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       December 2017 newsletter


      A Church That Practices Fruitful Living




      Kim Whitchard and Greg McNair, elders

      December is marked with excited anticipation of our Lord’s birth. The worship committee is committed to and planning special events of worship to deepen this Advent season.

      On Dec. 21 we will have The Longest Night service for anyone who understands the “darkness” of going through this season after losing a loved one. The service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Please contact one of the pastors or elders for more information.

      We will be celebrating our Lord Savior’s birth on Sunday, Dec. 24, with a worship service. We hope you will plan to attend this very special service.

      We will also be celebrating the coming of the new year (cannot believe 2018!) on Dec. 31. Then we will have the “first meal,” breakfast and communion on Monday, Jan. 1, at 9 a.m., which will be a special time for us to come together, as Christians, to dedicate the year (our lives in 2018). We hope you will join us for this special time on Monday to break bread with our fellow Christians to commit the year to our Lord.

      As we move into this Advent season, we pray that we will all find the peace, comfort, and joy of our Lord Christ’s birth and presence in our lives. May God bless you during this season and always.

      Lisa Cardwell, music director

      There’s lots of activity in the Swift music department right now.

      On Sundays after worship you will hear beginner handbells working on a fresh new arrangement of “Joy to the World.” These new ringers are learning how to do techniques that they’ve been seeing the Wednesday night handbell group using: the swing, shake, martellato, and LV (let vibrate). They are also learning how to locate similar measures and passages in the music, and locate dynamics. I love to see the faces of children and adults as they learn new skills, or mentor those who are coming up in the faith through community of music.

      At 12:15 p.m. on Sundays you will hear our intergenerational Joyful Tones choir rehearsing. This group of adults and children will be leading the congregation in singing carols on Dec. 10 (“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” and “Away in a Manger”). This is a unique opportunity for members from the 8:00 and 10:00 services to become acquainted through the coming together and playing music together. There are sounds of joking, laughing, and chiming. I love to see the children and adults enjoy the fellowship that can be appreciated through music.

      On Tuesday nights, there is singing, laughing, and piano playing in the choir room as we learn three- and four-part choral anthems. Nearly every week the Swift Chancel Choir studies and sings music that is divinely imparted by composers and poets through the ages. It is our honor and privilege to bring this music to life within the worship of Swift Church. I love to work with this group of talented musicians who are so dedicated in their devotion to God through song. There are few groups in the church who serve on a weekly basis like this group does. This choir is the rock of our worship services.

      On Wednesday nights you’ll hear the ringing of bells in the sanctuary. The Swift Handbell Choir is challenged to learn new music with new handbell techniques, and works individually, in sections, and together as a group to celebrate a variety of musical styles. This group was started in 2013 when I received session approval to start a handbell group on a trial basis. Four years later this group of musicians has become a team that loves to use their gifts and love of learning to work together to celebrate each church season with sounds of bells. I love how God teaches me to have faith that He has a plan better than I could ever imagine.

      Please come on Dec. 10 to see God’s work in action through his devoted servants. You will be amazed at the beauty that you witness. Include our evening Christmas Eve service in your celebration plans as well. There will be singing and ringing, full choirs and a handbell quartet to help you worship our King. Come and celebrate the best gift we’ve ever been given — our Savior, Christ the King.


      Will meet Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Gulf Bowl Captain’s Choice Grill at 11:30 a.m.
      Delicious food, reasonable prices and great conversation. Come and meet new friends.

      Please RSVP if you know in advance you will be joining us — but if you don’t, we always have
      room for more at the table. Contact Lee Mansell.


      Thursday, Dec. 21, 6:30 p.m. at O’Charley’s: A gathering of ‘holiday leftovers’

      (Please note location change)

      Because several of the usual attendees of Butterfly Girls and Guys’ Night Out are going to be traveling or have other obligations, our previously planned December gathering at Wintzell’s Oyster House in Fairhope is canceled.

      However, not all of us are going anywhere and/or do not have family to gather with for the Christmas holiday, so Mary McNair is coordinating for any and all who are going to be around and would like to share an early Christmas dinner out. Please call or text Mary at 251-295-5267 by 4 p.m. that day if you know you’re coming so adequate table space can be reserved. (A few extra chairs will be reserved for any last-minute deciders.)


      Inspiring, resilient faith
      Students explore what it means to be Presbyterian and how to live out their confirmation promises.

      There will be no confirmation classes Dec. 10–31.
      Classes resume Jan. 7 and will continue each Sunday into the spring.

      Tara Morrow, elder

      The youth enjoyed the trunk-or-treat/fall festival held in October along with the fish fry where they collected over $500 toward the cost of camps and conferences next year.

      A youth bonfire is planned for Dec. 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the church. More information will be sent to those involved. This group is for students in sixth through 12th grade.

      “Kids’ Club” has changed its name to “SWAG.” It stands for “Saved With Amazing Grace.” This group is for grades 1–4.


      We are so blessed to have so many people who would like to be part of Bible study and fellowship at Swift Church. Here is a listing of the groups currently 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, Andy Lay room, a chronological study of the New Testament, led by Cheryl Jensen and Anthony Kaiser.

      Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., Coffee with Keith class, fellowship hall, studying spiritual disciplines using the book Flunking Sainthood, led by Pastor Keith Cardwell.

