Saturday, May 18, 2002

The Church Window
May 2002 e-letter
Hebron Christian Church
Hebron, Ohio

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Come Have a Life-Changing Summer With Us!

May 19 - Pentecost Sunday
8:30 am van(s) depart for ClownTown worship in Newark
(at OSU-N)
10:30 am Worship

May 26 - Memorial Day Sunday
8:30 am worship continues through Labor Day!

May 27 (Mon.) - Memorial Day
Parade from Legion Hall to Hebron Cemetery
Observances by Legion and Gold Star Mothers

Hebron Christian Church, as part of 135th, will hold a
Wreath-Laying Ceremony for Thomas & Nancy Madden
Thomas was a Civil War veteran, founder, and first
"settled" pastor of our church.

June 9 - Graduate Recognition Sunday
Chi Rho (6-8th gr.) Campers leave for Camp Christian

June 15 (Sat.) - "Keep The Fire Burning" Bus Trip
to Camp Christian; this is part of our regional capital
campaign (plus picking up our kids from camp).
If you've never seen our crown jewel of the
Christian Church in Ohio, come get on the bus!

June 30 - CYF Phyo (9-12th gr.) Conference
at Camp Christian, thru July 6

June 30 - Work Trip group from Metropolis, IL
St. Paul Lutheran Church staying overnight

July 7 - Badger Partnership (3-5th gr.) Camp
at Templed Hills, thru July 13

July 26 (Fri. eve) to July 28 (in worship)
Hebron Community VBS
"Rainforest Adventure"
hosting congr. this year - Hebron UMC
hosts, crafts, and kids still needed!!!

Aug. 3 (Sat.) to Aug. 10
Hartford Fair in Croton
Prime Producers 4-H all week!

Aug. 11 - Land of Legend Barbershop Chorus
in 10:30 am worship

Sept. 8 - Rally Day and end of Early Service

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Notes From My Knapsack

Back in college, someone who knew i loved reading Chekhov's short stories and
Dostoyevsky's novels told me that i really needed to learn Russian, so i could appreciate all the more what i had been reading in the original languages. I promptly signed up for Russian 101, and spent a very long semester getting nowhere, in part no doubt due to failings on the part of the student, but also because the teacher admitted on the first day of class "I'm very sorry, but i actually don't speak Russian. I read it a little, and there are not enough Russian teachers, so you got me."

You have to appreciate her candor, but the obvious drawback was that we were all at sea in the the same boat, and fairly quickly the teacher lost control of the class. I still read Chekhov in English translation, if that tells you anything.

Later on, in seminary, when i learned to read Hebrew and enough Greek to fight my
way through a line-reading, i had the privilege of being taught by professors who knew
the language in question well, loved the history and the structure of them, and delighted bringing us along so that we might experience what they already knew.

My point here isn't really about languages, though; it is about teaching and learning.
The reading tutoring program at Hebron Elementary has been a pleasure to participate in, and often i regret how often i end up having to miss . . . but as few as they have, even my sporadic participation is a help. Michelle Henry and Judith Strain are doing a great job with what they have, but they need adults who love reading and can effectively communicate that love to their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.

We're about to have hundreds of new Hebron residents in the next few years. Believe it or not, you do have to learn to "speak Hebron" to truly enjoy living here. Obviously not a whole 'nother language, speaking Hebron is knowing some of the shorthand and customs and references that we all take for granted. Nosy, obstinate folk like myself will dig their way through on their own (kind of like how i had to learn the Cyrillic alphabet), but many will need help. How will we provide that? In the absence of Welcome Wagons and other now-bygone rituals of introduction, who will teach Hebron? It would be best if that can be done by those who know well and love the language.

And of course, there is the language of faith. We have our own dialect of it at Hebron Christian, one rich in nuance and meaning. I got a chance to see that so clearly last week as i taught a class in "what does it mean to be a Disciples of Christ pastor" at Methesco, but that's another story.

