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      March 2020


      a church that practices fruitful living

      Passionate worship 


      During Lent, we learn to see others as Jesus sees them.
      Be sure to invite your friends to worship with you this month.

      ■ If you can’t attend worship, the sermons will be posted on the church website There are written, audio and video copies available when you are absent.

      March 22

      Her name might not be familiar, but her hymns are. Frances Jane Crosby was one of the most prolific hymn writers of her time. She lost her sight as a newborn but memorized large portions of the Bible. From that knowledge, she wrote nearly 9,000 hymns. As is often the case, a great deal of personal hardship inspired her lyrics, which affirmed her reliance on Jesus as Savior. Our hymnal contains 16 of her hymns.

      You might know:

      ■ “Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine”
      ■ “To God Be the Glory”
      ■ “I Am Thine, O Lord.”

      This month marks the 200th anniversary of her birth, so on March 22, we will have a hymn sing of her music and talk about her life of faith.

       Lisa Cardwell | music director 

      On March 8, the music department at Swift Church goes into action to prepare for Holy Week. The beginner handbell choir and Joyful Tones chime choir begin rehearsals after worship, with beginner handbell choir rehearsing immediately after worship and Joyful Tones rehearsing at 12:10. The beginner handbell choir will lead worship on Good Friday, and the Joyful Tones will lead on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

      The chancel choir will rehearse at 5 p.m. on Sundays through Lent. They will be leading worship not only every Sunday during Lent, but also Maundy Thursday and Good Friday during Holy Week. We invite anyone who loves to sing to join us.

      The Wednesday night handbell choir is preparing for worship leadership for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. Please join us for our Holy Week services.

       Greg McNair | worship elder 

      Here we are again on the road to Easter. Our journey to the cross began Feb. 26 with Ash Wednesday, reminding us of the temporary nature of our earthly lives.

      The “2020 Vision” sermon series will continue, with sermons focusing on what Jesus sees.

      Our Lenten prayer tree is returning to the chapel and the sanctuary on March 1. You can take a ribbon from a basket and place it on the tree, representing a prayer concern.

      During March 22 worship services, we will sing hymns composed by Fanny J. Crosby, who was born 200 years ago on March 24. We will hear about her life and how it inspired her work.

      † † †

      Looking farther ahead: Holy Week begins on April 5, and we will worship on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. We will celebrate the resurrection of the Lord and the start of the Easter season on April 12.

      † † †

      On the volunteer front, there is good news: Several people have agreed to help the worship committee by assembling our gifts for first-time visitors to our services. And a couple will keep the pew backs stocked with the various items. We thank you all.

      We have been looking for people to lead our “time with the children” at the 10:00 services. This is for just a few times in a three-month period. Please let me know if God is leading you to volunteer your leadership talents.

      Radical hospitality 

      Will not meet in March, April

      You are encouraged to attend the Lenten lunches at Foley United Methodist Church Spirit Center — every Thursday in Lent 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (More information below… “In the Community.”)

      Thursday, March 19 • 6:30 p.m.
      Big Daddy’s Grill — 16542 Ferry Road, Fairhope

      We hope you will mark your calendar for our monthly excuse for church family and friends to gather to enjoy fellowship over dinner. That excuse is Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out.

      The March gathering will be Thursday, March 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Big Daddy’s Grill, 16542 Ferry Road, Fairhope. Click here to go to the restaurant’s website.

      We go someplace different every month on the third Thursday, deciding each month where we’re going the next month. So come prepared with recommendations where you know that will take reservations for around 30 people or more.

      It’s not a club. If you are an adult and like to eat and enjoy some wonderful fellowship, this is for you. Ladies and gents sit at separate tables, so singles are definitely welcome and shouldn’t feel out of place because of not having a mate or a date. This is a great opportunity to get to know fellow church members better, as well as to invite folks who don’t have a church home to come meet new people and hopefully be encouraged to become a part of the Swift Presbyterian Church family.

      Money a little tight? Please don’t let that stop you. Some generous folks have provided the church with funds that have been designated to use for something special, not for paying power bills, for example. Make your reservation and let Mary McNair know, then she will make sure Jody Beth Melton knows to pick up your ticket.

