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       February 2018 newsletter


      A Church That Practices Fruitful Living




      Lisa Cardwell, music director

      Plans are underway for Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

      Again, the Joyful Tones are going to be playing for both Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. If there is enough interest, the beginner handbell choir will play for one of the services. Please let Lisa know if you are interested in joining either of these groups. No music reading is necessary for the Joyful Tones, and it is a great opportunity for fellowship. If you’ve always wanted to learn more about music and handbells, the beginner choir is needing some members. Both groups are intergenerational.

      The chancel choir, as always, is learning weekly music to lead worship. We welcome new members at any time. Preparing for Holy Week and Easter is certainly a special time to be part of the choir, as our chancel choir will be leading worship during all of the Holy Week services.

      Our Wednesday night adult handbell choir will be leading worship on Feb. 4. We will be playing “There’s Something About That Name” and “Our God” (which incorporates “Our God” as recorded by Chris Tomlin) and “A Mighty Fortress,” a traditional hymn. We will also be leading worship on March 11, as well as Maundy Thursday (March 29) and Good Friday (March 30). This semester, we are playing handbell descants during the 10:00 service twice a month. This allows bells to be active in the worship liturgy on a more-frequent basis.


      During Lent, we are encouraged to focus on prayer that our faith may be deepened, and our commitment to our Lord deepened.

      To aid in this, Swift Church will offer a Lenten prayer pree in the sanctuary, chapel and in the front yard.

      You will be invited and encouraged to come forward before worship, during prayers of the people and/or following worship and take two ribbons. Tie one colored prayer ribbon on the tree in the sanctuary and place the other in the basket. Later the basket prayer ribbon will be tied to the tree outside. Each ribbon will indicate the type of prayer being prayed. We will provide that information for you later.

      By Easter Sunday, our tree will “bloom,” giving us a visible, tangible representation of our prayers.

      Kim Whitchard and Greg McNair, elders

      HAPPY NEW YEAR! The worship committee hopes that your January has been filled with the newness and excitement that “beginnings” provide — and all of you have kept your New Year’s resolutions.

      We began a new tradition in 2017 that we hope you will put on your calendar for next New Year’s Day. A year ago, New Year’s Day was on Sunday so it was standard practice to serve communion (since it was the first Sunday of the month). This year, as you know, New Year’s was on Monday. The worship committee has decided to make it a tradition to have a very brief service and celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper on New Year’s Day. We hope for it to be a way, as a church family and individuals, to recommit ourselves to the Lord for the new year.

      As we endure the freeze of January, we also look forward to the warmth that spring will bring (and quickly, I hope!). We will be celebrating Ash Wednesday on Feb. 14 and will have our service of dispensing the ashes at 6 p.m., where we are reminded that we are sinful and need to repent and turn to God. We hope that you will plan to attend this very meaningful beginning of the Lenten season that takes us to the resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday, April 1.

      We are planning to add something new this year — Lenten prayer trees at the church. Watch for more about this in weekly announcements.

      The worship committee continues to strive to create passionate worship. If you feel as though you are being called to serve (in any capacity), please contact one of the elders. Likewise, if you have any ideas of how we can deepen your worship experience please let us know. We continue to look forward to serving you.

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


      Will meet Thursday, Feb. 1, 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.

      Thursday, Feb. 15 • 6:30 p.m.
      The Forge Pizzeria
      21040 Miflin Road (County Road 20), Foley, across from Owa

      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.)

      Yelp recently named The Forge Pizzeria the top new restaurant in Alabama for 2017, based on diner reviews. For more about The Forge Pizzeria, here’s a link. You can also find the restaurant on Facebook


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

      Classes will continue each Sunday into the spring.

      The confirmation class schedule for February:

      Feb. 4                Old Testament — Judges
      Feb. 11              Confirmation: The Book of Confessions
      Feb. 18              Old Testament  — Ruth
      Feb. 25              Confirmation: Statements of Faith (so far

      Tara Morrow and Teresa Thomas, elders

      The next SWAG and GɸG meetings are Feb. 25.

      SWAG (Saved With Amazing Grace) is for children K–4.

      GɸG is our youth group — fifth grade and up.

      If anyone would like to provide dinner for approximately 20 children/adults we would greatly appreciate it. Contact Teresa Thomas at 609-2209 or Tara Morrow at 979-3325.

      Susan and Daryl Pichoff, class leaders

      “Les Misérables: Grace, Law, and Us”
      Sundays at 9 a.m. in the fellowship hall
      You are never so lost that God cannot find you.

      “Seeking God’s Presence”

      April 14 at Evergreen Presbyterian Church, Dothan
      Registration, 9:30 a.m.
      Program and worship service, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      Registration is $12.50 if received before April 4; $17.50 if received after April 4.
      Price includes lunch.
      Mail registration to Mary Jenkins, 1203 Mixon Drive, Bay Minette, AL 36507.

      Registration forms and more information can be found on the flier in the back of both churches.


