December 2019
LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD–
FROM PASTOR LAWRENCE
We are the sixth generation. While we celebrate the inspiration and gifts of the previous generations, what we will be our legacy in Christ’s work for future generations? Join us on Dec. 8 and Jan. 19 to frame this “Called to Life!” vision for our congregational future.
 
Roughly six generations ago our forebears in faith arrived in this community with new visions. One vision began to burn brightly at Hopewell when anti-slavery Presbyterians from South Carolina formed a congregation. Near Four-Mile Creek, pastors and members of Hopewell Church helped escaped slaves travel along the underground railroad.
 
As Hopewell Church grew, it gave birth to several churches throughout the area including the Seminary Church. Members and missionaries, professors and pastors carried Christ’s light from the Seminary across the country and throughout the world.

FROM PASTOR MARC’S DESK ...

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received in ministry was “If you want people to show up, never underestimate the power of a personal phone call.”  In my experience in ministry so far (such as it is), I have experienced to be true. Announcements during worship, flyers in the fellowship, and e-mail blasts are all good things, but at the end of the day, if I  really  want someone to show up, nothing makes more of an impact than a good, old-fashioned personal phone call.  Or taking them out to lunch.  Or coffee. Nothing makes an impression quite like “Wow, so-and-so actually took the time to reach out to me personally.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

December 1:  Advent workshop and chili lunch youth fund-raiser  
See Christian Education article page 4

December 8: Congregational Retreat
See Pastor Lawrence’s article

December 15:  OPW Christmas Tea
See page 5

December 15:  Celebration at the Manager
See Christian Education article page 4

December 19,20:  CCNS Christmas Program See CCNS NEWS page 5


Tuesday, December 24 th : Celebrate the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ this Christmas season with your church family at 7:00 p.m. at the Candlelight of Christmas Eve Service
CCNS NEWS

MWF Woodland CountryManor Trick or Treat Visit
Our Halloween bags were filled to the tip top after our visit to Woodland Manor. Thank you to our CCNS families and friends who were able to come and join in the fun! The children left with big smiles, but I believe the Woodland Country Manor Staff and Residents had even bigger smiles. 

T-TH Lane Library Visit 
Thank you to our CCNS families and friends that were able to join us on our Field Trip to the Lane Public Library. Ms. Caitlin always does a great job picking stories that hold our interest and keep us laughing!

CCNS Christmas Presentation
You’re invited to the CCNS Christmas Program on Friday, December 20, 2019 (MWF Class) and Thursday, December 19, 2019 (T-TH Class). The classes will be performing Christmas songs in the Sanctuary at 11:30 before dismissal.

Sarah Maple
CCNS Teacher/Administrator
CARES, CONCERNS, JOYS AND THANK YOUs
IN OUR PRAYERS Keep these friends in your prayers :
Betty Barnhart, John Curry, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates, Genee Hesse, Ruth Miller, Jan Reinhart, Becky Rudolph, Sarah Soika, Joan Teckman, Stacey Winn, John & Jean Woodruff.
Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers

JOYS
The Congregation extended a sincere welcome to our newest members - Corinne Babcock, Elena Donnelly, Andrew and Megan Murray, Marcia Perry, and Sherrie Skipper. We promise you our friendship and prayers as we share the hopes and labors of the church of Jesus Christ.   
Sherrie Skipper and Marcia Perry


Corinne Babcock and Elena Donnelly
Megan and Andrew Murray
FAMILY AT OPC IS A GREAT JOY
Amy and her mom, Vi.
Carol and her daughter and granddaughter.
SPECIAL OFFERINGS AT OPC

The Presbytery Mission Agency sent Rev. Jonathan Reinicnk to talk about Presbyterian Special Offerings. There are currently four Special Offerings, (One Great Hour of Sharing, the Pentecost Offering, the Peacemaking Offering, and the Joy Offering.) The Presbytery of the Miami Valley has about 87% of our churches participating in all four Special Offerings. The Oxford Presbyterian Church was recognized as having supported all four offerings for over twenty years and later was recognized as having supported the Special Offerings for longer than any othe church in Presbytery. I remember the One Great Hour of Sharing at OPC when I was five years old. 

