwards of 25 attendees).

This time of year is very difficult for many who have suffered loss of a loved one or even divorce.  The program is facilitated by CC Veasey Whittinghill, D. DIV, and myself.

Here are the particulars:

Learning Through Loss:  Getting Through the Holidays. Will meet Tuesday mornings each week beginning November 14 through December 18, 2017 at 11AM at Santa Rosa Beach Community Church.  Monthly evening grief groups will meet on two dates only, November 13 and December 18 at 630pm.

This is a FREE program, no registration is required and everyone experiencing loss and wanting grief support is invited to attend.

Thank you for any help you can give us in getting the word out… and thank you for all you do at A Simple Faith.

Please fill free to call me if you have any questions or concerns 706-442-7236 or robintharpe@gmail.com

Thank you,
Robin Tharpe






yoga classes

You are invited to a  Gentle Yoga Class with Nancy Gross. Monday classes at A Simple Faith now will be  at 11:15 am and Thursday at 8:30 am.  Classes at 769 Eden Drive, Point Washington, Florida 32459 will be on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 9:00 am.  Please call or email your questions and reservation.  850-797-6926 or nancydgross@gmail.com


Devotions for Christmas: A Celebration to Bring You Joy and Peace by Zondervan

In the swirling busyness of December, take a moment to relax and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas with this sweet little book

We all know that Christmas is a time to celebrate Christ the King born to us, to enjoy our family and friends, and to indulge in those annual traditions we look forward to every year. But even though we may understand the true reason for the season, far too few of us know how to celebrate Christmas as the time of peace that it is meant to be.

With a rich, daily devotion for every day of December, Devotions for Christmas offers you a way to unplug and spend some time reconnecting with a childlike sense of wonder and joy at the mystery and blessings of Christmas. Settle in and enjoy peaceful and hope-inspired Devotions for Christmas.


Greeters: Contact Michael and Laura Granberry, to meet and greet. Contact Michael at mgranberry@earthlink.net  or call 850 496-6610.  You can contact  Laura at simpledesigns@earthlink.net

Communion Servers:Contact Barbara Tape to serve communion: barbara@digitalpark.com.

Tuesdays, The Prayer Boys meet at 8:00am. Contact Kevin Simonsen at 970-259-1748 or kevin@kjsems.com

Mentor – Become a mentor to a child in South Walton County today!


Please pray for Tina Kanaris – her mom passed away on Saturday from a lengthy heart condition.  Tina’s Dad has dementia and struggles day to day -so this is hard on Tina and her brother Tom. 

Thank you and I know she thanks you all for your prayers.

Cindy McBrayer


Please continue to keep Scotty in your prayers.

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT “SCOTTY FIGHTS IT BIG!”To follow Scotty on his Facebook page, CLICK HERE.


communion servers: 

Dec 17…….Kim Ryals and friend
                    Donna Callahan and Jackie Losapio
Dec 24……..Carolyn and Jim Mullins
                     Garry and Lynn Hedges
Dec 31……..Kurt and Barbara Tape
                     Mary Jane and Jimmy Parrish
Ronnie’s Sermons

A Voice Crying In The Wilderness – From December 10, 2017

Keeping the Faith, Part 6 – From November 19, 2017

Keeping the  Faith Part 5 – From November 12, 2017


if you’re shopping at Amazon, please don’t forget to participate in our “His Children” mission.

When you order go to smile.amazon.com and put in the charity name “His Children Kevil Kentucky.”   Amazon will donate 0.5% of your order total to the organization. It will help provide supplies for “His Children.”

NOTICE: The 30A road closure (from Grayton Beach to Blue Mountain) will be in effect from October 23 through January 31.



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