She keeps ringing the bell
On March 22, 2020, only weeks into this pandemic and with no clear sense of how long this would last, I rang the bell with my family. I was only just then learning the contours of Facebook Live (the video bears that out with not one but TWO ringings, and some accidental “behind the camera” commentary). We know a bit more about Facebook Live now as it has become a platform for worship each Sunday at 10:30 AM.
Since that day in March over 1 year ago, so many have kept that bell ringing. It has rung continuously in honor of those who have died from COVID, and as a reminder for all who hear it that there is hope and future opened by love.
That post-pandemic future seems much closer and clearer now than it did last March, even as the need for vigilance and “finishing strong” remains (sometimes catchy phrases from the “ole ball coach” can’t be easily forgotten, and are widely applicable).
Sadly, each day, we have many more names and spirits to honor with the ringing of that bell.
And we do, with the fierce tenacity of love.
Thank you to everyone who has rung the bell this last year, especially Janet Connell who has made it her ministry every day to keep the bell tolling at 10:00 AM. After months of signups, and so many people and families sharing in the ringing (see some of them here), Janet noticed that there were gaps that needed to be filled. She would drive by daily at 10:00 AM to see if anyone was able to ring that day. If not, she would.
And she hasn’t stopped ringing it since.
Evelyn Cartmill’s family has embraced this tradition, and wants Janet to keep ringing it, including this Saturday at 10:00 AM to begin the visitation for Evelyn in the historic sanctuary. I suspect Evelyn is smiling wide at Janet’s determination in the spirit of love.
The sounds of that bell will wrap South Elkhorn and our community in love and hope, just as we seek to wrap ourselves and all the world in Christ’s deeper way of love.