Canby Church Bell Tolls 400 Times to Mark 400,000 Deaths from Coronavirus

The bells at Zoar Lutheran Church rang out today — not once, not twice, but 400 times — to mark the sad milestone of 400,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus.

Behind each pull of the bell was the church’s pastor, the Rev. Michelle Manicke, who documented the entire exercise in a 17-minute video on the Zoar Facebook page.

“Strangely, the longer I did it, the easier it got!” Manicke said afterward. “It became like a prayer.”

As Manicke explained in the video, Zoar was joining other churches that rang their bells 400 times today in solemn recognition of the “very sad milestone.”

“400 tolls of the bell for 400,000 deaths from Covid in the United States,” an only slightly winded Mannicke said at the end of the video. “Let’s pray.”

The pastor prayed that God would hold all who have passed from Covid in his loving care, and be with those still suffering from the disease.

“Be with all of us in this time,” she said. “We pray that the vaccine will come speedily to all so that we can be may free from the clutches of this virus. We pray that we may turn to you and not turn on each other. Give us your wisdom, Lord. Give us your peace. Give us your healing touch.”

While the United States has experienced more than 400,000 deaths related to the coronavirus, the state of Oregon has seen 1,816 — 141 of them linked to Clackamas County.

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