Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Church Window (print version) -– July 2002

Notes From My Knapsack

By the time you read this, 26 members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Metropolis, IL (yes, they have a Superman festival every year!) will have spent the night at the parsonage annex of the church. The pastor and his wife are old friends of Joyce’s and mine from University Church at Purdue (she was one of Joyce’s bridesmaids), and they’ve had a mission/study trip of senior highers and young adults work in Washington, DC at a shelter and day care center. They’ve slept on a variety of church basement floors and the like in a week-and-a-half of travel and community building.

In fact, Joyce and I really first became "a couple" while part of a work trip experience from UC/Purdue out to a conference center in New Mexico, and I’ve seen many more great benefits from participating in such a venture at other churches I’ve served.

If you’re thinking I’m going to recommend that Hebron Christian do such a thing, you’d be exactly correct. Whether it was to the Inman Christian Center in San Antonio, a Franciscan Mission on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, or to an inner-city church in Cincinnati, I believe both Christians and churches reap a rich harvest from doing mission work in an unfamiliar context.

Is there work that needs doing right here close to home? Sure there is, and there always will be. But a mission trip takes you, as Abby Daubenmire said in her great commencement address at Lakewood, "out of your comfort zone, where true learning and sharing can really happen." My co-director at Badger Camp, Jeanelle Gutheil of the Newark church, is taking the senior high youth and some adults to Cherokee, NC right after camp ends (now there’s commitment); they’ve been in recent years to southern WV and Benton Harbor, MI. They know Newark and Licking Co. still have needs, but the mission trip experience bonds the group together and opens up hearts and minds in a way a trip crosstown never would.

Whether we join Jeanelle and her crew, or choose a destination of our own, I hope Hebron will find a mission calling next summer. I need a new sleeping bag anyhow!

In Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jeff

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Youth Pool Plunge
McNichols’ Pool
Sun., July 28
4 pm to 6:30 pm
Come prune with us!
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Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Scouter July 02 – Licking District

Commissioner’s Corner
Jeff Gill, District Commish

For the first time in fourteen years, the registration fee for Scouting will increase to $10. While certainly not enjoyable news, the increase had long beeen expected. One thing that is good about it is, unlike the Post Office, the intention is to go on up to a useful round number that will, we hope, stay put for another 14 years.

All scouters should remember that the $10 registration is essentially the sole support of the National Council, which maintains the national database through which all registrations, youth and adult pass. The requirement for registration of all adults spending time with unit activities or at camp with scouts is so all names and info goes through that national database, which is a vital element of our overall Youth Protection strategy.

Recent events show that having a cross-referencable database keeps problem scouters from being run off of one unit and then another, with state or county lines helping hide a troublesome background. The registration systems lets us red flag credible accusations and black flag convictions and ensures national consistency in managing adult volunteers, in a way many other youth-serving organizations now envy. Superior to even criminal background checks, which only uncover convictions, this is a system worth paying for.

Of course, the counterpart of that point about the registration fee is that Simon Kenton Council doesn’t get a penny of it, nor does the district or, obviously, the pack or troop. Some units ask a total registration fee of everyone each year which incorporates the national $10 and additional unit fees, while others ask each scout to pay the ten and then asks dues each week or month for support of the unit. A few very well organized units charge no fee at all due to their fundraising, which pays all costs for each Scout.

However your unit does money management, as you prepare for Fall recruiting and Round-ups in your area, make sure to adjust your fees to reflect the new $10 registration.
Hebron Crossroads
By Jeff Gill

"Man, that’s hot," said Scott Walters, Hebron Village councilman. He
wasn’t referring to the hot summer day (which it was), or a heated
council discussion (it was a Saturday!). He wasn’t even referring to the
huge blaze of pallets, straw, and some well-placed flares behind him.
Scott, councilmember Mike Halter, and village administrator Mike
McFarland were talking about the 20-plus pounds of what firefighters call
"turnout gear" that they were wearing. More than halfway through the Ohio
Fire Academy program "Feel The Heat" for local officials, staff, and
media, the three were more than halfway to doubling their appreciation
for what firefighters do everyday, from 100 degrees to 20 below. . .and
it wasn’t 20 below.

