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     Passionate worship
    Swift worship report 

    Blessing of backpacks
    is an August highlight

     By GREG McNAIR | worship elder 

    ■ A worship highlight for August is the annual blessing of the backpacks and teacher/staff recognition. This will take place Aug. 11 at both worship services. Baldwin County students return to class on Aug. 14. Please join us in helping the students and school employees get their school year off to a positive start by asking God to watch over them and help them to be secure and successful.

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    ■ If you feel God is leading you to be a worship volunteer for the 10:00 services or you are one of our helpers looking to make a change in your duties, please let me know in the next few weeks. We will soon start working on the schedule for the next quarter that begins in October, and we would love to bring back or add people to the rotation as greeters/ushers, acolytes, adult leaders for “time with the children” and keepers of the nursery. We can use help with some smaller jobs, too.

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    ■ Once again, I commend all of our outstanding worship volunteers for jobs well done. Thank you so much. It means a lot to have people who are committed to serving the Lord and this church and willing to step up and do what is needed and do it well. If you would like to help in some way, please let me know. We can fit you into the schedule for the upcoming quarter that starts in October or let you fill in as a substitute before then as needed. We always need a person or two to help collect the offering and we need folks who are willing to lead “time with the children,” read the prayer for illumination and the scripture, and watch over babies and young children in the nursery. We can also use help in keeping the pew racks stocked with cards, pencils sharpened, etc. We could use some additional acolytes to bring in and take out the light, too. There are no age restrictions for that, although the older children seem to feel that is for the younger kids. Adults can do it, too — and sometimes we do. Is God calling you to help?

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    When worshipers visit a church for the first time, what makes them decide to return?

    Sure, many things can figure into the equation, such as theology, structure and length of the worship service, worship time and location. But I would say the top factor is how the visitors are treated — how did they feel when they were at church and how did they feel when they reflected on the experience later.

    I guess a few people want to visit a church and blend into the woodwork quietly and leave right away, practically without being noticed.

    However, we on the worship committee think most people will be more likely to come back if they feel the presence of God and are shown radical hospitality — being greeted warmly and having several people talk to them and show that the pastors and congregation are glad that the visitor is among us.

    As worship elder, I think our church does a pretty good job with this, but all in the church family constantly need to be mindful of new faces among us so that no one “falls through the cracks” and walks away with a poor impression of who we are and why we are here. We are the hands and feet of Christ in this place — and when we walk out of the church doors.

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    Our church calendar has a considerably slower pace now that many classes and activities are taking a seasonal break. Our normal schedule will resume in September. Children’s church and Sunday school for children and youth will return, along with adult Bible study classes outside of Sunday school and the normal rehearsal schedule for the choirs.

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    ■ Come join us for worship, study, fellowship and mission work at Swift Church.

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    ■ If you have ideas relating to the worship experience, please feel free to share them with any of us. The committee includes Pastor Keith, Pastor Jody Beth, Music Director Lisa, Judy Walker, Shirley McCausland (our newest member) and your worship elder. Is God leading you to join the team?

       Find us on


    • Presbytery of S. Alabama
    • Synod of Living Waters

    A safe haven


    to cause

    God joy


    23208 Swift Church Road
    Foley, AL 36535
    Phone: (251) 943-8367