Church bells to ring in memory of COVID-19 victims

0
1330
On Jan. 19, Mount Sterling United Methodist Church will ring the church bells in remembrance of victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The church’s bell tower dates back to 1911.

(Posted Jan. 8, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

At 5:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Mount Sterling United Methodist Church will join churches across the country in ringing their church bells in remembrance of victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Dec. 31, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced he is planning a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor those who have died as a result of the virus. The ceremony will take place on Jan. 19, the day before he is sworn into office. His inaugural committee is inviting communities to light up buildings and ring church bells that day in “a national moment of unity and remembrance.”

“In Madison County, 26 of our loved ones have died of the virus, and this just seems to be a meaningful way to remember those folks and to celebrate all they meant to our communities,” said Rev. Sue McClelland, who serves as secretary at Mount Sterling United Methodist Church and is a retired deacon.

Dr. Rev. Karen Crawford, the church’s pastor, has invited other area churches to join in by ringing their bells. At services at the church, she regularly offers up prayers to those directly impacted by the pandemic.

The church has not yet decided how many times they will toll the bells, but the number will correlate in some way with the toll the pandemic has taken locally and/or nationally.

“I think it will help people take pause and reflect on all those people’s lives,” McClelland said.

As of Jan. 7, Madison County Public Health was reporting a total of 3,119 cases of COVID-19 in the county since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 2,773 have been confirmed cases; 346 have been probable cases. There have been 124 hospitalizations and 26 deaths as a result of the virus. The median age of cases in the county is 44 years old. The youngest person in the county reported to have contracted the virus was 5 months old; the oldest was 98 years old.

As of Jan. 8, the Ohio Department of Health was reporting a total of 753,068 cases across the state since the start of the pandemic, 40,469 hospitalizations, and 9,462 deaths.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting more than 21 million cases and nearly 360,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.