Since 1998, more than 400 elected officials and others nominated by their
local fire chiefs have attended this day-long event, which is held two to
four times a year depending on interest. The intention of the program,
introduced and managed by State Fire Marshall Robert Rielage, is "to
ensure that local public officials understand their training dollars are
going toward the best quality training at a reasonable cost."

To do that, Scott and the two Mikes had crawled through dim, smoky
building mock-ups, clambered up ladders, and wielded hoses,
extinguishers, and rescue gear like the "Jaws of Life." Mike Halter
observed, "Those Jaws are heavier than they look, and they look heavy!"
After dismantling a well-worn ’87 Nova, the trio from Hebron went to the
next of seven stations for the day, where they learned about the pros and
cons of various kinds of nozzles and foams for fire suppression and

Lt. Rich Vance with the Hebron Fire Department drove the crew over to
Reynoldsburg, home of the state’s primary training facility right down
R oute 40, in Engine 5. Each occupied a jump seat and began the day
wearing everything from boots and bunker trousers to Nomex hood and
helmet, just as members of the HFD suit up whenever there’s a call that
takes them out of the sta tion. "What sounds small can get big in a hurry,
said Rich, "so whether it’s a fender-bender or a trash fire, if we’re
called out, we all suit up."

Your correspondent drove discreetly behind the engine, and had a much
cooler time of it in his civvies. Even at that, a full day mostly in
direct sun at 90 degrees and unthinkable humidity had this media weasel
in short-sleeves wilting, and quite frequently the crew was pulling on
their "self-contained bre athing apparatus" with mask, airhose, regulator,
and tank on the back.

A standard part of such "SCBA" gear nowadays is a "PASS device," for
"personal alert security system." Built into the regulator, the PASS
starts chirping when the firefighter wearing it either is unmoving for 15
seconds, or after a sharp blow. We all felt a bit of a chill when one was
first tested: the sound is that which was heard a thousand times over in
footage of 9-11 out of th e darkness after each tower fell. Those weren’t
car alarms, those were PASS devices on thousands of firemen who were just
getting back to their feet, and some hundreds who never did.

Actually, we all got used to the alert chirping a fter the first hour.
They claimed that, once on a fire scene, no one would stand still long
enough to set one off (or if they did, they weren’t working!), and even
we civilians started developing a "ten second twitch" to keep the a lert
at bay while waiting in line for the next evolution.

Except for lunch, the day was one evolution after another, with the heat
growing and energy clearly flagging. Mike McFarland had a little extra
motivation keeping him moving: his son Kevin, a firefighter/paramedic
with Violet Twp. "Feel The Heat" had participants from all over the
state, some of whom had left their home departments at 5 am to make the
trip to the Academy.

Faculty of the Ohio Fire Academy ran each station, so even when we were
riding a bucket on a Columbus fire truck up into the air and
"experiencing" its range of movement, there was a certain feeling of
confidence even in the most out there activi ties
The capstone of the day was the "burn building," a new construction at
the Academy just dedicated last May at a cost of $1.8 million. That may
sound like a lot for a modest, family size house with no furnishings or
ext erior decoration, but consider that it has been burned down about 50
times already and still looks pretty solid, and you can see what the
taxpayers are getting for their money.

"This structure is designed to be adjustable into a number of layouts so
both rookies and experienced firefighters can have a realistic and
challenging training event under a wide variety of conditions," said
Marshall Rielage. Obviously, a very simple scenario of a kitchen fire
just two rooms inside the front door was what awaited Mike and Kevin
McFarland as they had what’s probably the ultimate father-son bonding
experience, putting out a fire together.

