O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34 NRSV
Becoming Like Children!

“We must no longer be children , tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14).

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children , you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).

As we enter the final two months of the year we go from Halloween to Thanksgiving, from Advent to Christmas. It’s a season that calls us to celebrate and be like children. However, the scriptures noted above appear to contradict one another. Jesus says we must ‘change and become like children.’ The apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians that they need to mature in their faith. It’s time to grow up and ‘no longer be children.’ Can we live within the apparent tension from these two verses?
First, we are called by God to mature in our faith, yet every day is a new opportunity to choose God all over again. We are always learning, always being called, either choosing God or not.
Over the years I have come to love Children’s Messages and Vacation Bible School, because I am inevitably made aware of the power of a child’s faith. And I do mean powerful because it has the energy to kindle the faith in others, especially adults. The children listening to a Children’s Message or participating in VBS approach God fresh and new everyday with adoration and willing hearts. They are terrific observers and listeners to God’s word. They embrace daily tasks with curiosity, enthusiasm and a hunger for something special from God that builds them up. We are privileged as we witness their daily transformation.
I wonder if we adults can become like children. But then, how would others see us? Perhaps that’s part of our struggle; how will others see us? Most likely, we feel awkward doing the hands and arms and body movements that the kids so readily learn and do with their VBS songs. The honesty and freedom children possess and demonstrate in their faithful expressions is literally, God’s Word enacted. And it is powerful! It is also joyful and beautiful to watch.
We can be God’s word enacted by approaching God with a childlike faith, adoring and listening for more of God each day. The world needs more of God every day. We need more of God each day. We can use our curiosity and hunger for God to open our hearts and minds to something new from God. That also takes a mature faith; one that is confident in God, and in God’s ability to bring something new to us. May we never relinquish our childlike adoration and curiosity for God. May we unabashedly choose to become like children as we celebrate the coming holidays.
The peace of Christ be with you,
David Freeman Lecture Series This Sunday!
 
All are invited to the David Freeman Lecture Series this Sunday, November 3rd, as we are joined by the Rev. Dr. Leanne Van Dyk, President of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Dr. Van Dyk will lead worship at 10:30 am on Sunday Morning and will speak at a joint Sunday school lesson at 9:30 am in Fellowship Hall with refreshments and breakfast treats. Come and enjoy conversation about various cultural trends creating opportunities and challenges for seminaries and other ministries of the greater church.
Dr. Van Dyk's lecture, "Doctrines that Confound, Comfort, and Claim Us," will be from 5:00 to 6:30 pm in Fellowship Hall. Come and enjoy thoughtful conversation about different foundational beliefs that challenge and sustain us throughout this life of faith. More information about this event can be found online on our website. A children's activity and nursery will be provided for this event. Please contact David Randolph with any RSVP for children who will attend.
Stewardship
Stewardship season is here as our church family discerns God’s call to give Beyond Sunday Morning in 2020! This past Sunday, Elizabeth Owen shared about the many ways our church encourages adults to actively deepen their faith. She spoke about opportunities for fellowship and study through various bible studies, small groups, and PW circles. She shared about congregational events like the Mr. Roger’s Movie Night, Wonder Common Read, and the David Freeman Lecture Series that brought a diverse group of people together to talk about their faith in light of a 21 st century world. All of these opportunities help each of us live out our faith beyond Sunday morning. 
 
As stewardship season continues, please think about the ways you are called to serve, through the giving of your time and talents, Beyond Sunday Morning in 2020. Stewardship packets have been mailed so that our church family may prayerfully consider how God is calling each of us to give Beyond Sunday Morning. Learn more about this upcoming year’s stewardship season by visiting our website https://fpcoxford.net/stewardship/
Financial Summary
Summary of Stated Session Meeting
The Session held its stated monthly meeting on Monday, October 14 with fourteen elders present. Business included the following:

•        Approval for Interfaith Compassion Ministry to use Fellowship Hall on Monday, December 9, 2010, from 8:30 to 2:00 pm for its annual Christmas gathering.

Ministry Team reports are as follows:

Finance: Elder Trey Cobb reviewed the year to date financial reports and the challenges of the upcoming stewardship season. Plans for the stewardship campaign are ongoing.

Property: The ministry team is addressing some small repairs that pertain to the annex.

