Lazy days, swimming pools, R&R...u
nless you're at First Presbyterian Church in Oxford!
Things will be busy around your church during the warm weather months this year. Our church buildings get a lot of use, so it's time for some paint up and fix up as well as a few other projects. Here are a few of note:
This summer, you'll be seeing painters renewing our Education Building for the first time in many years. The interior hallways will be painted, and windows too.
In addition, we're getting rid of decades-old furniture and some carpets in the Education Building and replacing them with modern desks, chairs and floor treatments that will not only freshen things up but also make our kids more comfortable. Once installed, the floors there will be polished and made ready for a new school year this fall.
Painting, repairs and new gutters are also desperately needed for our annex building, which is over 100 years old and in need of a cosmetic facelift until the day comes when some new structure of God's imagining is built there.
Our front yard fence has faded and needs painting as well. We're currently seeking a professional fence painter and will attack that project as soon as one is hired.
Roofs need to be replaced. Your property team is working on bids for a new metal roof over our Fellowship Hall bathrooms as well as a bid to replace the shingle roof atop the Education Building, itself showing signs of age.
The carpet in the church offices, installed in 2005, is worn and at the end of its serviceable lifespan. New carpet will be installed throughout the building during the week of July 9. In due time, the offices will also have to be painted, perhaps in 2019.
And on the Internet, we'll be redesigning and re-launching our website soon, hopefully late this summer. Doing so is laborious, but the end result will be worth the effort. More on the site and its new look will come your way at a later date.
Our church sanctuary is arguably the most beautiful structure in Oxford. And our campus around that sanctuary has served our city for generations, both as a peaceful oasis and a place to learn, grow and rejoice in the good news of Jesus Christ. It requires constant attention and upkeep if we want it to continue to serve as the locus of our community of faith.
So please pardon the "Wet Paint" and "Detour" signs that may soon be posted, and be patient with the many workers who will be with us in June, July and August. FPC is a special place for all of us, worthy of our care and attention.
I thank God for you, and for this special place.
From the Associate Pastors
When the gavel sounds in St. Louis to open the 223rd General Assembly later this month, the first words from the co-moderators' mouths will be "Let us worship God." This is evidence of some changes in the way the Presbyterian Church (USA) will do business together. In the past, the first worship service occurred on the first full-day of the Assembly; the rest of the week was spent tending to business. Throughout this year's gathering, in addition to long business meetings conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order, there will be daily worship with communion, two Bible studies and a numerous opportunities to serve among the poor and homeless, to listen deeply to the stories of migrant workers, to participate in a prayer vigil for peace and to reach out to people in need in all walks of life. All of our decisions will be set in this context of worship, study and service.
I'm excited these changes are coming because I will be there, serving as St. Andrew Presbytery's teaching elder commissioner. About fifteen years ago, I was sure I'd never make it to this point...you have to serve within the presbytery a long time to earn enough points to get nominated. Yet, here I am. I look forward to this new kind of service in the church and to sharing with you what I learn upon my return. Please pray for me and for the Assembly, for we are all ordinary folk like you who have been chosen to listen, to pray and to discern how we as Presbyterians will live our calling to be the body of Christ in the world.
Grace and peace,
I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything. On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
This Psalm is one of thanksgiving and praise attributed to Israel's King David. It begins with an account of an answered prayer, something I have been reflecting upon recently. One year ago on June 4
, 2017, our church held a congregational meeting that was an answer to one of my prayers. In that meeting, the congregation heard a report from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee about a young minister-to-be whom they would recommend join this community of faith as one of your pastors.
