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March 2018
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SPECIAL ITEMS

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April 2018
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March 20
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LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF G OD
Small orange flags waving in the winter wind fill me with hope.

Hope.  I repeated that word aloud a few times as I walked across the frozen surface of a beautiful lake toward the orange flag that had just materialized.  That flag indicated so much that was invisible to the human eye.  It reminded me that right below the foot of ice on which I stood, the chilly water still pulsed with life.

I love fishing and rarely get enough time to savor this sport of patient hope.  So when a friend invited me to join his family in an ice fishing tournament several years running, I always said yes.  If fishing in the summer is about sensing the tug on the line, ice fishing is about watching for the orange flags.

The orange flag was up, yet I remained cautious.  We had rushed to enough orange flags that day to know from experience that there are no guarantees in ice fishing, only hope.
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CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
educate

Happy Lenten Season! This is such a special time in the life of our church and it's an especially busy time for Christian Education with all the wonderfulness that this season brings.
 
The CE Committee is thrilled (and grateful) that Candace Crist and Jenny Bailer are facilitating two Lenten study groups for Adult Education. Look for details about these two studies below in this column ~ it's not too late to join a study group! Also, be sure to pick up your Lenten Devotional and calendar from the Molyneaux Lounge.

The start of the Lent season ignited the children's excitement about the Fish Banks. The Fish Banks were distributed during church school as a part of the ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING program. On Palm Sunday the children will return their Fish Banks (hopefully full) to the Sanctuary and the funds raised will be donated to one of the One Great Hour of Sharing projects.  
 
Thanks to your generosity and support, the Youth Group raised $315.15 in the Souper Bowl of Caring fundraiser on February 4. All of the proceeds will go to the Oxford Community Choice Pantry. Thanks again for your support of this fundraiser that helps tackle hunger in our local community. 

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CARES, CONCERNS, JOYS AND THANK YOUs
cares 
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, Sarah Soika, Joan Teckman, Charles Skipper, Dave Wilson, Stacey Winn 

Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers

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SESSION session

The February meeting was preceded by supper and conversation with Steve Keizer from the Presbyterian Foundation.  He focused on fund raising in three specific areas: stewardship campaigns, capital campaigns and planned giving.
 
Report received from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee.  There are approximately ten candidates being researched, sixteen Personal Information Forms have been received.  
 
Trustees reported that five contractors are bidding for the Seminary renovation project.  With fingers crossed, construction may start in April.
 
The multitude of goals voiced at the January retreat has been condensed into workable form.  Tactics to achieve these goals will be addressed at the March session meeting.
 
Judy Fisher, Clerk 

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COMMITTEES OF SESSION  committees
 STEWARDSHIP REPORT HIGHLIGHTS
stewardship
(Committees without reports did not meet in time for this newsletter and will have reports next newsletter)
 
Worship and Music
Palm Sunday, March 25
There will be a donkey outside the church.
Maundy Thursday, March 30
The Knolls has been reserved for the service.
 
Good Friday and Walk of Witness, March 31
This year's Walk will begin at Holy Trinity Church and proceed to OPC. The large cross will be carried, as it was last year. Pastors participating in the Walk will be the Reverend Sarah Palmer (Episcopal Church), Pastor Lawrence, Reverend Arun Paul (Methodist Church), and Reverend Logan Dysert (Lutheran Church).
 
A peek into the future:
April 29 to May 16
Pastor Lawrence will be away, leading the Mosaic of Peace conference in Israel and Palestine.
Sunday May 6 Lisa Hess (professor at Union Theological Seminary) will preach and celebrate communion.
Sunday May 13 Randall Brakemeyer will lead worship
May 20 Church members who attended the Mosaic of Peace conference will share their experiences.
Sunday, May 27 "Josh the Giant" mission co-worker from PCUSA in Ghana will be in worship with us (Memorial Day weekend).
 
Mission and Outreach
ACTION TAKEN: A motion was made and passed to support the Columbia summer intern with $500.00
Prue Dana presented an update on the Oxford Habitat for Humanity Faith Build that was delayed because of weather.
(see article in this newsletter with details)
Closing discussion included that a major goal of M&O is to best use money given by the church and the congregation. How to best use specialized or restricted funds. M&O plans to review to whom we give money and why, and not just renew funding without such consideration.
 
