March 2021
We are, according to the Bible,
made for family. 
We’re made for community, 
we’re made for togetherness,
we’re made for friendship. 
We’re made to live in a delicate network
of interdependence, 
for we are made for complementarity. 
I have gifts that you don’t have. 
And you have gifts that I don’t have. 
Thus we are made different so that we can know our need of one another. 
And this is a fundamental law of our being.
- Desmund Tutu

The last twelve months uncovered so much so long hidden in plain sight. Among the truths revealed over this year is the wisdom that Archbishop Tutu reminds us of in the preceding passage - we are created for community.  

World Changing During Lent And Beyond

The season of Lent, at its heart, is ideally a season of transformation. For Christians, it is a forty day journey from the solemnity of Ash Wednesday to the roads of Holy Week, the shadow of the cross, and to the awe and wonder of the empty tomb.  From the very beginning of this journey, we are reminded that we are but dust.  From dust we were made, and to dust we shall return The story is not ultimately about us.  The 
story is ultimately about God. We could also say, “From God we were made, and to God we shall return.”

The journey of Lent ultimately represents our journey towards growing closer to God both spiritually and through the seasons of our lives.  It’s also about taking a long, hard look in the mirror about how our lives, our communities, our country, and our world can be transformed more fully into the kind of world we were created to be.

Pastor Marc's world changers.
Our future is looking bright!

Each Wednesday:  Lenten Reflections

March 3: Puff Memorial Lecture on Christian Approaches to Homelessness. 7pm 
See article below

March 12:  Community Blood Drive
See article below

March 31:  Community meal

For the latest information on upcoming ministry events, please check: 
The Church Calendar  
Visit Our Facebook Page
or contact the Church Office.

The season of Lent. CE is collaborating with the Caring for Creation team to offer a unique Lenten series this year – a Lenten Creation Care podcast series (podcast links are noted below and also in The Voice).  Many thanks to theCaring for Creation team for hosting a weekly Zoom "coffee hour" on Sundays from 11:45AM-12:30PM to discuss the podcast series. Look for the Zoom links in The Voice!

CE members had fun delivering Lenten activity bags to the families of preschoolers through eighth graders recently. The contents in each bag differed (depending on the age of the children) - Lenten calendars, family devotionals, Lenten trivia cards, Lenten paper chains and an Easter book. We hope that our young families enjoyed their Lenten family activity bags! 

CE is updating classroom spaces!New media items were recently purchased for the youth room and the 3rd-5thgrade classroom will soon have new tables, chairs and a comfortable hang out area. Photos will be shared in the coming months!

Confirmation class continues to meet virtually with Pastor Marc each week. It’s hard to believe the Confirmation ceremony will take place in just a couple of months!

Virtual church school for the Pre-K and 3rd-5thgrade classes - To view the weekly virtual church school lessons, visit OPC’s church school webpage. Many thanks to Debbie DeGennaro for teaching the 3rd-5thgrade church school lessons in February. 

Take care and be safe,
CE committee

See Caring for Creation article below for details about each podcast.
Igor Maksakov’s visit is currently being planned for Thursday April 8 to Monday April 12.
Opening devotions reminded us that as Presbyterians, we are connected to one another in our lives and in our ministry; we are not isolated from one another for as Scripture tells us, "it is not good to live alone." We trust that God is always with us and we encourage each other as we work together.

Motions approved:
 (1) The Joan M. Teckman/Oxford Presbyterian Healthcare Award, established with a gift from Randy and Layne Listerman.  The award will be presented each year to a Talawanda graduating senior seeking to enter studies for employment in a healthcare-related position.

2) Proposal to move forward with the creation of a new Session committee, tentatively called Connections Committee. This committee will merge the former Membership, Evangelism, and Fellowship Committee with the pandemic-postponed Third 30 Committee to reconnect people in a variety of events to engagement with one another, offer support and enjoy activities. Leading this new effort are Judy Fisher and Nancy Moeckel.  

A letter was received from Deanna Roberts, a member of OPC who is currently studying for her final evaluations before being ordained in the ministry.  Throughout her studies, Deanna has been under the care of OPC and the Miami Presbytery and she sends her heartfelt thanks for our prayers and support.

Karen Shearer, representing the Deacons, joined the Session and described current challenges in their efforts caused by the pandemic and also successes in spite of the same environment. Session expressed its sincere gratitude for all the Deacons do for the ministry of OPC.

Rick Bailey, Trustee, joined the meeting and reported on various activities being undertaken by the Trustees, some of which are described below.

