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     December 2018 newsletter

    SWIFT  PRESBYTERIAN  CHURCH

    A Church That Practices Fruitful Living

    ——————

    Advent

    What’s on your Christmas list this year? How about the greatest gift of all — God’s gift to us of a Savior? Sometimes we concentrate so much on the gifts we want to give and to receive that we forget about the special gifts of Christmas. The truth is we need the miracle of God’s grace to see them, feel them, hear them, wrap our arms around them, and celebrate them.

     Passionate worship 

    UPCOMING SERVICES

    MASON JAR ADVENT CALENDAR

    Imagine a lovely Advent calendar in the form of beautifully illustrated gift tags, each with an Advent prayer, activity, conversation starter, or social media prompt. The tags come in a simple mason jar. As each day unfolds, simply draw a card. Day by day, week by week, prayer by prayer, action by action, we count down to that holy night when God slips into the world.

    These Mason Jar Advent calendars are available, one per family, in the back of the church, as a gift to you from the worship committee.
      

    MARK YOUR JANUARY CALENDAR

    Jan. 1 — We will gather for New Year’s morning worship at 9:00 in our 1907 chapel with celebration of first communion for the new year. A light breakfast will follow in the fellowship hall.

    Jan. 13 — Officer ordination and installation at both services.

    MUSIC NOTES
     Lisa Cardwell, music director 

    We are introducing the congregation to a new song on Dec. 9. We will be singing “Canticle of the Turning,” which is a paraphrase of Mary’s Song at her meeting with her relative Elizabeth sung to the tune of an Irish folk song. Don’t miss this!

    The music department is busy working on music for our church Christmas celebration, which is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 16, during the 10:00 service. Our groups that will be part of this celebration are as follows: chancel choir, adult handbell choir, beginner handbell choir, Joyful Tones chime choir. Thank you to all who are participating for your dedication and commitment.

     We also invite vocal or instrumental soloists or small ensembles to participate. We look forward to hearing the three solos/duets who have already committed to singing. Please contact Lisa if you are interested @251.767.0777 or email lisacardwell62@gmail.com.

     And don’t forget about our Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. Our chancel choir and handbell choir will be leading us in worship. It is such a joyful and beautiful time to be part of the worship services at Swift Church.
      

    WORSHIP REPORT
     Kim Whitchard and Greg McNair, elders 

    On the first Sunday of Advent, Dec. 2, we will distribute Mason jars to each family to use as a means to deepen your worship experience during this Christmas season.

    We will celebrate Christmas Eve with a worship service on Monday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m. Merry Christmas to everyone on Tuesday, Dec. 25, when we all celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. Then, looking toward the New Year, we will celebrate New Year’s Day with a service in the chapel at 9 a.m. and a light breakfast in the fellowship hall to welcome in the New Year with our church family.

    November was a wonderful month full of thanksgiving and celebration as we awaited the Advent season. On Nov. 1 we celebrated All Saints’ Day where we tolled the bell for each one of our church saints who passed on to be with Our Heavenly Father in 2018. Sunday, Nov. 25, was Christ the King Sunday, which celebrates the full authority of Christ as King and Lord of the universe. Officially called “The Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King,” it is celebrated on the final Sunday before Advent.

    May this Advent season be a time of reflection and renewal for each of us. Greg and I have been blessed to be your worship elders. As always, if you feel you are being called to serve in any capacity in the church, there are many places/roles that your gifts can be utilized. Please let Greg or Kim know and we will find a fit for you. May God bless you and your family during this Advent season.
      

    SANCTUARY FLOWER SCHEDULING
    Susie Alexander schedules our Sunday flower donations.
    Please call her to reserve your date in 2018 or 2019.
    You can reach Susie at 251-943-4145 or thfairynfoley@gmail.com. 

     Radical hospitality 

    ‘TWO OR MORE’ FELLOWSHIP LUNCH
    Thursday, Dec. 6 • 11:30 a.m.
    O’Charley’s — 3060 S. McKenzie St., Foley (Note new location.)
    Couples, singles, men, women, first-timers, old-timers — everyone is invited and welcome.
    Delicious food, reasonable prices and great conversation. Come and meet new friends.
     

    FOURTH DAY LUNCH
    Thursday, Dec. 13 • noon

    Come one, come all to Fourth Day lunch in the fellowship hall. Don’t forget to bring a sack lunch.
    This is monthly on the second Thursday.


    BUTTERFLY GIRLS • GUYS’ NIGHT OUT
    Thursday, Dec. 20 • 6:30 p.m.
    Sunliner Diner
    102 E. Second Ave. at Alabama Highway 59, Gulf Shores
    Here’s a link to the diner’s website.

