headline logo 
JuneJuly 2018
(scroll to see it all)
(click on to JUMP TO)

Church Office Hours
Mon - Fri
Deadline for the 
August 2018
newsletter is 
July 20

to set up an account
Already have an account?



As we boarded the bus from the Manger Square Hotel, the ingredients appeared to be coming together for rain.  A slight wind blew over the hills as clouds gathered overhead. 
After a third day in Bethlehem, we had heard and seen how the ingredients came together for a reality that filled my heart to the breaking point.  Negating narratives of history and the land.  Distinct traumas in the past and present.  Incredibly unequal distribution of natural resources, particularly water. 
My sense of trepidation grew as we left Bethlehem and our bus set a course for another ancient city, Hebron.  That city of the patriarchs and matriarchs has been the site where the ingredients of conflict have been stirred to produce a particularly toxic and untenable status quo.

Continue to Full Article

How great are Your works, O God! 
You made them all with wisdom, 
the earth is full of Your creatures
Psalms 104:24
Furry, feathered, finned, four-legged, and winged, the diversity of God's creatures inspires wonder and awe. From Noah's Ark, to barn animals surrounding baby Jesus, to Isaiah's vision of the lion dwelling with the lamb, God's creatures play an important role in the Bible. In the psalms, creatures give praise to the Lord, having their own relationship with God separate from humanity. Thus, knowing and loving God's creatures helps us better know our Creator.
Mark your calendars for the "Blessing of the Animals" on Saturday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m. in the church courtyard.  Bring your dogs and cats... bring your gerbils and birds... bring your rabbits and fish... bring your friends and grandchildren with their beloved pets.  All animals are welcome and must be securely restrained. 
The courtyard of the Memorial Church facility offers a splendid setting to give thanks with the words of the beloved hymn attributed to St. Francis: 
         All Creatures of Our God and King
         lift up your voice and with us sing.

Return to Top

Rhonda was born and raised in Oxford. She is a 2018 graduate of Talawanda High School, graduating Summa Cum Laude. This fall, Rhonda will be attending Miami University majoring in Professional Writing. The Christian Education committee interviewed Rhonda in March and immediately knew she was the perfect fit to serve as our student intern in the Nursery/ Preschool classroom, providing our young ones with a friendly, familiar face on Sunday mornings. Rhonda has many years of experience caring for children and as you will witness by her kind, patient demeanor, she is perfect for this position. On May 20, Rhonda was introduced to the congregation and she felt in- credibly welcomed. Please stop by the nursery/preschool room and welcome Rhonda on her first day - June 10th! 
Jenn Walter
Keep these friends in your prayers:

Betty Barnhart, John Curry, Tracy DeGood, Bob Douglass, Nancy Gates, Genee Hesse, 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

We Welcome new affiliate member Abigail (Abby) VanGorder.  She was unable to attend the welcome with the others, but we got her picture later!
  A beautiful commissioning service sent Ashley off on her great
adventure.  Her loving family was here to witness the service.  Ashley had humbly asked for financial support from the congregation.  She requested $500.00. She received over $1500.00. That's how OPC Seeks, Serves and SHARES!
Thank you Oxford Presbyterian Church. On Sunday May 06, 2018, I received the Oxford Presbyterian Church Honored Woman Award. I was very surprised and did not even manage to say anything that morning. I guess I was rendered speechless, which is very very rare!  Knowing the list of prior recipients, I am truly grateful that the committee thought me deserving. I thank who ever wrote nominations on my behalf. And I thank my entire church family for supporting me all of my life, especially the past 31 years. You are each very special to me.
Debbie Davidson

Amy Bartel, Lynn Cronk, Prue Dana, Anne Curry, Marilyn Curry, Noah Curry,  Debbie DeGennero, Bill Fisher, Mitch Hardy, Janet Homes, Angie James, Carol Klumb, Sarah Miller, Carla Rice Deb Sayer, Leanne Staley
John and Marilyn Curry have donated $10,400 to replace the Plexiglas outside of the Sanctuary stained glass windows with tempered glass to allow in more light. We appreciate the beauty that will shine through.


