A service of Scripture and hymns
celebrating the Lord’s Supper Led by Pastor Jody Beth Melton
and Music Director Lisa Cardwell
♦ We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
(Bring bread and juice from home
or self-contained elements will be provided.)
♥ Mother’s Day
Worship in the sanctuary
Carnations for all women
Photo collage of mothers
Handbells will play.
Acts 1:15–17, 21–26
Acts 2:1–21 Wear red.
The Swift Church session met on Monday, April 19. After a quorum was declared, we shared prayer concerns and prayed.
■ Heard about the youth group activities and plans for Montreat Youth Conference.
■ An update on tree stumps and leaning trees. Working to get those removed.
■ Lighting issues in the annex will be taken care of by buildings and grounds.
■ Ongoing work and research on an effective and permanent way to live-stream worship. Until then, we will use patchwork equipment.
■ Received the COVID-19 task force recommendations. (See separate article below.)
The meeting closed with prayer.
►COVID task force meets
The Swift Church COVID-19 task force met to review our “Four Steps To Returning” policy. We have been in step 3 for some time and wanted to relook at where we are and what we can do toward returning to a full and open faith community. While we are not ready to move to step 4, we do believe we can move beyond the baseline of step 3.
The latest state “safer at home” information from the state and the latest COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC were used in our discussion and decisions.
We want to stress that decisions are made as best as possible to be a community of respect and hospitality. The Scriptures are clear regarding our care and welcome for others. As we move into warmer weather, our outside possibilities increase. As more people are fully vaccinated, we anticipate a larger number of people in Sunday worship.
What hasn’t changed
■ We ask that you continue to take steps to protect yourself and others by sanitation, masks, physical contact, distancing.
■ The way worship is offered both online and in person will continue as is.
■ Potlucks, shared meals are still on hold.
■ Outdoor activities offer more possibilities than inside activities.
What has changed
■ If you are fully vaccinated (and feel comfortable doing so) you may sit 3 feet apart instead of 6 feet in the pews.
■ Drinks may be served indoors. If pouring from a shared pot or jug, one person — masked and wearing gloves — should be tasked with that responsibility. Individually bottled drinks are preferred.
■ Outdoors, prepackaged food (individually packaged snacks) is allowed.
■ Groups like “Two or More” and Butterfly Girls/Guys Night Out may resume with the understanding that sitting together in restaurants carries a risk. Groups are to comply fully with restaurant’s policy regarding COVID-19.
As we all continue to work our way through this time, please remember that your comfort level may not be the same as the person next to you. As mentioned, respect others and their decisions during this transition time.
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3–7. We would like to say thank you for all you do to make a difference in the lives of children. We appreciate you.
MUSIC NOTES Lisa Cardwell | music director
The handbell choir will be playing for Mother’s Day, May 9. We will be playing a new anthem that incorporates the Nutcracker Suite into an arrangement of “Count Your Blessings.” It was purchased in memory of Edith West, Lee Mansell’s mother. It’s been both challenging and fun to rehearse.
We will be playing two other anthems as well, so there will be lots of bell ringing that day.
We’ve also enjoyed playing with Daniel Godwin, who has come down on Wednesdays to rehearse with us from Bay Minette. Daniel was in our youth group bell choir at First Presbyterian, Bay Minette.
We have a couple team members who are taking a break to take care of family and work responsibilities.
Only in your email ...
The emailed newsletters include directory updates. These were sent out on May 1.
Welcome back ... BUTTERFLY GIRLS/GUYS NIGHT OUT Thursday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. at Gelato Joe’s in Foley
After our long COVID hiatus, with current health information from the CDC and a decision from our session (see notes above), we are going to meet in May for our evening fellowship group. All are welcome!
We will continue to have the ladies and men sit at separate tables (or multiple tables, depending on COVID-19 policies).
Our session asks that those who attend understand that sitting together in restaurants does carry a risk and that we are to fully comply with the restaurant’s policy regarding COVID-19. However, when the reservation is being made, Mary McNair will request outdoor seating for better ventilation, but availability cannot be guaranteed.
Mary has been our coordinator in the past, calling folks to remind them, contacting the restaurant for reservations and encouraging people who haven’t come in the past to join us. She is willing to be the point person this first time back, but after that we will be looking for someone else to take over that responsibility.
