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  December 2016

NOVEMBER 20, 2016
In This Place
Reverend Lawrence H. Bartel

I Will!  I Do!
Warmest Welcome to
Oxford Presbyterian Church's
36th Pastor

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Deadline for the 
January 2017
newsletter is 
December 20

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Some questions we never forget.
Several years ago, our Confirmation Class prepared for an Interfaith Plunge to Syracuse.  During a typical Interfaith Plunge, we visited a mosque, a synagogue, and Zen meditation center over two days.  Leading up to that visit we invited Bob to speak to the class.
Bob was an American citizen and veteran of several tours of Vietnam who then served many years through the Army in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  Bob was also a convert to Islam.  While he was home visiting family, we asked him to speak to our confirmands about the history, beliefs and practices of Islam.


December 4, Spencer Lykins
December 11 Brady Saylor
December 18 Spencer Lykins
December 4  Nursery Mary Shinn, Grades k-2 Sarah Miller and Deb Sayers, Grades 3-5 Emily Lykins
Grades 6-8- Junior Highs in Worship for Communion Sunday

December 11 Nursery  (open)  Grades k-2 Sarah Miller and Deb Sayer, Grades 3-5 Emily Lykins
Grades 6-8 Prue Dana and Katie Saylor

December 18 Celebration at the Manger, Nursery Lynn Cronk, No Church School 


Presented by the children and youth of Oxford Presbyterian Church
Sunday, December 18th, during the 10:00 a.m. worship service
Come witness the celebration of our Savior's birth!
Mary and an Angel stop by to invite everyone to attend.


Keep these friends in your prayers:
Marilyn Young, Genee Hesse,  Stacey Winn, Betty Barnhart, Cathy Fey, Marilyn Rettig, Sarah Soika, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates
Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers
The Advent Workshop, held after worship on November 20 was a big success.  Folks enjoyed fellowship, pizza, salad, and crafts.
Thanks to everyone who participated, by planning, eating and crafting together!
To the leadership team for the Fall Rummage Sale:  Sue Wilson, Jean O'Connell, Nancy Moeckel, Mickey Preston, Deanna Maxwell, Paula Foltz

Answer to the question of the month
the horse

Do you know someone who needs a Prayer Shawl? Shawls are given for comfort in times of illness or grief, as well as for celebration in times of joy.  If you have a friend or relative to whom you would like to give a Prayer Shawl, please call Cornelia Browne.




do not meet in December
will be on Sunday, December 11, in the Molyneaux Lounge, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Our program is a Carol Sing, with Jean Derickson at the piano, and a Christmas Story.
Hostesses are the Coordinating Team.
All are welcomed

This past summer, the Seminary kitchen received a 'facelift" with the installation of a new floor and a new window over the sinks.  The cabinets were repainted and a new dishwasher was installed.  Keith Payne and Russ Logsdon installed new countertops in November.  The House Committee plus other wonderful volunteers unpacked the boxes containing all of the kitchen dinnerware, pots and pans, tablecloths, china, and a host of other items.  Everything was washed in the new dishwasher and put into the cabinets for future use.  So now the kitchen is up and running thanks to the work of Barbara Skipper, Margaret Butcher, Becky Quay, Rachel Mehl, Mary Niehoff, Sue Wilson, Nancy Moeckel, Susan King, Carol Burkhalter, Jean O'Connell, Paula Foltz, and Karen Shearer.  Anyone wishing to use the new dishwasher must receive training first.  Contact Bridgite for permission and training, 523-6364.


Two offers of gifts to OPC were accepted by the trustees and the session:  $1000 from John and Jenny Bailer to help support the Progressive Christian Campus Ministry that is in the "incubator" stage; and $20,000 from Louise Griffing to be directed toward the purchase and installation of an elevator in the Seminary Building, in memory of her husband, David Griffing.
A revised Wedding Policy was approved.
Deacon Matt Lykins updated session on the activities of the deacons.
A Synod Grant, applied for by Ben Baughman for use of the Progressive Christian Campus Ministry, was granted in the amount of $10,000.
 "Journey Through the Bible", a year long study of the Bible throughout the congregation, was approved.
Thirteen members of OPC attended the November 12 meeting of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley, in Middletown, where Pastor Lawrence was introduced as a new member of this presbytery.
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CLICK HEREfor our annual special music and poinsettias donations opportunity.

