Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Newark Christian - January 23, 2013

The Newark Christian

Serving God's Transformation of Licking County

January 23, 2013 - Volume LXXIV - Issue 2

Church Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 2:00 pm, Phone:  740-366-4961, Email:

 We're on the Web! Visit us at:

Lenten Opportunities

As Lent approaches, beginning with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 13th, we will have a number of ways for you to use the season to prepare for Easter. One is a challenge for the congregation to read through the New Testament by Easter (more info and resources to come!), and the other is the opportunity to come Wednesday nights for a soup & salad supper and Lenten program. These will run fromFeb. 20 to Mar. 20, and after the 6:00 pm dinner, a devotional time at 6:45 will close with a short message from one of a number of clergy from around the area.


·       February 20, Rev. Pamela Roth, Amplify Ministries, Inc.

·       February 27, Rev. Chris Whitehead, Hebron Christian

·       March 6, Rev. John Romig, Gender Road Christian

·       March 13, Rev. Brian Harkness, New Life UMC

·       March 20, Rev. Kevin Koske, Church in the Mall

Game Night

The New Disciples Sunday School Class is sponsoring a new venture. On the last Saturday of each month, we will be gathering in Fellowship Hall for an evening of games and fellowship. Bring your favorite game and a snack or beverage to share and let's have some fun. The first game night will beSaturday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m.  All are invited!

Calling All Youth Submakers...

All youth, parents, and congregation members who are interested in making subs will meet at the church in the kitchen from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2012. Also all sub orders with money must be turned in by Sun. Jan 27 at the 10:30 service. All subs will be ready for pick up on Sun. Feb 3. Thanks for all your help and support with our Super Bowl Event! Samantha (call church office)

God and Stuff

On Feb. 10 all youth in grades 7-12 will meet with Pastor Jeff and Samantha after the 10:30 service. Please bring your bible and money for lunch. Get ready for an invigorating discussion.

Youth Art Event

All youth ages 5 and up will meet at the church on Sunday, Feb. 10 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. Marilyn Stocker will assist the youth in painting and making artwork with a Valentine's theme. Refreshments will be provided and games to follow. Until then get ready to be crafty! Samantha (364-1532)

Internet Safety & Cyberbullying

We will host in Fellowship Hall on February 10 at 5:00 pm a program on "Internet Safety & Cyberbullying" for parents, grandparents, and anyone interested in safe use of the internet for children in their care. This program is open to the public, and anyone is welcome to come – invite someone you know who has interest or concern on this subject!

Book Club

Book Club will meet again Feb. 24 after the 10:30 service in the parlor.  The book is The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.  Read the book and join the discussion.  All are welcome!  A light lunch will be served.

24-Hour Prayer Vigil

Please plan to participate in this year's 24-Hour Prayer Vigil.  From 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, Feb.12 through 6:00 p.m., Wednesday Feb. 13, we will have people praying for 30-min. time periods.  There will soon be a sign-up sheet in the narthex.  Participants may pray in the church or from home.  Prayers can be from your heart, from the Psalms, from hymns, and/or from some suggested sources we will provide.  Wherever we pray, the Lord hears our prayers.

If you cannot get to the church to sign up, you may call the church office (366-4961, 7-2 daily) or Carol Thompson to request a time period.  This is a good way for some of our home-bound members to participate.

Remember the Ash Wednesday Service is on February 13 in the Sanctuary at 6:00 p.m.  It follows the 24-Hour Prayer Vigil.

The Worship Committee

Meet Your 2013 Committee Chairs

Christian Education Chairman--Kim Halter
Evangelism Chairman--Vickie Bope
Fellowship Chairman--Linda Jewell
Membership Chairman--Alex Compton
Memorial Chairman--Jim Ritchey
Outreach Chairman--Dianne Cline
Property Chairman--Earl Stevenson
Stewardship Chairman--Harry Cline
Worship Chairman--Carol Thompson

If you are interested in one of these committees, please consider volunteering. When you are asked, please prayerfully consider helping on one of these committees.

