Of course we want to do this......but would you believe that we have no way to ring the bell as of today?
On the first Sunday of December, the rope to the bell broke. I asked a child to ring the bell to start off worship and when she pulled on the rope it rang once and then snapped. The rope dropped through the small chiseled hole in the ceiling. We both were surprised. With a limp rope in her hand, she looked at me sheepishly as if she wasn't sure if I would scold her for pulling to hard. "Wow! You are strong!" I exclaimed. We laughed together and worship began without the toll of the bell.
"How can we reattach the rope" I asked John Davis and Bob Watson. They investigated to see if the rope could be reattached or if it would need a new rope, etc. The best solution was to get up in the tower (again) and install a new rope. Sounds easy, except that the tower is 60 feet high. It is easy to get to the roof of the church, but still a climb into the "portico" where the bell hangs.
A smart mother of three told me to call the fire department. A neighbor suggested we use the cherry picker that she is renting in January when they "undecorate" the neighborhood Christmas Tree. John said he might have a friend with a ladder in the meantime. None of us want to send John up on a 60 foot ladder. None of us want to wait for the safer solution of a cherry picker in January. So we go back to the suggestion posed by the mother of three children under age 5. She was right. Call the fire department.
And in light of the Governor's call to communities, we all felt that the fire department would be more than willing to come out. The Fire Chief has said he is coming out tomorrow with the ladder truck.
When we gather on Thursday Night as a community for the Olivet Tree Lighting and Community Dinner, we will have a time of ringing the Bell as well. At about 6:30, we will conclude our dinner with the tolling of the bell.
Then on Friday, at 9:30am, we will join others around the state and possibly the nation in this solemn act of remembering.
Where ever you are, remember to go outside and listen for the bells.