Three Bells and All is Well

The last Thursday of every month, people from the local Lutheran church prepare and offer a free meal to all who come.  Until now, "Last Thursdays" came and went for us.  This week we decided to go and check it out. We arrived toward the end of the evening.  (Husband had been raking MORE leaves in anticipation of the rain that would fall later.)  Still there was plenty--hot chicken sandwiches, a choice of three soups, potato chips, fresh vegetables, and several wonderful desserts!

While intended to provide practical assistance to those experiencing hardship due to the economy, they also have seen many single adults turn out for the fellowship.  Since the "Last Thursday" in November falls on Thanksgiving Day, they plan to serve Thanksgiving dinner at noon with all the trimmings. What a great ministry!

The three bells?  I found out last night.  Three small congregations united in the early '60s.  When the new building was built, the bells from the original three church buildings were mounted and are displayed like this near the entrance of this Holy Trinity church.

The use of the bells to mark the time stems from the period when seamen couldn’t afford a personal timepiece and even if they could, they had no idea on how to tell time with such an instrument. So bells marked the hours of the watch in half-hour increments. The seamen would know if it were morning, noon, or night. Each watch was four hours long.

Every crew member shared watch duty, maintaining a constant watch for danger and helping to insure the safety of all souls aboard. The end of each of the six watches were signaled by eight bells. The crewmember would announce, “Eight bells and all is well” as he turned over duty to the next seaman.

Said one explanation about this custom: “Watch is the most important duty aboard any vessel. We each serve a watch for our fellow man while living this life….”
...and that's just as true NOW as THEN!


  1. Loved your post Rebecca...I remember scenes in a few movies of bells ringing and those words spoken!

    "Compassionate Watching and Listening" are two activities that would help all if done by all!

    Luv and Smiles,

  2. Wonderful post Rebecca. Loved the 'watch' explaination and wish I lived close enough to attend the Last Thursday dinners!

    I find your blog so comforting.

    Hugs to you,

  3. Many churches in areas surrounding my tiny town are providing ministries like this...Michigan is in hard financial times and the lines are long. I love that they are having the Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. And as always, i come away from your blog informed, :-)

  4. Rebecca, one of my best friends goes to the Lutheran Church and they are always reaching out and helping others, something we could all learn from....great post my friend and have a wonderful weekend.......:-) Hugs

  5. Oh Rebecca, I so enjoy small towns. It is one of the reasons we moved here to this little one in the North of Pennsylvania.

    Thank you for sharing dear friend.

    Grace to you dear one,


  6. Oh I so agree, we are here to watch out for one another. I loved the bells. One day I will do a post about the bell in our church. It has an interesting history.
    We Lutherans are notorious for our many potluck meals. We are forever joking about it. As a matter of fact we are having a weeny roast with chilly tomorrow night. Want to come? All are welcome! Love Di

  7. I love it!!! Yes...we watch out for one another!! Great post, always give me a wonderful takeaway, meditation!!! I walk away with a gem every time I visit!!! I love the way you've added tabs to your blog...that makes it so much easier to navigate to your other lovely sites!!! I really like the Hermitage Inn...what a wonderful concept for a blog!!! I'm all admiration...How do you maintain it all so beautifully!!! You are such a talented lady!!! ~Janine XO


Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)