Thursday, April 04, 2013

Newark Christian - April 3, 2013

The Newark Christian
Serving God's Transformation of Licking County
April 3, 2013
Volume LXXIV
Issue 7

3Church Office Hours:

Monday – Friday

7:00 am – 2:00 pm

Phone:  740-366-4961


We're on the Web!

Visit us at:

Our mission is to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit and Scriptures from the Holy Bible.  We seek to grow in knowledge and grace of Christ to strengthen the unity of all Christians toward building the Kingdom of God.
E-mail update: next Wednesday, April 10, at 6:00 pm in Fellowship Hall, we will welcome Sam John, a missionary from India who works with his father, Dr. K.C. John, to maintain five orphanages for abandoned girls there. He is conducting a tour of congregations in Ohio and elsewhere, and has connections to us through the Thompson family. Please make a special effort to join us in hearing what God is doing in India!  If you'd like to learn a bit more about the John family and their work, you can find a pdf oral history at:

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Our Mission Field

Notes From My Knapsack
Easter morning, as the sunrise service was ending (in a gentle rain, but life's like that sometimes), as the fireplace was burning down to embers, it was a unique joy to lean out over the wall of the old CCC picnic shelter atop Horn's Hill, and see the zig-zag of headlights and taillights moving slowly down the road below us, back and forth around the hairpin curves. It was the kind of sight you might expect out West, or somewhere even more exotic, but we were looking beyond that "mountainside" vista to the lights of Deo Drive and Mt. Vernon Rd.

Even as the blue glow filled the valley from an obscured sunrise, the lights glittered over to 21st St., and to the south as far as Heath and Hebron, carpeting the valley floor; you could see west to Cherry Valley Road and Granville even with a mist rising up out of the streambed of Raccoon Creek. If you knew where to look, from the southern crest of the hilltop, you could see both the windows of Newark Central, and then on down Rt. 13 to the Licking County Courthouse.

A few months ago, I bought a picture from a photographer two blocks over on Fairfield Ave. that's hanging just outside my office door. It's a reverse of that Horn's Hill vista, from an open field atop the ridge south of downtown Newark, the perspective pulling together the courthouse cupola, the old firehouse tower where R&M Bakery serves our neighborhood, and our steeple, with the Chestnut Hills north of Dry Creek across the top.

On the wall below, with the help of a little shop in The Arcade downtown, it now says "Our Mission Field." It's a reminder to me each day and anyone else in to see me (or use the church library next door!) that we're a congregation with a mission to proclaim Christ's good news and serve in his name. This county, this community is our mission field.

And in that same spirit, we're going to consider in the wake of Easter, during the Sunday services, "The Rest of Life," a look at the Christian life based on a book by Dr. Ben Witherington III, a professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. How is "the rest of" our lives part of Christ's mission for each of us, and all of us together, to proclaim & serve?
In grace and peace, Pastor Jeff

Youth McDonald's tour and SURPRISE

On Sunday, April 7, from 1:30-4:00 pm, all youth will meet at the church. We will travel to McDonalds located by Texas Roadhouse. Please bring money for a treat and dress for the weather. A surprise will come after our tour to another destination. Until then get ready to learn the ins and outs of McDonalds! Samantha (call church office)

God and Stuff

On Sunday, April 7 all youth in grades 6-12 will meet after the 10:30 service. Please bring your bible and money for lunch. Get ready for an invigorating conversation with Pastor Jeff.

Youth Christian Skate Night

On Monday, April 15 all youth ages 5 and up will meet from 6:15-8:15 pm at the church. We will be roller skating at the Rollaway Rink. The cost is free thanks to Betty Lou and Larry Iden. Please bring money for refreshments and $1.00 for inline or speed skates. There will be devotions at 7:30 pm. Until then get ready to play the number game.

Thank you…

…for having us all over for lunch after my mother's service. This is truly a ministry to those in time of grief. We were able to share many memories together. Please pass on our gratitude to Cynthia Rarick and her team. Mike Keaser (Marie Sunkle's son).

Thanks for Flowers of Tomorrow

All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today. Thank you, you have planted seeds of hope, encouragement and healing by your prayers in my recent health concerns. Expressions of love and concern are wonderful blessings to all who are experiencing health issues. Blessings and thanks to all, Carol Van Winkle.