Seeking God, Serving Others, Sharing Christ's Love With All
Christmas Caroling for all ages will be held 
Sunday evening December 11.

Please meet at Memorial Church at 5:55 p.m.
The singers old and young will go to the Knolls, Woodland Country Manor and to homes of those not able to attend church.  
A fter caroling they will gather at the home of Scott and Jennifer Walter for refreshments.  Please bring an appetizer to share for the fellowship following the caroling.
Won't the Meals on Wheels trays look appetizing with these favors created by the k-1 class?
Photo by Sarah Miller

Soldier Savannah
This year we have adopted a Soldier who attended CCNS during her preschool years. She is a part of the United States Air Force as an Airman. Savannah is currently stationed in San Antonio, Texas and is being reassigned to a different location in December.  The children in the Pre-Kindergarten class have already sent a handful of letters with pictures. We hope that our letters will bring her encouragement and laughter as she reads. In the letters the children asked many questions and we look forward to hearing back from her with great answers. We hope that Savannah will be able to visit Oxford, Ohio in December and while she is in town will be able to meet the children at CCNS. On Fridays we will have a station for the children to write letters and color pictures for Savannah.
CCNS will be holding special circle times throughout the year with Pastor Lawrence. We are very excited to have Pastor Lawrence in the classroom, as he will have the opportunity to meet the children while he shares some of his favorite stories.
Our Warm Glow Candle Fundraiser has come to an end and we are thankful for all the families, church members, and friends in the Oxford community that help support the preschool. We sold 219 candles, which gave us a profit of $500.00!
The CCNS Board Meeting was held on November 8, 2016. Most news that was reported was good news from families, church members and CCNS staff. Next meeting will be held in the spring.
Both of our classes have been very busy making new friends, having numerous opportunities for learning through play and enjoying our planned activities. We are very excited that the holidays are coming and will have the chance to teach our children why it's important to be grateful for family, friends and God.
Sarah Mapel


    • mitten tree Beginning NOVEMBER 27
    • cookie walk and crafts Saturday December 3
    • decorating at safe haven farms Sunday December 4 departing at 1:30pm
Questions:  talk to Karen Shearer
Upcoming Memorial and Seminary Building Re-keying Initiative
The Trustees are charged with the maintenance and security of OPC's buildings, as well as the contents inside that make worship, fellowship, and various church programs and activities possible.  The passing of time and the distribution of an untold number of keys have left us unable to accurately track who has access to our facilities.  Therefore, the Trustees will be rekeying the Memorial and Seminary buildings in the next month or so.
Pursuant to the Key Use policy passed by Session earlier this year, we are working to ensure adequate security for our facilities while attempting to minimize any problems for authorized users to obtain access.  Depending on frequency and type of use, church members may be issued a permanent or a temporary key, which will be controlled by a check-in/out process managed by the church's administrative assistant.   
I f you are a current key holder and will have a need for building access during non-business hours, please stop by the church office and fill out a Facilities Key Request form.  Church members who are issued keys will be required to complete a short training on proper building open/close procedures and will find out how and when keys can be obtained after the buildings have been re-keyed.  If you have any questions, please contact your favorite Trustee. 
______________ __________
If you would like to join a small investment group of fellow congregants, learn a little about investing, and support mission giving, please consider joining the Mustard Seed Investment group.
The group meets four times a year in members' homes, contributing $50 each quarter.  The value of our portfolio currently fluctuates around $23,000 dollars.   For the sixth year, we have contributed $600, most recently half to local missions and half to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.  The beneficiary is determined by vote of the members.  As the value of the portfolio grows we hope the amount distributed will grow as well. The portfolio is the property of the church.
We will meet December 7th at 7:30 at the home of Charles Teckman, 119 Country Club Drive.  Please visit with us to see if you are interested. Call Joe Simpson  513.523.8363 if you would like to discuss the group or arrange a ride.

On Tuesday, December 13 & Tuesday December 27 I'll be going to the Knolls to show the DVD of recent church services.  Join us in the Assisted Living dining room at 10:00 A.M.  All are welcome!
Becky Quay
Deadline for the January, 2017 Newsletter is December 20, 2016
(My goodness, how can it be 2017 already?)