    Please call or text Mary at 251-295-5267 by 4 p.m. that day if you know you’re coming so adequate table space can be reserved. (A few extra chairs will be reserved for any last-minute deciders.) We hear that there is a fun atmosphere reminiscent of the 1950s and ’60s, so wear your poodle skirts, your rolled-up jeans, and don’t forget your saddle shoes!

    Our group is growing ever since the girls and guys meet at the same place, although we sit and visit together separately.

    Come join us this month. Couples or singles are welcome.

    Join us and suggest new places for us to try.
      

     Intentional faith development 

    CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT
     Teresa Thomas, elder, children  Tara Morrow, elder, youth 

    ■ SWAG (formerly Kids’ Club) is for children in grades K–4.

    ■ GΦG is our youth group for ages fifth grade through high school. We meet at the church and have a lesson, games and a small meal.

    ■ Refuel, our Wednesday night youth group meeting, is from 6 to 8 p.m. The next gathering will be in January; watch for the date. You are encouraged to invite your school friends, neighbors, etc.

    ■ If anyone would like to prepare a meal, please let Teresa Thomas or Tara Morrow know. 

    ■ The following are the dates for both SWAG and GΦG:

    Jan. 20 — 4 to 6 p.m.
    Feb. 17 — 4 to 6 p.m.
    March 17 — 4 to 6 p.m.
    April and May — to be determined
      

    SNACKS WITH SUSAN AND DARYL
     Susan and Daryl Pichoff, leaders 

    The class meets in the fellowship hall on Sundays from at 9:45 a.m. and is led by Daryl and Susan Pichoff. Join us in December for some fun Christmas-related topics and conversation. And we always have a little something to eat, too.

    ■ Dec. 2 — We will look into the Christian messages in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” using some information from “The Thoughtful Christian.” It’s the classic movie from 1946 and will let us discuss the power of prayer and the role of community in our lives.

    ■ Dec. 9 — “Miracle on 34th Street”…you’ve seen it a million times, right? We will explore questions of faith and doubt and consider the challenges we Christians sometimes encounter when we talk about our faith and profess what we believe, in addition to commenting on the commercialization and secularization of Christmas.

    ■ Dec. 16 and 23 — We will carry on talking about Advent, including what it must have been like for Mary — a young girl in an unusual situation at a miraculous time.

    If you have questions, please let me know and I hope you’ll join us. Contact Susan at tabfanatic@gmail.com or 251-233-9486 (phone or text).
        

    ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL
     Cheryl Jensen, leader 

    The class is studying Acts: the incredible beginnings of the early church, the first Christians and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There was so much unity in these early disciples and apostles. We would love to have you join our class. Each week there is a lot to learn. Come and be a part of “growing in Christ” as we study His word. We meet at 9:00 on Sunday mornings in the room 2 in the annex.
       

    WEEKLY BIBLE STUDIES ON BOOK OF GENESIS
    Sunday evenings, Thursday mornings

    Sunday evening and Thursday morning Bible study groups are continuing a weekly study on the book of Genesis. “Invitation to Genesis,” a disciple Bible study, includes a DVD, a leader’s guide, and participant books. The study books are $15 and as always, scholarships are available. Please let facilitators Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton know if you will be able to be a part of this group; 251-213-6625 and 251-213-6505.

    Times are: Sundays, 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.; and Thursdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m. (11:15 on the first Thursday of each month so that participants may attend the “Two or More” fellowship lunch).
      

    BIBLE STUDY AND FELLOWSHIP GROUPS
    FOR ADULTS AT A GLANCE

    We are blessed to have so many people who would like to be part of Bible study and fellowship at Swift Church. Here is a listing of the groups currently meeting. All of them are open to people visiting and/or joining the group, whether you are a member of Swift Church or not. For more information, contact the leaders or the church office.

    Weekly:

    Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., adult Sunday school class, room 2 in the annex, studying the book of Acts, led by Cheryl Jensen

    Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., Snacks with Susan and Daryl, fellowship hall, led by Susan and Daryl Pichoff; topic varies. The class usually watches a DVD and discusses informative topics.

    Sunday evening (5:30 to 6:15) and Thursday morning (10 to 11:30), Bible study groups meet weekly. They are studying the book of Genesis. Contacts are Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton, 251-213-6625.

    Monthly:

    Thursdays (first Thursday of month), 11:30 a.m., “Two or More” fellowship lunch at O’Charley’s in Foley on South McKenzie Street. Contact is Lee Mansell.

    Thursdays (second Thursday of month), noon, Fourth Day fellowship lunch in the fellowship hall. Bring your own sack lunch and enjoy Christian conversation. This is a new group, started by six people who attended Cursillo #36, and is open to everyone.

