March 26, 2020

Dear Members and Friends,
 
Are you aware that the same foundry that created the Liberty Bell and Big Ben in London also created our bells housed in "Cranmer Tower" here at St. Martin's? That's right, the "Whitechapel Bell Foundry," which closed in 2017, created our lovely bells, along with the bells at our National Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, the "Clock Bells" at St. Paul's in London and the bells in Westminster Abbey.
 
We've had a few challenges with our bells of late, but we think we've worked out the kinks. And prompted by a few of our members, I am going to suggest that if you are driving by St. Martin's, are walking on our beautiful grounds or if you live near St. Martin's, well, "listen." The bells now chime on the hour, followed by tolls numbering the hour of the day.
 
And let them invite you to pause--especially in this season--and pray. Where ever you are, whatever time of day, when you hear these magnificent bells, consider using it as a "call to pray." In this time through which we are living, I would offer feel free to offer a much shorter prayer, but if you have more time, perhaps this will be helpful in crafting your own:
 
"Lord, as I hear now the bells of my beloved St. Martin's,
        -- I pause now to pray.
For the fear and worry many are facing...
For protection from illness, from sickness...
For those now infected with the Coronavirus...
   -- That they may be healed...
For those caring for them...
    -- That they may be strengthened...
For those who are dying...
    -- That they may be given peace...
For those who are grieving...
    -- That they may be comforted...
And finally Lord, we pray that you would not just
    carry us through this season, but bring about its speedy end...
Restore the health of Your children;
    Restore the vibrancy of our economy...
        Restore the faith of your sheep....
Turn the eyes and hearts of the world to You...
    that we, too, might know the hope and healing power of Your saving embrace.
In Your precious name Jesus, I pray.   Amen ."
 
Bless you dear friends; we will get through this together and with Him. I cannot wait until we can worship again together.
 
Laura joins me in sending our love. 
 
The Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr.
Rector