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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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Hebron Crossroads 8-01-04
By Jeff Gill
35 ThingsThe latest internet infection isn’t a computer virus, it’s a game inviting webloggers (or “bloggers” in web parlance) to answer these questions for themselves, post ‘em on yer blog, and send to friends. . .or enemies, as the case may be.
With not quite a blog as much as a dumping site for my text materials, I’ll still while away a lazy summer day and threaten to waste part of yours with “35 Things,” starting. . . now!
1. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR BEDROOM WALLS? Colonial white.2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? N.T. Wright's The New Testament and the People of God. Have I mentioned I’m a pastor?3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A Columbus Zoo menagerie.4. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Bored by such games, I am, but “Candy Land – Pooh edition” has been a favorite with the Little Guy.5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Atlantic Monthly, followed closely by National Geographic.6. FAVORITE SMELL? Fresh-brewed coffee.7. FAVORITE COLOR? Forest green.8. LEAST FAVORITE COLOR? Blue-green institutional wall paint.9. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE PICKS UP? Four. 10. MOST IMPORTANT MATERIAL THING IN MY LIFE? Material? Our house, I suppose. We love it.11. FAVORITE FLAVOR OF ICE CREAM? Vanilla with fresh fruit on top.12. DO YOU BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT DAILY? Possibly; who’s asking?13. DO YOU HAVE A STUFFED ANIMAL IN YOUR ROOM SOMEWHERE? Nowadays, we’re more a hard plastic humanoid figure underfoot household.14. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY? Cool, way cool.15. FAVORITE DRINK? Starbucks red-eye with a shot of hazelnut flavor (it’s a coffe drink, people). 16. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? August.17. FAVORITE VEGETABLES? Green peas, just like Thomas Jefferson – although the resemblance ends there. 18. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Columnist and book reviewer, which describes being a parson pretty well, too.19. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY COLOR HAIR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Sandy brown is fine, thanks.20. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE? Yes.21. TOP THREE FAVORITE MOVIES (IN ORDER)? Ow.....I can't rank them. Three of my favorites would be Holiday Inn, Casablanca and Local Hero. 22. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? No, especially recently. 23. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? Nothing; my Lovely Wife is a neat fre. . .tidy person.24. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NUMBER? 5.  Or 4.  Maybe 3.  1 is fine, and 2 is nice.  How do you have a favorite number, anyhow?25. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH ON TV & IN PERSON?  Baseball in person. On TV, very little; golf if the course looks nice and they turn up the bird noise.
26. WHAT IS YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST FEAR? Leaving my son behind somewhere (no, not yet, thanks for asking).27. FAVORITE CD OF ALL TIME & RIGHT NOW? Auugghh.  Why did I start this?  There’s a Michael W. Smith praise music CD called “Worship” that I play too much these days, and of all time is probably a Mahler symphony, but don’t ask me which one.  Or Billy Joel’s “The Stranger.”28. FAVORITE TV SHOW OF ALL TIME & RIGHT NOW? Fawlty Towers, all time, or “Northern Exposure.”  (“Twin Peaks” on Prozac, high dosage).  Currently, “Weather on the Eights” at The Weather Channel. 29. HAMBURGERS OR HOT DOGS? Hamburgers, unless Hebrew Nationals are available.30. THE COOLEST PLACES YOU'VE EVER BEEN? Colonial Williamsburg, and the Mount of Olives at sunset over Jerusalem.31. WHAT WALLPAPER AND/OR SCREENSAVER IS ON YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW? Rembrandt’s “The Old Philosopher At His Studies.”
32. DOES MCDONALD'S SKIMP ON YOUR FRIES & DO YOU CARE?  To quote a colleague:  “A counter guy tried it once. They buried him at dusk.”33. FAVORITE CHAIN RESTAURANT(s)? Olive Garden gets so much abuse for Italo-hokery, but it works for us.  We loved Eat n’ Park in western PA; perhaps they’ll expand west someday.34. IF YOU HAVE A BOY (OR HAVE ANOTHER BOY) WHAT WOULD YOU NAME HIM? Nathaniel (see “Little Men” for background).  35. IF YOU COULD LEARN TO PLAY ONE INSTRUMENT OVERNIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Oboe. Guitar would be more useful, but what a great space-filling sound an oboe solo is.
Now YOU play. . .
Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and also a believer in the phrase “de gustibus non disputandum.”  If you have quotes from Horace or news of local interest, call 928-4066 or e-mail

