Reformation Sunday, October 25th
Consecration of the LOTI Bell
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
On Reformation Sunday, October 25th, we will begin the first of three special Sunday morning worship services to celebrate the arrival, the blessing and the installation of the new bronze bell at Lake of the Isles. The bell is presently aboard a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. In a few days, it will arrive in the port of Charleston, South Carolina and from there it will be transported to Minnesota. The first service on Reformation Sunday will be an opportunity for everyone to see the bell. It will be positioned in the sanctuary for a liturgy of blessing. The following Sunday, which is All Saints Sunday on November 1st, the bell will be rung to remember those who have died in the past year. And then during the next week, the bell will be raised into the tower and permanently installed. On Remembrance Sunday, November 8th, the bell will at last call people to church and be used as a part of the Sunday morning worship.
Church bells have been a part of Christian worship since 400 AD. Over the centuries, even the ringing and pealing of bells became more complex as sets of bells were placed into towers. Although there are new ways to call people to worship service, bells continue to play an esthetic role in the life of the Christian community. Even as I have discussed the project with the church’s closest neighbors, I have only heard words of thankfulness. They are delighted to know that a new bell will be a proper “sounding” replacement, and they even contributed to the project.
The church choir and Sunday School are preparing for the October 25th service. The choir, together with a guest string ensemble, will perform a cantata by Dietrich Buxtehude, “Every Word and Deed.” The text is based on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians. “Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God.” It is a fitting text for such a special day reminding us that we do all things to the glory of God. This also fits the inscription on the bell, “Soli Deo Gloria,” Solely to the glory of God. The Sunday School will ring their own little bells for the service.
Thank you for all your gifts which have made this project possible. In countless ways, you are making the witness of Christ tangible and giving thanks to God – both now and for the future.