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      MARCH 2016 NEWSLETTER

      SWIFT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

      A Church That Practices Fruitful Living

      PASSIONATE WORSHIP

      Worship at Swift

      The Journey to Easter

      March 6       Luke 15:11-32

                              Communion

                              Children in Sanctuary

      March 13     John 12:1-8

                             

      March 20    Luke 19:28-40

                              Palm Sunday

      Cut palm fronds from your trees and bring them to wave during worship. Don’t worry if you don’t have palm trees, there will be fronds available at the church.

      March 24     Maundy Thursday

                              A Dramatic Service of Holy Communion

                              Choir chimes, Handbells, Choir

                              Stripping the church

      March 25     Good Friday

                              A dramatic presentation of the crucifixion

                              Choir chimes, Handbells, Choir

                              Service of Darkness            

      March 27     Easter

                              We will bring the “Alleluias” out from hiding.

                              Bring flowers for the cross.

      Communion

      Joyful Music

                              Egg Hunt following worship

      April 3, 2016

      Holy Humor Sunday

      Children in the sanctuary

      Communion

      Ever heard of Holy Humor Sunday?  I hadn’t until recently.

      The idea of setting aside one Sunday each year to celebrate God’s gift of laughter and joy may be new to you, but it’s got a long and rich history in many congregations around the world.

      Holy Humor Sunday (also known as Laughter Sunday, Hilarity Sunday, God’s Laughter Sunday, Bright Sunday or Holy Fools Sunday) has its roots in a number of different Christian traditions.

      Churches in 15th century Bavaria used to celebrate the Sunday after Easter as Risus Paschalis (‘God’s Joke,’ or ‘the Easter laugh’).  Priests would deliberately include amusing stories and jokes in their sermons in an attempt to make the faithful laugh.  After the service, people would gather together to play practical jokes on one another and tell funny stories.  It was their way of celebrating the resurrection of Christ – the supreme joke God played on Satan by raising Jesus from the dead.

      In the Orthodox tradition, people would gather on Easter Monday to tell jokes and funny stories, and to dance and eat together

      In 1988, the Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging churches to resurrect some of these Christian traditions—to celebrate the grace and mercy of God through the gift of laughter and joy. Swift Church will do that on April 3rd during both worship services. Join us for this day of joy and laughter as we celebrate the joke God played on Satan.

                 

      MUSIC NOTES

      MARCH 2016

      Lisa Cardwell

      March is a busy month of preparation in the music department at Swift Church. We have Chancel Choir rehearsals every Tuesday night, Handbell Choir rehearsals every Wednesday night, and Choir Chime rehearsal every Sunday after the 10:00 service . What are we so busy about, you ask? We are preparing for......

      the Journey to Easter!

      Yes, our Holy Week services promise to be full of chimes and handbell ringing and choir singing (and even a violin playing)! We will be walking through those final days of Christ's life with music telling the story of His love for us. The music of Lent can express the drama of Christ's love for us far better than the spoken word. And when we reach Easter, music glorifies Him with joy expressed through song and music.

      We have 38 people involved in the music preparations for these services. That's how important this season is to us, the Church, and to you.

      Our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services begin at 6:00 pm.

      Don't miss them.

      CHRISTMAS PLAY PLANNING MEETING

                      Christmas Play Planning Meeting on March 6th.  You are probably thinking this is a mistake,  RIGHT??  No, really, we are looking for people to join us in doing the advanced work required to get started on music selection, set and props prep, costuming, etc. for 2016 Christmas Play.  I have written thre play and now need a few helpers for this first phase.  If you are willing to help, I need your help.  We will meet at the church at 3:00pm on March 6th.  Thanks, Lynn Aspray.

      RADICAL HOSPITALITY

      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. March 3rd, the group will join the Ecumenical Lenten Luncheon at the Spirit Center of the Foley United Methodist Church,  then April 7th, they will meet at Captain’s Choice Restaurant in the Gulf Bowl.  Please RSVP to Pastor Jody Beth Melton at 251-213-6625 or the church office at 251-943-8367 to make a reservation.

      Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out

      Thursday, 

      Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out are opportunities for us

      to gather for a meal and fellowship, with no agenda and no commitments.

      ALL ladies are invited to Butterfly Girls,

      and ALL men are invited to Guys Night Out.

      Our next gathering is Thursday, March 17that 6:30pm

      Butterfly Girls will meet at Cactus Cantina

      Guys Night Out will meet at Kitty’s Kafe. 

      Please RSVP by Call or Text to Susan or Daryl Pichoff at 251-233-9486.

        

      INTENTIONAL FAITH DEVELOPMENT

      Christian Education

      Adult Sunday School Classes

      Our Adult Sunday School classes meet on Sunday mornings 9:00-9:45 in the Annex.

