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Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia
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Newport News, VA 23606-4231
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Thankful Thursdays Bell Ringing

Update July 28, 2020 -- #DiosovaRingsOut bell ringing      
For some time now churches in our diocese have been invited to ring their church bells on Thursdays at noon for three minutes to express appreciation for health care workers and first responders.  As the pandemic continues to affect our lives we all realize the heroic efforts of health care workers and first responders serving on the front lines of the pandemic response.  
During the last months as parishes have engaged in bell ringing some have noted, in addition to those on the front lines of the pandemic struggle, our communities are also deeply struggling with other challenges: racial disparity, food insecurity, affordable housing, economic equality, issues of social justice and the list goes on.  
Perhaps members in your parish leadership would like to highlight prayerfully those challenges too. It could be helpful for your parish leadership to discuss or highlight those struggles as well while the bell ringing continues.  Should you decide to highlight these or other struggles in your community, you are encouraged to use the hashtag #DiosovaRingsOut on Facebook or Instagram. Whatever direction or decisions you make, thank you for offering your continuing prayers of remembrance and thanksgivings through the ringing  of church bells.


During the COVID-19 crisis health care workers and first responders in our communities are working unceasingly, placing themselves at personal risk to provide needed health care and comfort in this time of crisis.  Often they find themselves providing care without the benefit of needed supplies for themselves and those they are caring for – yet still they continue their work.  In cities across the country communities have tried to show their support and thanks for the efforts of these heroes from their homes.  The Diocese of Southern Virginia invites all congregations to join this effort to let our health care workers and first responders know that their care and commitment to others is appreciated beyond what words can express.  Our churches have rung bells in time of sorrow and in times of joy – now we can ring them to let health care workers and first responders know that we are praying for them and appreciate their efforts to care for our communities.  We invite each church ring their bells for three minutes each Thursday at noon until this crisis subsides. (Churches are cautioned that bell ringing should only be done safely, honoring the guidelines established by the Governor’s stay-at-home order.)

Additionally we offer the following prayer:

God, each day as we take shelter in our homes to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we know that our healthcare workers and first responders are not able to stay safe at home.  Instead, they place themselves at risk, working long hours battling the virus on the front lines, often without the protective equipment to keep them safe and limited medical resources.  Yet each day they use the gifts you have given them, compassion, skill and dedication, to comfort, protect and heal those who have been infected.  We pray, Lord, that you wrap your loving arms around them, shield them, sustain them and renew their strength as they do their life-saving work. Amen.

Post your prayers and thanksgivings using #SoVaGrateful

In addition, we encourage you to use the hashtag  #SoVaGrateful to post your prayers, thoughts and thanksgivings on Facebook and Instagram.  Our hope is that health care workers and first responders will be uplifted by our posts and find comfort in knowing that their service and commitment is valued.

Last Published: July 28, 2020 4:01 PM