On Friday, Dec. 21, at 9:30 a.m. throughout the state, a moment of silence was joined by the ringing of church bells to honor victims of the Dec. 14 Newtown tragedy.

Bells rang 27 times, once for each person who died as the result of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Among the churches participating in the Greater New Milford area on a windy, rainy morning was the United Methodist Church on Danbury Road (Route 7 South).

The Rev. Paul Fleck read the names of those who died as church member Art Putnam rang the church's historic bell for each. About 20 church members were on hand to share in the experience.

The bell has served the church for 163 years, from 1849 to 1964 at the Methodist Church on Elm Street in the village center.

When the church relocated to Route 7, the bell hung next to the church sign in the front of the church.

In April, with Mr. Putnam among those to organize the move, the bell was transferred to the main entrance on the west side of the church, a move replete with restored stands and a permanent mounting on a bluestone pad.