Hosea is not a Bible book that springs quickly to mind for Advent. Yet the theme of Hosea is that of a lost people being found, of a people being named and claimed again by God. Hosea is an unusual but fitting Advent reading.
♦ We celebrate the Lord’s Supper. All are invited to the table.
“God’s Love Rejected”
♦ Food pantry collection day
♦ Live Oak worship service at 1 p.m.,
led by Pastor Keith and Jenni Cain
Second Sunday of Advent
“All in the Family”
Third Sunday of Advent
♦ One worship service
10 a.m. in the sanctuary
“A Second Honeymoon”
♦ Christmas program
♦ “Two cents a meal” offering
for snacks for children
♦ Session meets after the service
to welcome new members
Fourth Sunday of Advent
“Flourish Like Grain”
Hosea 14; John 12:23–26
Christmas Eve worship
6 p.m. in the sanctuary
♦ We celebrate the Lord’s Supper. All are invited to the table.
♦ We light candles as we sing “Silent Night.”
First Sunday of Christmas
♦ Pastor Jody Beth preaches
“The Community of the Committed”
If you can’t attend worship, the sermons will be posted on the church website www.swiftchurch.org/. There are written, audio and video copies available when you are absent.
MUSIC NOTES Lisa Cardwell | music director
The music department is busy preparing for our Christmas program, which is Sunday, Dec. 15, during the 10:00 service. We have several groups who are participating: chancel choir, handbell choir, beginner handbell choir, and Joyful Tones. We also have two vocal soloists who have committed to participate.
We will have a run-through rehearsal on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 9 a.m. This will include all participants.
A rehearsal schedule for Sunday morning, Dec. 15, will be sent out soon including all the participants.
And don’t forget our Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. Our chancel and handbell choirs will lead the service.
Come and worship!
CHRISTMAS COOKIE SOCIAL Sunday, Dec. 15
Sunday, Dec. 15, is the day of Swift’s special Christmas worship at 10 a.m. In addition to the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services worshiping together, we expect many guests that day. After worship, we will have a Christmas cookie social in the fellowship hall.
Would you be able to contribute to the festivities with a dozen or more of your favorite cookies? And/or would you be willing to help set up or clean up that day? Contact Pastor Jody Beth, 213-6625, or Deacon Kathy Knipe, 978-6726, to contribute.
You won’t want to miss December worship at Swift Presbyterian Church. Please join us as we anticipate and celebrate the birth of God’s greatest gift to the world, His Son Jesus Christ.
■ Dec. 1 is the first Sunday of Advent, and we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper at both services by intinction. All are invited to the table.
■ On Dec. 15, we will have one worship service at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary. We will start with traditional worship elements and then have our annual Christmas program, featuring music by our choirs and contributions by other talented members of the church family.
■ Our Christmas Eve service will be Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper by intinction, and light candles row by row as we all sing “Silent Night” just before the service ends. Also on this evening, we will have a little gift for our children in fourth grade and younger who are in attendance. Numbers are limited, and older children will get them, too, if there are enough.
■ We hope everyone has a meaningful and happy Christmas Day. And please remember that celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is the true reason for the season.
■ Dec. 29 is the first Sunday of Christmas. Pastor Jody Beth will preach in Pastor Keith’s absence.
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New Year’s Day is on Wednesday this year, and our church family and visitors will gather for first worship, first communion, and first meal. It will start at 9 a.m. in the historic chapel and we will move into the fellowship hall after the service for brunch.
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November brought us All Saints Sunday, when we remembered people close to us who departed this earthly realm during the past year, and Christ the King Sunday, the last worship service of the church year.
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Please let me know if you or your child would like to volunteer as a worship helper — on a regular schedule or on an occasional basis. This includes people to serve as acolytes, greeters/ushers, nursery attendants and leaders for “time with the children.” And there are always opportunities to help with a few small tasks.
‘TWO OR MORE’ FELLOWSHIP LUNCH Thursday, Dec. 5 • 11:30 a.m. O’Charley’s — 3060 S. McKenzie St., Foley
Everyone is welcome and invited to join us for Christian fellowship and lunch.
Please contact Lee Mansell, 251-232-4775, if you know you are coming.
BUTTERFLY GIRLS/GUYS NIGHT OUT Thursday, Dec. 19 • 6:30 p.m. Wolf Bay Lodge — 20801 Miflin Road, Foley
What is Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out? It’s a monthly excuse every third Thursday for church family and friends to gather at an area restaurant to enjoy fellowship over a meal. We go someplace different every month, deciding each month where we’re going the next month. It’s not a club! If you are a woman or man and you like to eat, join the fun. (We’re Presbyterian — eating is our favorite pastime!)