Adult Faith Formation:
•        The Wonder event was well-received and had good age-wide participation.
•        The David Freeman Lecture Series, November 3-4, will feature Dr. Leanne Van Dyk, President, Columbia Theological Seminary. Dr. Van Dyk will lead an adult Sunday school at 9:30 am, preach at 10:30, and offer a Sunday evening lecture from 5:00-6:30 pm. All are welcome to attend.
•        New fellowship groups are forming.
•        December 15th will be the next Faith Formation opportunity for all ages in conjunction with the children’s Christmas pageant.

Children and Youth Faith Formation: Christmas trees are not available from our regular suppliers and the ministry team is seeking solutions and fundraising ideas.

Membership & Hospitality: The committee is beginning to write cards to visitors, new members and shut ins. Upcoming events include:
•        Trunk or Treat on October 27 at 5:00 pm;
•        Cocoa and Carols on December 15;
•        FPC’s annual golf tournament will be in April of 2020.
In other business, Jessica McGee, our Director of Communications is looking at options for an online pictorial directory.

Mission:
•        Thirty three clean up buckets were packed for PDA at the church picnic;
•        The Church Clean Up Workday is scheduled October 26;
•        The Pantry has requested help with immediate needs for food donations.

Personnel : Personnel matters were discussed in executive session.

Worship:
•        Advent devotions are coming together;
•        Wholeness and Healing services will be December 3rd, 10th and 17th at 5:30 pm;
•        Elders will serve communion by intinction on the first Sunday of each month.

PNC Update: The Ministry Information Form is operational online and the Pastor Nominating Committee is actively looking through applicants.

New Business:
•        The Session called a Congregational Meeting for the purpose of electing new Elders and Deacons on Sunday, November 24, 2019, immediately following worship.
•        The Reverend David Randolph reported on the recent presbytery meeting which he, Ann Kelly and Elder Ed Croom attended. Business included:
-      Presbytery voted to join the Matthew 25 Initiative which encourages churches to focus on and share stories of their efforts to address congregational vitality, structural racism and systemic poverty. In doing so, they encouraged all churches to join this initiative.
-      The Reverend Allison Wehrung’s position will go from 2/3 to full time beginning January 1 with new responsibilities for staffing presbytery committees and helping with the Hopewell program. This does not change the church’s financial commitment.
-      Patrick Lane, a former Ukirk student and now a student at Columbia Theological Seminary was examined for candidacy and will join us as liturgist for our regular worship on Sunday, December 29. 
-      A continuing education event for clergy will be offered in conjunction with the David Freeman Lecture Series on Monday, November 4th at FPC. Dr. Tim Hartman from Columbia Theological Seminary will offer the lecture.
-      Living Waters for the World celebrated 1001 water systems at the October Clean Water U event.
•   Session approved the Music Director/Organist Search Committee which is composed of Bette Butler, John Schuesslin, Sherry Styers, James Thompson and Christina Torbert.

The meeting was adjourned with prayer.
Worship Hours:

10:30 am - Worship with communion
9:30 am - Sunday School
Nursery weekly: 9:15-11:45 am
Upcoming worship schedule:

Sunday, November 3, 2019
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)
All Saints' Day

Sunday, November 10, 2019
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)

Sunday, November 17, 2019
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)

Sunday, November 24, 2019
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)
Christ the King
Lectionary texts for November

November 3 - Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4; Psalm 119:137-144; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12; Luke 19:1-10
November 10 - Haggai 1:15b-2:9; Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17; Luke 20:27-38
November 17 - Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-19
November 24 - Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 1:68-79; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43
To provide flowers on Nov. 24 or greenery and berries during Advent in honor or in memory of a loved one, contact Margaret Fancher at fancherm@bellsouth.net or call 662-234-1359. Contributions to the Flower Fund are greatly appreciated.
Members are invited to help decorate the Sanctuary for Christmas by purchasing poinsettias for $12 each in memory or in honor of friends or loved ones. The deadline for ordering is Monday, December 2 nd . Please click here for the order form. Be sure to list your information as you would like it printed in the bulletin and return it to the church office with your payment attached.
FPC Members: Matthew Hall; J. T. Davis; Becky & Joe Murphey; Lynton Dilley; Walter Nance; Mary Kay McDowell; Family of Bennett Zinn; Sue Treas; Max Williams; Joe Burnett; Fannie Elliott; Pierce Buford; Debbie McElreath; Marleah Hobbs; PNC Committee
 