                  “Coffee with Keith” meets in the Library.

                  “Live with Anthony and Norman” meets in the Andy Lay room. They arestudying the book of Esther.

      You’re Invited to the Thursday Morning Bible Study for Men and Ladies

      “Ecclesiastes:  Looking for the Answer to the Meaning of Life” Bible Study meets

      on Thursdays from 9:30-11:00am in the Swift Church Library using the Bible, study books

       by Dr. Warren Wiersbe, and lots of discussion.  There are 8-10 people each week.

      Prayerfully consider if God is leading you to join us.

      Contact Pastor Jody Beth for more information, 213-6625.

      CHILDREN’S CHURCH  K-4TH GRADES

      We are excited that Children's Church began Sunday, February 21st for grades K-4th. The curriculum that is being used is “Feasting on the Word”.   Children's Church will be held every Sunday in the Preschool area with the exception of the first Sunday of the month and the children will participate in regular worship at that time.

      Christian Education Youth News: March, 2016

      Submitted by Ginny Kleinschmidt

      Christian Education Youth News

      March 2016

      We would like to thank everyone for the support and donations for our Swift Café “Feed the Spirit” Spaghetti Dinner we provided on January 31st! We raised $1,000.00 for our Conferences and Camps this summer!  The youth did a lot of the work and want to let all members know they truly appreciate their support.

      Youth will be having a Refuel on Wednesday night, March 9th, at Norm and Debbie Schmidt’s home from 6 pm until 8pm.

      GɸG  will be at the church, March 20th, Sunday from  4 pm to 6 pm.

      Maundy Evening Services are on March 24th, Tracy Akins will be working with the youth during the Sunday School class to prepare for special youth involvement for Holy Week.  Please let me know if your youth need a ride to Sunday School so they will be able to participate and know their parts. 

      More information will be available about Saturday, March 26th, mission service and we will send out emails and print it in the bulletin.  We maybe working with stuffing Easter eggs for Sunday or performing other services that are needed .

      Youth Yard Sale Fundraiser

      Youth will hold a yard sale at the Melton/Barnwell compound on Saturday, April 16th !!!!

      If you are doing spring cleaning, please think of donating those items to our youth.  We will be getting a storage unit to hold items. The only thing we are not taking are clothes.  It is too hard to try to display them or keep them from getting thrown into messy piles.  But we would love anything else you would like to donate.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

      We also are planning another Swift Café “Feed the Spirit” dinner on April 24th.  More details to be announced as the date gets closer but we will share…..it’s a Fish Fry!!!!

      In Christ’s Service,

      Ginny Kleinschmidt

                 

      Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God

      A Small Group Study on Tuesdays from 2:45-4:30pm

      Submitted by Kathy Menk

                  I don’t know about you, but I do not remember a time in my childhood or youth that I did not go to church. I never knew “not going to church” was an option. I grew up knowing all about God – I knew God created the universe; I knew God gave us His only Son so that if I believed in Him, I would have eternal life; I knew Jesus was born in a manger on Christmas Day; and I knew that He died on a cross on Easter, and we all got new clothes (sometimes new shoes) and pretty white gloves to wear to church that day. I knew all ABOUT God, but I didn’t know God. Through my adult years, I continued to attend church on most Sundays and then go out into the world the other 6 1/2 days a week and live MY life the way I wanted to live it. And, boy o boy, could I ever get myself into some real messes, living MY life MY way!

                  Not until I attended Cursillo and then, a few years later, participated in an “Experiencing God” study, did I realize that there is a much better way to live than my way. I learned through both groups that God loves me unconditionally, He has a plan for my life that is at least a gazillion times better than my plan, and there is nothing I have to do, or can do, to earn this better life except trust Him and love Him back. You see, just as we want what is best for our children, no matter how they misbehave sometimes, and just as we crave an intimate and personal relationship with our children, God wants the same with us. In fact, He created us just for that purpose – to love Him and be in relationship with Him.

                  I feel as though I have been given the most wonderful Gift of all times – the Gift of the Holy Spirit living in me, leading me, forgiving me, teaching me, equipping me to seek and do His work, and I invite you to share this Gift with me. I invite you to “ExperiencingGod.

                    

                  “ExperiencingGod” is a 13-week course in which participants will learn how to have a meaningful and personal relationship with God and to know His will in their lives. God is at work around you. Will you join Him?

                  God will lead and I will facilitate this course in the Andy Lay room of Swift Church beginning Tuesday, February 23rd from 2:45-4:00. (** The class did not meet due to the impending storm and will meet beginning on Tuesday, March 2nd) from2:45-4:30, through May 17th. Cost is $20 for the workbook. Scholarships are available. This course requires a significant time commitment on the part of the class members, but the rewards are potentially eternal.

