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Time for Remembrance and Communion
Every three hours at Questhaven, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Carillon Bells ring to remind us to stop what we are doing in the outer life and attune with God. So often we lose sight of the spiritual life we are striving to live more deeply. The bells remind us to reflect on what is truly Real.
Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the fact that Questhaven exists as it does and in such perfect surroundings. I feel as though it's the only true home I've ever had in my life, and wish to thank you for all the positive direction you've given me and humanity in general. Questhaven has truly changed and saved my life.
Guests from around the world enjoy practicing our custom of stopping to listen to the bells and recenter ourselves with God throughout the day.
The origins of the carillon can be traced back to the Low Countries of Europe in the 16th century. The Christward Ministry received its first carillon of English and harp bells known as an "Americana" Carillon in 1961. It was an exclusive development of Schulmerich Carillons of Pennsylvania and was donated by Paul and LaVerne Nielsen in loving memory of John Edward Gardner.
On August 27, 1961, a dedication ceremony of the bells was performed at Questhaven and consecrated these bells to Christ as the John Gardner Memorial Carillon.
These melodious bells will aid us to achieve a greater and a more steadfast worship of the Divine.
The bells provided almost 40 years of music with automatic daily programs made possible by player rolls. These operated very similarly as a player piano yet causing small hammers to strike bell chimes that were then magnified with a mic through outdoor speakers.
The structure around the bell speakers was built in the 1980s as a memorial for the wife of John Gardner, one of Questhaven's earliest and most dedicated residents, Esther Gardner Sullivan.
In 2000 this system was replaced by the current MAAS ROWE Carillons which uses a chronobell system with a compact disc player.
I love the call to centering that these bells ring out. Sometimes you are right in the middle of things, and it is surprising how difficult it is to stop. But when the bells ring, the focus comes as I take deep breaths and lift my eyes heavenward. I am grounded to the earth but lifted inwardly as those carillons ring forth.
Carillon Bells Tour
Click on the panoramic image to take a virtual tour of the Carillon Bells area, located on the hill above the church.