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       May 2017 newsletter


      A Church That Practices Fruitful Living




      Pastor Keith will be away June 18–24
      He and Lisa will travel to Montreat, North Carolina, for the annual Worship and Music Conference.

      Mother’s Day • Sunday, May 14

      Pastor Jody Beth Melton will be leading worship at 8:30 a.m. on Mother’s Day again this year at Heritage Park (center of Foley) by the water fountain. This brief 20-minute service allows vendors to attend worship and still open their booths at 9. Over the years, many from Swift and the community have attended. All are welcome.

      Lisa Cardwell, music director

      Many, many thanks go out to all the chancel choir members, handbell ringers, and Joyful Tone chimers who helped to make our Holy Week/Easter services so meaningful. We will remember how you turned our attention to honoring and lifting praise to Jesus through the beautiful texts that you sang and soulful notes that you played. We are grateful for each of you.

      The chancel choir, as of April 30, is going to our summer rehearsal schedule, which is Sunday mornings at 9. We move to easier anthems so that we will require less time to prepare and give our hard-working singers a much-needed break from Tuesday night rehearsals. If you would like to join us, we would love to share our music ministry with you. The handbell choir is also taking a break. We have polished our bells and put them in their cases. The Joyful Tones are taking a respite as well.

      However, planning for next fall and spring will not stop. I’m looking forward to attending the Montreat Worship and Music Conference in June. There I’ll be able to listen to new choir and bell anthems, as well as hear fresh ideas in church music for children through adults. And there I’ll be able to worship and sit at the feet of Jesus without any leadership responsibilities. Thank you for your support. It’s an honor to be in His service.

      Greg McNair and Kim Whitchard, elders

      Happy spring! With the spring flowers and warmer weather came Holy Week and Easter. Our Swift family went through the grief of the tragedy of our Lord’s betrayal and crucifixion during Holy Week — and then rejoiced on Easter Sunday with His resurrection. Thank you to everyone who participated in Holy Week services and Easter. We continued our celebration with Holy Humor Sunday, April 23, to rejoice with a joyful noise as Jesus played the “biggest joke” on Satan when He arose from the grave. We now look toward May in hopes of continuing to rejoice and celebrate The Lord’s resurrection and gift of that resurrection that we have received.

      May 4 is National Day of Prayer, when we as a people are invited to unite and pray for our nation and leaders. May 5 is May Friendship Day, so why not bring a friend to church on the 7th? On that Sunday, we will be celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, which we serve by intinction at both services. If you would like to assist the elders in preparing the elements, please contact the elder of the month, Kim Whitchard (251-979-5538). We will be celebrating Mother’s Day on May 14. Please plan to attend that Sunday (bring your mother, grandmother, aunts, and those we consider our “moms”) so that we can honor them and thank them for all they have done for us.

      It has been a busy April and spring, and the worship committee looks forward to enriching the summer with exciting and innovative ways for us to experience God.



      For the last two months, the “Two or More” lunch group joined the annual Community Lenten Luncheon group at the Foley United Methodist Church Spirit Center for the meal, music, message and fellowship. Join us as we return to our usual gathering place, Captain’s Choice Restaurant in the Gulf Bowl, on May 4 at 11:30 a.m. The restaurant address is 2881 S. Juniper St., the road that runs behind the Tanger Outlet Center in Foley. Please RSVP is you know in advance you will be joining us, but if you don’t, we always have room for more at the table. Contact Lee Mansell, 232-4775.


      Easter Sunday breakfast: This was our first Easter Sunday back in the fellowship hall since the renovations, and the deacons did an outstanding job of providing for a wonderful time of food and fellowship for us at the breakfast offered between the 8 and 10 a.m. services. They attended to every detail from planning, purchasing, cooking, setting up, decorating, serving, and cleaning up. Thank you to the co-chairs, Marlene Hastings and Brett Cardwell, and also to Lisa Turner, who provided the bright, cheerful Easter decorations. These three also helped from beginning to end along with all the other deacons who contributed in many ways: Don Aspray, Betty Carneal, Mary McNair, Tresa Melton, Jim Runtz, Linda Runtz, Tosha Thomas, Joe Walden, Judy Walker, and Martha Young. The giving of your time and talent, particularly on Easter Sunday morning, was appreciated by all who came and shared Easter breakfast that morning.

