headline logo 
  February 2017
(scroll to see it all)
(click on to JUMP TO)

Church Office Hours
Mon - Fri
Deadline for the 
March 2017
newsletter is 
February 20

to set up an account
Already have an account?




One evening during Advent, our family gathered together for story time.  After we inserted the disc, the story of Bethany Hamilton began to unfold on the screen before us.  The first scenes of Soul Surfer reveal an island paradise as Bethany's home - sun and sand, surfboards and ukuleles.  Yes, Hawaii.
Bethany seems to have an ideal childhood in a relaxed and loving family of faith that bonds over surfing.  Excelling on the surfboard, Bethany's passion and goal is to become a professional surfer.  Achieving this goal appears well within reach as she wins surfing competitions and corporate sponsorships. 
Then one day while training, Bethany is paddling out in the surf when a shark attacks.  Bethany loses her left arm.  She is 13 years old.  Initially, she responds with an inspiring determination to heal and return to surfing. 

Mary Martin joined the staff of Oxford Presbyterian Church on January 3, as the newest Financial Secretary.  She  will be working part-time, Tuesdays and Fridays for now. You can contact Mary by using the email: finance@oxfordpresbychurch.org . Please reach out to her with your questions. 
In order to get to know Mary, we asked her some usual and not so usual questions.  Her is just a little bit of her story.
Mary was born in Japan, at Misawa Air Force Base (approximately 400 miles north of Tokyo) and is the oldest of 4 sisters. The family left Japan when she was 12, but she still has a 104 year old grandmother there. Her grandmother is very musical and sings at the request of the Japanese government.  Mary does speak a little Japanese.  She has 2 children and 5 grandchildren and a cockatiel who makes lots of noise. Other animals in the family include her daughters attack roosters. Mary enjoys gardening, baking bread, is interested in holistic health, and can drywall a ceiling. (Trustees, take note!)
She recently read the book Oath of Office, and though it's a work of fiction, she sees some truth in there, having worked for the government of the city of Harrison.  Mary likes bacon, banana peppers, cheese and onion on her pizza, and while she does not have a bucket list she does have a grocery list.  She's had lots of experiences from the many places she has lived, but one of the most memorable was when she was 11 years old, in Japan, and a 7.5 magnitude earthquake tore the schoolhouse down.  The quake opened up sinkholes that swallowed cars and motorcycles, and then closed again!  Her family lived in a field for 3 days during the early days.  The devastation was enormous. 
This just starts the telling of Mary's story.  We welcome the opportunity to learn more as she joins the OPC staff.  WELCOME, YOUKOSO, Mary.

Return to Top

Preschool and Nursery- Lynn Cronk,  Katie Saylor, Mary Shinn
Grades k-2- Sarah Miller and Deb  Sayers,
Grades 3-5- Debby DeGennaro
Grades 6-8- Prue Dana and Katie Saylor
Acolyte for February
         Brady Saylor Feb 10, 19 and 26
                  UPCOMING DATES
February 19- President's Week-end- Only Preschool and Nursery Class                      Open
Late February- Watch for an Opportunity to Share Faith and Film with                        Edward McNulty
March 5- First Sunday in Lent- Lenten Materials available in the                               Molyneaux
March 10-12- Youth Retreat Grades 6-12 Lebanon Retreat Center
April 9- Palm Sunday
April 16- Easter
July 7,8, and 9 Vacation Bible School at Oxford Presbyterian Church
               Theme:  Living Waters

On December 30th-31st, the Youth Group held a Lock-In in partnership with the Youth Group from Oxford United Methodist Church. It was a fun-filled evening packed with games, activities, a midnight devotional, and movies! Thanks to all who came out for the night! Students in 6th grade-12th grade are invited to Youth Group on Thursday nights starting at 7pm in the Youth Room upstairs. Come join us as we begin our new series "Living, Crazy Love."
Questions? Contact Mitch Hardy at (513) 907-5641 or