      How do you sign up to go? Mary is asking that folks sign up online using the Meal Time website. The secure link to type into your browser to sign up for the March 19 dinner is This is a free service that Mary has found to be very user-friendly, both for those signing up and for her as the organizer. Please try to use this method first before calling, texting or emailing her. She can add you to the list, but doing it yourself will allow you to receive a sign-up “thank you” confirmation and a reminder of the event the day before. You can log in through your Facebook account or by providing your email, again so you can receive the notification emails. This system also allows you to sign up at any time rather than having to wait until closer to time. If you can’t get the Meal Train link to work or don’t use the internet, the best way to reach Mary is to call or text her at 251-295-5267, but you can also email her at

      Mary needs to know no later than that morning if you are coming or a strong maybe so she can reserve tables. However, if you find at the last minute that you can attend, come on. An extra spot or two is usually reserved. If you need a ride for any reason, make that need known by Wednesday so Mary can connect you with someone to come get you. Given that we will be out of town, attempts will also be made to carpool.

      Come join the fun. We have a blast!

      Plan to join us for our annual Easter Sunday church breakfast
      April 12 • 9 a.m.

      (Ready at 8:30 a.m. for worship leadership)

      ■ A joyful time when both 8:00 and 10:00 worshipers join together
      for fellowship as we celebrate the Risen Christ

      ■ Hosted by your Swift Church deacons and the fellowship committee

      ■ Contributions welcome, not necessary


      A travel group from Biloxi, Mississippi, came to see the historic Swift chapel last month. After they had a quick cup of coffee in the fellowship hall, they were enthralled with stories of the history of Swift Church as told by Debbie Schmidt. The group went on their way to Lambert’s Café for lunch — an annual outing for the group. In appreciation of our hospitality, they collected $100 in donations, which will be used for our children’s summer camp. Thank you, Debbie, and thank you, Golden Ages Travel Club members.

      Update on the directory


      I just wanted to remind you that I am working on the new directory. If you have made any changes in your contact information or would like a new picture, please let me know. You can email me at If you have a picture you would like me to use please email it to me. I will return any hard copies of pictures I receive as soon as I’ve scanned them. Thank you!

      — Sue Ann Lay

      Mission and service 



      The Swift Church session did not meet in February. Instead, the scheduled meeting night was a meeting of various committees of session. The evening began with a soup supper and devotional, and then the committees broke into their own meetings. The elders met afterward to hear reports from the different leaders. The next scheduled session meeting is March 16.

       Pate Cardwell and Al Sprouse | mission elders 

      Food pantry
      Our Swift food pantry served 27 families that included 76 individuals on Jan. 8 and 15 families that included 25 individuals on Jan. 22. We served 19 families that included 53 individuals on Feb. 12 and 31 families that included 55 individuals on Feb. 26. Thank you to the many volunteers who donated their time to help the food pantry provide for the less-fortunate in our community.

      Souper Bowl Sunday
      On Sunday, Feb. 2, the Swift family celebrated Souper Bowl Sunday, hosted by Mark Melton, fellowship elder, and our youth at Swift. Once again, this annual event was a big success for all that could attend. And our food pantry was the recipient of $687 that was raised from your donations.

      Elberta Elementary School
      It has become a special mission to serve Elberta Elementary School (EES) with the needs of the children that are less privileged in our community. Swift Presbyterian Church has continued to restock EES with snacks for the children. Our “two cents a meal” donations, along with individual donations, support our EES mission.

      Alabama Sheriffs Boys Ranch
      Our support to the Alabama Sheriffs Boys Ranch can be extended by helping them locate additional staff members. They are looking for a Christian, mission-minded couple to join their staff as relief house-parents with some light maintenance duties. This is a full-time, live-in position with benefits. The mission of the Alabama Sheriffs Boys Ranch can expand only when they have the appropriate staff. If you know of a couple that might be interested, have them call (251) 989-6392.

      One Great Hour of Sharing
      During the time of Lent, our mission focus will be on One Great Hour of Sharing. Our contribution goal this year is $2,000. We will keep track of the progress toward our goal using the clothes line, where each shirt pinned will represent $30 in donations. Please donate as your heart leads you for this worthwhile charity.