At $5000 for a full rig of turnout gear for the individual fireman, to
the millions needed to maintain a top-flight training facility like the
OFA, five Hebron folks had a much clearer picture of what it takes to
maintain fire safety for a community as we made our weary way home. Y ou
can’t buy the heart and commitment it takes to put on that gear and go
out and fight fires, and you also can’t quantify the value that such
constant training brings to this vocation. "It’s a calling," said Mike
Halter, and this preacher clearly agrees.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and a fan of firehouse
cooking. If you know of an interesting story out of our community, call
him at 928-4066 or e-mail

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Hebron Crossroads
By Jeff Gill

Nancy Dix of Hebron asked me "Are you going see ‘American Originals’ at
the Ohio Historical Society?" We were waiting together for a training
program for leading tours out at Cranberry Bog for the Greater Buckeye
Lake Historical Society.

I assured her that wild horses couldn’t drag me away from being first in
line to see this selection of treasures from the National Archives,
traveling the cou ntry as an outreach program while their centerpiece, the
"Charters of Freedom" were temporarily stored away while new display
cases are constructed.

"And don’t forget to go back when the Emancipation Proclamation comes to
Oh io," she reminded me. As the new vice-president of the OHS board, and
with her husband one of the many special sponsors of the Emancipation
Proclamation visit, she was doing her part to get the word out, and
reminded this correspondent to let you all know some weeks ago, as well.
Going to see Abraham Lincoln’s signature up close (albeit through safety
glass) and reading the original text of this primary document in American
history was lure enough, but there were many reasons for me to make a
special effort to go back just to see five pieces of paper with misty
writing and a faded seal in a dimly-lit room.

Because of its being on paper (the Charters – Declaration, Constitution,
Bill of Rights – are on parchment, which ages better), and due to many
decades on display in direct sunlight, the Proclamation is only "out in
public" about six days a year, and Ohio got more than half of that time
this year. The i nk is deteriorating faster than the material its written
on, and the Archives don’t want to "love it to death."

When I was there at the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus, the crowds in
the American Originals exhibit hall were a te stimony to the attraction of
primary documents, the true texts of history. Many of these will be on
display for a few more weeks, along with a number of Ohio documents and
artifacts that are in the keeping of OHS. McKinley’s discharge from the
Civil War, Tecumseh’s signature on a treaty, everything but a receipt for
the non-existent bathtub Taft never got stuck in is there. But the
amusement and diversions of history took a back seat to the solemnity
showed by everyone, young and old, black, brown, and white, who waited in
the line to gaze, even if for a few moments at the Emancipation

While the effective date is "January 1, 1863," the document is signed on
September 22, 1862. Lincoln had long wanted to make a statement
clarifying the causes and reasons for the Civil War, anchoring the fight
in freedom for the enslaved. More moderate factions in his cabinet had
urged caution in provoking the South with such a statement, but by early
1862 Lincoln had set himself to issue such a proclamation after a Union
victory, so as not to appear weak in making the claim for emancipation.
This September, on the 17th, is the 140th anniversary of the single
bloodiest day in American history, with the Battle of Antietam. The
recent Civil War re-enactment at Infirmary Mound Park gave tribute to
this commemoration, which is good since this September all Am erica will
no doubt be focused on a one year anniversary that came dangerously close
to claiming Antietam’s tragic mark.

After the armies cautiously withdrew from Sharpsburg, Maryland on the
18th, Lincoln decided that this inconclusive engagement may be the
closest thing Gen. McClelland would give him towards a victory, and so it
was five days after Antietam that Lincoln signed the Emancipation

My great-great-grandfather fought hi s way with the 53rd Pennsylvania
across Bloody Lane at Antietam, and while he survived, was never quite
the same until his death not long after the way. He left part of himself
on the battlefield, where his unit slept that night among the cordwood-
stacked dead and the many wounded, just beside Bloody Lane.

What he and many others gave of themselves that day were the price
Lincoln needed to warrant signing the paper we all were looking at in
Columbus, Ohio on a summer day in 2002. Thank you to Nancy Dix and many
others who brought this memorial into our midst, and gave so many a
chance to remember.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church, and a genealogical
resear cher from time to time; if you have something you’d like Hebron
folk to remember, call 928-4066 or e-mail

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Hebron Crossroads
By Jeff Gill

It should come as a surprise to no one that U S Route 40, the National
Road and Hebron’s Main Street, has been named a "National Scenic Byway"
by the Federal Government.

