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Easter is about the unexpected. Easter is about approaching the tomb expecting to face death only to be greeted with the miracle of life. Easter is about embracing the gift of a new day, being changed by a new relationship, being inspired by a new way of thinking, and - ultimately -being transformed by new life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Easter arrived early this year. In the midst of Lent, new friendships, new ways of thinking and new opportunities to serve were already changing my relationship with the Lord and my neighbors.
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What a wonderful Lenten season! Many thanks to Candace Crist and Jenny Bailer for coordinating the Lenten study groups and the many volunteers who helped lead the discussions and field trips. It was a very meaningful time for those who participated and we look forward to sponsoring many more study groups in the future.
On Palm Sunday, the children returned their One Great Hour of Sharing fish banks filled with coins they had collected during Lent. The money collected will purchase blankets from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, which supports the work carried out by the ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The amount of money raised and blankets purchased will be revealed in our May article.
IN OUR PRAYERS
Keep these friends in your prayers:
Betty Barnhart, John Curry, Tracy DeGood, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates, Genee Hesse, Bill King, Breanna Kinneman, Jan Reinhart, Becky Rudolph, Charles Skipper, Sarah Soika, Joan Teckman, Dave Wilson, Stacey Winn, Jean Woodruff
Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers
A memorial service for John Trump was held on March 10. Remember his family and friends in your prayers.
Kathleen "Kay" Jellison passed away Saturday, March 17. Please keep her family in your prayers.
Philip Lindsey, passed away suddenly following a short illness. Our condolences and prayerful support are extended to all of Philip's family and friends.
PALM SUNDAY JOYS
Photos by Jenn Walter
Mickey Simmonds was Ordained and Installed as a Deacon on Sunday March 18. We welcome our friend Mickey to the Diaconate.
Noah Curry, a senior at Talawanda High School, was awarded the Southwestern Ohio Championship (SWOC
Male Athlete Award (for swimming) this year. Noah placed first in all his events and matched statewide times. We all knew he was worthy of being named Fine Young Man of the Year, and being named Swimmer of the Year is a superb honor. Grandparents Marilyn and John are (modestly) PROUD of you, as we all are. Other Proud family members are parents John Curry Jr. and Anne Curry, and sisters Katie and Abby. CONGRATULATIONS, Noah!
Session news from March meeting
Approved a motion that names Emily Lykins and Mary Shinn as chaperones for the youth retreat at Kirkmont April 6 - 8.
Time to Dine and Lenten Study Groups have been well received and well attended.
Revised bids are being sought for the Seminary renovation. Lighting for the Rose Window in the Memorial sanctuary will proceed
Goals and tactics, related to the ideas brought forth for the future growth and influence of OPC at the January retreat, were examined and considered. Discussion of these thoughts will be continued at the April meeting. The results of this endeavor will hopefully be culminated in 2020.
Judy Fisher, Clerk
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Committees without reports did not meet in time for this newsletter and will have reports next newsletter)
Session met a week early in March; so many committee reports are missing here. Watch for more info in April
Worship and Music
April 15, 2018 Choir Appreciation Sunday plans are underway.
June 30, 2018 Blessing of the Pets -There will be a service from 10:00-11:00 a.m. church's courtyard
Membership, Evangelism and Fellowship
New Member Meeting dates set for April 8, 15
- Week 1: History of the church
- Week 2: Active Involvement and Tour
- Letters to potential new members have been sent to (prospective) participants in new member class
Lenten groups have received positive feedback. It has allowed voices to be heard in a "safe space." Making connections within the church to get to know each other.
Time to Dine has received positive feedback. Groups have already started meeting. Lots of positive feedback from the opening meeting at the Seminary. Kids had a good time as well. The games made it fun.
The Seminary asbestos survey had been completed, and we are waiting for the results.
The Memorial Building handicap ramp design has been received from the architect, and revisions have been requested.
A discussion took place regarding the replacement of the playground mulch. A motion was passed to purchase and place a 12-inch layer of engineered playground mulch.
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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 contact
Cornelia Browne, firstname.lastname@example.org or 513/523-1680
THERE WILL NOT BE A SPRING RUMMAGE SALE DUE TO SEMINARY CONSTRUCTION.
