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      July 2016 newsletter 


      A Church That Practices Fruitful Living



      Upcoming Scriptures and Sermons

               Sunday, July 10   Genesis 37:1              “Settler”

              Sunday, July 17   Exodus 5:15-23          “When Life Is Tough”

       “Faith and Family” Sermon Series

              July 31 – August 21

      This four-week sermon series aims to:

      • strengthen the faith of parents
      • connect families with the religious life of the church
      • strengthen the relationships between families and church
      • provide further energy and support to families in the spiritual development of their child

      Invite young families you know to attend this series which begins July 31 and concludes on Backpack Blessing Sunday, August 21.

      Session Highlights

      Swift Church session met on Monday, June 20, 2016. There was time of prayer concerns and prayer followed by approval of reports requiring no action.

      The Session spent some time discussing the fellowship hall kitchen, the HVAC unit in the sanctuary, and preschool room arrangements.

      We heard about Montreat Youth Conference. There was considerable discussion from Christian education regarding Children’s Church, Children’s Sunday School and people serving or not serving in leadership for those ministries.

      After lively discussion, concern and celebration the meeting adjourned with prayer.

      Sanctuary Flowers
      Available Dates
      ALL of July, Aug. 7, Aug. 21, Sept. 4, Sept. 25
      Please contact Nancy Hope, 943-3966, to schedule.

      On June 12, we had an arrangement of spring flowers, and the dedication was accidentally omitted from the bulletin announcements. Those beautiful flowers were provided by Janelle Armbruster in loving memory of her son, Ronnie Frost Jr.



      Swift Presbyterian Church’s “Two or More” Lunch Group

      “Two or More” is a monthly ecumenical fellowship luncheon, open to all.

      We meet once a month, on the first Thursday of each month, at 11:30 am.

      July 7, we will meet at Captain’s Choice Restaurant in the Gulf Bowl.

      Please RSVP to Lee Mansell at 251-232-4775 to make a reservation.


      Butterfly Girls and Guys’ Night Out

      Thursday, August 19, 6:30pm

      ALL ladies are invited to Butterfly Girls & ALL men are invited to Guys’ Night Out.

      We will NOT be meeting in July (so we can support the Vacation Bible School).

      Want an adventure but never have the time? Want to travel to exotic lands and experience native cuisine? 

      OK, well maybe just go to Robertsdale?

      Come join us at the next Butterfly Girls or Guys Night Out dinner!

      Mark your calendar for Thursday, August 18, at 6:30pm.

      Girls will go to Frenchie’s Cajun Café and

      Guys to Captain Q’s Seafood and Vietnamese,

      both in Robertsdale.

      RSVP to Susan and Daryl Pichoff, 251-233-9486.


      ‘Connected Through God’s Creation’

      Presbyterian Women of South Alabama Fall Gathering

      Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, at Swift Presbyterian Church

      Registration 9:30–10; Gathering 10AM–2PM

      Pastor Kim Vanbrimmer will share with us how we are all connected to all of God’s creations.

      Mission Project: Non-perishable food items for Swift Presbyterian Food Pantry

      Come and join our Sisters in Christ for a day of learning, sharing and fellowship. 



                              Phone Number___________________________________________

                              Home Church____________________________________________

                              Registrations received before Sept. 21— $10:                         Mary Jenkins

                              Registrations received after Sept. 21 — $15                            1203 Mixon Ave.

                              Includes lunch                                                                           Bay Minette, AL 36507




      Missions Report

      Submitted by Cathy Rogers and Philip Melton

      The food pantry will be open on July 13 and 27. Please contact Philip Melton if you would be willing to help with this church mission.

      July Food Pantry Volunteers:                                                      August Food Pantry Volunteers:
      13th……Philip Melton and Bill Lee                                                 10th…….Rose Beno and Susie Alexander
      27th…….Vicki Elsler and Sue Johnson                                          24th…….Rose Beno and Susie Alexander

      The 2 cents a meal is still being collected on the third Sunday of the month for Living Waters for the World. Please check out their website for more information.

      Our next special offering will be in August. This offering will be collected for the Santa Foundation that provides toys for needy children in the Foley area. Brooke Waters is very involved in this mission.

      A Peace and Global Witness offering will be collected in October.

      We will also have a special offering in December for the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, Alabama. Missions decided not to participate in the Christmas Joy offering this year but to donate toward PHFC instead.


      Vacation Bible School Work Day

      We’re having a VBS Church-Wide Work Day on Wednesday, July 6th, at 5:30pm. We’re asking for anyone who is willing and able to come out and help prep things for a week of fun! We’re asking for decoration help and putting supplies together. The more hands on deck, the faster and better. We ask that if you have any beach items to help us decorate, please bring them. If volunteers could eat beforehand, or bring a meal with them, that would be great. Thanks in advance for your help. For more information, you may contact Tosha Thomas or Tara Morrow.

      Meals for Vacation Bible School

      Dudes and Dudettes! Are you about ready to get totally rad and catch some VBS waves? We still need some help with the nightly dinners and you can help. So get your most bodacious recipes together and lend a hand. We need a couple of more meals, desserts, and some more clean up help. Just give Susan Pichoff (251-233-9486) a jingle and she’ll give you the low down, or the surf’s up, on what we need. We’ll have some mondo fun, fer sure.

