Monday, March 18, 2002

Hebron Crossroads
by Jeff Gill

When the trillium blooms in the woodland undergrowth, Spring has begun. Wednesday was the official, astronomical vernal equinox, and marks the calendar start of the season, but every year I look for the bright, three-petalled splashes on semi-shady north slopes under tree cover to tell me that the time has come around again.

Crocuses can be fooled, and even the forsythia seems a bit off this year, but trillium is for me what dogwood blossoms are for many. The brightness of their white petals and the richness of the offset three green leaves are a subtle but unmistakable sign, and somehow they've just come to be spring-ness for me. If you're driving the auto loop at Dawes Arboretum, one of the most reliable patches is just to your left after you've passed the Beard-Green cemetery. That area also often contains some pink and speckled trillium, which may very well be a rarity, but give me plain old vanilla trillium any day.
Once the trillium has blossomed, then the color bursts of redbud, dogwood, forsythia, and other spring blossoms attract attention upwards. Trillium reminds us that spring begins right at ground level, and is worth a closer look.

Many folks in the Lakewood area are preparing for Spring Break travel with their families, and of course our college students are looking at some exotic climes for their time off. I'm also hearing more frequently about students using spring break for special study opportunities, to check out co-ops and internships, or to go on mission trips with their churches or campus ministries. As for the old "when I was in college. . ."; well, when I was in college, we spent most of the winter trying to figure out how to get to Ft. Lauderdale, so kudos to today's college students.

Before the vacation period, Rick Black of our school board and Jim Dobos are co-chairing the effort to pass a schools levy on the May 7 ballot. They have an interesting idea on signs, which we'll hear more about soon. The basic concept is based on putting down the misapprehension that the school district is spending vast sums of its own money on pushing levies -- not true, and interestingly, the folks putting up the money for levy attempts are ones who will pay the most in property taxes when one passes, which ought to tell us something about the usefulness of those levies for growth and development! Rick and Jim will have small yard signs for sale that they want to see blossom all over the district like trillium and daffodils combined, saying something like "I paid for this sign, and I support the Lakewood levy!" Someone was really thinking there . . . Rick must have asked Beth for advice.

Jim is also putting his time, as well as his money where his mouth is, working to get the intermediate school boys' soccer program running. Right now he has more boys interested than he has coaches. Lots of assistants, but very few coaches, so help Jim out! I worked alongside Jim and his wife at National Trails parking cars; I was "working for" the Jail Ministries program, and they and their kids were working to raise money to get the girls' soccer program going at the high school. They're putting in their best effort, and they only need a little of ours to get these great youth programs going.

Next weekend I plan to have a list of all the Easter activities I can track down information about at area churches. Tops on that list will be the Easter Sunrise Service at Dawes by the Shelter House (just to the left as you enter).
We've outgrown the Japanese Gardens, and with Jacksontown United Methodist joining Hebron Christian and Hebron United Methodist Churches in celebrating the dawn of new life at 6:30 am March 31, we expect to see many friendly faces by the light of a new day. If your church has a piece of info for me, please call 928-4066 and leave a message or e-mail

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church, and a lover of trillium in blossom in the wild and morels in the skillet at home. If you have signs of spring or Easter information to share with him, use the contact info above.