■ Christmas and Epiphany are behind us now, and we are in the midst of Ordinary Time in the church year. This continues until Transfiguration of the Lord Sunday on Feb. 23. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 26. We will have a service in the sanctuary at 6 p.m. with imposition of ashes.
■ Pastor Keith is continuing his “2020 Vision” sermon series that began last month.
■ On the first Sunday of the month (Feb. 2), we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper by intinction at both services. Everyone is invited to the table. And Don’t forget the Souper Bowl of Caring lunch, with donations going to our food pantry.
■ Our winter visitors will be starting to leave us before long, and there will be a bratwurst lunch in their honor on Feb. 16. They will be missed.
■ Did you hear the chapel bell tolling before the services on Jan. 26? The rope had slipped off the pulley in the bell tower and for some time we were unable to ring it. But now it is working.
■ I have begun a second three-year term as your worship elder. I am happy to serve. If you have concerns or suggestions related to worship at Swift Presbyterian Church, please let me know.
■ If you haven’t picked up your volunteer schedule for February through May, please do so Sunday. They are in the back of the sanctuary.
■ 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. We have an immediate need for someone to keep the pew racks stocked with the various cards, envelopes, sharpened pencils, etc.
The fellowship committee is having two events in February. The first will be Souper Bowl on Feb. 2. We need volunteers to bring your favorite soup. Also to help set up and clean up. All the money donated will go to funding the food pantry. We are going to try to make it fun by handing out tickets with each donation so the participants can vote on their favorite soup. Yes, there will be prizes for the winner.
Also, we are having our “northern visitor appreciation bratwurst dinner” on Feb. 16. The church will provide the brats and sauerkraut with buns along with coleslaw and baked beans. We would like about 10 people to bring desserts. We will take a collection to offset the cost of the food. We will have sign-up sheets for both events and greatly appreciate everybody’s help. For any questions feel free to call Mark, 251-269-8051.
‘TWO OR MORE’ FELLOWSHIP LUNCH Thursday, Feb. 6 • 11:30 a.m. El Paso Mexican Grill — 3191 S. McKenzie St., Foley New year — new location
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, Feb. 20 • 6:30 p.m. Fish River Grill — 608 S. McKenzie St., Foley
Will you mark your calendar for our monthly excuse for church family and friends to gather to enjoy fellowship over dinner? That excuse is Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out. The February gathering will be at the Foley location of Fish River Grill at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20. The restaurant’s website is https://www.fishrivergrill.com/.
We go someplace different every month on the third Thursday, deciding each month where we’re going the next month, although we have already decided that we will be going to Big Daddy’s Grill in March.
It’s not a club! If you are a woman or man and you like to eat, this is for you. 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 better 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.
Money a little tight? Please don’t let that stop you. Some generous folks have provided the church with funds that have been designated to use for something special, not for paying power bills, for example. Make your reservation and let Mary McNair know, then she will make sure Jody Beth Melton knows to pick up your ticket.
Mary needs to know no later than that morning if you are coming or a strong maybe, as she needs to reserve tables. However, confirming sooner would be really helpful. NOTE: if you find last minute that you can attend, come on! An extra spot or two is usually reserved. Mary prefers that you call or text her at 251-295-5267, but you can also email her at email@example.com.
If you need a ride for any reason, make that need known by Wednesday so Mary can connect you with someone to come and get you.
Come join the fun. We have a blast!
Update on the directory
HAS CONTACT INFORMATION CHANGED?
NEED A NEW PHOTOGRAPH?
I just wanted to remind you that I am working on the new directory. If you have made any changes in your contact information or would like a new picture, please let me know. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a picture you would like me to use please email it to me. I will return any hard copies of pictures I receive as soon as I’ve scanned them. Thank you!
— Sue Ann Lay
Mission and service
Swift Church session met on Monday, Jan. 20.
■ We welcomed newly installed elders Tracy Akins, Don Aspray and Greg McNair.
■ The meeting opened with prayer.
■ We discussed an idea for meeting schedule that comes from Eastminster Church and the Rev. Kristin Stroble. After significant discussion we approved to hold stated session meetings every other month (odd-numbered months) with sessional committees meeting on the third Monday nights on even-numbered months. This will begin in February. Deacons, preschool, security team and finance will continue to meet on their regular schedule.
