February 2021
2020 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PASTOR
Late in 2020, the daily lectionary offered these words from the first chapter in the book of Revelation: “‘I am the Alpha and Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and is to come, the Almighty.” These words of hope and assurance frame a most exceptional and challenging year of 2020. 

In January, we began the year with the breath of God inspiring our ministry. Our clear missional vision began in the community with our “Called to Life!” process and reached around the world with sister churches in Colombia and Russia. The wind of the Holy Spirit seemed to be filling our sails as we planned for a week-long summer youth mission journey in Chicago and congregational learning journey to Scotland

2020 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE ASSOCIATE PASTOR
I sit here writing these words on the eve of Epiphany.  Epiphany is the culmination of a season in the Church that begins in Advent, continues through the season of Christmas, and culminates with our celebration of the arrival of the magi.  It is a season that begins with anticipation, preparation, and prayer, and takes us all the way through the story of the Nativity to its destination with the wise men followinga star.

In many ways, 2020 has felt like a journey for all of us, too, and like the wise men we may be wondering where this journey might lead us or what the destination might be.  Like the story of the Nativity itself, 2020 has been a year of disruptions.  The COVID-19 pandemic radically (and unexpectedly) changed the ways that we do family and campus ministry, Christian Education, and campus ministry.  Youth group, Sunday School, Food For Thought, and practically anything else.


UPCOMING EVENTS
Feb. 1 Confirmation Class meets 7:45 p.m.
           See below
 
Feb. 8 Circle meeting on zoom at 1:30 p.m.
         See below
 
Feb. 9 Eradicating Systemic Poverty
(ESP) Team Meeting at 2:00 p.m.
 
Feb. 12 Caring For Creation Team (C4C)
             at 1:00 p.m.
 
Feb. 17 Ash Wednesday Service 
         6:30pm See below

For the latest information on upcoming ministry events, please check: 
 
The Church Calendar  
 
Visit Our Facebook Page
 
or contact the Church Office.
READ THE FULL REPORTS
Read the full 2020 OPC Annual Report HERE
Please contact our church office for copies of the 2021 Annual Budget as well as the 2020 Financial Statements.
VIRTUAL ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE

Join us for a Virtual AshWednesday service onWednesday,February 17that 6:30 P.M.We
will be distributing home kits prior to the virtual worship service. Please contact the church office if you would like one delivered to you.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Planning during a pandemic might seem daunting to some, but not to OPC’s CE committee. Our committee is determined to continue providing you with Christian educational opportunities, even during this challenging time. We welcome your feedback as we try new ideas, so please share your likes or dislikes as we journey through this year together.

The Lenten season begins February 17 and this year CE is thinking outside the box by offering a Lenten podcast series in addition to the traditional Lenten study. Details about both Lenten opportunities will be shared early February in The Voice.

Virtual church school for the Pre-K and 3rd-5thgrade classes will continue to be offered virtually through May. To view the weekly virtual church school lessons, visit OPC’s church school webpage. Many thanks to Megan Murray for teaching the 3rd-5thgrade church school lessons during January. 

Youthgroup- Check out Pastor Marc’s article sharing what the youth are currently studying. These youth are amazing!

Take care and be safe,
CE Co-chairs – Emily Lykins and Jenn Walter
JANUARY SESSION MEETING

Opening devotions based on Psalm 145, praising connections of generation to generation.
Motions approved:

(1) Election of Clerk (Judy Schiller) and Treasurer (Sue Skillings)
(2) Authorization for Pastors to administer Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion
(3) Appointment of Robert Smith as OPC Commissioner to Presbytery
(4) Request by Carla Blackmar, representing the Caring for Creation Team, to apply for OPC identification as an Earth Care Congregation
Judy Schiller, Clerk

(Congratulations! Judy Schiller, our new Clerk and many thank yous for taking on this crucial role—ed and congregation)
 
COMMITTEES OF SESSION

WORSHIP AND MUSIC
Take Five:
·      Learned about the Sacrament of Baptism through a tutorial presented by Pastor Lawrence.
·      Discussed goals and objectives for 2021 and beyond.
·      Began planning for Ash Wednesday and Lent.  It was assumed that the pandemic will require the continuation of live-streamed services for the foreseeable future.  

