Graduate recognition at 10:00 service Jeremiah 29:11
♦ We celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
♦ Reception for the graduates after worship service
♦ Worship at Live Oak with communion, 1 p.m.
♦ The Rev. Lauren Peters preaches.
♦ One service today — at 10:00
♦ Baptism of Gracie Helton
Please wear red for Pentecost.
MUSIC NOTES Lisa Cardwell, music director
Although Holy Week and Easter are over, chancel choir and adult handbell choir members are still hard at work on new anthems. We appreciate the generosity of people who allow us to purchase new music.
■ The chancel choir will be singing “What Makes Me Sing?” on May 6. This is a contemporary-style anthem based on Psalm 133 that is full of praise for God for His Love for us. It was selected during my trip to the Montreat Music and Worship Conference last summer, and purchased by Lee Mansell in memory of her husband, John.
■ The adult handbell choir will be playing “Hark! I Hear the Harps Eternal” on May 13. The tune is taken from shape-note books, early American compilations of scores in which the note heads are printed in one of seven different shapes to indicate a place on the scale. Shape-note singing societies flourished in early America and continue in popularity today. These compositions are folk hymns, secular tunes used in setting religious texts. “Hark! I Hear The Harps Eternal” is taken from The Southern Harmony, a compilation of hymns, tunes, psalms, and songs published by William Walker in 1834.” excerpt from the San Francisco Lyric Choir program notes on their American Music Highlights concert in April 2015. This anthem was purchased in memory of Barney Miller.
We hope you’ll be able to worship through these anthems that were written to glorify God, as we sing and play these anthems, pointing to God as our Deliverer and Savior.
The chancel choir will be taking a break for the last two weeks in May. They will reconvene in June. Our summer rehearsal schedule will be 9:00 on Sunday mornings (no Tuesday night rehearsals).
The handbell choir will be taking a summer break, but our ringers may be providing a small group ensemble for Live Oak later in the summer.
Sunday, May 6, is graduation recognition here at Swift Church. We have three youth graduating from high school: William Vanbrimmer, Sarah Kleinschmidt and Jessica Gosa. Philip Melton will receive his certificate in congregational leadership from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. We will celebrate their accomplishments during 10:00 worship and enjoy a reception in their honor after the service.
Those who have attended confirmation class and will meet with the Swift Church session on April 29 are:
Braxton Akins, Olivia Akins, Zadie Barnwell, Ava Brewer, Gracie Helton, Ella Thomas, Jon Devery Thomas, Baylee Thomason, and Macie Ulrich.
If approved for membership by the session, they will be confirmed in worship on May 20.
WORSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT Greg McNair and Kim Whitchard, elders
May will be a busy month at Swift Presbyterian Church.
We are in the midst of the 50-day Easter season that ends May 20 on the Day of Pentecost. On that day, everyone is urged to wear red, symbolic of the Holy Spirit descending on the first followers of Jesus with the fire of ministry and mission a few weeks after his resurrection and bringing them together as a church. So, in essence, we celebrate the birth of the church on this day.
■ Starting the month, we will recognize our graduates on May 6 at the 10:00 worship service. Also on that day, we will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper by intinction at both services. All are invited to the table to partake of the bread and juice.
■ May 13 is Mother’s Day. The Rev. Lauren Peters, UKirk South Alabama pastor, will preach in Pastor Keith’s absence.
■ May 20 is Pentecost, confirmation Sunday and preschool graduation. Please wear red for Pentecost. This is an important day in the life of the church, so there will be one worship service that day, at 10:00, so that the entire church family is included. Gracie Helton will be baptized.
■ May 27 is Trinity Sunday.
By the way, National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 3.
Looking back at April, Easter Sunday was a special time at Swift Church as we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Families enjoyed having photographs taken in front of the flowered cross outside of the sanctuary. The church family also enjoyed a bountiful breakfast, served by the deacons, in the fellowship hall between the two worship services.
Our Lenten prayer trees were a visible reminder of the many prayers we lifted to the Lord — and the colored ribbons showed the various areas of concern.
Your worship elders, Greg McNair and Kim Whitchard, have taken over the duties of scheduling nursery leaders. We plan to keep the same schedule as this past winter, rotating unless otherwise notified. If you are unable to serve in the nursery on your given Sunday, it would be helpful if you could find a replacement, or contact one of the worship elders if you have not been able to. The new schedule starts with June 3. To all nursery leaders, we say thank you so much for your help with this and for your service.
We also want to thank all volunteers who serve in any capacity in worship and in worship-related areas. If you would like to serve in some capacity, please let one of us know.
SANCTUARY FLOWER SCHEDULING
Susie Alexander schedules our Sunday flower donations. Please call her to reserve your date.
You can reach Susie at 251-943-4145 or email@example.com. Dates available this month: May 6, 20 and 27
‘TWO OR MORE’ FELLOWSHIP LUNCH
Thursday, May 3, at the Gulf Bowl, Captain’s Choice Grill, at 11:30 a.m.
Delicious food, reasonable prices and great conversation. Come and meet new friends.
BUTTERFLY GIRLS • GUYS’ NIGHT OUT Thursday, May 17 • 6:30 p.m. Island Wings — 3947 Highway 59, Gulf Shores
(just north of and across the street from the Target store in Pelican Place)
Please call or text Mary at 251-295-5267 by 4 p.m. that day if you know you’re coming so adequate table space can be reserved. (A few extra chairs will be reserved for any last-minute deciders.) Our group is growing ever since the girls and guys meet at the same place, although we sit and visit together separately. Perhaps the logistics of both driving to different places has helped eliminate the need for two cars.
We had 19 people at our latest gathering so come join us this month. Couples or singles are welcome.
INTENTIONAL FAITH DEVELOPMENT
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL
Class meets in the Andy Lay room • 9 a.m.
A CHRONOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Cheryl Jensen, leader with Anthony Kaiser
Welcome back, Anthony; you have been missed. Our class continues with “90 Weeks Through the New Testament in Chronological Order.” (our book is 90 days). We are almost into week 30. We have been studying Jesus and His miracles. Newcomers are welcome to our class.
SNACKS WITH SUSAN AND DARYL Sunday school class meets in the fellowship hall • 9 a.m. Susan and Daryl Pichoff, leaders
Our current study is by Adam Hamilton. Join us for some thought-provoking discussion and discernment about how our faith forms our opinions on these topics.
Confronting the Controversies is a seven-session group study of “tough issues” based on Adam Hamilton’s sermons on these topics. The six remaining sessions are:
■ Creation and evolution in the public schools
■ The death penalty
■ Prayer in public schools
BIBLE STUDY AND FELLOWSHIP GROUPS
FOR ADULTS AT SWIFT CHURCH
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 currently 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.
•Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., adult Sunday School class, Andy Lay room, a chronological study of the New Testament, led by Cheryl Jensen and Anthony Kaiser
•Sundays, 9 to 9:45 a.m., Snacks with Susan, fellowship hall, led by Daryl and Susan Pichoff; topic varies
•Sundays, 5:30 to 6:45, Sunday night Bible study, Andy Lay room, studying the book of Hebrews, led by Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton, 251-213-6625
•Thursdays, 10 to 11:30, Thursday morning Bible study, Andy Lay room, studying the book of Hebrews, led by Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton, 251-213-6625
•Thursdays (first Thursday of month), 11:30 a.m., “Two or More” fellowship lunch at Captain’s Choice Grill at the Gulf Bowl in Foley on Juniper Street. Contact is Lee Mansell.
•Thursdays (second Thursday of month), 1 p.m., Swift Fourth Day, fellowship hall. Bring your own sack lunch and enjoy Christian conversation. This is a new group, started by six people who attended Cursillo #36, and is open to everyone. Contact is Sue Johnson.
•Thursdays (third Thursday of month), 6:30 p.m., Butterfly Girls and Guys’ Night Out fellowship dinner at area restaurants, different place each month. Sometimes men and women eat at same restaurant at separate tables, sometimes two restaurants near one another. Contacts are Daryl and Susan Pichoff.
■ A three-day retreat intended to revive the spirit and renew the participant
■ An invitation to encounter Jesus Christ
■ A process to deepen the participant’s Christian commitment
■ A call to the conscious and deliberate living of the Christian faith
■ An invitation to join with Christians and broaden the community of believers
■ All within the framework of Reformed Theology and consistent with the Book of Worship of the PCUSA.
Application forms for pilgrims and staff are located in the back of both the chapel and the sanctuary. Anyone interested in more information, please contact Kathy Menk in the church office or at 251-971-6509.
MISSION AND SERVICE
SESSION HIGHLIGHTS Sue Ann Lay, clerk of session
Swift Church session met on Monday, April 16.
✔ The meeting was called to order. Prayer concerns were offered and we prayed.
✔ We talked about developing “super-liturgists” — people trained and prepared to lead the whole worship service except for the sermon and benediction. Several offered to come to a meeting to learn more about it.
✔ We received reports from Pastors Keith and Jody Beth, missions, worship, finance, children’s Christian education and minutes from the previous meeting.
✔ We looked at the solid financial situation of the church.
✔ We heard from Elder Charlie Hastings about progress on the driveway. People from 811 (“Call before you dig”) people were to come in a few days to mark water lines, electrical, phone and any other buried utilities. When that is complete, we can then lay out the widening of the driveway.
✔ We discussed the need for an updated phone system for the church. Ours is beginning to fail. Prices and options are being looked at.
✔ We discussed transportation to the Montreat Youth Conference. We will need to rent a vehicle. Devery Thomas found an older but good-quality 15-passenger van for consideration to purchase for the trip and use beyond. We’re checking options.
✔ Membership of Diane King was transferred to Gulf Shores Baptist Church.
✔ We celebrated that nine youth are concluding confirmation class. The church session will meet with them for approval into membership after worship on April 29. Confirmation Sunday is May 20.
✔ It was noted that Pastor Jody Beth will be on vacation May 11–19. Pastor Keith will be on vacation May 7–14. The Rev. Lauren Peters is preaching on Mother’s Day, May 13.
✔ Elder Chuck Carneal closed our meeting with prayer.
MISSION COMMITTEE REPORT Al Sprouse and Cathy Rogers, elders
The food pantry served 17 families on each distribution in April. The food pantry is open to the public on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 10 a.m. until noon. Tina Sprouse is the food pantry coordinator and is asking for additional volunteers. Continued food donations are requested, particularly breakfast items, peanut butter, jelly, hearty soups, and canned fruits. Tina can be reached at 251-510-5444.
A letter was addressed to Swift Presbyterian Church from an Alabama inmate requesting a new pair of shoes since it had been three years since he had new ones. He wrote, “I am in need of a pair of shoes. I understand I am a prisoner, and I don’t deserve anything, but I beg you to please help, just this once.” He received the shoes at a cost of $46.59. We are blessed to be able to do God’s work.
We are very pleased that we surpassed our $1,500 goal for One Great Hour of Sharing during Lent. The Swift Congregation donated a total of $1,776 to that mission this year. We think this is the largest amount ever given to this Presbyterian mission. Thank you very much for supporting those around the world who need our help.
So far this year, $660.98 has been collected through our “two cents a meal” offering for Living Waters for the World. That organization provides water-filtration systems for clean drinking water in communities around the world. The “two cents a meal” offering will not be collected in May due to the Pentecost Offering.
Pentecost Sunday is May 20. The mission committee decided to donate the entire Pentecost Offering collected on May 13 and 20 for UKirk South Alabama. Our very own Lauren Peters is the campus minister for this group. She will preach at both Swift services on May 13 and will tell us about her UKirk work during the minute for mission. Our goal this year is $500. If every giving unit donates $5, we will meet this goal. A UKirk board will be displayed in the chapel and the sanctuary to watch our dollars grow to support this program for college students.
Thanks to all for supporting our Swift missions.
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS Charlie Hastings, elder
If you are interested in joining the church driveway committee, please contact Charlie Hastings or Chuck Carneal. We are looking for anyone who is interested in helping coordinate and plan activities involving the widening of the entrance from Swift Church Road.
A MESSAGE FROM MISSIONARIES
JOHN AND GWENDA FLETCHER Democratic Republic of Congo
On Dec. 12, 2017, Gwenda had a medical emergency that resulted in both Gwenda and John being put on a medical evacuation flight the next day to South Africa. After a complete medical evaluation, the recommendation was for Gwenda to return to the United States for further evaluation and possible treatment. During the darkest and most difficult times, Gwenda found comfort and peace in repeating to herself the 23rd Psalm. She was further evaluated in the U.S., but at the time of writing their newsletter, they did not have a precise diagnosis. One possibility was an unknown viral infection that precipitated an autoimmune reaction and neurological problems. She is undergoing physical, occupational, and speech therapy and gradually improving.
Gwenda is staying with her sister so that John could return to the [Democratic Republic of] Congo to assist a team of engineers and technicians who were completing the renovation of the hydro-electric facilities at the Good Shepherd Hospital and at the Bibanga Presbyterian Hospital. God has been faithful in His provision for visas and tickets for travel.
In John’s words: “Back in 1989 when we first were appointed as PC (USA) mission co-workers, we felt God’s call to mission service in what was then Zaire. Throughout many difficult years, we have always felt God’s call to remain in mission service in the Congo. As we approached retirement age, we anticipated continuing to serve until mid-2019. Given Gwenda’s present limitations, it is now difficult for us to see how we will be able to return to service in the [Democratic Republic of] Congo. We pray for God’s guidance and discernment of His will for us, as we expect that we will need to make a final decision in June …. We thank you for your prayers and the outpouring of love and concern for her. We trust that God will reveal His will to us in His time and we ask for patience and understanding as we seek to be faithful. Please continue to pray for Gwenda’s full and complete healing and for His comfort and peace to surround her while I am [so far away]. Please also remember to pray for the people of [the Democratic Republic of] Congo as they continue to experience great instability, insecurity, and difficulty with food supplies.”
See John’s complete newsletter on the bulletin board in the narthex.
PASTOR COMMENTS ON TITHING
A few Sundays ago I mentioned that Lisa and I tithe of our income to the church. It was part of the sermon on Acts 4 addressing extravagant generosity of earliest Christians. Today I came across the following in my computer files. I don’t know when or why I wrote it. But I offer it to you.
We (Lisa and I) tithe to the church. That means we give 10% of our combined income from all sources to the church — this church, Swift Church. We give offerings above that to special offerings supported by this congregation.
We get paid every two weeks, so we write a check to the church every two weeks. On rare occasions, we miss that and make it up later. The way we ensure that the “first-fruits” go to God is this: It is built into our biweekly budget. We write the check to the church first. Before we pay the mortgage, before we buy groceries, before we hit the mall, before we pay our insurance or utilities, we write a check to God in care of this congregation.
Sometimes, this means we alter our plans — what we eat; what we buy. Sometimes this means we do without something we want — usually until the next payday. (Is this really sacrifice?)
Why do this? Because God loves us and our check is a thank-you note to God.
— Pastor Keith Cardwell
WE APPRECIATE OUR MAY 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
May 6 — Susie Alexander, Elinor Gartman, Sue Ann Lay, Lynda Walden
May 13 — Lynn/Mike Barnwell, Willard Penfold, Eunice Ray
May 20 — Judy Walker, Kim Whitchard
May 27 — Danny/Paula Brewer, Lee Mansell, Greg McNair
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN
May 6 — Cathy Rogers
May 13 — Tess Helton
May 20 — Judy Walker
May 27 — Pastor Keith
May 6 — Ginny Kleinschmidt, Sarah Kleinschmidt
May 13 — Tracy Akins and Lisa Turner
May 20 — Pate and Brett Cardwell
May 27 — Kathy Menk and Tara Morrow
May 6 — None — Holy Communion
May 13 — Lyndsey and Aaron Ward
May 20 — Tracy and Olivia Akins
May 27 — Jane King and Carlie Sims
May 6 — Marlene Hastings
May 13 — Tosha Thomas
May 20 — Tosha Thomas
May 27 — Marlene Hastings
May 6 — Jon Devery and Lainey Thomas
May 13 — Zadie Grace and Zoeylynn Barnwell
May 20 — Cadi Cardwell and McCoy Cooper
May 27 — Diya Patterson and Saylor Morrow
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.
CHURCH DIRECTORY IN PROGRESS Sue Ann Lay
I am working on the church directory for 2018, so I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone to let me or the church office know if you have changed email, land line or cell phone numbers, moved or just want a new picture. I will be available after the 8:00 service and before and after the 10:00 service to take pictures. If you have a favorite picture you want to use, you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or I can scan your picture and return it to you on a timely basis.