      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 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., Snacks with Susan, fellowship hall, led by Daryl and Susan Pichoff; topic varies

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

      Thursdays, 10 to 11:30, Thursday morning Bible study, Andy Lay room, studying the book of Hebrews, 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., Swift Fourth Day, 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 Jan. 15. Pastor Jody Beth Melton moderated in the absence of Pastor Keith Cardwell.

      After prayer concerns and prayer, the church council:

      ✔ Received a report about home communion and Live Oak communion.

      ✔ Approved reports.

      ✔ Received end-of-year financials.

      ✔ Tabled final approval of the 2018 budget until next month

      ✔ Gave the go-ahead on a survey of the driveway property line before beginning the widening.

      ✔ Approved the annual financial report.

      ✔ Approved request from the mission committee to send $1,000 to the UKirk Campus Ministry
             at the University of South Alabama.

      ✔ Approved clerk of session and treasurer for 2018.

      ✔ Approved baptism of Bolton Thomas and McKenzie Cardwell.

      ✔ Approved communion for worship in 2018.

      ✔ Tabled a request from the youth elder until next month.

      ✔ Closed with prayer.

      Al Sprouse and Cathy Rogers, elders

      Our missions continue to thrive because of the generosity of our Swift congregation. Our donation to the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega was $2,621, well above our goal. We continue to have between 20 and 30 families at our food pantry at each distribution, and our “two cents a meal” offering continues to help Living Waters for the World.

      Our next special mission will be a Presbyterian special mission, One Great Hour of Sharing. This supports three Presbyterian missions: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People. We are conducting this mission a little differently this year. On Sunday, Feb. 18, we will have Blue Shirt Day at both services. This will be the kickoff for One Great Hour of Sharing, specifically to recognize Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Everyone is encouraged to wear something blue to church on Feb. 18. We will be taking mission offerings all through the Lenten Season, completing this mission on Easter Sunday. Our goal for OGHS is $1,500. We will hang a blue paper shirt on a clothesline for every $30 donation so that we can watch our dollars grow.

      Other missions coming up this year will be Pentecost in June, Santa Foundation in August, Peace and Global Witness Offering (for UKirk) and Presbyterian Home for Children in December.

      Please remember to come to “Souper Bowl Day of Caring” this Sunday, Feb. 4, and enjoy the work of the many fine cooks in at Swift. We will have a variety of soups and desserts for you to sample. Cooks, please bring your recipe so that we can put together a Swift Souper Bowl Day of Caring Recipe Book. There are always requests for recipes. There will be a freewill donation that will go to support our food pantry. If you would like to help set up, clean up or bring a soup or dessert, please let Cathy Rogers know ( or call or text 217-638-4751. Take-outs will be available after both services.

      Thank you for all the caring.

      Charlie Hastings, elder

      We are actively contacting engineers to survey the church driveway for the expansion project in 2018.

      If you are interested in joining a committee to oversee this project and help out in any way, please contact Charlie Hastings or Chuck Carneal. We are looking for anyone who is interested in helping coordinate and plan activities involving the widening of the driveway entrance from Swift Church Road.

      Feb. 14: Cheryl Jensen and Tina Sprouse
      Feb. 28: Susie Alexander and Janelle Armbruster


      Pastors Keith and Jody Beth will be attending a two-day presbytery meeting in Dothan on Feb. 9 and 10. They will both be out of town from noon on Friday until late afternoon Saturday. If you need pastoral care during this time, please contact your deacon or a session member.


      UKirk South Alabama is a new campus ministry in Mobile, supported by the Presbytery of South Alabama. Since its programming started in fall 2016, UKirk has grown into a ministry for more than 30 students with six student leaders. UKirk meets on a weekly basis and welcomes students from all over the nation with many different faith backgrounds. Some of the students have never heard the word “Presbyterian” before and some have never even set foot in a church. The campus ministry provides a place for students to explore their faith and have a home away from home.

      However, without support from the churches in our presbytery and individual donors, the campus ministry is not able to exist. While UKirk is its own worshiping community, the students are not able to afford costs of programming or a staff’s salary — sometimes they aren’t even able to buy groceries, gas to get to work, or laundry detergent. By supporting UKirk financially, you are ensuring UKirk’s ability to provide food for the students, expenses that come with Bible studies, and social events, a pastor that provides sound theology that they may not get at other campus ministries, and a future for the PC(USA) as church leaders are being built through this programming. The UKirk community cannot thank enough the people who see the importance of continuing this ministry and seeing UKirk a local mission.


      Thank you for your support of John and Gwenda Fletcher’s work in Congo. I am writing to give you an update on Gwenda. As you may have been aware, Gwenda experienced some health issues and was medically evacuated to Johannesburg shortly before Christmas. She and John are now in Los Angeles where she is receiving additional medical attention. Thank you for your prayers for John and Gwenda as they address this health issue. What follows is a note just received from John. This is all the information I have. If I receive more specifics and can share them, I will pass the information along.

