Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Faith Works 9-03-05
Jeff Gill

Are local churches doing anything for relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina?
That's an important question, and the amazing thing is that the answer is yes.
First, many churches have relief agencies they support through the year that are part of the first "boots on the ground" response, of money and material and sometimes trained personnel. Catholic Relief Services, all of the One Great Hour of Sharing or Week of Compassion related Protestant groups, Lutheran Disaster Response, Latter Day Saints’ Relief Society, and the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board’s disaster relief teams.
And the Salvation Army is a church first, a social service agency second; you know they have fleets of trained responders and equipment on the way.
Almost any faith community in Licking County has direct ties to work that is already begun in and around New Orleans and from there to Mobile.
Now, are there people from Licking County heading to the Gulf Coast? As soon as we hear about anyone doing so, the Advocate will be ready to tell their story. But most emergency services folk are saying quickly and firmly: wait. If you aren’t well trained and have a specialty task you’ve been asked to provide, you could end up being part of the problem, not any kind of solution.
Where church folk from many different backgrounds and traditions often are most important in disaster relief is long after the story is capped by national media, and the FEMA trucks have rumbled off to the next crisis. The basic clean-up, the low end rebuilding, and human reconstruction: that’s where the large accumulation of small simple steps is crucial, and that’s often where we in Ohio can be the real heroes.
Local UCC churches know that a major mission program of their Ohio Conference churches is called "Back Bay Mission" in Biloxi, MS, and I’ve heard people tell me about returning in recent years from work trips where they were still repairing home damage from Hurricane Camille – you know, the one they keep mentioning as the last worst storm through this area, and it was decades ago.
I have a feeling that UCCers and other church groups will be doing carpentry and clean up and counseling in the wake of Hurricane Katrina for decades to come as well; tell us those stories, too, in the months ahead.

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around central Ohio; if you have participated in any disaster relief efforts through your faith community, send your story to disciple@voyager.net.
Notes From My Knapsack 9-04-05
Jeff Gill

"History Detectives" is a public television program that ranges from seeking the true story of anything from Wyatt Earp’s watch to Hermann Goering’s shotgun. They look into old documents, refurbished houses, and recently, a prehistoric artifact.
Part of the tracing and re-enacting they did was to let one of the winsome co-hosts demonstrate an ancient piece of technology, an "atlatl."
The question was, could a spear be thrown at a bison 5000 years ago with enough force to embed a flint point into a skull? By hand, no. With the arm extension and leverage of a throwing stick, or atlatl, even a slight young lady could with a bit of practice.
Long before bow and arrow came into the Native American tool kit, atlatls and flint "projectile points" were the hunting tool of choice. Fine flint as you can find to this day in southeastern Licking County made sharp edges with attractive appearance, from almost 12,000 years ago to . . .
Well, how about this weekend? Friday through Sunday, Sept. 2, 3, and 4, from 10 am to 5 pm, you can drive out Brownsville Road or Flint Ridge Road to where they meet. Flint Ridge State Memorial is hosting a "Knap-In" by the Flint Ridge Lithic Society.
If you would like to see, or even learn how to knap raw nodules of flint into useful tools, dozens of experts at flint and stone tool making will be "on the ridge" through the weekend.
The Ohio Atlatl Association (yes, they have an association) is working with the Lithic Society to hold long dart competitions, where experts in atlatl throwing will demostrate their skills. Like any skilled craftspeople, they will gladly share their craft with other men and women, girls and boys, all who come out to see a piece of Licking County’s most ancient history.
With the lunar alignment of the Newark Earthworks coming up for a public event October 22, the Flint Ridge Knap-In is a great preparation for spending this fall understanding the Indian heritage of central Ohio. There will be some food and souvenirs for sale, so you get the family fun part in the package.
Call 800-600-7178 for more info, or 740-344-1919, or just drop in to the knap-in. The clink and chink of stone on stone will greet your ear when you first get out of your car, and as you walk the grounds, modern technology will fall away enough for you to see more clearly the technological achievements that we inadequately label as "stone age."

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around central Ohio who also volunteers at Flint Ridge for the Ohio Historical Society, the site managers; if you have a prehistoric tale to tell, send it to disciple@voyager.net.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Greetings, good readers of Amy's (or should i say "Ave!"?); this is actually much less of a blog than a weekly dumping ground of the raw text of my two weekly print columns. And local readers note once again: i don't write the headlines. What shows up here usually isn't what's in the paper -- not to mention what may happen to the text when last minute ads come in . . .

But the point is "unintentional pro-life writing," or am i right to suspect that there is some intentionality here:


. . . much akin to the Michael Caine "Alfie," which if it wasn't making a point in the last thirty minutes -- and jabbing it into your heart -- i don't know what i think they thought they were doing.

And the Jude Law version's ellipsis was making its own point by leaving all that out after echoing the rest of the script so well.

But read the NYTBR piece and see for yourself.


Jeff Gill
Granville, Ohio