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       April 2017 newsletter


      A Church That Practices Fruitful Living



               Worship in April

      April 2


      April 9

      April 13


      April 14

      April 16


      April 23


      April 30

      Fifth Sunday of Lent
      We confess we live as though we are without hope.

       Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday 
      We confess that we believe shaming lies.

       Maundy  Thursday  • 6 p.m.
      Symbols of rejection

       Good Friday  • 6 p.m.
      Wrapping the cross

      Bring flowers to decorate the cross.

      Holy Humor Sunday
      “Make a Joyful Noise”
      Second Sunday of Easter

      Third Sunday of Easter
      (​To be decided)

      Ezekiel 37:1–14


      Isaiah 50:4–9a

      Mark 14 and 15



      Jeremiah 31:1–6


      Psalm 100 and 150



       Looking ahead . . .

       June 4               Rev. Dr. Rachael Knoll, newly appointed regional presbyter, will preach at Swift.

      by Lisa Cardwell, music director

      Our music ministry is busy preparing for Holy Week 2017.

      The Joyful Tones chime choir is rehearsing after 10:00 services on Sundays. We are preparing “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley” and “Near the Cross” for Maundy Thursday and “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross” and “There Is a Redeemer” for Good Friday. The congregation will be singing as we play.

      The chancel choir is preparing a powerful Maundy Thursday anthem called “Awake, Alone in Gethsemane” incorporating the “Adagio” from Moonlight Sonata as the accompaniment and the hymn tune Aberystwyth as the vocal line. Aberystwyth is better known as “Watchman, Tell Us of the Night.” The anthem “How Beautiful” will also be sung on Maundy Thursday. On Good Friday, the choir will sing “Hope of the World,” featuring Erica Lovato on oboe. On Easter Morning, the chancel choir will sing “Communion Canon” with handbells.

      The handbell choir will also be leading the Holy Week services. On Maundy Thursday, they will present “The Cross,” and on Good Friday, “Were You There?” Chris Rogers will have the honor of tolling the bell 33 times at the end of the Good Friday service, as we mourn the death of Jesus. On Easter Sunday, the handbell will play the prelude “Crown Him with Many Crowns.”

      We welcome Jenni Rachel Cain as our 10:00 pianist. She has been playing for our 8:00 service for 11 years. She comes in at a busy time but has met the challenge with enthusiasm.

      We pray that the many hours we collectively put in for Holy Week leadership are fruitful. We take leadership at this time of the year most seriously, as the events of Holy Week are powerful and humbling, reminding us of the amazing love of Christ for each of us.

      by Greg McNair and Kim Whitchard, worship elders

      Holy Week is April 9–16, and the services at Swift Church promise to provide some interesting twists that should enrich your worship experience.

      We pray these services will take you through Jesus’ steps in his final days walking the Earth as a man. We hope they will touch your heart and soul and help you to reflect on the amazing gift of God sending His Son Jesus to die and suffer again in the fires of hell to pay the price for all of our sins.

      You won’t want to miss a moment — from Palm Sunday, when Jesus arrives triumphantly in Jerusalem, to Maundy Thursday, when Jesus is betrayed and taken away by the Roman soldiers, only to be humiliated, beaten and sentenced to be nailed to a cross and left to die on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, we will celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the grave to become our Living LORD at God’s side in heaven.

      For Palm Sunday, bring palm branches from home or get them when you arrive at church.

      We will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper twice during Holy Week — on Maundy Thursday at the 6 p.m. service and again on Easter Sunday morning.

      The Maundy Thursday service will feature symbols of Christ’s rejection. We will wrap the cross in the Good Friday service at 6 p.m.

      On Easter Sunday, bring flowers to place on the resurrection cross as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s empty tomb and his ascension to heaven. The deacons will serve breakfast between 9 and 9:45.

      Please join us for April worship services at Swift Presbyterian Church.


      We are looking for folks to learn how to be a projectionist on Sundays. This involves loading up the bulletin material, any photos, announcements, etc., and operating the projectors on Sunday mornings. Usually, projectionists take a month’s turn at a time, which generally amounts to three times a year. It can be an interesting and fun way to serve the church. Those who already know how to do this will train you. Please contact the church office if you are interested.




      The “Two or More” Lunch won’t be held this month. Instead, on Thursday, April 6, at 11:30 a.m., the group will attend the final weekly Community Lenten Luncheon at Foley United Methodist Church, 901 N. Pine St. The Rev. Joe Aldrete of Calvary Chapel Fellowship will give the devotion.


