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      December 2021
      newsletter

      SWIFT  PRESBYTERIAN  CHURCH

      a church that practices fruitful living


      Passionate worship 

       
      SERVICES THIS MONTH

      ►In person and online 

      ■ Worship on Sundays at 8 a.m.
      in the historic chapel

      ■ Worship each Sunday at 10 a.m.
      in the sanctuary;
      live streaming on Facebook

      ■ Online worship available later on YouTube and the church website

      ■ Join your church family for fellowship
      after the 10 a.m. service in the fellowship hall.

      ►Waiting, anticipating, preparing ... 

      The Church season of Advent is underway. Advent is a time of expectant waiting, hopeful anticipation and joyful preparation for God coming into our lives and hearts in all moments, all places, all times: commemorating the birth of Christ, welcoming God into our everyday lives, and preparing for Christ’s second coming. That is a lot for this four-week season to accomplish. That is why each week we focus on a different topic of preparation and anticipation. On Nov. 28, we celebrated “The Advent of Hope.”

      ►Congregational meeting 

      A congregational meeting is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 9:50 a.m. in the sanctuary for the purpose of electing church officers. The constitution allows for nominations from the floor. The nominating committee puts before the congregation this slate:

           ■ Elder: Jan Taylor, Cathy Rogers, Mark Melton (two years)
           ■ Deacon: Debbie Schmidt, Billie Cardwell, Mary McNair (one year)
           ■ Trustee: Lynn Aspray

      ►Pastor Keith’s retirement 

      As you know by now, Pastor Keith is retiring at the end of January. His last Sunday is Jan. 23, with his final day in the office being Jan. 27. The session met with leaders from the presbytery on Nov. 29 to talk about what is ahead and are at work preparing for the transition. This is a time of transition that has happened many times in the life of this church and all other churches. While we do not know exactly what’s next, we do know that with God’s guidance and your prayers we will move into God’s wonderful future!

       
      SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

      The Swift Church Session met for its stated meeting on Nov. 15. After prayer concerns and prayer, the meeting was called to order.

         ■ The budget for 2022 is in progress and will not be significantly different than the 2021 budget. Pledges as of Nov. 15 are approximately $150,000 and some are still being returned.

         ■ Session discussed the conversations in small groups that occurred during the 10 a.m. worship on Nov. 7. Everyone agreed their groups participated fully and some suggestions or topics came up repeatedly including how to get youth programs back. The intention of the groups was to offer ideas off the top of one’s head without regard to cost, possibility, etc.

         ■ The chapel has been painted and received positive comments from the congregation. The prayer garden is shaping up and feedback is very affirmative. Work will continue around the building.

         ■ A review of the air-duct issue in the annex revealed that the air exchange is not adequate and the sensors that control the Freon are an issue. They are being replaced.

         ■ Voted to hold a congregational meeting to elect elders, deacons, and trustee on Dec. 5 at 9:50 a.m., with ordination and installation of church officers on Jan. 9.

         ■ Two commissioners to the Dec 7 (Tuesday 11 a.m.) Presbytery Zoom meeting — Chuck Carneal and Susan Pichoff.

         ■ Communion will be served Dec 5 and Dec 24.

         ■ Session committee assignments for 2022 were also discussed.

            Buildings and grounds — Joe Walden
            Christian education — Tracy Akins
            Fellowship — Mark Melton (returning for two-year term)
            Finance — Don Aspray
            Missions — Chuck Carneal, Jan Taylor
            Worship — Greg McNair
            Preschool — Cathy Rogers
            Clerk — Susan Pichoff

         ■ Deacons
             Mary McNair, one year fellowship
             Debbie Schmidt, congregational care
             Billie Cardwell, congregational care

         ■ Jonathan Wallace (Swift liaison with the presbytery) and Bob Madsen (newly elected executive presbyter) joined us as Pastor Keith Cardwell announced his retirement effective Jan. 23.

