Pulaski Heights UMC and friends make bells ring across Little Rock Dec. 6



Emily Erkel, center, and Bishop Gary Mueller, right, joined nearly 300 other participants in Pulaski Heights UMC Little Rock’s Dec. 6 effort to cover a full day of bell-ringing duty for the Salvation Army. Their service helped fill red kettles with cash donations in 22 locations around the capital city.

In 2013, the year after Pulaski Heights UMC’s centennial, senior pastor the Rev. Britt Skarda challenged the people of Pulaski Heights to contribute 101 hours of volunteer service to causes that had no direct connection with the congregation’s ministries. Church member Paula Watson, who had grown up ringing a Salvation Army bell each December, served as one of the coordinators for that first year as well as for the 2014 project.

“It works well, and I hope this will become an annual thing,” she said as she watched passersby add contributions to the kettle outside the west entrance to Dillard’s at Park Plaza Mall.

Watson, Meredith Kemper and Brenda Mize led the coordinating committee in ensuring that all 22 stations were staffed by Pulaski Heights members and friends. Among those participating were the Rev. Richard Lancaster, superintendent of the Central District, and the Rev. Mackey Yokem, executive director for mission and ministry for the Arkansas Conference.