Forum on Poverty and Economics
February 26 in the Seminary Building

Our Journey Through the Bible is off to a great start with over 50 individuals signed up for one of the Bible reading tracks.  There's so much to explore in our one-hour Bible Study and Discussion following worship that we are left wanting for more time.  Make plans now to join us in late February for a forum on Poverty and Economics, the first moral theme we are engaging on this journey. 
The contemporary text we'll be reading for this forum is Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance.  Vance grew up right here in Butler County and is a graduate of Middletown High School.  He enlisted in the armed forces following graduation and served a tour of duty in Iraq.  Following his honorable discharge, he earned an undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and a law degree from Yale. 
Reading Hillbilly Elegy alongside Genesis and Exodus is a fascinating study of family systems and culture, poverty and economics.
All are welcome to our first forum that will be held on Sunday, February 26 in the Seminary building. Dr. Jay Baird will facilitate our discussion of Hillbilly Elegy and dialogue of "Poverty and Economics in the Bible and Our Times."


Keep these friends in your prayers:
Genee Hesse, Stacey Winn, Betty Barnhart, Cathy Fey, Marilyn Rettig, Sarah Soika, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates, Breanna Kinneman, Jan Reinhart 

Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers

Our good friend, elder and mentor, Tip Ziegler died on January 15, surrounded by his beloved and loving family.  A memorial service for Tip was held on January 22 in the sanctuary of Oxford Presbyterian Church.  Please keep Janet, Stephanie, Diane and the entire family in your prayers.
Nancy Runyon-Yost died January 10th, 2017 at Worthington Christian Village in Columbus, Ohio, after suffering a severe stroke. Nancy taught art from 1965 to 1990 at Stewart Junior High School in Oxford. Nancy is being cremated and a celebration of her life is being planned by her family to be held in Oxford. Details will be forthcoming soon.  
We are pleased and delighted to welcome our new members!  Seek them out to give each a special welcome.  More information about each, and pictures, will be in next month's newsletter.
*   Nancy and Scott Parkinson
*   Gina & Matt Myers

Larry & Cathy Hardy

*  Mike and Lindsey Sunderhaus

*  Amy Bartel



Dearest Oxford Presbyterian Congregation,
I can't thank you enough for all the beautiful cards, flowers from the Deacons, and others that seemed to last forever, and ongoing prayers and telephone calls from Pastor Lawrence, and prayers from members of the church.  I felt their love and God's Love to help me through this most difficult and life changing time.  I was told it would be at least a year to heal and 2 months see a change.  I'm waiting!
My mom, Betty, and sister, Jo, have given their time, love and encouragement constantly and I don't even know the words to thank them.  They were so exhausted, but never complained.  I have fabulous caretakers between the two of them.
Thank you congregation for the beautiful birthday, Christmas and New Year's cards, as well as get-well cards.  One gal sent me one every week.  Bless all of you!  I couldn't have kept gong without your caring and prayers.
Peace, Love and Joy in the New Year!
God Bless,
Jan Reinhart


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 Diane Young, 513-255-6051




will meeton February 21 at 1:30 p.m. in The Knolls Country Kitchen. Pat Gifford is leading the lesson and Becky Quay is leading Least Coin. Call Lawretta Clum (524-7437) if you would like to join the group for lunch at 12 noon. YOU are welcome!
Will meet on February 7 at 7:30pm, in the home of Karen Simpson (523-8363). Ginny Layton will lead Devotions and Janet Holmes will lead the program.  All are welcome!
The Honored Women Award is given annually by Oxford Presbyterian Women to those who have dedicated their time and talents to the work of their church.  In 2016, Rebecca Rudolph and Jennifer Lake were the recipients of this Award.
Please consider thoughtfully those women you know who give faithfully, willingly and joyfully in their efforts for Oxford Presbyterian Church.  Write a letter of nomination detailing their work and send it to: Pat Gifford, gifforp@miamioh.edu or 6511 Morning Sun Rd., Oxford, OH 45056.  A new letter of recommendation is needed for someone who has been nominated previously.  If you have questions, please contact Pat at the email above or call 516-255-5416 .
Nominations must be received by March 1, 2017.

