Music Made in Heaven Fall 2021 (Vol. 9)
Our Ringing Reunion!
MMIH is ringing “in-person” again with pandemic precautions! Our new “three Rs” are resilience, resourcefulness and renewed appreciation!
Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity and calls for flexibility, adaptability and a positive attitude. In 2020, MMIH ringers adapted to virtual performances, creating our own “recording studios” in our homes.

Resourcefulness is the theme of our return to ringing in-person. Vaccinated and masked, we have returned to First Baptist Church Raleigh to ring in a very different arrangement. As the picture shows, we are rehearsing in the sanctuary balcony, at individual tables on different levels, safely spaced and each with our own music folders.
We have renewed appreciation for the First Baptist Church music staff for including us in their planning for a return to in-person ringing and allowing us to use their tables set up in the sanctuary with adequate ventilation and space. Of course, our gratefulness goes back to the beginning of our group in 2004, for the many pre-pandemic years we have enjoyed using the actual handbell rehearsal room and dedicated storage space. We are forever indebted to many folks at FBC who have facilitated our very being and encouraged our growth along the way over all these years!

Our only confirmed event for this fall is the Longest Night Service at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church on Tuesday, December 21, at 7 p.m. Please check the Events page on our website for more details and any additional upcoming performances as they get booked.

We all pray that this “new normal” will not last for a long time and wish the best to all our readers and supporters!
Check Out Our New Website
Our new website went live in September!

The streamlined and mobile-friendly site incorporates new images and videos. We’ve also added the inscriptions for each bell that has been donated – just click on the individual names on the “Our Children” page to read each one.
Our next project is to add the memories parents have provided to us about their children. These stories, which we began collecting in January 2020, are shared with the ringers at the rehearsal nearest the child’s birthday. We also read the inscription and ring the individual bell as our way to continually remember and celebrate the lives of the children represented by these bells.
Many parents have shared with us special moments, personality characteristics and other meaningful stories about their children. We will be reaching out to our donors to ask if they would like this information – as well as a photo – included on our website.

Some of our ringers have already allowed us to post memories of their children and other relatives:

We hope these improvements to our website help you learn more about our group, remember our children and keep up with our activities.
Meet Our New Board
Music Made in Heaven has formed a new board to help steer our group toward a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure we have adequate resources to advance our mission.

The board consists of:

  • Elizabeth (Libby) Barnes is the creator and founder of MMIH. Professionally, she has enjoyed experiences in state government (counseling young people), a large corporate environment (training supervisor), a start-up software company (director of operations), and as an entrepreneur. She has served in various leadership roles in her church, including twice as deacon chair. She also served as a representative to an international organization for her denomination. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Furman University. She and her husband, Walt, are the parents of three children.
  • Ann Cobb is a retired human resources professional with extensive public sector experience. She has been a human resources director for several agencies in Tennessee and North Carolina state governments. In her tenure with the North Carolina Office of State Personnel, Ann served as the statewide director for human resources development before being appointed deputy director/chief operating officer. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in training and development from North Carolina State University.
  • Barbara Marley began directing handbells in 1995 at First United Methodist Church in Cary, a volunteer position which she still holds. She was a member of The Raleigh Ringers for 13-1/2 years over the ensuing time. Her current passion, however, is Music Made in Heaven. She feels privileged and blessed to have been their director for the past eight years, and is looking forward with eagerness and enthusiasm to all the possibilities the future brings!
  • Robin Marley recently retired from 37 years at IBM and Lenovo, where he worked in management positions in sales, marketing and business development. He has held leadership and volunteer positions with First Methodist Church in Cary. He has a special affection for MMIH and handbells generally as the spouse of Director Barbara Marley. They are the parents of two adult children.
  • Pam Powell has been writing since she was a child. She has worked with some iconic companies, including South Progress Corporation (publisher of Southern Living, Cooking Light and Oxmoor House books), Reader’s Digest Publications and Larsen Design. Currently, she is development coordinator with Methodist Home for Children. She has a degree in English literature and journalism from Samford University and a certificate in social media management from North Carolina State University. She is the mother of Phillip, a senior at Muhlenberg College.
  • Tom Robinson is a certified public accountant and certified financial planner with over 35 years’ experience in business. He works primarily with small businesses, nonprofits and individuals. For 14 years he was executive director of The Ministry Incubator, a shared workspace environment for nonprofits and ministries that operated in downtown Raleigh. Tom and his wife Linda have two adult sons.
  • Sterling Smith is a graduate of the University of Florida in electrical engineering. He spent 38.5 years with IBM in Florida and North Carolina, where he designed and developed integrated circuit chip and electronic cards. The latter part of his career involved leading teams in software architecture and design. He retired in 2020 and spends his time on home projects and playing as much golf as possible. Sterling and his wife Tricia are ringers in MMIH.

Thank you to these new members for commitment to serve!
You Can Help
We greatly appreciate all financial contributions made to Music Made in Heaven as they help offset costs for the purchase of music and auxiliary equipment, insurance on the bells, printing and communication, and upkeep of our website.

One gift that fits all is a donation to Music Made in Heaven in honor of someone or in memory of a loved one. A beautiful certificate can be sent to the recipient letting them know of your thoughtful gift. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, holiday gift or just a thoughtful gesture, email your request to or call 919-373-0103.

For more ways to donate, please visit our website and don’t forget to choose Music Made in Heaven as your donation recipient when shopping iGive and AmazonSmile.
As always, thank you for your support!
Music Made in Heaven is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.