MISSION AND OUTREACH
Take Five: 
·      Funded the following (all the same as last year) ~ $500 for Colombia interns; $1000 for PDA COVID-19 Response Fund; $1500 for FRC. 
·      Recommended $1000 be given from the COVID-19 Emergency Outreach Fund to the Goel Project, a ministry of our sister church in Barranquilla, to provide groceries and other necessities for poor families. 
·      Enthusiastically discussed JOT’s newly released draft, “Called. Connected. Changed.” Ideas spilling over, barely scratching the surface, to be continued! 
·      Discussed upcoming visit by Pastor Igor. 

STEWARDSHIP AND FINANCE
Take Five: 
·     Stewardship and Finance is thankful to everyone for their generous pledges that allowed us to exceed our $350,000 goal by $5421 for 2021. 

TRUSTEES
·     Rick Bailey will attend Session meetings.
·     Plan is to paint the Memorial main hallway and update woodwork before carpet is installed.
·     We will begin to study the furnace problem.
OXFORD PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN
Tuesday Afternoon Circle.
Tuesday (monday) Evening (afternoon) Circle

Tuesday Afternoon Circle- Lesson Five, “Lamenting Life”. “Sometimes it is life, rather than death, that is cause for lament”. Please join the virtual study on MONDAY FEBRUARY 8 at 1:30 p.m. on Zoom. 
OPW’s HONORED WOMAN AWARD

As we anxiously anticipate the arrival of spring in 2021, we are again seeking from our congregation nominations for the Honored Woman’s Award. We wish to recognize that person who has given faithfully and selflessly to the betterment, growth and outreach of OPC. Please nominate by means of a letter indicating the contributions made to the church as a whole. Letters must be received by Feb. 28th to Susan King or Becky Quay to be considered. Thank you.
Kingsusanhenkins@gmail.com or 
Quayrh@miamioh.ed

FYI The Honorary Life Membership (HLM) program was established in the Presbyterian Church to honor faithful service to the women’s organization and to the church. More than a thousand women (and a few men) receive this honor each year.
FROM THE TREASURER OF OXFORD PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

As an active member of OPW and recently as OPW treasurer, I have learned much about how OPW operates. There are some items I would like to share for clarification to anyone who might not know or remember.

First, The Oxford Presbyterian Church and Oxford Presbyterian Women have two separate bank accounts and budgets. Because of this, checks should be made payable differently depending on which entity is receiving the money. Monies for the church general fund should be payable to Oxford Presbyterian Church.  Any funds requested by Oxford Presbyterian Women, should be payable to Oxford Presbyterian Women or “OPW”.  If checks are payable to the incorrect account, it can usually be figured out, but then a check needs to be written from the incorrect account to the correct account. This is not a bigdeal, but it does create unnecessary work for the OPC financial secretary and the OPW treasurer.  Thus, I would like to gently remind everyone to be sure to make checks payable to the appropriate account whenever possible.

CONFIRMATION CLASS

Confirmation class meets on Monday, February 1 at 7:45 p.m. Carla Blackmar Rice leads a lesson on living a covenant life together. Check your e-mail for updates on meeting location. If you would like to be added to the confirmation class e-mail list, please contact Pastor Marc
“REALIZING OUR CALLS” RETREAT

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, many of our congregational leaders participated in a retreat via ZOOM on January 16.  It was coordinated by the Called to Life!  Core Team (Pastor Lawrence, Pastor Marc, John Bailer, Pat Gifford) to review the progress made with our congregational calls and explore commitment for 2021. 

Three videos were recorded and provided as preparation for the retreat; “How Did We Get Here” by Pat Gifford, “Eradicating Systemic Poverty” by Anne Bailey and “Caring for Creation” by Carla Blackmar Rice and are still available on our OPC YouTube channel. CLICK HERE

Technical wizard, John Bailer, helped ZOOM randomly assign the group of 38 into breakout groups of 5-7 discussing questions posed the Call to Life! team.  It worked well!

Breakout session #1 asked the participants how they felt called as a person and as a member of OPC during this pandemic year.

SOME 2020 GOOD NEWS – 
MAJOR GIFTS

While 2020 was challenging in so many ways, there was good news too. Our congregation remained generous as we addressed continuing needs and faced unique new needs. Through the year, a total of $160,829 major gifts (over $1,000) were received in addition to $3,245 given as thanksgiving gifts (under $1,000). 

