Sunday, April 27, 2008

St. Luke's Ringers Host Tomorrow's Learners

St. Luke's Guild of Change Ringers is always on the lookout for ways to introduce ourselves to the parish. One way to do this is to invite the Sunday School classes -- from kindergarten to 4th grade -- to visit the tower. Through April and into May, each class will get its turn to climb up to the bells and have a go at chiming or ringing a bell during the Sunday School hour.

This last Sunday, April 5th, was the first of the Sunday School classes, the 2nd and 3rd graders. Unlike many adults, most of the kids know no fear, so for an hour the tower is filled with eagerness and enthusiasm to see and try everything. Our spiral staircase leading up to the dead room and belfry is an adventure in itself for most kids this age. Sawyer Gosnell, our steeplekeeper, has become quite expert at managing 6 or 7 kids at once standing next to the bell frame to see all the bells hanging in the frame, watching one of the larger bells turn over several times, and fielding hundreds of questions.

Paper and crayons are available for drawing pictures of the experience. The pictures, many of them very interesting and quite dramatic, are displayed in the tower stairwell. Bell shaped cookies, of course, top off the visit.

In addition to entertaining and educating our St. Luke's kids about our bells, their visits are also providing us with chances to audition kids for the “children’s chiming band” we are developing to involve younger parishioners in service ringing as well as to introduce them to change ringing. It is our hope that this generation will grow up thinking of tower bells as a regular part of church -- a place they can look forward to being a part of!

Judith Smith