Church bells poised to ring
Everyone is invited to hear the handbells play.
At Sunday's 10:50 a.m. service, the Tonganoxie United Methodist Church handbell choir will make its debut.
Natalie Frese, who lives in Tonganoxie and teaches first grade in McLouth, directs the bell choir. The choir has learned quickly, Frese said.
"We got the bells in the summer, and we've had about four practice sessions," Frese said.
Performances will be held the second Sunday of each month, she added.
Rev. Paul Waters said church members had made special contributions to pay for the $2,300 set, which includes the cost of padded tables.
The bells were purchased from a Pennsylvania distributor. Hand bells are different from regular bells, Waters said.
"The clapper only strikes one way," Waters said.
"What's intriguing is that there is a variety of things that you can do with the bells," Waters said. "There is a regular ring, there's a tower ring where you swing it down at your side and back up again, and there's the muted ring where they just lay the bell on the pad and pick up the striker."
Frese said the bell choir on Sunday will perform, "Come Christians Join To Sing."
And the bell choir will continue to learn new songs.
"We'll work on some preludes and continue working on some Christmas music so that we're ready for December," Frese said.
It's taken a little bit of extra work to get everything ready, Frese added.
"It takes some time, but it's very rewarding," said Frese, who formerly participated in a hand bell choir in Abilene. "I love to play bells and I love to listen to bells.