                  Some of you have called since the initial class was cancelled due to the bad weather, so I would suggest you get in touch with Joan Moore at 943-6309 to pick up your books and to get your first homework assignment.  Then I will be back for our first class meeting on 3/1/16 to discuss Unit 1. I will be praying for you to hear God’s call either to this class or to some other experience in which you will learn to know God’s abundant peace and unconditional love. Lee Mansell has also taken this class and could answer any questions you might have.

      MISSION AND SERVICE

      Mission Elders’ Report

      Phil Melton and I would like to thank all who donated food, attended and donated to the Souper Bowl event on February 7th.  There was a wide variety of delicious soups, breads, and desserts.  With your help, we collected $984 for the food pantry.  We will use part of that to build new shelves to house the food donations for the distributions for the 2 Wednesdays per month.  We served 15 families during the first February distribution on the 10th.  We are currently looking for volunteers to work at the April 13th, May 25th and June 8th and 22nd distribution dates.  Please let us know if you could work those dates.  We need two people to work each date.  We will also be accepting any and all food donations on the first Sunday in March.  Canned goods, peanut butter, cereal, macaroni and cheese, paper towels and toilet paper are always items that are needed.

      John and Gwenda Fletcher, Presbyterian missionaries in the Congo, visited our church on February 14th.  They are wonderful people, and we enjoyed talking with them and hearing of  their experiences as a surgeon and educator in the Congo.  They were very appreciative for the opportunity to come to visit our church, for the lodging and meals, and for the donation that we made to them.  Some of their comments were that they felt our radical hospitality the moment they stepped into the Church…and that they would now add Foley and Swift as a potential site and church for their retirement.

      The Swift mission for March will be “One Great Hour of Sharing”.  This is our Easter mission.  A gift to One Great Hour of Sharing enables the church to share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed.  You will be hearing some minutes for mission on March 13th and 20th and this offering will be collected on Easter Sunday and April 3rd.

      The missions elders  collect  2 cents a meal on the third Sunday of every month.  That amounts to about $2 per person per month.  If we all put our $2 in the offering basket on the third Sunday of the month, it amounts to quite a lot to donate to Living Waters of the World for clean water.  On April 17th, Jerry Goode from this organization will be doing a minute for mission at both church services and will lead the adult Sunday School classes.  Please put that on your calendar so that you can learn more about the good that these few dollars a month can do.

      Look for the mission bulletin boards in the hallway outside the sanctuary and in the fellowship hall for updates on Swift missions.  Thank you for all your prayers and monetary donations to our missions that do so much for others.  The heart that gives, gathers.

      LIBRARY NEWS

      News from the church library

      Three hundred  library books are being processed and some are ready to check out!  

      Examples of fiction books for children and youth are: 

          TRAPPED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA; THE TOMBS OF AMAK    by Peretti

          THE DESPERATE DIVA DIARIES by Spady

          THE JACK STAPLES SERIES        by Batterson

          THE RED ROCK MYSTERIES      by Jenkins

          HORSE DIARIES: BELL’S STAR   by Hart

      Examples of fiction books for adults are:

         BUTTERFLY PALACE; WITHOUT A TRACE    by Coble

         RESTORETH MY SOUL; THE SHADOW OF DEATH     by Viguie

         THE PRINCE; THE PRIEST; MARTHA    by Rivers

       Examples of nonfiction for adults are:

      Several Southern Living cookbooks and other cookbooks (641.5)

      IN THE VINEYARD OF THE LORD    by Rice  (811)

      IN THE EMPIRE OF GENGHIS KHAN   by Stewart (950.2)

      WHERE GOD WAS BORN    by Feiler  (200.95)

      FIVE PRACTICES OF FRUITFUL LIVING   by Schnase  (248.4)

        

      College and Adult Education Students

                  Several adult members of our congregation are furthering their education through college and other adult education studies.  We can support them with our prayers, and perhaps you feel called to do something special for one or more of them.  Maybe sending an encouraging card? Or a care package? Making a meal for a family whose mom or dad is studying? Providing restaurant gift cards for students living away from home? Or gas cards for a student traveling back and forth to classes frequently? How about offering child care during exam time?

                  Here is a list of those who we know are students.  If you know of someone else, or if you are one of the ones taking classes, please let us know so we can include all students in our prayers.

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

      Rene Guidroz, University of South Alabama

      Tessie Helton-Carrel, Faulkner State Community College, Culinary Arts Program

      Tracy King, Bossier City Community College

      Karely Kleinschmidt, Faulkner State Community College

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

      Philip Melton, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary,

      On Line Christian Leadership Program.

