SWIFT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
a church that practices fruitful living
SERVICES IN JANUARY, BEYOND
Used as a play on words — the year and “perfect” eyesight — worship will focus on three areas of vision.
FIRST DAY WORSHIP
Swift Presbyterian Church begins each New Year with worship. What started as an alternative worship on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, is now an ongoing New Year’s gathering.
The church gathers at 9:00 New Year’s morning for a worship service in the historic chapel. The 30-minute worship includes singing, prayers, a devotional led by one of the pastors, and communion.
The congregation then moves to the fellowship hall for breakfast prepared by some of Swift’s great cooks. The Swift worship team sees this as a meaningful way to begin the year — first worship, first communion, first breaking fast — centering our lives and the year ahead on Jesus and his loving presence.
Again this year, each family will receive a piece of chalk along with instructions for “chalking the door.” Many Christians chalk their doors with a pattern such as this, “20 † C † M † B † 20,” with the numbers referring to the calendar year, the crosses stand for Christ; and the letters have a twofold significance: C, M and B are the initials for the traditional names of the wise men (Casper, Melichor, and Balthasar) but they are also an abbreviation of the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means “May Christ bless this house.”
† † †
■ Jan. 5 is “star word” Sunday. On Epiphany Sunday, each person receives a piece of paper cut into a star shape with a printed word. Keep it posted all year where you can reflect on that word for the coming year. Ponder what significance this word might have in your lives, and how God might be speaking to you through that simple message.
■ Jan. 12 is ordination and installation Sunday at both services, followed by Swift Café, a fundraiser for Swift youth.
■ 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.
Lisa Cardwell | music director
I would like to thank the many adults and children who gave so much time in order to provide a Christmas program for our Swift family and friends. I also thank the congregation for your support.
Now it’s time to look forward and make plans for Lent and Easter.
We have so much musical talent in our congregation. We welcome musical offerings of solos (vocal or instrumental), not just at Christmas but any time. Please contact me and we will schedule a time for you to bring your gifts.
WORSHIP ELDER’S REPORT
Greg McNair | worship elder
Happy New Year!
January at Swift Presbyterian Church will begin with a tradition that we started in 2017 — first worship, first communion and first meal of the New Year. On Jan. 1, we will worship together in the historic chapel at 9 a.m. in a service that includes the Lord’s Supper, served by intinction. After the service, we will move into the fellowship hall for breakfast.
Jan. 5 is Epiphany Sunday. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper again at both services. Pastor Jody Beth and Jane Capsis will lead worship at Live Oak at 1 p.m.
Jan. 12 is Baptism of the Lord Sunday, commemorating the day when the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. Elders and deacons will be installed and ordained that day at both services, and Swift Café will feature a lunch prepared by youth as a fundraiser for a trip to the Montreat Youth Conference in June in the North Carolina mountains.
■ Looking back: December was a busy month in the life of our church as we moved through Advent and awaited the birth of Jesus. A highlight was “A Swift Christmas,” our Christmas program on Dec. 15 that featured worship and plenty of music — led by our various choirs and soloists. The sanctuary was pretty packed with people. This reminded us again that we have plenty of musical talent at Swift Church.
Christmas Eve was a special time, as always, with many people attending our service. We celebrated the Lord’s Supper. We lighted candles as we sang “Silent Night,” celebrating the birth of our Savior.
■ 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.
‘TWO OR MORE’ FELLOWSHIP LUNCH
Thursday, Jan. 2 • 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, Jan. 16 • 6:30 p.m.
Portabella’s — 321-B S. McKenzie St., 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 Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Portabella’s in Foley. The restaurant’s website is https://portabellasrestaurant.com/. Please let Mary McNair know by that morning (but sooner is really helpful) if you are coming, as she needs to reserve tables. However, if you find last minute that you can attend, come on! (An extra spot or two is usually reserved.) You can reach Mary by phone or text at 251-295-5267 or by e-mailing email@example.com. 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 and get you.
Come join the fun. We have a blast!
Jigsaw puzzle exchange started
Do you need something to while away those winter nights? How about working a jigsaw puzzle?
We have a stack 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?
Swift Church session met on Monday, Dec. 16.