      Bill (William McConnell)

      Dear Friends,
      Gwenda and I would like to thank all of you for your prayers and concern for Gwenda’s health and recovery. After 10 days in the hospital in Johannesburg, Gwenda (and I along with her) was medically repatriated to the United States. After a long (and at times very problematic) trip from Johannesburg to Los Angeles, we praise the Lord that Gwenda is doing better. Gwenda needs to follow up with a neurologist in one month to be sure that everything is OK. It has been a difficult time for Gwenda and me, but we have truly felt God’s loving hands around us and His guidance and watchfulness over us in the way that everything fell into place for her to be flown out of DRC and to fly from Johannesburg to Los Angeles. Gwenda is not yet able to resume her work activities and email. I will do my best to respond to emails, but you will understand that my primary focus continues to be getting Gwenda the care that she needs. Again, many thanks for your prayers and concern.

      Blessings in Christ,
      John and Gwenda


      Dear Friends at Swift Presbyterian Church,

      This letter is a little late to say Merry Christmas, but Larry and I do wish you a Happy New Year and God’s blessings in 2018. Our son Michael was with us for Christmas, his first time back in the Congo in two and a half years. Our daughter Lisa lives in Atlanta and will be getting married this September in Atlanta; we look forward to that big event.

      2017 was probably the most challenging year in the Congo given what has transpired in the ASSP and one of its partners, Access to Primary Health Care, which triggered a series of actions. The good news is that because of the problems, the Congo office is a stronger organization than it was a year ago and health care delivery to over 9 million people will continue to be supported until March 2019.

      In response to some violence in the Kasai provinces, we were able to help one of our local partners, PRODEK, write a proposal and they received $10,000 from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to help distribute seeds and tools to some families that had lost everything in the violence. Larry also put together a $1.4 million proposal for delivering free health care for six months to 2 million people affected by the violence. This was funded by the Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance.

      Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support that have sustained us in 2017. This past year, through your prayers and financial gifts, thousands of people, living in very difficult living conditions, have had access to medical care that would not otherwise have been available to them. We ask for your continued prayers for our safety and for wisdom to know how to move forward and respond to the many challenges. Please also pray for the local churches here, their leaders and members.

      God’s blessings on you and yours,
      Inge and Larry


      “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

      Feb. 4 — Jane King, Judy Walker, Kim Whitchard
      Feb. 11 — Paula and Danny Brewer, Lee Mansell, and Greg McNair
      Feb. 18 — Debbie and Norm Schmidt, Janelle Armbruster, Kim Whitchard
      Feb. 25 — Susie Alexander, Elinor Gartman, Sue Ann Lay, Lynda Walden

      Feb. 4 — Bridgit Gosa and Tara Morrow
      Feb. 11 — Aaron and Lyndsey Ward
      Feb. 18 — Ginny and Sarah Kleinschmidt
      Feb. 25 — Jane King and Carlie Sims

      Feb. 4 — Cathy Rogers
      Feb. 11 — Tess Helton
      Feb. 18 — Judy Walker
      Feb. 25 — Pastor Keith

      Feb. 4 — none (communion)
      Tracy and Olivia Akins
      Feb. 18 — Teresa and Ella Thomas
      Feb. 25 — Aaron and Lyndsey Ward

      Feb. 4 — Brett Cardwell
      Feb. 11 — Marlene Hastings
      Feb. 18 — Tosha Thomas
      Feb. 25 — Brett Cardwell

      Feb. 4 — Diya Patterson and Saylor Morrow
      Feb. 11 — Gracie Helton and Baylee Thomason
      Feb. 18 — Sully Curry and Tristan Walker
      Feb. 25 — Zoeylynn and Zadie Grace Barnwell



      [Dated Jan. 11]
      Dear Keith and friends,

      We are grateful for your gift of $2,531, received by us in December. As we enter the excitement and possibility of a new year, we pause to consider all that we have to be thankful for in this past one. Friends were generous during the holidays and the children had a fun, joyous Christmas. Volunteers helped decorate the cottages and the campus was a beautiful celebration of the holiday spirit.

      Your gift goes to support these Christmas memories and so many other events throughout the year. Our goal is to nurture the mind, body and spirit of the children in our care. This includes providing them with experiences and good memories that will last a lifetime.

      Thank you for caring for the children at the Presbyterian Home. May your New Year bring you good times and many happy memories with your own family…. I look forward to visiting in the near future.

      Doug Marshall, president


      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,


      Fall registration for preschool has begun.

      School telephone: 251-200-3840


      Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
      Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
      Pensacola Little Theater
      Feb. 1–4 and 8–11
      Tickets: Call 850-432-2042 or visit

      Comments from Kathy: “We attended this musical last Sunday and I highly recommend it — fantastic voices and choreography, great stage sets, high energy entertainment. And if you know Emma Jensen, you will see her in the dance ensemble. I give it an A+.”

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


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