■ This change affects: Christian education, worship, fellowship, buildings and grounds, and missions. For the first gathering Pastor Keith will provide the dinner at 6:30 with all committees meeting in the annex at 7:00. Please contact the elder of your committee for more information.
■ We received the end-of-year financials from finance elder Don Aspray. The general-fund income versus expenses shows that we received $245,398.33 and spent 241,806.58. A summary of 2019 income and expenses is posted on the foyer bulletin board.
■ Elder Mike Barnwell presented the latest information on completing the driveway paving. After discussion Mike is going to get an additional bid for a complete resurfacing. It looks like we will need about another $8,000 to $10,000 to complete the job in full.
■ We approved Lynn Aspray as treasurer for 2020 and Sue Ann Lay as clerk of session for 2020.
■ The meeting closed with prayer.
SWIFT SAFETY TEAM
The safety team was created in late 2019. We are not a committee of the session but rather a group of members, volunteering our time and resources toward our “purpose.”
Our purpose is to identify and address any and all factors that may impact the safety of our congregation and guests on our church campus. Our goal is to work to ensure the continuation of our worship experience without unnecessary interruption. Our motto is to “be prepared.”
We are a work in progress and invite the help and participation of any and all interested people as we become better organized.
SYNOD OF LIVING WATERS Annual meeting report | Pastor Jody Beth Melton
The Synod of Living Waters is a Mid-Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Swift Presbyterian Church is a part of the Presbytery of South Alabama, one of 12 presbyteries that make up the synod. I recently served as a commissioner to the synod, attending the annual meeting in Franklin, Tennessee. The meeting day began with a worship service and included a full day of reports, discussion groups, lunch and fellowship. There were about 60 people in attendance.
The primary work of the synod is the opportunity for the many churches to join in ministry. You may already be familiar with Living Waters for the World, but I found out that this is only one of its ministries. In July, our missions committee will provide updates about the ministry.
I learned that 46% of the synod budget goes to covenant relationships with campus ministries throughout the synod — including the UKirk ministry at University of South Alabama right here in Mobile.
One of the main pieces of business was to vote on a new manual of administrative of operations. Very detailed. It passed. As I was learning about the synod, I found the mission statement included in the manual helpful:
“…our synod forms, fosters and furthers relationships in ways that empower our congregations and presbyteries, inspire our leaders, and nurture the next generation of the church.”
In the worship service, the reports, and the discussion around the tables there was an overriding theme of hope for our churches and our denomination. One scripture for worship was Isaiah 58:6–12, including “your people will rebuild the ancient ruins.” One woman acknowledged struggles her church has been through and personal health issues she has experienced. She said she felt as though we can start to breathe now. Like the Israelites, it is a time to rebuild, and God is with us. To that I say, “Amen.”
This report is not a request for contributions. It is meant to share information about the connectionalism of the Presbyterian church — the connectionalism that makes it possible for a church the size of Swift to be a part of much larger ministry. More information will be shared throughout the year. And if you want to read the 17-page new manual or the 80-page docket of all that was covered, let me know.
WE APPRECIATE OUR FEBRUARY 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
Feb. 2 — Mike and Lynn Barnwell
Feb. 9 — Kim Whitchard and Judy Walker
Feb. 16 — Greg McNair and Jane King
Feb. 23 — Norm and Debbie Schmidt
Feb. 2 — ZoeyLynn Barnwell
Feb. 9 — Cadi Cardwell and McCoy Cooper
Feb. 16 — Lainey Thomas
Feb. 23 — Sully Curry
NURSERY VOLUNTEERS (if needed)
Feb. 2 — Jane King and Carlie Sims
Feb. 9 — Ginny Kleinschmidt and Tara Morrow
Feb. 16 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
Feb. 23 — Tracy Akins and Lisa Turner
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN
Feb. 2 — Cathy Rogers
Feb. 9 — Lynn Aspray
Feb. 16 — TBD
Feb. 23 — Debbie Schmidt
Feb. 2 — None; communion being served
Feb. 9 — Annette and Brandon Irwin
Feb. 16 — Teresa Thomas, Ella Thomas
Feb. 23 — Lezli Thomason, Kenny Thomason
ELDER OF THE MONTH
Intentional faith development
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT
CHILDREN AND YOUTH ACTIVITIES Brett Cardwell | elder/children •Tracy Akins | elder/youth
Sunday school every week at 9 a.m. in the annex
Grades K–4 in room 3; grades 5–12 in room 4
Grades K–4 will be reading Bible stories about David, from shepherd boy to king.
