Thanks to former General Secretary
Synod on September 26 gave thanks for the service of former General Secretary, the Rev. Paul Swadling, a man described as tireless in his service to the church and unable to retire to golf due to his whole-life commitment to God.
Thanks was offered by past Moderator the Rev. Niall Reid, who worked closely with Mr Swadling during the latter parts of his period as General Secretary of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, 2005-2010.
Mr Reid recalled how his initial reservations about the opinionated and confident Mr Swadling evolved to become a deep respect for his “deep reverence to the holiness of God”.
“Paul is a person I have trusted for counsel in times of concern knowing he’d give a deeply considered response,” said Mr Reid.
Mr Swadling “retired” after the April 2010 Synod meeting and has spent the following year serving as Acting General Secretary of the New South Wales Ecumenical Council. His future plans involve further service to assist church bodies.
“I will always be grateful to God for being called to the role of General Secretary,” Mr Swadling responded.
“During my time as General Secretary some people told me that they wouldn’t have my job for anything. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
He thanked God for his staff, the people who had journeyed with him, those who he had disagreed with and those who had disagreed with him.
“As you travel on new and risky paths, be confident God is with you — especially when it doesn’t seem like it,” he said.