THE TUESDAY AFTERNOON CIRCLE
will meet in the Country Kitchen at the Knolls on April 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Prue Dana will be leading Lesson 7. Jean Butterfield will do the Mission Yearbook and Becky Quay will do the Least Coin. The study lesson will be Lesson 7 "In Community with Hope for the Future."
If you can join us for lunch, call Lynn Cronk. Please make reservations by Friday April 13th. The lunch is $8 and begins at 12 noon at the Café. Our study begins at 1:30 in the Country Kitchen.
THE TUESDAY EVENING CIRCLE
will meet April 3. Our hostess is Debbie Davidson, 6027 Vereker Dr. Janet Holmes will give the devotion. Janet Ziegler will present the program. Anyone needing a ride should contact Karen Simpson, 523-8363.
OPW SPRING BRUNCH
10:00a.m. - Noon
Saturday, April 14, 2019
Program: Our speaker today is Dr. Scott Parkinson telling us tales of our previous pastors. How many of us really know anything about our Seminary pastors and our early pastors in The Memorial Church? Now is your time to discover more about who they were. Scott promises a fun filled program, as he is an excellent speaker! Don't miss out on this informative event!
Ladies of our two circles will be providing our brunch in the Molyneaux. Bring along your friends. Please call the church office to reserve a place for yourself and any guests. This is so we know how much food to prepare. See you there!
OPW HONORED WOMAN PRESENTATION
The Oxford Presbyterian Women are honoring two women of our congregation this year, but one is moving soon, so we presented her award a few weeks earlier than anticipated.
Reading from Colossians 3:12-14. "As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together."
The woman being honored this morning by Oxford Presbyterian Women embodies all these virtues! She has been a loyal member of our congregation since 2012. She has served with kindness and compassion as a Deacon, helping provide food and comfort for those in distress. Assisting with many receptions, she is known for her cookie baking. This talent, no doubt led to her co-chairing and then chairing the OPW Cookie Walk. She was also a Ruling Elder, serving on the Personnel Committee and the Worship and Music Committee, which she chaired for a time. She embraces the worship experience, frequently preparing communion, participating in the Taize services preparation, and above all singing faithfully in the choir.
This talented woman can and will help anywhere she is needed, from folding bulletins and newsletters, to substituting in the office, to leading small group studies. She shares her joy, wit, and love with everyone! This was especially obvious to the congregation of the Seventh Church in Barranquilla, and her fellow travelers from OPC.
This woman's love brought her to Oxford almost seven years ago to be with her sister whose health was failing. Her compassion and patience in caring for her sister supported Marilyn through the final days of her life. Now, our honoree will soon be moving to join another sister. We will miss her so very much and are pleased that we have this opportunity to honor her compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and love for the Oxford Presbyterian Congregation. Carol Burkhalter, will you please accept our congratulations for this Honored Woman Award.
When Carol was chosen for this award, we did not know that she would be moving, so her certificate is still in process at National Headquarters and we will get it to her at her new home. Please accept my Honored Woman pin, which I joyfully pass on to you!
OPW Honored Woman Committee
Seeking God, Serving Others, Sharing Christ's Love With All
Oren and Pastor Lawrence and the Donkey
One image is worth a thousand words!
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PASTOR LAWRENCE BLESSED THE PRAYER SHAWLS
WITH THE HELP OF THE CHILDREN
Who takes care of Fellowship after Worship each week?
Well, volunteers from the church committees do, according to a schedule. The schedule is posted on the fridge in the kitchen. Each committee is assigned a month, with some larger committees lending a hand to smaller committees. Here's how it goes.
January: Church Leadership
1st and 2nd Sundays: Elders
3rd and 4th Sundays: Deacons
April: Christian Education
July: Membership and Friends
September: Mission and Outreach
October: Youth Groups
November: Worship and Music
CHURCH SERVICES AT THE KNOLLS
If you are unable to attend some of our church services on Sunday mornings, we have another option for you. Becky Quay shows recent church services on DVD in the Country Kitchen at 10:00 A.M. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. In April, the dates are 10 and 24. If you would like to join us, but need a ride,
ust give Becky a call at 523-5747
Deadline for the May Newsletter is April 20, 2018
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We are ready for the Habitat Restart. The walls, siding, roof are all done on the 704 Carter Court. Volunteers will be working on dry walls and other under the roof tasks.
