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    August 2020
    newsletter

    SWIFT  PRESBYTERIAN  CHURCH

    a church that practices fruitful living


    Passionate worship 
    Summer worship at Swift 

    We continue our biblical road trip. Each Sunday we “hit the road” with Old Testament men and women as they travel unfamiliar roads by faith

    Each Sunday we have followed Old Testament men and women as they travel unfamiliar roads by faith.

    We continue our “Road Trip” theme through Labor Day Sunday, Sept. 6. We also continue our worship services online. They are available beginning at 10:00 each Sunday morning on Facebook, YouTube and on swiftchurch.org. They are available on those sites perpetually, so if you’re not able to view on Sunday morning, you can worship on Monday night or Wednesday afternoon, or … whenever!.
       

     
    SERVICES IN AUGUST

    Contact the office if you would like to record a “time with the children,” read Scripture or sing. Each can be done safely from home.

    ►Wednesday evening worship 

    We met for Wednesday evening outdoor worship on July 22. Members brought noise-makers from home to shake in accompaniment to the hymns that Jenni Cain played. Pastor Keith and Pastor Jody Beth offered prayers and a devotional. The audio was handled by Marvin King, and Phil Melton recorded the service for Facebook. We will continue to have these Wednesday evening worship services, as weather and COVID-19 allow, until further notice. Please come and join us on Aug. 5 at 6:30 for a peaceful and inspirational time to hear God’s word and to visit, though social distancing, with members and friends. Bring a chair, your bug spray, a mask and noise-maker to join in.

    ■ UPDATE: After a general agreement of those attending Aug. 5, we are moving our next evening worship to Sunday, Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m. Bring your chair, bug spray, mask and noisemakers. See you then.

    ►August worship volunteers 

    We appreciate our August volunteers as they help lead us in worship.

    ACOLYTES
    Aug. 2 — Tristan Walker
    Aug. 9 — Cadi Cardwell, McCoy Cooper
    Aug. 16 — Sully Curry
    Aug. 23 — ZoeyLynn Barnwell
    Aug. 30 — Lainey Thomas

    TIME WITH THE CHILDREN
    Aug. 2 — Cathy Rogers
    Aug. 9 — Back-to-school blessing
    Aug. 16 — Debbie Schmidt
    Aug. 23 — Pate Cardwell
    Aug. 30 — Teresa Thomas

    ELDER OF THE MONTH
    Mark Melton

     
    MUSIC NOTES

     Lisa Cardwell | music director 

    Since the July newsletter, handbell choir rehearsals have had to be suspended due to my treating active COVID-19 patients at my “weekday job.” I don’t want to take the risk of infecting anyone, and even though we get tested biweekly, there is a few days wait until we receive results.

    In the meantime I’m looking at and preparing handbell music for when we return to rehearsals. I’m also assisting in the August presbytery online worship planning in regards to music selections and coordinating various musicians from the area. And, of course, assisting in online worship for Swift.

    Looking ahead to fall, Advent, and Christmas, it is anyone’s guess how we will be worshiping. As I write this, an article about a northern Alabama church announced that 40 members had tested positive for COVID-19. The man believed to have brought the virus to the church had no symptoms, but had three coworkers who tested positive, and passed it on to him.

    One morning recently as I drove to Pensacola, I began thinking about all the groups of people for whom I needed to pray. These groups included health-care workers, first responders, law enforcement, clergy, COVID-19 patients and their families, school administrators, teachers, school staff members, students, people who serve and have contact with the public, those who have lost jobs, or whose hours have been cut, those who can’t work because they have to care for sick family members, those who are losing their homes and/or businesses as a result, those who are lonely and isolated, our city, county, state and national leaders, those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, and on and on.

    Essentially, I decided, I need to pray for every citizen of this country. Every one of us has been affected, in one or more ways, by the COVID crisis. It makes my heart hurt.

    God of the ages,
    You have always been faithful to your people.
    Come to us now, we pray!

    Give comfort and courage to those who are suffering.
    Give strength and skill to those who are working to save and to heal.
    Give us your peace that passes all understanding
    in these moments of shock and sorrow,
    and open our eyes, hearts, and hands
    to the movements of your Spirit,
    that we might be comforted and comfort others
    in the name of Christ, our healer and our light. 
    Amen.

    Radical hospitality 

    FELLOWSHIP GROUPS

    As you know, unfortunately, our “Two or More” fellowship lunch and Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out have been canceled until we can all get together again without the fear of spreading this pandemic. Hopefully, it will be safe to get back together again soon.

    Mission and service 

     
    MISSION REPORT

     Pate Cardwell and Al Sprouse | mission elders 

    Food pantry
    The food pantry is open twice a month — on the second and fourth Wednesdays. We very much appreciate the members who have given of their time and talents to assist with the weekly distributions that we have maintained for the past several months.

    In July, we distributed 41 bags of groceries that provided food for 79 people. We also very much appreciate the seven masks that a member sewed and provided to our clients.

    Elberta Elementary School
    Last year, our “two cents a meal” offering was dedicated to Elberta Elementary School to provide needed supplies and snacks. Our August mission focus goes to supporting our ministry at EES. Please mark donations appropriately.

    ★ ★ ★

    As always, the need for snacks will continue into the 2020–21 school year. The greatest need in regards to uniforms always seems to be for boys in the size range of 6–14. We are always in need of shirts, shorts, pants, and blue jeans in those sizes. Shoes are also a big need during the school year. Children often come to school with shoes that have holes in them or shoes that are just too small.