      Join us on Thursday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Old 27 Grill, located at 19992 Highway 181 in Fairhope.

      It’s a really casual joint to hang out at while the weather is wonderful.

      Check out the menu: <>.

      Call or text Susan Pichoff at 251-233-9486 to RSVP so we can make sure we get enough tables.


      The next event, scheduled for Saturday, April 8, at noon, is a visit to the naval aviation museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

      The plan is to gather at the “Cubic Bar” Cafe (within the museum) for lunch at noon. A guided tour for our group will begin at 1 p.m. (it lasts 1½–2 hours). You can revisit any of the special exhibits and/or attractions afterward or view shows at the IMAX theaters. Admission is FREE, but donations are appreciated. Contact: phone/voice-mail/text Jim Runtz at 251-923-8169; e-mail



      Living in (or trying anyway) spiritual disciplines

      Coffee with Keith is starting a year of monthly spiritual disciplines; a taste of a variety of historic ways of drawing closer to God. For April we taste Lectio Divina (sacred reading). Lectio Divina is a way of encountering God through Scripture. Traditionally, Lectio Divina has four separate steps: read; meditate; pray; contemplate.

      We’re using Jana Reiss’ book Flunking Sainthood as our primary source, following her April writings and devotionals.

      You are welcome to be part of the class or take on these disciplines on your own. See Pastor Keith for more information.


      The study of the Book of Daniel will be finishing soon. The groups will be discussing which book they would like to study next. Please contact Pastor Jody Beth Melton for more information.

      “Discover Your Strength in God!”
      Sunday through Thursday, July 16–20

      Take kids on awesome adventures alongside some of their favorite Bible heroes and discover the qualities that make us truly heroic in God. Please prayerfully consider how you can use your talents and join the VBS staff. Contact Teresa Thomas, 609-2209, or the church office, 943-8367, for more information.

      by Teresa Thomas

      Kids’ Club will meet again on April 5 and May 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. These are our last two meetings before summer break, and we are looking for someone to provide dinner for each day, at approximately 6 p.m. It can be something as simple as Chick-fil-A, which they all love. Of course, there is the pizza option — or if you feel so inclined to cook, that would be awesome as well. There are usually eight to 10 kids and three adults. Please let me know if you are willing to provide the meal, or you can even make a donation for the purchase if you like. My number is 609-2209.

      As Easter approaches, we are asking for donations of plastic Easter eggs and candy to stuff in them. If you would please help with this, it would be greatly appreciated. You may bring in your bags of eggs and individually wrapped candy that will fit in the plastic eggs and leave them in the back of the church and I will pick them up.

      Thank you.

      by Tara Morrow

      GɸG will be held on Sunday, April 2, in the youth room from 4 to 6 p.m.

      Refuel is on April 13. We will meet in the youth room from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and then attend the Maundy Thursday service. Once the service has concluded, we will go back to the youth room.

      For the youth who are attending Sunday school, we will begin stuffing Easter eggs every Sunday during that time.

      The youth will have a fundraiser on April 23 right after the 10 a.m. worship service. Swift Café will serve a delicious spaghetti dinner for donations to assist with the cost of summer camp. This is a wonderful opportunity for the members of our youth, and any donation would be greatly appreciated.

      by Danny and Paula Brewer

      We just wanted to take a moment to let everyone know how much we appreciate all the support and encouragement that you have given us over the years. We continue to feel God’s calling to work with those who are grieving. We want to make sure that everyone knows that, even when GriefShare is not in session, we are available to support you during a time of grief. Our grief journey has taken us on a path that is filled with fear, great sadness, weakness, anxiety and heartache that can’t be described with words.

      This Christ-centered program has helped us see beyond those emotions to the love, support, strength, comfort and encouragement that God can provide.

      If you (or people you know) are grieving the death of a loved one, we encourage you to go to the GriefShare website and sign up for the daily devotionals and watch the videos that offer so much information. Share this with your friend, your neighbor, or anyone you know who is suffering. Seeing the changes that come to grievers through GriefShare is such a blessing. If anyone is interested in attending a GriefShare group, please let us know because we will soon be planning our next session. You can contact us via email at or call us at 251-284-4225.