SESSION session
Shared reflections on Acts 2: 1 - 21

A motion to rename CCNS, tabled at the April meeting, was taken off the table and will be addressed at the August meeting when Sarah Mapel will be in attendance.

Worship and Music and Membership Committees both reported on tactics that may be implemented to reach the visions and goals created at the January session retreat.

Increasing the OPC presence among students is increasingly challenging.  Technology is constantly changing and we must keep up with it to encourage student interest in this church.

A sabbatical policy for the pastor and associate pastor is being studied.   Pastors have taken sabbaticals in the past, but no policy is in place.  

APNC is hard at work, interviewing, traveling to listen to candidates in neutral pulpits, and introducing them to Oxford.  Stay tuned.

Judy Fisher, Clerk 

Return to Top
(Committees without reports did not meet in time for this newsletter and will have reports next newsletter) 

Worship and Music
Discussed the concept of having a stipend for section leaders in the choir, by creating Internships for four lead singers. OPC will strive for one or more gift/s to equal 50K+ to develop a self-supporting program. Interest generated on the principal would support four students (voice majors) willing to sing on a regular basis with the choir during their college years.  We also discussed having the youth and children attend a full church service once per month to help them gain an appreciation of the richness of church rituals.
Worship Service at Hopewell Church, June 3, 9:30 a.m. This service will feature communion served by intinction by Leanne Staley, Buzz Green, Dick Munson, and Carol Klumb. Karen Shearer and Jo Reinhart will set up and clean up. 
Mission and Outreach
Josh Heikkila visit details discussed.  We are getting our church events on OCES, Miami U's Office of Community Engagement and Service weekly email newsletter  detailing local volunteer opportunities, campus events, community programs, and more.

Stewardship and Finance
Richard Fisher Memorial Music Internship Fund 
Donations have been received in the amount of $3000 thus far. After consultation with the Fisher family and choir members, it was decided to use these donations to develop a Miami student choir internship program from September to May to support our choir. We hope this fund will continue to grow. The details are being worked out. 

At least 4 lights (high recessed in ceiling) in the sanctuary not working. The question is - how would we fix these? They are so high that ordinary ladders would not work. Some type of scaffolding would have to be brought in and set up. This would require moving some pews temporarily.
The building permit for renovations at the Seminary Church facility was received. North Shore (our contractor) has been on site and asbestos removal has begun. 

Return to Top

DEACONS deacon
The March 27 blood drive results: 27 people registered to give blood, 26 were successful (goal of 20). That is 130% of our goal. Over 78 lives will be positively impacted as a result of these donations.  The next drive is Monday, September 17, 2018.

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, cecebrowne@yahoo.com or 513/523-1680 
will meet June 19for their last meeting of this year.  Prue Dana will lead the final lesson, Lesson 9, "In Community with all the Saints". Karen Shearer will conduct the Least Coin and Becky Quay has Mission Yearbook. Reservations for the optional $8, 12 o'clock lunch at the CafĂ© at the Knolls are due by Friday June 15 to Lynn Cronk at 513-524-8574 or  lcronk@woh.rr.com. The study begins at 1:30 on the 19thin the Country Kitchen. Visitors and guests are always welcome to join this circle.

meets June 5, at Nancy Sturgeon's home, starting at 6:30. Billie Maynard will present the program and Jean O'Connell will lead us in devotion. Taking the summer off, we will start the new program year September 4. The 2018-2019 PW Horizons BibleStudy will be "God's Promise, I Am With You."