    Elberta Elementary sincerely appreciates all that Swift Presbyterian Church does for our students and is blessed by the partnership that we have made with one another.

    —Shayla Smith,
    school social worker,
    Elberta Elementary School

    ►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.

    ►Session meeting 

    The Swift Church session met on July 20. Part of the meeting was a discussion regarding the church and COVID-19. We reviewed our Season of Separation Policy, Step 2. We all want to get past this trying time and return to worship, but we will continue in Step 2. We will revisit after the mandatory mask order has been in place a few weeks. In the meantime, remember Step 2 allows for:

         ■ small groups of 12 or fewer to meet inside the church. If you want to start a group to meet on Sunday or during the week, contact the office and we’ll work with you on getting that put together.

         ■ outdoor gatherings.

         ■ Zoom Bible studies or gatherings. Please see Pastor Jody Beth to learn more about Zoom.

         ■ Worship online via YouTube, Facebook or the church website.

    Intentional faith development 

     
    CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT

    ►‘Snacks with Susan and Daryl’
    (well, really, NO snacks!)
    adult Sunday school class 

    On Aug. 2 , we will be wrapping up our study “Me and My Big Mouth,” focusing on the story of Joseph and the power of words.

    Beginning Aug. 9, we will begin a six-section discussion using “What Makes You Happy (It’s Not What You Expect).” We invite you to join us in the fellowship hall on Sundays at 9 a.m. for some lively discussion and challenging questions. If you want to follow along remotely, these videos are available on You Tube. Feel free to send us some questions or thoughts and we’ll share them with the group. You can get us at tabfanatic@gmail.com.

    There is space available if you are interested in the new class beginning Aug. 9.

    — Susan and Daryl Pichoff

    ►Cheryl’s adult Sunday school class 

    Our class is coming down to the final books of the New Testament. Our chronological study of the New Testament has been a journey. We are currently in Philippians (the joy book) and Paul is in the last 10 years of his life. Even in prison, he is filled with grace, peace and especially joy. What an example for us today! Regardless of our circumstances, be filled with grace, peace and joy of the Lord.

    We meet in our usual place in room 2 in the annex, with 6 feet between us; we are wearing our masks.

    — Cheryl Jensen

    ►Online Zoom Bible study 

    The Thursday morning Bible study continues to meet as an online study, through a tool called Zoom. It can be accessed on a computer or smart phone.

    The study is led by Pastor Jody Beth Melton and Philip. Everyone is invited to join the group. Contact jodybeth7@yahoo.com251-213-6625.

    “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.”
    — Exodus 6:7

    ►Children and youth 

     Brett Cardwell | elder/children  Tracy Akins | elder/youth 

    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.

    Extravagant generosity 
    ►Please remember to give 

    Thank you for your generous and ongoing offerings during this season of separation. Your financial support, through checks or online giving through our website, enable Swift Church ministry to continue. Mission support, pastoral care, worship leadership, property maintenance and education depend on your extravagant generosity.

    Although we are not meeting in person, please remember to use the quick-response code button or link below, mail or drop off your tithe.

    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.

    Notes from here and there . . . 
    ►Pastor Keith taking time off 

    Pastor Keith had a continuing education week planned for Aug. 18–24. That event has been canceled, but Pastor Keith is going to take the week as scheduled. He will view videos from a summer conference that was changed from in-person to online on-demand and do some yard work, which always brings a refreshed attitude.

    ►A need in the community 

    Christi Cook (JB’s redhaired friend) has a torn rotator cuff and is in need of help every Thursday morning at her apartment to get her grandson, Isaiah, out of the van and put him in his wheelchair. Every Thursday, 9:20 a.m., Regency Pointe Apartments in Foley. Time will change to 9:50 a.m. in a couple weeks). Please contact Christi directly in you can help at 251-234-4487.

    ►Thanks from Mimi Hollis 

    Mimi wishes to thank everyone for the cards and prayers sent her way as she is recovering from back surgery. She had suffered so long with her back hurting her and now she is comforted knowing that she is feeling better and getting stronger each day.

    ►Reminder to participate in 2020 Census 

    The Baldwin County Extension Office is encouraging all members to participate in the 2020 Census. Deadline is October to fill out the brief form and return it. If you did not get a census form in the mail, you may go online to my2020census.gov to make sure you are counted. The census helps determine how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to the states and communities based upon the total number of people counted.

    In total, Alabama received over $13 billion in federal funding from 2010 to 2019.

    ►COVID-19 testing helpers needed 

    The Alabama Department of Public Health is increasing its COVID-19 testing in Baldwin County and volunteers are needed to assist. Their testing site is in Robertsdale, Monday through Friday until further notice. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to noon at the PZK Hall, 17933 Alabama Highway 104. Contact Dana Jepsen, South Baldwin director, Ecumenical Ministries Inc., 251-943-3445 if you can volunteer.

    Swift Church Preschool 

    School telephone: 251-200-3840

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    • Presbytery of S. Alabama
    • Synod of Living Waters



    A safe haven

    striving

    to cause

    God joy



    Swift  
    Presbyterian  
    Church
     

                 —————
    23208 Swift Church Road
    Foley, AL 36535
    Phone: (251) 943-8367
    email: swiftpc@gulftel.com