Camino Church Thanks Teacher with Chimes
When the Camino church decided to present a gift of appreciation to the local church school’s music teacher, they expressed their gratitude with chimes.
El Dorado Adventist School teacher Carmen Swigart had wished for a set of tubular bells (or chimes), but she thought it was an unrealistic hope.
“Just in passing I’ve looked into the possibility of getting tubular chimes, but they’re just so expensive, “ she said. “[I thought] our school is small, we have other concerns ... We can get by without them.” And she had for the seven years that she has taught at EAS.
Camino church secretary Elaine Larsen plays the piano for Swigart’s lower grade school choir, and she sees first hand all the work that the teacher puts in at the school, instructing students from kindergarten through 12th grade, including classroom music, band, choir and hand bells.
In January, “I got to thinking that it would be nice to do something special for Carmen for all the hard work she does in preparing the students for their music presentations,” said Larsen. Right away, she thought of chimes. She enlisted the help of her husband, Earl, and her brother, Bob Overton, to make the idea a reality.
The three discovered that new chimes would cost at least $5,000, “so eBay became our second focus,” she said. They located a used set online, but it wasn’t in very good condition.
“After lots of prayer, a different set of chimes became available that looked almost brand new for the same price as the first set,” said Elaine Larsen. “The only draw back was someone had to go to Salem, Ore., to pick them up.” Earl Larsen and Overton made the round trip in two days.
“The Lord really led in the search and in fulfilling this project,” said Camino church Pastor Craig Klatt. “It wound up being a source of great delight to us as a church.”
On Sabbath, Feb. 20, Swigart’s seventh and eighth grade hand bell choir performed at the Camino church. After their presentation, Klatt called Swigart to the microphone. While he was interviewing her and expressing appreciation for her work, the chimes were rolled out behind them, and Elaine Larsen struck some notes.
When Swigart heard the sound of chimes behind her, she turned around — completely surprised. “I couldn’t believe it!” she said.
“She was totally blown away,” said Klatt. “The church really had fun, and it was neat to surprise her.”
“The kids have been thrilled that the church thought enough about us to do this,” said Swigart.
Swigart says she is grateful for the support of both the school’s constituent churches. “Both the Camino and Placerville churches are very, very supportive of our school. That’s one reason our enrollment is going up. The support of the community and the pastors is just wonderful.”