I will be mailing our Box Tops for Education to Menual School in June. I promise to do a better job checking the envelope on the Mission bulletin board.  Karen Simpson (Karen, you do a great job checking the envelope and at least you do it!!!  Thanks, OPW.)
The Honored Women Award is presented annually by the Oxford Presbyterian Women to those who have given faithfully, willingly, and joyfully of their time and talent to our church. Their faith has led them on unique journeys in service to the Lord.  Thank you to all who recognized these characteristics in several women in our church and sent in nominations.  The committee, Pat Gifford, Janet Zeigler, and Jo Reinhart had the difficult job of selecting just two.
We will be presenting a certificate of recognition and the pin, which is worn by Presbyterian Honored Women throughout the world.  On this pin the supporting hands represent women who seek to build an inclusive community. The leaf represents growth of our personal and corporate response to Jesus Christ as we nurture our faith. The dove indicates our work for peace in our own lives and throughout the world.  At the center of the design is the cross, by which our sins are forgiven, and we are freed to live in Christ who is the center of our lives. The overall design is one of a butterfly, a symbol of newness in Christ.  We wear these pins humbly, yet proudly.
Our Honoree has served Oxford Presbyterian Church diligently and humbly over the years, growing up in OPC. One of her nominees noted, she "loves this church and serves it selflessly."  Most recently her active participation in OPW included Chairing the Cookie Walk, assisting in several capacities with every rummage sale, serving on the steering Committee, the Ways and Means Committee and the Search and Jamieson Committees, and participating in a Circle.  She has been knows to write and perform a funny skit or two promoting an OPW event.
Our Honoree is currently a Deacon, offering comfort and support to many, regularly providing food for congregation members under stress, for events, OPW gatherings, and Community Meals.
She has given her gift of music to the congregation through faithful membership in the Choir for over 20 years.  She has served on Session, secured greeters for Sunday worship, and can be found voluntarily sorting and recycling bulletins after every service.  She has contributed to the richness and depth of many study groups, sharing her thoughts and her stories.
Oxford Presbyterian women and our congregation are so pleased to honor Debbie Davidson, who has given so willingly in the service of our Lord.

Again I want to congratulate the three High School Graduates who received the 2018 Jamieson Award. Sunday May the 20th the award was presented to Noah Curry, Evan James and (in absentia) Valerie Green. Congratulations to all three seniors. Noah, Valerie and Evan.
Debbie Davidson

Seeking God, Serving Others, Sharing Christ's Love With All josh

Last summer we collected donations for backpacks and school supplies for the Goel mission of our sister church in Colombia.  Their school year starts February 1stso the supplies were distributed just before the school year began.  The kids send their thanks for their new school backpacks!
Return to Top


A year ago, Christina Cotton from The Bridge Church came to the OPC Mission and Outreach Committee of Session and talked about the Clubhouse program they sponsor.  The Bridge Church meets on Miami's campus in the SES Chapel to serve Miami's students. Christina talked about their outreach program known as Clubhouse.  This is a tutoring and kid's mentoring program. College students work with local kids (grades K-5th) from Parkview Arms and the Oxford trailer park. They help with homework, sing songs, provide a dinner, do crafts, and read a story from the Bible.  Clubhouse is every Tuesday from 6pm-8pm when Miami students are in Oxford and they meet in the Berean Church facilities on College Corner Pike.
Lawrence Bartel, Deb Sayers, Dave & Sue Wilson went to the Clubhouse program to observe and to discern how our congregation might want to become involved in this outreach program.  We were told that providing dinners for the children was a difficult task for the college students.  It was decided that OPC would like to become involved and would provide food on the fourth Tuesday of the months when the program was taking place.
During this school year Deb Sayers, Sue Wilson, Janet Ziegler, Judy Fisher, and Barbara Skipper have all contributed food.  For the final Tuesday of the year, Nancy Parkinson offered to have her nutrition students prepare the meal.  Nancy's students decided to do a breakfast for dinner theme for the event. They made pancakes, fruit smoothies, breakfast meats, scrambled eggs and pancake on a stick as well as orange juice and milk.   This meal was a big hit for the 30 Clubhouse kids!
Sue Wilson
Return to Top
Approved granting the status of Honorably Retiredto Teaching Elder Hart Edmonds, effective June 1, and celebrated Hart's work as a pastor and member of the presbytery. 
Teaching Elder Diane Ziegler was commissioned as Synod Commissioner.
Return to Top