    Thursdays (third Thursday of month), 6:30 p.m., Butterfly Girls and Guys’ Night Out fellowship dinner at area restaurants, different place each month. Sometimes men and women eat at same restaurant at separate tables, sometimes two restaurants near one another. Contacts are Mary McNair and Susan Pichoff.

     Mission and service 

    SWIFT OFFICER RETREAT

    The current and newly elected elders and deacons spent Saturday, Nov. 17, in conversation regarding the mission, vision and strategy for Swift Church’s future. It was a lively beginning conversation with lots of thoughts, concerns, and ideas batted around.

    This was the first of many gatherings and conversations. Nothing that’s anywhere close to a final thinking came from the day.

    The energy, intelligence, imagination and love from all participants is a great sign of the health and vitality of our community of faith.

    Be prayerful for our leadership team and for our church as we seek a clear understanding of the why, what and how of Swift’s ministry to the surrounding community.
      

    MISSION REPORT
     Al Sprouse and Cathy Rogers, elders 

    The food pantry supplied 29 families with Thanksgiving baskets on Nov. 14. We are very happy that we were able to make those families’ Thanksgiving a celebration.

    The special mission for Advent is to give to the Presbyterian Home for Children and to honor the 150 years that they have been helping children and families. This year we have set a goal of $2,000 for PHFC. We will use the HOPE board that Phil Melton created a few years ago. For every $30 donation, a bulb will be lit on the board. Please be in prayer for this mission.
      

    GRIEFSHARE EVENTS

    When someone is grieving, the holidays can be especially hard. To help those who have lost someone cope, GriefShare will hold “Surviving the Holidays” on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Swift Church. A light dinner will follow in the fellowship hall.

    On Dec. 21, “The Longest Night” memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the chapel. Please contact Paula Brewer at 251-284-4225 for more information.

    ■ Click here to see a page about “Surviving the Holidays.”
    ■ Click here for a PDF you can download and print out to help spread the word.

     Extravagant generosity 

    WE APPRECIATE OUR DECEMBER VOLUNTEERS


    “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


    GREETER/USHER TEAMS
    Dec. 2 — Susie Alexander, Elinor Gartman, Sue Ann Lay, Lynda Walden
    Dec. 9 — Lynn and Mike Barnwell, Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray
    Dec. 16 — Judy Walker, Kim Whitchard and Jane King
    Dec. 23 — Danny and Paula Brewer, Lee Mansell, Greg McNair
    Dec. 30 — Janelle Armbruster, Norm and Debbie Schmidt, Kim Whitchard

    TIME WITH THE CHILDREN
    Dec. 2 — Cathy Rogers
    Dec. 9 — Pastor Keith
    Dec. 16 — Christmas program
    Dec. 23 — Judy Walker
    Dec. 30 — Debbie Schmidt

    CHILDREN’S CHURCH
    Dec. 2 — None due to communion being served
    Dec. 9 — Debbie Schmidt and Megan Curry
    Dec. 16 — Christmas program
    Dec. 23 — Tracy and Olivia Akins
    Dec. 30 — Jane King and Carlie Sims

    NURSERY VOLUNTEERS
    Dec. 2 — Bridgit Gosa
    Dec. 9 — Ginny Kleinschmidt and Tara Morrow
    Dec. 16 — Christmas program
    Dec. 23 — Brett and Pate Cardwell
    Dec. 30 — Tracy Akins and Lisa Turner

    FELLOWSHIP DEACONS
    Dec. 2 — Tosha Thomas
    Dec. 9 — Brett Cardwell
    Dec. 16 — Marlene Hastings
    Dec. 23 — Tosha Thomas
    Dec. 30 — Brett Cardwell

    ACOLYTES
    We have a need for several more helpers.
    Dec. 2 — Jon Devery and Lainey Thomas
    Dec. 9 — ZoeyLynn and Zadie Grace Barnwell
    Dec. 16 — To be determined
    Dec. 23 — To be determined
    Dec. 30 — Sully Curry
      

    ABOUT ONLINE GIVING . . .

    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, www.swiftchurch.org.

    Please welcome our new affiliate members 

    Chuck Radake and Dee Williams are our new affiliate members. ■ Click here to see their photos and read more about them.

    Swift Church Preschool 

    School telephone: 251-200-3840

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    • Presbytery of S. Alabama
    • Synod of Living Waters



    A safe haven

    striving

    to cause

    God joy



    Swift  
    Presbyterian  
    Church
     

                 —————
    23208 Swift Church Road
    Foley, AL 36535
    Phone: (251) 943-8367
    email: swiftpc@gulftel.com