Family and Friends: Alex Sessions; Family of Chloe Lloyd (grandmother of member, Chloe Lloyd); Family of David Turner; Brad Hovious; B. Jones; Pat Gillenwater; Family of Owen Stumpf; Family of Rev. Shep Crigler; Angel Thompson; Family of Reynolds Boykin; Ted Stocker; Joan Connell; Tom Callery; Tom Mullen; Ruth Ellen Duvall Kuhnel; Linda Chavers; Mark Barnes; Don Gleason; Joe Houston; Matt Branch; Erica Baggett; Mackenzie Stetz; Betty Hoar; Mike Smith; Parchman Prison inmates; Haven House residents; Our Haiti partners; Oxford & Lafayette County First Responders
 
U. S. Military: A1C Jason Freeland, USAF 4th Air Support Operation

Please pray, too, for those with unspecified needs.

If you wish to have a name removed or added to this list, please contact the church offic e.
Music
Faith Formation
The Congregational Bible Study continues about Amy Jill-Levine's book, "Short Stories by Jesus, The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi." Classes meet in the Session Room and are offered three times a week: 10:00 am and 6:00 pm on Wednesdays and noon on Thursdays. The final classes are: 
-Nov 6th & 7th: Chapter 9 “The Rich Man and Lazarus”
-Nov 13th & 14th: Conclusion “The Power of Disturbing Stories”
Children's News
CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15
5:00 PM

Join other members of your family of faith to celebrate the season beginning with the Children’s Christmas Pageant at 5:00 pm followed by Cocoa and Carols in Fellowship Hall. There will be fun and fellowship for all ages! Please join us!





JOIN THE CAST
OF THE CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT

“The Case of the Reluctant Innkeeper” is this year’s Christmas musical to be presented by our children’s choir on Sunday, December 15 at 5:00 pm. There will be a meeting of all interested children and their parents on Sunday, November 10 at 4:00 pm. We hope all children will want to be a part of this special night for the whole congregation. Whitney Bolen, Angela Manley and Terrell Hall will be directing the production. Practices are at 4:00 pm on the following dates:

         Sunday, November 17
         Sunday, November 24
         Sunday, December 1
         Sunday, December 8

Dress rehearsal will be Saturday, December 14 at 10:00 am.

After the event there will be a Christmas party and sing along so that the whole congregation can celebrate the season together. Parents, please come to the meeting on November 10, so that your child can be a part of this extra-special evening. If you have questions or want to participate but cannot make the meeting, please contact Whitney Bolen at 601-624-5389.
Young Adults
Bibles & Brews, a bible study held on the first Wednesday of each month, continues on November 6 th at the Growler from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Join in this conversation as we bring and share different scripture passages about a topic picked by the group. This month’s topic is “Giving Thanks” and all are welcome!
Young Adults! Mark your calendars for the next young adult conversation series throughout this month about Faith and Grief. We will meet in the UKirk building on November 10th, 17th, and 24th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm for communal conversation with special guests from the Oxford community. Contact David Randolph if you would like to know more about this event or to join the Young Adult email list.
Adult News
St. Andrew Presbytery Continuing Education Event

On Monday November 4 th , the Presbytery of St. Andrew in partnership with First Presbyterian will be offering a continuing education event with Rev. Dr. Tim Hartman, Assistant Professor of Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary. In the spirit of the David Freeman Lecture Series, this is a great opportunity to continue that theological conversation with leaders across the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Hartman’s class is titled, “ Reformed Theology in Global Perspective: What we can learn from the worldwide Church for our contemporary challenges .” This continuing education event will be from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in Fellowship Hall. It includes a catered lunch and does require a registration fee. Contact David Randolph for more details about either of these events. 
Mission
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

Thirty three Clean Up Buckets were sent to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance with the help of your generosity. An additional $600 was also received for this effort and is being sent to PDA to help replenish the warehouse so that those who are recovering from flooding or fires or other natural disasters can receive help as quickly as possible. The total amount of your gift to PDA is $3,100. Thank you for your generosity and support!
Through the years, First Presbyterian Church has always responded when neighbors near and far have had needs due to natural, man-made, or even self-made disasters. Whether it has been assistance through The Pantry, The Christmas Store, Interfaith Compassion Ministry, Doors of Hope, Haven House, Hurricane Katrina, the Nashville Floods, Haiti, or any other of several worthy mission needs – First Presbyterian Church has always been at the front of the line to give and work. 
 
