Lent in a Bag returns. Bags filled with Lenten worship symbols will be available. Each week you will be instructed to remove an item, read the related scripture and use the questions and thoughts to guide your family conversations and devotionals.
March 1 Ash Wednesday service, 6 p.m.
March 5 We Confess That We Crave What We Don’t Need Genesis 2:15–17, 3:1–7
March 12 We Confess That We Are Comfortable Genesis 12:1–4a
March 19 We Confess That Our Memory Is Short Exodus 17:1–7
March 26 We Confess To Profiling One Another 1 Samuel 16:1–13
April 2 We Confess That We Live as No Hope Ezekiel 37:1–14
April 9 Palm Sunday — We Confess We Believe Shaming Lies Isaiah 50:4–9a
April 13 Maundy Thursday communion, 6 p.m.
April 14 Good Friday service, 6 p.m.
April 16 Easter Sunday — We Confess That We Long To Dance Jeremiah 31:1–6
April 23 Holy Humor Sunday returns — Remember, the joke’s on Satan.
June 4 Rev. Dr. Rachael Knoll, newly appointed regional presbyter, will preach at Swift.
Worship Committee Report by Kim Whitchard and Greg McNair, worship elders
WOW, we are already one-sixth of the way through 2017! We pray you all have been keeping your New Year’s resolutions. The worship committee has already been busy to make sure that 2017 is an exciting year in your spiritual walk with God.
Lent in a Bag was such a big hit last year that we are having an encore for this Lenten Season. You and your family will not want to miss even one Sunday during this time as the “props” are both meaningful and fun.
The worship bags will include items to illustrate the accompanying Scripture verses. Those weekly reflections will correspond with the confession sermon topics in Pastor Keith’s Lenten/Easter series. Please plan to attend services to receive the gift of a bag to enrich your family’s worship experience.
Remember that Lent starts late this year — March 1 is Ash Wednesday.
On Ash Wednesday, we will have a service with imposition with the ashes at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary. This service is where we, as Christians, acknowledge our humanness and the fact that we were born of dust and will return to dust. It reminds us of our sinfulness and mortality and thus, implicitly, of our need to repent.
To continue our commitment to enriching your worship experience, we are planning unique Holy Week services for April 9–16. You will be witness to the last days of Jesus’ life as we move through His triumphant arrival in Jerusalem, to His betrayal, and ultimately His crucifixion, and finally celebrating His resurrection on April 16. It is with great excitement and anticipation that we will be able to bring you these services with hopes of creating a passionate worship experience. May you be blessed during this worship.
Holy Week will include a meaningful service on Maundy Thursday with communion at 6 p.m. Good Friday worship will also be at 6.
The worship committee is excited for you to see what lies ahead.
by Lisa Cardwell, music director
Plans are underway to present another powerful Holy Week journey this year. We will be featuring chancel choir, handbell choir and our Joyful Tones choir.
The chancel choir is beginning our rehearsals for Holy Week music on Feb 28. If you like to sing but can’t make a weekly commitment to chancel choir, this is a great opportunity to be a part of our group for Holy Week/Easter services. Please contact me if you are interested. We rehearse on Tuesday evenings, after the choir rehearses for upcoming anthems.
Joyful Tones (our chime choir) will begin rehearsals on March 5 (to prepare for Holy Week services on April 13 and 14). Anyone can be a part of this group — second grade up through older adults. No music reading skills are necessary. If you have difficulty standing for long periods of time, don’t worry; you can sit and play chimes. If you can hold a chime and read letters or words, you can be a part of this group. It’s fun!
The handbell choir will be playing for the 10:00 service on March 5, and will play “I Want Jesus To Walk with Me” and “O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.” We will feature a new technique,the gyro, during one of these anthems. Don’t miss it!
Thanks to all the people who make it possible to provide worshipful music at Swift. You are appreciated.
‘Two or More’ group will join Lenten Luncheon
The “Two or More” Lunch won’t be held this month. Instead, on Thursday, March 2, at 11:30 a.m., the group will attend the first weekly Lenten Luncheon at Foley United Methodist Church, 901 N. Pine St. The luncheons will be each Thursday until April 6. See ‘In the Community’ below for more information.