Membership, Evangelism and Fellowship
Members discussed the concern of children in online church directory.
Children's' names have now been removed and people can opt out of the online directory if they wish though it is only available with an access code from a secure Life Touch server.  The value of online includes the ability to update at any time.  (see article in this newsletter for more info)
 
Stewardship and Finance
Action Item- S&F requests that Session call a congregational meeting for March 11 to vote on the correction to Pastor Lawrence's terms of call for 2018. A spreadsheet error caused incorrect figures in the Pastor's compensation that were not noticed until after approval by the congregation in January
 
Faith Lutheran Church made a $2,000 donation to OPC in gratitude for welcoming their youth into our youth program.  (Many thanks!-ed)
 
Personnel
A motion was approved for the following - "the Personnel Committee recommends Oxford Presbyterian Church have a Sabbatical Policy for Pastor and Associate."  Pat Gifford will draft such a policy. Discussion was held on a request for a paid position for the people required for Sunday morning Preschool & Nursery areas. CE has had a challenging time getting church volunteers for this area.
 
Facilities Planning Team
Requested $1500 for preliminary drawings to be done by the architect for the ramp. SF approved the request unanimously. Joe will contact the architect.
Trustees
A motion was passed to gratefully accept the gift of a tree by Fisher family members as a memorial to Dick Fisher.
Building use requests were approved for the World Day of Prayer and Vacation Bible School. A request from the League of Women Voters was approved, with the caveat that the requested date will almost certainly conflict with construction activity.
The Rose Window lighting has proved to be problematic. The location of the fixtures up in the rafters is beyond the safe range of our ladder and requires the electrician to compromise safety to change bulbs. Nick has received one estimate for installation of fixtures on the sidewalls where they can be safely accessed. He was authorized to obtain a second estimate and proceed with the change accordingly.
The date of April 14 was chosen for the Spring Cleanup. Since Easter is early this year, it is not reasonable to try to do this before April 1.
Progressive Christian Campus Ministry
Our commitment to bringing forth an active campus ministry is strong and continues. We had a good beginning in fall 2017, but it was not sustainable. What we've discovered in our discussions with other, successful campus ministries (Pres House, Common Grounds), is success depends greatly on the presence of a staff person who can be focused on campus ministry. We are in the process of reevaluating our procedures and look forward to having a staff person on board. We are confident that the Associate Pastor search will find just the right person. PCCM will not meet again until the hiring of the Associate Pastor is resolved. We are grateful to OPC and its ongoing support of this ministry. 


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DEACONS deacon

The Deacon's Lenten Food Drive
Please leave the donated items for the Oxford Choice Pantry in the Narthex, (the front entrance to the Sanctuary) from
February 18  - March 24
Monetary donations can be made during offering by writing a check with "Deacon's Food Drive" in the note field or placing cash in a pew envelope with the "Deacon's Food Drive" on the front.
ITEMS NEEDED
"Big Three"
Spaghetti, Tuna and Peanut Butter
 
Other Items:
Canned meals (Spaghetti O's, Ravioli, Chef Boyardee). Varieties of cereal, canned fruit and vegetables.
Personal Care Items:
Toilet paper, body wash, deodorant, shampoo and hair conditioner
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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,cecebrowne@yahoo.com or 513/523-1680 or Carol Burkhalter,cburk63@gmail.com or 513/280-6017


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OXFORD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH WOMEN women

THERE WILL NOT BE A SPRING RUMMAGE SALE DUE TO SEMINARY CONSTRUCTION.
  
 
circles
THE TUESDAY AFTERNOON CIRCLE
will meet March 20.  We will meet for lunch at the Knolls followed by our study at 1:30 in the County Kitchen area of the Assisted Living area. Prue Dana will lead the study of Lesson 6 in The Cloud of Witnesses. Pat Gifford will do the Mission Yearbook and Karen Shearer will do the Least Coin.  Dave and Sue will start at 1:30 and I will do a shortened lesson. Lynn Cronk. 