 Because of our member’s willingness to be involved, The Mission Committee is exploring the idea of fielding and developing a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Team. This Trained & Certified Team would be available to help with disaster relief wherever they felt the most need was. To gauge our Church Family’s desire to move forward with this Team, the Mission Committee, is “prepping” for a Family Emergency Preparedness event.  This mini- version of CERT Preparedness Training will take place this Saturday morning, November 2
 
 The Mission Committee would like to invite you to a 2-hour overview of how you can insure your family is prepared for a weather related or other emergency type event. We will have coffee and donuts in the Fellowship Hall beginning at 8 am with information provided thereafter beginning at 8:30. We promise to have you out in plenty of time for an early Saturday morning Kick-Off! We hope you’ll come join us and help us, help you be prepared!
Help the Food Pantry
 
Remember Old Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard…and when she got there the cupboard was bare? The Food Pantry is experiencing a similar crisis with bare shelves. Resources from the Memphis Food Bank and Jackson are not available at this time which means that the Pantry board has had to buy resources to stock the shelves at retail prices. You can help with gifts of canned goods and money immediately. Just bring your canned goods to the church office or the front porch of the Pantry OR mail a check directly to the Pantry at P.O. Box 588, Oxford, MS 38655. Some of the items needed include: Macaroni and cheese, canned meat, pork and beans, canned soups and canned vegetables (excluding green beans). Your help is greatly appreciated.
Lovepacks  donations are an easy way to help relieve hunger among Oxford and Lafayette County school children. If you'll bring your donations with you to church and deposit them in the church office or the narthex, volunteers will get them to the Lovepacks office for you. Items needed are:
 
·    10-18 oz Pop-Top Chicken Noodle or Vegetable Soups
·    Pop-Top Ravioli
·    Snack Pack Pudding Cups
·    Cheese/Peanut Butter Crackers
·    16 oz. Jars of Peanut Butter
·    Pop Top Beanie Weenies
·    Granola Bars
·    Pop Top Canned Fruit (Please, No Fruit Cups)  
The holiday season is just around the corner and plans are well underway for the  Doors of Hope Transition Ministries   Holiday House Tour   2019 ,  which will be held on  Saturday, December 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The tour will feature five beautifully decorated homes located in the Rowan Oak area in Oxford. In each home, there will be lovely holiday décor, docents who will give fun and historical information, local entertainment and several raffle items. Tickets for the event will be $20.00 for pre-purchase or $25.00 day of the tour. Raffle tickets are $20 a piece or 5 for $100.  Check in and parking is located at the Kudzu Parking Lot at Old Taylor Road and Hwy 6. Transportation is provided to the homes.
Etcetera...
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH VIPS?

VIPs are Very Important Presbyterians, aged 55 and older, who gather for fun, fellowship, travel, learning, service and more. Anyone is welcome to be a part of the VIPs. Please remember that reservations are important to help with planning and are made by calling the church office. Here is what’s happening with VIPs for the rest of the year!

•        Thank you to Rosie Cooper and David Robinson for organizing and leading the VIP trip to Montreat, October 24-27. It was a great opportunity for fun, fellowship and a celebration of fall. Our travelers included: Betty and George Abdo, Jean Blackston, Rosie Cooper, Allison and Jon Crawford, Sally Hines, Anna Ruth Kesler, David Robinson, Polly Taylor, Sandra Webb, Pattye and Jerry Wilson. A good time was had by all!

•        On Tuesday, November 19 , the VIPs will gather for a soup and salad lunch in Fellowship Hall to hear an update from the Pastor Nominating Committee. Please make a reservation by calling the church office at 662 234-1757.

•        The annual Christmas gathering for VIPs will be Thursday, December 5 at 5:45 at the home of Melissa and Matthew Hall, 227 St. Andrews Circle. This is always a fun and festive gathering! VIPs are asked to bring their favorite appetizer along with the recipe. Call the church office at 662 234-1757.

