Known for its healthy and generous weekly potlucks and robust singing, the Farmington church in Farmington, Maine, has sought creative ways to continue fellowship and music during the current nationwide health crisis. Over the spring and summer months, members bring sack lunches and enjoy a physically-distanced picnic outside. But what to do about congregational singing and special music—something for which the church is well-known?
Enter Peter Wannamacher, a member newly-relocated to western Maine. Wannamacher loves music—and improvising appears to be one of his many talents. He introduced the group to a two-octave set of handbells. With clearly marked music and notes on screen, Wannamacher directed the bell ringers through the first stanza of a favorite hymn. And it was almost miraculous! Not only did beautiful music “ring” through the sanctuary once again, the joy of participating and making music was palpable. What a creative way to have member participation and enjoy the hymns they so love. It became clear that the bells would continue to play an important role in the Sabbath service going forward.
Recently, Mason, Tori, and Phoebe Wills rang these bells for special music. What a joy to see the young people participating and praising God.
“We await the day we can sing with our fellow church members. Until then, we lift our praise to our Creator through our bell ringing and rejoice that both members and community can still experience amazing music at the Farmington church,” said Terri Neil, Farmington church communication secretary.
—Communication staff, Farmington church