LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD–
FROM PASTOR LAWRENCE
One morning this spring, I gathered with the family of Dick Fisher to bless a tree planted in his honor at the Pioneer Barn. As the site was prepared, I chatted with a member of our congregation assisting in that act of gratitude and grace.
A leader in other community organizations as well, I thanked him for the time and work he shared to be part of that Saturday morning in addition to his other roles throughout Oxford. He replied,
many years ago a friend taught me about servant leadership. I’ve tried to practice servant leadership ever since.
At that moment, the time arrived to begin the blessing of the tree. Though our conversation stopped at that point, I’ve carried his words throughout the summer – into worship and meetings, walking around Oxford as well as Zlatoust, Russia. The two words of
succinctly summarize my ministry values of joy, collaboration, accountability and humility.
SAVE THE DATE
2019 World Food Week of Action
Impact the World –
Today and Tomorrow!
October 20: OPC Food Packing Event
Seminary Community Room
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Volunteers from across the campus and community will come together for the Kids Coalition Against Hunger. Our goal is to package 15,000 nonperishable meals critical to school children, youth and families in our community and around the world.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION NEWS
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION NEWS
The Christian Education Committee expresses a deep and heartfelt
THANK YOU to JENN WALTER
for serving as our Chair for the last almost two years. We are very grateful for all the hard work and leadership. Thank you, Jenn! Candace Crist and Emily Lykins are currently serving as co-chairs of Christian Education.
Adult Christian Ed (aka ACE):
We are joining forces this fall with the Myrtle Collaboration Team and hope to see many members participate in this valuable effort!
Many of our children help on Sundays by lighting the altar candles. Every month, a youngster walks in with the choir and pastors and brings light into the sanctuary. Look for an upcoming article in one of this month’s issues of
, which will feature our acolytes!
We have people lined up to teach Sunday school through the entire 2019-20 year! Thank you to all the wonderful folks who volunteered! We are grateful to: Sarah Miller and Deb Sayers (grades K-2) and Bill Fisher, Carol Richmond, Emily Lykins, Carla Blackmar Rice, Mary Shinn, Jenn Walter, Debbie DeGennaro, Amy Bartel, and Cameron Hay-Rollins (grades 3-5).
NOMINATING COMMITTEE SEEKING YOUR INPUT
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:4
Do you know someone with gifts for leadership and ministry? Consider recommending those members of Oxford Presbyterian Church whom you feel have demonstrated gifts for leadership and a commitment to the life and ministry of this congregation.
Recommendations for the offices of Ruling Elder, Deacon, and Trustee may be made online (Nomination of Church Officers). Printed brochures will be in our Sunday bulletin and available throughout the church.
The election of church officers is at the heart of what it means to be Presbyterian. The Nominating Committee greatly appreciates your insight in helping them gather names a
s they prayerfully engage this exciting time of discernment.
CALLED TO LIFE!
Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s the meaning of my life and my work?”
Do you feel pulled in multiple directions---work, family, and other commitments?
Are you wondering where God might be leading you next?
Do you wonder where God might be leading your church family and is it possible for you to be a part of the journey?
Explore these questions in Called to Life, a new opportunity, sponsored by the Myrtle Collaboration and Adult Christian Education, for small groups to gather for conversation about our callings:
How to listen for God
Why we are all called to serve others
How challenges and struggles shape our sense of calling
Join us for conversation and prayer about God’s call in each of our lives and how we discern our congregational call. Small groups sessions begin the week of September 15 and continue through the week of October 20. Sessions will meet at various times during the week for an hour and a half. Watch the Bulletin and Voice for specific days and times. Registration begins Sunday, September 1.
OXFORD PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN
Tuesday Afternoon Circle
The Afternoon Circle will kick-off the year by having Rev. Marc van Buick lead the group with the first lesson “Words of Love: I Am Your God; You Shall Have No Others” in the Country Kitchen at the Knolls at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday September 17. An optional lunch for $8 is available at noon in the cafe by making reservations with Rosemary Fisher by the preceding Friday at 524-7748.
Becky Quay will be leading the Mission Yearbook and Karen Shearer will conduct the Least Coin. New members and guests are always welcome to this Presbyterian Women’s Group. For further information call Lynn Cronk at 524-8574. See you on the 17
Tuesday Evening Circle
Will meet September 3 in the home of Karen Simpson, 1325 Dana Dr. Connie Everhart is the Co Hostess. Ginny Layton will present the program. Debbie Davidson is leading the devotions.
All are welcomed. If you need a ride contact Karen, 523-8363.
