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      a church that practices fruitful living

      April 2019 newsletter

       Passionate worship 



      Swift Church and Pastor Keith have an agreement that every seven years, he gets a three-month break from regular pastoral responsibilities. That time has come again.

      Here are some answers to questions you might have.

      What is a sabbatical and how long is it? A sabbatical is a period of paid leave granted to a worker for study and/or travel. It is proven that allowing pastors’ physical, spiritual and emotional health are improved through sabbaticals. According to an article titled, Death by Ministry Burnout:

      • ■ Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month.
      • ■ Eighty percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
      • ■ Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could but have no other way of making a living.
      • ■ Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
      • ■ Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.

      The Presbytery of South Alabama recommends three months every seven years. This is the policy approved by Swift Church.

      Who’s going to preach while he’s gone? There will be several different people preaching. Van Edington and Julian Walthall are retired Presbyterian ministers. Al Thompson is a retired Presbyterian minister and is serving as our supply presbytery executive. Chris and Lauren Peters are both ordained Presbyterian ministers. Many people know Lauren from previous ministry with us. She is also the campus minister at University of South Alabama. Chris is the associate pastor at Trinity Church in Fairhope. You know both Pastor Jody Beth and her husband, Phil. Both are lay pastors who do supply preaching at various churches in the area.

      Why not just have Pastor Jody Beth preach every week? Pastor Jody Beth is part time (30 hours a week.) Her pastoral responsibilities will continue during this time. The session has approved her to work full time during Pastor Keith’s absence. That additional time will be picking up administration, visitation, and such. This does not allow time for her to prepare to lead worship weekly.

      Where’s the money coming from to cover the added expenses? There will be expenses related to Pastor Jody Beth’s additional hours as well as compensation for those who preach. The session, under the advisement of the finance committee, has set aside $1,000 a year since the last sabbatical to cover these expenses. There is $7,000 available through your past financial support of the church to provide for the ongoing ministry of Swift Church during these three months.

      When is the sabbatical and what is Pastor Keith going to be doing? The sabbatical begins the Monday after Easter, April 22. Pastor Keith will return to the office on July 15.

      During that time:

      ■ He will attend two continuing education events: The annual Worship and Music Conference at Montreat and “Tell Me Your Story and I’ll Know Why I Should Come to Your Church” at Columbia Seminary.

      ■ He will do self-study at various private locations without distractions of family, phone or Facebook. Study focuses on who we are (Swift) and how do we share that with the community? What ways can we become more outwardly focused? How do we move from maintenance mode to strength and growth? Strengthening leadership within this faith community.

      ■ He will return for short periods to meet with leaders about ideas, visions and implementation; encourage various committees in their ongoing work during his absence.

      ■ He will provide periodic updates to the congregation via video.

      ■ He will take care of his health:

      ▪ physical — ongoing cardiology appointments, exercise and food focus
      ▪ spiritual — Bible reading for pleasure instead of for “work,” envisioning sermon ideas
      ▪ emotional — rest, recreation to rejuvenation

      What happens if someone dies or he’s needed? The deacons, elders and Pastor Jody Beth will provide pastoral care during his absence. Even if he happens to be in town during a pastoral crisis, he is still away on sabbatical.

      Perhaps the most important questions: What about Lisa? Will she be gone for three months also? No, Lisa will continue to be in her music leadership for most of those weeks.

      What can we do to support Pastor Keith and Lisa during this time? Pray for him daily — for encouragement, for renewal, for clear vision, for a fruitful time set apart. Keep an eye on Lisa and what needs she might have in his absence.

      Hopefully this answers your major questions regarding the upcoming sabbatical. Those who were at Swift seven years ago remember that Pastor Keith “came back a different person” and “his preaching was better.” With God’s grace, may this time harvest greater results.


       Lisa Cardwell, music director 

      The music department of Swift Presbyterian Church is preparing for our Holy Week services.

      Below is a list of the Holy Week musical groups and their anthems:

       Maundy  Thursday 
         Beneath the Cross of Jesus
         There Is a Redeemer

      ►Advanced handbells:
         The Cross
      ►Chancel choir:
         Awake, Alone in Gethsemene

       Good Friday 
         My Jesus, I Love Thee
         My Faith Looks Up to Thee

      ►Advanced handbells:
         The Passion Chorale
      ►Beginner handbells:
         Ah, Holy Jesus
      ►Chancel choir:
         Song of Sorrow

       Easter Sunday 
      Majestic Alleluia
      ►Chancel choir:
      Easter Carol 


      Rehearsal schedule for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

       Maundy Thursday 
      4:45 p.m.: Advanced handbell choir
      5:15: Joyful Tones chime choir
      5:30: Chancel choir

       Good Friday 
      4:25 p.m.: Advanced handbell choir
      4:55: Beginner handbell choir
      5:15: Joyful Tones chime choir
      5:30: Chancel choir

       Greg McNair, worship elder 

      Please join us for passionate and meaningful worship at Swift Presbyterian Church as our Lenten journey on the road to Easter continues.

