Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Hebron Crossroads 8-31-03
by Jeff Gill

A couple weeks ago, on a Sunday evening out at Evans Park on Refugee Road, Prime Producers 4-H celebrated the close of their season of activity.
Some 40 model rockets went up into the air once, twice, some even four times, as the 4-H’ers launched their group projects towards, if not into, space.
The sky and the winds co-operated, with the gentlest of breezes and feathers of cirrus clouds giving depth to the air and a screen for the changing colors of sunset. The last few launches, as the sun dipped below the western horizons, had visible orange trails capped in a red-gold “pop” as the descent charge fired from the top of the engine to push off the nosecone and deploy the drogue chute.
Martha and Dave Cable have done a great job with these 40 kids since February, and they deserve congratulations all around for their work, which has resulted in recognition through Hartford Fair judging for the members in woodwork, cooking, sewing, and of course, model rocketry among many others. The rockets, by the way, were homemade by the kids, with fins hand cut from card stock, drinking straws for launch guides, and cones each uniquely lathe turned from foam. After a few flights they also had a fair amount of duct tape on them, too, but they flew just as well as store bought.
The Cable’s son David let my Little Guy “launch” his rocket a few times after the first round, and take it home, where he hasn’t hardly let it out of his sight.
By the time you read this, we’ll have started kindergarten at Hebron Elementary; it’s hard to believe that he wasn’t even two when we first moved back to Licking County four years ago this week. This is our fifth Sweet Corn Festival, and from being our “first night” outing with a babe in stroller, to this year riding in the Greater Buckeye Lake Historical Society rocketship: what a long, strange trip it’s been! The rocket, by the way, is from one of the great old rides at Buckeye Lake Park that the society has on display in their Museum on Walnut near the Post Office.
Oh, and y’all have put up with my blather for two years now; thanks for writing and e-mailing and calling and saying nice things in line at the store, and a shout-out to Les Anspaugh and Joe Reed who let us know these columns actually get read.
The best way I can thank excellent editor Amy, though, is to get back to work. . .
Local updates: Hebron Village blood drive on Friday, Sept. 5 from 1 to 6 pm; come bleed with us! “Respond To The Call” community service project on Sept. 11 (and can you believe that it has been two years now since that grim day?), starting at the picnic shelter from 10 am to ??? as we paint our way to the two pedestrian bridges at the east end of the park.
Lakewood football got started, and we’ve got some home games coming up to cheer on down at Calhoun Field; the grounds crew would like us to not park on the grass, since we’ve got plenty of paved parking all around the campus, from the intermediate school to the back of the high school. C’mon folks, most of us need the walk, and you’ll have to work off the Band Booster food anyhow; let the people with the blue handicap permits have the close-in spots and stay off the grass! Save the mudbog event for the Lancaster fair next month.
Lakewood Band. . .well, all I can say is you gotta see ‘em, but they have a new look, new uniforms, new routines, and even a new walk off the field. Yeah, and a drum major with a few tricks too. . .
Speaking of schools, a little news reminder combined with an editorial. The staff at all the buildings (and for you foreign readers, this pretty much applies to all of Licking County and beyond, I’m fairly sure) tell parents that kids can’t bring medication of any sort to school, including cough drops or throat lozenges, and that kids found giving any kind of pill or capsule to a fellow student, even if it’s a painkiller found at the cash register of any convenience store, will be suspended.
I’ve heard quite a few parents groan, roll their eyes, and say how dumb they think that kind of rule is. Friends, can I ask you all to think it through for a moment? The teachers and staff are not pharmacists, and they can’t waste time monitoring medication transfers on the playground or in the back rows of classrooms. You may say it’s easy to tell “drugs” from a Tylenol, but that’s not their job and I don’t want it to be, either (and how do you know it’s that easy, hmmmm?).
The point is there’s no need for kids to be medicating other kids. Once swallowed, if a student says “he just gave me an aspirin,” how do you know what that was? So please, back up the administration on this one, and tell your kids this is how it needs to be, and send necessary meds to school through the office with the signed form.
Between paving potholed parking and painting in almost every building (love those steps at Hebron), Lakewood schools are looking good. We're looking good with some improvement from the last year, with room to look better at "continuous improvement" (see for full info), and with the average experience of our teaching staff at 14 years, one year better than the state average. Let’s keep Lakewood looking good, inside and out!

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and parent of a new kindergardener (try typing that word three times fast); if you have first day tales or news of local interest, call 928-4066 or e-mail

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Notes From My Knapsack – The Church Window Sept. 2003

Many of you saw the article in the Advocate recently that quoted Bob and John Slater, along with their sister Mary Alice Dernberger, about the impact of Buckeye Egg Farm’s closing on local markets for farmers large and small.

We often don’t think about how what we don’t like is involved in what we do like: washing dishes makes the next hearty meal possible, kitty cats have litter boxes to clean, and lovely green lawns gotta be mowed. We want cheap eggs and family farms in our area, but it is so easy to say “and Buckeye Egg has to go!”

I’m sure I’d be less than thrilled to have 4000 layers in a battery just west of us, but there are ways we all have to tend to the maintenance and building of community that are easy to miss is reality right now.

“Respond To The Call” will have a number of us observing the second anniversary of 9-11 with a very everyday task that needs doing: painting the bridges and shelters in Canal Park. It doesn’t just happen, but peeling and decay do, so obviously the need to tend things on an ongoing basis is part of the very structure of creation – nothing just takes care of itself.

That would seem to me a reason to believe that we’re called to find a deeper meaning, a wider value, and even some joy is those mundane tasks that God refuses to take away from us. We may find someone else to do some of them, we may be able to say “not in my backyard,” but sooner or later we all have to do our part somehow, and why not find the blessing in the middle of what appears to be a curse?

Since I’m already looking forward to the fellowship of the work and the satisfaction at the end of the day that we felt last year with the fire hydrant project, I know that must be part of the blessing. But are there more blessings waiting to be found?

Why don’t you come join us and see? Beth Walters and I will be looking for you at Cumberland and Canal on Thursday, Sept. 11 after 10 am, when we commemorate the day and “Respond To The Call!”

In Grace and Peace, Pastor Jeff

Fall Bible Study: The Book of Acts!
Wed. at 10 am starting October 1

Coming soon: “The Purpose-Driven Life”
An invitation will be extended to the entire congregation
From the elders, who are finishing a study of
“The Purpose-Driven Church,”
to join in a 40 day discipline of reading/listening
together with these 40 meditations.
If you’ve already read Rick Warren’s book,
please let Pastor Jeff know!