      July 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

      DEPOSITOR FOR JULY — Paula Brewer

      PROJECTIONIST — Jimbo Woodall

      7/3 — Norm and Debbie Schmidt; Danny and Paula Brewer
      7/10 — Lynda Walden, Sue Ann Lay and Susie Alexander
      7/17 — Donna Donald, Willard Penfold, Lynn and Mike Barnwell
      7/24 — Mark and Tresa Melton, Lynn Aspray and Jane King
      7/31 — Bridgit and Jessica Gosa, Lee Mansell and Kim Whitchard

      7/3 — Tresa Melton, Tara Morrow
      7/10 — Megan Curry, Cassie Woodall
      7/17 — Teresa Thomas, Bridgit Gosa
      7/24 — Lynn and Mike Barnwell
      7/31 — Donna Donald and Beth Brewer



      Thursday Morning Bible Study

      We finished the book of Ecclesiastes on June 16. The next Bible Study will be on the book of Daniel, beginning September 8, 2016, 10:00–11:30 (11:15 on Two or More luncheon days). Please contact Sue Ann Lay to order the study guide.

      In the meantime, consider participating in Pastor Keith’s Bible Study on Wednesday afternoons during the summer, beginning on June 29. See below for more information.

      Pastor Keith’s Summer Bible Study

      Pastor Keith was asked to offer a midweek Bible Study this summer. He has agreed. The class meets Wednesday afternoons at 3:00pm at Swift Church.

      Over the course of four weeks, we will look at all six chapters of Ephesians. This letter begins by setting the context for understanding the Christian life — that it is all part of a wonderful, rich, glorious plan that God set in motion at the beginning of time. It explains how God has provided all the means for the plan to be fulfilled, starting first with the Jews and then bringing in the rest of the world. After setting the context, Ephesians gets very practical about how to live into God’s plan with confidence that He fully equips us, even for the hardest stuff, and will bring all things to the praise of His glory.

      Bring an open Bible, an open heart and a friend.

         Vacation Bible School

                      Do you remember the Beach Boys’ famous song “Surfin’ USA”?

      Strains of surfin’ songs will be heard as Swift Church is turned into the

      “Surf Shack” for Vacation Bible School

      Sunday, July 17, through Thursday, July 21

      Dinner starts at 5:30pm and our program ends at 8pm. VBS is for 3-year-olds through fourth-graders. Pastor Keith will also be providing a class for adults. VBS is FREE!

      To register your child for VBS, go to:

      We still need teachers and helpers! If you are interested in volunteering, contact

      Or you can contact Tara Morrow at 979-3325 or Teresa Thomas at 609-2209 for more information

      Adult VBS

      Pastor Keith will be teaching an adult version of VBS corresponding with the children’s VBS. We will use the same Bible stories as the children.

      The class will meet in the Andy Lay Room from 6:00–7:30pm, July 17–21. Each class will be free-standing so come on the nights you can. You may come at 5:30 for a simple dinner.

      College and Adult Education Students

      Please continue to pray for our college and adult education students:

      Pate Cardwell, Columbia Southern University, On Line Bachelor of Applied Science in Fire Administration program

      Rene Guidroz, University of South Alabama

      Tracy King

      Karely Kleinschmidt, Faulkner State Community College

      Tara Morrow, Pensacola State College, Physical Therapist Assistant program to earn Associate’s Degree in Applied Science.

      Philip Melton, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Online Christian Leadership Program.

      Zach Melton, Karleigh Neese, University of South Alabama

      Tanya Vetrano, Criminal Justice, Faulkner State Community College



      You Are Invited To the 12th Annual Santa Foundation Fundraiser

      Saturday, July 16, 2016, at the Foley Civic Center         

      6:00–7:00pm Cocktails, Hors D’oeuvres and Silent Auction; 7:00pm Comedian Robert Lee

      $50 per person; please make reservations by sending your check payable to The Santa Foundation to:

      The Santa Foundation, P.O. Box 1535, Foley, AL 36536

      Business casual dress; adults-only event. For more information, contact Matt Maurin at 943-4339.



      July is:

      • Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month                        • 1–7 — Clean Beaches Week
      • UV Safety Month                                                     • 11–17 — National Therapeutic Recreation Week

      • Eye Injury Prevention Month                                   • 17 — Bladder Cancer Awareness Day

      • Cord Blood Awareness Blog Month                        • 18–24 — Everybody Deserves a Massage Week

      • International Group B Strep Awareness Month


      The Top 10 Things That Happened at the 222nd General Assembly

      Anyone who’s ever been to a General Assembly knows it’s a rich feast. The business agenda of the Assembly alone is massive, and there are a host of auxiliary meetings and social events as well.