Danny Cross reporting from Presbytery Meeting
 ONE OF OUR OWN!
Congratulations In Order

Jim Maynard's new book For Honor and Lovehas just been published. It's a historical novel set in Oxford and Miami University during World War II. It tells the story of two young students who fall in love and whose lives were changed on December 7, 1941, when the United States was attacked without warning at Pearl Harbor. He goes to war in combat in submarines in the Pacific and she remains in Oxford and becomes a reporter for the Oxford Press and tells the story of the war on the home front. For Honor and Love is a gripping story of love, courage and faith amid the chaos of war. 

A book signing is scheduled for December 1 after church at Fridge and Pantry across the street until 1:30 and from 1:30 p.m. till 3:30 at Books and Brew one block down the street across from the Seminary. Jim shares, “I am grateful for those in our church community who have told me some of their stories during the war and for the many who gave me so much encouragement and support in my twilight years.”

Members of the Oxford Presbyterian Church family may purchase a copy of Jim’s book for $25 (a substantial discount).

Additionally, Jim will generously donate net proceeds of purchases by OPC members to the fundraising efforts on behalf of our sister congregation in Zlatoust, Russia.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 for the installation of an indoor restroom at the First Church of Zlatoust. $5,000 has already been donated to this initiative. 

Your purchase of Jim’s book is a win-win. You experience the thrill of a great story. You also further the ministry of our brothers and sisters in Zlatoust.
ONE OF OUR OWN!
Congratulations In Order
 
Ten members will be inducted into the Butler County Sports Hall of Fame.  And one of those special people is our special person Nancy Fry Sturgeon! The 1948 Hamilton High graduate played tennis for three years for Big Blue before moving onto Miami University where she was a four-year athlete in basketball, field hockey and tennis.  While at Miami, she and her partner Jo Popp won the 1952 state doubles tennis championship. In her lifetime, she has 18 tennis tournament championships in singles, doubles, and senior events.  
Fred and Mary Jane Hugh Brower
The Knolls
 
Fred Brower was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1928. He attended Fairview High School in Dayton and graduated in 1946. He then enrolled in Miami and was inducted into the NROTC, which led to him graduating with a BS in economics in 1950 and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Marines. One week after graduation, the Korean War broke out and, after seven months basic training, Fred was sent to Korea.
 
OXFORD PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

Tuesday Afternoon Circle
will not meet in December

Tuesday Evening Circle
will not meet in December, but is looking forward to the January meeting at Jane Baer's home, 131 E. Spring Street, 523-5127.  We Start at 7:30. Jane will be her own co-hostess. Sue Wilson will do the program. Nancy Sturgeon will give the Devotions.

OPW CHRISTMAS TEA

The Tea will be on Sunday, December 15, in the Molyneaux lounge at 2:30 p.m. The hostesses are the Coordinating Team and Cookies are from the OPW Bakers. There will be a rousing Carol Sing with Jean Derickson at the piano and Karen Simpson will share a favorite Christmas Story. Make it a Jolly Holiday with tea, cookies and friendship!
DEACONS

Do you know someone who needs a Prayer Shawl? Shawls are given for comfort in times of illness or grief, as well as for celebration in times of joy.  If you have a friend or relative to whom you would like to give a Prayer Shawl, please contact Cornelia Browne, 513-524-7716.

NOVEMBER SESSION MEETING

Opening devotional was based on Galatians 3: 27-29 which talks about unity in diversity. Discussion centered on how this congregation can break down the barriers to unity.

Myrtle Collaboration/Called to Life progress over the past eleven months was presented. Five suggested calls for OPC have surfaced and further prayerful study will help determine the call for this congregation.

A revised edition of the Operational Financial Guidelines was presented. These guidelines include: requesting reimbursement when carrying our church business, using OPC credit/debit cards, using charge accounts for church business, bill payment procedures.

New and improved activity bags for young children to use during worship services were displayed.

The personnel committee has completed staff reviews.

