The Chimes

A monthly newsletter of Christ Church

March 8th, 2023


A pastoral message from Bishop Alan M. Gates

Wear your green for the Friday, March 17th

St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner. Tickets $20 adults $10 under 12 yrs.

Tickets available Sundays or contact the office.

Don’t know what you got

Sue Carvalho

There is a song that goes you don’t know what you got until it’s gone, the day Paradise turned into a parking lot. I hope I always know what I have. Christ Church is one of those “things” we may take for granted and if we are not careful it to may turn into a parking lot.

I have been thinking a lot about Christ Church. Steve and I are lucky enough to snowbird in Florida.While we are here, we try to go to church every Sunday.We have a local church we go to and have been going to for the past few years. They are a rather large parish and have numerous parishioners. Not one single parishioner has extended a hand to ask who we are and welcome us to the parish.

Everyone who reads this will remember who welcomed them to Christ Church. We were welcomed by Margaret Donaldson, who has since passed away. We felt we had found a community we wanted to be a part of for a very long time. Warm and welcoming is how I hope we are always perceived as a church.

Its not easy to walk up to a stranger and say “Welcome to Christ Church, and we are glad you are here”, but it’s always feels so good to extend that hand and share a smile.

We have been a part of Christ Church for close to 28 years. We have reached the stage in our lives where we have felt the sadness of parishioners who have passed and also seen some of the parishioners grow up and start their own families.

Memories of Christ Church are many. Harvest festivals, Bingo spaghetti dinners, talent shows, Stewardship drives, the first female priest, the first gay priest, writing for the Chimes, funeral services; Carl Yates (his grandson talked about losing his best friend), Franklin Gray (Elaine his wife wore a red wool coat. His favorite color) and wedding services as well. I remember decorating for a dance for the youth group and decorating for visits from the bishops. I remember the best baby Jesus in the Christmas pageant and the same year a young girl being included in the pageant who normally wouldn’t have been included.

Memories of Christ Church are many and not all memories are happy memories. We have unfortunately had division among parishioners over the running of the parish. We have had parishioners leave because someone said or did something they didn’t like. Hey guess what we are human and we don’t always get along. We are family and family doesn’t always agree. The best part of Christ Church is all are welcome. ALL are welcome. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. We hear that when we leave church every week. Serving the Lord means loving your neighbor even when you don’t love your neighbor. It means doing what we can for Christ Church before it becomes a parking lot. It means agreeing to disagree in a loving and kind manner.

Life is not easy-peasy most days but we can always be kind. We can be warm and welcoming and extend our hand to our neighbor. All this writing has me thinking how lucky we are to be a part of Christ Church…. time to write some postcards to stay in touch. Remember you don’t know what you got until it’s gone…. the day Paradise was turned in to a parking lot. Amen.

Study Join us for our online zoom Bible Study.

We will explore Ruth and Esther, books that explore the faithfulness and courage of two remarkable women. The stories of Ruth and Esther have much to teach us about the Hebrew concept of chesed, which means sacred kindness, as well as the willingness to be in sacrificial relationship with loved ones and our communities.

Please join Saints Matthew and Mark (Barrington RI), Christ Church (Swansea) and Church of the Holy Spirit (Fall River) and any others you wish to invite.

Session III: Esther, Chapters 1-2 March 15, 2023/ 6:30-7:30pm

Session IV: Esther, Chapters 3-4 March 22, 2023/ 6:30-7:30pm

Session V: Esther, Chapters 5, 6, & 7 March 29, 2023/ 6:30-7:30pm

Session VI: Esther, Chapters 8, 9, &10 April 5, 2023 / 6:30-7:30pm

You can use the handouts at church or download a copy of the questions from Ruth and Esther Bible Study Digital : Forward Movement If you don’t have a bible or want multiple translations, please access a variety of Bible translations at BibleGateway - Keyword Search: Ruth

Vestry Meeting Report, February 14, 2023

Vestry meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month and are open to all Christ Church parishioners. 2023 Vestry members are Dave McCarthy and Jen Valiente (co-chairs), Sue Sheppard, Susan McMullen, Julie Baker, Judy DeMello, Joan Padrenoss, Leslie Burrell, Jennifer Braga and Rick Kirkpatrick.

At the February 2023 Meeting, the Vestry welcomed our newest members, Rick Kirkpatrick and Jennifer Braga. 

The vestry discussed various issues concerning Building and Maintenance. It was suggested that we need a list of priorities and how they can be funded. Perhaps we can pursue a grant that offers matching funds. Currently we are getting bids on the boiler and hot water tank. This cannot be delayed much longer as there is a large amount of rust. Other concerns include repair to the bell tower and the church’s foundation, the condition of the church lawn and cemetery grass, and the large pothole in the parking lot. A motion to formalize a Building and Maintenance committee was approved unanimously. It is requested that people report graves that have sunken and need repair to the Cemetery Committee.