Monday, July 19, 2004

To all whom it may concern -- Greetings in Christ's Name!It was a quiet week in Badger Camp, my hometown. . .Here are the less narrative-driven details summing up the week, but be ye forewarned that any further questions are likely to evoke a lengthy monologue filled with colorful characters.Badger Total:   94*Camper total:   74DoC campers:    58UCC campers:    16male campers - 29; female campers 43Staff total:    20*3 director/resource; 10* counselors; 7 CITsmale counselors - 5; female couns. - 5*male CITs - 2; female CITs 5*Badger used a staff counselor, female, who was a lifesaver,as you can tell by the skew female-to-male in registrations.Even so, we had two cabins with doubled CITs, which was marginally acceptable to me as we had some 2nd year CIT ladies.Badger Camp occupied 11 cabins; 5 male & 6 female,in 4 family groups.Our average camper # per cabin was 6.7; however, it was6 per cabin male, vs. 7.3 for female cabins.  Two more cabins'worth on our two hills, or about 14, would still be feasible, but the gender skew and difficulty in getting counselors who arebetween 18 and 50 means staff planning will still mean totalratios of staff to campers like our 20 to 74, which may seem high until you break out the figures.  Our dependence on under18 staff, a point of serious concern to me, is mitigated by theincreasing interest in the program, which means Jeanelle and i can pick and choose.  Given that i believe we will be requiredin the near-future to have two adults (however defined) in eachsleeping area (Camp Christian, please note!), this is at least apartial step in a good direction.We continue to work towards a goal of 85-90 campers in 13 cabinsand 6 family groups; but 19 registrations coming in two to four days before i drive down Honeycreek Road makes it hard to plan --highly punitive late fees are more and more imperative for the Partnership Camp system to work!  $305 for registrations arriving less than two weeks before starting day strikes me as perfectly fair, especially when you consider the amount of overnight mailing, phone calls in midday, and other *actual expenses* (including needing to overload your CIT count in anticipation of last-minutefolk).
And that's what happened at Badger Camp, where all the female staff were strong, all the male staff good-looking, and the children were assuredly above-average!In Grace & Peace,Jeff GillHebron, Ohio

Hebron Crossroads 7-25-04By Jeff Gill
This is turning into quite a summer for Ray Bradbury fans, and I hope a good one for Mr. Bradbury himself.Mars has not one, but two rovers exploring the planet and sending back pictures from a place that will long bear the imprint of “The Martian Chronicles.”  NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have a great deal to be proud of with those devices working now over twice their rated life-span, and the Cassini probe successfully passing through Saturn’s rings on the way to Titan.But Ray Bradbury is known for not only science fiction set on distant worlds, but for imaginative fiction set on a planet that may be ours, around a twisted corner or down a dark future, oddly lit by brightly ominous sunshine.“Something Wicked This Way Comes” is written across the top of the newest Harry Potter movie poster, and since it comes from Shakespeare by way of Macbeth they have every right to borrow that line. Those words, though, will always make me think of Bradbury’s tale of the dark day that the circus --- Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show --- came to the village of Green Town, Illinois. Set in a Midwest not unlike the area around our own Hebron Crossroads, two boys find their lives taking dramatic and terrifying turns on the edge of adolescence.And then there’s the fairly unoriginal “Fahrenheit 9-11,” swiped not too cleverly and without permission from “Fahrenheit 451,” a title taken in turn (and brilliantly) from the burning point of paper, describing a dystopian future with a bright glimmer of hope set into the ending, the sort that Stephen King has to learn to write if he’s ever gonna make a reader of me.Bradbury himself has protested the admittedly legal, if somewhat unethical title sideswipe of Michael Moore’s movie, with only deafening silence in response. Too bad, because if Moore really wanted to both scare people and make them think, he could make no better friend than Ray Bradbury. “S is for Space” (which has almost no stories in that collection taking place in outer space) left a mark on my youthful imagination that remains to this day, admitting and looking directly at the darkness in everyday life, gazing calmly through it to the possibility of further horizons beyond.Preacher note: Bradbury was, in a younger day himself, part of the crew of screenwriters on “King of Kings,” a cheesy Biblical epic of about 40 years back, but with one of the best endings of any Bible pics I know out of Hollywood. It delighted me no end to learn that the ending came from Ray, who had an idea when the veteran scriptwriters got bogged down in how to wrap up their tale of Jesus: let’s use one of the endings from the . . . ummm . . . Bible!  The others were underwhelmed by the idea, so he went home, got out a Bible, wrote an ending from the close of John’s Gospel, and came back to the studio, not telling them where he got it.They loved him, said it was a brilliant solution to the finale, and told him he had a bright future in the bizness. Bradbury decided to commit to writing books and short stories instead, and we’re all lucky he did.
“Something Heroic This Way Comes” could be the title for the Hebron Community Vacation Bible School on Friday, July 30 from 6 pm to 8:30, and Saturday, July 31 from 10 am to 4 pm. The title selected by the host church this year is actually “HeroQuest,” with stations looking at the heroic virtues of strength, courage, determination, daring and love. Hebron United Methodist Church on East Main Street is the site, and Hebron Christian Church is assisting.Children Kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to participate, while older youth can be group escorts through the activity stations, where the young people will learn through story, song, and activity about the Biblical figures who make good examples for those five heroic virtues.From the VBS materials, HeroQuest is "designed to give children an understanding of what makes an ordinary person a hero. ... Children will come to know that being a true hero has nothing to do within the super heroes they read about in comic books or see in the movies. What makes an ordinary person a hero is that person's heart." Sounds like a message that any of our children would benefit from!If you want more info, call or drop by either Hebron United Methodist (928-2471) or Hebron Christian (928-4066), or just e-mail me at