This is a new column intended to share some of the behind the scenes activities that we might take for granted, but which require the faithful service of dedicated unsung heroes. What have youwondered about?  Send your questions or ideas or YOUR service to Nancy Moeckel, moeckenj@miamioh.eduor call 523-6003. 
Answer to question of the months:
a-l-b-u-m-e-n or e-g-g-w-h-i-t-e 
Have you ever wondered about the beautiful flowerpots and Christmas wreaths at the Memorial front doors?
Flowers don't just grow on trees you know, someone has to fill the pots and decorate the doors. 
Thanks to so many of you who have mentioned how much you enjoy the flowers in the urns adorning the front of the church!  They do "soften" the limestone facade and add a cheery note as you enter the Narthex. We enjoy doing it and appreciate your feedback.

I want to be sure that you are aware of the "we!"  Marilyn Curry with all her creative skills and love of gardening fills the urns with a luscious assortment of pansies and bulbs in Spring and colorful, drought-tolerant plants and flowers in the Summer.  It is hot with all that stone reflecting the heat, so other Flower Girls help with the watering in the summer. Tiptoeing up the steps with their watering pails are Susan King, Carol Flee, and Janet Ziegler.
I take on the Fall arrangements with chrysanthemums, cabbage, and grasses.  For holiday and Winter, I acquire wreaths for the House Committee and hang those on the doors. I use greens, cones, berries and bows to add traditional charm to our house of worship. 
Thank you to ALL the Flower Girls, especially Marilyn Curry.  We also appreciate Shademaker's for their advice and lovely plants.  It is a generous, team effort to share the Lord's beauty!
Pat Gifford

ANNOUNCEMENTS announcements

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. You can attend a meeting with no obligation.

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 seventh year, we have contributed $500 to $700, most recently half to local missions and half to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.  The beneficiary(s) are determined by vote of the members.  As the value of the portfolio grows we hope the amount distributed will continue to grow as well. The portfolio is the property of the church.

