Dedicated to Mary Bullis the Pastor of Red Mountain UMC in Mesa, Arizona for ten years. Her retirement was Sunday, June 13, 2016. Soleri Bells are made at Cosanti in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
When I attended a small country Church in Kansas, one of my favorite things to do was watch the Sunday School Superintendent reach for the rope attached to the bell in the steeple. As I anxiously waited, he had to tug awhile before I heard it ring. Once it began ringing, he merely maintained the momentum and kept pulling the rope. When he let go of the rope the ringing began to slow and eventually stop.
I loved hearing the sound of the bell over the countryside. The bell was the voice of the church, it rang and called others to come. However, that steeple bell was never in the church. It just did its job – calling others to come.
Faith Circle’s gift to Pastor Mary is the Soleri bell. It is not a noisy bell that rings all the time. Mary, when you hear the sweet sound of your bell, you will feel a tug at your heart as you remember the countless lives you have touched throughout your ministry and life.
When the bell rings, Mary,… remember how our church grew—our web page, our congregation, our youth program, our preschool, our music programs, including the choir, our organist, bell choir and ministries too numerous to mention. Together we created harmony, like a bell choir, touching the hearts of the young and old, and our church grew.
When the bell rings…think of school bells ringing and the schools and universities you attended to expand your education and career.
When the bell rings…think of the sweet sound of love as wedding bells rang for you in your life, and family, and for those that you had the honor of marrying.
When the bell rings… think of the new born babies that became a part of the church family.
When the bell rings… think of dinner bells and bar-be-ques, pizza Sunday, Thanksgiving dinner, Passover Seder and all the meals shared as a church family.
When the bell rings… think of sermons you shared and also the joy of EDGE night.
When the bell rings… think of all the churches you served and watched over as District Superintendent.
When the bell rings… think of all the volunteers that spent time serving the church.
When the bell rings… think of the Christmas season and music like Silver Bells, Sleigh Bells Ring are you Listening, Joy to the World and I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play. All the beautiful music and hymns throughout Advent season.
When the bell rings… think about Christmas Eve services and Easter Celebrations coming to an end, and you rested with joy in your heart.
When the bell rings…think of all those that took the journey to Arizona in the winter to be part of our church family, then returned to their homes in the summer.
When the bell rings… think of all the lives you touched through Youth programs, Vacation Bible School and Church camps.
When the bell rings…think of those you took on a journey to the Holy Lands.
When the bell rings… think of those you prayed for and ministered to through long illnesses, sorrow and God’s miracles. Some cancer centers have a bell hanging with a sign that says. Ring, bell, ring loud and clear, my cancer treatment is over and I’m out of here. Some rang bells to celebrate recovery; others ran bells because their souls went to heaven.
When the bell rings…think of those you anointed as they spent their last days on earth.
When sitting on your patio with Paul in the evening, with a little breeze, you will hear your Soleri bell ring. Look at the sky and you will see the heavens twinkling. That is because they are telling you – a job well done, my faithful servant.
When your bell rings, Mary, we know it will continue to ring and you won’t lose the momentum in this chapter of your life. We wish you love, peace, good health and happiness. Enjoy this Soleri bell, and the love for you that it represents.
Ring out the Old, Ring in the New, Ring, Happy Bells, May God Bless You.