After hearing prayer concerns and beginning the meeting with prayer, we:
■ Approved the 2020 church budget. (Copies are available in the church office or view on bulletin board.)
■ Worked on names to be part of committees/teams for the church.
■ Approved reports.
■ Discussed youth and fellowship events.
■ Thanked Tara Morrow for her three years of service as an active elder.
■ Heard a report on completing improvements on the driveway.
■ Closed with prayer.
Pate Cardwell and Al Sprouse | mission elders
Our Swift Food Pantry served 42 families that included 79 individuals on Dec. 11. The Christmas season was made special for 21 women who visited our food pantry on the 11th. Each woman received a scarf that was hand-knitted and donated by Lee Mansell.
Also, a special thank-you goes to Lee Mansell for accepting the position and responsibility of director of our food pantry. After serving as director for two years, Tina Sprouse has stepped down to an advisory position. Thank you, Tina, for your devotion to our food pantry as a way to serve God’s Church.
We appreciate the hard work and devotion from all of the volunteers at our food pantry, receiving shipment, shopping, stocking the pantry, filling the bags, distributing groceries, and keeping records. If you would like to volunteer, contact Brenda at (251) 943-6723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our food pantry was closed on Christmas Day this year. It will reopen on Jan. 8, the second Wednesday in 2020.
Souper Bowl Sunday
On Feb. 2, the Swift family will celebrate Souper Bowl Sunday, hosted by Mark Melton, fellowship elder, and our youth at Swift. Everyone is encouraged to bring a crockpot of “your famous soup, chili, or chowder.” Donations collected for this big event will go to our food pantry.
Elberta Elementary School
t 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.
Baldwin County Sheriff’s Boys Ranch
Our Swift Food Pantry continues to supplement the grocery needs of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Boys Ranch.
Our support to the 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 was for the Alabama Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega. As of the distribution of this newsletter, donations are $1,090.
WE APPRECIATE OUR JANUARY 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
Jan. 5 — Norm and Debbie Schmidt
Jan. 12 — Sue Ann Lay, Lynda Walden
Jan. 19 — Susie Alexander, Janelle Armbruster
Jan. 26 — Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray
Jan. 5 — Sully Curry
Jan. 12 — ZoeyLynn Barnwell
Jan. 19 — Lainey Thomas
Jan. 26 — Cadi Cardwell, McCoy Cooper
NURSERY VOLUNTEERS (if needed)
Jan. 5 — Jane King, Carlie Sims
Jan. 12 — Ginny Kleinschmidt, Tara Morrow
Jan. 19 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
Jan. 26 — Tracy Akins, Lisa Turner
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN
Jan. 5 — Cathy Rogers
Jan. 12 — Debbie Schmidt
Jan. 19 — Jane King
Jan. 26 — Pate Cardwell
Jan. 5 — none; communion Sunday
Jan. 12 — Annette and Brandon Irwin
Jan. 19 — Jane Kink, Carlie Sims
Jan. 26 — Debbie Schmidt, Megan Curry
ELDER OF THE MONTH
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.
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.
Sunday, Jan. 5 — GphiG, 4 to 6 p.m. in the youth room
Sunday, Jan. 12 — “Swift Café” (youth fundraiser) immediately after 10:00 worship, in the fellowship hall
Wednesday, Jan. 15 — Refuel, 6 to 8 p.m. at Norman and Debbie Schmidt’s house
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.
1 Corinthians 2:9 says it best: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him — but God has revealed it by His Spirit.” We continue with our study in Romans, enlightened by His Word.
Eight of our class members joined Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out at Wolf Bay Lodge for an enjoyable night of food and fellowship. During this holy season, we have broken away from Acts and our lesson. On Dec. 15, we read Max Lucado’s “The Crippled Lamb,” and Dec. 22, “The Giving Tree.” No class Dec. 29.
As we enter 2020, Happy New Year! Our class would love for you to become a member. 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.
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 a.m. The group is on break until Jan. 9. The current study, “Six Themes in Matthew,” will finish up at the end of January.
A new study on the book of Exodus will begin in mid February. All are welcome — both men and women participate
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 through the end of January, 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 are facilitators. The study book is Six Themes in Matthew Everyone Should Know. A study on the book of Exodus will begin in mid-February.
• 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.
GRIEFSHARE GROUPS 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
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.