We will meet Wednesday June .6th at 7:30 at the Holmes', 210 Ridge Avenue, Oxford. 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.
Per capita or per head...  is a set amount of money per member that congregations contribute to the larger Presbyterian Church (USA). This per capita is used for the expenses of our PC (USA) mission co-workers, leadership development, new church development, and General Assembly meetings to name just a few.
We urge every member to give toward your per capita of $45.98.  Your contribution not only connects you with the work of the church throughout the world, this also allows finances reserved in 2018 to fully cover our congregational per capita to be used instead to support the missions of the Oxford Presbyterian Church.  
 Per Capita envelopes are available in the narthex or by contacting the church office.  And thank you as we seek...serve... and share!
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 2th and 4th Tuesdays of each month. For June, that's the 12thand the 26th. If you would like to join us, but need a ride, j ust give Becky a call at 523-5747.
This gathering takes July and August off so Becky will see you again in September
Deadline for the August Newsletter is July 20, 2018
Return to Top
COMMUNITY community
Community Adult Day Service is open Monday through Friday from 8-5.  They are located in the fellowship hall of the Faith Lutheran Church at 422 Tollgate Drive, which is wheelchair accessible. They can care for 12 older adults with special needs and/or memory impairment each day. Limited transportation is provided 
Services are funded through private pay, MyCare Ohio Aetna and Molina, Passport, Catholic Social Services Preble County, Elderly Services Program through Butler County, grants from United Way, Oxford Community Foundation, and Oxford Masons. They do two fundraisers a year- a spring spaghetti dinner and a donation only based "No Bake- Bake Sale" in the fall
Community Adult Day Service strives to provide a positive experience for our older adults by exercising their body and minds throughout the day. We develop individual care plans to meet the needs of each of our clients while here and to provide respite and support for caregivers.  Our goal is to facilitate a level of independence in our clients and to enable the clients to stay in their home for as long as possible. Activities include arts and crafts, board games, trivia, exercise CD's, Wii games, karaoke, field trips, cards, adult coloring, animal visits, manicures, cooking, and much more.  
The Community Adult Day Service deserves our continued support.  If members of the congregation would like to support the Community Adult Day Service make a check payable to Oxford Presbyterian Church and place Community Adult Day Service in the note field. 
Danny Cross
Kirkmont Center is dedicated to outdoor experiences of discovery, learning, and wonder, to the end that individuals and groups grow in their relationship to God, one another, and the earth.
Kirkmont Center, an independent non-profit organization, was founded by the Presbyterian Church USA in1963. Today Kirkmont is a camp and retreat center serving public and private school groups, non-profit organizations, youth groups, sports teams, music and art associations, churches and faith based groups of all denominations, families, businesses, and individuals. Their goal is to provide people with a renewing camp, outdoor education, or retreat experience.
Kirkmont - "church on the mountain" - is located in Logan County near Bellefontaine and consists of 278 acres nestled among gently rolling hills and pine groves. The site boasts a natural fen, two ponds (one for nature study and one for canoeing, paddle boating, and fishing), cliffs and natural ravines. Kirkmont Center is one of the most unique parcels of land in the State of Ohio, and offers many opportunities for school groups, universities, and adult education.
Nearby is Campbell Hill, the highest point in Ohio (Kirkmont is the second highest). Other near attractions  include Ohio; the Piatt Castles, Mac-O-Chee and Mac-O-Cheek, built in the 1800s; Pioneer House, the family homestead of the Piatts and part of the Underground Railroad Network; and skiing at Mad River Mountain.
Kirkmont offers guests lodging in one of 16 cabins (wood floors and half-walls) or four lodge facilities. Camper hook ups and tent camping are also available at Kirkmont. Other facility resources include a picnic shelter; a 50- by 50-foot pavilion; a swimming pool; over seven miles of groomed hiking trails, a low ropes challenge and initiatives course with over 20 stations; 3 campfire circles; an archery range; a seven-circuit Cretan labyrinth; a nature center; a climbing tower; zip line; giant swing and much more.
Oxford Presbyterian Christian Education sent three young people to Kirkmont in 2017 and three young people are going in 2018.  The Miami Valley Presbytery pays for half the expense.  
If members of the congregation would like to support this organization, please make a check payable to Oxford Presbyterian Church and put MO Kirkmont in the note field.
Danny Cross


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 Associate:   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
Sexton: Robert Simpson
Class of 2018
Carol Klumb, Amy McGoldrick, Katie Payne, Deb Sayers, Leanne Staley
Class of 2019 :
Jenny Bailer, Lynn Cronk, F. Harrison Green , Greg Hughes, Nancy Moeckel,
Johanna Reinhart
Class of 2020
Candice Crist, Danny Cross, Pat Gifford, Richard Munson, Jennifer Walter
Class of 2018 :
Karen Shearer, Lee Fisher, Virginia Layton, Joni Marcum, Mickey Simonds
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      Bill Fisher
2      Justin McGoldrick
2      Sarah Miller
2      Tom Wilson
3      Craig James
3      Sherry Schilling
3      Marlene Vaughn
4      Olivia DeGennaro
4      Dylan Gardner
7      Jim Sturgeon
8      Bill King
8      Joni Marcum
10    Rachel Mehl
13    Scott Hartman
13    Mitch Poetter
14    Janet Holmes
15    Kelly Richmond
17    Carol Klumb
17    Pat Roberts
17    Turner Rollins
17    Joe Wespiser
18    Lindsey Sunderhaus
19    Gwen Fears
21    Judy Fisher
21    Ian Pacey
22    John Baer
22    Charles Skipper
23    Grady Holmes
23    Andrea Johnson
23    Opal Wespiser
27    Linda Hesford
27    Kate Wespiser
28    Cheryl Ferris 2
29    Connie Everhart
June Junque for our Celebrants
The first weekend in June is National Donut Weekend.  Do your part to celebrate!

