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LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD
2017 Annual Report of the Pastor
The moment arrived in October as we began marking the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Inspired by the worship theme that Sunday morning, Sola Scriptura, we stood to sing "I Love to Tell the Story." The essence of that hymn describes the joy we experience, as we become part of, and then share, the great story of Jesus Christ.
Standing in the sanctuary of Oxford Presbyterian Church, singing with brothers and sisters in Christ, both in front of and behind me, I sensed I had stepped into a thin place where the veil between this world and the next is porous. As we sang that song, my soul offered up the quiet, almost subconscious prayer... thank you, thank you, thank you for your grace O Lord that allows me to be part of such a story.
At the beginning of the Lent season, the children in our Church School will each be given a Fish Bank to take home. This is part of the ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING program during the Lenten season. Information about the Fish Bank will be sent home with the children. On Palm Sunday the children will return their Fish Banks (hopefully full) to the Sanctuary and the children in the 3-5th Grade Church School class will decide which One Great Hour of Sharing project will benefit from the money collected.
Please be sure and read the Youth News from our Youth Director, Mitch Hardy. Our youth have some amazing opportunities coming up in the Spring and Summer months!
We have an upcoming youth fundraiser on February 13th. Please see the informational flyer at the end of this newsletter!
CARES, CONCERNS, JOYS AND THANK YOUs
IN OUR PRAYERS
Keep these friends in your prayers:
Betty Barnhart, Roberta Crain, Tracy DeGood, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates, Genee Hesse, Ann Imhoff, Breanna Kinneman, Betty Reinhart, Jan Reinhart, Marilyn Rettig, Sarah Soika, Dave Wilson, Stacey Winn
Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers
Session meeting on January 16, 2018
With seven new, or returning elders on session time was given to orientation. This included the mechanics of how session works, copies of policies being distributed, reference to the Book of Order and the Book of Confessions, sharing of names and contact information of committee members (including non session members).
Pastor Lawrence was authorized to perform baptisms and communions during 2018. Motion passed to elect Sue Skillings as treasurer and Judy Fisher as clerk for 2018. By acclamation Danny Cross was named Presbytery Commissioner and Diane Ziegler as Parish Associate.
Motion passed to have Dick Munson and Libby Birch construct a box for a Little Lending Library that will be placed on a site, yet to be determined, outside the Memorial Building.
Special offerings were approved for 2018.
Judy Fisher, Clerk
Answer to the Question of the Month
Most people say 3, but it's actually 6.
Why? We often don't correctly process the word "OF"
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
OXFORD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH WOMEN
THE TUESDAY AFTERNOON CIRCLE
meets February 20 at 1:30pm in the Knolls Country Kitchen. Please call Lynn Cronk 524-8574 by Friday February 16 for reservations for the optional
THE TUESDAY EVENING CIRCLE
will meet February 6 in the home of Janet Ziegler. Janet Holmes is the co hostess and Nancy Sturgeon will lead the program. Devotions will be given by Karen Simpson. Anyone needing a ride should contact Karen Simpson, 523-8363. Visitors are welcomed
HONORED WOMAN AWARD NOMINATIONS SOUGHT
Each year, Oxford Presbyterian Women give The Honored Women Award to one or two women who have dedicated their time and talents to the work of Oxford Presbyterian Church. Like the women in the Bible, we have so many in our congregation who are faithful, steadfast, organized, smart, problem-solvers and devoted to their families, the church and their community. We celebrate them!!
Please consider thoughtfully any woman in our congregation you know who embodies these characteristics and gives faithfully, willingly, and joyfully of her time and talents to this church. Write a letter detailing her work and
send this letter of nomination to Pat Gifford, at
, drop in my mailbox at church, or send to 6511 Morning Sun Rd., Oxford, 45056. Other members of the Honored Woman Committee, Johanna Rinehart and Carol Burkhalter will also gladly accept letters of nomination.