HEADS UP! SAVE THE DATES
Fall Rummage Sale
Oct. 13-16. Prep days
Oct 17-19. THE SALE
Your help is needed to make this mission fundraiser a success.
Sponsored by Oxford Presbyterian
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,
CARES, CONCERNS, JOYS AND THANK YOUs
IN OUR PRAYERS
Keep these friends in your prayers
Betty Barnhart, Jean Butterfield, John Curry, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates, Genee Hesse, Breanna Kinneman, Ruth Miller, Jan Reinhart, Becky Rudolph, Sarah Soika, Joan Teckman, Stacey Winn, John & Jean Woodruff
Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers
Presbyterian Properties Flourishing
The time, talent and treasure of several church folks have transformed the grounds of OPC, the Seminary and the Manse, making them worthy of Garden Club standards. When the spring rains finally abated Sherrie Skipper could be found at the Seminary, planning, digging, weeding, planting and then maintaining during the long hot summer. Scott and Nancy Parkinson spent a good part of the month of June giving much loving care to the Manse property – trimming, weeding, adding new mulch, setting hoses for watering. Nick Fears has spent many hours building up his leg muscles mowing the grass at all buildings. The beautiful planters at the new entrance to the Memorial Building have been lovingly tended by Marilyn Curry and Pat Gifford.
A round of applause for all of these dedicated volunteers.
Judy Fisher on behalf of the ENTIRE CONGREGATION and anyone who travels past our grounds!
The Spring and Summer witnessed a wonderful spirit of generosity extended by our membership in support of a wide variety of needs of the Oxford Presbyterian Church.
(Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services) was well received. Major gifts extended from Dave and Sue Wilson ($1,000), Anonymous ($1,000), and Anonymous ($1,000) were combined with previous gifts and other funding sources to meet our total project pledge of $10,000. This assistance impacts those in need throughout our community.
Choir Internship Program
, introduced in 2018, enhanced our music ministry while contributing to our college outreach efforts. The congregation quickly adopted this program and were very generous in extending their support. Gifts were received from Jim and Dolly Thomas ($1,000) in memory of their daughter Amy; Robert and Marjorie Smith ($1,000); Bill and Susan King ($3,000); Janet Ziegler ($3,000); Joe and Kate Wespiser ($2,000) and Randy and Layne Listerman in memory of Dick Fisher ($2,000). In addition, Thanksgiving gifts combined with these major gifts to extend the Choir Intern budget to cover the next two years.
One very special gift will ensure that this successful program will continue well into the future. Fred Brower has gifted $50,153 to establish the
Mary Jane Brower Choir Intern Endowment Fund
in honor of his wife. This endowment fund B allows 5% of the fund to be withdrawn each year beginning in 2022. The fund is not intended to totally cover the cost of the intern program, but will provide a significant funding base each year with additional funds continuing to be contributed by the congregation. Fred and Mary Jane have long been members of the Oxford Presbyterian Church and have been very generous in regularly providing essential and generous support.
In addition, Don and Jane Kelly donated $1000 to the
. Bill and Susan King provided $6,000 for the
project and $1,200 to address minor tasks to be completed in the Seminary Building. Joe and Kate Wespiser contributed $10,000 to support further
and John and Marilyn Curry gifted $8,500 to replace the
in the Memorial playground.
Thanks to each of these individuals for their generosity in supporting the mission of the Oxford Presbyterian Church. Those who wish to contribute to a project of their choosing may pick up a revised copy of the “Wish List” available in the entryway of the Memorial Church.
THE MEMORIAL GARDEN
A former OPC member brought the idea for the Memorial Garden to session, in mid 2001. This was to be a place for the preservation of ashes from cremation for church members, their immediate family, and others as approved by session. By December of that year the questions were answered and planning completed and session approved the creation of this space. The first internment was on February 4, 2004.
Guidelines for the use of the Memorial Garden are available at the church office. They cover administrative procedure, eligibility, Memorial tablet and plaques, internment service and other applicable topics. No fees for OPC members are charged – however a contribution of $500 is encouraged. It is important for those considering the use of this space to carefully read over the guidelines.
Many families scatter to the far reaches of this world. Knowing that the resting place of their loved ones is familiar and reminiscent of their earlier years is a comforting feeling.
For families that have a history with this church, the Memorial Garden is a tranquil and natural space for the final resting place of loved ones.
AUGUST SESSION MEETING
The meeting was opened with reading, from the Book of Order, the Mission of the Church. Elders shared how their gifts fit into God’s mission and how we find joy in God in our daily lives.