The annual retreat was held in the Seminary Building on Saturday, January 21. Stated meeting of session followed the morning retreat, after participants were revitalized with a delicious "Cy Young Catered Lunch"
Highlights of retreat:
  • With a focus of "Leading OPC Into the Future" a synopsis of Holy Conversations was shared, and the recent work of the OPC Mission Study and PNC were reviewed.
  • Thinking in terms of the "Journey Inward" and the "Journey Outward" ideas on how to accomplish our faith journey and the journey that leads us to spreading our faith in the world were discussed.
  • Future staffing of OPC focused on what positions need to be filled forthwith, and what positions it would be nice to have if funding was no object.  Top priority was to find an associate pastor - duties to be defined soon.
Highlights of session meeting:
  • New members joined the elders, introduced themselves and were welcomed into the membership of OPC.
  • Sue Skillings and Judy Fisher were approved as treasurer and clerk respectively, for the coming year.
  • Mary Martin has been hired as financial secretary.
  • Joe Simpson and Jenny Bailer are co-chairs of the Facilities Team.  Responsibilities will include how the Seminary will be used in the future and building plans for the Memorial Building.

Return to Top
Seeking God, Serving Others, Sharing Christ's Love With All
Hi Everyone, I wanted to share an update on the Bethesda Community Center project with you.
    On January 17, 2017 our sister church in Barranquilla, Colombia received the second half of the Birthday Offering Grant, $50,000.00. This money will enable them to complete the building that was started last year using the first half of the grant money. They will also now be able to furnish the building with all of the items they need to help feed, counsel, and give occupational training to the children and women of the El Por Fin neighborhood of Barranquilla. This will include but not be limited to tables, chairs, kitchen items, books, computers, and sewing machines.
   When OPC sent a mission team to Colombia in 2013 we visited the former Community center. There we saw live wires hanging down, a food storage area with no refrigeration, a playground that was a cement slab, no bathroom (there was but it was a bucket), and we were told there was water under the foundation. I can't even adequately describe the horrible conditions there, yet our sister church was able to feed about 80 displaced and abused children and counsel and retrain their mothers. Now with the help of the project this Christmas our sister church was able to use the new but empty building to feed 230 children!
   In August of this year OPC will be sending a small delegation to Colombia for the dedication of the new center and I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all of your support on this project. The latest word I have received from session of our sister church is that they have found several doctors willing to volunteer their time to open a health clinic twice a week in the new building once it is completed. Thanks to you these children in one of the poorest neighborhoods will now be fed, counseled, receive medical care, helped with homework, and given a chance at a bright future that they would not have been able to have without your help and support. Personally, I believe that this is how we foster peace in the world. One child at a time.
Deanna Maxwell



Just to be sure you know, Bridgite's regular hours in the Church Office are 8:30 to 4:30, Monday thru Friday.
Answer to the question of the month:



Feb. 14 & 28 are the dates I will be at The Knolls showing Presbyterian Church services on DVD at 10:00.  We will be meeting in the Country Kitchen from now on instead of the Assisted Living dining room.  Thankfully there is now a DVD player in County Kitchen, which will make for a quieter and cozier room.  Thank you!  Becky Quay
Over $1,300 was collected for the Joy Offering.  This money was collected on Christmas Eve.  Thank you, everyone!
Deadline for the March Newsletter is February 20, 2017