The last lot on Carter Circle now has the foundation dug. There will be work there too. The Presbyterians are due to work this coming Saturday and May 12.
Please mark your calendars May 12. If you volunteer-dress warmly, appear at the site at 8:30 a.m. and be prepared to stay the afternoon.
Lunch will be provided. Contact Prue Dana if you can help with work and/or lunch fixings.
Eight area churches have banded together to form the second "Faith
Build" for Habitat for Humanity in Oxford. OPC is working with Bethel AME, Oxford United Methodist, St. Mary, Holy Trinity, Faith Lutheran, Unitarian Universalists and Religious Society of Friends.
The Mission and Outreach Committee is requesting the congregation's help in meeting our church's pledge of $8000.00 to help fund the two homes that are being built in 2018.
You can help financially right now by donating money. If you write a check make it out to Oxford Presbyterian Church, and be sure to put Habitat in the note field. If you prefer to donate cash, please use a Pew Envelope, and be sure to write Habitat on the outside. Donations can be placed in the offering plate, dropped off at the office or mailed to the church. Thank you for your generosity. If you want more info about Oxford Habitat, contact our own Habitat expert, Prue Dana.
Answer to the question of the month
If you take the first letter and move it to the rear of the word, you get the same word when read backwards.
Oxford Presbyterian Church Staff
Office Hours: 8:30-4:30, M-F
Seminary Building: 513-523-7411
Dr. Joseph R. Hookey
Rev. Diane Ziegler
: Julia R. Fisher
Sarah Mapel: email@example.com
OFFICERS OF OPC
Class of 2018
Carol Klumb, Amy McGoldrick, Katie Payne, Deb Sayers,
Class of 2019
Jenny Bailer, Lynn Cronk,
F. Harrison Green
, Greg Hughes, Nancy Moeckel,
Class of 2020
Candice Crist, Danny Cross, Pat Gifford, Richard Munson, Jennifer Walter
Class of 2018
Karen Shearer, Lee Fisher, Virginia Layton, Joni Marcum,
Class of 2019:
Carol Burkhalter, Debbie Davidson, Janet Holmes, Pat Roberts Diane Young
Class of 2020
Cornelia Browne, Jill Grajewski, Stephanie Hartman, Matt Lykins, Becky Quay
Class of 2018:
Tom Holmes, Nick Fears
Class of 2019
: Keith Payne, Joe Simpson
Class of 2020 Rick Bailey, Scott Parkinson
2 Chris Poetter
3 Austin Lake
3 Nathan pacey
5 Dave McDaniel
5 Darrell Richardson
5 Deb Sayers
7 Pat Gifford
7 Steve James
7 Jane Kelly
8 John Woodruff
9 Mary Jane Brower
9 Emily Platt
9 Samuel Poetter
11 Braden Butterfield
11 Dick Nelson
12 Dick Keebler
12 Bo Stephenson
13 Nicholas Payne
15 Don Gerber
15 Elizabeth Johnson
17 Becky McDaniel
17 Thomas Payne
21 Alex Hughes
23 Jean Woodruff
24 Marietta Bowlby
24 Kathy Hardy
25 Ruth Miller
27 Richard Quay
29 Jenny Hunter (missionary)
30 Rodger Cromer
APRIL is: Arab American Heritage, Autism Awareness, BLT Sandwich,
Child Abuse Prevention,
Grilled Cheese, Garlic, Keep America Beautiful, National Humor (and that's no joke), Jazz Appreciation, Occupational Therapy (OT), Parkinson's Disease Awareness, Pecan, Poetry Writing, Soft Pretzel, Soyfoods, and Stress Awareness, MONTH
(and it wasn't easy to put this list together, it was rather discombobulating, in fact)
"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year." - Mark Twain
April 1, 1970 - President Richard Nixon signed legislation officially banning cigarette ads on television and radio.