THE TUESDAY EVENING CIRCLE
We are meeting March 6 in the home of Jean O'Connell, 1277 Elizabeth Drive in  Hamilton. Nancy Sturgeon is the co-hostess. Janet Holmes will present the program. Connie Everhart will give the devotion. We will be car-pooling so if you need a ride call Karen Simpson, 523-8363.

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OUR MISSION STATEMENT AT WORK
mission
Seeking God, Serving Others, Sharing Christ's Love With All
   
Thank you to those of you who contributed towards the Souper Bowl of Caring fundraiser, which took place last week after worship. Thanks to your generosity and support, we raised $315.15! All of these proceeds will go to the Oxford Community Choice Pantry. Thanks again to the congregation for the prayers and support! 
 
Blessings,
Mitch

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MEMBERSHIP, EVANGELISM AND FELLOWSHIP

TIME TO DINE OFF TO A GREAT START!!
 
Thanks to all the folks who showed up to kick off the Time to Dine season!  We have 51 adults and 18 children signed up.  Most folks were time to dine able to attend the potluck on Sunday, February 11, and learned which of seven groups was theirs!  Groups got to know each other and set up their first gathering date and time!  It was a fun evening full of love and hearts, great food, games, prizes, and fellowship!  A great indicator of things to come.  Thanks to the Membership, Evangelism and Fellowship committee for hosting!  If you would still like to join a group, contact Pat Gifford,  gifforp@miamioh.edu or 255-5416.
 

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WATCH FOR INFORMATION ON OUR  NEW MOBILE DIRECTORY
 
As part of our new church directory package from Lifetouch, we will have access to a mobile directory through a secure Lifetouch server.  The directory will have individual or family pictures taken in September, last name, adult first names, (no children's names) and links to phone number, address, and map to home address.  Members may opt out if they do not wish to appear in the mobile directory.  Watch for an email with more information and directions for gaining access to this helpful new feature!  Pat GIfford

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Both Robert Smith and Janet Ziegler represented Oxford Presbyterian Church at the January 16, 2018, Called Special Meeting of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley, with Janet serving as Commissioner
 
The main items of business were 1) to hear a report from the Executive Presbyter Search Committee; 2) to examine the Candidate concerning her Statement of Faith and her fitness, readiness, and sense of call to serve in the position of Executive Presbyter in this Presbytery; and 3) to elect the Rev. Terry Kukuk to the position of Executive Presbyter; and to approve the terms of call.
 
Terry Kukuk was elected and will begin her ministry in our presbytery around March 1.
 
Currently, Rev. Kukuk is the Senior Pastor/Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church in Mexico, Missouri.  In addition to her twenty years of experience as a pastor, she has been active in the life of Missouri Union Presbytery.  She has served as moderator of the Coordinating Council and the Committee on Ministry.  She has served her presbytery as both moderator and vice moderator.  She was a teaching elder delegate to the 220th General Assembly in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as a commissioner to the Synod of Mid-America.  (Rev. Kukuk's last name is pronounced "Coo" [like the call of a dove]-"Coo" with a "K" at the end, and with the accent on the first syllable.)
 
Originally from North Dakota, the Rev. Kukuk has a B.A. from Jamestown College and her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary.  She is currently enrolled in a D. Min. program from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI.
 
The Rev. Kukuk is married to the Rev. Brad Sheppard.  Rev. Sheppard currently serves as the Executive Director of a homeless and transitional shelter and pastors a rural congregation, Bethel Presbyterian.  Rev. Kukuk and Rev. Sheppard are the parents of two energetic and outgoing sons, Jadon and Ian.  As a family they enjoy travel, outdoor activities and movies
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From our friends at
THE COLOMBIA PARTNERSHIP NETWORK COLOMBIA VISIT
 
