For decades a bell was used to call folks to church on Sunday morning. Ringing loud and clear, it marked time, called the faithful, and announced weddings and other occasions. Leaning in the corner of the Pastor‘s office at Faith UMC is the clapper to the old church bell (shown in the photo). We no longer rely on a bell as we used to, time can be checked easy enough on a watch or phone, but this bell still has more to say. Upon closer examination it shows it’s scars, chips and wear from years of ringing, a testament to the many year of service to the congregants who have gathered at Faith UMC. This clapper has seen some things. Just how much has only recently come to mind for me. After having some historical records dropped off at the church and seeing bulletins for weddings, funerals, mortgage burnings, and ground breakings, only now have I come to truly appreciate this clapper. It rang for close to 100 years. Maybe it rang at your wedding, maybe it rang for the funeral of a loved one, maybe it rang the day you accepted Jesus into your heart. I can hear it now. Can you?
Not only does this clapper still speak, it sings, it beckons, it calls. It reminds me of the tradition of a church that has been around for 131 years in Coleman, a tradition that needs you for it to continue. The gospel of Jesus Christ is lived, it is enduring and cries out for community. It asks for us to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves and I think that can best be done in church, rubbing elbows with each other even if we disagree. God knows our ancestors did.
Easter is around the corner, a time when traditionally folks make it back to church. So in place of the bells that beckoned grandpa and grandma all those years ago I’ll ring this email/ notification chime. You are invited back to church, come and see. Join us for Easter, come for bunch at 9:30, catch up over a cheesy potato casserole and an egg bake. Come back and be in community, challenge yourself to have empathy for your fellow man, work alongside each other to build the kingdom here. Come back to church and discover who Jesus us with us.
I hear the bells ringing, do you?