Oxford Presbyterian Church Staff
Telephone: 513-523-6364
Fax: 513-523-8215
Seminary Building: 513-523-7411

Pastor: Pastor Lawrence Bartel
Music Director: Kent Peterson
Organist: Lynn Jacobs
Pastor Emeritus: Dr. Joseph R. Hookey
Parish Associates: Dr. Bruce Bueschel, Rev. Diane Ziegler
Administrative Assistant:
Bridgite Dickerson: office@oxfordpresbychurch.org
Financial Secretary:
Director/Teacher C.C.N.S.:
Sarah Mapel: 207-3630
Newsletter Editor:
Nancy Moeckel, moeckenj@miamioh.edu
Class of 2016:
Pam Deahl, Lynn Cronk, Pat Gifford, Tom Poetter, Rich Drewes
Class of 2017:
Mary Jane Roberts, Robert Smith, Janet Zeigler, Gwen Fears, Kim Logsdon
Class of 2018:  Carol Klumb, Amy McGoldrick, Katie Payne, Deb Sayers, David Wilson
Class of 2016:
Janet Holmes, Deanna Maxwell, Lawretta Clum, Cornelia Browne, Molly Todd
Class of 2017:
Danny Cross, Connie Everhart, Matt Lykins, Jean O'Connell

Class of 2018: Karen Shearer, Lee Fisher, Virginia Layton, Ginny Staberg, Joni Marcum
Class of 2016: Chris Adryan, Joe Simpson, Keith Payne
Class of 2017: Lisa Brunckhorst, Bill King
Class of 2018:  Tom Holmes, Nick Fears

2       Arnold McCashland
2       Virginia Swanson
2       Ned Stephenson
2       Joseph Foltz
4       James Wespiser
4       Prudence Dana
5       Carol Flee
6       Margaret Smith
8       William Trostel
9       Mark Hare
9       Evan James
10      Carol Bowers
10      Louise Griffing
10      Sue Skillings
11      Laura Harvey
12      Ann Bader
13      Linda Boardman
15      Sue Wilson
15      Robin Vealey
17      Lynn Jacobs
17      Jan Reinhart
18      Paula Green
18      Ellen Smith
18      Donald McKillop
18      Nick Fears
18      Jonathan Hunter
19      Priscilla Berry
20      Richard Munson
20      Steve Brown
20      Robin Thomas
23      John Curry
25      Holly Gage
27      Anne Bailey
28      Thomas Poetter
29      Jean O'Connell
30      Nancy Sturgeon
30      Taryn Satkowski
31      Whitney Hartman
St. Francis of Assisi is credited with making the nativity scene part of the Christmas tradition. In 1223, he organized a live crèche to emphasize Jesus's humble beginnings in poverty.
Franklin Pierce was the first president to decorate an official White House Christmas tree.

December 21: National Flashlight Day
This sounds like just another random holiday until you realize that December 21 is also the Winter Solstice -- the darkest and shortest day  of the year. As long as you're celebrating, here's some fun flashlight trivia: it was invented in 1898 by Joshua Lionel Cowan who also invented the Lionel train.
December Solstice in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA is on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 5:44 am EST
William Barton opened the first US sleigh bell company in East Hampton, Connecticut in 1810. East Hampton eventually became known as "Belltown" because it produced so many bells.
Question of the Month
Of animals mentioned in the Bible, the most often mentioned is the sheep, then the lamb, lion, ox and ram.  What is the 6th most often animal mentioned in the Bible?  As always read every word of the newsletter in search of this answer!