Started with legislation signed by Thomas Jefferson and masterminded by
the brilliant Secretary of t he Treasury Albert Gallatin, the National
Road was the early 1800’s parallel to the Lewis and Clark expedition,
whose bicentennial largely overlaps the Ohio bicentennial celebrations
next year.

After Lewis and Clark returned, describing the wonders of the real estate
the Louisiana Purchase had added to the United States, everyone agreed
that we had to improve access to this asset. If the Corps of Discovery
expedition was the first "moon shot" endeavor of this country, then
building the National Road over the Alleghenies and the Ohio River was
the equivalent of the space shuttle program, making more everyday what
had been purely exceptional.

We love our bit of the National Road with good reason, knowing the
beauties of the view from Eagle’s Nest near Brownsville, the opening out
of the Appalachian foothills into the beginnings of the prairie at the
hill west of Jacksontown, and the steady straight progress from Sunset
Hill at Hebron on into Columbus and beyond to Indiana and Illinois.

But if you drive east, there’s the well-named Scenery Hill east of
Washington, PA; west Rt. 40 now goes well past the old capital of
Va ndalia, Illinois into western plains states that make Union and
Harrison Townships look downright mountainous!

There are also some special tax incentives and governmental
qualifications that can allow an area to benefit more fully f rom tourism
and preservation dollars with the "National Scenic Byway" designation,
and Hebron Crossroads will try to find out what some of these are and let
you know more details a little farther on down the road.

Don’t for get that almost every weekday during the summer there are
childrens’ and young adults’ programs at the Hebron Library on West Main
back of the Municipal Building. None of these require that you be in all
to enjoy each, so if you’ve missed a few, it is not too late to join in.

Finally, a number of you, this column in hand, have harassed a number of
TV stations and newspapers about where National Trails is. Channel 10,
WBNS, has capitulated utterly to the for ces of Hebronism, and has
promised to dateline drag races from "Hebron, Ohio," and can you all
please stop calling! 4 and 6 are still trying to figure out what hit
them, and we won’t talk about the Advocate. But some very nice peop le in
Luray have pointed out . . . well, Hebron is still the closest
incorporated community to the track, but local pride sure is a beautiful
thing, isn’t it?

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and a proud resi dent of .
. . yep, Hebron. But if you have news of neighboring communities, please
know you’ll get a fair hearing at 928-4066, or e-mail

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Monday, June 24, 2002

Civil War Re-enactment 29 - 30 June – "Living Alongside the Civil War"

Learning history can be sobering, exciting, and even fun, and the annual Civil War Re-enactment at Infirmary Mound Park always manages to combine all three.Union and Confederate units of men in authentic period regalia fire cannon, shoot rifles, and wield sabers as various engagements of the War Between the States are brought to life before Licking County residents.

This year, on June 29 & 30, the re-enactment will offer a replay of the Battle of Antietam's South Mountain, which took place 140 years ago this September. But Mary Beth Sills, special projects co-ordinator for the Licking Park District, wants to show us the "civilian home front" during the Civil War.
"Come see how women and non-combatant men lived their lives outside the war," offers Sills, "with a small log cabin below the battlefield site showing home crafts and activities from everyday life."

A Town Meeting and a Ladies’ Tea are also part of the program through the weekend, along with a chance to merge the home front and the combatants with the now traditional Military Ball at 8:30 pm on Saturday, June 29. A period dance workshop is included at the start of the ball for guests to learn authentic steps and patterns, so they can participate with the re-enactors.

Infirmary Mound Park is host to most of the events of the weekend, charging $5 per carload with the gates opening at 9:30 am each day. All events inside the park are then without further charge, except for "Dinner with the Troops" on Saturday which is an additional $5 per person.