Greg Hughes reported on an improvement that would help this church serve at the highest level. That would be to increase the commitment of families to the youth program
Action items included the approval of the following motions:
1)to accept the revised Director of Youth position description,
2)to accept the revised Sexton position description,
3)replied to liquor permit requests from Books and Brews and Oxford Hookah Lounge,
4)accepted $13,700 in special gifts,
5)set dates for congregational meetings to,
elect a nominating committee (August 18)
elect church officers (November 10).
Oxford Presbyterian Church has received a Certificate of Recognition as a Hunger Action Congregation. Rebecca Barnes, daughter of Mark and Barbara Barnes, signed this certificate. Small world!
Judy Fisher, Clerk
WELCOME BACK PICNIC, SEPT.8!!
Join the Membership, Evangelism, and Fellowship Committee as we welcome, students, faculty, vacationers, and new folks in the community to a picnic on the Memorial lawn after worship on Sunday, September 8! Enjoy reconnecting after the summer, eating a tasty meal from LaRosa’s, playing lawn games, and thanking God for his many blessings. Everything provided, everyone welcome!!!
During the summer the trustees have been very active as they implemented multiple projects resulting from donations extended from a generous congregation. The long anticipated handicapped ramp at the Memorial entrance was completed and blended well with the ambiance of the building. The recent landscaping was the finishing touch. Funds for this project were received from various sources over the years but the job was completed primarily as the result of a major gift from Betty Reinhart.
Protecting the stained-glass windows in the sanctuary wing of the Memorial building became a necessary priority to provide external security as well as clarity due to the degradation of the Lexan coverings added many years ago. John and Marilyn Curry initiated the project with a gift to cover the west and east sanctuary windows with 3/16 clear tempered glass. That gift was followed by an anonymous gift to additionally add tempered glass to the choir loft windows and to the rose window. With the installation of the protective glass on the rose window, the project is now complete, and these windows are not only protected but much more vibrant.
The playground area at the Memorial serves the nursery school scholars as well as the church school children. The Curry’s came through once again with funding support to have the old chain-link fence and overgrown shrubbery removed and replaced by much more attractive iron fencing. In addition, they replaced the deteriorating play structure with a unit that is safer and aesthetically appropriate.
Gifts such as these are so appreciated and are testaments to the 2020 Stewardship theme
“My Gifts Matter”
JEAN AND JOHN WOODRUFF
Premier Retirement Home.
Jean and John Woodruff were married by Edwin Fairman in the Seminary Church in Oxford on April 22, 1950.
They have been members of the Oxford Presbyterian family for nearly 69 years. Jean had graduated from Reily High School in 1948 while John had graduated from Stewart High School in Oxford in 1946.
When they were first married, Jean worked for the Oxford Lumber Co. and John worked for the Capitol Dry Cleaning Company.
Two years after they were married, they had their first child, a daughter, Sandra. She was born in 1952. Steve, their son, was born in 1955. Both children were raised in Oxford. Sandra was a cheerleader at Talawanda High, while Steve played basketball there. Steven died of cancer on December 16, 1998.
The children kept John and Jean interested in sports, and when Jean became the secretary at Talawanda (a job which she held for 33 years), the family went to everything Talawanda put on.
In the meantime, John had been offered a position with Champion Paper in Hamilton. He spent 35 years with the company and was involved in virtually every operation there.
They have one granddaughter Amanda Hamner of Chicago, Illinois and one grandson, Nicholas Robert. Nicholas played basketball at Talawanda when he was growing up. He now is assistant basketball coach at the University of Western Alabama in Livingston, Alabama. His team, the University of West Alabama, won their championship this year.
The Woodruffs have three great granddaughters and two great grandsons. Two great granddaughters and one great grandson live in Chicago. Their names are Natalie, Hollie and Nolan Hamner. One great grandson and one great granddaughter live in Livingston, Alabama. Their names are Steven Robert and Sloane Woodruff.
They also have a step-grandson, Chris Corbin, and his children Brooke, Benjamin and Bethany in Louisville, Kentucky and a step-granddaughter, Tiffany and her two children, Tristan and Payden living in Lexington, Kentucky.
Recently, on his 91
birthday, John was presented with a plaque by Governor Mike DeWine, which named him an Honored Citizen of Ohio and of the Nation.
Both Jean and John exemplify the virtues of being solid citizens of the community. They represent the type of decent, helpful, honest people who can make a town like Oxford a wonderful place to live.
Arly Allen is creating a book of the stories of our members who are 90 or more years old. This is the first story of more to come. Thank you Arly, for this celebration.