      Next deacons meeting: Sunday, May 7, from 4 to 5:15 p.m.

      Thursday, May 18, 6:30 p.m.
      Mamma Mia! Pizzeria
      246 W Laurel Ave., Foley
      Corner of Highway 98 and Pine Street
      (Where the Dairy Queen was many, many moons ago)

      Girls and Guys will be seated in separate sections of the restaurant.
      Invite a friend or two, or come solo. Come for a night off from cooking.
      Leave with memories of good food and fellowship.

      Please RSVP to Mary McNair, 251-295-5267, no later than Wednesday, May 17, so we can reserve tables.



      Pastor Jody Beth and Philip will be attending the Festival of Homiletics in San Antonio, Texas, the week of May 14. The theme of this year’s annual conference is “Preaching on the Borders.”

      “Be inspired by God’s Word proclaimed by some of the nation’s finest preachers and teachers. Experience the fellowship of more than a thousand preachers. Learn and worship in an atmosphere that’s dynamic, friendly, nurturing and prophetic. Come renew, refresh and recharge your spirit.”

      Jody Beth and Philip will be leaving immediately after the 8:30 a.m. “Worship at the Fountain” service on Sunday, May 14 (see above), and returning in time for worship at Swift on May 21. Please be in prayer for them as they travel and experience this unique opportunity for professional development and spiritual growth. You can learn more about the conference at

      “Discover Your Strength in God!”
      Mark your calendar: July 16–20 (Sunday through Thursday)

      Hero Central uses epic music, spectacular science, crafty crafts, heroic recreation, and fantastic Bible stories to help kids (and leaders) discover their strength in God. From the moment VBS begins, Hero Central is designed to introduce your child to a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Each activity is developed, tested, and refined to be an engaging, age-appropriate experience to bring the word of God alive to every participant and volunteer. Hero Central is based on the Bible and the gospel of the living Christ.

      Please prayerfully consider how you can use your talents and join the VBS staff. Contact Teresa Thomas, 609-2209, or the church office, 943-8367, for more information.

      Tara Morrow, elder

      The youth confirmation class starts May 31. Individuals who are in sixth through 12th grade are eligible to attend.

      We look forward to educating these young people in the life, love and faith of Swift Presbyterian Church. Pastor Keith and Pastor Jody Beth will be the leaders for these classes.

      The classes involve education about the Bible and about the Presbyterian community. It will help the youth to better understand their personal beliefs as well as those of the Presbyterian Church. At the end of the summer, when we have completed the classes, the child will have the opportunity to be baptized (if they have not been baptized earlier) or reaffirm their faith and become a member of Swift Church.

      Below are the dates for the classes; please put them in your calendars. For the youth who are working this summer, we hope this will give you enough time to request off for the times of the classes and retreats.

       May 31 (Wednesday) — 4 to 6 p.m. in the youth room

       June 14 (Wednesday) — 4 to 6 p.m. in the youth room

       June 28 (Wednesday) — Retreat from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Pastor Keith’s house

       July 12 (Wednesday) — 4 to 6 p.m. in the youth room

       July 16–20 (Sunday through Thursday during vacation Bible school) — We will follow the same time schedule as the other VBS classes. In the youth room.

       July 26 (Wednesday) — 4 to 6 p.m. in the youth room

       Aug. 8 and 9 (Tuesday and Wednesday) — Retreat from 4 p.m. on the 8th until 4 p.m. on the 9th at Pastor Jody Beth’s house. It will be an overnight retreat.

      Snacks will be provided for the two-hour classes.

