Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Hebron Crossroads 12-21-03
By Jeff Gill

Christmas Eve services Wednesday night are all around the Hebron Crossroads.
Jacksontown United Methodist Church has their choir cantata Dec. 24 at 7:00 pm, called “The Light of the World.” On Christmas Sunday, Dec. 21 (if you get this that early!), they have a drama at their 9:15 am service only, “The Day After Christmas.”
Licking Baptist Church, north of town on Beaver Run Road, will share a musical in Sunday worship, “Christmas For a Change,” at 10:45 am, and their Christmas Eve service is at 7:00 pm.
Hebron United Methodist will have a candlelight service Dec. 24 at 11:00 pm, where they will repeat selections from their cantata on Dec. 21. On Sunday the full program includes a small orchestra to accompany their chancel choir!
Many area churches offer 7:00 pm services on Christmas Eve; First Community Church in Buckeye Lake has their candlelight service then, as do a number of lake area churches from Thornville to Millersport and on down the canal to Baltimore.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church has Midnight Mass, but you don’t want to get there at midnight for a seat.
And at Hebron Christian Church, we’ll hear a concert of piano and organ music from David Ford from 7 to 7:30 pm, when a Service of Lessons and Carols will include communion for our Christmas Eve, and a candlelight closing to “Silent Night.” The senior choir sings “The Shepherd’s Christmas” in worship Sunday Dec. 21, following a wonderful job by the junior choir with their musical last Sunday.
Hope you find a place to celebrate the season this week!

Speaking of music, there’s been a surfeit of great instrumental and choral performances these last few weeks in the Lakewood school district.
This columnist regrets not making it to every last one of ‘em, but from the Lakewood Holiday Concert Dec. 7 with high school bands and choirs, the Middle School Bands on Dec. 14, Hebron Elementary Dec. 15, and a middle school Choral Concert Dec. 16, it hasn’t been too much, but it is a richness of seasonal blessings.
A few passing thoughts. . .in the Swing Choir section, a great rendition of an “Alvin and the Chipmunks” favorite left me wondering if they were still shown anywhere; do the kids know why they’re singing like a speeded-up Ampex tape deck? But Judith Rauch and the gang sure sounded good.
The Jazz and Symphonic Bands were great as well, with the extra bonus of a guest conductor, Mr. Bill Fisher, a former Lakewood band director. I’m told Mr. Coffey has more guest conductors planned for future concerts, but it will be hard to top this sprightly veteran and his crisp direction from the podium. With his pedigree from Ohio University and the Navy School of Music he made a good match for Scott’s approach to his first year with this ensemble.
As to the middle schoolers, these ears enjoyed the “Pat-a-pan Processional” and “Ding-dong Merrily On High” in particular, but Rob Caldwell pointed out at the band concert how many of the sixth graders had just gone from once or twice a week to daily play, and what a leap they had made. The eighth graders, for whom this is old hat, are now ready to present smooth and steady renditions of “The Christmas Song” and they could even handel “For Unto Us.” The eighth grade choir did a great job on the blur of words crammed into the full version of “It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas,” and everyone together closed the concert in front of a backdrop and indoor snowfall that Bing and Rosemary should have seen. . .and would have enjoyed.
Many thanks not only to the hard working directors and behind the scenes folk like Martha Fickle and many Band Boosters, but to the crowded auditoriums each concert played for. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors and friends all came out and shared the applause that echoes into the practice room through the long hours of rehearsal to make it worthwhile. Let’s hear a round of applause for the audiences, too.

Community spirit has been much in evidence, not only with turnout for school events, but for meeting some other pressing needs. Hebron Elementary assisted 98 children in 36 families this holiday season, with many teachers and staff all going the extra mile to help make a brighter Christmas for families having a rough time this December.
But they give the main credit to everyone who went out and did a little extra shopping, put a special offering in the hat, or helped out to “adopt” these families. Companies like Dow, Meritor, and Brezina Construction; community groups like the Hebron Lions and the VFW; churches and individuals who gave of themselves all were part of the effort, and they appreciate the caring work at our local school.

At the village offices, they appreciate how many people really, really, really give of themselves: our regular blood donors through the American Red Cross. Nov. 25 we had 44 people come to give, with 38 units donated (plus many “helpers” who couldn’t give that day).
With the increasing success of this program down at the Municipal Complex on West Main, we began signing up donors as they left for time slots next time, which will be Feb. 13 from 1 to 6 pm. There are already 30 donors registered! What a great response from our Hebron community, and extra thanks to Don Kissack and the Hebron McDonald’s for their special incentives to donors.

A Merry Christmas to you and yours; God bless us, every one! And one more Crossroads tale in 2003 next week. . .

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and a bass (retired baritone). If you have a song in your heart to share, or news of local interest, call him at 928-4066 or e-mail disciple@voyager.net.