June has the Summer Solstice, the day with the longest daylight of the year, typically on June 21st, which is also National Nude day. Do your part to celebrate!
This year, the June solstice falls on  Thursday, June 21, 2018  in all  U.S. and Canada time zones, specifically at 6:07 A.M. EDT.
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
- Margaret Atwood
In the summer heat, the iron in France's Eiffel Tower expands, making the tower grow more than 6 inches

The official record for the highest jump on a pogo stick is 9ft 7.5in by Biff Hutchison (USA). 
Although the tomato is technically a fruit, in 1893, the Supreme Court of the United States decreed that the tomato is a vegetable. 
1       Jay Baird
1       Janet Stuckey
3       Ellie Rezanka
4       Jack Vaughn
4       Jim Wilson
6       Bella Walter
10     Nancy Moeckel
12     Will Hazelton
12     David T. Kraushar
14     Jim Maynard
15     Dave Kraushar
15     Betty Tomblinson
16     Judy Spencer
16     Jean Vance
19     Amanda McGoldrick
19     Gil Siegel
19     Abigail VanGorder
23     Bruce Bowerman
23     Tristan Gayhart
24     Ashley Richardson
25     Karen Shearer
26     Vicki Pacey
26     Aiden Todd
30     Matt Green
31     Janet Feazell
July Jingles for our Celebrants
Until the 18th century, the word July in English had the stress on the first syllable and rhymed with duly or truly.
New Zealanders eat more ice cream than any other nation, an average of 28.4 liters per person per year.
Joey Chestnut won the 2014 World Ice-Cream Eating Championship with 15 pints in six minutes.
The sick bay at the Cost Rica Sloth Sanctuary is known as "the slothpital".
The smallest winged insect, the Tanzanian parasitic wasp, is smaller than a housefly's eye. I would have included a picture, but....
There are no reptiles, amphibians or poisonous animals in Iceland.
Thunder is the sound we hear from the sonic wave caused by the expansion of air that has been rapidly heated by lightning.
Strictly speaking every tortoise is a turtle, but only land-dwelling turtles are tortoises.
Examples of Inflated Language
      • negative patient care outcome:  the patient died
      • mental activity at the margins: insanity
      • reutilization marketing yard: junkyard 
If you spell "sit in the tub" s-o-a-k, and you spell "a funny story" j-o-k-e, how do you spell "the white of an egg"?
Find the answer hidden somewhere in the newsletter!  Read every word while you are at it!
Mere minutes outside of Bethlehem, we passed the Tent of Nations where the Nasser family hosted us for lunch and conversation just the previous day.  The Nasser family farm is bordered by several settlements including Efrat where we had a dialogue with Artie Geldman, a settler from Chicago.  These seemingly irreconcilable narratives swirled in my mind as the clouds swirled overhead.
An uneasy quiet greeted us as we walked through the old city streets of Hebron.  Before long, we arrived at an intersection.  To our right was the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque/Ma'arat Hamachpela and to the left was Shuhada Street.  We turned left for a brief walk down Shuhada Street where simmering conflict speaks through shuttered shops with doors welded shut.  
Retracing our steps, we came to the steps of the mosque and encountered the tombs of Sarah and Abraham, Isaac and Rebecca.  After pausing in this place of Muslim prayer, we exited the mosque and entered the portion of the site set aside for Jewish worship.  
Unexpectedly, we encountered the exuberance and joy of a naming and circumcision ceremony of an eight-day-old boy.  Poignant and tender, I found my eyes and heart opened to the children who will inherit the Palestine and Israel of the future.  
Reality brought us back to the present as we exited that sacred place for both Muslims and Jews and entered the tension filled market. At that time the atmospheric ingredients were right.  A gentle, cleansing rain fell from the skies.  
The air remained heavy with moisture in the afternoon as we returned to Bethlehem.  Awaiting us were a seven "experiential learning options" entirely new to the Mosaic of Peace.  It was not easy to choose between the following compelling options: a Palestinian theater workshop at Al-Harrah Theater, beer brewing at Wise Men Choice, wool felting at L'Arche Community, olive wood carving at the Giacaman Family Workshop, a Palestinian art class at Dar Al-Kalima, and a cooking class at Aida Refugee Camp. 