Granville Youth Event

On Sunday, April 14 all youth ages 5 and up will meet from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm. We will tour the Robbins Hunter Museum and then have ice cream at Whit's. Please bring money for the ice cream. Until then get ready to wear your cultural hat and learn and explore at the Robbins Hunter Museum.

Spaghetti Dinner

As most of you know, Leukemia and Lymphoma have both deeply touched our family. We lost Mom 5 weeks after her diagnosis. Katie, on the other hand, has shown everyone that it is possible to fight the fight and beat the odds. She is now healthy with a beautiful family.
Our daughter in law, Melissa Schmitt, has taken on the battle head on to help find a cure. Being a research nurse helps her see the possibilities that are on the horizon. Melissa is training with Team in Training to run 2 half marathons (13.3 miles each). She will run the first in Washington DC in April and the second three weeks later in Cleveland. To be a part of the team she had to commit to raise a considerable amount of money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This is where you come in……..
We will be serving a spaghetti dinner after church on April 14. The cost will be donation only and we will provide you with a receipt for the L/L Society at the time if you so choose. It is a tax right off donation. Thank you in advance for your support, you have to eat lunch somewhere, you might as well join us for a good cause!!!!! Thanks, Judy Schmitt

Summer 2013 Camp Information

Please consider sending your child to camp so he or she can grow in their spiritual faith, enjoy fellowship, and experience a life changing week. Application forms are available at the Welcome Center. The cost is $160.00 per child for each week. Please see me if your child will need a monetary sponsor for camp. I need to have all applications turned in no later than April 21 to make the early bird deadline. You can give me the fee money as your family is able. Please see me for any questions and further details. Prayerfully consider having your child embark on this week long journey of faith and fun.
Samantha (call church office)
Grandparents Camp - For Children in grades 1 & 2 and a Grandparent
Held at Camp Christian, May 31 - June 1
Otter Junior Camp - For youth in grades 3, 4, & 5
Held at Camp Christian, June 16 - 22
Chi Rho Camps - For youth in grades 6, 7, & 8
All Chi Rho Camps are held at Camp Christian
June 9 - 15
July 7 - 13
July 14 - 20
August 4 - 10
CYF Conferences - For youth in grades 9, 10, 11, & 12
All CYF Conferences are held at Camp Christian
June 23 - 29
June 30  - July 6
July 21 - 27
July 28 - August 3
Adult Ministries - For adults of all ages
Held at Northwest Christian Church, Columbus, June 17 – 21
Adventure Camp - For adults of all ages and high school age youth
Location TBA, June 28 – 31
Advance Ministries Summer Conference - For young adults ages 19 - 29
(at least one year out of high school)
Held at Camp Christian, August 11 - 18

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Looking Ahead…….

Sunday, April 7 –
"The Rest of Life: Rest"
                    Hebrews 4:1-11
Sunday, April 14 –
"The Rest of Life: Play"
                    Isaiah 61:1-2
Sunday, April 21 –
"The Rest of Life: Food"
                    Matthew 11:16-19
Sunday, April 28 –
"The Rest of Life: Fasting"
                    Matthew 6:16-18
Sunday, May 5 –
"The Rest of Life: Study"
                    II Timothy 2:14-16
Sunday, May 12 –
"The Rest of Life: Sex"
                    I Corinthians 7:1-7, 16
Sunday, May 19 –
"The Rest of Life: Aging"
                    Ecclesiastes 3
Joys and Concerns
  • For Bob recovering at home, waiting for his new knee (again!)
  • Welcoming new members, Mark & Pamela Roth and their daughters Brenda & Pam, who joined on Easter Sunday
  • Celebrating the baptism of Jenna Marie, congratulations to parents Michael and Kelly and grandparents Bill and Sandy
Daily Scripture Readings
Apr    3       Matthew 28:1-15
         4       2 Timothy 1:3-10
         5       Luke 24:13-31
         6       I John 3:18-22
         7       I Timothy 6:17-19
         8       Matt. 13:1-8, 18-23
         9       Luke 15:11-24
         10      Proverbs 15:1-4
         11      Matthew 25:31-40
         12      I Corin. 10:31-11:1
         13      Psalm 32:1-7
         14      Acts 17:16-34
         15      I Corin. 12:14-26
         16      John 10:11-16, 27-29
         17      Colossians 3:12-17
         18      Isaiah 43:1-4
         19      Ephesians 4:31-5:2
         20      I Corin. 15:1-8, 20
 (Taken from The Upper Room)

Inserted into this week's newsletter:

Stewardship Committee Report
Year End Report 2012

Ed Taylor, a Disciples of Christ pastor who serves as head of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, points out that "Stewardship is the receiving, caring, and giving that knows God and shapes Christian discipleship".  Stewardship is not just about giving but about where we focus our priorities.