Full Article

Late in the conversation, I'll never forget the moment when Bob leaned forward in his chair and asked, "Have you ever read your Bible?"  He continued to share that he had read through the Koran three times.  He believed that a follower of Muhammad must read through the Koran.  A follower of Jesus must read through the Bible.  He thought that the greatest gift one can give one's faith is to read through the scriptures.
The youth were stunned - they had never even considered this a possibility.  Indeed, some were challenged even to find the gospels.   
I've never forgotten Bob's question, in part because I have not read through the entire Bible.  Like many others, I've read and studied a good portion of scripture - but never all of it.
Bob's question came to mind in October as I shared a message on 2 Timothy 3.  In verse 16 the Apostle Paul states All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.  This text remained with me well after worship that Sunday.  I felt that the Holy Spirit might be planting the seeds for something else, something transformative, even something challenging.  Then the pieces of discernment began to fall together.  Conversations with OPC committees and teams took place. 
I'm so excited to share that the Christian Education Committee and Session have adopted Journey through the Bible as a primary emphasis for our church for 2017. 
Journey through the Bible is an invitation to the entire congregation to read through the Bible in a year.  This is your opportunity to engage the Bible in a structured way.  Prayerfully consider the track that may provide you with strength and encouragement for your daily life.  The tracks include:
  • The Whole Bible from Beginning to End (2-3 chapters of the Hebrew Scriptures and 1 chapter of the New Testament daily)
  • The New Testament (1 chapter daily)
  • Poetry and Wisdom (Daily readings of Psalms, Proverbs, and more)
Choose the track that will feed and inspire you.  Journey through the Bible is an invitation, not a commandment, to become more intimate with sacred scripture that has changed the lives of countless people from the ancient times to the present. 
Almost every day a new idea is shared to make this journey more meaningful and authentic to OPC.  For example, on Sundays, we plan to gather for a time of Bible study and dialogue on the readings of the preceding week.  Another vision is to embrace intergenerational mission activities as we identify the timeless moral themes both in the Bible and in our times.  Already, there are suggested initiatives to engage the youth and young adults.
What questions do you have of the Bible?  What questions may the Bible be asking you?  Let's find the answers together as we Journey through the Bible.
Please join me for a brief informational gathering about Journey through the Bible on Sunday, December 11 right after the conclusion of our 10 a.m. worship service.  
The New Member Experience
As Christ welcomes all, we welcome you
We welcome you.
We welcome your creativity.
We welcome your passion for worship.
We welcome your hunger for mission.
We welcome your questions and wisdom through Christian Education.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this Christian community, we invite you to attend one of the "New Member Experiences" we offer for those inquiring and seeking membership.
The New Member Experience is specially designed to help prospective Oxford Presbyterian Church members learn about our congregation, its beliefs, traditions, government and programs. It is a safe place to ask questions about faith, raising children in the church, receiving pastoral care, or transitioning from another congregation. 
We will explore the avenues of full or affiliate membership.  If you are a student, we encourage you to consider full or affiliate membership.  An affiliate member of OPC allows you remain in good standing with your home congregation while still expressing your commitment to our fellowship while you are here.  Affiliate membership carries with it all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of full membership except voting in congregational meetings and holding office.
We will meet at 8:30 a.m. in the Molyneaux Lounge on Sunday, January 8th and 15th.
If you are interested in learning more about any type of membership, please talk with a member of the Membership, Evangelism and Fellowship Committee or Pastor Lawrence.  At OPC we welcome you to grow in Christ.  Will you join us? 
Per Capita
Have you ever wondered what is Per Capita?
As Presbyterians we are connected with churches at the local level through the Presbytery, the regional level through the Synod, and the national level through the General Assembly.  Our Per Capita supports the mission and ministry carried out in our name AND provides significant resources so that we may more effectively engage in our mission and ministry. 
The investment of Per Capita returns to Oxford Presbyterian Church through many Christian Education and worship resources developed by the PC(USA); supporting the vital work of committees within our Presbytery such as the Committee on Ministry; sustaining the work of 160 mission co-workers embodying the gospel in 70 countries; and advocating on our behalf for peace and justice throughout the world in Christ's name.
To sustain these relationships, our Session is required to send $26.87 per member for 2016 whether or not that member has contributed toward the Per Capita.  If each member of Oxford Presbyterian Church contributes the amount needed to cover the Per Capita contribution, a greater portion of our operating budget may support the programs and mission of our own church.
Pastor Lawrence

We welcome your feedback on the newsletter. We CRAVE your feedback as if it were chocolate  What is missing from the newsletter that you would like to see?  Let me know.  Thanks, nancy.  moeckenj@miamioh.edu 
(and here's your bonus for reading this section: Why does Santa go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?    Because it 'soots' him!)