April 3, 1973 - The first portable cell phone call was placed in New York City by Martin Cooper, a Motorola engineer,
while walking along Sixth Avenue. Cooper called his rival, Joel Engel, head of research at Bell Labs who was also committed to developing the first mobile phone.
The first commercially available handheld cellular phone was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, which hit the market in 1983 and weighed in at
. It was priced at $3,995 and offered a half-hour of talk per battery charge.
Question of the month
What do the following words have in common?
Assess, Banana, Dresser, Grammar, Potato, Revive, Uneven, Voodoo.
As always, the answer is somewhere within the newsletter.
SOME TAXING FACTS
The word "tax" is from the Latin taxo, meaning "I estimate."
In Texas, cowboy boots are exempt from sales tax. Hiking books are not
There are at least 480 tax forms on the IRS website
The 16th Amendment, ratified in 1913, established the first permanent US income tax.
The easiest form, the 1040EZ, has thirty-three pages of instructions.
Benjamin Franklin, on November 13, 1789, wrote the following to Jean-Baptiste Leroy: "Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD continued
I first noticed the early arrival of Easter with the launch of the Lenten Study Group called the Way of Life. This four-week study began by meeting in the home of Ellen Buerk who graciously welcomed us with a simply scrumptious dinner. With our hearts warmed, twenty or so of our church family began bringing our whole hearts and minds to a dialogue stirred by Brain McLaren's challenging book The Great Spiritual Migration.
With the great guidance of our leaders Ellen Buerk, Griffin Barrington and Abby VanGorder, I marveled at how quickly trust and honesty developed as we engaged some of the most exciting and daunting matters of our faith today.
A note that I received from a participant a few days ago describes the feeling among many in this study group, I have shied away from study groups in the past, but I found this experience enlightening and I appreciated the tone and the theme of love found in the Book. Great choice for me!
God's call to Abraham and Sarah in the earliest pages of scripture inspired the name of our second study group called All the Families of the Earth. In Genesis 12, God called this family to leave their home and begin a journey in which all the families of the Earth shall be blessed.
If Sarah and Abraham could see how the journey continues an estimated 4000 years later, consider with me how they would feel. Honored? Ashamed? Grateful? Displeased? Hopeful? Pessimistic? You and I carry on their journey in the 21st century.
On a Friday in March, ten of us traveled to the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. Warmly greeted by Zanib, we took a few moments to learn about the faith and practice of Islam. Then we entered a main hall remarkable for its elegance and beauty as the sermon and prayers began. As we watched a diverse group of residents from across the Cincinnati metro area gather for Friday prayers, I once again observed how Islam is embodied by humility and piety.
After prayer, we had the pleasure of meeting the imam, Hossam Musa. Gracious and affable, he answered all of our questions prompted by what we had just witnessed in prayer as well as our inquiries about his faith journey. The feeling of a stranger becoming a neighbor fascinated me as Imam Musa shared the story of his growing up in Dearborn, Michigan and graduation from the University of Michigan with a degree in engineering. Then we learned of the extraordinary in the ordinary. By the age of thirteen, Imam Musa had memorized the entire Qur'an.
A week later, another group of pilgrims from OPC traveled to the Plum Street Temple in downtown Cincinnati. From cloudy skies outside we stepped into the illuminated sanctuary bright with color all around and sky blue domes overhead.
Alongside members of the temple, we were privileged to gather with many family and friends around a young woman named Lindsay as that Jewish faith community marked her transition to adulthood. Leavened with abundant smiles and punctuated by many Mazel Tovs, the Bat Mitzvah service radiated warmth and a joy of life exemplified by the continuity of faith through generations.
After the last blessing faded from the sanctuary, Rabbi Michael Danziger met with us for a wide ranging dialogue from the history of Reformed Judaism in the U.S. to a lesson on reading the Torah.
Thoughtful and humorous, he shared his story of growing up in Memphis and then studying in Jerusalem and Cincinnati after the answering the call to be a Rabbi. Yet it will be Rabbi Danziger's words about our neighbors that made the deepest impact on my journey as an heir to Abraham and Sarah.
When asked how we may be better neighbors to our Jewish brothers and sisters in faith, Rabbi Danziger responded by telling us the story of the speaker that preceded Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous I Have a Dream speech in Washington, DC.