A lot of things happened to make that moment possible. Members and leaders of our congregation discerned the need for a third pastor, whose ministry would focus on young adults and their families. A search committee was created to begin the ministry call process. That committee worked for over a year, interviewing and building relationships with individuals who could have been called as a new pastor. My own relationship began with this special group of people on February 2
, 2017, when I submitted my application. They didn't know me from Adam, but after three months of emails, phone calls and an interview, I was invited to experience this church and community with my own eyes. I remember it like it was yesterday. After that first day, I sat in my room at the Graduate and spoke by phone with my 38-weeks-pregnant wife about how this community, this church, felt like the one to which we were being called. Two days after I got home, I received a phone call from the chair of the committee extending a call to join you as one of your pastors. If that weren't exciting enough, my son decided the next day that he wanted to join the party too! Just over a month later, you voted to call me into ministry with you. Since then, my life has never been the same.
Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for this church and the opportunity to share life together with you as one of your pastors. As the psalmist says in Psalm 138, "I give you thanks, Oh Lord, with my whole heart" because of the love you have and continue to share with me in this journey of ministry.
Summary of Stated Session Meeting
The Session of First Presbyterian Church held its stated monthly meeting on Monday, May
7, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Fourteen elders were present.
Highlights from the meeting are as follows:
The Moderator introduced each member of the 2018 Confirmation Class, along with their elder m
Each confirmand read his/her own personal statement of f
aith. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to joyfully accept and
welcome these young people into the membership and life of the church.
Sallie Abernathy, mentored by Kathryn Hill
Emory Barrios, mentored by Kathy Neff
Charles Byars, mentored by Melissa Hall
Porter Callery, mentored by Ruth O'Dell
Ella Chiniche, mentored by Ann DeVoe
William Lewis, mentored by David Flautt
Heath Stevens, mentored by Greg Patton
Hassell Wilkinson, mentored by Trey Cobb
- As of March 31, 2018, year to date revenue was $306,289.57, and expenses were $355,590.32.
Adult Christian Education:
- The spring Wednesday Night programming has been reviewed, and plans are being made for fall programming.
Membership & Hospitality:
- The team is still working to secure more drivers for the church bus to help on Sundays.
- New Friendship books are being ordered.
- The M & H Ministry Team is hosting the Confirmation Class breakfast Sunday, May 13, 2018.
- Elder Karen Chain announced that new carpet installation to the church offices will take place in early July. A motion was made, seconded and approved to access $29,750 from the Nabors Fund for the carpet project.
Children's Christian Education:
- The team hosted a great conference in April with Ruth O'Dell as the leader. There were 15 in attendance. Many new ideas were shared regarding children and their education in the church.
- Ann Kelly explained the purpose and use of spiritual practices boxes to be distributed to children for summer worship at home.
- The summer worship schedule begins Memorial Day Sunday. One service of worship will be offered at 10:00 am. This schedule will continue through Labor Day weekend.
- A report on homebound communion was given by those who served in this capacity on the first Sunday in May.
- The next Stated Session meeting will be held Monday, June 18, 2018, in Fellowship Hall at 5:30 pm. There will be no Session meeting in July.
Summer Worship Hours
Our summer worship schedule is in effect through September 2:
10:00 am - Worship with communion
No Sunday School
Nursery Weekly: 9:45 - 11:15 am
Children's Worship for rising preK-3rd graders during June at 10:15 am
Lectionary Texts for June
June 3 - 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20); Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 2 Corinthians 4:5-12; Mark 2:23-3:6
June 10 - 1 Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15), 16-20 (11:14-15); Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35
June 17 - 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13; Psalm 20; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13) 14-17; Mark 4:26-34
June 24 - 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-49 and Psalm 9:9-20; or 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 10-16 and Psalm 133; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41
Children's Christian Education
The VBS Countdown Has Begun!
Rolling River Rampage
this year's Vacation Bible School adventure is only weeks away - Monday, June 25th - Thursday, June 28th! Children pre-K through rising 6th graders are invited to join us for a white-water rafting adventure that is sure to be the ride of a lifetime. We'll discover the wonder and surprise of a life with God while learning to trust God to be with us through ANYTHING. Join us as we seek adventure, acceptance, joy, peace and rest on the river through Bible study, music, crafts and recreation. Registration is available now at:
Congratulations to our newest members!