CHURCH SERVICES AT THE KNOLLS
Come join us on September 10 & 24 at The Knolls as we view recent Presbyterian Church services on DVD. We will be in the Activity Room at 10:00 A.M. If you want to know more about it or need a ride, give Becky Quay a call at 523-5747. Hope to see you there!
NEW MEMBERS EXPERIENCE
If you are interested in learning more about Oxford Presbyterian Church or what joining our church family might look like we invite you to join Pastor Marc for our New Members Experience on Oct. 6th and Oct. 14. New Members Sunday will be Oct. 20th. Topics to be presented include what Presbyterians believe, our governance, a brief history of the Oxford Presbyterian Church, what it means to be a member, and matching your talents and time to service opportunities! There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. Please contact the church office (523-6364) or Pastor Marc
if you would like to sign up.
The annual CROP WALK FOR HUNGER will take place on SATURDAY, September 28, beginning at 11 a.m. in the Uptown Parks. The Crop Hunger Walk is a community and Miami University fundraising event to help end hunger throughout the world. The walk gives all an opportunity to
support Church World Service development projects and disaster assistance around the world. In addition, there is assistance for local food banks and soup kitchens in the US. Crop Hunger Walks began in 1969 and have grown to include walkers of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds in communities throughout the US. We walk to raise funds and to be in solidarity in bringing awareness to issues of world hunger.
Crop Walk is also a Miami University Greek Week event although all Miami students, as well as community members, are invited to participate. You can register online if you want to walk (or run) and ask friends and family to support you. Registration is at: crophungerwalk.org
This event is important to the entire Oxford community in that 25% of the proceeds will go to our local TOPSS, the agency that serves those who experience food insecurity.
If you cannot run or walk or skip, come and cheer! All are invited to this annual event that strives to end hunger one step at a time.
PASTOR Lawrence will be away on study leave from Monday (8/26) through the Tuesday after Labor Day (9/3).
BRIDGITE will be on vacation from Mon, Sept. 23 - Fri, Sept. 27 and return to work on Monday, September 30. (
You go ahead and have a good time off Bridgite. Don’t worry about us; we’ll get by somehow.—
RUSSIA MISSION TRIP
Our visit to Russia evokes a dichotomy of contrasting emotions.
The people we met were kind, joyful, proud, perseverant, resourceful, and very hospitable. The morning after our arrival in Chelyabinsk, accompanied by our friends Bishop Igor, Presbyterian missionary Ellen Smith, and translator Dasha, we visited a faith-based children’s camp in a rural area east of the city. It was a very warm day, and children were enjoying a refreshing dip in the “pool”,
Thinking of my recent visit to the new Oxford Community pool shortly before I left the U.S., humility overwhelmed me as I watched them play in a modest-sized hole-in-the-ground, filled with water and lined with green tarps, which were secured by large rocks. Yet the children’s enthusiasm was so contagious I was tempted to join them!
Later that same day, upon departing the camp, Bishop Igor suggested we stop and visit the Golden Mountain memorial on the outskirts of Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains, a final tribute to religious leaders and other political prisoners of the area.
In September 1989, the Golden Mountain memorial was revealed to the people of Russia, and the world. It represents the oppression, strife, persecution, and hardship that is the history of the Russian people, and our visit there was a very somber experience.
Originally named Bald Mountain, gold was mined there from 1843 until 1935, when the mine was closed and cordoned off, inaccessible to most of the general Russian citizenry. In 1946 a prospector exploring the abandoned mines discovered a large number of bodies. He remained silent until 1988, when the perestroika movement (Mikhail Gorbachev’s program of economic, political, and social restructuring) gave the prospector the courage to speak out, and an article was published in The Chelyabinsk Worker,appropriately titled “Something’s not Right with our Memory”.
During early summer, 1989, archaeologists began excavating. Three hundred fifty bodies were quickly discovered, and experts determined the dates of the burials between 1936-39 (the Stalin era). It proved impossible to determine the identity of the bodies however it was clear that the cause of death was execution.
More bodies were excavated from the mines, but the magnitude of the task was daunting, described by one as “corpses spilling out of the workings.” In fact, KGB records show that more than 37,000 people were arrested in the southern Urals (Chelyabinsk area) and of them, 11,592 were shot.
Excavation was abandoned, and the site became a mass grave. On September 9, 1989, a rally was held there and attended by more than 6,000 people. The Memorial Society was created, and today the Golden Mountain memorial pays tribute to the thousands (some estimate up to 80,000) executed there, under Stalin’s regime.
With the “face” of religious persecution still on our minds, we visited Zlatoust and participated in Sunday worship with Pastor Slava, Bishop Igor, and our brothers and sisters of the Zlatoust Baptist church.