Ladies and gents sit at separate tables, so singles are definitely welcome and shouldn’t feel out of place because of not having a mate or a date. Have teenagers or children that are older and well-behaved? Bring them, too, if you need to, so as not to miss out on an opportunity to get to know fellow church members. Also, it’s a great opportunity to invite folks who don’t have a church home to come meet new people and hopefully be encouraged to become a part of the Swift Presbyterian Church family.
This month’s gathering will be at Wolf Bay Lodge on County Road 20 at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19. We’re asking everyone to take the opportunity to dress up a little in your favorite Christmas clothes so that it combines as a church Christmas party. We’re hoping to have the biggest group yet so that we might be able to qualify to use one of the private areas, but that requires a head count to justify reserving the space. Mary McNair is the coordinator and usually asks that folks confirm by the morning of, but she really needs to know of as many as possible who know they’re coming so we can verify with the restaurant for an appropriate space. Additional folks can still be added later. You can reach Mary by phone or text at 251-295-5267 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need a ride so as not to drive after dark, make that need known, too, so Mary can connect you with someone to come get you.
Come join the fun! We have a blast!
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN DECEMBER GATHERING Tuesday, Dec. 10
First Presbyterian Church of Foley Presbyterian Women have invited all Swift ladies to join them for their December meeting and luncheon. It is Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. The speaker is Eugenia Gamble, author of this year’s PW study book.
We offered to contribute by bringing desserts, but they said they have everything covered; just bring ourselves and that they look forward to having us.
This is a great opportunity to fellowship with our sisters in Christ from Foley First and other area Presbyterian churches. Please RSVP to Pastor Jody Beth ASAP, 251-213-6625.
December craft sale
Donations of crafts will be accepted and displayed in the fellowship hall the first two Sundays in December.
All proceeds from the sale of these crafts will be donated to the church driveway fund for completion of the project.
Any items that are not sold or picked up by the end of Dec. 29 will be donated to local charities.
Jigsaw puzzle exchange started
Do you need something to while away those winter nights? How about working a jigsaw puzzle?
We have a new shelf of puzzles in the hallway of the annex. You may take one or leave one. Just return it when you are through or bring one from home to share with others.
Also, does anyone have a shelving unit that you would like to donate for the puzzles?
Mission and service
MISSION REPORT Pate Cardwell and Al Sprouse | mission elders
On Nov. 27, our Swift Food Pantry provided Thanksgiving meal ingredients to 57 families, with a total of 150 individuals within those families. Thanks to everyone who helped make the holiday special for these families. The pantry served 42 families that included 121 individuals on Nov. 13. We appreciate the hard work and devotion from all of the volunteers at our food pantry.
Thanksgiving was made special for the families that visited our food pantry on the 27th. In addition to the regular bags of groceries, the visitors to the food pantry received the special Thanksgiving Day items that were donated by our Swift family members.
The food pantry will be open again on the second Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 10 a.m. until noon. It will be closed on the fourth Wednesday because it is Christmas Day but will reopen on Jan. 8.
Elberta Elementary School
It has become a special mission to serve Elberta Elementary with its needs for children that are less privileged in our community. Swift Presbyterian Church has continued to restock the school’s need for more snacks. Our “two cents a meal” donations support this mission.
Alabama Sheriffs Boys Ranch
Residents of the Alabama Sheriffs Boys Ranch joined our Swift family for worship on Nov. 17. Mark Melton, fellowship elder, coordinated lunch after the 10 a.m. service with the attendees from the Alabama Sheriffs Boys Ranch as our guests of honor. Donations from the luncheon attendees that totaled $426 were shared with the Alabama Sheriffs Boys Ranch.
Our support to the Alabama Sheriffs Boys Ranch can be extended in other ways also. They are looking for a Christian, mission-minded couple to join their staff as relief house-parents with some light maintenance duties. This is a full-time, live-in position with benefits. If you know of anyone who could be interested, have them call (251) 989-6392.
Presbyterian Home for Children
Our mission focus for December is the Presbyterian Home for Children.