      Also, a big “Thank you” needs to be given to Tess Helton-Carrel for the delicious gumbo and banana pudding she prepared for the youth fundraiser. We made a total of $514 from the gumbo fundraiser and we would like to give half of the proceeds to fund “Gracie’s Warriors.” The youth will be supporting our very own Gracie Carrel at the MDA walk at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile on Saturday, May 13at 9 a.m.

      And, another big “Thank you” to all who supported our spaghetti dinner fundraiser on April 23; we received an additional $393 for our youth camps and conferences fund.



       Swift Church session met on Monday, April 17.

       There was a time of prayer concerns and prayer.

       The session received the financial report for March.

       The session received reports from ministry teams.

       The focus ministry team of the month was missions. They talked about the successes of using visual aids for special offerings. Also in conversation: upcoming offerings and the interest of University of South Alabama Campus Ministry (UKirk South) talking with the church about that ministry.

       There was discussion on bids for getting the driveway widened and the existing drive and parking resealed. Also, there was approval of having the rot on the fellowship hall siding repaired.

       The meeting adjourned with prayer at 7:30.

      Cathy Rogers and Philip Melton, elders

      The Swift Presbyterian Food Pantry served 44 families in April. There is one remaining distribution on April 26. Those interested in volunteering at the food pantry may contact Phil Melton. Volunteers for this month are: May 10 — Susie Alexander and Janelle Armbruster; May 24 — Vicki Elsler and Sue Johnson.

      April’s special offering is “One Great Hour of Sharing.” A gift enables the Presbyterian Church to share God’s love with our neighbors in need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed. We began to get gifts on April 2 and still have one Sunday to collect for OGHS. Our goal is $800, which is about $150 more than was collected last year. As of April 18, $800 had been given. The mission committee has created a visual aid that was displayed at both services with hand cutouts, each hand representing $20.

      June 4 is Pentecost Sunday and is another special Presbyterian offering. We will begin promoting this in late May and collect gifts through June 11. A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. Forty percent of the Pentecost offering can be retained by individual congregations wanting to make an impact in the lives of young people within their own community. The remaining 60 percent is used to support ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency including young adult volunteers, ministries for youth, children at risk, and Pentecost offering financials. Last year $500 was collected from our congregation. We have yet to set a goal for this year or devised a service mission visual.

      Our McDuffie Road Mission continues with a Friday English class in the fellowship hall that usually gets started around 9 and runs until 11. This mission is made possible by a $1,500 mission grant from The Presbytery of South Alabama. A Bible text is focused upon each week for the adults and their preschool children. Teacher Esther Tillmon is teaching the adults how to knit and crochet as well, which is a good bonding activity. It is a good opportunity for Swift folks to learn Spanish as well, which is what John McCausland, Pastor Keith and Cathy Rogers are doing. Linda Morrison has been very interested in donating items to the class as well. Please feel welcome to join this group for fellowship on Friday mornings.

      Charlie Hastings, elder

      Special thanks to Chad Swanson, owner of No-Limit Handyman, for donating time and materials to fix the exterior of the fellowship hall.

      We have quotes to widen and fix the asphalt driveway at the entrance of the church and several areas needing attention in the parking lot. Resubmitting add-ons for next session meeting to discuss further.

      New bathroom fans are in, and we’re looking to get the installed in men’s and women’s bathrooms as soon as possible.

      We are still looking for volunteers for these tasks around the church:

       Sand and paint light fixtures and add a missing glass pane to one at the front entrance to the church
       Organize the attic in the air-conditioning loft
       Organize and clean the maintenance closet in the fellowship hall by the bathrooms
       Organize and clean the maintenance closet in the Andy Lay room
       Seal the soffit on the south end of the church office breezeway above the exit doors
       Change air-conditioner filters monthly (attic/fellowship hall/church office)
       Main entrance to sanctuary: double doors are jamming; hardware is worn out.
       Overhead lights in the youth room: bulbs need changing
       Looking for a Koala changing table for the sanctuary cry room
       New concrete downspouts below gutters on the south end of the sanctuary
       Volunteers to help maintain the flower beds at the front entrance to the sanctuary

      If anyone is interested or knows anyone who may be interested in helping around the church, please contact Charlie Hastings at 251-752-5078.