But the Civil War weekend continues to expand beyond the park and the two days: On Friday, June 28 is "Lunch With Lincoln" at the Buxton Inn in Granville for $15 (call 587-2535 for more info). Also appearing with the Lincoln presenter is Gov. Dennison, who will speak about Civil War era issues at the re-enactment, while they are making a number of appearances in the area Friday night and Sunday morning, including First Presbyterian Church in Pataskala and at the Licking Township Hall in Jacksontown.

Of course the boom of artillery and the crackle of gunfire is a major attraction, and battle re-enactments will take place on Saturday at 10:30 and 11:30 am, and at noon on Sunday. For many visitors, the spectacle of units marching across a field and the fun of noisemaking is tempered by the realization of what’s being "re-enacted" when soldiers slide to the ground, leading (as most re-enactors hope) to a better understanding of what was at stake in our nation’s critical conflict.

This year will be even more jarring, with the focus on Sept. 17, 1862, which is the single bloodiest day in American history.

Antietam found itself briefly back in the news after Sept. 11, when it was thought that the death toll that day had surpassed the near 5,000 dead near Sharpsburg, Maryland 140 years ago. While the 9-11 toll finally subsided below the grim toll for Sept. 17, the parallels were and are striking.

For more information on this and many other summer programs for families, children, and everyone, call the Licking Park District office at 587-2535. The re-enactment grounds are open June 29 & 30 from 9:30 am to dusk, with a Military Ball on Saturday night at 8:30 pm after Dinner with the Troops. Admission is $5 a carload.

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Hebron Crossroads
By Jeff Gill

First Community Church in Buckeye Lake will hold their Vacation Bible School starting Monday evening, June 24, from 6 to 9 pm. "Veggie Town Values" is the theme for the five nights of lessons, games, activities, and snacks running through June 28.
If you would like more information on "Veggie Town" at First Community, call 928-46 15. There will also be pre-registration on June 22 from 11 am to 2 pm, and further questions can be answered there.

Hebron United Methodist Church and Hebron Christian Church will again do a joint VBS July 26 & 27, with the Methodist Church as the site this year.

Hope all you dads had a great Father’s Day last weekend, and congratulations to Dave Cable for being selected as "Father of the Year" for his assistance with Martha Cable getting her master’s degree and care of their four kids through that time . . . and it was cheering for many of us in the community when word came that Martha’s been hired to work in Lakewood Schools this year. Dave was recognized by Hebron Christian Church, which has recognized a "Mother of the Year" for many years, and decided this year to salute fathers in a similar manner.

Dave and many other dads spent their Father’s Day doing groundskeeping and coaching out at Evans Park on Refugee Road with the big invitational tournament June 15 & 16; no results were available at presstime. Other dads around the area may have to have you repeat "Happy Father’s Day" a few times, not because they’re fishing for compliments, but because they were out at National Trails for the Pontiac Excitement Nationals. As one of the ticket-rippers and car-parkers out there, I can attest to the value of a good pair of ear-plugs! The top-fuel competitions were awesome back in Hebron sitting in the back yard, let alone standing by the tower watching the christmas tree flash down to green.

The traditional thunderstorms came, and just as quickly went, on Friday and Saturday evenings, and congrats to all the track staff for how smoothly traffic flowed through all four days.

While we’re at it, though, it is both interesting and frustrating to hear the various geographic attributions for National Trails Raceway. To the Advocate’s credit, they frequently credit datelines to the nearest municipality, our fair "Hebron." Most of the Columbus area media says "Kirkersville," which no doubt derives from the last town Columbus reporters pass through before arriving at the track.

But on ESPN, the dateline is "Columbus, Ohio." Oh, well. In central Ohio, we should be used to such confusion over fine distinctions here in "flyover country." Not too long ago, an article in a New York publication talking about Les Wexner’s mansion said that it was "two hours south of Cleveland," which is a funny way to refer to a metro area larger than Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and even Baltimore!

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church, and not only knows where Hebron is, he can find Moscow, Amsterdam, and Luray on a map . . . a Licking County map, that is. If you have geographical oddities or news of interest to share, call 928-4066 or e-mail