As a congregation, we place priorities in three areas – 1) our General Fund for the ongoing church budget, or "Current Expense" on our offering envelopes; 2) Mission giving through your envelope designations and other allocations of the board from the General Fund budget; and 3) in Building Maintenance, to care for the ministry tools of our property and structures here and at the church lodge. The Stewardship Committee primarily manages the General Fund expenses, with the Missions Committee overseeing Mission outlays, the Property Committee our Building Maintenance costs, and our Memorials have their own committee along with the investment oversight of the Trustees, who are the legal agents of the congregation under Ohio law.

Our General Fund started 2012 with a balance of $19,111.93 and closed with a balance at the end of December of $6,744.81.  Income to the General Fund through the end of December 2012 was $222,478.37.  The income to the General Fund has been holding steady over the last couple of years even during these difficult economic times.  Income to the General Fund also includes undesignated or "loose" collection offerings, and property rental.

Expenses paid from the General Fund through the end of December 2012 were $234,845.49. This compares to projected expenses calculated in the 2012 Stewardship Campaign of $273,736.38. The reduced expense level results from the functional committees holding down expenses and eliminating the cost of health insurance for our pastor.
Our best estimates of projected giving versus anticipated expenses show a likely deficit in the coming year. We are reviewing options for a new Stewardship campaign approach in the Fall of this year for our planning and projections into 2014. Meanwhile, each one of us needs to prayerfully examine our personal level of Stewardship to see how much we can increase our giving to help reduce the expected deficit between the estimated income and expenses to the General Fund for 2013.

Harry Cline
Stewardship Committee Chairman

Faith Works 4-6-13

Faith Works 4-6-13

Jeff Gill


Pictures worth a thousand words, or Word



Have you ever heard of Harry Anderson?


No, not the magician/comedian who used to be on "Night Court" (loved that show), but the artist.


You may not know the name, but if you attend church you probably know his work. Not as well-known as Warner Sallman, the painter of "Head of Christ" (1941) which is so common your church almost certainly has one hanging somewhere, he was inspired by Sallman's example and took it a step further.


In 1945, Anderson painted "What happened to your hand?" which shows a group of modern-day children sitting with Jesus in a garden. The boy down on the grass is holding an airplane toy, just to make sure that you get the contemporary setting along with their 1945 kids' clothes.


And on the knee of Jesus, who's wearing a robe of timeless vintage, a little girl is holding his open-palmed hand and looking up quizzically at him. The caption is not on the painting, nor does it need to be. It's quite clear, and I think quite affecting.


Oddly enough today, the controversy both within Anderson's own Seventh-Day Adventist community, and more generally, was whether it was appropriate to show Christ in a contemporary setting. The controversy didn't hurt Anderson's career, and he continued working for decades, doing religious art for the Latter Day Saints' display at the New York World Fair, and for a variety of Protestant venues.


If you've not seen "What happened to your hand?" (but look around in your Sunday school rooms, it's probably somewhere), you may have seen where Anderson made Christ 500 feet tall, so to speak, and shows him knocking on the United Nations' building in New York as if it were a door.


I'm partial to another painting of his which ought to show up in a Mad Men episode, where Anderson puts a robed Jesus in a 1960s living room, earnestly speaking to a man with his back to the viewer, looking out the picture window across the lawn. From behind, you could swear it was Don Draper. (I'll post a link on Twitter to a page where you can see all these.)


Visual depictions of the Bible and of Jesus himself have a long history, with murals and mosaics and stained glass helping tell the old, old story in an era before literacy and printing. Illuminated manuscripts even in medieval times added images to the verbiage, with stock representations making small pictures understandable to anyone (the beard on Jesus, the wild hair on John the Baptist, a bald and short Paul, etc.).