      The session congratulated Keith, affirming that we are happy and sad at the same time, appreciative of his 13 years in service to the Swift congregation.

      Keith will be sending a letter to the congregation on Nov. 16 and announcing his retirement on Sunday, Nov. 21, where we will offer the congregation the opportunity to submit questions that we can include in our discussion.

      Nov. 29
      The Swift session met with the Revs. Jonathan Wallace, Bob Madsen, Al Thompson (presbytery stated clerk) with Anna Duke (chair of presbytery committee on ministry) joining via Zoom. The time was spent answering questions from session members and the congregation regarding Pastor Keith’s retirement and the process for celebrating his time at Swift as well as preparing for February and beyond.

      The budget for 2022 is in progress and will not be significantly different than the 2021 budget. Pledges as of Nov. 15 are approximately $150,000 and some are still being returned.

      ►The prayer garden 

      A special thank-you to the many members of Swift Church who, through their gifts of labor and creativity, have created a lovely prayer garden.

      The following is a list of those who worked so hard to make it come together: Lynn and Don Aspray, Keith Cardwell, Linda and Jim Runtz, Jack Rogers, and Jane King.

      Also, there are those who donated things that enhanced the garden. Keith and Lisa Cardwell donated the Celtic cross — the centerpiece of the garden. Cathy Rogers donated the church-shaped bird feeder. Lynn Aspray and Mike Barnwell donated plants from their gardens. Don Aspray installed the irrigation system and the gas lamp.

      Additionally, there was a group of volunteers who helped remove a giant azalea and haul away the debris: Joe Walden, Mike Barnwell, Daryl Pichoff, Don Aspray and Lynn Aspray. The existing flower beds along the fellowship hall were weeded and dressed up with fresh pine straw. There is still a need to paint the arbor — if anyone would volunteer — and after the first of the year, we will address the pathway and possibly lay some sod.

      This garden is a work of love. It is intended to provide a place of meditation and rest, not only for our church members, but for the community and for the families visiting loved ones buried in our cemetery.

      For now, we will take a break and enjoy the holidays. When work days are planned for the future, we will try to get the word out and give everyone an opportunity to work and laugh and share our garden together. In the meantime, please enjoy this new setting for fresh air and sunshine.

      Happy Holidays to you and blessings on Swift Church’s prayer garden for many generations.

      Important dates to remember 

         ■ Deacons will meet at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12.

         ■ Poinsettias will be on display Dec. 12 through Christmas Eve and may be taken home after the service.

         ■ Swift Church Christmas dinner will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16, at Wolf Bay Lodge, Foley. Reservations are required.

         ■ Session will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20.

       
      MUSIC NOTES

       Lisa Cardwell | music director 

      Dec. 12: Third Sunday of Advent: Our handbell choir will be leading worship in several Advent/Christmas anthems. We have been rehearsing since October. Come enjoy the bells ringing several Christmas favorites.

      Dec. 19: Fourth Sunday of Advent: Chris Rogers will play a piano solo (“Silent Night” arranged by Joel Raney) during the 10:00 service. We always enjoy his playing.

      Dec. 24: Christmas Eve: Come to our traditional Christmas Eve service and bring your family and friends. We will hear the Christmas story, sing Christmas carols, listen to the handbell choir, and we will finish the service with lighting our candles and singing “Silent Night.”

      Dec. 26: We will meet at 9 a.m. in the fellowship hall for Christmas carols, coffee, and cookies. Please bring your family and friends for this special service.

      Radical hospitality 
      Church Christmas dinner 

      Thursday, Dec. 16 • 6 p.m.
      Wolf Bay Lodge, Foley

      Please text Mary McNair at 251-295-5267 or email to marymcnair@centurylink.net as soon as possible if you would like to attend.

      A few spaces are still available.

      ►‘Two or More’ fellowship lunch 

      The “Two or More” fellowship lunch group is back to meeting the first Thursday of each month for food and fellowship.