The Colombia Partnership Network of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley (PMV) requests your prayers and blessings for our upcoming trip to our partner Presbytery of the North Coast (PNC) in Barranquilla, Colombia. Our one-week trip, from February 15 to 21, will include representatives of three of the Sister Church relationships within our Network -- College Hill Presbyterian, Covenant Presbyterian of Springboro, and Westminster Presbyterian of Dayton -- as well as a representative of Kirkmont Center, which is also active in our partnership. This partnership has spanned 23 years and includes annual visits by Colombian young adults who participate in our Presbytery's, Sister Churches', and Kirkmont Center's summer ministries; shared worship, spiritual, and musical events; northbound and southbound delegation trips between Sister Church congregations; and mutual support of each presbytery's pastoral and social justice ministries. We currently have five Sister Church relationships between congregations of the PMV and congregations of the PNC. There are seven additional congregations in the Presbytery of the North Coast who are seeking sister churches in our Presbytery. Our Network intends to renew our partnership agreement during this trip and explore new avenues of shared ministry. Please contact Moderator Jennifer Vicarel at d2jvicarel@earthlink.net with any questions, comments or requests for additional information.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS announcements
prayer

BRIDGITE TAKES WELL DESERVED VACATION
Bridgite Dickerson, our Administrative Assistant, will be on vacation beginning Monday, March 5th until Friday, March 9th. 
Office Hours are shortened, but still available:
Monday, March 5 - Wednesday, March 7, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 8, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday, March 9, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
 
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CHURCH SERVICES AT THE KNOLLLS
  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 March, the dates are 13 and 27.  If you would like to join us, but need a ride, j ust give Becky a call at 523-5747
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memberBECOME A MEMBER OF OUR OPC FAMILY!
 
We welcome all interested people to explore membership at the Oxford Presbyterian Church!!  To find out more about the Presbyterian Church and specifically the Oxford congregation, join Pastor Lawrence for a series of Inquirer's Classes on April 8 and April 15 at 11:30 in the Molyneaux lounge. Topics to be presented include being a Presbyterian in globalized world, our statements of belief, our governance, brief history of the Oxford Presbyterian Church, our vision and mission, matching your talents and time to service opportunities, and a tour of the Church...even the "catacombs"!  There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.
At the conclusion of the series, participants will be invited to join the church in one of three ways.
  • By Profession of Faith:  Receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and sincerely promising to live for Him. This may have been accomplished through previous Baptism or the Sacrament of Baptism may be administered at the time of profession.
  • By Transfer of Membership:  Requesting the pastor to write to a former church for a letter of transfer.
  • By Reaffirmation:  If inactive or separated from the church for some time or wishing to rededicate to Christ, participant may be received by reaffirmation of faith.
 
We hope you will attend these meetings or encourage others to do so!  Please call the church office at 513-523-6364 to indicate your interest by April 6.  From Membership, Evangelism and Fellowship Folks.

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  pray
2018 World Day of Prayer
God's Creation is Very Good
will be celebrated Sunday March 4, 3 to 5 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church.  World Day of Prayer is a worldwide ecumenical movement led by Christian women who come together to observe a common day of prayer and action. This year's worship was written by the Women of Suriname and focuses on the many rivers and creeks, the rich tropical rainforest and great biodiversity.   All are invited.
 
Church Women United of Oxford has been a part of the World Day of Prayer since it's beginning in 1927. Through sharing worship together, we expand the heart and minds in our own community. Through our offerings we make life better for women and their families around the world. World Day of Prayer matters!
The Truth in 10 by Citizens for Climate Reality will be viewed as a part of the service.
 
Answer to question of the month
If your answer is first, then you are absolutely wrong! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are second!
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Deadline for the April Newsletter is March 20, 2018
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COMMUNITY

habitatFAITH BUILD UPDATE and  REQUEST FOR HELP
 
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.
 
The first build has begun, but was delayed because of bad winter weather, difficulty in finding a partner family, and Habitat's extremely busy schedule, We do have a partner family now, who must complete 500 hours of sweat equity and you will hear more about them later. Building will begin again in early April.  You will have the chance to help in person by being a volunteer (we need at least 5 from OPC) or by helping prepare lunch for 20 workers.  More details on this to come soon. 
 
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.
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pauseInformation about The Butler County Family & Children First Council Program
PAUSE
What is Pause?
Pause offers families of children with physical, mental, developmental, medical, behavioral and/or learning challenges access to a broad range of support options maximizing the use of community resources and family support networks.
 