I hope February is finding you Fabulous. 
I have to add an update to the No Bake/Bake sale.  We had one more Sponsor.  Thank you to Pristine Senior Living for being a Gold Level sponsor.  Their generosity is greatly appreciated. 
We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to our friends at Oxford Presbyterian Church.  They recently made a donation to the adult day service program.  We appreciate their support and kindness. 
We have one new client that we would love to make feel welcomed to the Adult Day service family.  John H. will be attending the ADS 1-2 days a week. 
One of longest attending clients - Ed K -   is celebrating a milestone birthday on February 8th he will be 90.  We would like to wish Ed a very happy Birthday!
Please mark your calendars now for our Annual Spaghetti Dinner on Monday March 13th at the Senior Center from 5-630.  More information to come in the Oxford Seniors March newsletter.  This year's Spaghetti Dinner will be in Honor of our friend Marilyn Young who recently passed away.  She has helped organize this event for several years in every way possible, from cooking, shopping, cleaning, spreading the word or whatever needed completed.  We can never have thanked her enough and she will be greatly missed as a dear friend to the Adult Day Service!  
If you would like information about the Adult Day Service please call Debbie Curry, LPN, Director at 513-523-0464


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
Music Director: Kent Peterson
Organist: Lynn Jacobs
Pastor Emeritus: Dr. Joseph R. Hookey
Parish Associates: Dr. Bruce Bueschel,  Rev. Diane Ziegler
Clerk : Julia R. Fisher
Administrative Assistant:
            Bridgite Dickerson: office@oxfordpresbychurch.org
Financial Secretary:
            Mary Martin:   finance@oxfordpresbychurch.org
Director/Teacher C.C.N.S.:
            Sarah Mapel: ccnsoxfordpreschool@gmail.com
Newsletter Editor:
            Nancy Moeckel, moeckenj@miamioh.edu
Custodian: Priscilla Parks

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 2019 : Jenny Bailer, Lynn Cronk, Greg Hughes, Nancy Moeckel,
Johanna Reinhart
Class of 2017: Danny Cross, Connie Everhart, Matt Lykins, Rori Lykins, Jean O'Connell,
Class of 2018: Karen Shearer, Lee Fisher, Virginia Layton, Joni Marcum, MaryJo McFadden
Class of 2019: Carol Burkhalter,Debbie Davidson, Janet Holmes, Pat Roberts Diane Young

Class of 2017: Lisa Brunckhorst, Rick Bailey
Class of 2018 Tom Holmes, Nick Fears
Class of 2019Keith Payne, Joe Simpson 


4    Lawretta Clum
5    Elsa Friede
5    Finnigan Friede
5    Eric Staley
9    Steve Hawley
9    Ginny Staberg
10   Jenny Bailer
11   Carl Vance
14   Katherine Butterfield
14   Steve Reed
14   Karen Remley
16   Ginny Layton
16   Mary Shinn
17   Sue Siegel
18   Susan King
21   Ethan Crist
21   Jeremy Crist
21   Leanne Staley
23   Ruth Keebler
23   Timothy Richmond
23   Dave Wilson
25   Kristie Rezanka
25   Katie Saylor
27   Missy Friede
27   Tom Holmes
February Fun
In Welsh, February is known as 'y mis bach', which translates to 'the little month'.        
February 2 is Groundhog Day.  Groundhogs, aka woodchucks (marmota monax) are the largest member of the squirrel family.  They eat about 1/3 their weight in vegetation each day, in order to hibernate for the winter. Despite their name, they can climb trees and are good swimmers.
February is National
Black History, Bird Feeding, Children's Dental Health, Haiku Writing, Hot Breakfast, Laugh-Friendly,
Mend A Broken Heart, Pet Dental Health, Time Management, (no I am not working on the newsletter at the last minute), Women Inventors, Plant the Seeds of Greatness, Pull Your Sofa Off The Wall, Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket, Spay/Neuter Awareness, Spunky Old Broads, Sweet Potato, and Youth Leadership... Month (whew!)
The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; '7' was selected after the original 7-ounce containers and 'UP' for the direction of the bubbles.
A full-loaded supertanker traveling at normal speed takes at least 20 minutes to stop.
The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments

The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.
What is the proper name for the symbol on the "pound" key (#)?

