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       January 2019 newsletter


      A Church That Practices Fruitful Living


      Happy New Year!

       Passionate worship 


       Lisa Cardwell, music director 

      We are so grateful for the many adults and children who gave of their time and talents to make our Christmas celebrations on Dec. 16 and 24 so beautiful.

      The chancel choir will begin worship leadership on Jan 6. Wednesday night handbell rehearsals will begin on Jan. 23.


      This note was received after our music and worship celebration on Dec. 16.

      “Dear Rev. Keith:
      John and I had such a wonderful experience with your musical program last Sunday. We enjoyed every moment. Please thank everyone who contributed to making it happen. We wish you all a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2019.

      Sincerely, John and Anne Medbery”

       Greg McNair and Kim Whitchard, elders 

      As you should already know, New Year’s Day brings an opportunity for us to have first worship, first communion and a first meal together in the chapel and fellowship hall. Please join us. At breakfast time, you can visit with your friends and make new ones. We will worship at 9 a.m. and celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and we will move into the fellowship hall for a light breakfast provided by Lynn Barnwell and Mark Melton.

      Jan. 6 marks the Epiphany of the Lord, and we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. All are invited to the table to partake of the bread and juice by intinction. On Jan. 13, we will observe the Baptism of the Lord.

      We hope you have all had a meaningful Advent season and a joyful Christmas. If you had one of the Advent jars and will not be using the Mason jar, please drop it off in the back of the church and we will use it for our gifts for people worshiping with us for the first time.

      December was a worshipful time at Swift Church as we progressed through Advent and awaited the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. We have been celebrating that world-changing event since Christmas Eve. The sanctuary was packed on Dec. 16 for the all-church music and worship celebration. We thank our choirs, children and youth for making music and staging a skit. We are grateful to Lisa Cardwell, our music director, for her leadership and all the time she put into this. Christmas Eve was a meaningful time, as always. We celebrated the Lord’s Supper and sang “Silent Night” after taking light from the Christ candle and passing it through the sanctuary from person to person on each pew and lighting up the darkened room.

      Kim Whitchard will be stepping down this month as one of your worship elders, ending three years of dedicated service. We thank her for all she has done while on the session. Greg McNair will be beginning his third year as worship elder. The session is rearranging some duties, eliminating a second worship elder and adding a fellowship elder to focus on planning congregational meals and other church-wide gatherings.

      Greg may be asking you for help in areas related to worship.

      We still need young people to volunteer to serve as acolytes at the 10:00 worship services. They bring in the light and carry it out at the conclusion of the service. It is an easy but important job. We will be happy to provide instructions for all who are interested.

      If you feel God is leading you to volunteer as a greeter/usher, nursery attendant or occasional scripture reader, please let Greg know. There are always other small but important jobs to be done. We appreciate all of our church family, and it is an honor to serve you.

       Radical hospitality 

      Thursday, Jan. 3 • 11:30 a.m.
      O’Charley’s — 3060 S. McKenzie St., Foley
      Couples, singles, men, women, first-timers, old-timers — everyone is invited and welcome.
      Delicious food, reasonable prices and great conversation. Come and meet new friends.

      Thursday, Jan. 10 • noon

      Come one, come all to Fourth Day lunch in the fellowship hall. Don’t forget to bring a sack lunch.
      This is monthly on the second Thursday.

      Thursday, Jan. 17 • 6:30 p.m.
      Moe’s Original Bar B Que — 20733 Mifin Road (County Road 20), Foley
      behind Wolf Bay Lodge
      Here’s a link to the restaurant’s website.

      Contacts are Mary McNair 251-295-5267 or Daryl and Susan Pichoff, 251-233-9486 for reservations so that the restaurant can prepare for our attendance. (A few extra chairs will be reserved for any last-minute deciders.)

      Our group is growing ever since the girls and guys meet at the same place, although we sit and visit together separately.

      Come join us this month. Couples or singles are welcome. Join us and suggest new places for us to try.

       Intentional faith development 

       Teresa Thomas, elder, children  Tara Morrow, elder, youth 

      ■ SWAG (formerly Kids’ Club) is for children in grades K–4.

      ■ GΦG is our youth group for ages fifth grade through high school. We meet at the church and have a lesson, games and a small meal.

      ■ Refuel, our Wednesday night youth group meeting, is from 6 to 8 p.m. You are encouraged to invite your school friends, neighbors, etc. Upcoming activities are:

      Jan. 9 — 6 to 8 p.m. at Lynn and Mike Barnwell’s home
      Jan. 26 — Saturday is youth mission event.

      ■ If anyone would like to prepare a meal, please let Teresa Thomas or Tara Morrow know. 

      ■ The following are the dates for both SWAG and GΦG:

      Jan. 20 — 4 to 6 p.m.
      Feb. 17 — 4 to 6 p.m.
      March 17 — 4 to 6 p.m.
      April and May — to be determined

       Susan and Daryl Pichoff, leaders 

      The class meets in the fellowship hall on Sundays from 9 to 9:45 a.m. and is led by Daryl and Susan Pichoff.

      On Jan. 6, we will begin “When Christians Get It Wrong” by Adam Hamilton.

      Why are growing numbers of American young people choosing not to affiliate with churches? Threading his reflections with anecdotes and conversations with younger adults both inside and outside church walls, the author takes a look at some of the hot-button issues younger adults report as divisive.

      These include Christians and judgmentalism; science and Christian practice; how believers relate to those of other faiths; how to understand God’s role when tragedy strikes; and what happens when the church focuses on specific issues.

