A few years went by and I really missed the handbells that I had learned during my days at our previous church. I wondered if this congregation would welcome the handbells. So I talked to session and under their guidance I talked with the Bay Minette Presbyterian session and we borrowed their handbells for 18 months to see if we had enough interest and support from our congregation. As it became evident that there was enough interest, we soon began a fundraising by offering to church members and friends to “buy a bell.”
This congregation surprised me by your enthusiasm and financial support of purchasing a three-octave set of handbells and chimes within two weeks. That was so impressive to me and the representative of the handbell company, Danny Lyons. It’s been such a pleasure working with the people of Swift. I’ve certainly been blessed by your willingness to learn, grow in knowledge and your expressing such joy in playing bells and chimes over the years. That’s what has truly given me joy and pleasure. I do pray that God has been glorified.
I have appreciated the sabbatical that this congregation has allowed me to take. It came at a needed time. My responsibilities have increased at work. I have recently gone from part-time to full-time at my position at Thomas Hospital which has included daily supervising a student. After our handbells took a break for the summer, I needed time to stop and consider my future.
I feel that it’s important now to be able to spend some time with Keith. We have never been able to sit in the pews and worship together or enjoy free weekends. I’ve been happy to help Swift these past 18 months during a time of transition. It is now the time for me to change my focus to family and relationships.
I thank you, the people of Swift, for all you’ve done for me in my fifteen years at Swift. I cherish the time that we’ve spent together in these piney woods. Remember, who you are, people of God. Remember His love and presence in your life, no matter what you are going through.
The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ,
the extravagant love of God, the intimate
friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
— 2 Corinthians 13:14