That speaker was Rabbi Joachim Prinz. Dr. Prinz served as a rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin during Hitler's reign of terror against Jews. After moving to the United States and becoming President of the American Jewish Congress, he witnessed how the treatment of African Americans and other minorities mirrored the injustice he experience under the Nazis. As a result, Dr. Prinz dedicated much of his life to the Civil Rights movement.
Just before Dr. King shared his prophetic words on that August day in 1963, Dr. Prinz stepped to the podium in front of the Lincoln Memorial and said
In the realm of the spirit, our fathers taught us thousands of years ago that when God created man, he created him as everybody's neighbor. Neighbor is not a geographic term. It is a moral concept. It means our collective responsibility for the preservation of man's dignity and integrity.
Neighbor is not a geographic term ... I think of Zanib and Lindsay....
neighbor is a moral concept ... I think of Imam Musa and Rabbi Danziger...
Thus Easter arrived early this year with new friendships, new ways of thinking and new opportunities to practice resurrection as we serve our Lord and our neighbors.
Christian Education continued
Save the Date July 6-8 for Vacation Bible School
! OPC is continuing our ecumenical VBS tradition
with the United Methodists, the Faith Lutherans, and Holy Trinity Episcopalians. Children 3 years through 5th graders are all invited to explore WORSHIP VBS and enjoy the fun VBS workshops ~ Art, Music, Games and Bible Stories. We need youth and adult volunteers to assist with these workshops.
VBS will begin Friday at 5:00 p.m. with dinner together and a lesson. On Saturday, we will have workshops from 9:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We will conclude on Sunday worshiping together at 9:45 a.m. and having lunch together with members and friends of the congregation. Join us for this joyous summer event!
If you can volunteer your time, please contact Katie Saylor by emailing her at
This summer we will be offering Sunday School, but in a condensed format (like last summer). The Kindergarteners-5th graders will be together. WE ARE IN NEED OF TEACHERS! Please contact the church office, or Jenn Walter (513) 593-4883, if you are interested in teaching this summer.
Chair, Christian Education committee
Teachers during April:
Preschool/Nursery ~ Carla Rice
K-2 ~ Sarah Miller and Deb Sayers
3-5 ~ Jenn Walter (4/8, 4/15) and Angie James (4/22, 4/29)
6-8 ~ Prue Dana
Acolyte during April: Elias Jones
YOUTH NEWS FROM YOUTH DIRECTOR, MITCH HARDY
Sr. High Youth Group: We are excited to announce that once a month, high school students will meet together for a time of fellowship, devotion, and service. Make sure to keep an eye out in the bulletin, the Voice, and the Newsletter for upcoming events and meetings. If you have any ideas for events, outings, or serving projects, let me know!
Mission Trip Chaperones: We have found our male and female chaperones for the 2018 Mission Trip to Charleston, SC. Thank you to the congregation for the prayers and support during this time!
Special Announcement: Effective June 30, 2018, I will be resigning as Interim Youth Director at Oxford Presbyterian Church. This was a difficult decision to make, but one that was made carefully and prayerfully. Over the past couple of years, I have spent time asking God in prayer "In what ways can I best use the gifts you have bestowed upon me for your glory?" I believe that the Lord is calling me to serve in other ways. As many of you know, along with serving as Youth Director, I am also a full-time student at Miami University. I am currently a Junior, majoring in Instrumental Music Education. Through lots of time spent in prayer and in discussion with those close to me, I believe that this is the field the Lord is calling me to serve in. It has truly been an honor and blessing serving this congregation as Interim Youth Director over the past two years. The future is bright for the Youth Ministry at OPC, and I am excited to see the ways in which the Lord will bless the students in the Oxford Community.
Please feel free to reach out to me at
(513) 907-5641 if you have any questions about any of the information above.
Mitch Hardy - Youth Director
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We welcome your feedback on the newsletter. We CRAVE your feedback as if we were a cucumber seeking cool.
What is missing from the newsletter that you would like to see? Let me know. Thanks, nancy.
firstname.lastname@example.org (and here is your bonus for reading this section: "I have an obsession with wind farms." "Really?" "Yes. I'm a huge fan.")