      Zach Melton, Central Alabama Community College

      Karleigh Neese, University of South Alabama

      Tanya Vetrano, Faulkner State Community College, Criminal Justice

      IN THE COMMUNITY

      LENTEN LUNCHEONS

      Lenten Lunch March 17, 2016: This year Swift will be providing the meal for the Lenten Lunch series on March 17 and your help is needed. We need people who can make desserts and help prepare and serve the entrée at the lunch that day. Phil Melton is leading the lunch effort this year so please contact him at 251-213-6505 or by email at phil.melton@yahoo.com (text at the same number). This year’s menu will be Spinach and Beef Quiche with a Fruit Salad and dessert. *The quiche recipe is from one of the early Swift Church cook books with the recipe being provided by Lynn Aspray.

      GriefShare Support Group

                  Many in our Church family and community have experienced the death of a loved one in the last year.   When we are grieving it is hard to concentrate, hard to even function. It is very difficult sometimes to express to others what we are feeling. Getting out of bed every day can be a difficult chore.  There are no "instructions" for grieving.  Those who are not on the same path that you are on don't seem to know what to say and sometimes don't know "what is wrong with you".  During these times it is always good to be with others who are going through the same things you are going through.  GriefShare is a Christ centered grief support group that provides you with tools that will help you navigate your way on the grief journey and gives you the gift of time with others who can support you, comfort you and even provide you with suggestions that might make this time easier to handle.  Those who attend GriefShare are struggling with the death of someone they love.  It might have been last month or it might have been 10 years ago.  It may have been their parent, their spouse, their sibling or their friend, but they all feel some of the same things and they all are searching for a way to make it through this very difficult time. 

                  Swift Presbyterian Church will be working alongside Liberty Church to bring this very important ministry to all those who are looking for ways to handle their grief.  We will be offering the next cycle of meetings for GriefShare beginning Monday, February 1st at Liberty Church in Foley.  Sessions will be from 6-8 pm. There is a registration fee of $15 which includes a very important workbook. If you or someone you know are looking for a safe place to go with your grief, please join us.  For additional information, please call Paula Brewer 251-284-4225, Teri Wiersig 251-213-1062 or the Church office 251-943-8367.  

      Ecumenical Community Lenten Lunches

      Begins February 11, 2016

      The lunches are light, but the music and worship are full and rich!  The lunches begin at 11:30am and end at 12:30pm.  Save these dates:

      February 11, 2016      Speaker:  Rev. June Jernigan, U M District Superintendent

      February 18, 2016      Speaker:  Rev. Jonathan Wallace, First Presbyterian Church

      February 25, 2016     Speaker:  Pastor Linda McGowin, New Fellowship Church

      March 3, 2016      Speaker:  Msgr. Stephen Martin, St. Bartholomew Catholic Church

      March 10, 2016      Speaker:  Pastor J. P. Wilson, Liberty Church

      March 17, 2016      Speaker:  Pastor Bennie Richardson, Morningstar Missionary Baptist

      (Swift Church is providing lunch this week.  Contact Philip Melton to help out.  213-6505.)

      Presbyterian Women Spring Gathering

      Dear Ladies of Swift,

      We miss you.  While you may not have a Presbyterian Women organization there, you are still our sisters-in-Christ and we miss seeing you.  The PW Spring Gathering will be at Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church on Saturday, March 12.  Registration forms have been mailed to your church office.  On behalf of the entire Presbytery Coordinating Team, I want to extend our deepest desire to have you share the day with us.  Come and share a day of fellowship, learning and worship with your friends from around the Presbytery.

      Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions, concerns or just to visit.

      Yours in Christ,

      Judy Persons

      Moderator, PW of South Alabama                           

      jpcreate@yahoo.com

       Note: Judy will join us for worship on February 28th to provide more information about PW and the Spring Gathering.  Also, Pastors Keith and Jody Beth are 2 of the 3 workshop leaders for the Spring Gathering.

      DROP IN PARTY FOR SAMFORD TURNER

      You are invited to a Drop-In Party to celebrate Samford Turner’s years of work and his retirement as Presbytery Executive.  It will be held Thursday, March 10th from 6:00-9:00pm

      at Baytreat, 18249 Scenic Highway 98, Fairhope, AL. 

      Please RSVP to First Presbyterian Church, Gulf Shores, 968-7720 by March 1st.


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      • Presbytery of S. Alabama
      • Synod of Living Waters



      A safe haven

      striving

      to cause

      God joy



      Swift  
      Presbyterian  
      Church
       

                   —————
      23208 Swift Church Road
      Foley, AL 36535
      Phone: (251) 943-8367
      email: swiftpc@gulftel.com


       

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