Full Article

One evening during Advent, our family gathered together for story time.  After we inserted the disc, the story of Bethany Hamilton began to unfold on the screen before us.  The first scenes of Soul Surfer reveal an island paradise as Bethany's home - sun and sand, surfboards and ukuleles.  Yes, Hawaii.
Bethany seems to have an ideal childhood in a relaxed and loving family of faith that bonds over surfing.  Excelling on the surfboard, Bethany's passion and goal is to become a professional surfer.  Achieving this goal appears well within reach as she wins surfing competitions and corporate sponsorships. 
Then one day while training, Bethany is paddling out in the surf when a shark attacks.  Bethany loses her left arm.  She is 13 years old.  Initially, she responds with an inspiring determination to heal and return to surfing. 
As she heals physically, she begins to grapple with much greater losses - her youthful health, her sense of self, her loss of a dream.  Angry and despondent, Bethany decides at the last minute to join her church youth group on a mission journey.  A devastating earthquake has just struck Indonesia.  Knowing that the blessing of living on a Pacific island comes at a cost, the youth group is traveling to Indonesia to help the residents rebuild their lives.
On the debris strewn beaches of Indonesia, Bethany sees a young fellow who was orphaned by the tsunami.  He doesn't speak to anyone.  He doesn't smile.  He pokes Bethany's left shoulder that is missing the rest of her arm.  He, like the other residents, is fearful of the sea that has just snatched away so much of their lives. 
Spontaneously, Bethany finds a surfboard in the rubble.  With smiles and love, she coaxes the young orphan to join her in the ocean.  The young fellow refuses at first and then reluctantly takes Bethany's hand and they head into the water together.
As he paddles on the surfboard, Bethany's voice shares, They say the Lord works in mysterious ways.  I say that's an understatement.  Who would have thought that teaching a kid to surf, would teach me that surfing isn't the most important thing in the world.  And that something else is - LOVE.  Bigger than any tidal wave.  More powerful than any fear.
Our family has seen this movie multiple times.  Still, I find myself touched by these scenes perhaps more with each viewing.  On that Advent evening, one of our children looked at me and asked, Dad, are you crying? 
Yes.  I said, Yes, I am. 
I was touched to the heart. 
In the wasteland of a tsunami, Bethany found what she least expected.  She found transformation through mission.  She found solidarity with people whose lives were also forever changed by the ocean. She found healing.  She found her future.  She found herself.  She found God once again.
Film is a powerful form of storytelling that moves us.  Film allows us to step inside a story that is not entirely our own and still feel a resonance with our own stories and life experiences, struggles and hopes.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus spoke in parables that allowed the listeners to step inside the narrative and find their place in a story not entirely their own.  Think of the Good Samaritan.  The Ten Virgins.  The Prodigal Son.  The Lost Coin.  The Rich Man and Lazarus.  I like to imagine these parables are 1st century movies of the mind that Jesus created for listeners from the Sea of Galilee to the temple of Jerusalem. 
Then and now, Jesus' words ring out, let anyone with ears to hear - listen.  In the coming weeks, we will have the privilege to do just that - listen and see.  Our 2017 Lenten Series will bring together the power of stories and film. 
Make plans now to join us for a special kickoff to this series with the Rev. Dr. Edward McNulty on Saturday morning, February 18.  A member of our Presbytery, Rev. McNulty is nationally recognized for his pioneering work exploring how films serve as visual parables in our time. 
Through Lent, our church family will explore several Lenten themes in film. This is where we would like your voice.  What films have touched you?  What are your favorite films? 
We'll do our best to prayerfully consider each recommendation.  In the next monthly newsletter, we can't wait to share the lineup of this Lenten film series and the variety of venues in which we gather. 
Until then... let all who have eyes - SEE and all who have ears - HEAR!
(Reverend Edward McNulty's website, readthespirit.com/visualparables/  --ed)
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 is your bonus for reading this section:  What did the buffalo say when his son went off to college?  Bison)