LAKE GEORGE — The church is closed, but its bell is still performing in-person ministry.
Caldwell Presbyterian Church used its bell to thank first responders during the first wave of coronavirus in the spring. Every day, someone pulled on the heavy rope 50 times to thank first responders in every state.
Now the church has turned to the bell again, this time to honor those who died of coronavirus.
On Tuesday, a series of three church members rang the bell 400 times, to honor the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died.
Outside, church members lined the sidewalks at a distance from each other, holding lights.
“We’re hoping to lift the spirits of our community. We haven’t had a church event since the sanctuary closed last march,” said church member David King.
In the fall, a handful of members were allowed inside for church services, but as the virus caseload roared back up, everything went online again. Caldwell never actually stopped: during the in-person services, most people were watching online.
Only three people entered the building to ring the bell.
“We’re being extra safe,” King said, adding of the members standing outside, “They’re social distancing. We’re good at following rules.”