My name is Delaney and I am the Family Connections Coordinator at Pause.

How the Community Links network works:
Community Links requests will be communicated via e-mail 2 to 3 times
a month. This e-mail will list the current needs in the community. If you
can help, AWESOME! Simply hit 'reply' to let me know!  If you know someone who'd like to join the Community Links network, forward the e-mail! We don't want them to miss out.

Looking to get connected and bless a family in your community? Voilà. Check out our opportunities below.

Give your stuff:
  * Gardener tool set
  * Cook books
  * Crockpots
  * Money to fund a sewing class ($99)
  * Money to fund a summer camp ($310)
  * Spa gift card
  * Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle playset
  * Single day ticket to Kings Island ($39)
  * Newport Aquarium gift card
  * Dining gift cards
Give your time:
 * Assist with a home structural repair
  * Paint a bedroom
  * Remove leaves from a yard
  * Help install a fence

If you'd like additional information call our office at 513-887-5506.

Delaney W.
Pause Family Connections Coordinator
Butler County Family & Children First Council Strong Families, Safe
Communities
400 North Erie Blvd. Suite A | Hamilton, OH 45011

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NEWS FROM THE COMMUNITY ADULT DAY SERVICE
 
Its Spaghetti Dinner time again!
Monday March 26, 2018 the Community Adult Day Service will host its annual ALL YOU CAN EAT Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser. Tickets are $8 for adults $4 for children 10 and under. They will be on sale at the senior center starting March 1. We will be serving from 5-6:30 pm.  There will be door prizes as well. All proceeds go directly to the operations for the Adult Day Service to purchase supplies for crafts and activities and to help offset the cost of day-to-day operations. 
 
NEW ALZHEIMER'S FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP 
Kick off is Monday March 19, at the Senior Center from 6-7:30 pm.  Janet Milne with the Alzheimer's Association will be presenting information. The new support group will meet every 2nd Monday from 6-7:30 pm at the senior center starting April 9th.  Candace Burch and Debbie Curry will be co-facilitators for this group.
If you would like information regarding the Adult Day Service please call Debbie Curry, 513-523-0464
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announce   

staff
 
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
 
 
OFFICERS OF OPC
 
SESSION
 
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
 
DEACONS
 
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
 
TRUSTEES
 
Class of 2018:   Tom Holmes, Nick Fears
Class of 2019 :  Keith Payne, Joe Simpson
Class of 2020 Rick Bailey, Scott Parkinson
 
birthdays
MARCH BIRTHDAYS
 
2     Greg Hughes  
4     Drena Bowerman
5     Billie Maynard
       Jamie Thomas
11   Debbie Davidson
       Dick Wespiser
14   Mark Boardman
       Nicole Jordan
15   Evalough Middaugh
16   Kyle Shriver 
18   Ethan Kraushar
       Alan Mehl
19   Emma Fisher
21   David Marado
       Owen Todd
22   Danny Cross
       Lindsay Lawson
24   Marilyn Curry
       Jill Grajewski
       Trevor Richmond
25   Ted Fuji
26    Marian Nelson
        Pat Spitler
29   Jan Cromer
       Brad Cronk
       Kennedy Johnson
       Debbie Snyder
30   Fred Brower
 
 
 
March Monkey Business for our Celebrants
 
The Queen is the legal owner of one-
sixth of the Earth's land surface.
 
An earworm is a song that gets stuck in your head. (row row row your boat...)
 
The spring peeper is a carnivore. Its diet is based on beetles, ants, flies, mosquitoes and spiders. Spring peepers belong to a group of frogs known as "chorus frogs." Peepers especially love wooded wetlands or swampy areas near forested areas because they like to hibernate under tree bark or fallen logs.
 
Spring springs in at 12:15 PM on
Tuesday March 20!
 
The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring. Bernard Williams
 
Question of the month
 
You are running in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?  As always, read the ENTIRE newsletter to find where the answer is hidden.
 
Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox
 
 
The early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the spring equinox
 
Lava can flow as fast as a sprinting greyhound.
  