A new letter of nomination is needed each year, even if a woman has been nominated previously. We are so grateful for the continued service of our Past Honored Women; however, the award is only given once to an individual.
The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2018.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT AT WORK
Seeking God, Serving Others, Sharing Christ's Love With All
OPC Community Meal: Wednesday, January 31 at the Seminary Building. We need the following: bread, side dishes, and dessert. Ham will be provided. Please call or e-mail Bill Fisher at 524-4504 or email@example.com if you can help.
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IT'S TIME TO DINE!!!
Join a group for fun, fellowship, and FOOD! The Membership, Evangelism, and Fellowship Committee is coordinating a new season of get-togethers. Come one, come all-singles, couples, families, students, members, non-members! Everyone welcome. Meet new friends! Get to know those folks on the other side of the aisle!
You can sign up after worship in the Molyneaux on January 28, February 4, & February 11; or by following this link:
You can choose to be in a group with your children, an all-adult group, or just be surprised! The MEF committee will form the groups, based on your preferences.
On February 11, at 5:00 at the Seminary we will come together for a giant potluck to kick off the 2018 Time to Dine!
That evening, you will learn who is in your group and sit together at the pot luck, so you can determine a coordinator and plan your first gathering. You can do dinner, brunch after church, breakfast, a picnic! You can eat at a home or restaurant, or reserve the Seminary! Whatever your group decides...you may decide to do all! We hope you will meet 3-4 times this year (we know how hard it is to mesh schedules) then we can start again next January in new groups!!
Fun, Fellowship, and Food...you can't beat it!!
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 February, it will be shown on the 13th & 27th. If you would like to join us, but need a ride,
just give Becky a call at 523-5747
Deadline for the March Newsletter is February 20, 2018
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD continued
As we reflect on our year of ministry throughout 2017, we have so much for which to be thankful. Certainly, we may be thankful to be part of the Lord's work through the body of Christ that is Oxford Presbyterian Church. We may be thankful for the faithful witness of our congregation in Oxford for the better part of two centuries. We may be thankful for the unfolding legacy of the Reformation that reminds us that nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yet my gratitude was grounded in concrete experiences of mission, Christian Education and worship. The week before we sang "I Love to Tell the Story," we heard from our mission co-workers Ellen and Al Smith about the work of the PC (USA) with our sister church in Russia. The week before that, the seven members of the 2017 Colombian Mission Team passionately shared eyewitness accounts of how the Lord is using the faithful gifts of our congregation and Oxford Presbyterian Women to give the poorest of the poor a hopeful and healthy future in Barranquilla, Colombia. A few short weeks earlier, the members of the Senior High youth group enthusiastically described their summer mission experience in Pikeville, KY.
The missional journey outward begins at home and over the last year the Community Room in the first floor of the Seminary Church has become established as an incubator for local mission with the potential for much more. Over the coming year, renovations to the sanctuary of the Seminary Church will take place with the vision that the space will once again become a flexible place for worship, meetings, and multi-media presentations for the congregation, campus ministry, and mission organizations throughout the community.
We are eager to tell the story about our spiritual journey inward this year through Christian Education. A passionate and gifted team of volunteer teachers has welcomed and engaged the children from a growing number of families joining our congregation for worship. The youth group has significantly grown in size with youth and parents from local churches becoming a committed part of their fellowship and mission. The coming year will likely hold welcome and exciting changes ahead for this aspect of our congregational ministry. Today and throughout the year, please join me in prayer for the person God is calling to join our story and become our Associate Pastor for Family Ministry and Campus Ministry.
Woven throughout the past year for both youth and adults was the common thread of the Journey Through the Bible. To read through scripture in one year is both compelling and challenging, it is also deeply enriching and rewarding! In addition to the daily readings as well as the regular bible studies and discussions, our youth, university students, and adults engaged the moral themes of "Poverty and Economics" and "Race and Ethnicity" in the Bible and in our times. I ask you to join me in prayer again as we discern how the Lord will use our Journey in 2017 as a foundation for transformation as we become more and more a part of the great story of Jesus Christ.