*   *    *    *
Answer to the Question of the Month
It takes one elf 5 minutes to make one doll. Therefore 100 elves making 100 dolls would, of course, still take 5 minutes
Pastor Marc explained the ways various types of social media are being used to promote OPC on the campus and in the community.

Judy Fisher
Clerk

CHILDREN HELPING CHILDREN
An Update How VBS Raised Funds Continue to Welcome Babies
 
Every summer, children who attend a three-day Vacation Bible School (VBS) in Oxford raise money or perform a service project to help community members in need. In 2018, Pam Collins, Chief Patient Services Officer at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital (MHMH), told Prue Dana, who participates in the VBS program, that an infant swing would benefit certain babies at the hospital. 

In 2018, about 3 percent of the 430 babies delivered at MHMH had neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which occurs when a baby withdraws from certain substances—opioids, antidepressants or sleeping pills—he or she is exposed to during pregnancy. Babies born to mothers who abuse substances are often born addicted to the drugs themselves, since the drugs pass through the placenta. “They may be shaky and have problems with temperature control and colic,” says Sandra Flaishmakher, MD, a pediatrician at MHMH. “These symptoms can overwhelm a newborn’s nervous system and interfere with sleep.” The MamaRoo swing, which resembles the environment in the womb, can help soothe irritable babies with NAS. It’s used by more than 300 hospitals around the country.

OPC HAS BECOME A CERTIFIED HUNGER ACTION CONGREGATION…
…because we engage  all six areas:   Hunger Alleviation, Development Assistance, Hunger Education, Lifestyle Integrity, Corporate and Public Policy Witness, and Worship. 

There are no costs and we can change this designation at any time. This is a great way to connect with other Presbyterian Churches that are acting against hunger. Areas in which OPC fulfills the Hunger Congregation Covenant:

2018
  • Rise Against Hunger- over 15,000 meals packaged (rice, soy, dried vegetables, and vitamins) with the Miami University Community and other faith communities including Reily Presbyterian Church and Eaton Presbyterian Church
  • Crop Walk-raise money for the needy. 
  • Deacons Food Drive (Lent and Advent) as well as monthly shopping for TOPSS.
  • M&O supports the TOPSS with direct financial support every year.

2019
  • Russia Mission Journey to strengthen ministry ties with the First Church of Zlatoust, Chelyabinsk.
  • Raised $10,000.00 for TOPSS new building, (involving Worship and Music, Christian Education-through teaching the children about food insecurity; Deacons; OPW, and Mustard Seed).
  • Deepened local mission partnerships with TOPSS and FRC through service and funding.
  • KIDS COALITION AGAINST HUNGER – over 15,550 meals packaged with the Miami University Community and other faith communities.
  • Strengthened ties with Colombia missionary Sarah Henken and hosed the missionaries to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Mark Hare and Jenny Bent.
  • Trees for Life, where members of the congregation, particularly youth, take a flat of seedling plug trays from sowing to harvest.

Danny Cross
CHURCH SERVICES
AT THE KNOLLS

Come join us on December 10 & 17 at The Knolls at 10:00 A.M. in the Activity Room, as we view a recent Presbyterian Church service on DVD. Pastor Marc will be joining us on December 17 & his visit will include communion. If you would like to attend, but need a ride, call Becky Quay at 513-523-5747.
OUR BELOVED NATIVITY SET
Pam Deahl helps every season to decorate the sanctuary for the Christmas holiday and she wanted to know more about the nativity set that she fondly places at the chancel. Pam contacted Joe Hookey because she knew that he and Lois donated it at some point while Joe was minister at OPC. He responded, “The nativity set came from a Lutheran Church in St. Louis which was being shut down. The actual donor was a professional counselor…who approved many of the things we were doing at Second Presbyterian Church.”  
Pam wants to prepare a history note to keep with the nativity.  What a great idea!  We know a bit about the figurines now, but what about the barn?  Does anyone have a history for it?  Where did it come from?  Who made it? Let Pam know and we’ll share in the next newsletter. 
REMINDERS OF UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS
SAFE HAVEN FARMS DECORATING

December 8th  will be here soon and that means our annual visit to Safe Haven Farms to decorate their community center. We have had so much fun in the past years putting up the Christmas decorations.  