In December we received several gifts that were extended to be used to meet any outstanding need that the church might have. Gifts of $1,000 were received from Chuck Crain and an anonymous donor while Randy and Layne added $1,000 in memory of Joan Teckman. Louise Griffing also provided $6,000 for general needs and an anonymous donor gave $2,270 to purchase an automatic defibrillator to be placed in the seminary building. These gifts totaled $11,270. 

As we move into 2021, we hope and pray for more encouraging times and an eventual return to a somewhat normal. We also look forward to continuing generosity as our journey unfolds.

Bill King
Special Gifts Coordinator
MEDIA CONTENT CREATORS NEEDED!

The communications team at Oxford Presbyterian Church is so thrilled with our new audio-visual upgrades to our sanctuary and our facilities...and now it’s time to start dreaming about how to use them! We are looking to put together a new Media Content Team of volunteers to help envision, oversee, and curate the ways that we communicate across all forms of digital, physical, and social media. If this is an area that you might have some interest in, please contact Gene Krebs or Pastor Marc. 
A PRAYER SHAWL THANK YOU

The Prayer Shawl Blessing 
May God’s grace be upon this shawl warming, comforting, enfolding, and embracing. May this mantle be a safe haven... a secret place of security and well-being... sustaining and embracing in good times as well as difficult ones. May the one who receives this shawl be cradled in hope, kept in joy, graced with peace, and wrapped in love. 

Cia and the Oxford Presbyterian Church Deacons, 
Thank you so very much for the beautiful prayer shawl. What a wonderful surprise and sweet blessing, made with love. 

May the Lord bless each of you as you care for others. You have made me smile and brought me joy with your stitches of love and prayer. 

God’s love is amazing, how he gave his son Jesus Christ for us. May God continue to be glorified through your prayer shawl ministry as you serve him. 

Love in Christ, Friend of Cia Beal 
COVID-19 EMERGENCY OUTREACH FUND

As COVID cases continue around Oxford, our community faces so many challenges and opportunities as we all care for one another through this pandemic. Our ministry remains in close communication with our community mission partners. Our partners report that the CARES Act funding in 2020 was a great help that enabled them to respond to the pandemic last year. As we enter 2021, that funding is no longer available. 

If you know of a neighbor who has been impacted by this pandemic, our ministry is actively prepared to assist. The congregational response to the COVID-19 Emergency Outreach Fund has been generous. Please contact our church office if you know of a family or individual who has been impacted by this pandemic. We stand ready to help.
RECOMMENDED READING FOR ALL

The Youth Group is reading "Worldchanging 101" by David LaMotte. The book explores the complexities and ambiguities around how communities can affect real change and impact without feeling paralyzed or overwhelmed. While it’s the youth group studying this book, it is indeed recommended to all congregants. The book is available in both paperback and Kindle form. 
SOME COMMENTS ON:

Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness
David LaMotte. Dryad, $16.95 (235p) ISBN 978-0-9906500-0-3 

LaMotte is a multifaceted individual: musician, activist, Rotary World Peace Fellow, and founder and president of PEG Partners, a charity that supports schools and libraries in Guatemala LaMotte offers tips for young people, suggesting that “What do I do next?” is a more manage­able question than “What am I supposed to do with my life?” 
--Publishers Weekly March 9, 2015

*Challenging and pointed. Makes you think!
*I highly recommend this book for any group or individual who is seeking to be helpful in their community.
*Good road map for making positive changes in world around you.
--Various Amazon customers

Listen to David LaMotte tell you about this book and his own story by going to Youtube. Search “Worldchanging 101” or to see more about the author search “David LaMotte.”

Visit Davidlamotte.com to read his biography,listen to his music, read his blog and watch some videos. And “if you’re interested in commissioning a song as a gift for someone or for a particular purpose, I’d love to hear from you.”
earth care congregation image
EARTH CARE

“ This is my Father’s World, And to my listening ears, All nature sings and round me rings”
 A year ago our congregation participated in the “Called to Life” seminars which resulted in our desire as a congregation to engage more fully in protecting God’s Creation, environmental justice, and living the gospel.  