Harry Anderson more than Warner Sallman opened the door to pictures of Jesus and tales of faith in a new context, even as movies in the 50s & 60s were emphasizing a sort of authenticity that was more a stock image than a historical study. Sunday school and VBS material has tended to stick with the safer approach, with a visual palette that isn't much different from those medieval manuscripts or the German Romantic era paintings that inspired most of our 20th century American stained glass.


So it was with delight that I've learned about how the platform of the graphic novel as been used recently to re-tell that old, old story with some current insight. I'll admit to a small flinch when I first heard about the "Manga Bible," using the Japanese form of animation best known in the Pokemon or Speed Racer worlds, but Tyndale's "Manga Messiah" of the Gospels and "Manga Metamorphosis" of Acts are a surprisingly complete telling of the text. There are three Old Testament volumes I've not yet seen.


"The Action Bible" from David C. Cook comes as the full Scriptures, or just a New Testament version, but is a good read for middle school and high school students not exactly loving a text-based experience (but there's much of the text right there in the margins and speech balloons). And I am truly in awe of Zondervan's "The Book of Revelation." It's that last book of the Bible, all the text present and fully accounted for and brilliantly realized; I couldn't have imagined this approach until I saw this work, but entirely rooted in the words as they are present. You will be moved, and moved to reflect deeply on Revelation through this graphic novel.


I'm a reader myself, but I will be recommending these formats for reading and envisioning the Bible for years to come. They are missionary efforts of their own type, reaching out in new ways with the timeless Story of Stories.


Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in Licking County; tell him your preferred translation or rendition of the Bible at, or @Knapsack on Twitter.

[for the editor, if they're curious - - and I will post this to my Twitter account on Saturday morning. Pax, JBG]

Monday, April 01, 2013

Knapsack 4-4-13

Notes From My Knapsack 4-4-13

Jeff Gill


Something to celebrate & understand




One of my favorite nature immersion activities with a group of people, children or adults, is to hand out a bunch of two-foot-long pieces of red string, and tell them to go and create a nature trail with it, having at least five stations along it.


Then everyone pairs up, and in turn takes the other person for a "hike" on the nature trail they've designed.


You can do it yourself, of course. It's an exercise that makes you slow down, and refocus your inner viewfinder onto a smaller scale. Even when you're sitting on grass in a circle outside and away from buildings, your mind might still be going 60 mph and seeing the ground and trees and shrubbery around you through plate glass. You have to learn how to recognize your default mode for what it is – through the car window – and find your way into nature, on nature's terms.


So some of these 18 to 24 inch hikes meander along the bark of a tree, from lichens to an insect borehole, out to a final scenic overlook at a bud on a twig's end. Others stay close to the ground, from a discreet point adjoining an ant hill along a crack in the dry earth to where a leaf from last fall is slowly decaying into soil, leaving a fantastic filigree of veins and panels.


You might travel from the unwanted weed sprouting in your old mulch to the edge of the lawn grass forest, a safe loop in through the swelling roots and back to the sharp edge between planting beds and the turf.


Along a low branch of oak, soon the small infant hands of leaf balls will uncurl into a not-yet green banner; your nature trail could stroll from bud to bud to that first opening hint of the canopy to come.


Richard Louv famously wrote some years ago of "nature deficit disorder." Like any good idea, it's been done over and over emphasized to where it gets blamed for all manner of socially complex ills, but I will still affirm the therapeutic value of nature, on natural terms.


Slowing down and focusing in to see what is going on this spring – yes, I believe spring will come, despite all evidence to the contrary! – is good for the heart, the joints, the mind & spirit. You find your "notice-a-fier" working differently when you check out the details, up close, of a bud on a tree or bush; not just of nature, you notice things about people and processes and yes, maybe even stuff on TV or your laptop in a sharper way.


On the vernal equinox, just a couple of weeks ago, the air was chill, but there's no denying that the days are longer, and the sun higher in the sky. It might yet snow again (helloooo, forsythia!) but even a heavy fall won't stick when the radiant heat trapped in the soil and pavement has soaked so deeply beneath the surface.


That penetration of warmth is sending inexorable signals to life lying dormant within the soil, and the responses are everywhere. And on that cool March afternoon, I saw what at first looked like a wisp of smoke, then coming closer recognized as a whirl of small white insects, the first of this new year.


Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in Licking County. Tell him your signs of spring at or follow @Knapsack on Twitter.