Pastor Jody Beth Melton preaches at morning services.
First worship, first meal
First worship of the year at 9 a.m. in the chapel.
We will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and breakfast will follow in the fellowship hall.
Epiphany of the Lord • We celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
WORSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT Greg McNair and Kim Whitchard, elders
Happy New Year from your Swift Church worship team.
As we head into a new month — and a new year — we wonder just what the Lord has in store for his followers at Swift Presbyterian Church. As usual, there are sure to be challenges, and with God’s help we will conquer them. If we seek them, the Lord will present daily opportunities for service to our family, church, community and beyond.
Let’s pray for divine guidance in every day of 2018. Remember, the Lord is always with us — no matter what we are going through — every moment of every day. We hear a lot of talk about New Year’s resolutions, but actually God is ready to give us a new start at any time we choose, if we just ask for help in turning our lives around.
The first day of 2018 falls on this Monday, and we will have a special gathering at 9 a.m. to start the year off right with our first worship service and first meal together. We will meet in the historical chapel to dedicate ourselves to God’s service, celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and then go into the fellowship hall for breakfast and conversation with friends and visitors.
We will observe the Epiphany of the Lord on Jan. 7. Everyone will be invited to the table once again to partake of the Lord’s Supper.
December was a worshipful time for our church family, as we progressed through the days of Advent to our Lord and Savior’s birth in a lowly cow stall. This was a humble arrival for the Savior of the World, but his birth was met with praise, adoration and great joy among those who knew this was God who came to live among us and deliver us from our sins. The Christmas Eve candlelight service is always a soul-stirring time at our church. Advent featured much special music from the choirs at Swift and others. The Dec. 10 worship service and variety show reminded us just what talented people we have in the church family. Now, we continue to celebrate as the days of Christmas continue.
We pray that blessings and opportunities to serve the Lord and worship him will be abundant for our church family in the months ahead.
MUSIC NOTES Lisa Cardwell, music director
We appreciate so much the many hours of rehearsals that were put in by so many people (chancel choir members, handbell choir members, Joyful Tone members, Jenni Cain, and soloists) in order to make our Advent and Christmas services beautiful and joyful.
And it is time to look ahead to the Lent and Easter seasons. I can assure you that we will do everything possible to select and present music that tells the story of the events leading up to Christ’s final days on Earth with honor and glory to our Lord. Please pray for us as we do so.
‘TWO OR MORE’ LUNCH
Will meet Thursday, Jan. 4, 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.
BUTTERFLY GIRLS • GUYS’ NIGHT OUT Thursday, Jan. 18 • 6:30 p.m.
We are going to Wintzell’s Oyster House on Scenic 98 (805 S. Mobile St.) in Fairhope. “I will be providing everyone with 10% coupons left over from from when Greg and I had our bed-and-breakfast inn,” said Mary McNair.
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.)
SWIFT CHURCH CONFIRMATION CLASS Inspiring, resilient faith
Students explore what it means to be Presbyterian and how to live out their confirmation promises.
There will be no confirmation class Dec. 31.
Classes resume Jan. 7 and will continue each Sunday into the spring.
The confirmation class schedule for January:
Jan. 7 Old Testament — Law Jan. 14 Confirmation: Jesus Is Savior Jan. 21 Old Testament — Judges Jan. 28 Confirmation: Word and Response
YOUTH CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT Tara Morrow, elder
The youth will start back with confirmation class on Sunday, Jan. 7, from 9 to 9:45 a.m.
GΦG will be Sunday, Jan. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the youth room.
Refuel will be Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Tracy Akins’ house.
SNACKS WITH SUSAN
We will continue with our series from Adam Hamilton — “Why?” This series has been very interesting and challenges us to keep our faith even in our disbelief. Join us for some fun and thoughtful conversation.
Jan. 7 Why Can’t I See God’s Will for My Life? Jan. 14 Why God’s Love Prevails
Starting Jan. 21 “Les Miserables: Grace, Law, and Us”
You are never so lost that God cannot find you.
BIBLE STUDY AND FELLOWSHIP GROUPS
FOR ADULTS AT SWIFT CHURCH
Bible study groups forming
The beginning of a new year is a great time to join a Bible study, and a study on the book of Hebrews will be starting in mid-January.
One group will meet Sunday evenings; the time is still being decided. A second group will meet Thursday mornings from 10 to 11:30.
Contact Pastor Jody Beth (251-213-6625) or Philip Melton (251-213-6505) for more information or materials. They will be leading both groups.
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.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., Snacks with Susan, fellowship hall, led by Daryl and Susan Pichoff; topic varies.
•Sundays, 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.
MISSION AND SERVICE
Session did not meet in December. Ordination and installation of new officers will be Sunday, Jan. 14, at both the 8:00 and 10:00 services. Our next meeting is Jan. 15.
