Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Faith Works 10-16-10 -- Newark Advocate

Jeff Gill


Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates




Forrest Gump had a number of interesting fundamental beliefs, one of which was that "life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get."


His momma told him that, and who am I to argue with a mother?


The next month for churches and people of faith in the Licking County area has a distinct resemblance to a box of chocolates, Gump-style, or so it looks to me.


Tomorrow afternoon, from Noon to 4 pm a number of us will be leading tours around the Octagon Earthworks, this Sunday being one of the four "open house" days at this magnificent piece of 2,000 year old ritual architecture. Enter at 33rd St. and Parkview where the signs say both Octagon State Memorial and Moundbuilders Country Club (and happy 100th anniversary to those tenants of the site, as well).


It's likely to be a beautiful fall day to enjoy creation in general, and to wonder at how the first people who lived on this landscape reflected on their place in the world under the sun, moon, and stars. Often a few Native American folk will have a singing and prayer ceremony of their own on Observatory Mound at the southwestern corner of the site, as well as next to the public access area near the entrance.


Political season means that many churches put on Election Day dinners, a tradition going back to when taverns and pubs were legally required to close for the day (so as not to facilitate the easy bribery of "I'll buy you a round if you . . ."). Fast food and more stay open on Tuesday, Nov. 2, but some of those Election Day dinners not only offer good home cooking for very reasonable prices, many offer a public good by delivering meals to hard working pollwatchers in precincts around their area.


You can vote early downtown at the County Administration Building, which more and more people do these days; you don't have to make up an excuse anymore, you can just come in and say you need to vote early. If there's any doubt in your mind about getting to a polling place between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm on Nov. 2, why not get 'r done?


Tickets are also available early for the Coalition of Care Gospel Celebration, scheduled on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 7, at 3:30 pm. Once again, the kindly board members of that church based co-operative organization have chosen to allow me to frolic and play on the vast stage of the Midland Theater, which is no small treat (for me). Along with leading everyone in singing "Tell Me Why," I get to introduce acts like the Licking Valley High School Concert Choir, The Calvaliers Quartet, Karrie Miller, Bound for Glory, Frosty Morning, and The Gospelife



If that doesn't sound worth $20 for a ticket, I can't imagine how you'd get better use out of President Jackson's face. Reserving your ticket for the Gospel Celebration might just make the crusty old duck smile. Call 670-9700 for more info, or www.coalitionofcare.net.


Then the following week, beginning at Noon on  Tues., Nov. 9, the Licking County Coalition for Housing will invite us to see the invisible plague of homelessness with their "Shoes on the Square" observance. As the old Indian prayer suggests, we always benefit personally, spiritually, and in our community when we try to walk a mile in someone else's moccasins, even if it's only imaginatively. Learn more at www.lcchousing.org.


Faith is a matter of the heart, mind, hands, and feet. Plus, it ought to make you sing!


Or leave you as content as someone with a brand new box of chocolates, so full and complete and overflowing you can't help but want to share.



Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around central Ohio; contact him at knapsack77@gmail.com or follow Knapsack @Twitter.