The youth are studying “It’s Not What You Think” by Jefferson Bethke.
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.
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 Tracy Akins if you are interested in providing food, doing cleanup, or helping to teach a lesson.
On Feb. 2, the youth will be helping with the Souper Bowl of Caring lunch.
Refuel will be on Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the home of Lynn and Mike Barnwell.
SWAG and GphiG will meet on Sunday, Feb. 23, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the youth room. Dinner will be provided.
A youth committee meeting will take place Monday, Feb. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Swift. These meetings will occur every other month on the third Monday. If you would like to join the youth committee, please see Tracy Akins or Brett Cardwell.
We have a lot of exciting things going on. With God on our side, anything is possible.
Montreat is coming up soon. The $100 deposit per student for the Montreat Youth Conference is due April 1.
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 has finished studying Acts. Paul has been arrested and continues to preach about Jesus, even in jail. During February, we will study the books of Colossians and Philemon. Join us as we continue our study of the New Testament.
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.
Join “Snacks with Susan and Daryl” starting Jan. 5 for our new study, “God’s Messy Family.” In this video-based series, pastor and author Jacob Armstrong takes an in-depth look at our faith lineage, focusing specifically on the messy family dynamics found in the book of Genesis. As we begin to understand the life stories of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Esau, we find that their pattern looks a lot like ours — we are called, we mess up, and God continues to redeem us. We hope you can join us.
■ The Myth of the Perfect Family
■ The Gap Between What God Says and What You See
■ No, Nothing Is Too Hard for the Lord
■ Loss and Promise in the Family of God
■ Promise Maker and Promise Keeper
■ The Beauty of Imperfection
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
We meet for Bible study in room 2 in the annex on Thursdays, 10 to 11:30. The current study, “Six Themes in Matthew,” will finish up soon.
A study on the book of Exodus will begin in March, meeting Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in room 2 in the annex. Men and women of all ages are welcome.
A Sunday evening class may be available, depending on interest. Please let us know if you may be interested in either class so plans can be made and study books ordered. Cost will be $10; scholarships are available.
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. Finishing a study based on the Gospel of Matthew, using the Bible and a study book as materials. Pastor Jody Beth and Elder Philip Melton are facilitators. The study book is Six Themes in Matthew Everyone Should Know. A study on the book of Exodus will begin in March. (See separate item above.)
•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 El Paso Mexican Grill in Foley on South McKenzie Street. (Note new location.) 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.
Jigsaw puzzle exchange started
Do you need something to while away those winter nights? How about working a jigsaw puzzle?
We have a table 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.
In the community . . .
GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. There are two new groups starting in January in our area. Please contact Pastor Jody Beth for more information for yourself or a loved one.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Chapel
14755 Oak St.
Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
Jan. 7 through March 31
Zion Lutheran Church
15875 Fourth Ave.
Saturdays at 10 a.m.
Jan. 11 through April 4
SOUTH BALDWIN ECUMENICAL LENTEN LUNCHES
The 2020 Lenten season brings the 11th annual “Lenten Lunches” to the South Baldwin community. The lunches will begin on Feb. 27 and continue each Thursday through April 2. As in years past, the lunches will be held at the Foley United Methodist Church from 11:30 to 12:30. There will be a simple lunch served for a suggested donation of $5, followed by a highlight of a local social service program, special music, a Lenten devotion and closing prayer. The goal each year is to come together and fellowship as a community around tables, across boundaries, and between denominations. This year’s overarching theme is “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Each week a different speaker will build on this theme, speaking about six times Jesus shared a meal with someone in the Gospel of Luke. For more information and a schedule of participating speakers, visit Facebook.com/lentenlunches or call the Ecumenical Ministries office at 251-943-3445.
Ecumenical Ministries Inc. is a comprehensive social service agency partnering with United Way of Baldwin County.
■ Feb. 27 — Pastor Joe Aldrete of Calvary Chapel Fellowship
■ March 5 — Pastor Jessica Lawson of Anchor Point Church
■ March 12 — Pastor Elwanda Powell of Word of Life Ministries
■ March 19 — Assistant Pastor Jody Beth Melton of Swift Presbyterian Church
■ March 26 — Dr. Clint Landry of Foley First Baptist Church
■ April 2 — Father Eric Zubler of St. Paul Episcopal Chapel