      We would love to have you join us for great discussions and good snacks. If I can answer any questions, please let me know and I hope you’ll join us. Contact Susan at or 251-233-9486 (phone or text).

       Cheryl Jensen, leader 

      We have studied about half of Acts and are now studying James and Galatians. Oh, how fun to study the “how-to” books of the Bible. We welcome you to our class, which meets at 9:00 on Sunday mornings in the room 2 in the annex.

      Sunday evenings, Thursday mornings

      Sunday evening and Thursday morning Bible study groups are continuing a weekly study on the book of Genesis. “Invitation to Genesis,” a disciple Bible study, includes a DVD, a leader’s guide, and participant books. The study books are $15 and as always, scholarships are available. Please let facilitators Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton know if you will be able to be a part of this group; 251-213-6625 and 251-213-6505.

      Times are: Sundays, 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.; and Thursdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m. (11:15 on the first Thursday of each month so that participants may attend the “Two or More” fellowship lunch).


      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, room 2 in the annex, studying the books of Acts, James and Galatians. Led by Cheryl Jensen

      Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., Snacks with Susan and Daryl, fellowship hall, led by Susan and Daryl Pichoff; topic varies. The class usually watches a DVD and discusses informative topics.

      Sunday evening (5:30 to 6:15) and Thursday morning (10 to 11:30), Bible study groups meet weekly. They are studying the book of Genesis. Contacts are Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton, 251-213-6625. After taking a break for a few weeks, these groups will resume on Thursday, Jan. 10, and Sunday, Jan. 13.


      Thursdays (first Thursday of month), 11:30 a.m., “Two or More” fellowship lunch at O’Charley’s in Foley on South McKenzie Street. Contact is Lee Mansell.

      Thursdays (second Thursday of month), noon, Fourth Day fellowship lunch in the 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.

      Thursdays (third Thursday of month), 6:30 p.m., Butterfly Girls and Guys’ Night Out fellowship dinner at area restaurants, different place each month. In January, we will meet at Moe’s Bar B Que, 20733 Miflin Road (County Road 20), Foley.

       Mission and service 

       Al Sprouse and Cathy Rogers, elders 

      The response to our Advent mission for Alabama’s Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega has been nothing short of amazing. Our HOPE board continued to increase in brightness every week in December as your offerings lit up lights.

      As of Dec. 30, our congregation has generously offered $3,364.26 for this mission. Initially our goal was $2,000, and we have greatly surpassed that. This would bring tremendous HOPE to the organization that gives hope to those families who need it most.

      Thank you for your giving hearts. Please continue to be in prayer for this mission.

      The food pantry supplied groceries for 20 families Nov. 28, 34 families on Dec. 12 and 16 families on Dec. 26. We are very happy that we were able to continue helping families.


      “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. 6 — Susie Alexander, Elinor Gartman, Sue Ann Lay, Lynda Walden
      Jan. 13 — Lynn and Mike Barnwell, Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray
      Jan. 20 — Judy Walker, Kim Whitchard and Jane King
      Jan. 27 — Danny and Paula Brewer, Lee Mansell, Greg McNair

      We have a need for several more helpers.
      Jan. 6 — Jon Devery and Lainey Thomas
      Jan. 13 — ZoeyLynn and Zadie Grace Barnwell
      Jan. 20 — Sully Curry
      Jan. 27 — Cadi Cardwell and McCoy Cooper

      NURSERY VOLUNTEERS (if needed)
      Jan. 6 — Megan Curry and Debbie Schmidt
      Jan. 13 — Jane King and Carlie Sims
      Jan. 20 — Bridgit Gosa
      Jan. 27 — Ginny Kleinschmidt and Tara Morrow

      Jan. 6 — Cathy Rogers
      Jan. 13 — Pastor Keith
      Jan. 20 — Judy Walker
      Jan. 27 — Teresa Thomas

      Jan. 6 — None due to communion being served
      Jan. 13 — Lezli and Kenny Thomason
      Jan. 20 — Debbie Schmidt and Megan Curry
      Jan. 27 — Teresa and Ella Thomas

      Jan. 6 — Tosha Thomas
      Jan. 13 — (New deacons to be ordained)
      Jan. 20 — to be determined
      Jan. 27 — to be determined   

       Extravagant generosity 


      During the past year, Pat and Bill Rickert have supplied flowers for our chapel and sanctuary whenever no one else has scheduled a date. We appreciate their offer to do this very much so that our church may be enhanced with this blessing from them.

      Please contact Susie Alexander to reserve your date for 2019.

      Flowers can be offered for a special occasion, birthday, anniversary, in memory of someone special, or just because you want to. They don’t have to be an expensive bouquet or arrangement, but something out of your own garden can be just as beautiful. We keep a calendar in the office so that you can check to see if your date is available.

      You can reach Susie at 251-943-4145 or at


      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,

      Swift Church Preschool 

      School telephone: 251-200-3840

       In the community 


      Jan. 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day and January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. In recognition of this, Hope Haven is sponsoring a human trafficking awareness seminar on Sunday, Jan. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Robertsdale.

      Among the speakers are Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack and Special Agent Paul Weathersby of the FBI. The seminar will include topics regarding the existence of human trafficking in our area, what local law enforcement is doing to combat it, how today's technology put young people at risk, how Hope Haven is serving victims of human trafficking, and how the community can help.

      If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email Donna Armstrong, executive director of Hope Haven. She can be reached at 251-604-4549.

      An informational sheet is on the bulletin boards in the narthex and in the fellowship hall at Swift Church.

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      • Presbytery of S. Alabama
      • Synod of Living Waters

      A safe haven


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


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