Save the Bells!

Stroudsburg UMC has a serious problem with our bell tower. It is 65 feet in height, made of beautiful stone, but is falling apart. In fact, some of the large stones fell onto the roof of our sanctuary and punctured holes right through the roof as they bounced down safely against the wall of the tower. The stones need to be put back into place and re-mortared. This is going to be a huge job even just to get to the problem area!

Last night we met with a contractor and all I could think about where the walls of Jericho that came tumbling down. The good news is we have a solid plan to address the situation and are hiring an expert in the field who has lots of experience with many other buildings, even some in very large cities like Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

During the meeting we heard about the continuing problem of vibration that can still cause additional damage, so we decided to turn off the bells in our tower to prevent those sound waves from adding to all the other vibrations. Our community is used to hearing the bell tower chimes at every quarter hour and we have heard many people who like to hear them. Now they are silent and need to remain silent until we get this problem fixed.

The other problem is the price tag of this project. Just to erect the scaffolding will be about half of the total price, which is approximately $145,000, and this is just to address the dangerous part, not a full overhaul and not even addressing the second, lower east tower.

So we are reaching out to our church members and the community at large seeking financial help to save the bells that ring in our community in which we serve. Just this morning, I was interviewed by Channel 16 and both the reporter and cameraman bravely climbed up to the very top of the tower to do the interview. I was amazed at their willingness to do such a thing! And believe me, those rickety old wooden ladders are scary!

Here’s the thing I was reminded about today: people are willing to do even risky things to do their job well and get the story so it can be presented. Getting the story is vitally important, but sometimes getting to the place to get the story is dangerous!

But God is always good and provides us with strength and courage. This is a huge project that can easily be accomplished with God’s help and the help of our church members and our surrounding community.

What are you willing to risk in supporting this project?


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