First Press
an online newsletter
April 2020
From Your Pastors
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” 
Matthew 18:20

When Jesus said these words to his disciples there was no threat of corona virus and no technology to help them gather in distant ways. However, it still holds true. When your pastors see your comments and greetings during our virtual worship or gather for a weekly Bible study, we sense that presence of Christ connecting us. When you call a friend or someone who normally shares your pew, take someone a meal or pick up groceries for a neighbor or friend, Christ is present in those encounters even if they are done from a safe distance. Your staff continues to work on ways to improve our virtual gatherings and to care for this congregation. You can help by reaching out to members of the congregation through phone calls, notes, or errands. Take the time to say, I miss you. The physical presence which we have under normal circumstances, can never replace that spiritual and emotional presence of being with one another in times of trouble. We need that kind of presence more than ever. Join us for worship. Pick up the phone or write a note. Do something for someone that they cannot do for themselves. Christ is with you always.

Ann and David
PNC Update
Richard DeVoe, moderator of the Pastor Nominating Committee, and Greg Goodwiller, Executive Presbyter, are in ongoing discussions about how to hold our suspended congregational meeting in order to act on the PNC's recommendation. Meanwhile, the candidate for our head of staff position continues to minister to his current congregation in this pandemic, while still feeling called to FPC. Rest assured that the committee's work is ongoing and we will have that congregational meeting as soon as we are able. Please be patient with your leadership as we work this out.
The ministry of First Presbyterian Church continues even in the midst of this unexpected wilderness. It's all made possible by the grace of God, who's love strengthens us every day, and the faithful generosity of this congregation. While the church building may be empty, the church itself never is. The church, as the people of God, continues serving together as we have been called - using our gifts and resources for the furthering of God's Kingdom here and now. 
There are a variety of ways you can continue giving: 

  • Online securely through our website and new office system (Realm) at
  • Mailing donations directly to the church office at 924 Van Buren Ave, Oxford, MS 38655
  • Enroll in direct deposit or automatic withdrawal
  • Text fpcoxford to 73256 and follow instructions
If you need assistance with any specific ways to give, please contact Frances Saralvarez at . Thank you for your continued support of First Presbyterian Church as we continue ministering within and to our community. 
Holy Week Schedule

Our online worship will continue through Holy Week beginning with the Palm Sunday service this Sunday. All are welcome to make “palm branches” alongside our children for worship this week. When prompted during the Call to Worship, you can post a picture of you waving your palms within the Facebook Live chat. Click here for very simple directions to make the palm leaf. Color the leaf and cut it out. Wave it! Hosanna!

The Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service is scheduled at 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 9. This service will include scripture readings and music reflecting the events leading up to Jesus’ death on Good Friday.

Easter Sunday is April 12 and we will be offering this service online regardless of future developments of this pandemic. Jason Derrick and John Schuesselin have planned wonderful music to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. In lieu of the flowered cross in the sanctuary we invite members of the church family to come by the inner courtyard any time on Holy Saturday; bring flowers from your yard or from the grocery store to add to a cross that will be used during worship on Sunday. You will also be able to pick up individual elements for an Easter celebration of communion. Please join us for all of these worship opportunities in this special season.
Lectionary texts for April:

April 5 - Palms: Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Passion: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27: 66 or Matthew 27:11-54
April 12 - Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43; John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10
Easter Evening: Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 114; 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8; Luke 24:13-49
April 19 - Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31
April 26 - Acts 2:13a, 36-41; Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35
Ministry Continues

Due to the mayor of Oxford’s request that citizens of Oxford and Lafayette County stay at home through April 6, the church staff is working from home when possible. On weekdays, David, Ann and Wade are in and out of the church while Frances and Jessica are doing most of their work at home. Please refrain from coming to the church to do business because there is no guarantee that the person you need will be there. However, if you need one of the pastors please call them. If it is not an emergency and you need another staff member, just call the church office and someone will return your call as soon as possible.
Children's and Youth Faith Formation

Each week the Children and Youth Faith Formation Ministry Team is emailing a lesson and age-appropriate activities to parents of children PreK through 6th grade. If you are not receiving these emails, but would like to have them, please call the church office and leave a message with the appropriate contact information. The lessons are sent out on Tuesday for the past Sunday’s Sunday school lesson.