Ohio Disciples Men 2013 Leadership Team

The Ohio Disciples Men ("ODM") is comprised of all the men of the Ohio Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). ODM exists to minister to the unique needs of the men in the church, enabling them to fulfill their potential as servants of God, advancing their spiritual journey, and strengthening the total ministry of the church. The Ohio Disciples Men 2013 Leadership Team is made up of Remmie Crawford, Rick Hayden and Peter Engle.

We are in the process of forming "Work Teams" for mission from men (or women interested in being on the team) from all over the Regional Church.  These teams could then be used by individual congregations or for work projects here in Ohio or for disaster relief where ever needed.

Other Upcoming Events

·         Spring Retreat at Camp Christian
May 17 & 18, 2013

·         Fall Retreat at Camp Christian
September 13-15, 2013
Speaker: Rev. Dr. Rick Lowery 

Under the Big Top

Susanna Circle is accepting donations for our annual fundraiser dinner on March 16. Contact Kim Halter, Kristi Blount or any circle member for more information. The circus theme this year is "Under the Big Top". Tickets will be $10 each and should be available next month.

Plastic Bag Sleeping Mats for the Homeless

Susanna Circle will be collecting plastic grocery bags to make sleeping mats for the homeless.  This mat creates a barrier between a person and the ground.  It takes 500-700 plastic grocery bags to make one mat. The bags are cut into strips which are looped together to make "plarn".  Plarn = plastic yarn.  Once the plarn is made, it is crocheted to a width of 3 feet and length of 6 feet.  A strap is also made of plarn to use to carry the mat after it is rolled up. Once we have collected enough bags, I plan to make one for everyone to see!  You can also go on-line (Google "plastic sleeping mats for the homeless") and watch a YouTube demonstration.


Please bring in your plastic grocery bags and leave them at the Welcome Center.  This is a great way to help bring a little comfort to someone and recycle unwanted plastic bags at the same time! You can help by collecting bags, making the plarn or crocheting the mats.  If you are interested in helping with this project, please contact Connie Crothers (740-644-7138).

Thank You and You're Welcome!

The whole staff here at Central Christian Church would like to say a BIG THANK YOU for all the thoughtful gifts and goodies we received at the end of the year. We are very blessed to serve such a wonderful congregation and we appreciate each and every one of you. We look forward to another great year together.  

I want to thank you all for the generous scholarship from your church. I am honored to be a recipient. College is a very expensive endeavor, and every little bit helps a lot. I am working as a barista at Starbucks, and I am attending a community college because it is the most financially smart option available. I am currently enrolled and attending courses full time at the Rock Creek Campus of Portland Community College.

I am nearly a sophomore in college, working on my associates in General Studies. Once I am finished with my associates, I will be transferring to a bigger university to finish out my bachelor's in English. I plan to get my doctorate, so I have many more years of schooling ahead. The money provided to me by you was a big help in buying text books, and paying for facility fees and parking. Your contribution to my education means so much to me, and I am so thankful for it. Sincerely, Tara Holmes

              Sunday was a very special day for both of us. We are grateful to Pastor Jeff for baptizing us. Thank you to everyone that attended the 8:30 service and shared our special day with us. We appreciate Steve Crothers rounding up the Mission Team and Rev. Dr. Rick for laying our ground work. We feel so blessed to have found such a good home with all of you at Central Christian. Love & prayers, Bob & Claudia Weaver

On behalf of The Vintage Voices we'd like to say thank you for your contribution. We hope you enjoyed our performance in December as much as we enjoyed giving it. Sally Brigham


The Knitters & Crocheters are in need of yarn and hands to assemble their squares. The yarn is used to make afghans/blankets for the Salvation Army and Battered Women's Shelter. Please help any way you can. 