Don’t miss out on the fun and fellowship! Call the church office today and reserve your spot for these events.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our second annual Trunk-or-Treat! It was a wonderful moment of intergenerational fellowship! If you have any high-quality pictures from the event, we would love to see them! Add them to the church Facebook group or email them to Jessica McPhail.
PW Council 2019-2020
 
Moderator - Mary Glynn Wright -  mgw0804@yahoo.com
Vice - Moderator - Kathryn Elliott -  kelliottwhnp@yahoo.com
Secretary - Whitney Bolen -  whitneybolen80@yahoo.com  
Treasurer - Margaret Fancher -  fancherm@bellsouth.net
Historian - Marianna Ochs -  mochs360@gmail.com
Ex-Moderator - Mary Haskell -  haskellfam@aol.com
News from the Pews
Birthdays and Anniversaries

November Birthdays

1 Meredith Goza, Brad Logan, Nina Patrick, Eric Snellgrove, Taylor Wilkinson
2 Pratt Wilkinson, Jr., Tommy Rosser
3 Virginia Spears Lovelace, Lee Mullen, Nancy Maria Balach Schuesselin
4 James Day, Sally Featherstone, Ingrid Kondos
5 Stephanie Leonard
6 Daniel Howie
7 Fannie Elliott, Cindy Grant, Peggy Nance, Michael Stevens
8 Bill Dickins
9 Bill Freeman, Lisa Hickman-Tollison, Jody Wilson
11 Garrett Chow, Scott Drury, Haley Eifling
12 Becki Felts, Guy Gillespie
13 Caroline Gillespie
14 Carmille Hovious, Samuel Lewis, Max Robinson
16 Nashua Bolen, Ramey Hardin, Lynn Sloan
17 William Bouldin, Jay Carmean, Betty Lou Flautt, Melissa Hall, Mit Hobbs
19 Porter Callery, Ben Griffith, Carlisle Wood
20 Dorothy Lou Aldridge, Pierce Buford, Kathleen Mayo, Kevin McLeod, Cindy Semmes, Sue Treas
21 Eva Webb
22 Anne Gowdy, Kathleen Patton
23 Jason Bouldin, B.J. Chain, Morgan Collins, Justin Eifling, Elizabeth Field, Joanna Heidel
24 Melissa Graves, Julia Lowe, Andrew Moak
25 Corrine Cullen
26 Elizabeth Abbott, Doug Sullivan-Gonzalez
27 Lydia Moak
28 Lele Gillespie, Earl Grissinger, Glynna McKendree
29 Libby McCullouch
30 Lee Borden, Katherine Howell, Barbera Liddon, Cait Mayo

November Anniversaries

2 Lee & Steve Mullen
5 Elizabeth & Lee Miers
10 Anne Grace & Justin Kennon
16 Margaret Blake & Phillip Embry
17 Katherine & David Randolph
18 Adalene & Ben Pettis
21 Gabe & Paul Chiniche
25 Caroline & Cooper McIntosh
26 Libby & Leon McCullouch
27 Marty & Steve Mauldin
29 Joanna & Jimmy Heidel, Kate & Brett Rosson
First Dates

The Prayer Shawl Ministry will meet Monday, November 4 at 1:00 pm in Room 101.
The Diaconate will meet Tuesday, November 5 at 5:30 pm in the Session Room.
The Children's and Youth Faith Formation Ministry Team will meet Wednesday, November 6 at 5:45 pm in Room 101.
The Membership & Hospitality Ministry Team will meet Thursday, November 7 at 5:30 pm in Room 101.
The FPC Book Club will meet Tuesday, November 12 to discuss The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni in Room 101.
The Finance Ministry Team will meet Monday, November 11 at 4:30 pm in Room 101.
The Session will meet Monday, November 11 at 5:30 pm in Fellowship Hall
The Session
 
  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 2021
Hayden Alexander, Pete Boone, Julie Field, 
Carmille Hovious, Ruth O'Dell
 
The Diaconate

CLASS of 2019
Lee Borden, Kristina Carlson, Dean Chow,
Pick Scruggs, Amy Wilkes
 
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
Your Church Staff
 
The Congregation
Ministers
 
Interim Pastor
 
Interim Associate Pastor
 
Associate Pastor
 
Pastor, UKirk Ministry
 
Director of Elementary Music
 
Office Administrator
 
Director of Communications
 
Property Manager
 
Nursery Director