MISSION REPORT Cathy Rogers and Philip Melton, elders
Members of our congregation have once again opened their hearts and generously donated to the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega. Our goal for this mission was $1,500, and $2,500 has actually been given. What a wonderful gift Swift will be sending to PHC. You have lit up our tree and the hearts of families and children. Thank you sincerely to all who gave to this worthy mission.
Food pantry distribution on Dec. 13 was able to serve 26 families. Three families were served on Dec. 27.
GRIEFSHARE Paula Brewer, facilitator
The GriefShare support group meets every Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon during January.
We appreciate the support and attendance for our “Longest Night” service on Dec. 21.
POTHOLDERS FOR POTHOLES
The Swift craft group will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 2 p.m. Thanks for your support in purchasing our items for holiday gifts. We will plan another sale of seasonal items in the spring.
WE APPRECIATE OUR JANUARY VOLUNTEERS
“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
Jan. 7 — Lee Mansell and Greg McNair
Jan. 14 — Paula and Danny Brewer, Debbie and Norm Schmidt
Jan. 21 — Susie Alexander, Elinor Gartman, Sue Ann Lay, Lynda Walden
Jan. 28 — Lynn and Mike Barnwell, Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray
Jan. 7 — Jane King and Carlie Sims
Jan. 14 — Megan Curry and Debbie Schmidt
Jan. 21 — Tracy Akins and Tess Helton
Jan. 28 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN
Jan. 7 — Cathy Rogers
Jan. 14 — Judy Walker
Jan. 21 — Tess Helton
Jan. 28 — Pastor Keith
Jan. 7 — Diya Patterson and Saylor Morrow
Jan. 14 — Cadi Cardwell and McCoy Cooper
Jan. 21 — Zoeylynn and Zadie Grace Barnwell
Jan. 28 — Jon Devery and Lainey Thomas
A precious Christmas present . . . as reported from Bob Bergman
My nephew Kent Wohler has a new granddaughter.
Taylor Lindeman delivered his family’s most precious Christmas present Monday along a frigid roadside in Chisago City shortly after his pregnant wife, Hannah, said he’d better call an ambulance.
The couple spent Christmas Eve at Taylor Lindeman’s parents’ home in Shafer, Minn., near Taylors Falls. Taylor Lindeman, 29, said his wife had been up and down much of the night with contractions but she wasn’t especially concerned.
Christmas Day started about 7 a.m. when their daughters, Lilly, 5, and Dahlia, 3, began opening their presents. The adults started opening their gifts, but Lindeman said his wife couldn’t get through hers because her contractions grew more frequent and “much more painful.”
They left his parents’ house about 9 a.m. for the 45-minute drive to United Hospital in St. Paul.
“I called United to tell them that we were coming. After that, my wife said that I needed to call an ambulance,” Taylor said. “Her contractions were very, very painful. So I called the ambulance and stayed on the line and then eventually had to stop to have the ambulance find us, because they said if I keep driving they couldn’t continue following me.”
They pulled off Highway 8 in a windswept area at the edge of Chisago City and Wyoming. Taylor put the ambulance dispatcher on speaker phone and went around to the passenger side of the vehicle where Hannah, 31, was seated. He stood at the open door. He said it was minus-1 or minus-2 degrees outside with a wind chill making it feel like 25-below.
No passers-by stopped to help, Taylor said. He guessed that it was too cold, and that other drivers had their Christmas destinations in mind.
“While I was on the phone with the dispatcher, her water broke,” Taylor said.
That was 9:18 a.m.
Just two minutes later, out came their daughter Poppy. At 20½ inches long and 6 pounds 8 ounces, “She’s our biggest baby yet,” the proud poppa said.
A Lakes Area police officer arrived a minute or two later and stayed with the Lindemans while they waited a few minutes for the ambulance. Taylor closed the passenger door and cranked up the heat.
The police officer cut a shoelace from Hannah’s boot and tied off the umbilical cord, as instructed by an Allina Health dispatcher.
“The police officer did a really good job. The paramedics did a really good job, too,” Taylor said.
He said both parents were doing well at United Hospital Monday afternoon as they braced for a crush of reporters and photographers. They expect to return to their home in Byron, Minn., sometime Wednesday.
Taylor, who teaches seventh-grade English in the Rochester public schools, said the delivery took him and his wife, a stay-at-home mom, by surprise. Hannah’s first delivery took between seven to nine hours, he said. Her second delivery came about three hours after they arrived at the hospital. This one, he said, probably took 60 to 90 minutes.
“We weren’t really expecting today to be the delivery — but obviously she had other plans,” Taylor said of Poppy.”
ABOUT ONLINE GIVING . . .
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, www.swiftchurch.org.
SWIFT CHURCH PRESCHOOL
There are openings in the 2- and 4-year-old classes.