By Kurt Snider, Director of Music Ministries
RING THOSE BELLS! IT'S SUNDAY!
I loved going to church every Sunday as a little boy growing up in Williamsport, IN. I remember waking up Sunday mornings hearing my mother practicing hymns in the living room on the piano. She was the church organist and that was her Sunday morning warm-up. I enjoyed listening to her play those Methodist hymns as I ate breakfast and got dressed for church. I wasn’t really a fan of those clip-on ties she bought for me to wear, but it was much better than what my sisters did to get ready. They had to take lots of time styling their hair usually in pony tails, wearing dresses, and sometimes fancy hats. I was glad I didn’t have to do all that and snapped my clip-on tie into place. Less than five seconds -- done!
One could hear the church bell being rung throughout town beginning about 30 minutes before the church service was to begin. The Williamsport United Methodist Church was located just above Indiana’s highest waterfalls. A beautiful church with stained glass windows, a pipe organ, piano, choir, pastor, and a bell tower located over the main entrance to the sanctuary. As you entered the church there was a small entrance room with a large rope coming down through the ceiling that was connected to the large bell that all the children enjoyed ringing every Sunday. We were told by one of the ushers about the bell located many feet above us and to be careful not to get the rope wrapped around us as it could be dangerous and you could be pulled up to the ceiling possibly upside down. I don’t remember that ever happening to anyone, but there was an usher standing beside as each child got their chance to ring the bell. That danger didn’t seem to stop us from ringing though and actually perhaps made it more special. We rang the bell and lived! Children stood in line waiting for their turn to ring the bell to let everyone in town know that church was about to begin. For several years it was the only church in town with a bell. Then another church at the other end of town got a bell and you would hear two bells ringing on Sunday mornings. Each church bell had different pitches and they were always ringing off beat from each other. I guess you could say we went from a one-bell town to a two-bell town! It was so nice to hear those bells ringing every Sunday and it gave us a wonderful feeling that it was Sunday. A special day of the week and a time to worship. Isn’t it funny how something as simple as ringing a bell can have so much meaning in one’s life?
The Choirs of Chestnut minister to all ages from children to teenagers to adults. We learn to sing and ring together primarily to contribute our praise and glory to the worship service. But Music at Chestnut goes beyond Worship. Music helps teach VBS, Christmas Pageants, and Musicals such as "Once Upon a Parable", Moses and the Freedom Fanatics", "Malice in the Palace", and "David and Goliath" just to name a few. Music Ministry at Chestnut reaches out into the community through concerts by our choirs as well as other groups such as "The Jeremiah People", Langley's "Heritage Band of America" and the "Virginia Wesleyan Choir". The world-renowned "Raleigh Ringers" Handbell Choir was also very well received by our congregation and the whole community! Participating in a choir at Chestnut is a wonderful experience with many benefits. You learn about music and tips on how to make music - and you may even make new Christian friends.
Chestnut offers opportunities for everyone to participate in Music Ministry - not only in Worship and hymn singing, but through the many singing and ringing choirs for all ages.
THE CHOIRS OF CHESTNUT
Tuesday Morning Bells
Tuesdays 11 a.m. -- Noon
Contact Kurt to attend
Wonderful Wednesday Children's Choir and Chimes
(plus arts and crafts!)
Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
Contact Dawn or Kurt to attend.
Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
Contact Carley to attend.
Thursdays at 6:15 p.m.
Contact Kurt to attend.
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Kurt to attend.
Music for Older Youth
Contact Kurt or Carley for solo, ensemble, choir and ringing opportunities.
For more information on Music Ministries at Chestnut, please email Kurt Snider, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-595-6531.