Butterfly Girls and Guys’ Night Out Mark your calendar for Thursday,March 16,at 6 p.m.
Yes, we are going on an adventure in March! Join Butterfly Girls and Guys’ Night Out on Thursday, March 16, for pizza at Lillian’s Pan Pizza, 14514 Perdido Key Drive, Pensacola. We are going to meet a little earlier at 6 p.m. And all head out to enjoy pizza at one of the best pizza joints around. For more information, see the restaurant’s website.
We hope you will be able to join us. Please call or text to 233-9486 to RSVP.
PRESBYTERY OF SOUTH ALABAMA
Report on Feb. 10 and 11 meeting hosted by Swift Church by Greg McNair, elder and presbytery commissioner
Representatives from the 22 churches of the Presbytery of South Alabama met Feb. 10 and 11 at Swift Church. Attending were 26 pastors, 26 ruling elders and 25 visitors. Two of the visitors were from the Presbytery of Mississippi and served on the search committee for regional presbyter.
This semi-annual gathering was a time for worshiping God, studying in small groups, sharing meals, partaking of the Lord’s Supper and fellowship, attending to business of the church and sharing information.
Rev. Dr. Rachael Knoll ... to start March 15 as regional presbyter
The biggest news from the meeting came Saturday with the calling of the Rev. Dr. Rachael Banzhoff Knoll as regional presbyter. She will also serve the churches in the Presbytery of Mississippi, one of three presbyteries in the neighboring state. She will begin her duties March 15, and 25 percent of her efforts will be with Mississippi and that presbytery’s share of her compensation will be the same percentage.
Since 2006, she has been associate pastor of McDonough Presbyterian Church in McDonough, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb. Earlier, Rachael served as associate pastor at Timberridge Presbyterian Church in McDonough and was youth director at Rehoboth Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Georgia.
She was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in international affairs from The George Washington University, and two degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia — master of divinity and doctor of ministry in church and ministry.
Rachael’s husband, Eric, works in municipal finance for BNY Mellon. He and their 12-year-old son, Jack, will join her in South Alabama at the end of the school year.
Dr. Walter Lawrence, a ruling elder at Green Hill Church of Enterprise and a physician, was installed as presbytery moderator for the next 12 months. He replaces the Rev. Matt McCollum, pastor of Trinity Church of Fairhope.
Proposed amendments to the PCUSA Book of Order were read, discussed and voted on after recommendations of the permanent judicial committee were given:
● Pastor titles — After some discussion on pastor titles, a 27–25 vote favored changing the title “teaching elder” back to “minister of Word and Sacrament” and changing the term “commissioned ruling elder” back to “commissioned lay pastor.”
● Discipline — Two proposed amendments on pastor discipline were defeated.
● The Lord’s Supper — After a number of opinions were aired and questions were raised, an amendment carried by a 46–3 vote that would invite everyone to the communion table, not just those who have been baptized. One sentence that would be added is: “If some of those who come have not yet been baptized, an invitation to baptismal preparation should be graciously extended.”
Regarding children, this would be added: “In cases where baptized children who have not yet begun to participate in the Lord’s Supper express a desire to receive the Sacrament, the session should provide an occasion to welcome them to the table in public worship. Their introduction to the Lord’s Supper should include ongoing instruction or formation in the meaning and mystery of the Sacraments.”
● Child and youth protection — The presbytery voted unanimously in favor of adding the words “and youth” to the requirement that all councils adopt and implement a sexual misconduct policy and a child protection policy.
● Directory of worship — A 48–2 vote favored replacing the wording of the directory with the proposed text.
● Ministry of members — The presbytery voted 46–5 in favor of adding the phrase “caring for God’s creation” in the section titled “The Ministry of Members.”
The proposed amendments were approved by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) and recommended to the presbyteries for their vote. After all vote results are reported to the General Assembly office by the June 25 deadline and counted, those passing by majority will take effect and be included in the 2017–19 Book of Order.
