Of Church Bells and Community

As I sit here at the Five Points Starbucks in Historic Franklin, cornering a table and watching people as I write, I am reminded of the strong sense of community here and how it is something that I crave wherever I live. Churches are one of the pillars of community and just this morning I passed the church between home and here that serenades us with the peal of hymns each hour, not an everyday occurrence elsewhere.

Yet as I thought about it, I realized that everywhere my wife and I have lived for the better part of our more than two decades together has been within earshot of church bells, a fact that had never dawned on me before. Whether the Methodist church here in Franklin, the Congregational church in Nantucket, the Presbyterian church in Celebration, the Presbyterian church in Mount Dora or the Methodist church in Savannah, we have been blessed to live near these pillars of community.

Another recurring theme at the places we’ve called home is our proximity to each town’s other community outposts such as the post office, public library, city hall and local bank. It is no small pleasure to be able to take care of life’s business within walking distance of home and it is not a convenience that I take for granted. My wife and I have made it a point to live in various versions of “Mayberry” and we cherish the sense of community.