The humble dwelling did not appear to be a church from the outside. In fact, it blended with the surrounding landscape and other buildings in the area – an obvious attempt to disguise its true purpose.
Inside, we discovered what could only be described as a labor of love – all the interior work was benevolently performed by church members. The rear addition onto the church was constructed of logs, and the area behind the church was excavated from solid rock – by the hands of members!
The church’s interior was warmly decorated with art created by members. The worship space was bright and beautiful but cramped – spilling over with faithful, enthusiastic worshippers – both young and old.
During our time prior to the church service, Pastor Slava shared with us the history of the Church of Zlatoust through photographs, dating back nearly a century.
The photos depict original members of the church gathered in various activities, and Pastor Slava went on to describe the demise of the church during the communist era.
In one photo Pastor Slava identified the KGB agent who infiltrated the congregation, and then betrayed the church! Worshippers were forced underground, until very recently.
Now the Zlatoust Baptist church is growing and seeking to enlarge and improve its facility, including indoor bathrooms.
Our brothers and sisters in Zlatoust have faced and endured hardship – from political persecution to economic strife – but they are positive about the future. In fact, there are plans to start another congregation in Zlatoust! Their faith, positivity, joy, compassion, and trust in the Lord inspired us all!
Thanks to Ginny Layton for sharing this story.
FUN FACTS SPACE FILLER
Zlatoust is located in a mountainous and forested area, in the northwest of the Chelyabinsk region. Its north-western part is occupied by the National Park “Taganai” - the first National Park formed in the Urals in 1991. Due to its natural beauty this territory is compared with the famous Alpine scenery and called “Russian Switzerland” and “Ural Tyrol”.
A major pre-revolutionary steel city noted for its engraved steel and swords, Zlatoust remains one of the most important metallurgical centers of the Urals, specializing in high-grade and stainless steels.
Oxford Presbyterian Church Staff
Office Hours: 8:30-4:30, M-F
Seminary Building: 513-523-7411Pastor: Lawrence Bartel
Associate Pastor: Marc van Bulck
Music Director: Kent Peterson
Organist: Lynn Jacobs
Pastor Emeritus: Dr. Joseph R. Hookey
Parish Associate: Rev. Diane Ziegler
Clerk: Julia R. Fisher
Financial Secretary: Mary Martin
Sarah Lake: ccnsoxfordpreschool@gmail .com
Custodian: Priscilla Parks
Sexton: Robert Simpson
Answer to the question of the month
Of course it is. A $100 bill is worth more than a $1 bill (newer one).
1 Layne Listerman
2 Sandi Woy-Hazelton
3 Margaret Keister
3 Jennifer Roberts
4 Paula Foltz
4 Scott Richmond
10 Kylee Fears
11 Emily Krausher
12 Rick Bailey
12 Emma Lake
14 Becky Rudolph
17 Jennifer Lake
17 Karen Simpson
19 Elijah Brown
19 Larry Hardy
19 Jenn Walter
21 Pam Deahl
23 Mary Jane Roberts
23 Sam Stephenson
24 Stephen McDaniel
25 Lisa Gayhart
26 Bill Schilling
26 Vicky Trostel
27 Matt Benzing
27 Becky Quay
28 Emily Lykins
28 Rori Lykins
28 Grace Marado
SERIOUS SEPTEMBER SOMETHINGS
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini by Brian Hyland was a hit in September 1960
The top selling book in 1970 wasLove Story by Erich Segal
Top grossing movie of 1980 was Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back
Two dishes most represent the food of the Nineties, and both of them are desserts: crème brulée and molten chocolate cake
Cost of a gallon of gas in 2000, $1.26
Top toy of 2010 Mattel's plush Sing-a-ma-jigs have become this year's must-haves for the little ones. The eerie-toned talking and singing dolls each belt out a different note when their stomachs are pressed. (I never heard of these—ed!)
A terrible prediction,
Thomas Watson, the one-time president of IBM, suggested in 1943 that future consumer demand for his company’s products was limited at best.
Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, famously (or perhaps infamously) predicted in 1977: “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
Question of the month
Is an older one-hundred dollar bill worth more than a newer one?
Scour the newsletter with your eagle eyes to find the answer!
We welcome your feedback on the newsletter. We CRAVE your feedback like moms c. What is missing from the newsletter that you would like to see? Is there
you like about it
Let me know. Thanks, nancy. email@example.com .Now here is your bonus for reading this section.
Did you hear about the kidnapping at school? It's fine, he woke up.