      So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

      I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10

      A grief journey is not meant to be walked alone. When you are troubled, be still for a moment and feel the Holy Spirit with you. JUST BREATHE!




      Swift Church session met on Monday, March 20. We began with hearing of Lectio Divina and the “how to” of that spiritual discipline. This was followed by prayer concerns and prayer.

      We received the financial report, which showed February income to be $39,742 with expenses of $34,389.

      We approved committee reports that included dates for vacation Bible school and fundraisers for youth.

      A significant time was spent on conversations regarding buildings and grounds. The rot in the exterior walls of the fellowship hall and the deteriorating driveway were two main topics. Charlie Hastings is getting prices on these two concerns. We also talked about the value of a community garden plot on the northwest section of the property.

      Our focus ministry at next month’s meeting will be missions.

      See newsletter reports from church committees for more detail.

      by Cathy Rogers and Philip Melton, elders

      The Swift Presbyterian Food Pantry served 43 families in March.

      There have been six English as a Second Language classes held in the fellowship hall. This class is funded with a $1,700 grant from The Presbytery of South Alabama from a grant that was written for our Doc McDuffie Road Mission. Esther Tillmon, ESL director at South Baldwin Literacy Council, has been leading these classes. Linda Morrison donated the bilingual Spanish/English New Testament books at a cost of $100. Esther is paid $60 a class from the Presbytery Mission Grant to plan and conduct the class. Pastor Keith and/or Cathy Rogers attend as church volunteers and John M. participates in every class. The attendance has fluctuated between three and five Hispanic mothers and two or three children, none of whom are from the Doc McDuffie Road community. (We think that they are uncomfortable or afraid to come.) Those who attend are enrolled in other ESL classes offered by the literacy council. The classes consist of prayer, reading New Testament scripture in both Spanish and English and discussing the scripture. English verbs are identified and counted to reinforce English skills. A paper-and-pencil activity is done with the mothers and children, and Jesus Loves Me is sung in English and Spanish. The class ends with reciting the Lord’s Prayer in both English and Spanish. Sometimes the class goes to the church playground to allow the children to play while the adults socialize. Esther is implementing a knitting/crocheting/embroidery activity at the end of each class. You can be assured that the students appreciate this class and enjoy it tremendously. They are thankful to the church for the opportunity to learn and worship together. We would like to get more church members involved in attending this class for interaction.

      The next mission project is “One Great Hour of Sharing” in April. A gift to “One Great Hour of Sharing” enables the church to share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed. The mission committee has a plan for a visual display of the contributions that will come in and will begin accepting donations on April 2.


      Charlie Hastings, Swift’s buildings and grounds elder, has provided an update on some church projects large and small.

      At the session’s March meeting, he said he is gathering quotes for repairing asphalt on the driveway (potholes) and widening the front entrance section. He is also getting quotes from contractors on repairing the wood siding and windows encasing on the west and north sides of the fellowship hall.

      He said he had contacted several contractors and was awaiting written price quotes for the work.

      Replacement exhaust fans for men’s and women’s bathrooms are on order and should be installed soon, he said.

      He enlists the help of church family members who are willing and able in carrying out numerous small projects:

      ● Paint and sand the light fixtures and add a missing glass pane at the front entrance to the sanctuary.
      ● Organize the attic in the air-conditioning loft of the sanctuary.
      ● Organize and clean the maintenance closet in the fellowship hall by the bathrooms.
      ● Organize and clean the maintenance closet in the Andy Lay room.
      ● Seal the soffit on the south end of the church office breezeway above the exit doors.
      ● Change air-conditioning filters monthly (attic, fellowship hall, church office).
      ● Solve a jamming problem with the double wooden doors at the main entrance to the sanctuary. The hinges may need to be replaced.
      ● Change overhead light bulbs in the youth room.
      ● A Koala diaper-changing table is needed for the sanctuary cry room.
      ● Install concrete downspouts below the gutters on the south end of the sanctuary.
      ● Volunteers are needed to help maintain the flower bed at the front entrance to the sanctuary.

      If anyone is interested or knows anyone who may be interested in helping around the church, please contact Charlie Hastings at 251-752-5078.

      Know of something else that needs to be repaired?


      by Greg McNair, website editor and manager

      Swift Presbyterian Site Numbers Soar

      Traffic to our church website has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent months. March was the biggest month so far, in terms of site visits, with 14,643. And there were 16,476 page views.