Left to Right: Porter Callery, Charles Byars, Ella Chiniche, Heath Stevens, William Lewis, Emory Barrios, Hassell Wilkinson and Sallie Abernathy.
We are very proud of our 2018 confirmation class
who joined the church on May 13.
Kudos to the Class of 2018!
Congratulations to our high school seniors, who were honored during
the annual baccalaureate service held on May 20.
Mary Clark Hayward
Summer is here, and for the youth of First Presbyterian, that means it's time for our annual trip to North Carolina for the Montreat National Youth Conference. While at Montreat, our youth will spend time worshiping, enjoying fellowship and discussing their faith journeys with other youth from all over the country. Those who have attended this conference before will tell you how much it has meant to them. Our youth always look forward to the trip, knowing it will be the highlight of their year in PYF. We will attend the conference June 10
-16 and ask that you pray for all our youth who are attending as well as for the adult chaperones who will travel with them.
I'd like to give a personal "Thank You" to those chaperones, Leslie Orrell and Jennifer Williams, for volunteering their time and energy to help make this trip happen for our youth.
That's a wrap! May brought with it the official end of UKirk's 2017-2018 year. After our send off at Camp Hopewell, we took a break from finals to play with some current and former fosters from the Humane Society, and the UKirk Building continued to be a blessing of a space in which our students can study
and take the occasional break.
We're having a bit of fun this summer through a Church Bracket Challenge. In this March-Madness-style competition, each Monday our weekly email to students includes a brief intro to two people from one of four "regions" (Obscure Biblical Characters, Modern-ish Theologians, Church History, and a kind of catch-all Faith in Action). Then there's an online vote to see who stays in the game. If you want to follow along too, check out the bracket here.
An important note about the Fall: UKirk will not be hosting a football parking fundraiser for the 2018 season. This is largely due to low sales compared to the amount of time and effort required to host the fundraiser. This means that on game days the FPC lot will function like any other day -- first come first served to those with regular church lot passes.
There are still plenty of ways to be in ministry with us in the coming year! Our Fall meal schedule is already online here, and we'll be sure to share more as our Fall plans develop.
Mission Ministry Team Seeks New Areas of Local Mission Involvement
In recent months, the Mission Ministry Team has heard from representatives of local non-profits who are looking for both volunteer and financial assistance within the Oxford community. In May, the ministry team invited representatives from Memory Makers and Leap Frog to share information about their organizations and their needs.
Memory Makers offers respite, socialization, counseling, education and information for those living with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Each week, Monday through Thursday from 10:00-2:00 pm, Memory Makers provides a much needed break for the caregiver while hosting up to 12 clients for a few hours of music, dancing, exercise, art and other activities. For $20 per day, caregivers know their loved one is in a safe, welcoming environment where there is a lot of fun interaction with other people, a lunch of homemade soup and wonderful caring volunteers. In addition to financial support, Memory Makers is seeking volunteers to make a crockpot of soup, donate supplies and just come join the party. If you are looking for a service opportunity, this might be just the thing for you!
Currently housed in the Oxford School District's Central Office, the Leap Frog program is anticipating increased financial needs because construction within the school district is making a move necessary for the coming school year. Leap Frog provides reading intervention tutoring and enrichment activities to first, second and third graders from Oxford and Lafayette County public schools who have been identified by their classroom teachers as being at-risk academically. Seventy students from the Oxford schools attend Leap Frog on Tuesdays and Thursdays and seventy students from Lafayette attend on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00-5:30 pm. These students are supervised by one paid staff person, eleven College Corp members and over 200 volunteer tutors. Leap Frog's goal is to "help 100% of our first, second and third grade students progress to the next grade and read on grade level by the end of the year." At the same time, students are exposed to the arts and health awareness programs. Funding has come from two area churches: St. Peter's Episcopal and Oxford-University Methodist, grants, United Way, numerous private donors and the annual Firecracker Bash each summer.
