interior top image



Cheryl Swihart: Loving God, Serving Others

At a young age, I was influenced by my Grandmother. She was a devout Christian who was committed to serving others in her small rural community through her group of church women known as the Dorcas Society (after the life of Dorcas, also known as Tabitha – Acts 9:26-42). Their acts included sewing, preparing meals and ministering to the sick. What a wonderful example she was! My Dad said of his mother-in-law: “She humbly lives her faith by example and action.”

Throughout my life, I was and have been supported in my faith by my parents, ministers, friends, my husband Rob and daughter Colleen, who all shaped my desire to grow in Christ and to pray for and serve others. I have always loved and prayed the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi as a guide for living a life centered in relating to others.

When we joined Christ United Methodist Church in 1982, we knew we had found our community of faith. There were so many opportunities to grow in faith and raise our young daughter. We’ve not only appreciated the years of Rev. Don Underwood’s messages, but his vision that has formed the church.

In the late 1990’s, led by Associate Minister Rev. Todd Harris, I, along with others, were trained as Stephen Ministers to offer one-on-one confidential Christian caregiving to persons facing a life crisis. Some of us continued our call for more extensive training to serve as lay Chaplains for Chirst United. It seemed for me a way to offer love and caring to those hurting, sick and hospitalized by providing prayer and comfort and relying on my ultimate faith in God’s mercies to all.

In 2005, while hosting the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the new Christian Life Center, as Chaplains we were stretched to extend hope and caring to those in extreme crisis. I learned so much from our brothers and sisters from New Orleans as they struggled with major life changes while still maintaining their faith in Christ.

The Care Ministry of Christ United has now expanded under the leadership of Rev. Mike Flynn to include so many with needs in our congregation and community. What a privilege to be part of this ministry, getting to know so many people from whom I’ve experienced more of God’s love, grace and peace.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

I am so thankful for all at Christ United and their commitment to loving God, serving others and transforming lives.