The formation of the Earth Care Team came out of the Call to Life Sessions within our congregation which decided a year ago to center our Journey Outward on two areas:  Eradicating Systemic Poverty and Caring for Creation. You may see some abbreviations that are not familiar to you.  These are ESP—Eradicating Systemic Poverty and C4C—Caring for Creation.  The ESP team is chaired by Anne Bailey and the C4C team is chaired by Carla Blackmar Rice. The thought of our congregation tackling these two big issues is overwhelming.  But, during a workshop on January 16th, Rebecca Barnes reminded us that there is an enormity of the task, and we do not have the illusion of easy success.  But we dare to act because we dare to hope.  It is not a burden:  it is God’s work.  We do this because we must, and we proceed with great joy in doing the Lord’s work in our community.

CARES AND CONCERNS

Betty Barnhart, Jim Baer, Rodger Cromer, John Curry, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates, Genee Hesse, Chris Krueger, Ruth Miller, Jan Reinhart, Becky Rudolph, Sarah Soika, John & Jean Woodruff. 


Marlene Vaughn, a cherished and long-time member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church family passed away Monday, January 18. Please keep Jack and family in your prayers.Cards of sympathy may be mailed to:

Jack Vaughn
10 Bull Run Dr.
Oxford, OH 45056

Keep these friends in your prayer
NEWS FROM OUR SISTER CHURCH
The Seventh Presbyterian Church in Barranquilla, Colombia

The pandemic has hit hard in Colombia, just as it has here in Ohio. People are socially distancing and wearing face 
masks. Church services are held on-line. Our OPC mission and outreach committee sent relief money in May which was used to buy food for the families in the El Por Fin barrio. Food was distributed by our Seventh Church friends. 

Then, in December another check was sent to aid the children served by the Bethesda Christian Community Center. This money was used to buy Christmas gifts for the children, food for the families, and school supplies. The traditional Christmas party was not held and the children were only allowed in the Center three at a time to maintain social distance. 

This must have been exceptionally difficult, as we know our Colombian friends love to have parties and celebrations. 

A message from our friends: "We know We are in the hands of God and thanks again for remembering us !!"

Sue Wilson
Charcoal is the answer to the Q of the M

Food and fun for our family in Colombia.

Many Blessings!! 
 Pbra.Gina Zabala
 Administrative Director 
Seventh Presbyterian Church

Much needed food and much appreciated gifts!
“There were 68 packages of gifts that thank God we were able to deliver,
Thank you very much for the interest of the Church to continue supporting this project that benefits so many people in great need! a hug!! “ 
SERRV & EARN FUNDRAISER

The Serrv & Earn fundraiser for the Oxford Presbyterian Women is still happening. We urge those who are interested to browse through the catalog (there are a few at the church, ask Bridgite) or look online at: https://www.serrv.org/?a=oxford2020 .  

Every item in the Serrv catalog is handmade by a talented global artisan or farmer working to support themselves and their family. If you're looking for a unique Valentine's Day or a birthday gift, you'll be sure to find it at Serrv.

We have a few items listed below that can be purchased from Prue Dana. After she received her order from Serrv she received a duplicate order a few days later. She couldn't return the second order because it contained food. Please call Prue if you're interested in buying any of these items. Prue's phone number is 513-523-6579.            

Becky Quay 

Spicey Sacred Mark Soaps - set of 2   $14.00
Tree of Life Shesham Trivet     18.00
  
Herbs & Spices                                  
Kariba Sunset Tomato Pepper        7.00 
Braai Salt Blend                              7.00
Cape Garden Herbs                        7.00
Madagascar Garlic Pepper              7.00
Traditional Za'atar Mix                     5.00
Swahili Lemon Pepper                     7.00
70% dark chocolate w/ Ginger & orange bar      3.00
70% dark chocolate with coconut & mango bar     3.00
Orange marmalade jar (8.8 oz).        8.00
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH K-KIDS
THROUGH A PANDEMIC

Nancy the Nutrition Nut of Oxford Kiwanis offers interactive lessons for healthy snacks via Zoom

The Kiwanis Club of Oxford continues to serve the children of the community through alternative venues as the corona virus has impacted our daily lives. The club proudly supports service units in our three elementary schools, our middle school, our high school and Miami University. Each of these leadership clubs in turn is active in supporting their community. The virus prompted creative approaches to traditional interactions.