If you'd like to learn more about either of these organizations, check out their websites:
The Mission Ministry Team will have some suggestions of ways you can help both of these organizations in July and August when we have completed our volunteer obligations at the Pantry for this summer.
Bible Study Group Helps Feed Haitian Children
Thanks to Joanna Heidel and her adult Bible study group who meet weekly at the home of Tom and Susan Meredith, the children at Ecole de Pelegrins de Bongnotte in Bongnotte, Haiti will have a hot meal to look forward to when they arrive at school each day in the coming year.
Joanna heard of the need through the Haiti Mission Team's luncheon presentation in March
and began planning. She went
to members of the Bible study group and asked for help. Their financial gifts will make it possible
for all 152 students to have a hot breakfast every day at school. Those of you who know Dr. Gladys already know what her response to this amazing gift was..."Oh, thanks God!"
Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Continues
Disaster relief is ongoing in Puerto Rico from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Mission Ministry Team made a small contribution to Centro Presbiteriano de Servicios a la Comunidad, Inc., a community center within a local church that continues to help with the needs of the Puerto Rican people. If you'd like to know more about how to contribute to disaster relief in any area of our country or the world, check out the Presbyterian Disaster Awareness site at:
A Haven House Request
Haven House residents are delighted to receive various translations of the Bible and other religious materials. All may be left at the church office, with thanks to all who have responded.
Thank you to members of the FPC Prayer Shawl Ministry who are knitting pocket prayer shawls for the 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis. This effort is part of the ministry of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee on which Rev. Ann Kelly will serve. The shawls will be gifted to the PCUSA's ecumenical and interfaith partners attending this year's GA.
Gather for an Appetizer Supper!
VIPs will gather at the home of James Day, 11011 Covington Way, on Thursday, June 21 at 5:45 pm for an appetizer supper. If you are 55+, bring your favorite appetizer and join this group for fun and fellowship this month. The bus is available for transportation and will leave the church parking lot at 5:30 pm on the dot. Please call the church office to let us know you plan to come (not only for transportation but to know how many will be attending). This group always has a great time together, so don't miss the opportunity for some summer fun!
It's Time to Register for Summer Camp!
Summer camp at Camp Hopewell is a wonderful gift that will nurture your children's faith, build up their self esteem, teach them about living in community and about the wonders of the world around them...all while they have a blast! Each day is filled with opportunities for canoeing, swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, archery, fun and games as well as daily Bible study and worship. Check out the summer brochure at
and find just the right opportunity for your child to enjoy summer camp at Camp Hopewell this year. Hopewell Camp and Conference Center is a ministry of the Presbytery of St. Andrew. It's your camp, so ENJOY!
2018 Camp Hopewell Staff
High Ridge, MO
|Mary Chatham Kuykendall
||Spring Hill, TN
|Sara Grace Parker
This Sunday our church is commissioning the staff of Camp Hopewell in their summer ministry of our presbytery. Check out
to meet the staff.
Sunday Parking Reminder
Bridge Properties, 1000 Tyler Avenue at 10th St., now tows all unauthorized vehicles on its parking lot, including Sundays. Please do not park on the Bridge Properties lot to attend worship or other church events!
Ride the Bus to Church!
Make plans now to park at the Blake and ride the bus to church each Sunday so that you won't have to worry about parking downtown. Time of departure from the Blake is weekly at 9:15 am. The bus then proceeds to Brookdale for pickup at 9:30 am. Immediately after 10:00 am worship, the bus returns to both stops. Thanks to all our volunteer drivers who make this service possible!
Presbyterian Women: If you would like to join a circle, change circles,
or are not able to attend a circle this year, please fill out a card found in the Friendship Register on your pew and place it in the collection plate.
