Church Bells

Dear CCOV Family,

Guten Tag von Deutschland!  Clint and I are finishing up our vacation later this week and are looking forward to seeing you next at 10 AM, Sunday, August 19 for an informal worship service in Hayden Hall.

We are staying with former neighbors in the same rural farming village where we lived from 1996-1999, when Clint was in the Army.  Massweiler has a beautiful church in the center of the village, and church bells ring to regulate village life, at least ostensibly, just as they have for centuries—even though Europe in general grows increasingly post Christian.   Bells ring every fifteen minutes to mark off time.  They ring to call the faithful to mass as well as to weddings and funerals.  Three times daily they ring in a distinctive way to call people to prayer—at 6:45 AM, at noon, and at 6:30 PM.  But almost no one ever stops at those times to pray.  Almost no one goes to mass, which is now only held two Sundays per month in response to the limited demand.

Similarly, our communities at home are regulated less and less by the life of the church.  Mainline Protestant churches have thinned significantly— and evangelical as well as Catholic churches are following suit, albeit at a slower rate.  I find this sad, frankly.  As Europe and America grow increasingly secular, we lose sight of Spirit and forget that we are first and foremost souls on a journey through this material world.  Worship and prayer, however, remind us of what (and Whose) we truly are.
Tonight when the prayer bells ring, I will pause to remember that I have a soul.  May we all take time to worship and pray.
Alles Gut,
Rev. Sandi

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