The NYC Liberty Bill Has Been Saved
On Wednesday, June 16, we saved the NYC Liberty bell from our belfry, and transported it to the New York Historical Society, where it will be featured in an exhibit this on the resiliency of NYC for the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
A crew safely rescued the bell from the remains of our building—which was terribly damaged in a catastrophic fire December 5, 2020. Fortunately the bell was completely intact, and when we brought to the ground Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis rang the bell 19 times—commemorating both Juneteenth and the first enslaved Africans brought to this nation in 1619. The bells echoes are reminder of the yawning gulf that remains between our nation’s foundational promises, and the systemic racism that still separates us from them. And it’s a promise that we will do everything in our power to enact those dreams in law and culture. We aren’t liberated yet. But damn it, we’ll be free.
While the bell is now safe, we still have so much work to do in order to rebuild our sanctuary. If you would like help us rise from this fire in fierce love, click here to make a donation. No gift is too big or too small! We are so grateful for your support—we cannot rise without it.
Historic bell that survived fire taken to temporary home (Associated Press)
A Beautiful Rescue
The construction did a beautiful job saving the bell from it’s home with the help of a massive crane. Skilled technicians attached ropes to the top of the bell, which allowed the team to gently lower it to street level. Once it hovered above the ground, Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis and Council Member Carlina Rivera were able to ring the bell for freedom—a proclamation and promise that Middle will be rebuilt. In this slideshow, you can see what remains of our sanctuary after the fire, but also the joyous determination of our ministers and congregation to build a new testament to our fierce love. The end of this slideshow features images from the new exhibit at the New York Historical Society, which tells both the story of our bell and our congregation.