The farmers, as those young autistic adults are called, are delighted with "our supreme decorating skills." It's a joyful time of fellowship as we work together to make the Hatton Center a Christmas delight!  

We will meet behind the church at 1:00 to carpool to Safe Haven, or you may go directly there. The address is 5970 No Mans Road in Middletown, Oh.  

You do not need to bring anything except a joyful heart and a willingness to bring a festive feeling to these farmers. 
ALL THE MITTENS AND SHOES WERE HUNG ON THE TREE WITH CARE

No, you're not seeing things. This year the Mitten Tree will also be sprouting shoes! Yes, mittens and shoes growing on the same tree!  

If your donations go for mittens, that money will be used by the Oxford Resource Center to buy Christmas gifts for needy children in and around Oxford.  

Donating money for shoes will help our friendly little Russian children to have proper foot coverings on their feet.  

Maybe you don't have to choose and will want to do both. Suggested donations are $40 -50 for mittens and $12.50 for shoes.  

Help make Christmas even brighter for all of these children. Our tree will be in the sanctuary Dec.1st through the 22nd. Just take the mitten, shoe, or both from the tree and bring them into the Molyneaux where you may leave the item with your donation. Thank you from the children.
CCNS will be selling WARM GLOW CANDLES FOR OUR FALL FUNDRAISER! This fundraiser will help the Christian Cooperative Nursery School with the cost of field trips, activities in the classroom and other expenses (examples: butterfly growing project, STEM toys and materials for new outdoor toys).   
PLEASE CONTACT MISS SARAH TO VIEW A BROCHURE WITH ALL THE NEW CANDLE OPTIONS & SCENTS AVAILABLE! 
DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS
  

  2    Joe Foltz
  2    Nancy Parkinson
  2    Ned Stephenson
  2    Virginia Swanson
  4    Prue Dana
  5    Carol Flee
  8    Randy Trostel
  9    Ezekiel Groom
  9    Evan James
  9    Mark Hare (Missionary) 
10     Carol Bowers
10     Louise Griffing
10     Sue Skillings
11     Laura Harvey
12     Ann Bader
13     Linda Boardman
15     Robin Vealey
15     Sue Wilson
17     Jan Reinhart
17     Lynn Jacobs 
18     Nick Fears
18     Paula Green
18     Jonathan Hunter (Missionary)
18     Ellen Smith (Missionary) 
20     Steve Brown
20     Dick Munson
23     John Curry, Jr.
24     Megan Murry
25     Holly Gage
27     Corinne Babcock
27     Ann Bailey
28     Tom Poetter
29     Jean O’Connell
30     Megumi Satkowski
30     Nancy Sturgeon
31     Whitney Hartman


DECEMBER DO-DADS

Winter solstice 2019 in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 11:19 PM on Saturday, December 21.

Upon the winter solstice, the Sun appears at its lowest in the sky, The Sun’s gradual decrease in the sky reverses upon the winter solstice, marking what many believe to be a “rebirth” of the Sun as the hours of daylight become longer.

December 1 is Clark Kent’s birthday

December 20 is Poet Laureate Day

Snowball  Shel Silverstein
I made myself a snowball, 
As perfect as could be, 
I thought I’d keep it as a pet, 
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas, 
And a pillow for its head, 
Then last night it ran away, 
But first - it wet the bed!

The term Yuletide comes from a Norse tradition of cutting and burning a tree to bring in the Winter Solstice. This was to last through 12 days – later known as the 12 days of Christmas.

Question of the Month
If it takes 5 elves 5 minutes to make 5 dolls, how long would it take 100 elves to make 100 dolls?
Find the answer by reading the whole newsletter!


We welcome your feedback on the newsletter. We CRAVE your feedback like Velma craves my lap, What is missing from the newsletter that you would like to see? Is there anything you like about it ? Let me know. moeckenj@miamioh.edu Now here is your bonus for reading this section. I was clearing the snow off the driveway with my son, when he looked at me and said, "Dad, i wish you would just use a shovel."