      On April 7, the fifth Sunday of Easter, we will celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. All are invited to the table to partake of the juice and bread by intinction.

      Holy Week begins April 14 with Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphal arrival in Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. Palm branches will be waved joyously, commemorating the Son of God’s arrival in the Holy City. You can bring branches from home or pick up some at church.

      Next comes Maundy Thursday (April 18) and Jesus’ final Passover supper with the 12 apostles in the Upper Room — and then his betrayal and arrest. During a 6 p.m. service in the sanctuary, again we will celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

      Good Friday (April 19) is when Jesus goes on trial, is sentenced to die a grueling death on a cross. But before he is nailed to the cross, he is beaten savagely and mocked and humiliated. Here, Jesus pays the price at once for all of our sins — dying for us all. Our worship service is at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary.

      On Easter (April 21), at both services, we will celebrate Jesus Christ’s victory over the grave and his resurrection as our Lord and Savior and return to reign beside God in heaven. That will be a joyful, jubilant day with many “Hallelujahs.”

      We pray these worship services will touch your soul deeply when you reflect on what Christ did for you — all because of God’s great love for each one of his children.

      Our Lenten journey started March 6 with an evening Ash Wednesday service, reminding us how temporary our earthly lives are.

      ■ Elsewhere in the “passionate worship” section of the newsletter is a list of people who will preach during Pastor Keith’s sabbatical, which begins the day after Easter. Please make these guest preachers feel welcome.

      Thanks to all worship helpers at Swift Church. There are quite a few of you who serve as greeters/ushers, acolytes, scripture readers, liturgists, nursery attendants and in other support roles. You do a wonderful job, and the worship committee is grateful for your dedication and service to God and the church family. If you or your child would like to volunteer or you have questions, please see me and we’ll talk. Or you can use the gift-of-service form on the website.

      ■ 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?

      ■ Please come and join us in worshiping God at Swift Presbyterian Church.

      at Foley United Methodist Church

      Lenten lunches will continue on Thursdays through April 11 at Foley United Methodist Church, 915 N. Pine St. Lunch will be served beginning at 11:30 and a short program will begin shortly after noon with music, prayer and a short devotional. All are welcome to attend. A $5 donation for lunch is suggested. The remaining speakers:

      ■ April 4 — David Zandt, Peace Lutheran Church
      ■ April 11 — Father Zoghby, St. Margaret Catholic Church

       Radical hospitality 

      Will not meet Thursday, April 4, at O’Charley’s, due to the Lenten lunches continuing.
      Please see schedule for Lenten lunches in the newsletter.

      Thursday, April 18 • after Maundy Thursday worship service
      Captain’s Choice Grill in Gulf Bowl — 2881 S. Juniper St., Foley

      Since our regular evening in April is also Maundy Thursday, we chose to go after the service to the Captain’s Choice Grill at Gulf Bowl since it is close to the church. We will meet at the Gulf Bowl after the service at approximately 7 p.m. Please contact Mary McNair to reserve your seat at 251-295-5267.

      Our group is growing ever since the girls and guys meet at the same place, although we sit and visit together separately. Come join us this month. Couples or singles are welcome. Join us and suggest new places for us to try.

      For May, we will gather at Gelato Joe’s at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Commercial Street in Foley.

      Come join us this month. Couples or singles are welcome. Join us and suggest new places for us to try.

       Mission and service 


      Swift Church session met after worship on March 17 to receive new members. Raymond and Karen Langley met with session to transfer their membership to Swift Church. They first attended Swift as part of a class reunion weekend. They attended with classmates, including Debbie Schmidt. They returned for the Christmas program worship and began regular attendance. After prayer and conversation with friends who are already members of Swift, they decided this caring community is right for them.

      Swift Church session met on Monday, March 18. There were a number of absences but a quorum was declared. We shared prayer concerns and prayed.

      ■ We received the financial report and talked about some of the wonderful ways our financial commitments proclaim God’s love to members and beyond. In February, we paid the Vernon Anderson Memorial Missionary support. This year we budgeted $2,000 to financially support PCUSA missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where our own Rev. Dr. Vernon Anderson served the church as missionary for 40 years.

      ■ We took a second look at the church logo we first considered last month. We approved the basic logo but asked our own Hannah Melton Harrison to tweak the letterhead logo. This logo will be used on publicity, signage, bulletins, and multimedia to help with recognizing Swift Church.

