While many are still uncertain or uncomfortable traveling this summer and are staying close to home, we will take a road trip.
Each Sunday we will follow Old Testament men and women as they travel unfamiliar roads by faith.
We continue our “Road Trip” theme through Labor Day Sunday, Sept. 6. We also continue our worship services online. They are available beginning at 10:00 each Sunday morning on Facebook, YouTube and on swiftchurch.org. They are available on those sites perpetually, so if you’re not able to view on Sunday morning, you can worship on Monday night or Wednesday afternoon, or … .
♦ We celebrate the Lord’s Supper “virtually.”
in our homes at 10 a.m. during our online service.
Be prepared with bread and juice
and celebrate this sacrament with the community.
Difficult Wilderness Experiences
Snakes on the Plains
Death of Moses
Contact the office if you would like to record a “time with the children,” read Scripture or sing. Each can be done safely from home.
Wednesday evening worship
Because of a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases in Baldwin County, Swift Church has reverted to Step 1 for worship, which means that the planned Wednesday night outdoor services are canceled until further notice. Handbell choir rehearsals, which resumed recently, also are canceled until further notice.
On June 24, we held our first worship service since mid-March on the sacred grounds of Swift Church. It was humid outside with physical distancing and no singing. It was also a time of scripture, prayer, handbells, keyboard, and seeing one another. The 30-minute service (actually more like 20–25) was nicely attended and appreciated.
Thanks to the handbell choir and Lisa for practicing over the summer in order to present the outdoor worship on Wednesday, June 24. It was wonderful to see them together again, even with their masks on. The porch of the church helped to acoustically project the sounds of the bells and the members in their chairs, scattered under the trees, enjoyed the music and message under the serenity of the evening sky. Thanks to Pastor Keith, Pastor Jody Beth, Lisa Cardwell, Jenni Cain and Marvin King for putting together this opportunity for us to worship together briefly and to greet fellow worshipers.
July worship volunteers
We appreciate our July volunteers as they help lead us in worship.
ACOLYTES July 5 — ZoeyLynn Barnwell July 12 — Cadi Cardwell, McCoy Cooper July 19 — Lainey Thomas July 26 — ZoeyLynn Barnwell
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN July 5 — Cathy Rogers July 12 — Pate Cardwell July 19 — to be determined July 26 — Lynn Aspray
ELDER OF THE MONTH
MUSIC NOTES Lisa Cardwell | music director
The Wednesday night handbell choir has begun rehearsing weekly and following cleaning precautions as well as social distancing (spacing 6 feet between ringers which means we cannot use our usual table setup). Our cleaning precautions have been set by the handbell industry. Although this takes extra time after rehearsals, our members are committed in doing this because they love being back ringing bells.
We are preparing hymn medleys for participation in our Wednesday night outdoor services. We have a men’s handbell quartet that is preparing an arrangement of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” to be played in a few weeks. Looking forward to hearing this.
Due to the research data presented by ENTs and epidemiologists on the spread of the COVID-19 virus even up to 26–30 feet (per a Choral America webinar as well as other ongoing research studies), we will not be singing during our worship services, even outdoor services, for a long time. This involves choral as well as congregational singing. There are no masks currently that are droplet-proof. There continue to be churches who are not following safe distancing, masks, and cleanliness precautions (and some who are following safe precautions) who are still experiencing the transmission of the virus among multiple church members.
Our priority at Swift Church is the health of our members. Although worship looks different now and will be for months or perhaps even years ahead, we desire to worship while providing the best protection to our members’ health. Please be patient and know that God is present in this current environment and desires a relationship with His people in all circumstances. We can bless each other with various methods of communication: in person with physical distancing, phone calls, texts, cards, emails … praying for each other, our concerns and celebrations. I noticed during handbell ringers’ interactions before and after our June 24 services that we could still be engaged in our sharing of our lives.
We still serve a loving God and a risen Savior. Rejoice!
As you know, unfortunately, our “Two or More” fellowship lunch and Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out have been canceled until we can all get together again without the fear of spreading this pandemic. Hopefully, it will be safe to get back together again soon.
Mission and service
MISSION REPORT Pate Cardwell and Al Sprouse | mission elders
The food pantry has reverted to being open twice a month — on the second and fourth Wednesdays. We very much appreciate the members who have really given of their time, and talents to assist with the weekly distributions that we have maintained for the past several months.
In June, we distributed 42 bags of food that provided food for 105 people. We also very much appreciate the 15 masks that a member sewed and provided to our clients.
Living Waters for the World
The last few weeks of June, we have talked about Living Waters for the World, which provides clean water for underdeveloped world communities. We used to take up a monthly 2-cents-a-meal offering that went to this mission. However, this year, our 2-cents-a-meal offering has been dedicated to the Elberta Elementary School to provide needed supplies and snacks for them. We ask you to consider Living Waters for the World again in July if you wish to make an additional donation. Please designate on your checks if you wish any portion to go to this worthwhile mission.
Online GriefShare groups
“GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.”
There are online GriefShare groups meeting, and several of them are with churches in our area. If you think of someone who may be interested, or if you yourself are grieving the loss of a loved one, contact Pastor Jody Beth or visit www.griefshare.org.
Intentional faith development
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION REPORT
Snacks with Susan and Daryl adult Sunday school class
Hello from “Snacks with Susan and Daryl.”
We have resumed meeting at 9 a.m. on Sundays in the fellowship hall and are so glad to see you again.
Now through August, we are going to look at “Me & My Big Mouth.” It focuses on the book of James and his instruction about the one part of our body that never seems to get tired — our tongue. Join us for video and discussion.
— Susan and Daryl Pichoff
Cheryls adult Sunday school class
Cheryl’s class resumed meeting on June 28 at 9 a.m. We are in Ephesians, and Paul is speaking to the church at Ephesus. Our class is in our usual place in room 2 in the annex, with 6 feet between us; we are wearing our masks and delighted to be meeting again.
— Cheryl Jensen
Online Zoom Bible study
The Thursday morning Bible study continues to meet as an online study, through a tool called Zoom. It can be accessed on a computer or smart phone.
Sunday school classes for children and youth, SWAG (Saved with Amazing Grace), GphiG (Glori•fy•ing God), and Refuel will not meet until further notice.
Thank you from Cade Smith
To the Swift Church family:
Thank you so much for honoring our seniors and for the Walmart gift card. It was very thoughtful and much appreciated. It will definitely help with needs as Cade leaves for Howard College in August. Again, thank you for all you do for our seniors and members.
Love and God bless, Jenny and Cade Smith
PLEASE REMEMBER TO GIVE
Although we are not meeting in person, please remember to use the quick-response code button or link below, mail or drop off your tithe during this time of separation.
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 a donation link on the church’s website.