Judy Schiller, Clerk
Tuesday Afternoon Circle.
will meet virtually in March. Please study Lesson Six, “Lament Over the City”. Once again our lesson is so timely in 2021. The lesson starts with the bullet point of naming cities that have been destroyed and then asking the question, “What caused their destruction?”
The Zoom lesson will occur at 1:30 on Monday the 8th. Watch for further instructions to tune into this Zoom lesson

Tuesday (monday) Evening (afternoon) Circle
You are invited to join the Zoom meeting on Monday March 8 at 1:30 with Pastor Marc. 

AS YOU CONSIDER YOUR ANNUAL MISSION PLEDGE REMEMBER YOU MAY DONATE ONLINE. Simply use the church online giving program and choose the OPW account. Any amounts given to this account currently will be accepted as a mission pledge. Thank you. 
Debbie Davidson, OPW Treasurer  

Betty Barnhart, Jim Baer, Rodger Cromer, John Curry, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates, Genee Hesse, Ruth Miller, Jan Reinhart, Sarah Soika, John Woodruff. 

Several of our families and friends are mourning loss of their loved ones.  We share in your sorrow and want to send you strength and peace. 
Peace to Becky Rudolph’s family and friends.  We miss seeing your joy as you sang for us in the choir. Peace to Shari Farmer’s loved ones and to Angela Trubceac whose mother died in Moldova. Peace to Sarah Lake who lost her beloved Aunt Tonya.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."  Matthew 5:4
 Keep these friends in your prayers

Braver Angels is a non-profit founded in the wake of the 2016 election to help reunite "red" and "blue" America through conversation among individuals of diverse views, through various forms, groups, workshops, one-to-one conversations. Tom and I signed up for one-to-one conversations, which involve two one-hour conversations with an assigned partner via an electronic platform following prescribed ground rules. 

My partner lives in Nevada and Tom's partner lives in Arkansas. Our experiences turned out to be the same as both of us had warm exchanges of differing viewpoints marked by our commonalities.  
My partner, Lisa, and I initially wondered if we had been "mismatched" as there was much we agreed on.  

Tom's and my expectation was to be assigned partners with radically different viewpoints but we ended up with partners for whom our differences were a non-issue. So did we accomplish the goal of helping to bridge the political divide? No, we didn't. But what we did do, the four of us, was to encourage one another. Lisa and I are so encouraged by our conversations we decided to continue them, on our own and unscripted! We recommend it.

Carol Schaber
earth care congregation image

“ This is my Father’s World, And to my listening ears, All nature sings and round me rings”
Creation Care Lenten Podcast Series
Podcasts are a great way to explore new ideas.  This Lent, our Christian Education Committee teamed up with our Caring for Creation team to develop a series of “Caring for Creation” podcasts. Each week, you are invited to listen to one of the podcasts below, and then join members of our Caring for Creation team on Sundays at 11:45 am for a coffee hour discussion of the week’s listening. 

How to Listen to the Podcasts
We’ve tried to make it easy to listen to podcasts for this series.  You don’t need any special software-- simply check out the links for each week, and you’ll see the webpage in your device’s web browser.  On each web page, you will see a “play bar.”  Simply click the play button, and you should be able to listen (if it doesn’t work, check and make sure the volume is on!) 
In some cases, we thought it might be a little hard to see where the play bar was located. In those cases, we have added a hint about where to find it in the listening notes. 

Please contact Carla Blackmar-Rice if you have technical difficulties at cablackmar@yahoo.comand she will be glad to assist you.  

Zoom info:
Information for Zoom Meetings is here (please scroll to bottom of document for more information)

Join Zoom Meeting
First week of Lent: (February 17-21, discussion 2/21 11:45am)
Listening notes:Play button is located below the “CCL” logo -- just click “play” and the podcast should start. To skip intro, start at 2:14 and ending at 17:04

Second week of Lent: (February 21-27, discussion 2/28 at 11:45am)
Listening notes:  Scroll to bottom of page to see the play bar! To skip intro, start at 2:45. Ends at: 22:20 

Third week of Lent: (February 28- March 6, Discussion March 7 11:45am)
Listening notes: Scroll to bottom of the page to see the play bar.  

Fourth week of Lent: (March 7-March13, Discussion March 14 11:45am)
Listening notes: play bar is under the “No Place Like Home” image.  

The 2021 Puff Memorial Lecture - Christian Approaches to Homelessness- will be held virtually, and will featureDr. Laura Stivers, of Dominican University.

March 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Dr. Stivers examines common Christian approaches to addressing homeless: a direct charity approach of providing soup kitchens or homeless shelters and a more structural approach of building low-income rental housing or inexpensive homes for ownership. She argues that many Christian approaches reinforce dominant ideologies about homelessness and housing in ways that can both be oppressive for those who are poor and/or homeless, and can serve to mask the real causes of homelessness. Stivers advocates for a hospitality as justice approach that shifts emphasis away from changing or transforming individuals and towards addressing the structural causes of homelessness and poverty, with particular attention to racial justice.

