Kay Swanson was the Director of Christian Learning in a Colorado Methodist Church, which educated 2 ½ to 6 year-old children Monday through Friday. When she retired from her job in 2017, she moved from Colorado to Maple Grove to live near her two sons and their families. Kay told her realtor that since she was moving from Colorado mountains, she wanted to be near water, so she moved to a home by Boundary Creek Lake.
Kay started shopping for Lutheran churches after she moved to Maple Grove. Kay said, “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t go to church. It would be so foreign to me because it has been my life.” One of Kay’s neighbors recommended Advent Lutheran. Kay wanted to belong to a church with a choir. When she first visited Advent, the people were friendly to her and she felt comfortable. Kay signed the visitor book and then Pastor Peter invited her to meet for coffee. She “hit it off” with Pastor Peter. Kay decided she wanted to become a member at Advent.
Kay attended a new member class, became an Advent member, joined choir, served on the congregational council, and occasionally leads Kid Time and Sunday School. She has attended Bible studies, adult forums, and God Chicks Bible study. Mary Zigan, who led God Chicks Bible studies, had a major impact on Kay. Mary’s example of daily serious devotions has impacted Kay’s spiritual life. Kay said her “mornings with Jesus” is the most important time of her day. She feels more open to God, more grateful, and more patient.
Kay is thankful for many things about Advent. She finds the blended traditional and contemporary music and working with Colette and Carla as joyful. Kay also appreciates the talented musicians. She values her choir friends and has made good friends with a group of single women, who she lovingly refers to as “merry widows plus one” (Kay being the plus one).
Advent’s involvement with its neighbors and community is important to Kay. She specifically mentioned Advent’s work with: the Nest, Feed My Starving Children, CROSS, and Avenues for Youth. Kay volunteers in the Feed My Starving Children office every Friday. She said buying and wrapping gifts for people who live at Avenues for Youth this past Christmas fed her spirit.
Kay is a member of the ELCA Minneapolis Synod social justice committee. Advent has been involved in the SOAR (Strategic Outcome Against Racism) project since its inception. The committee is working on restoring voting rights to felons. Kay spoke before the senate judiciary committee at the state capital on behalf of SOAR and the Lutheran community. She commented that “I think it’s our duty as Christians to be educated about social justice.” Kay and Emily Bouvier of the synod office presented information on voter disenfranchisement in Minnesota at an Advent all-age event in February. When Rich Felt heard Kay was going to the hearing about restoring voting rights to felons, he told Pastor Elizabeth, “Kay Swanson is the real deal!” Hearing Rich's comment was special for Kay.
Music connects us to God and allows our hearts to sing His praises. Thank you, people of Advent, for understanding how important music is to our worship and for promoting social justice in our community. Advent’s generosity to the Nest, FMSC, CROSS, and Avenues for Youth is essential to keep these vital ministries in our community strong.