■ Worship each Sunday at 10 a.m.
in the sanctuary;
live streaming on Facebook
■ Online worship available later on YouTube and the church website
■ Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, we are delaying our beginning of fall activities, including the restarting our 8 a.m. worship service. Please continue to observe safety protocols when gathering for 10 a.m. in person worship. Join with us online on our Facebook channel at 10 a.m. or later in the day on YouTube and our church website.
►Worshiping Together Apart video presentation Sept. 12
While we have fewer people in the pews on Sunday mornings, our church family seems to have grown throughout the pandemic. That’s because we have continued to offer online worship services and in addition to Swift members, friends and family and even people we don’t know at all have been worshiping with us regularly.
We don’t get to “see” everyone gathered together on Sunday morning, so we are going to put together a video presentation of those who are worshiping online.
If you have worshiped with Swift online, please send a photo and some information to be included in our upcoming “Worshiping Together — Apart” video presentation. Send your information to Pastor Jody Beth Melton, email@example.com.
Send a picture of you or of your family or group, and everyone’s names.
Let us know if you are worshiping on Facebook livestream or YouTube.
Share with us where you have been when worshiping.
• Photo, Eunice, Facebook livestream while recovering from surgery, Foley • Photo, Karl and Brenda, YouTube, quarantined in assisted living in Foley • Photo, Cathy B., Jody Beth’s cousin, Facebook livestream, Jacksonville, Florida • Photo, Philip Melton, YouTube Sunday afternoons after preaching in Mobile • Photo, Martha Young, Facebook livestream, Brandon, Mississippi
We are looking forward to “seeing” our extended church family. Please submit your information no later than Monday, Sept. 6. The video presentation will be released during worship on Sept. 12 and also posted on Facebook that day.
The Swift Church Session met on Aug. 16. The meeting began with prayer concerns, followed by prayer.
■ We received the financial report and heard about this October’s stewardship emphasis.
■ Got an update on our fellowship hall repairs and tree removal. Agreed to remove gutters from annex building because of their inefficiency.
■ We discussed the increased concern over COVID-19. It was noted that the preschool was closed from Aug. 17–22 because of COVID-19 cases with two students. We will return to distanced seating and encouraging people to wear masks. All changes planned for Sept. 12 have been postponed until COVID-19 numbers for our area decrease.
■ Received reports, minutes and other documents.
The meeting was closed with prayer.
Important dates to remember
■ Deacons will meet after worship at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12.
■ Session will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 20.
■ Presbytery of South Alabama’s next meeting will be Sept. 25 via Zoom.
MUSIC NOTES Lisa Cardwell | music director
Our handbell choir will play on the following Sundays this fall:
■ Sept. 12
■ Oct. 10
■ Nov. 7
■ Dec. 12
■ Christmas Eve
Only in your email ...
The emailed newsletters include a directory update. These were sent out on Aug. 30.
►Fellowship lunch, dinner canceled
We will not be hosting our scheduled Two or More fellowship lunch or our Butterfly Girls/Guys Night Out dinner in September. Session voted to return to social distancing while inside the building, due to the significant increase in COVID cases in our area. This extends to church-organized events in any building, including restaurants.
Those who attend these gatherings enjoy socializing and building one another up, and we all hope and pray for a significant decline in COVID cases so we can meet together again. For now, we will practice the biblical mandate to care for (love) one another by not meeting. Watch for updates for when we will resume the fellowship meals.
Mission and service
The food pantry served 34 families and 60 individuals during August. This month, the food pantry will be open on Wednesdays, Sept. 8 and 22, to serve the community..
Special thanks to Sue Johnson, Jim Runtz and Eddie Waters for their help with the pantry.
►Special missions offering
Elberta Elementary School is the local mission project for our church. We provide snacks, uniforms, and other needs for the children. During September, we will be collecting a special offering to help support this mission. Please indicate “local mission fund” or “Elberta Elementary” on your offering for this mission project. Thank you for your continuous generosity through Swift Church helping “God’s little ones.”
►Serving our medical community
After learning of a snack delivery the week before to SBRMC, many members of our church donated money, snacks, and even baskets to be able to do make additional deliveries. On the next week, 12 baskets of snacks were delivered to nourish the staff and volunteers of SBRMC, both physically and spiritually. We are praying for all those in medical ministry, and our prayers have led to reaching out with these snack baskets as a way of showing we care. God bless all healthcare workers.
►The Hands and Feet of Christ
Christ has no body but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet.
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
— St. Teresa of Avila
Intentional faith development
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT
►Cheryls adult Sunday school class
Cheryl’s class meets every week at 9 a.m. in room 2 in the annex.
We enjoy coffee, fellowship and Bible study.
Come grow with us as we continue our study in the New Testament.
— Cheryl Jensen
►Snacks with Susan and Daryl adult Sunday school class
Do you ever wonder why we believe what we do? Each week we say the Apostles’ Creed, but how did that come to be? Join us in the fellowship hall for Creed by Adam Hamilton starting Sept. 12. We will watch the DVD each week on at different topic and discuss- there’s also a companion book (not required at all, but if you’d like one just let us know).
We hope you’ll lend your voice to our conversation on Sundays at 9 a.m. in the fellowship hall.
The session topics are:
■ Jesus Christ
■ The Holy Spirit
■ The Church and the Communion of Saints
■ The Forgiveness of Sins
■ The Resurrection of the Body
— Susan and Daryl Pichoff
►Thursday morning Bible study
The Thursday morning Bible study online group will begin meeting weekly on Sept. 9. We will be studying the book of Matthew, directly from the Bible (no lesson book required). Everyone is invited to this study as we seek to encounter God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
Pastor Jody Beth and Philip will facilitate with a time for prayer concerns, prepared scripture-based lectures, and questions designed to spur lively conversation. Questions and supplemental information will be distributed in advance each week. Join us as we study this hope-filled book in the weeks prior to Advent and Christmas.
►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 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.
Swift Church Preschool
We are getting ready for a wonderful start to our school year. We have many new friends that have joined our school and we are so excited! I would like to give a big thank-you to all of our teachers and families for the hard work you do. Please remember, we will be closed on Sept. 6 for Labor Day. We will be having our fall picture day on Sept. 8 at 8:30 a.m. Please have your children dressed for their pictures. We can change them into different clothes for you afterward to avoid their picture clothes getting dirty. Picture orders will be made online, and the pictures will be delivered to the school. We hope all of you have a wonderful month.
Fun days to remember:
9/6 — Labor Day; no school
9/8 — Fall pictures
9/28 — Wear stripes
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness on this difficult, and often taboo, topic and a time to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, and recent reports note that amid these pandemic times, suicidal ideation is at an all-time high.
The statistics are alarming:
■ 78% of all people who die by suicide are male.
■ More women than men attempt suicide, but men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide.
■ Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10–34 and the 10th-leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
■ The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999.
■ 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition.
■ Serious thoughts of suicide are experienced by 4.8% of all adults; 11.8% of young adults aged 18-25 and 18.8% of high school students annually.
Suicidal thoughts can plague anyone regardless of age, gender, or social status. Commonly linked to depression, there is no foolproof indicator of suicidal tendencies. Many people suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts cover them up quite well.
If you have a family member or friend who may be having suicidal thoughts, here are some ways you can help:
ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.
KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
HELP THEM CONNECT: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 to offer help. You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, pastor, or mental health professional.
STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.