Ten of us had the privilege of returning to the Aida Refugee Camp for the cooking class offered by the Noor Women's Empowerment Group (Noor WEG). Upon our arrival we were warmly greeted by Ahmad who lead us through the narrow streets of the refugee camp to the classroom where Islam and Rania had fully prepared for our arrival.  After brief introductions, we learned about that the cooking classes enable the Noor WEG network to better care for and support the education of their disabled children.  
With encouraging words and winsome smiles, Rania and Islam invited us to transform the raw ingredients laid out in front of us into a traditional Palestinian meal.   Our eager hands took up the kitchen tools in front of us and set to work peeling, chopping, mixing, and frying the potatoes, carrots, onions, chicken, and more.  Delicious aromas quickly filled the kitchen as our hosts deftly guided our hands while empowering us to do the work.  
With the salad ready, the Maqluba was set to cook on the stovetop and the Basbussa was baking in the outdoor oven.  Then Islam set a whole eggplant to roast over an open flame.   As she skillfully rotated the eggplant over the flame, I was struck by the wisdom and love of life passed down through the generations.  
Within a few short moments, the meal came together. The eggplant was transformed into the deepest, richest and most flavorful Mutabbal (similar to Baba ghanoush) I've ever tasted.  Ahmad turned the Maqluba upon the serving platter.  The Basbussa was prepped for our dessert.  Drawn to the table, we sat down at the table with Ahmad, Islam, Rania and another guest from Canada.  
Then it happened.  Around that table in a refugee camp, the power of sharing stories combined with delectable tastes produced an alchemy of community bringing together a group who had been strangers only a couple hours before.  
Food and stories, smiles and laughter, these came together to produce a moment that felt a lot like peacebuilding.
Ingredient by ingredient, moment by moment, life by life - our day bore witness for peace and wholeness in a land called 'holy'.
Sunday School Teachers needed to teach K-5thgrade in June and August!! We can't offer Sunday School without teachers so please, please consider volunteering your time. We understand if you can only volunteer your time for one of the Sundays - we would appreciate any time that you can give! We need teachers on June 17, June 24, August 5, and August 12, August 19 and August 26. If you can teach on any of these Sundays, please let me know (513) 593-4883. THANK YOU! 
OPC is hosting Vacation Bible School July 6-8! 
Friday, July 6th 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.(dinner included) 
Saturday, July 7th 9:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (lunch included) 
Sunday, July 8th 9:45 a.m. - Noon (lunch included) 
You may sign up your child as a participant online at: https://goo.gl/forms/0BjJZfZy8Li0SMEH2
You may sign up as a volunteer at the following link:
https://goo.gl/forms/2eV2qsw977nWGgli2. Please consider helping in a volunteer role.
The excitement is growing for our youth as their mission trip fast approaches. They set off for Charleston, SC on June 16! Ellen Buerk, one of our mission trip chaperones, graciously hosted a potluck dinner and outdoor fun event for the youth and their families on Friday, May 25. Everyone had a fabulous time! Please keep the youth and chaperones in your prayers during their time of travel (6/16-6/23) and time of service in the Charleston community.
adultJenny Bailer and Candace Crist have been busy planning the following upcoming adult education opportunities:

*The World Around Us- Because two of the individuals invited to be guest presenters are not available this summer it was decided to postpone the start of this until fall. At that time there will be a festival at the Seminary with guest members from various countries. 

*Ripped from the Headlines...What's a Christian to do?- This group is beginning this summer and will meet every other week. Participants will determine topics for discussion.
Many blessings to you all!
~Jenn Walter
Chair, Christian Education Committee
Teachers in June:
Preschool/Nursery ~ Rhonda Krehbiel
K-5 ~  Candace Crist (6/10) 
WE NEED TEACHERS for 6/17 ad 6/24!
Upcoming events:
VBS - July 6-8

We welcome your feedback on the newsletter. We CRAVE your feedback as if we were a cake craving frosting. 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: A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative