Many thanks to the Joyful Tones, who played last Sunday (Sept. 25) and accompanied the congregation as they sang three hymns as part of our hymn sing. We had a great group of 16 chimers (both adults and children). We had new members who picked their chimes up and played very well. The returning chimers made great role models. Playing in musical groups provides a new community, development of new skills, and doing it all to the glory of God.
Swift’s handbell choir is preparing for leading worship during the Presbyterian Women’s Fall Gathering at Swift on Oct. 1. We will also be playing for Swift’s 10:00 worship service on World Communion Sunday, Oct. 2. We will also provide worship leadership on Nov. 6 for All Saints Day. Be looking for information for this special day in the weeks to come.
We are starting a children’s handbell group. This will be for kindergarten through second grade. They will be using KidsPlay Handbells, which are color-coded and easy for small hands to play. No music reading necessary. They do need to know their colors. We will begin Oct. 9 at 9 p.m. (during Sunday school). We hope to play during worship on Oct. 30.
Our chancel choir begins working on Christmas program music this month. We would love to have some new members join us for this project. Please let me know if you are interested.
Swift’s Christmas music program is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary. We will be providing a variety show: chancel choir, handbell choir, Joyful Tones (tone-chime choir), ladies ensemble, and congregation participation in singing Christmas carols. Please mark your calendars and invite your family and friends.
As we have had a cookie fellowship time after our program in the past, we would like to do that this year as well. We are looking for volunteers to plan and organize a simple cookie, punch and coffee time. Please let Lisa or Jody Beth know if you are willing to help.
News from the Worship Committee
Boy, this year is flying by! I cannot believe all that our “little church in the pines” has been through and accomplished.
We continue to prepare and celebrate the Lord’s Supper by intinction every month. If you would like to share a blessing with others by preparing communion one month, please let me know, and I will be more than happy to “teach you” the necessary steps/preparation. If you feel called to provide that blessing to others please call me at 251-979-5538.
As we move back into the blessing of children’s church, it also presents the need for a “scheduling solution.” As you may know, the worship committee has acolytes every Sunday to bring in/take out the light during the service. With children’s church now in full swing, I would appreciate parents letting me know whether your child/children is/are too old to be in children’s church on Sundays (all children are in church on communion Sunday). Being an acolyte was always such a special privilege when I was growing up. If your children are older, and not in children’s church, please let me know so that they have the choice to participate in this special experience on the second and fourth Sundays. I can then utilize the younger children on communion Sundays (I am happy to coach the younger children if they are not comfortable with the task, and am willing to do special training — I am sure Pastor Keith and Pastor Jody Beth are, too). Just like the greeter/usher teams, I would like to set up a roster of acolytes.
Having said that, I want to say “thank you” to all the greeter/usher teams who have taken up the responsibility so quickly and easily and have automatically planned “your week of rotation.” Also, thank you for taking on the responsibility for finding a replacement if you are not able to serve that Sunday. And thank you for those of you who are willing to step in and help at that time. I believe the teams are working well. If anyone would like to volunteer to be a greeter/usher, please let me know. The more teams we have, the more infrequent Sundays any of us would have to serve.
Lunch for Two or More
will be Thursday, Oct. 6, at 11:30 a.m.
at the Captain’s Choice restaurant in the Gulf Bowl.
Please contact Lee Mansell at 251-232-4775 to make a reservation or just show up.
Butterfly Girls and Guys Night Out
Come join us at the next Butterfly Girls or Guys’ Night Out dinner.
Mark your calendar for Thursday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m.
We will dine together at Pappadakis Greek Restaurant in Orange Beach,
across from the entrance to the Wharf.
For more information or to RSVP, contact Susan or Daryl Pichoff at 251-233-9486.
MISSION AND SERVICE
Church Officer Training
The folks elected as elders and deacons during our September congregational meeting will be trained in what it means to be a church officer as well as trained in their respective offices.
They will meet after worship Oct. 23, 30 and Nov. 6 and 13. Lunch will be provided and the training will usually last until 1 p.m.
Thanks to Charles Hastings, Greg McNair and Tara Morrow for agreeing to serve as elders; and to Betty Carneal, Mary McNair, Jim Runtz, Lisa Turner, Joe Walden and Martha Young for agreeing to serve as deacons.
A Letter to the Men of Swift from Jim Runtz
Below you will find a letter from Jim Runtz to all of the adult males in our church family outlining a program of service and social participation in existing and future church activities. I ask the “men of Swift” to read this letter and call me if you are interested in this proposal, in any way. Thank you. — Jim Runtz
Men of Swift:
I have been asked to present an idea to the men of Swift in order to enhance better social interaction and to provide for the church in general.
I would like to get a perspective and interest in organizing the “Men of Swift” to provide services for our congregation (both individual members “in need” and the church itself). These services would come in various forms. Examples:
● Presbyterian Women’s Fall Gathering held at Swift (Saturday, Oct. 1, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) — A group of four to eight men is needed to assist the women with the work of setup and cleanup.
● Presbyterian Home for Children bike-a-thon in Talladega (Saturday, Oct. 15) — Four to eight men needed to set up a “comfort station” for bikers. Hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Needed are two tent canopies, 3–4 ice chests with ice and spigots for water.
● Any men with light carpentry/electrical/plumbing and/or available for transportation duty to assist our church members “in-need” (those with short- or long-term medical disabilities who could really use a helping hand with minor repairs or transport to a medical appointment)
Enhanced social interaction:
● Better participation in our Guys’ Night Out monthly supper. We have gone from 15 people to four. Need ideas to improve.
● Periodic social get-togethers: IDEAS: Coffee with speakers on: current events/updates from civic leaders in the community/church-related updates/new services available to people …
● Event activities: Naval Air Station Pensacola museum trip, U.S.S. Alabama attraction, University of South Alabama baseball games (ticket source available), golf outing promotion within the church …
● Organize a softball game with a sponsored picnic on church grounds.
All of the above are just the beginning of numerous ideas in which the “Men of Swift” could involve themselves. But the key is your individual and collective interest. Please reply to me confidentially with your comments, ideas, and desire to participate. I will keep each and every reply in the strictest confidence, whether it is “Don’t bother,” “waste of time” or “Yeah … we can and should do this.”
I will entertain any and all ideas to enhance this effort, and will report on this initiative in the near future. Thank you for your time in addressing this request and I hope to hear from you soon.
Jim Runtz, 923-8169
Swift Church member
Cathy Rogers and Philip Melton
We had a fabulous response from Swift Presbyterian folks for the Santa Foundation mission for the month of August. Thanks to your generosity, our offering was $1,540 and has been sent to the foundation. It will light up the lives of many children in our community.
The Peace and Global Witness offering will be collected on Oct. 2. A gift to the Peace and Global Witness Offering enables the church to promote the Peace of Christ by addressing systems of injustice across the world.Individual congregations are encouraged to utilize up to 25% of this offering to connect with the global witness of Christ’s peace. Mid-councils retain an additional 25% for ministries of peace and reconciliation. The remaining 50% is used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness.
Pastor Keith will ride his bike in the Presbyterian Children’s Home “Children’s Home Challenge” Oct. 15. The “Children’s Home Challenge” is being held to raise funds to support the ministries provided to homeless children and families at the Presbyterian Home for Children. Jim Runtz is putting a group of men together to travel to Talladega to help with this event. The home is also in need of gently used clothes and shoes for children of all ages and their mothers.They will be taken to PCH in October by this group. To help Pastor Keith reach his $250 sponsorship goal, place a donation in the offering plate. Clearly mark “Bike Ride” on the check or envelope.
The food pantry shelves are bare. Please consider bringing in some food and/or paper items on Oct. 2. With the fellowship hall nearing completion, the food pantry will be relocated in the back of the kitchen in its very own room.
In December, our focus will be on a Presbyterian Children’s Home offering every Sunday and on Christmas Eve. Be praying about how you can share with that home that is so dear to our hearts and improves the lives of homeless children and their mothers.
Kitchen and Fellowship Hall Renovations
I have been working intensively on renovation of the fellowship hall. All the painting is complete. Chris Burkhart of Burkhart Painting has gone above and beyond the call of duty (and estimate) to help with this job. For anyone who needs a painter, I would highly and strongly recommend Chris. In picking out the paint initially, I miscalculated the color of the paint and, as a result, we have a 5-gallon bucket of neutral paint. If there is anyone thinking of repainting a room, we have some paint to sell for Chris’ cost (wholesale).
The cabinets are painted (again “Thank you,” Chris Burkhart) and installed. The broken window glass in the kitchen is also replaced. We purchased the laminate countertops from Hoods and they were installed this week. I have found a contractor to do the doors into the kitchen. Everything is done or in process and lined up for completion. The cabinets are installed and the flooring has been laid.
I would like to continue to make a special plea to all membership to give a special offering for these renovations — which, of course have cost a lot more than the insurance was ever willing to pay. I know this is a very compassionate, loving and generous congregation, so please be in prayer about a contribution to these renovations so that each time you walk into the fellowship hall for fellowship time or breakfast, or a special event, you can feel a sense of pride and ownership that you had some kind of contribution to reviving our “little church in the pines.”
I would like to thank everyone who has helped and already contributed to this renovation.
“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
Oct. 2 — Mark and Tresa Melton, Lynn Aspray, Jane King
Oct. 9 — Jessica Gosa, Lee Mansell and Kim Whitchard
Oct. 16 — Norm and Debbie Schmidt; Danny and Paula Brewer
Oct. 23 — Lynda Walden, Sue Ann Lay and Susie Alexander
Oct. 30 — Donna Donald, Willard Penfold, Lynn and Mike Barnwell
Oct. 2 — Bobby and Karely Kleinschmidt
Oct. 9 — Lezli and Kenny Thomason
Oct. 16 — Aaron and Lyndsey Ward
Oct. 23 — Tresa Melton and Tara Morrow
Oct. 30 — Megan Curry and Bridgit Gosa
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN
Oct. 2 — Cathy Rogers
Oct. 9 — Judy Walker
Oct. 16 — Jane King
Oct. 23 — Teresa Thomas
Oct. 30 — Judy Walker
Oct. 2 — Beth Brewer
Oct. 9 — Jane King and Carlie Sims
Oct. 16 — Lezli and Kenny Thomason
Oct. 23 — Tosha Thomas and Brett Cardwell
Oct. 30 — Tess Helton-Carrell and Teresa Thomas
Oct. 2 — Beth Brewer
Oct. 9 — Brett Cardwell
Oct. 16 — Tosha Thomas
Oct. 23 — Beth Brewer
Oct. 30 — Brett Cardwell
INTENTIONAL FAITH DEVELOPMENT
Christian Education Children’s Ministry (Grades K–5)
Sunday school has started off great. We have had a good turnout for the past two Sundays and hope the momentum will continue. Children’s church has been awesome as well with great attendance.
Kids’ Club resumes on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with fun and games, supper and devotional time with Pastor Keith.
Fall festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. We are looking for a coordinator to plan crockpots of soup for dinner and a coordinator for scheduling families for games. We welcome trunk-or-treaters and hope you all will consider participating in this fun event. Please contact me if you are interesting in helping in any way. Call Teresa Thomas, 251-609-2209, or email email@example.com.
Christian Education Youth Ministry (Grades 6–12)
Youth Montreat Worship Sunday was Sept. 11, and the youth did an amazing job in presenting the worship service. I hope you were able to attend. They presented ideas and their own perspectives about what they had experienced at the Montreat Youth Conference they had attended in June. They used videos they had seen there but combined them with their own story. Most of the music was music they sang in Montreat. They always dread leaving Montreat and each year can’t wait to return. What a blessing our youth are so interested in attending and what a blessing our church is so supportive of sending them with donations, fundraising events and faithful prayers. Can’t wait to see what next year brings.
We began our Wednesday night Refuels and our Sunday night GɸG meetings in September. Everyone was glad to be back together again. Thank you, Moe and Kathy Menk, for allowing us to come into your home for Refuel. The food was great and the fellowship lively, loud and bonding. And thank you, Doug and Vicki Elsler, for providing the meal for GɸG. The food feeds the bodies and the Word feed the spirit. The next GɸG meeting is Oct. 2, from 4 to 6, with Betty Sizemore and Mimi Hollis providing the meal at the church, and Refuel will be in Phil and Jody Beth’s home.
Sunday school has started this fall with a four-week series on prayer. The youth meet in the youth room at 9 a.m. Please come and bring a friend. We have been working in the youth room again. We have rearranged and brought out the “fun” chairs, painted our chalkboard wall and we will be hanging our art canvases this Sunday. Now that it is cooling off we plan to build our fire pit outside and prayer station. We will be setting some work days to accomplish these projects.
Fall festival is Saturday, Oct. 29, from 4 to 6 p.m., with games, crockpot soups and trunk-or-treat. The youth will be helping in different areas. More information is to come but I pray you and your family will become involved in the festival. It is a wonderful experience to work with these youth and other members of our church. We look forward to laughing and growing in our intergenerational involvement within our church.
Embellishment Sewing Class for Youth
at Swift Presbyterian Church after worship, 11:15 to noon.
If interested, please text Lee Mansell at 251-232-4775.
‘Coffee with Keith’
The conversational class, “Coffee with Keith,” continues to feature a Christian leader opening the discussion via DVD. The class then comments on and discusses the topic. The class meets Sundays 9 a.m. in the church library.
● Oct. 2 History: Parchment to Pixel
● Oct. 9 Testaments: One Story, Two Parts
● Oct. 16 Gospels: Unexpected Good News
● Oct. 23 Genre: Rhythm of the Text
● Oct. 30 Interpretation: Scripture Reads Us
● Nov. 6 Grace: Love Is the Bottom Line
We are well on our way in preparation for the 2016 Christmas play — an adaptation of the book Clopper, The Christmas Donkey.
Costumes are made, tech and stage hands are meeting soon, group leaders are preparing to serve and the children are getting excited.
Music rehearsals for those doing singing parts are scheduled for Oct 16 and Oct 23, and play rehearsals begin Nov 6. The children and all workers will soon receive a copy of the play and a copy of the schedule.
Now all we will need is your presence. The play will be held during 10 o’clock worship time on Dec. 11. We hope to have a large crowd — 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock members as well as parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles. You get the picture. So please put the Christmas play date on your calendar and begin asking your friends and family to attend. Remember, we want to be first on their calendars.
Daniel: Determining To Go God’s Direction
Attend either evenings or Thursday mornings
A weekly Bible study on the book of Daniel began in September, but you can join at any time. You can attend either Sunday evenings, 5:30 to 6:30, or Thursday mornings, 10 to 11:30 (11:15 on “Two or More” luncheon days).
“Today’s society is a good deal like the one Daniel lived in centuries ago. The world still wants God’s people to conform to its standards and follow its practices.’ Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold’ is the way J.B. Phillips translates Romans 12:2, and Daniel and his friends obeyed that admonition.
As we study the book of Daniel, we’ll meet Daniel’s God, the Sovereign Lord who rules in the kingdom of men and who confidently announces things to come. In Daniel’s life and ministry we see how true believers live in the light of biblical prophecy — how they relate to the Sovereign Lord and accomplish His good, acceptable, and perfect will.”
— From the study book author, Warren W. Wiersbe
The study will be facilitated by Pastor Jody Beth and Philip Melton. We will be using study materials by Warren W. Wiersbe that can be ordered on Amazon directly, or you can contact Sue Ann Lay through the church office (943-8367) and she will place a group order.