The 2013 altar flower chart is now hanging on the bulletin board in the Narthex. Please select a Sunday to acknowledge a person(s) or an event (in memory or in honor of).  There are envelopes with the chart so you can easily make a donation of $24.00 for these flowers.  The flowers are yours to take following the 10:30 a.m. worship service.   If you have questions please call the church office. 

Joys and Concerns

·         Monica Kohler, continuing health concerns

·         Marilyn Yost, who came in to do bulletin boards right before her surgery 

Daily Scripture Readings

Jan     23      I Corin 9:24-27

         24      Titus 3:3-7

         25      Genesis 39:1-23

         26      John 10:14-16

         27      Psalm 121:1-8

         28      Genesis 18:1-15

         29      Ephesians 2:1-10

         30      Genesis 1:1-5

         31      Job 2:11-13

Feb    1       Matthew 5:14-16

         2       Luke 20:45-21:4

         3       Joshua 4:1-7

         4       James 2:14-26

         5       I Corin 1:26-31

         6       Exodus 23:4-5 &

                  Luke 6:27-36

         7       Philippians 2:1-11

         8       John 10:1-10

 (Taken from The Upper Room)

Looking Ahead

January 27 –

 Why We Do What We Do: Hymns

 Ephesians 5:15-20

February 3 –

  WWDWWD: Elders & Deacons
itus 2:1-15

February 10 –
 WWDWWD: Discipleship
  II Timothy 3:10 – 4:5

Wed., February 13
   Ash Wednesday, Lent begins

Monday, January 21, 2013

Faith Works 1-26

Faith Works 1-26-13

Jeff Gill


Mystic Chords of Memory, Rhyming or Otherwise



In Lincoln's first inaugural address, before there was a Civil War and while reasonable men and women could hope there would be none, the newly elected President spoke of harmony, and how to restore it as disharmony and cacophony filled the air.


He spoke and indeed prayed that "the better angels of our nature" might help us find that lost note when we allow them to play "the mystic chords of memory" and "swell the chorus of the Union."


Lincoln's memory for a good phrase, an apt quotation, or a slightly bawdy story, was legendary. Most of us wish we could just remember our account passwords that the system demanded we change last week.


When memory is engaged, and works on our behalf, there is something mystical about that power to raise the dead, to envision what is lost, to return missing pieces to their place in life's puzzle.


Along with public speaking in general, death is preferable to being asked to recite something from memory, or so the pollsters tell us. Ask around, and you'll mainly hear "I have a terrible memory" from folks.


Come around from a different direction, and ask if a person knows that song starting "Now sit right back and you'll hear a tale . . ." but know that you'll end up hearing the whole song. We joke about stars stumbling on the Star Spangled Banner, but the truth is most of us know the whole thing, and it isn't short.


Camp songs from the dining hall, bits of poetry from the classroom ("into the valley of death / rode the six hundred" or "Listen, my children, and you shall hear / of the midnight ride of Paul Revere"), batting orders from long ago baseball teams (Tinker to Evers to Chance, or Becker to Kessinger to Santo), or the sing-song chant of a train conductor on a line you often rode ("Arcola, Tuscola, and Coca Cola").


Religious formation may not feature ruler wielding nuns or Mr. Lambert's fierce gaze any more, in exchange for a focus on experience and understanding and feelings, but there are still elements of faith that it helps to learn, and learn by heart. From the books of the Bible, if only so you can find Nahum and Philemon someday without panic or confusion, to the history of your own movement's founders, and even some points of your faith and practice – wouldn't you like to know those things by . . . heart?


In ancient times, memory was not linked so strongly to the grey mushy stuff you found inside of cow skulls and between your enemies' ears. Whatever it was the brain did, memories, especially those that moved us deeply, were recorded in an even more secure, central location: in our heart.


So learning something by heart meant a bit more than even remembering. You could recall how many scoops of grain the chickens ate each night at feeding time, but you knew by heart how your children looked as you fed them when they were babies.