For May, RSVP to Mary at 251-295-5267. Texting is best and calls are OK, but please leave a voicemail if she doesn’t answer. Please contact her as soon as possible, even if you are not sure if you will be able to attend that night, to give us an idea of how many are interested and ready to go out with the group. She will then confirm with folks before giving the restaurant the head count.
Mission and service
MISSION REPORT Pate Cardwell and Chuck Carneal | mission elders
One Great Hour of Sharing
Our mission focus for April was One Great Hour of Sharing. We received $1,229 in contributions. Thank you for your donations to this worthwhile charity.
In April, our food pantry served a total of 29 families that included 63 family members. Our food pantry will be open on May 12 and May 26. If you are interested in helping with the pantry, please contact Kathy Menk, our director. Kathy’s contact information is 251-518-7966 or firstname.lastname@example.org
►Online GriefShare groups
“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 online GriefShare groups meeting, and several of them are with churches in our area. If you think of someone who may be interested, or if you yourself are grieving the loss of a loved one, contact Pastor Jody Beth or visit www.griefshare.org.
Intentional faith development
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT
►Thursday Zoom Bible study
The Thursday morning online group will be taking an extended spring break. Please consider visiting or joining one of the two great Sunday school classes that are offered at 9 a.m. each week. (See below for details.)
►Cheryls adult Sunday school class
Cheryl’s class meets on Sundays at 9 a.m. in room 2 in the annex.
We have an empty chair that needs to be filled by you. Coffee and the Bible are served. Come grow with us. You are loved with an everlasting love.
— Cheryl Jensen
►Snacks with Susan and Daryl adult Sunday school class
“Snacks with Susan and Daryl” (well, just coffee for now) began a study on Moses April 11. The study from Adam Hamilton will take a broad look at Moses and the book of Exodus to learn about one of the most important Old Testament figures in our faith. The sessions are:
■ The Birth of Moses
■ Two Moments That Defined the Man
■ The Exodus
■ The Ten Commandments
■ Lessons from the Wilderness
■ Don’t forget … . Pass It On
If you have not joined us before, you may be wondering what we do … so here is an overview. When we start a new study, we will order books for it for anyone who is interested (the book is definitely not required, some folks find it a helpful addition. Normally I try to get these for about $5 each to keep it affordable for everyone. Each week view a video in the series and then talk through the points the study has raised; everyone’s opinions and thoughts are welcome. If you just want to listen, that is OK, too. If you have been thinking about joining us, this is a great series to give it a try.
We hope you’ll join us in the fellowship hall at 9 a.m.
Sunday school classes for children and youth, SWAG (Saved with Amazing Grace), GphiG (Glori•fy•ing God), and Refuel will not meet until further notice.
Youth are meeting again
The youth are meeting again every other week from 4 to 6 p.m. at the church. The next gatherings are May 2, 16 and 30. All youth are welcome!
We may meet inside or we may meet outside. We may enjoy the fire pit or it may be too warm. But one thing is for sure: We are back and we will have fun. Join us!
►Please remember to give
Generosity describes the Christian’s unselfish willingness to give in order to make a positive difference for the purposes of Christ. Extravagant generosity describes practices of sharing and giving that exceed all expectations and extend to unexpected measures.
Thank you for your generous pledges and ongoing offerings. Your financial support will enable Swift Church ministry to plan for the coming year. Your support and commitment to our church is greatly appreciated.
►About online giving
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.
Parting words from the regional presbyter
To the presbyteries:
On my birthday, April 26, I read Diana Butler Bass’ article in which she says the etymology of “religion” is probably from the Latin religare, meaning to “bind” or “reconnect.” I like that. Diana says, “Religare is about mending what has been broken, recovering what has been mislaid, and reconnecting that which is frayed.”
My experience with the presbyteries of Mississippi and South Alabama convinces me that you know about brokenness, disaster, grief and lament. You also know about healing and being the church. I will follow your future with eagerness and hope. I believe your future is bright.
I leave you on April 30, and begin a new parish interim in Sheppards and Lapsley on May 2. Thank you for allowing me to share in ministry with you.