Reed City church improves hearing loop

REED CITY — It was talked about for a good long time, but many people didn’t seem to hear how valuable it could be for certain people within the church to get in the loop.

The “Loop” is actually a hearing loop. It is meant to help those with hearing problems, specifically those with hearing aids and the needed “hearing loop,” hear better.

While it didn’t become a reality some time back when it was first discussed, when it was thought to be cost prohibitive, more and more members of Reed City United Methodist Church have reached the age when at least thinking about having a hearing aid is a distinct reality.

For many, the cost of not having access to the hearing loop also means they no longer have access to the church services, the sermons, the enjoyment of Sunday’s Christmas program presented by the children of the church, or just being a part of.

That has changed thanks to donations and on-going contributions that have allowed the church to become the first, or at least among the first, church in this area to have such a system installed.

First talked about months, even years ago, it happened last week.

After the church council approved it, Larry Zomer “sold” it to the congregation. He addressed church members a couple of consecutive Sundays, first talking normally, then so quietly no one even the hearing Unimpaired couldn’t hear him, then switched to garbly, and said that’s what many members now try to deal with every Sunday morning.

He noted it wasn’t fair, and didn’t allow the Word to be brought to the people.

And so it was, a plea went out to help provide for the new hearing loop system. The plea was answered thanks to those who could help others too. The Young at Hearts senior group immediately offered to contribute a portion to make sure those who could not afford to have the hearing loop installed in their own hearing aids, now would be able to do so.

Contacts were made in within the past week, the carpet was cut, the cement beneath sawed with a little crevice surrounding the pew areas throughout the church, the lines placed within, and hookups made to the sound system, cement dust cleaned up, carpet placed, and on Sunday, the big test was at hand.

It was a special morning. The morning service included the children’s Christmas program, and lots of visitors came to see and in many cases, for the first time in many years, hear the program from start to finish. One lady had tears in her eyes after, saying it was the first time it wasn’t “all muffled.”

Pastor Kathy Cadarette said before the service began as she looked out over the congregation, that the smile on one lady’s face said it all. She could hear what was going on. There was no longer a barrier.

The difference between changing the volume in hopes some may be able to pick up the service in a different range, is that with the loop, it feeds directly into the hearing aid. Used in airports throughout the country to make sure hearing impaired passengers will know when to board and hear other important messages, it is a blessing, one man noted, “and now we have the same blessing right here in our church.”

Healings, in a sense, hearing restored. Three little words uttered by one man: “I can hear!”