The people of Swift Church were thanked for their hospitality. Many people helped before, during and after the event. The next presbytery meetings will be Aug. 15 at First Presbyterian Church, Bay Minette; and Feb. 9 and 10, 2018, at Evergreen Presbyterian Church, Dothan.
INTENTIONAL FAITH DEVELOPMENT
Coffee with Keith
The Coffee with Keith class begins a year-long focus on spiritual disciplines. On March 5 we will accept the challenge of a different discipline each month, using Flunking Sainthood by Jana Riess as our guide. The weekly class, at 9:00 Sundays, will offer review and support as we “take on” different, and perhaps demanding, disciplines. You are encouraged to take on this spiritual challenge even if you don’t attend the weekly classes. The book can be purchased online. The supplement, “Flunking Sainthood Every Day,” offers daily devotionals.
Daniel Bible Study
The study of the Book of Daniel will be finishing soon. The groups will be discussing which book they would like to study next. Please contact Pastor Jody Beth Melton for more information.
Youth Report by Tara Morrow, elder
The youth are in the process of purchasing a 32-inch (or larger) smart TV for the youth room. This will allow the youth access to online videos and information relevant to their topics.
Sunday school is every Sunday morning from 9 to 9:55 in the youth room
Refuel is Wednesday, March 1. We will begin a little early at 5:30 and go until 8:00. We will meet in the youth room and then attend the Ash Wednesday service. Dinner will be provided.
GΦG meets in the youth room from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. Dinner will be provided by Pastor Jody Beth and Phil.
The youth have been invited to attend the presbytery youth all-day event at Spring Hill Presbyterian Church, Mobile, on Saturday, March 11.
The high-school youth will be attending Montreat in June. We will begin fundraisers soon; more details to come.
Swift Session met following worship on Sunday, Feb. 19, to receive into membership Aaron and Lyndsey Ward. The Wards with their two young sons, Brody and Jaxton, have attended for some time and are already active in many Swift activities. Please welcome them.
The Swift Church session met Monday, Feb. 20. Time together began with prayer concerns and prayer. Pastor Jody Beth offered an overview of her continuing education training from last week. We received reports, either verbal or written, from all committees and pastoral staff. We addressed the early 2017 finances. We approved the baptisms of Brody and Jaxton Ward with the date to be determined.
The session then discussed tweaks to leadership role in serving communion.
Session members and committees
Rev. Keith Cardwell, pastor
Lynn Aspray, treasurer
Chuck Carneal, elder (2018)
Charlie Hastings, elder (2019)
Sue Ann Lay, clerk
Lee Mansell, elder (2017)
Greg McNair, elder (2019)
Philip Melton, elder (2017)
Tara Morrow, elder (2019)
Cathy Rogers, elder (2018)
Teresa Thomas, elder (2018)
Kim Whitchard, elder (2018)
Building and grounds
Christian education (adult)
Christian education (youth)
Christian education (children)
Deacons and assignments
Don Aspray (2017)
Betty Carneal (2017)
Brett Cardwell (2018)
Marlene Hastings (2018)
Mary McNair (2019)
Tresa Melton (2017)
Jim Runtz (2019)
Linda Runtz (2019)
Tosha Thomas (2018)
Lisa Turner (2019)
Joe Walden (2019)
Judy Walker (2017)
Martha Young (2019)
Congregational care (D,G,H,U,V)
Congregational care (S,T)
Congregational care (J,K,N,O,P)
Congregational care (E,F,Q,R,Y,Z)
Congregational care (L,M)
Congregational care (B,C,I)
Congregational care (A,W,X)
Genevieve Parker (2017)
Marvin King (2018)
Devery Thomas (2019)
Missions Committee Report by Philip Melton and Cathy Rogers, mission elders
Food pantry The Swift Missions Committee is very happy to report that Souper Bowl was a tasty fellowship and brought in bountiful blessings for our food pantry. Not only were our food pantry shelves filled, but food pantry donations totaled $627.50. Once again we are honored by the generosity of our Swift family. The game that followed wasn’t bad either.
We continue to welcome food pantry donations as we serve an average of 25 families at each distribution. We need two individuals to sign up for each distribution in March, April and May, which occur on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. This involves packing bags before the food pantry opens at 10 a.m., greeting folks who come in and giving them a bag and closing up the food pantry at noon. We find that most of our guests arrive right at 10.
