Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Notes From My Knapsack

Our new plantings and landscaping in front of the church, thanks to much hard work by Kent & Jenny Herreman, gives our building a whole new look inside and out.

Through the basement, light is shining within and activity can be seen without, and that alone was a good reason to make a change. Kent says he wants to put a bit of evergreen at the back of the arrangement, to add color and texture through the winter, but we’ll not go back to huge masses of shrubs that were home to poison ivy underneath and . . .

Well, speaking of homes, Jenny picked out one special plant to include in the three areas called "high bush blueberry." She tells us that this is the only plant Monarch butterfly larvae live and feed upon at that crucial stage of their amazing lifecycle from Ohio to Mexico and back again.

She had heard along with many of us about the blow a last winter to their habitat in Mexico, and how Monarch populations were at risk, so we’re going to give ‘em a bit of help on the northern end of their peregrinations.

After our VBS with the Methodist church, where we learned and sang about the glory and interconnectedness of creation, it feels right that we’re making sure our mission and service as a congregation, our stewardship of personal and natural resources, extends to even our landscaping along the National Road.

You’ll read elsewhere of some service we’re planning to perform on Sept. 11 this year; some service projects are obvious, and others just quietly work behind the scenes, or even under the surface of leaves on a high bush blueberry!

In Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jeff

* * *

"Respond To The Call – 9/11"

With the one year remembrance of 9-11 falling on Wed. this year, a number of programs during the day and memorial services at night are planned around the country.

Our church’s Homeland Ministries has suggested that Disciple congregations each find an appropriate service project in their area, in order to actually embody "responding to the call" of God’s love and the community’s need for healing after those terrible events a year ago.

At the last board meeting, we propose, depending on final approval by Hebron Village officials, to take on a project that has been needing willing workers for some time: to paint Hebron’s 400 fire hydrants, and put a stenciled "In memoriam – 9-11-01" at the base of each.

This effort to "Respond To The Call" is planned to begin around noon with folks available during a weekday (retirees, shift workers, etc.), pick up the help of older youth as school lets out, and through the evening muster a big push with teams dropping by for pizza and a drink on their way to designated stretches of hydrants, and a closing prayer and ice cream gathering between 8 and 9 or so. We will organize, and open involvement to anyone to help, with a special effort among the area churches and service organizations.

Stay tuned for more word on this wonderful opportunity to remember 9-11 with tangible shared service in witness to our common beliefs.

* * *

Youth Campout

Friday, Aug. 9 to Sat. the 10th

Smith Chapel UMC campgrounds on Reform Rd.

Info: call McNichols 928-1577

* * *

Our Women’s Fellowship assistance drive to collect socks and undies for New Beginnings and others totalled 448 items. Thanks for your support.

Right now, they are preparing to visit the hospice unit at LMH for a tour and background info; Ila Mason is looking for seamstresses to help make "bright" robes for hospice patients. Materials and pattern are available and waiting for you!

* * *

Regional Assembly
"The Vision and the Venture"

In Springfield October 18 & 19, our biannual regional assembly gathers for worship, fellowship, and some learning and service opportunities. See Mike Halter, Pastor Jeff, or any of the elders for more info. Base registration is $25 with some special purpose breakfasts and luncheons and an assembly dinner costing extra. Info is also available on hotels, but with Springfield just 60 miles away, some of us will travel back and forth eaach way.

After the retirement celebration for Howard Ratcliff, our long-time regional minister, on Sun., Aug. 18 at Gender Road church at 3 pm, this will be an important next step in setting "the vision and the venture" for our region’s ministries. Plan to attend and catch the vision!

* * *

Maribel Neel reported at board that at the Quadrennial in Louisville last month, of the 3,500 in attendance, 64 churches in Ohio sent quilt blocks for the "Quad quilt" with Hebron crossroads looking very well in the middle. The next quadrennial in 2006 will be held in Indianapolis.

* * *

Churches Grow

Warmer through fellowship
Deeper through discipleship
Stronger through worship
Broader through ministry
Larger through evangelism

Monday, July 29, 2002

Hebron Crossroads 8-4
By Jeff Gill

“There are scams coming at people from many directions nowadays,” says Paula Armentrout with the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Paula came a year ago at the invitation of the Hebron Police Department, and spoke at Hebron Christian Church on consumer frauds and con games.
“E-mail from Nigeria is one of the more popular ones going on now,” she confirmed, after I told her about a number of messages I’d gotten through e-mail. Some were almost verbatim the same message, but claiming to be either from the widow, son, or advisor to the late ruler of Nigeria. All have in common the pitch that, if you send me a thousand bucks, you will get a share of millions.
These kind of scams have been around for years, formerly coming through actual phone calls, all assuming that most will say “no thank you,” but banking on one in a hundred stopping to think . . . maybe. And if only one in a thousand actually falls for the scam; well, how hard is it to send ten thousand e-mails?
What’s more disturbing recently is the ploy of claiming Christian persecution by Moslems as part of their plight, and hoping to target churches, pastors, and the not-inconsiderable elderly population on-line with a pitch that appeals to their sense of solidarity with fellow believers under oppression. That, and just a touch of greed covered by a rationale of “think of all the good I could do with my ‘share’ of the money” is aimed at a traditionally trusting target audience.
“People should delete any e-mail unread that they don’t know the sender,” says Paula. The attorney general’s office is working with federal authorities to try to track down the scam-meisters, but you can help most by a) deleting these e-mails, b) tell others about this scam, and of course c) don’t send them money!
Also remember that the fall, like the spring, is a favorite time for the old fashioned door-to-door con game of “seal you driveway, ma’am?” or “sir, I noticed your chimney needed a little work.” If someone comes to your door unasked for with a too good to be true home improvement offer, treat them like an unsolicited e-mail and use your doorknob like a delete key. The so-called “Irish Travelers,” all with variations on the name “John Sherlock,” are regulars in central Ohio, so keep a wary eye.

This week is Hartford Fair week out by Croton, and many area 4-H families will be out there; that is, if they’re not heading for the Ohio State Fair in Columbus. Drew Cable and Aaron Dunkle of Prime Producers 4-H club got top awards at country judging, and will have their displays on (respectively) muskrat trapping and vegetable gardening over in Columbus.
The 4-H program in Ohio is celebrating a centennial this year, with their history of extension education through Ohio State going back to 1902. “Head, Hands, Health, and Heart” are the four h’s that this program helps young people learn to cultivate for the good of their “club, community, and world.”
Youth from Hebron and Union Township will have on display out at our 144 year old independent fair: hogs, sheep, Black Angus cattle, foods, clothing, computer projects, and more ingenuity than you can shake an elephant ear at! When you go to the fair, before you sit in the grandstand for the demolition derby, make sure to go through the 4-H club displays and the animal barns to see the proud results of another year of 4-H work.

Finally, some quick updates as fall creeps closer: Hebron Area Soccer Association for boys and girls from kindergarten to grade 8 is doing registration this Sat., Aug. 3, at the Middle School cafeteria from 8 to 11 am (for info call Jim at 522-5969); Hebron Trailblazers Youth Football is holding registrations on Aug. 14 & 21 from 6 to 8 pm (call 323-2880 for info). There are fees involved with both, varying as to program.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and can be found near the elephant ear booth this week. So if you want to reach him, you’ll have to go to Croton or e-mail him at disciple@voyager.net; or call 928-4066.