WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita pastor is encouraging congregations throughout the city to ring their bells at 7 p.m. each evening in honor of frontline workers.
“It would be a great way for us as a community to say thank you to those who are on the frontlines,” said Chapel Hill United Methodist Church Rev. Jeff Gannon.
Rev. Gannon said he was inspired to start the initiative after watching people in places like New York gather on their balconies to cheer for the essential employees.
“It gives me goosebumps to think that in the city the size of New York people can do this as a sign of unity, as a sign of gratitude. I think in Wichita, our way, even though we don’t live as densely together, we can still celebrate in this great way,” he said.
He said as a faith leader he felt called to show his gratitude.
“We are all in tough times. This is a difficult day in which we live, but I think as our faith teaches us we want to be people who recognize the fertility for human life and yet celebrate people who are willing to sacrifice and to give of themselves for a greater cause,” Rev. Gannon said.
Rev. Gannon was quick to add this includes more than healthcare workers. He wants the delivery drivers, sanitation workers, grocery store clerks, landscapers, and beyond to know their work matters.
“Whoever those persons are, this is for them. This is our way of saying you matter. You matter to God and you matter to us and this is our way of marking the moment every single day,” he said.
The ringing of the bells will begin on Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. They will ring for five minutes every night until further notice.
“Historically, bells were used to say pay attention, listen up and we think that bells are a great way for us to say it’s time for us to pray. It’s time for us to give thanks. It’s time for us to recognize those who are serving so faithfully,” Rev. Gannon said.
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