We have wonderful church school teachers and fellowship group leaders who have much to share about the language of faith, but we have a specific and unique task ahead in teaching the language of faith to ones who are barely literate in matters of the spirit. How can we teach this tongue to new Christians, renewed Disciples, recent arrivals in our church? It would be best if that can be done by those who know well and love the language.

What we don't want to do is teach the wrong language at the wrong time to the wrong people. This final thought occurred to me as i was listening to Jimmy Carter on the news, speaking in (no doubt Georgia-accented) Spanish to a Cuban audience. Two more different presidents than George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter you could not find, i daresay, but they have one thing in common. They both know that an effective politician in America today speaks Spanish, and they both do. Meanwhile, when i was preparing to enter seminary, i thought i was all set when i saw the recommendation in the catalogue (circa 1984) that "Latin and German" are useful languages for prospective pastors, and i had two years in each.

As i pastor, i've never used Latin or German -- but i've sure wished i knew some Spanish, if only to help make someone feel a little more comfortable in a difficult situation, and to speak the language of their heart. Anyone have an old Spanish textbook?

In Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jeff
Hebron Crossroads
by Jeff Gill

Don Thorp Field sounds pretty good, doesn't it? The only surprise was that it hadn't been named for him sooner. There's probably folks who've been calling Lakewood's diamond that for years already.

Out at Evans Park on Refugee Road, the evenings are drawing out so much longer now, which is a good thing considering that the ball fields are all filled most nights - with tee-ball, youth baseball, the occasional softball crew - and at the north end, soccer teams are running north-south, east-west, young and younger. Canal Park hosts girls' junior softball, and out at Thorp Field the annual hunt for boy's baseball victory is accompanied by the equally energetic Lakewood girl's softball line-up.If you haven't been to a ball game or soccer game this spring, you've really missed something. (Plus you can get a taco in a bag out at Evans for $2 from Jody or William, ask for extra peppers.)

At the Gill house, we're missing our three robin fledges, formerly chicks, formerly eggs. Right on schedule, 14-16 days after hatching, they flew away, and we wish them well. Truth be told, it is nice to have our front door back. Spring certainly is moving right along, no matter how cool it's gotten, if baby birds are already heading out of the nest.

Welcome to PAL Printing near the main crossroads on Main St., right next to the Duke/BP station. The former hardware/clock/body shop is now beautifully renovated into a top-notch looking print shop, and looks well worth our business! We'll let you know when word of "grand opening" activity is coming.

As you can tell, this is an "assorted items" column, with the rush of May events kind of washing past us; this is a good point to remind folks that if you have news of the Hebron area, this column is usually written and always turned in about a week to a week-and-a-half before the paper shows up in print. Next week, we'll have a full column of info about the summer programs at the Hebron Library, so if you have Vacation Bible School info from your church, ice cream socials or even particularly interesting yard sales (that means ones with lots of books), you need to e-mail me soonest at or call 928-4066.

Next Sunday Hebron Christian Church adds again the summer "early service" at 8:30 am, which is a shorter and simpler service especially for those who may have just the one day to head off on family outings and such. Worship together is a great way to begin a family day of any sort. This service runs through Labor Day and often approaches the 10:30 service in attendance! Other churches with summer schedule changes are also encouraged to let me know pronto.

Pat Miller and her daughter Beth Walters, long-time local residents as well as local realtors, will be putting out small American flags again for Memorial Day weekend, all along East Main Street. Saturday the 25 they'll be out in the morning planting them along the roadway if anyone wants to help, and they will usher in the simple, dignified parade on Monday at 10 am from the Legion Hall to Hebron Cemetery, where Memorial Day observances will be held.

Finally, National Trails is booming out its presence across the evening skies, and the Pontiac Nationals are just weeks away. Hey, Hebron Crossroads may even issue its first traffic reports for that week! Many of us will be ticket-ripping, car-parking, and concession-standing for our various teams and charities that week as we welcome 100,000 new neighbors. Stay tuned . . . oh, and Happy 4th Birthday, Christopher!