Nancy Parkinson, better known as Nancy the Nutrition Nut, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, an active member of Oxford Kiwanis and an active member of OPC/ She is exceptionally well known for her work with all our service groups. She is a member of the faculty in Miami’s department of Kinesiology and Health and has been a favorite with K-Kids and Builder’s Club in school classrooms throughout the community. Nancy worked with school sponsors who, impressed by her past live programs, had asked her to provide a virtual program for a combined group of K-Kids members representing students from all three elementary schools. Sixty students signed up for the experience.

ON BEING A PFIZER COVID VACCINE VOLUNTEER

I saw an announcement on Facebook inviting folks to volunteer to be in a Covid-19 vaccine trial.  That sounds interesting I thought, so I responded with an email to Joyce at Sterling Research Group.  This was mid-July 2020 or so.  No response came my way and I thought, oh well.  Then I got a nibble, a phone call with screening questions like: do you have…have you ever had…does anyone in your family…? I told the person I lived in Oxford, home of Miami University, and a likely place to encounter the virus.  I could hear my caller smiling on the phone and almost hear his hands rubbing together as he explained, well we don’t want you to be at high risk because your health is most important, but we don’t want someone who is not likely to encounter the virus at all, because that wouldn’t test our product.  Kind of a “we wish you well,“ but not too well.  I passed that screen and was told I’d get a call shortly to schedule my first appointment.  I was excited and eager to participate.

DAILY DEVOTIONS

Don’t forget to visit the church webpage
·      and Daily Readings from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
SOME COVID DIVERSIONS
To fill a little space

My mum always told me I wouldn’t accomplish anything by lying in bed all day. But look at me now! I’m saving the world!

Nothing like relaxing on the couch after a long day of being tense on the couch!

What’s the difference between Covid-19 and Romeo and Juliet? One’s the coronavirus and the other is a Verona crisis!

The World Health Organization announced that dogs cannot contract COVID-19. Dogs previously held in quarantine can now be released. To be clear, WHO let the dogs out.

This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog–we laughed a lot.
Oxford Presbyterian Church Staff
Office Hours: 8:30-4:30, M-F
Telephone: 513-523-6364
Fax: 513-523-8215
Seminary Building: 513-523-7411
Pastor: 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

Administrative Assistant: 
         Bridgite Dickerson:         office@oxfordpresbychurch.org
Financial Secretary: Nick Fears

Youth Director: Currently Seeking

Director/Teacher C.C.N.S.: 
Sarah Lake:                                                          ccnsoxfordpreschool@gmail .com    

Newsletter Editor: 
Nancy Moeckel,    moeckenj@miamioh.edu

Custodian: Priscilla Parks

Sexton: Nick Fears

FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS

  4     Lawretta Clum
  5     Elsa Friede
  5     Finnigan Friede
  5     Eric Staley
  9     Ginny Staberg
10      Jenny Bailer
11      Evan Bader
11      Carl Vance
14      Katherine Butterfield
14      Karen Remley
16      Ginny Layton
16      Judy Schiller
16      Mary Shinn
17      Sue Siegel
18      Susan King
21      Leanne Woods
23      Ruth Keebler
23      Timothy Richmond
25      Kristie Rezanka
25      Katie Saylor
27      Missy Friede
27      Tom Holmes


FEBRUARY FUZZIES

Fun Fact:  palindrome day was the newsletter deadline day 1.20.2021

Just a bunch of one-liners
Lego store re-opens after lockdown. Folks lined up for blocks.

Ghosts like to ride in elevators because it lifts their spirits.

What do you call a hippie’s wife?  Mississippi.

I’m going to start collecting highlighters.  Mark my words.

My therapist says I can get over my fear of buffets, but first I have to want to help myself.

Be careful when you eat at Sam and Ella’s diner.

Turning vegan would be a big missed steak.

People are making apocalypse jokes like there’s no tomorrow.

Double negatives are a no-no in English.

I danced like no one was watching. My court date is pending.

Question of the month.
What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

As always, find the answer hidden somewhere in the newsletter.

Dogs have twice as many muscles in their ears as humans.
  
Dogs aren’t completely colorblind. They can see shades of black, white, blue and yellow.

We welcome your feedback on the newsletter. We LOVE your feedback like Velma loves to snuggle.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: Q: What did Peppermint Patty ask Charlie Brown when they needed to start a campfire? A: Where’s the wood, Chuck?