      All are welcome — sometimes we have friends of church members join us. Please plan to come on Jan. 6 to the Captain’s Choice Grill at Gulf Bowl and invite others. Contact is Pastor Jody Beth.

      Mission and service 
      ►Food pantry 

      The food pantry will be open on Wednesday, Dec. 8, and Wednesday, Dec. 22. We will be distributing our “Christmas meals” for families on the 22nd.

      On Nov. 24, our food pantry served 41 families, representing 79 people.

      Thanks to all who volunteered to fill bags with specific non-perishable food items that helped to give them ingredients to prepare a “Thanksgiving complete meal.”

      Also, thanks to the many volunteers who helped in the distribution of bags.

      ►December mission focus 

      Our mission emphasis for December is the Presbyterian Home for Children.

      Plants naturally grow toward light and so do children. Sadly, some children don’t get their fair share of light. You can help ensure they do by supporting the children’s home. Your donation to the home helps give children the resources they need to grow up to be the fully functioning persons God created them to be.

      This Christmas season, give light to a child and help them grow.

      Intentional faith development 

       
      CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT

      ►Cheryl’s adult Sunday school class 

      Cheryl’s class meets in room 2 in the annex every Sunday at 9 a.m. We enjoy coffee, fellowship and Bible study. Come grow with us as we continue our study in the book of Revelation.

      — Cheryl Jensen

      ►‘Snacks with Susan and Daryl’
      adult Sunday school class 

      “Snacks with Susan and Daryl” meets in the fellowship hall every Sunday at 9 a.m. Join the class as the study of Liquid: The Ten continues.

      — Susan and Daryl Pichoff

      ►Thursday morning Bible study 

      From 10 to 11 • Jan. 6 – Feb. 24

      Join us for one hour of Bible study each week.

      Commit to studying the Bible with fellow believers in the new year. We will meet In person, with the ability to have online people connect, too.

      Facilitators are Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton. Contact Pastor Jody Beth for more information.

      jodybeth7@yahoo.com — 251-213-6625

      Extravagant generosity 
      ►Please remember to give 

      Generosity describes the Christian’s unselfish willingness to give in order to make a positive difference for the purposes of Christ. Extravagant generosity describes practices of sharing and giving that exceed all expectations and extend to unexpected measures.

      Thank you for your generous pledges and ongoing offerings. Your support and commitment to our church is greatly appreciated.

      Clicking the button will take you
      to our donation page on a secure site.

      ►Stewardship campaign for 2022 

      Our stewardship campaign pledges for 2022 have increased to $150,906.

      You may still turn in a pledge card if you have not done so. Cards are located on the sideboard in the sanctuary.

      ►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.

      ►Church library 

      If you are an avid reader — young or old — come check out our library in the annex. Not only are there classics and books for young readers, there are biographies, fiction and even books featuring religious topics. Come browse on a rainy day and check out a book. You will be surprised with the many familiar authors and topics available. Children’s books are in room 3 in the annex.

      Swift Church Preschool 

      This year has flown by. I can’t believe it is already December. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Mostly because how it makes me feel. It reminds me that Christmas is more than just a time to receive, but also to give. God calls us to give. He says to give regularly, secretly, sacrificially, purposefully, cheerfully, and generously. Teaching children the pleasure of giving is very important. We can do this in many different ways.

      In our own preschool, we will be having a book exchange. This will give the children the chance to find books with your help. Then they will witness the joy of another child opening the books they bought and feel the joy in their heart.

      Fun days to remember:
      Dec. 1: Wear stripes
      Dec. 9: Christmas cookie day
      Dec. 13: Candy cane day
      Dec. 16: PJ day/book exchange/Santa visit
      Dec. 20 – Jan. 2: Closed for Christmas break

      MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!
      from Ms. Jessica, Ms. Kaitlin, Ms. Elizabeth, Ms. Dorsey, Ms. Kelly, Ms. Katie, Ms. Paiton, Ms. Jessie, Ms. Tessia, and Ms. April

      School telephone: 251-943-8367

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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


       

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