Another essential facet of our spiritual journey inward is worship. Worship is at the heart of our faith community and I experience such joy as I lead our congregation in praise, study of the scriptures, and prayer along with our gifted choir, Kent Petersen as Choir Director and Lynn Jacobs as organist. Over the coming year we will continue to seek ever wider opportunities for the Spirit to move in our worship as we intentionally include the diversity of our voices and gifts in this congregation that is "Reformed and always Reforming."
A significant portion of our congregational story that I've summarized up to this point has been what is public and observable. Less visible, yet vitally important, is the teamwork between our staff, committees of Session, Trustees and Deacons. I'm so grateful to collaborate with each part of this team as we inspire one another to greater ministry. In particular, I would like to thank the excellent staff of our congregation including Bridgite Dickerson, Administrative Assistant; Mitch Hardy, Youth Director; Sarah Lake, CCNS Teacher/Administrator; Mary Martin, Financial Secretary; Priscilla Parks, Custodian; and Robert Simpson, Sexton.
What a privilege to join you in "telling the story of Jesus and his love" throughout 2017! I am humbled and profoundly grateful to be your pastor as we seek God in the spiritual journey inward and the missional journey outward.
Our Mission Statement
In Seeking God ... We strive to know God and love God. As fellow seekers, we welcome all who wish to learn and grow with us.
In Serving others ... Following our Servant Savior, we give our time, talent and resources to help bring fullness of life to others.
In Sharing Christ's love with all ...Through our words and actions, we proclaim the unconditional love of Christ, filled with joy and hope, we build relationships across any boundaries.
Christian Education continued
Plans are currently underway for this summer's Vacation Bible School. OPC will be hosting the ecumenical event again this year. VBS dates and details coming soon!
Preschool/Nursery ~ Lynn Cronk
K-2 ~ Sarah Miller and Deb Sayers
3-5 ~ Debbie DeGennero
6-8 ~ Prue Dana
Abigail Curry ~ 2/11 and 2/25
Isabella Walter ~ 2/18
February 4 ~ Souper Bowl Sunday
February 13 ~ Fat Tuesday Pancake Youth fundraiser, Seminary bldg., 5:00-7:00pm
February 18 ~ "Crafts with Carol" in lieu of Church School
February 18 ~ First Sunday in Lent. Look for Lenten materials in Molyneaux Lounge.
YOUTH NEWS FROM YOUTH DIRECTOR, MITCH HARDY:
Spring Retreat - Youth in grades 7-12 are invited to attend the Spring Youth Retreat at Kirkmont Center, April 6-8, hosted by the Presbytery of the Miami Valley. The weekend will feature keynote speaker Rev. Kori Phillips, Associate Pastor from Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD, as we explore the stories of Jacob and Esau.
The Youth Ministry at Oxford Presbyterian Church is offering an opportunity for students having completed grades 7-12 to attend the Presbyterian Youth Connection Camp at Kirkmont Center (PYC Jr. for those students having just completed 6th grade). From June 24-30, students will spend time engaged in activities within their selected track (
Sports, Science, Art, Robotics or Music) and will learn more about their faith. Check out the Kirkmont Center website for more information.
Chaperone Needed - We are looking for one more female chaperone for the Summer Mission Trip!
Youth Group -
Students in grades 6-12 are welcome to attend Youth Group on Thursday evenings from 7:00 - 8:30 pm in the Seminary Building. Join us for an evening full of games and activities, fellowship, and Bible Study!
Snack/Second Adult sign-ups:
We are still in need of parents and congregation members to sign-up to be a Second Adult at Youth Group or to bring Snack for the students to enjoy. (Note: A background check must be completed and on file at OPC prior to serving as a Second Adult for Youth Group.)
If interested in any of these youth opportunities or events, please let me know. I can be reached at (513) 907-5641 or email@example.com.
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What is missing from the newsletter that you would like to see? Let me know. Thanks, nancy.
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pillows? They're making headlines.)