And so on.


Poetry, especially memorized, is considered a heartfelt matter, for these reasons and more. Most churches have sacred music, or what we call hymns, as a way to give us a reminder of our beliefs and recall the story of our faith community's journey.  Rhyme and rhythm carve deeply into our hearts the words, and the ideas we might not remember as well otherwise.


A hundred years ago, "In the Garden" spoke to worshipers in America's growing cities of the restful presence of Jesus as if he showed up in the middle of your dreams of a childhood home, but spoke to you personally about today's problems. C. Austin Miles wrote in 1912 "and he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known."


More recently Steven Curtis Chapman tried to explain what baptism meant to a friend who loved the outdoors and adventure, and with his song "Dive" suggested "The long awaited rains / Have fallen hard upon the thirsty ground / And carved their way to where / The wild and rushing river can be found /And like the rains 
I have been carried here to where the river flows…"


If you think about it, you might be surprised by just how much you know by heart after all.


Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in Licking County; tell him what your favorite memory verse (or poem) is at or follow @Knapsack on Twitter.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Knapsack 1-24

Notes From My Knapsack 1-24-13

Jeff Gill


Calculating Where I'm From



Somewhere in the last few weeks I crossed a subtle, but significant (for me) dividing line.


I was born in Elmhurst, Illinois, part of what's known as "Chicagoland," and my parents moved to a different corner of that region when I was six weeks old, across the state line into Indiana.


So from not long after I was born to just before my seventeenth birthday, I lived in Valparaiso, Indiana, the place that for most of my life I've called my hometown, and even my birthplace though not strictly true on that count.


When I moved into a dorm at Purdue University, I began seven years of residence in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, five in West Lafayette and two on the other side of the Wabash in Lafayette. At the end of that time, I got married, and the Lovely Wife and I moved to Indianapolis after a last summer at Scout camp in Michigan.


(Another odd calendar note: I spent seven to eleven weeks every summer for ten years at that camp, meaning I lived a total of a year and a half in Michigan, but never outside of June, July, & August!)


We lived for four years in Indy while I was in seminary there, and then in 1989 we came for the first time to Licking County, Ohio. For four years we lived in Newark, then departed in 1993 for West Virginia where we spent the next six, returning to Hebron in 1999. We lived in Hebron for five years, moving to Granville in the midst of the infamous ice storm closing out 2004.


So what all that chronology and math means is that I have now lived longer in Licking County, Ohio than anywhere else I've ever been. In our marriage, we've been through what was, at one time, a shocking number of addresses (seminary and grad school and associate pastor positions all add up to a whole bunch of moving), something like ten moves in twelve years. But we had six years in Fairmont, West Virginia, and six Christmases in one home (a parsonage, but a nice one), a welcome change of pace – and now, here in Granville, we've had eight, a level of stability new for us all, but now what we're used to.


And altogether, I've lived just over seventeen years in Licking County. I've never lived longer in any other place. My childhood memories, and sense of "home" are still powerfully shaped by Valpo, and the presence of Lake Michigan just to the north (ah, lake effect snow), not to mention Chicago always in the background . . .


But this is now, and continues to be ever more so, home. We hope and pray for a ninth and tenth and many more Christmases with the tree in the same spot, and decorations hung on nails and hooks we put in place ourselves, and expect to use again and again.


Someday, around 2021, I will have lived in this one town as long, and then longer than the place where I grew up. By then, I suspect it won't even matter that much, other than as a number. Licking County as a whole, and Granville, Ohio in particular, is where my family and I are . . . from. We're from here, because at a certain point we've been here, and it's "from" this place we go so that in time we can come home, to here.


We haven't yet bought funeral plots here, but it has crossed our minds. I guess that's when you really know where you're from.


Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in Licking County; tell him how you know where you're from at, or follow @Knapsack on Twitter.