St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Monday, July 16, 2018

Music Ministry




NOTES from the LOFT 


Don't miss the Bells of the Bay in concert at St. Paul’s THIS SUNDAY at 4 PM. Bells of the Bay, an all-volunteer community handbell choir from Maryland’s Eastern Shore will present Great Hymns of the Church. There is no charge, but a freewill offering will be taken. This return engagement promises to bring you an afternoon of blessings. 

Great Hymns of the Church includes a sampler of traditional hymns, gospel hymns, spirituals and everything in between. All demonstrate the wide range of beautiful music that can be played on hand bells and hand chimes.

This concert is much more than just another special musical presentation at St. Paul’s. It represents the latest chapter in a continuing story about long lost treasures being discovered and brought back to life to fulfill their intended purpose.  

Approximately five years ago, as Artistic Director of Bells of the Bay, I was contacted by the Minister of Music at St Phillips Episcopal Church in Quantico Maryland. She discovered a set of donated handbells that were stored in a closet for over 25 years and never used. In fact, the bells were still in their original plastic wrappings from the factory!

After prayerful deliberations, the lay leadership at St. Phillip’s decided to lend the previously unused bells to Bells of the Bay. Several years later, they made Bells of the Bay the permanent curator of their bells. As a result of their generosity, the “forgotten” bells have been used regularly and continuously to advance Bells of the Bay’s three-fold mission:

Present high quality handbell concerts that inspire, educate and entertain

Present educational programs that recruit non-ringers to play bells, help current ringers learn new ringing techniques and improve their current ringing techniques

Encourage churches/organizations to launch new or relaunch dormant bell choirs 

In one the most gratifying moments of the Bells of the Bay’s relatively short history, we presented a “thank you” concert at St. Phillips several years ago. Afterwards, we were told by the son of the original donor (his deceased mother) that she must be smiling down from heaven to see her gift being used with such passion, love and care.


Blessings, Shelley