DR. LAURA STIVERS is a feminist social ethicist and scholar-activist. She speaks on and writes about issues related to social and environmental justice. Her most in-depth work has been on homelessness and affordable housing, most recently in relation to racism. Her academic training is in Christian ethics and her published work explores what responsibilities Christians have for creating flourishing communities and protecting our environment. Laura works with others within the community to promote justice and social change.

Direct questions to J.J. Slager at 
A Proposed new Session committee

A new committee is coming to fruition; informally called the Connections Committee, though if you have another name suggestion, please share it.
This committee rises from the former Membership, Evangelism and Fellowship committee in union with the pandemic postponed Third30 efforts.  Its purpose is to foster connections by seeking to reconnect people during and post-pandemic by sponsoring events such as:
·      Those related to current events (discussions, sharing, teaching)
·      Sharing personal interests (as above)
·      Study groups
·      Bible study
·      Revised time to dine
o  Potluck groups formed around common interests
·      Other passions

We have 7 enthusiastic members Marty Miller, Jan Krebs,Kay Estes, Tom Holmesand Joy Russell.  Judy Fisher and Nancy Moeckel will serve as co-chairs. The first meeting is February 25, with more information and exciting opportunities soon to follow.

The “Connections” committee had it’s first meeting. Ideas, schemes, plans and plots involving YOU filled the air. Something’s coming on Saturday March 20 that you won’t want to miss, even in this pandemic time.  A safe, socially distanced good time is in the works.  You’ll want to pack a lunch, and anticipate being with friends!  More to come soon, but for now, mark your calendar as committeed to some fun on Saturday March 20 at noon!     

Blessings!! We carried out the beautiful activity with the boys and girls of the Goel ministry, of the Bethesda Christian community in the Porfin neighborhood, on February 12 of this year, where we were able to deliver thanks to the offering of the Presbyterian church from Oxford, 48 school bags, with notebooks, pencils, and other school supplies, as well as 22 cleaning kits for little boys and girls!! Thank you very much for your support and love for this ministry that brings so much hope and joy to these families in need!! God continue to bless you and fill you with his grace and protection!! a hug

Pbra. Gina Zabala
Administrative Director
Seventh Presbyterian Church

Answer to the Question of the Month
A barber

In Lent, we're reminded that, again and again, we hold hope together throughout the Journey to Jerusalem. We need the 40 days of Lent because this season shapes us into more faithful disciples.

Each Wednesday throughout Lent, members of the OPC Staff will be offering individual messages of hope on our YouTube channel and social media pages.

Join us this Lent as again and again, we bring all of who we are to Christ and trust that God will meet us with hope, time and again, along the way.

Morning is God’s way of saying one more time, go make a difference, touch a heart, encourage a mind, inspire a soul and enjoy the day.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
if I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Emily Dickinson

Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.
Roy T. Bennett, 
This year Spring flowers will be placed at the front of the church on Easter Sunday. Cost is $16.00. Please place your order by March 26.

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:
Financial Secretary: Nick Fears

Youth Director: Currently Seeking

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

Newsletter Editor: 
Nancy Moeckel,

Custodian: Priscilla Parks

Sexton: Nick Fears


2       Greg Hughes
4       Nancy Cleaver
5       Billie Maynard
5       Jamie Thomas
11     Debbie Davidson
11     Dick Wespiser
14     Mark Boardman
14     Jan Cromer
16     Kyle Shriver
18     Ethan Kraushar
18     Alan Mehl
19     Emma Claire Fisher
21     Owen Todd
22     Danny Cross
24     Marilyn Curry
24     Jill Grajewski
24     Trevor Richmond
25     Ted Fujii
26     Pat Spitler
29     Brad Cronk
29     Kennedy Johnson
29     Debby Snyder
30    Fred Brower


In 2021, the March equinox happens on Saturday, March 20, at 5:37 A.M. EDT. 

Spring fever. And as it turns out, there may be more to SPRING FEVER than emotional exuberance that winter is over. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting a biological basis for the boost of mood, desire and energy that comes with the vernal equinox. Although the exact causes remain elusive, it’s likely that hormones play a role. 

The fall and spring equinoxes are the only two days during the year when the sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. As a way to hone your sense of direction, pick a landmark from a vantage point where you live and note where the sun rises and sets on the equinox – now you’ll always know east and west.

Owls are on their nests in March and are very territorial.  A great time to give a hoot and see who answers you.

I shave every day, but my beard remains the same?  What am I?
Read every article to find the answer hidden somewhere in the newsletter.

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. Now here is your bonus for reading this section: What is a bed's least favorite time of year? Spring break.