If you wish to remain in your current circle, it is not
necessary to fill out a card.
PW Council 2018-2019
Moderator - Mary Haskell -
Vice - Moderator - Martha Heffner -
Secretary - Julie Field -
Treasurer - Margaret Fancher -
Historian - Anita Drury -
Ex-Moderator - Sharron Alexander - firstname.lastname@example.org
We Extend Congratulations to:
Kathy and Ben Griffith, whose grandson, Benjamin Roger Goodman, was born May 5, 2018.
Marty and Steve Mauldin (and great grandmother Annie Grace White), whose grandson, John "Jack" Isaac Mauldin, was born May 22, 2018.
Susan and Bob Joiner, whose grandson, George Thomas Joiner, was born May 23, 2018.
Jason Freeland upon becoming part of the elite USAF Special Operations squadron in San Antonio, TX. Jason has reported for active duty at Fort Bragg, NC.
Captain Thelma Curry, who retired from the University Police Department after 40 years of service.
~ With gratitude for contributions to First
In memory of:
Billie Jo Booth
Fredrick Richard Lickfold III
Shirley Wagner Crawford
Anne & Robert Gowdy
Helen Frances Sam
Pat & Earl Freeman
Nila & Max Williams
Nancy Roberson Wilkie
Margaret Lake Newton
Stuart L. Wilkie
Martha & Edward Fritts
Elizabeth & Andy Hyde
Upcoming Birthdays and Anniversaries
2 Irma Buchanan, Sloan Hollis, Emily Semmes
3 David Flautt, Jane Henderson, Margie McLeod
4 Patsy Abbott, Dora Leache, Elizabeth McLellan
5 Bradley Mayo
6 Allyson Ashmore, Jacquelyn Gage
7 Jennifer Williams
8 Elizabeth Black
9 Fay Grissinger, Ben Neff, Molly Tanner
11 Brum Abernathy, Lock Elliott, Thomas Franklin, Brian Hyneman, Henry Johnson, Sarah McLellan, John Semmes
13 Bill Rogers, Will Rogers
14 Judy Edgar, Sallie Wilkerson
15 Katie Goodwiller
16 Teresa Flautt
17 Luke Harris, Cindy Snellgrove
18 Suzanne Black, Whitney Bolen
19 Lindsey Estes, Jack Johnson, Frances Sullivan-Gonzalez, Jimmy Williams
20 Mary Conlee Mize, Heath Stevens
21 Miller Callery, Jenna Lovelace, Rose Paris
22 Olivia Estes
24 Sam Haskell
25 Keith Hayward, Talmadge Lewis
26 Edward Duke, Ruchell Phillips
28 Sharon Fenger, Mary Rhodes Manley, Shelby McRae, Samuel Thompson, Caroline Wigginton
29 Anderson McIntosh
1 Caroline & Earl Wigginton
2 Erin & Hayden Alexander
4 Maggie & John Abernathy
5 Ann & Louis Abbott
6 Betty & George Abdo, Allison & Nat Harris
8 Cindy & John Semmes, Nila & Max Williams
9 Leigh & Kevin Christian
11 Martha & Joe Burnett
12 Sandy & Vaughn Grisham, Vicki & Michael Stevens
13 Barbara & J.T. Davis, Ferriday & Charly McClatchy
14 Rosie & Robert Cooper, Laura & Don Whitten
18 Nana & Francis Boateng
19 Blair Hobbs & John T. Edge, Julia & Scott Jimenez
20 Katie & Bradley Goodwiller, Pat & Ernie Lowe
21 Mary Kate & Ed Duke
22 Kay & Ed Croom
23 Anastasia & Dunbar Jenkins
24 Carolyn & Randel Gibson, Catherine Servati & Taylor Webb