      ■ We discussed the upcoming fish fry youth fundraiser to be held at Heritage Park in downtown Foley. Three nearby PCUSA churches will help with ticket sales and assistance. This is Saturday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Plates are $8.

      ■ We approved South Baldwin Literacy Council use of our facilities for GED and ESL graduation. This will be late April or early May.

      ■ Received Charlie Hastings’ resignation from session.

      ■ Received reports.

      ■ Meeting closed with prayer.


      Thank you to all who have signed up to bring snacks for the fellowship time after the 10:00 service. Everyone is enjoying the mixture of healthful and sweet snacks. If you are able, your fellowship deacons, Kathy Knipe and Tina Sprouse, would appreciate you signing up to provide a sweet snack, a healthful snack, or for cleanup duty. If you are able to participate in any way, please sign up on the sheet located in the fellowship hall or call Tina at (251) 510-5444. Reimbursement for expenses is available.

       Al Sprouse and Pate Cardwell, mission elders 

      Food pantry
      Our food pantry served 22 families on Feb. 27, 29 families on March 13, and 36 families on March 27. Tina Sprouse and Mary Ard are making great strides forward to improve the efficiency and overall benefits to the families we serve. These anticipated improvements will be made easier with more hands to share the work. Consider this calling to help the less-fortunate in our community. Please contact Tina at (251) 510-5444 or Mary at (251) 213-8461 to offer your time and talents for our food pantry.

      ■ Another special thank-you to David and Denise Angle. They were once again instrumental in having the local Michigan Club donate a second SUV loaded full of groceries for our Swift food pantry.

      ■ Don Aspray used his truck to pull Daryl Pichoff’s trailer to the Servant of Jesus Church in Anniston. Three pallets of assorted foods were brought back to Swift’s food pantry. Thanks to Don and Daryl for their assistance in this ministry.

      ‘One Great Hour of Sharing’
      March 24 through April 21: “One Great Hour of Sharing” is the focus for our mission at Swift. Our gifts, above our regular tithes, to “One Great Hour of Sharing” enable the church to share God’s love around the world by providing relief to people impacted by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and empower the poor and oppressed. Donation envelopes have been placed in the pews for your convenience.

      Local community support
      Al Sprouse has made contact with Shayla Smith, social worker at Elberta Elementary School. We have planned an appointment to uncover how Swift’s support for children in our community can best be accomplished. This new mission comes directly from the mission questionnaire responses.

      Time to register for upcoming mission trips to Guatemala

      Dear churches,

      The South Alabama Guatemala mission trips are coming soon.

      The July trip is already full and the June trip is filling quickly.

      The deadline to register for the Presbytery of South Alabama’s Guatemala mission trip is coming soon. The trip to Coban is June 19–26 and the cost of the trip, including all expenses, is $1,500. A $100 deposit will hold your spot. Checks should be made out to Trinity Presbyterian Church (545 S. Mobile St. Fairhope, AL 36532). For more information, contact Margaret Davis at

       Intentional faith development 

       Brett Cardwell, elder/children  Tara  Morrow, elder/youth 

      No Sunday school on April 21 and April 28.

      I am in need of donations for the Easter egg hunt on April 21. I need plastic eggs and individually wrapped candy/chocolate to stuff in the eggs. My number is 251-747-4036 if you can help. Thanks. — Brett.

      ■ SWAG (formerly Kids’ Club) is for children in grades K–4. It will not meet in April. In May, on a date to be determined, there will be an end-of-year celebration.

      ■ GΦG is our youth group for ages fifth grade through high school. GɸG will have a fellowship time on April 27. Watch for details.

      Both groups meet at the church and have a lesson, games and a small meal.

      Thank you to everyone who made the raffle such a success. Teresa Thomas won the silent auction for a one-week stay at a cabin in Tennessee.

      ■ Refuel, our periodic Wednesday night youth group meeting, is from 6 to 8 p.m. You are encouraged to invite your school friends, neighbors, etc. For April 3, we need a host.

      ■ If anyone would like to prepare a meal for children or youth, please let Teresa Thomas or Tara Morrow know.


      We are excited to announce our community fish fry, hosted by the youth groups at Swift Church, Foley First Presbyterian, Gulf Shores Presbyterian and Orange Beach Presbyterian.

      The joint fish fry will be held on April 13 at Heritage Park in Foley from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

      Monies raised will go to the youth at all four churches interested in going to summer camp.

      On the menu will be whitefish, cheese grits, hushpuppies, coleslaw and cookies for dessert.