In other discussions. It was decided that we would fly the Gay Pride Flag to reinforce our message of “All are Welcome.” The flag will fly outside in the month of June and in the Parish House at other times. A motion passed to buy 20 tables to replace the heavy wooden tables to be used for Harvest Festival. The old tables are much too heavy to bring in and out of the Parish House.

Sue Sheppard gave an overview of the Major Sources of Income and the Major Expenses for Christ Church. Major sources of income are parishioner contributions, fund raising, investment/interest income, parish house use and miscellaneous donations. Major expenses include labor and benefits, utilities, Diocesan assessment, third party vendors, operational expenses and fund raising.

It was reported that the Christian Education has a consistent group of children attending Sunday School each week and they will becoming early the first Sunday in March to talk with Father Al and learn about the symbols we have in Christ Church. A Pancake supper will also be served on February 21st at 5:30.

Vestry members reported on annual meeting suggestions for the Good of the Church. These included:

·        External factors impacting why people don’t come to church.

·        The need to advertise that Sunday School is available and children who are not baptized are welcome. 

·        That we are truly welcoming to all – including those not baptized and those belonging to diverse communities. Suggestion to have a welcome table at the Harvest Festival.

·        We should advertise events such as Yoga, game nights, beyond Christ Church to the wider community.

·        Lay ministers are having difficulty with 2 services.

·        Increasing efforts to bring more families to Christ Church.

·        Build Sunday School by creating more child family events. 

·        Outreach to lapsed members. Have a Homecoming to invite lapse members back with a potluck supper. Lost Sheep committee came up with a list of people to contact. This is one of Father Al’s goals.

·        Requests for one service at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Perhaps we could have one Sunday Service and a Saturday evening service.

·        More community involvement with library, Christmas in the Village, etc.

·        Connect with Swansea Parks and Recreation to participate in and sponsor co-events. For example, an Easter Egg Hunt.

·        Generally being more pro-active.

It is Al Deston’s 20th anniversary as Music Director. Let’s celebrate this milestone!

Respectfully submitted,

Susan McMullen, Clerk of the Vestry

This past Sunday we celebrated Al Deston's 20th year anniversary as Music Minister at Christ Church Swansea.

Thank you and Congratulations!



April 2nd Palm Sunday 8am & 10am with Fr. Al

April 6th Maundy Thursday 5:30pm with Fr. Al

April 7th Good Friday noon with Fr. Al

April 8th Easter Vigil 5:30 with Fr. Al

April 9th Easter Morning 8am & 10 with Fr. Phil

Egg Hunt following the 10am service.

Episcopal Youth Event

July 4 - 8, 2023

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) is back, and will be held this summer for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began. All high schoolers (who are at least 15 and no older than 19 by July 4, 2023) are invited to participate. We will have a mighty delegation represent our diocese at the University of Maryland, College Park.

We will host a virtual information sharing session for EYE 2023 on Tuesday, March 7 at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 14 at 7p.m., and on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. The deadline for registration is on March 31.

Episcopal Youth Event: Information Sharing Session (Meeting ID: 968 7356 0063/ Password: 343607)

In the meanwhile please visit the webpage for the Episcopal Youth Event to learn more about its history and about the five-day plan to learn, laugh and worship together. #EYE2023


Pre-Confirmation Retreat

Saturday, March 25

11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Our retreat will give us an opportunity to meet other confirmands in our diocese, to reflect on the grace and responsibilities that come with confirmation, to talk with our bishops, and to reflect on what matters to you. We are excited to see you.

Contact the Diocese for the Link.

Please have your


to the office for March 19th.

Daylight Savings Time this weekend don't forget to Spring Ahead!

Vestry Members

Jennifer Valiente, Co-Warden

David McCarthy, Co-Warden

Sue Sheppard, Treasurer

Susan McMullen, Clerk

Julie Baker


Joan Padrenoss

Leslie Burrell

Jennifer Braga

Rick Kirkpatrick

Convention Delegate Julie Sanders


Snow and Weather Cancellations

Please look for cancellations in your inbox from Christ Church and also on Facebook. We hope you stay home and stay safe when travel is unadvised.


Sundays 8am and 10am

Office Hours Tuesday~Wednesday~Thursday 10am-3pm


We are a joyful community celebrating Jesus Christ. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey,
you are welcome here.

Christ Church

57 Main Street, Swansea, Ma 02777

Office: Sue Correira; 508-678-0923 or,

Al Deston III, Music Director

The Rev. Alan R. Hesse, Rector;

508-505-5668 cell,,