January 18, 2021
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The Bells Of COVID

By: Patrick Norton
January 8, 2021

Spiritual connections have always been an important part of community in the United States and Sonoma County is no different.  For many of us, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or any one of the many spiritual organizations that give us a landing pad to share our beliefs, so many of us consider our spiritual homes to be a critical part of our life.  We learn to take our faith connections for granted.  And then comes COVID and it all changes.  Spiritual meeting places are closed.  Our landing pads become Zoom sessions.  We lose friends and family members to COVID. Our jobs disappear or if we are lucky – we might be able to work from home.  

The Community Church of Sebastopol has been one of those landing pads for the community dating back to 1885.  And now, like so many spiritual communities, everything has changed. These spiritual communities are our families. In many cases, they are our only family.  So, what has changed?  Everything.  The church used to provide facilities for over 30 12-step meetings a week, wedding space, pre-school, dances, basketball games, choir, Sunday services, youth groups and the list goes on.  

One of the groups that met and provided music periodically throughout the year was the handbell choir.  Twelve to eighteen members of the choir would gather in the church’s sanctuary, practice and perform.  Now with COVID restrictions, what was normal for the group, is no longer possible.  Karna Roa, the director of the group and a professional wedding photographer, with no weddings, had time on her hands. One of the many challenges Karna was facing, regarding the handbell choir, was the necessity for the members of the group to share bells during practice as well as performances. This was no longer possible.  Using an application found online, Karna was able to stitch together remote individual member performances into one seemingly unified group.  According to Karna, “not only did this afford us the ability to create music, but it allowed us to bring in performers from other states.”  In addition, Karna stated, “the group has developed the ability to make more music than ever before and at the same time the creativity required has brought us all closer together.” Karna said, “The possibilities for the group now seem endless.”

We are all sick of COVID but the forced closings and restrictions to our daily lives has also brought out our creativity in ways we may not have dreamed of prior.  Creativity that will have a lasting and positive impact when the current crisis has ended.

(48) Special Music: How Can I Keep From Ringing - YouTube

For more information contact:

Gary Bachelor, Sebastopol 707-235-3582