26 Stefanie & Greg Goodwiller
27 Becky & Joe Murphy
29 Emily & Don Newcomb
1 Martha Burnett, Wendy Carmean, Mary Douglas Hester
2 John Neff
3 Carter Wilkes
5 Louis Brandt, Woods Newman
6 Carolyn Abbott
7 Tom Franklin, Matthew Hall, Alice Wilkes, Ernie Williams
8 Kay Croom, Martha Kelley
9 Betty Abdo, Paul Chiniche, Nat Harris, Sparky Luster
10 James Thompson
11 Jean Blackston
12 Ann Louise Miers
13 Alicia Bouldin, George Moak, Bobbye Wiley
14 Pauline Lewis, Neely Mullen
15 Joe Huggins, Charles Mongtomery, Beth Pace, Stuart Schuesselin
16 Duke Goza, Bruce Reynolds
17 Pat Carpenter
18 Tricia Barrios, Ann DeVoe, Walter Nance
19 Baker Quick
20 Doc Buford, Leigh Bundren, Merrick McCool, David Shaw
21 Miller Elliott, Daniel Hall
22 Erin Goforth, Campbell McCool, Buddy McRae, Michelle Rounsaville
23 Billy Chadwick, William Mayo, Ophelia Orrell
24 Lauren Abbott, Kate Byars, Joseph Kelly, Coy Manley, Louise Waller
25 Bette Butler
27 Robert Cooper, J.T. Davis, Rob Williams
28 Ed Field, Abigail Pace
29 Weldon Wilkinson
31 Richard Atkinson, Vance Byars, Hayes Hollis, Chloe Lloyd, Tina Montgomery
4 Scottye & Pete Boone, Lindsey & Brett Estes,
Emma & David Flautt, Jr.
7 Allison & Jon Crawford
11 Becki & Donald Felts, Kim & Al Ling, Peggy & Walter Nance
12 Fay & Earl Grissinger
13 Margie & Kevin McLeod
17 Cherri & Bill Mayo
18 Jennifer & Jimmy Williams
20 Alicia & Jason Bouldin, Missy & Michael Morrison
21 Carole & Hal Haney
23 Nina & Tommy Patrick
24 Sharron & Harry Alexander
25 Betsy & Ed Holcomb
26 Karen & Bo Elliott
28 Kathryn & Allen Elliott
will meet Tuesday, June 5 at 5:30 in the Session Room.
The Finance Ministry Team
will meet Monday, June 18 at 4:30 pm in Room 101.
will meet Monday, June 18 at 5:30 pm in Fellowship Hall.
The FPC Book Club
will not meet June, July or August.
meet each Thursday at 9:00 am in Fellowship Hall and Saturday, June 9 at 10:30 in Fellowship Hall.
There will be no
. The August deadline for submissions is Sunday, July 15.
CLASS of 2018
Darren Ashmore, Dorothy Lou Aldridge,
Jane Lyle Byars, Paul Chiniche, Kathryn Hill
CLASS of 2019
Trey Cobb, Jon Crawford, Margie McLeod,
Karen Stockton, Dana Williams
CLASS of 2020
Ashley Callery, Ann DeVoe, Ben Griffith,
Matthew Hall, Monte Wood
CLASS of 2018
Whitney Bolen, Julie Chadwick, James Day,
Teresa Flautt, JoAnne Oliver
CLASS of 2019
Lee Borden, Kristina Carlson, Dean Chow,
Lele Gillespie, Pick Scruggs
CLASS of 2020
Todd Abbott, Rosie Cooper, Ed Croom,
Lisa Hickman-Tollison, John Schuesselin, Amy Wilkes
YOUR CHURCH STAFF
|John M. Semmes
|Ann H. Kelly
||Interim Associate Pastor
|J. David Randolph
|Allison C. Wehrung
|Joseph W. Garrison
||Director of Music/Organist
|Terrell R. Hall
||Director of Elementary Music
|Joseph H. Kelly
||Director of Youth
|Jessica M. McPhail
||Director of Communications
|LaShaunda L. Sisk