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
Dec. 1 — Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray
Dec. 8 — Lynn and Mike Barnwell
Dec. 15 — Kim Whitchard, Judy Walker
Dec. 22 — Lee Mansell, Jane King
Dec. 29 — Greg McNair
Dec. 1 — Cadi Cardwell, McCoy Cooper
Dec. 8 — Sully Curry
Dec. 15 — ZoeyLynn Barnwell
Dec. 22 — Lainey Thomas
Dec. 29 — Cadi Cardwell, McCoy Cooper
NURSERY VOLUNTEERS (if needed)
Dec. 1 — Tracy Akins, Lisa Turner
Dec. 8 — Jane King, Carlie Sims
Dec. 15 — Ginny Kleinschmidt, Tara Morrow
Dec. 22 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
Dec. 29 — Tracy Akins, Lisa Turner
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN
Dec. 1 — Cathy Rogers
Dec. 8 — Debbie Schmidt
Dec. 15 — None
Dec. 22 — Ginny Kleinschmidt
Dec. 29 — Teresa Thomas
Dec. 1 — none/communion Sunday
Dec. 8 — Teresa Thomas, Ella Thomas
Dec. 15 — none
Dec. 22 — Lezli and Kenny Thomason
Dec. 29 — none
ELDER OF THE WEEK
Dec. 1 — Greg McNair
Dec. 8 — Mark Melton
Dec. 15 — Mark Melton
Dec. 22 — Tara Morrow
Dec. 29 — Al Sprouse
Intentional faith development
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT
CHILDREN AND YOUTH ACTIVITIES Brett Cardwell | elder/children •Tara Morrow | elder/youth
Sunday school every week at 9 in the annex
Grades K–4 in room 3; grades 5–12 in room 4
SWAG (Saved With Amazing Grace) GphiG (Glori-fy-ing God)
Refuel for youth
SWAG is for children in kindergarten through fourth grade.
GɸG and Refuel are for youth in fifth through 12th grades.
■ GphiG will be Dec. 15. We will combine with SWAG for a PJs-and-movie night. It should be fun. Bring your friends!
■ We finished our study of Simon Peter in Sunday school. We will focus on Advent for the month of December.
SWAG and GphiG gather for a light meal, Bible lesson, games and fellowship. All school-age children are invited and encouraged to attend; you may bring a friend or friends.
Please contact Brett Cardwell or Tara Morrow if you are interested in providing food, doing cleanup, or helping to teach a lesson.
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL Cheryl Jensen | leader
The class meets from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in room 2 in the annex. We are studying the New Testament in chronological order, led by Cheryl Jensen.
Our class continues studying Paul’s journey to churches in Asia and Rome. “All stand guilty before the Lord” are Paul’s words as we venture into Romans, the book of God’s grace. We have room for you and the welcome mat is out.
YOUNGER ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS Andrew King | leader, adult Christian education elder
A younger adult Sunday school class meets in the chapel at 9 a.m. and is led by Andrew King. The class is studying Paul’s letters to the churches. All are welcome to come and be a part of this new class.
SNACKS WITH SUSAN AND DARYL Susan and Daryl Pichoff | leaders
The class meets in the fellowship hall on Sundays from 9 to 9:45 a.m. and is led by Susan and Daryl Pichoff.
If you have been thinking about joining an adult class, come and check us out! We gather to have a bite to eat and discuss a video series that lasts several weeks, then move on to a new topic.
We value all opinions as we discuss the material and appreciate hearing from all who join us.
On Nov. 24, the class began “Faithful,” an Advent study focused on Joseph. We know a lot about Jesus and Mary from Scripture, but Joseph? Join us for some conversation and reflection in this four-week session.
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
The Thursday morning Bible study is focusing on “Six Themes in the Book of Matthew.” They meet Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in room 2 in the annex, and anyone can drop by or join the study at any time. Extra study books are available.
This group will meet Dec. 5 (Lesson 4, part 2, Following Jesus) and Dec. 12 (Lesson 5, part 1), and then break for three weeks; starting to meet again Jan. 9. This particular study will finish by the end of January, and in February a study of the book of Exodus will begin. Plan now to set aside the time for this midweek Bible study time. Facilitators are Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton.
BIBLE STUDY AND FELLOWSHIP
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 that are 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.
• Thursdays, 10 to 11:30, Bible study, room 2 in the annex. This study is based on the Gospel of Matthew, using the Bible and a study book as materials. Pastor Jody Beth and Elder Philip Melton will facilitate. The study book is Six Themes in Matthew Everyone Should Know.
•Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., younger adult Sunday school class, in the historic chapel; led by Andrew King. This class is studying Paul’s letters to the churches.
•Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., adult Sunday school class, room 2 in the annex, continuing a chronolgical study of the New Testament. 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.
•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 (third Thursday of month), 6:30 p.m., Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out fellowship dinner at area restaurants, different place each month.
SANCTUARY FLOWER SCHEDULING Please contact Susie Alexander to reserve your date.
Flowers can be offered for a special occasion, birthday, anniversary, in memory of someone special, or just because you want to. They don’t have to be an expensive bouquet or arrangement, but something out of your own garden can be just as beautiful. We keep a calendar in the office so that you can check to see if your date is available.
To reserve your date(s), you can contact Susie Alexander at 251-943-4145 or sign up on one of the charts in the narthex or the back of the chapel.
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 a donation link on the church’s website.