      “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

      March 1 — Sue Ann Lay, Lynda Walden
      March 8 — Susie Alexander, Janelle Armbruster
      March 15 — Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray
      March 22 — Mike and Lynn Barnwell
      March 29 — Kim Whitchard, Judy Walker

      March 1 — ZoeyLynn Barnwell
      March 8 — Cadi Cardwell, McCoy Cooper
      March 15 — Lainey Thomas
      March 29 — Tristan Walker

      March 1 — Jane King, Carlie Sims
      March 8 — Ginny Kleinschmidt, Tara Morrow
      March 15 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
      March 22 — Tracy Akins, Lisa Turner
      March 29 — Jane King, Carlie Sims

      March 1 — Cathy Rogers
      March 8 — Pate Cardwell
      March 15 — Ginny Kleinschmidt
      March 22 — Jane King
      March 29 — Cathy Rogers

      March 1 — None
      March 8 — Jane King, Carlie Sims
      March 15 — Tracy and Olivia Akins
      March 22 — Debbie Schmidt, Megan Curry
      March 29 — Annette and Brandon Irwin

      Tracy Akins

      Devery Thomas

      Intentional faith development 


       Brett Cardwell | elder/children  Tracy Akins | elder/youth 

      Sunday school every week at 9 a.m. in the annex
      Grades K–4 in room 3; grades 5–12 in room 4

      Grades K–4 will be reading Bible stories about David, from shepherd boy to king.
      The youth are studying “It’s Not What You Think” by Jefferson Bethke.

      SWAG (Saved With Amazing Grace)
      GphiG (Glori-fy-ing God)
      Refuel for youth

      SWAG is for children in kindergarten through fourth grade.

      GɸG and Refuel are for youth in fifth through 12th grades.

      Our youth will have Refuel on March 11 at Pastor Keith and Lisa’s home. On March 22, we will host another Swift Café fundraiser for summer camps for the younger kids.

      We will not have GphiG and SWAG this month. We will pick back up in April.

      SWAG and GphiG gather for a light meal, Bible lesson, games and fellowship. All school-age children are invited and encouraged to attend; you may bring a friend or friends.

      Please contact Brett Cardwell or Tracy Akins if you are interested in providing food, doing cleanup, or helping to teach a lesson.

       Cheryl Jensen | leader 

      The adult Sunday school class meets from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in room 2 in the annex. We are studying the New Testament in chronological order, led by Cheryl Jensen.

      We are continuing our study of Paul in prison. Ephesians and Philippians are the next chapters in our study, then 1st and 2nd Peter. Join us as we continue our study of the New Testament.

       Andrew King | leader, adult Christian education elder 

      A younger adult Sunday school class meets in the chapel at 9 a.m. and is led by Andrew King. The class is studying “Anxious About Nothing.”

       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 Susan and Daryl Pichoff.

      Interested in a class that explores your faith in a new way? Join us in March for conversation and a bite to eat. We look at some topics on our faith journey that may surprise you.

      On March 1, 8 and 15, we will continue with our study of “God’s Messy Family,” focusing on promise maker/promise keeper and the beauty of imperfection.

      From March 22 through Palm Sunday, we will do a short Lenten study looking at what Easter really means to us as Christians.


      ■ Lenten season, 10 to 11:30 a.m. — New study
      Throughout the Lenten season the Thursday morning group will not be meeting weekly for Bible study, but instead participants are encouraged to read the daily Lenten devotional provided by Swift and attend the weekly ecumenical Lenten Luncheons. (See additional information elsewhere in the newsletter.) Swift is posting daily devotional readings on its website and Facebook page, and paper copies are available in the office, chapel and sanctuary.

      ■ Exodus study beginning in April
      A study of the book of Exodus will begin on April 16, meeting Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in room 2 in the annex. Men and women of all ages are welcome. Pastor Jody Beth and Philip will facilitate. Materials will be the Bible and “Knowing the Bible: Exodus” study books ($6), and we will be going through the book of Exodus, chapter by chapter. Preparation in advance makes the best use of our time together but is not mandatory.

      The study is being offered in two parts, 11 weeks each. The schedule is:

      April 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21, 28; June 4, 11, 18, 25
      July and August — off
      Sept. 10, 17, 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Nov. 5, 12, 19

      Please let the office or Pastor Jody Beth know if will be able to join us.


      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 that are 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.


       Thursdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bible study, room 2 in the annex. Not meeting during Lent. Pastor Jody Beth and Elder Philip Melton are facilitators. A study on the book of Exodus will begin in March. (See separate item above.)

      Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., younger adult Sunday school class, in the historic chapel; led by Andrew King. This class is studying “Anxious About Nothing.”

      Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., adult Sunday school class, room 2 in the annex, continuing a chronolgical study of the New Testament. 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.

      Thursdays (first Thursday of month), 11:30 a.m. “Two or More” fellowship lunch is not meeting during March or April, but everyone is encouraged to attend the Lenten lunches each Thursday until April 2 at Foley United Methodist Church..

      Thursdays (third Thursday of month), 6:30 p.m., Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out fellowship dinner at area restaurants, different place each month.

      “PW in Full Bloom”
      2020 Spring Gathering


      First Presbyterian Church of Bay Minette
      211 McMillan Ave. | Bay Minette

      Registration 9:30 to 10 a.m. Program begins at 10
      Lunch at noon, worship service at 1 p.m.

      Registrations received before March 10 are $15; after March 10, $20.
      Registration includes lunch.

      Registration forms are located in the office
      and in the back of the chapel and the sanctuary.
      See Pastor Jody Beth Melton for more information.

      Presbyterian Women of South Alabama will be collecting
      items for the Bay Minette PW mission “Feed My Lambs.”
      This program provides snack items for schoolchildren in need.

      April 16–19 at Dogwood Acres in Vernon, Florida

      Alabama Presbyterian Cursillo is not planning another retreat weekend at this time. We are encouraging APC to support the Gulf Coast Presbyterian Pilgrimage, a new spiritual retreat that will take place at Dogwood Acres, the Presbytery of Florida’s camp in Vernon, Florida.

      The Pilgrimage weekend is essentially identical to a Cursillo weekend. The primary difference is that non-Presbyterians may attend Pilgrimage though in a limited number. This can be a real blessing for family members who may be of a different Christian faith denomination.

      If you have served on staff for APC, please prayerfully consider supporting GCPP by applying to serve on staff at GCPP #1. For more information, including staff applications, contact Brad Schild, moderator GCPP #1 at or at 850-377-4809. The mandatory staff training date is March 21.

      If you have not attended a Cursillo weekend, please prayerfully consider attending GCPP #1 in April. See Pastor Jody Beth or Philip Melton for more information.

      Extravagant generosity 

      Please contact Susie Alexander to reserve your date.

      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.

      To reserve your date(s), you can contact Susie Alexander at 251-943-4145 or sign up on one of the charts in the narthex or the back of the chapel.


      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.

      In the community . . . 


      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 two new groups starting in January in our area. Please contact Pastor Jody Beth for more information for yourself or a loved one.

      St. Paul’s Episcopal Chapel
      14755 Oak St.
      Magnolia Springs
      Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
      Jan. 7 through March 31

      Zion Lutheran Church
      15875 Fourth Ave.
      Saturdays at 10 a.m.
      Jan. 11 through April 4


      UPDATE: The last three of the scheduled lunches have been canceled amid coronavirus concerns.

      \The 2020 Lenten season brings the 11th annual “Lenten Lunches” to the South Baldwin community. The lunches began on Feb. 27 and will continue each Thursday through April 2. As in years past, the lunches will be held at the Foley United Methodist Church from 11:30 to 12:30. There will be a simple lunch served for a suggested donation of $5, followed by a highlight of a local social service program, special music, a Lenten devotion and closing prayer. The goal each year is to come together and fellowship as a community around tables, across boundaries, and between denominations. This year’s overarching theme is “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Each week a different speaker will build on this theme, speaking about six times Jesus shared a meal with someone in the Gospel of Luke. For more information and a schedule of participating speakers, visit or call the Ecumenical Ministries office at 251-943-3445.

      Ecumenical Ministries Inc. is a comprehensive social service agency partnering with United Way of Baldwin County.

      Speaker schedule:

      ■ March 5 — Pastor Jessica Lawson of Anchor Point Church
      ■ March 12 — Pastor Elwanda Powell of Word of Life Ministries
      ■ March 19 — Assistant Pastor Jody Beth Melton of Swift Presbyterian Church
      ■ March 26 — Dr. Clint Landry of Foley First Baptist Church
      ■ April 2 — Father Eric Zubler of St. Paul Episcopal Chapel

      Swift Church Preschool 

      School telephone: 251-200-3840

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


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