      Tickets may be purchased from Tara Morrow or any member of the youth groups for $8 each. We encourage you to contact your friends, neighbors, and co-workers to help support this fun and worthwhile event at Heritage Park on Saturday, April 13. Also, please volunteer to help by calling Mark Melton at 269-8051.


      We have been asked to bake 400 cookies (two per bag) for 200 baggies of cookies for the fish fry that is being held at Heritage Park April 13. We have scheduled a cookie-baking day for Friday, April 12, at 9 a.m. to bake. We need volunteers to mix up cookie dough that will make 48 cookies (or more) at home. It does not matter what kind of cookies.

      If you would enjoy the fellowship with some awesome women or men, bring your dough to the church along with your cookie sheets. Since Swift has two ovens, we can bake several pans of cookies at one time. After the cookies are baked, we will package two cookies in sandwich bags. These will go with the fish plates on Saturday.

      Please call Martha Young, 251-550-8165, if you can bring cookie dough, or help package up cookies. Bring a sack lunch and a beverage and plan to enjoy some fellowship time in the kitchen.

      It does not matter what kind of cookies, but here are some suggestions: (Because of nut allergies, let’s stay away from peanut butter and adding nuts to the dough): chocolate chip, M&M, snickerdoodles, chocolate fudge, oatmeal.

       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.

      Looking for some thoughtful discussion during Lent? Join “Snacks with Susan and Daryl” as we view and talk about the video series by Amy-Jill Levine Entering the Passion of Jesus — a Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week. This series looks at what crosses we bear and what risk we are willing to take to follow Jesus. For six weeks we will discuss:

      ■ Jerusalem: Risking Reputation
      ■ The Temple: Risking Righteous Anger
      ■ Teachings: Risking Challenge
      ■ The First Dinner: Risking Rejection
      ■ The Last Supper: Risking the Loss of Friends
      ■ Gethsemane: Risking Temptation

      We have great discussions and good snacks.

      If you have questions, please let me know. Contact Susan at or 251-233-9486 (phone or text).

       Cheryl Jensen, leader 

      We continue our chronological study of the New Testament. We will be reading in 1 Corinthians, A.D. 55, about Paul’s instructions on ethical issues, avoiding offenses, and spiritual gifts. Come join us as we dig into these life lessons. We welcome you to our class at any time. We meet at 9:00 on Sunday mornings in room 2 in the annex.

      Sunday evenings, Thursday mornings

      Sunday evening and Thursday morning Bible study groups are continuing a weekly study on the book of Genesis. “Invitation to Genesis,” a disciple Bible study, includes a DVD, a leader’s guide, and participant books. The study books are $15 and as always, scholarships are available. Please let facilitators Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton know if you will be able to be a part of this group; 251-213-6625 and 251-213-6505.

      Times are: Sundays, 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.; and Thursdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m. (11:15 on the first Thursday of each month so that participants may attend the “Two or More” fellowship lunch — and, in March and April this year, the community Lenten luncheons).


      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 current 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.


      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.

      Sunday evening (5:30 to 6:15) and Thursday morning (10 to 11:30), Bible study groups meet weekly. They are studying the book of Genesis. Contacts are Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton, 251-213-6625.

      Thursdays (first Thursday of month), 11:30 a.m., “Two or More” fellowship lunch at O’Charley’s in Foley on South McKenzie Street. (No gathering in April.) 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.


      If anyone wishes to save any graveside floral arrangements, please remove them as soon as possible because we are preparing for the Easter/spring season. Thank you.

       Extravagant generosity 


      “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 7 — Sue Ann Lay and Lynda Walden
      April 14 — Susie Alexander and Janelle Armbruster
      April 21 — Willard Penfold and Eunice Ray
      April 28 — Mike and Lynn Barnwell

      April 7 — Cadi Cardwell and McCoy Cooper
      April 14 — Lainey Thomas
      April 21 — ZoeyLynn and Zadie Grace Barnwell
      April 28 — Sully Curry

      NURSERY VOLUNTEERS (if needed)
      April 7 — Ginny Kleinschmidt and Tara Morrow
      April 14 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
      April 21 — Megan Curry and Debbie Schmidt
      April 28 — Tracy Akins and Lisa Turner

      April 7 — Cathy Rogers
      April 14 — Pastor Keith
      April 21 — Pate Cardwell
      April 28 — Debbie Schmidt

      April 7 — None due to the Lord’s Supper being served
      April 14 — Jane King and Carlie Sims
      April 21 — Tracy and Olivia Akins
      April 28 — Teresa and Ella Thomas

      Al Sprouse

      Bridgit Gosa

      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.

      You can reach Susie at 251-943-4145 or at


      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.

      Swift Church Preschool 

      School telephone: 251-200-3840

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


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