Marking History with a New Bell

Closeup of the top of the bronze labyrinth bell, suspended between two embellished clay columnsThroughout history, bells have called to us. Our own Paul Revere bell, hanging in the steeple, is used to mark the time, call to worship, commemorate an event, and memorialize a life. We often use a bell during Sunday services, children’s worship, and Buddhist meditation to welcome each other into silence, or into a spirit of wonder and reverence, or to return to the breath.

Assisted by the talents of church member and potter/artist Larry Elardo, we prepared another bell in celebration of our 375th year as a religious community. All North Parish members and friends – adults and children – were invited to participate in a communal art project commemorating our history. During two days of work sessions, carefully staged with COVID protocols, over 150 members brought personal mementos to leave their mark in clay slabs that Larry had prepared – medals, pendants, wedding rings, even an impression from the Paul Revere Bell that hangs in our steeple. The clay pieces were cut into sections and wrapped in plastic until Larry could assemble them on column forms back in his studio.

Larry also cast a 50-pound bronze bell, now suspended between two columns of clay, and the resulting piece of sculpture and sound has been installed in the labyrinth garden. We hope it will stand for many years as a witness of our community!

When and where?

Dedication of our new bell is scheduled for Sunday, October 24, to coincide with our annual birthday celebration. Weather-permitting, the dedication will occur in the labyrinth, following our regular worship service. All – children and adults – are invited to attend. Please wear masks.

Want to help make it an Extra Special Celebration?

We are looking for cookie bakers who will make and individually wrap bell-shaped cookies for the gathering. If you can help, email our church office.