‘One Great Hour of Sharing’ During March and April, the mission focus will be “One Great Hour of Sharing.” 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. For more information about this mission, you can go to http://specialofferings.pcusa.org/.
Letter received from Bob Rice, mission worker in the Congo
“Dear Pastor Keith and Members of Swift Presbyterian Church:
Warm greetings in the name of our savior, Jesus Christ. We want to share an important update with you, and ask for your prayers. You may know that we were due to return to Congo in January. In December, our return was put “on hold” when our church partner in Congo asked us not to return because of instability in the country and continued conflict experienced by our church partner. After several discussions between our mission leadership and the church partner, last week it became clear to our mission leadership and ourselves that our return to Congo for mission service will not be possible. We are grieved by this news, and still a little in shock, since we had been preparing and anticipating returning to ministry there. We have attached a letter from the Presbyterian World Mission leadership explaining the decision, which you should also receive in the mail in the next week or two.”
Letter from Presbyterian World Mission:
GriefShare Support Group by Paula Brewer, facilitator
Due to the lack of participation, this spring’s GriefShare program has been canceled. In the meantime, GriefShare is being held at Liberty Church on Mondays at 6 p.m.
If you have any immediate needs, please contact Paula Brewer at 284-4225.
We Appreciate Our March 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
GREETER/USHER TEAMS Debbie and Norm Schmidt, Paula and Danny Brewer March 12 — Lynda Walden, Sue Ann Lay, Susie Alexander, Stevie Walker
March 19 — Willard Penfold, Lynn and Mike Barnwell, Eunice Ray
March 26 — Tony and Kim Whitchard, Jane King, Judy Walker
NURSERY VOLUNTEERS March 5 — Jane King and Carlie Sims
March 12 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
March 19 — Bobby and Karely Kleinschmidt
March 26 — Kenny and Lezli Thomason
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN March 5 — Cathy Rogers
March 12 — Jane King
March 19 — Teresa Thomas
March 26 — Judy Walker
CHILDREN’S CHURCH March 5 — None due to communion
March 12 — Traci Akins and Jenni Aspray
March 19 — Megan Curry and Debbie Schmidt
March 26 — Jane King and Carlie Sims
FELLOWSHIP DEACONS March 5 — Brett Cardwell
March 12 — Tosha Thomas
March 19 — Tresa Melton
March 26 — Brett Cardwell
The Community Lenten Lunches start this Thursday, March 2, from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. at the Foley United Methodist Church Spirit Center, 901 N. Pine St. This week’s devotion will be conducted by The Very Rev. Paul Zoghby of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church. Schedule of other speakers for the season can be found by clicking here.
PRESBYTERIAN DISASTER ASSISTANCE
Presbyterian Women Disaster Preparedness Training Friday, March 24
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church
6620 Spanish Fort Blvd., Spanish Fort
Disasters bring chaos to hundreds of thousands of lives every year and have lasting effects. “Disaster Preparedness Training” is a train-the-trainer event designed to give women the tools needed to conduct Disaster Preparedness workshops for families, churches, presbyteries and communities.
This training is for women only and by application only. You do not have to be a member of Presbyterian Women. Application and registration deadline is March 10. For more information, contact Beth.Snyder@pcusa.org. or at 888-728-7228, ext. 5806.
Presbyterian Women of South Alabama
2017 Spring Gathering
♦ “Count Your Blessings” ♦
Saturday,March 25 Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church, Spanish Fort (Note change in location.)
Take a look at how God has blessed you in two of three workshops:
♦ “Hymns of Blessings” with Jenny Chapman ♦ “The Beatitudes” with Rev. Lauren Peters ♦ “Craft a Shadow Box or Collage” with Mary Jane Skinner
• Registration 9:30 to 10 a.m. • Program begins at 10
Be a Blessing to Others: Our Mission Challenge Please bring: • New baby blankets • One-yard pieces of baby flannel
These will be given to the Government Street Sewing Group who make and collect baby blankets
for the USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the Mostellar Clinic in Bayou La Batre.
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.