      January was the next-busiest month, with 10,772 site visits.

      The March visits jumped nearly 36 percent higher than January’s total.

      February was not far behind the previous month, with 10,561. Site-visit totals for other recent months: 7,794 in December; 8,640 in November; 9,676 in October; 8,117 in September; 8,601 in August.

      If you haven’t checked out the site lately, please go there and explore. It is packed with information and photos about Swift Church and background about our denomination. I enlist the support of all elders, deacons and members of the church family in submitting news and photographs and helping to ensure the information is up to date. And if you encounter a link that’s not working correctly, please let me know right away.

      I’m grateful to all who submit information and pictures. Comments and suggestions about the website are always welcomed and appreciated.

      You will find the weekly sermons in text and audio, plus the Sunday announcements and the monthly newsletters of the church and preschool. You can explore the archives to find earlier material, too.

      You can submit a prayer request online. However, your prayer concerns are not published on the site. There are various forms you can submit to get involved or send news and photographs or obituaries for the site. You can comment on a service or sermon, or tell what you like or love about our church. There’s a suggestion box, too. You can make donations to the church through a secure portal on the site.

      The website serves to inform our church family, but it is also an outreach tool to let others know about us anywhere in the world. Some of our members say they were drawn to Swift after spending some time on the site.

      Sharing links to our pages with friends and family through social media and email helps to improve our rankings in search engines. The website address: <>. You’ll even get it if you don’t type the <http://>.

      Help spread the word to and about Swift or report/suggest something about the site.


      “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

      April 2 — Bridgit and Jessica Gosa, Greg McNair, Judy Walker
      April 9 — Norm and Debbie Schmidt, Danny and Paula Brewer
      April 16 — Lynda Walden, Sue Ann Lay, Susie Alexander, Stevie Walker
      April 23 — Willard Penfold, Lynn and Mike Barnwell, Eunice Ray
      April 30 — Tony and Kim Whitchard, Jane King, Judy Walker

      April 2 — Cathy Rogers
      April 9 — Jane King
      April 16 — Teresa Thomas
      April 23 — Judy Walker
      April 30 — Jane King

      April 2 — Communion today; no children’s church
      April 9 — Lynn Aspray and Teresa Thomas
      April 16 — Easter Sunday; no children’s church
      April 23 — Holy Humor Sunday; no children’s church
      April 30 — Aaron and Lyndsey Ward

      April 2 — Aaron and Lyndsey Ward
      April 9 — Bridgit Gosa and Tara Morrow
      April 16 — Kathy and Moe Menk
      April 23 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
      April 30 — Karely and Bobby Kleinschmidt

      April 2 — Tosha Thomas
      April 9 — Tresa Melton
      April 16 — Brett Cardwell
      April 23 — Tosha Thomas
      April 30 — Tresa Melton



      Thanks for helping make a miracle at the Presbyterian Home for Children

      Below is the text of a letter addressed to the Swift Presbyterian Church family and to the attention of Pastor Keith Cardwell. It was dated March 13 and refers to our Christmas Hope offering. The writer is Mark Howard, president of the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega.

      Dear Keith and Friends,

      The first signs of spring are beginning to appear on campus. Not just the early leaves and hints of flowers, but in the eagerness of teenagers to be outdoors even when the weather is not quite warm enough for comfort.

      It is such a blessing to be able to watch the growth of children who arrived here from such difficult circumstances. Children like Melinda, who came to us after being rejected from other facilities and with little hope for her future. She is planning for college and making solid academic progress. When she was 13, it would have been a stretch for any of us to predict just how successful she would become.

      Your gift of $4,531.67 through the Presbytery of South Alabama helps make miracles like this happen every day at the Presbyterian Home. There is no greater joy than watching a young life bloom and grow in the warmth of love and care.

      Thank you for your part in making that miracle.


      Mark Howard

      As he signed his name, he added: “Thank you so much!”


      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 the donation link on the church’s website,






      Fred Vosloh

      Eighth annual event is coming up May 7

      Sponsored by the good people at First Presbyterian Church of Foley

      Sunday, May 7, at 1 p.m. at Glenlakes Golf Club

      4-person scramble on the Lakes/Vista courses
       Food and beverages in clubhouse after golf; awarding of prizes.
      Cost is $60 a person or $240 a team.
      More information and registration forms can be found in the back of the church
      or contact Lacie Maynard, (251) 949-7725.

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


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