      Boiling the work of the Assembly down to just a few items is a challenge, but I’m going to try. Here’s my list of the Top 10 Things that Happened at the 222nd General Assembly:

      10) The most-talked-about business in advance of the Assembly was the “Foothills Overtures,” a collection of constitutional amendments and rules changes that would have radically altered the way the Assembly does its business. I’ve written about these overtures — named for the Foothills Presbytery of South Carolina, from which they originated — in an earlier blog post. The effect of these overtures would have been — by restricting how often certain topics could come up and by adding supermajority voting requirements — to eviscerate the Assembly’s ability to do almost anything related to social justice. In the end, the Assembly carefully considered these overtures in a special committee, then resoundingly voted them all down.

      9) In the early twentieth century, Presbyterians could be found at the forefront of the Fundamentalist movement, advancing a literalist interpretation of scripture. We are very far from that place a century later, interpreting scripture with the full range of literary and historical tools available. In two separate actions, the Assembly stated definitively that science and faith are not enemies, that evolution — rather than a literal reading of the Genesis creation stories — is a reasonable explanation of how God created the universe, and that Christian disciples should not shrink from using the full range of their God-given intellectual abilities to advance scientific inquiry.

      8) Could the “sex wars” really be over? Generally, the atmosphere at this Assembly was far less contentious than some of recent memory. This is largely due to the changes that took place at the last two Assemblies, allowing freedom for GLBTQ believers to assume ordained office, and a similar freedom for pastors and sessions wishing to offer same-sex marriage ceremonies where permitted by civil law. There was an overture to return to the “one man and one woman” language once present in the Directory for Worship’s section on marriage. This was resoundingly defeated by a more than a 4-to-1 ratio. Another overture, coming from the opposite end of the theological spectrum, called on the church to formally apologize to GLBTQ Christians who have been marginalized by past church teachings. The Assembly declined to use the emotionally loaded “a”-word, speaking instead of “regret.” This was in order to provide gracious space for those who continue to be dissent from the church’s tolerant stance on same-sex marriage, honoring their freedom of conscience.

      7) After contentious debate, the Assembly rejected a call for aggressive divestment of the church’s stock-market holdings in two hundred corporations that produce fossil fuels. Instead, the Assembly opted for a less-confrontational strategy of engaging these companies in dialogue through stockholder resolutions.

      6) The Assembly approved an amended report, “Israel-Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace.” This supports the two-state solution to that intractable conflict, taking particular note of the imbalance of suffering between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Assembly refrained from moving beyond phased divestment from Hewlett-Packard (the position of the last Assembly) to an outright boycott, continuing to work with that corporation to encourage them to do less to support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian areas.

      5) The last two Assemblies have pondered the future of synods, opting for consolidation of our existing synods into even larger regional bodies — but not specifying exactly how this was going to take place. By a large majority, the Assembly rescinded that mandate. Commissioners approved the appointment of a high-level “2020 Vision Team” that will explore our governance structures at every level and make recommendations for change.

      4) In a surprise move, the Assembly resoundingly approved an overture calling for a return to “minister of the word and sacrament” as the prevailing title for the order of ministry that has been called, since the adoption of our present Form of Government, “teaching elder.” Both terms will still be used, but — if a majority of presbyteries approve the change — “minister” will now be primary, as it has been through every other era of the church’s history. I have written about this issue previously in an article in The Presbyterian Outlook. In a related development, the wordy title, “ruling elder commissioned to limited pastoral service” (commonly called “commissioned ruling elder”) will now be called simply “commissioned pastor.”

      3) New faces in leadership: for the first time ever, there is no Anglo male face among the senior leadership of the church. The Assembly elected the Revs. T. Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston (of National Capital and Chicago presbyteries, respectively) as its first-ever co-moderators. It also elected the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson (formerly director of the church’s Washington Office) as Stated Clerk. Tony De La Rosa continues as interim director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Look for great things, in particular, from J. Herbert Nelson. He’s a powerful orator in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. and a change agent. While he has never been a stated clerk before at any level, he promises to be a quick study.

      2) The Assembly approved a draft of a new Directory for Worship that will now go out to the presbyteries for approval. The changes have to do mostly with making the Directory for Worship more concise and usable, although it does offer new flexibility to welcome unbaptized inquirers to the Lord’s Table, as long as the invitation to be baptized is made clear to them.

      1) And now, the number-one thing this Assembly did was to complete the process of adding the Belhar Confession as the twelfth confessional document contained in the Book of Confessions. While this was pretty much a foregone conclusion — since more than three-fourths of the presbyteries have already given their required assent — still, it is of great historic significance. After the positive vote, theologian Allan Boesak of South Africa, one of the authors of the Belhar Confession during the apartheid era, addressed the Assembly. He ended his remarks by saying, “We may not know what tomorrow may bring, but I know this: tonight, we have overcome. I know this: because of Jesus, we shall overcome. I know this: whatever may come in our world, we shall overcome.” In a moving moment, the Assembly responded by spontaneously breaking into song, singing — what else? — “We Shall Overcome.”

      — The Rev. Dr. Carl Wilton
      (The writer is pastor of the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey,
      and stated clerk of the Presbytery of Monmouth.)



      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,

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      • Presbytery of S. Alabama
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      23208 Swift Church Road
      Foley, AL 36535
      Phone: (251) 943-8367


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