Friday, July 23, 2004

The Church Window
Hebron Christian Church newsletter – August 2004

Notes From My Knapsack

With the closing weeks of July, I’m thinking about the Armstrong boys.  As I write this before we go to Lake Michigan and a visit to Valparaiso, Lance Armstrong is looking like he will win the Tour de France for a record sixth time, and the world recalled the 35th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” July 20, 1969.

They aren’t related to each other (as far as I know) and they aren’t related to anyone in Hebron (ditto), but the connections to us are real and all around.  Lance is winning his big number 6, all coming after recovering from a very aggressive form of cancer and going through chemo.  How many do we know in our congregation and community who have or are about to face such a battle, and we can give thanks for such a public witness to how much quality living can come after a malignant diagnosis.

Neil is an Ohio boy, one we can be proud of in many ways.  But there’s something that happened on July 20, 1969 that few are aware of.  Armstrong’s associate in the Lunar Module, Buzz Aldrin, was an active layman in his Houston area Episcopal congregation.  Few knew until his published memoirs and then through Tom Hanks's Emmy- winning HBO mini-series, “From the Earth to the Moon” in 1998, that one of the first acts performed on the Moon’s surface was his taking communion prepared for him by his home church and carried in his personal allowance.  "The First Communion on the Moon" is also significant as the most far-flung act of worship ever, done 235,000 miles from Earth, shared by the only two occupants of that entire world.

Colonel Aldrin, with an earned doctorate in astrophysics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was acknowledged as the most highly educated of the first astronauts; he was a "true scientist," yet respected by peers as an unabashed Christian.  Michael Collins, the pilot of the Command Module circling the Moon, had taken communion along with him from the Episcopal National Cathedral for that day as well.  To have recalled the importance of including communion in their risky venture, and prepared carefully to allow the possibility of having communion amidst all the other mass of detail:  that’s heroism of a very special sort.

“HeroQuest” was the theme for our Hebron Community VBS hosted at the Methodist Church this year.  Last week, young and old were reminded of “heroic virtues,” versus the qualities of celebrity.  With “strength, courage, determination, daring, and love” a new view of what a hero can be was taught and shared and shown.  Names like Esther and Phillip came to life.

We will always need heroes; the only question is what kind of hero will we choose to follow, to imitate – what kind of hero others will see us honor.  Which is what our weekly worship in the name of Jesus Christ is all about!

In Grace & Peace, Pastor Jeff

PS – Don’t forget that the first day of school this year is August 23; it can sneak up on you.

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Youth Activities

The day leading into the opening VBS session Friday night, July 30, all 6 to 12th grade youth are invited to join at the church at 10 am to help paint the garage doors off Cully St.  They’ll go on to a quick lunch and a pool party at McNichol’s Mtn., and those not off to Band at 5 pm are welcome to assist with VBS.

Friday, Aug. 6, we’ll head off to Wyandot Lake for a day of aquatic fun and intensive hydrotherapy for pregnant youth advisors.  More details will go out on the phone tree or at the painting day.

And Tues., Aug. 10 there will be many of our younger church youth up at the Cloverbud Barn Tour with the Hartford Fair, starting at 3 pm.  Many of our families will be up there all or part of Aug. 8 through the 14th.  Those who aren’t, may well be at Band Camp the same week!

Then there’s the Sweet Corn Festival. . .

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Outdoor Worship and Picnic

“Rally Day” marks the return of a regular schedule of one Sunday service and multiple church school classes at 9:30 am (instead of the other way around!).  On Sept. 12, the first Sunday after Labor Day, we will gather for worship on the north side of the building, with straw bale seating (or what you bring to sit upon) and some special music for the occasion.

A potluck picnic will follow right after the benediction, so bring your basket one more time before you pack it away for the fall, and be ready to eat hearty!

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Note to Editor:  For general notes, Sharon Scheidegger was Troop 33 unit leader for the week at Camp Falling Rock, along with Scouts from Kirkersville, Pataskala, Newark, Granville, and Utica.

Pastor Jeff will be teaching a class for eight weeks in Reynoldsburg on Saturdays through late Aug., Sept. & early Oct. on “Disciples’ Theology of Worship” to our regional licensed lay ministers.

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