At 11:00am on a quiet Sunday morning, the last Sunday of the year, the bell of the Kendalia Community Church rang out 33 times. Maxie Jonas rang the bell as Valarie Hicks read the names of loved ones who had passed away in 2008.
Dr. Bo Kelly, pastor, opened the program with scripture reading and then shared the story of the effects and power of bell ringing as a part of religious tradition. Approximately 60 people had gathered under the oak trees to listen and hear the bell rung as the name of each loved one was read. Dr. Kelly explained this was an instance of the perennial role of bells, and today this bell was rung in memory of Resurrection. Regular morning services followed the ceremony.
After church, children served hot chocolate and cookies under the trees. The weather cooperated and the group drew much comfort from each other as they were able to visit and share their stories. The bell rang a sad note this Sunday as we said goodbye, but each Sunday morning local residents hear it ring out in welcome as services begin.