      (Please pick up your summer schedule in the back of the church.)

      “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
      faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
       — 1 Peter 4:10

      May 7 — Jessica Gosa, Greg McNair, Lee Mansell, Judy Walker
      May 14 — Norm and Debbie Schmidt, Danny and Paula Brewer
      May 21 — Lynda Walden, Sue Ann Lay, Susie Alexander, Stevie Walker
      May 28 — Lynn and Mike Barnwell, Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray

      May 7 — Lezli and Kenny Thomason
      May 14 — Aaron and Lyndsey Ward
      May 21 — Kathy Menk and Tara Morrow
      May 28 — Megan Curry

      May 7 — Cathy Rogers
      May 14 — Teresa Thomas
      May 21 — Judy Walker
      May 28 — Jane King

      May 7 — none, communion Sunday
      May 14 — Jenni Aspray, Traci Akins
      May 21 — Megan Curry, Debbie Schmidt
      May 28 — Jane King, Carlie Sims

      May 7 — Brett Cardwell
      May 14 — Tosha Thomas
      May 21 — Tresa Melton
      May 28 — Brett Cardwell




      You may have noticed this box in your bulletin. Using your “smart phone” and this box you can connect to the church’s online giving page. You can set up for automatic donations of your tithes or one-time gifts to a number of funds benefiting ministries of Swift Church. Use this by either entering your credit/debit card information or your checking account information. Of course, this is a secure website. You can also do the same thing by clicking the donation link on the church’s website,




      Eighth annual event is coming up May 7

      Sponsored by the good people at First Presbyterian Church of Foley

      Sunday, May 7, at 1 p.m. at Glenlakes Golf Club

       4-person scramble on the Lakes/Vista courses
       Food and beverages in clubhouse after golf; awarding of prizes.
      Cost is $60 a person or $240 a team.
      More information and registration forms can be found in the back of the church
      or contact Lacie Maynard, (251) 949-7725.

      The MDA Muscle Walk

      The MDA Muscle Walk is on May 13th at Hank Aaron Stadium. For more information,
      contact Tess Helton-Carrel to be a part of “Gracie’s Muscle Warriors” team.
      979-8890 or

      To join the team and/or donate and/or learn more about their mission see:

      If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can enter the team name.
      Gracie’s story is on that page.


      MEMORIAL DAY 2017 | Monday, May 29

      In memory of those who died
      while serving in our military

      Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that occurs every year on the final Monday of May. (Do you remember when it was always on May 30?) Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

      Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.

      Today Memorial Day is an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visit the graves of their deceased relatives in church cemeteries, whether they had served in the military or not. There is sometimes a religious service and a “dinner on the grounds,” the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” idea.

      Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, living or dead.



      Presbyterian Disaster Assistance annual meeting was held in Atlanta, April 21–24. Members of the volunteer national response team and national volunteer team gathered to expand the team’s knowledge of disaster ministries and response.

      PDA members receive training throughout the year in areas such as natural and human-caused disasters, emotional and spiritual care, church damage, post-disaster volunteer workforce housing, long-term community rebuilding, and refugee and immigration in disaster response.

      In addition, in Atlanta, volunteers participated in sessions dealing with racism and privilege, and suicide awareness. Guest speakers from Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, a consortium of groups that respond during disasters were featured.

      PDA is made up of 102 clergy and lay members representing 34 states and Puerto Rico. Response team members commit to one month of service annually. In 2016, national volunteers spent approximately 2,377 days in 62 presbyteries in response to church damage, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, storms, human caused disasters and in the refugee ministry.

      PDA enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crises and catastrophic events. The organization gratefully receives support through your One Great Hour of Sharing donations.

      Dr. Al Thompson of the Presbytery of South Alabama has been an active member of the national response team since its inception 21 years ago.

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      23208 Swift Church Road
      Foley, AL 36535
      Phone: (251) 943-8367


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