Middle school and senior high youth are meeting with Lindsay and Anthony at their regularly scheduled times (4:30 for Middle School and 5:30 for Sr. High) through Zoom. All FPC youth are invited to attend and you are welcome to invite a friend! If you’d like the information for connecting to the Zoom meeting, please call the church office. If no one answers, please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible.
Youth are also encouraged to download d365, a daily devotional app written especially for youth and young adults. It’s a great way to begin the practice of daily devotions.
The Congregational Bible Study continues throughout April online via Zoom! All are welcome to participate in this lively discussion each Wednesday at 10:00 am about Bill Brown's book, "Sacred Sense, Discovering the Wonder of God's Word and World." On April 15th, the class will be joined by Brennen Breed, Assistant Old Testament Professor at Columbia Theological Seminary. Please contact David Randolph for more information. 
Bibles & Brews continues online with digital editions each Friday throughout April. All are welcome to participate in this group bible study as we bring and share different passages about a group picked topic. This week's conversation is about "Hope."
Give to One Great Hour of Sharing

For more than 70 years, One Great Hour of Sharing has provided us a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need. In fact, OGHS is the single, largest way Presbyterians come together every year to work toward a better world.

The three programs supported by One Great Hour of Sharing - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People - all work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. From initial disaster response to ongoing community development, their work fits together to provide people with safety, sustenance, and hope.

These three organizations have been at work since the beginning of this current pandemic providing grants to our partners in the U.S. and around the world; offering guidance to communities, local food pantries and others who provide food to the impoverished; and in numerous other ways to share God’s love in visible and practical ways during a time of crisis in the world. Please give to One Great Hour of Sharing and join these agencies in their service to God through service to our brothers and sisters around the world.
Memorials and Honoraria
~ With gratitude for contributions to First Presbyterian Church ~
In memory of:

Pat Bittmann

Tricia Barrios
J.J. Jones
Marty & Steve Mauldin
Max & Nila Williams

Jane Patterson Boykin

J.J. Jones
Walterine & Rascal Odom
Jimmy & Margaret Anne Robbins
In memory of:

Carolyn Aldridge Delorio

Tricia Barrios

Fannie Elliott

Tricia Barrios

John Neff

Tricia Barrios
J.J. Jones
Allison & Steve McCord
George & Mary Edith Walker
Max & Nila Williams

Raphael Eustace Semmes

Tricia Barrios
Fay & Earl Grissinger
Emily & Don Newcomb
Donna Ruth Roberts
George & Mary Edith Walker
Max & Nila Williams
Birthdays & Anniversaries
April Birthdays

1 Mary Kate Duke, Gavin Eifling, Ron Wilson
3 Brandall Laughlin
4 Susan Meredith, Helen Scruggs, Martha Walcott
5 Otis Alexander, Thomas Cribbs, Tommy Cribbs
7 Angela McRae
9 Clara Flautt, Melinda Freeman, Corey Mauldin
10 Dunbar Jenkins, Tony Montgomery
11 John Abernathy, Nila Williams
12 Tyler Flowers
14 Michael Goodwiller, Amanda Hyneman, Emily Stevens
15 Larry Tyler
16 Beckham McCord
18 Elsie Bridgers, Tucker Bridgers, Adam Quick
19 Yung Chow, Bobbie Shaw
20 Laura Jackson
21 Spencer Patton
22 Todd Abbott, Don Giles
23 Sarah Brooke Bishop
24 Michael McLellan
25 Southerlin Rosson, Dorothy Williams
26 Ed Croom, Monte Ochs, Cragon Randolph
29 Harry Alexander, Price Walden
30 Bobby Kennedy, Shands Orrell, Kay Tyler

April Anniversaries

1 Erin & Grant Goforth
21 Haley & Justin Eifling
23 Cheryl & Keith Hayward
30 Kathleen & Bradley Mayo
The Session
  CLASS of 2020
Ashley Callery, Ann DeVoe, Ben Griffith, Matthew Hall, Monte Wood
  CLASS of 2021
Hayden Alexander, Pete Boone, Julie Field, 
Carmille Hovious, Ruth O'Dell
CLASS of 2022
Susan Abbott, John Abernathy, Trey Byars,
Kevin Christian, Greg Patton
The Diaconate

CLASS of 2020
Todd Abbott, Rosie Cooper, Ed Croom,
Lisa Hickman-Tollison, John Schuesselin
CLASS of 2021
Thelma Curry, Karen Elliott, Luke Harris,
Brian Hyneman, Niles Lovelady
CLASS of 2022
Gabrielle Chiniche, James Day, Rob Howell,
Cliff Smith, Pattye Wilson
Your Church Staff
Interim Associate Pastor
Associate Pastor
Pastor, UKirk Ministry
Interim Choir Director
Director of Elementary Music
Office Administrator
Director of Communications
Property Manager
Nursery Director
FPC - Oxford, MS |