      Sundays, 5:30 to 6:45, Sunday night Bible study, Andy Lay room, studying Jeremiah, led by Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton, 251-213-6625.

      Thursdays, 10 to 11:30, Thursday morning Bible study, Andy Lay room, studying Jeremiah, led by Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton, 251-213-6625.


      Thursdays (first Thursday of month), 11:30 a.m., “Two or More” fellowship lunch at Captain’s Choice Grill at the Gulf Bowl in Foley on Juniper Street. Contact is Lee Mansell.

      Thursdays (second Thursday of month), 1 p.m., Sack Lunch and Fellowship, fellowship hall. Bring your own sack lunch and enjoy Christian conversation. This is a new group, started by six people who attended Cursillo #36, and is open to everyone. Contact is Sue Johnson.

      Thursdays (third Thursday of month), 6:30 p.m., Butterfly Girls and Guys’ Night Out fellowship dinner at area restaurants, different place each month. Sometimes men and women eat at same restaurant at separate tables, sometimes two restaurants near one another. Contacts are Daryl and Susan Pichoff..



      The Swift Church session met on Monday, Nov. 20.

      The time began with a video on “What Is the Church?” After that came prayer concerns and prayer.

      The session:

      ● Received the financial report and draft of 2018 church budget.

      ● Approved written committee reports.

      ● Removed Nancy Labrato from the membership roll due to her death.

      ● Approved use of church for Hannah Melton’s wedding next Oct. 6.

      ● Decided there will be no stated meeting of session in December. A meeting will be called if needed.

      ● Closed with prayer.

      Cathy Rogers and Philip Melton, elders

      The special mission for the month of December will be for the Presbyterian Home for Children. We will have a Christmas tree in the chapel and the sanctuary and will light a bulb for each $30 donation made. Our congregation was very generous for this mission last year, and we are expecting an outpouring again this Christmas season.

      The English as a Second Language class in the fellowship hall on Friday mornings is growing. Esther Tillmon, the ESL coordinator and English teacher at South Baldwin Literacy Council, is teaching this gospel class and is very pleased with how the class is going. What we really need is for some members of the church to attend this class from 9 to 11 to show the love and support that Swift Presbyterian has to offer. As of now, there are no church members attending, and that was not the intent of initiating this class. Please pray about being a part of this enjoyable class and see if God is leading you to welcome these ladies and their children to Swift.

      The food pantry was able to supply 22 families with the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 22. Thanks to all who made this possible.

      Paula Brewer, facilitator

      The GriefShare support group will meet in the Andy Lay room from 10 a.m. until noon on these dates in December:

      Dec. 2 — Guilt and Anger
      Dec. 9 — Complicating Factors
      Dec. 16 — Stuck

      The group will meet every Saturday in January at that time and location.

      The Longest Night celebration and memorial service
      Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the historical chapel

      Join us for a time to honor and celebrate our loved ones who have gone before us. The Longest Night service is a time of reflection and spiritual renewal and a reminder that we do not carry our burdens alone. You are invited to gather in prayer, music, and remembrance on this the longest night of the year. Whether this is the first Christmas season without your loved one, or if it seems you have been hurting from loss as long as you can remember, we will gather to be reminded that it is okay to grieve during this Christmas time but also to remember that we have reason to hope. Let the Spirit of God fill your heart during this time.


      “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

      Dec. 3 — Lee Mansell and Greg McNair
      Dec. 10 — Paula and Danny Brewer, Debbie and Norm Schmidt
      Dec. 17 — Susie Alexander, Elinor Gartman, Sue Ann Lay, Lynda Walden
      Dec. 24 — Lynn and Mike Barnwell, Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray
      Dec. 31 — Janelle Armbruster, Jane King, Judy Walker, Kim Whitchard

      Dec. 3 — Aaron and Lyndsey Ward
      Dec. 10 — no nursery due to Christmas program
      Dec. 17 — Bridgit Gosa and Tara Morrow
      Dec. 24 — Lisa Turner and Kathy Menk
      Dec. 31 — Ginny and Sarah Kleinschmidt

      Dec. 3 — Cathy Rogers
      Dec. 10 — No Time with the Children due to Christmas program
      Dec. 17 — Judy Walker
      Dec. 24 — Pastor Keith
      Dec. 31 — Teresa Thomas

      Dec. 3 — Brett Cardwell
      Dec. 10 — Tresa Melton
      Dec. 17 — Tosha Thomas
      Dec. 24 — Tresa Melton
      Dec. 31 — Brett Cardwell

      Dec. 3 — Lainey and Jon Devery Thomas
      Dec. 10 —Gracie Helton and Bailee Thomason
      Dec. 17 — Diya Patterson and Saylor Morrow
      Dec. 24 — Morgan and Madison Lay
      Dec. 31 — Lainey and Jon Devery Thomas



      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,



      There are openings in the 2- and 4-year-old classes.

      Susie Alexander schedules our Sunday flower donations. Please call her to reserve your date.
      You can reach Susie at 251-943-4145 or


      American Red Cross blood drive
      Tuesday, Dec 5 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
      Foley Civic Center
      The Foley community and the American Red Cross
      are hosting a blood drive.
      Please join this life-saving mission and schedule an appointment today
      by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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


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