I was walking through a quarry and said to the foreman, "that's a big rock!" "Boulder," he replied. So I puffed out my chest and shouted "Look at that enormous rock over there!"
  
Why do seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over the bay they'd be bagels!
 
Where does the Easter Bunny go to eat pancakes? To IHOP, of course
  
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LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD continued
 
When I reached the tip-up, I knelt and cleared the ice away from the hole.  Peering through the water, I caught sight of the spool spinning as some mysterious creature unwound the fishing line.  More hope, tempered now by patience.  As long as the spool continues to spin, there's no hurry in ice fishing.  Better to make sure that the fish has taken the bait than try to set the hook prematurely.

Before long, the spool was empty.  Without delay, I eased the tip-up out of the ice and gave the line a firm tug.  There was tension in the line and hope grew steadily as I reeled it in.

After a few strong tugs from the other end of the line, a form materialized out of the icy deep.  Before me on the ice lay a beautiful and sleek lake trout, about 14 inches long.  I removed the hook and released it back into the lake with a prayer of thanks.

Among the many aspects I love about ice fishing is the sight of that orange flag.  Simply and effectively, it communicates the presence of activity below the surface that the fisherman will want to check on without delay.  The flag communicates hope.

At Oxford Presbyterian Church, we strive to effectively communicate our vital and growing ministry and mission with members and friends in the community and around the country.  While we don't plan to use orange flags to increase our communication, I want to let you know about several other important avenues of communication among our church family.

First is a revised format for our weekly news bulletin called "The Voice." As a supplement to the monthly newsletter, "The Voice" allows us to communicate quickly and efficiently with you about the latest ministry news and opportunities at OPC whether you are in Oxford or Orlando.  To receive this weekly news bulletin delivered by email directly to your inbox, simply send us a brief email with your name and contact information to office@oxfordpresbychurch.org.

Second is revision of our Sunday worship bulletin.  With a new printer, we are able to print on a larger sheet of paper that allows us to view the entire worship liturgy without having to search through multiple inserts.

Third is the website, the recently updated Oxford Presbyterian Church website ( http://www.oxfordpresbychurch.org/) offers the stories of our ministry to the congregation, community and the world.

On this website you'll find the latest calendar of our ministry events, links to the weekly worship bulletin, a link to the online daily devotional d365 and much, much more.  In addition, our Sunday services are posted to YouTube - they are usually published by midweek. At this link  - https://oxfordpresbychurch.org/services/.
   
We also have a vibrant Facebook page where up to the minute updates and news are shared.  Search on Facebook for Oxford Presbyterian Church, Oxford Ohio.  By clicking on the button to "like" the page and sharing the posts with your friends, we continue to share the good news with others how the Lord is moving through our congregation.  (The direct link to the Facebook page is: http://bit.ly/2sMFaM8).

My wise parents gifted me with the understanding that "we may always do better" in nearly every aspect of life.  Though we sense that our communications are reaching more people than ever, we welcome and value your feedback.
  
Whether our communication is in person, in print, or online, "we may always do better".   You are our partners in this ministry as we fulfill Oxford Presbyterian Church's mission Seeking God, Serving Others, and Sharing Christ's Love with All.


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education
Christian Education continued
 
 
On Shrove Tuesday, the youth hosted a very successful Fat Tuesday Pancake Dinner fundraiser at the Seminar.  Many thanks to the plethora of parent and youth volunteers who helped with this event - your time and pancake-making skills were key elements in making this event so successful.  The youth are very grateful for all the support our congregation showed by consuming piles of pancakes and sausage - your generosity (and full bellies) helped raise $653.00 that will help pay for their mission trip to Charleston, SC this summer. THANK YOU!
 
 
 









































SAVE THE DATE!
Vacation Bible School will be held July 6-8 at the Memorial Building. Prue Dana is busy creating curriculum, planning activities, games and crafts and soon she will be seeking volunteers to help with this fun event. More VBS details coming soon!
 
There are some extremely exciting opportunities for our youth coming soon ~ Be sure and read about these opportunities in Mitch's "Youth News".
 
Take care,
Jenn Walter
Chair, Christian Education committee
 
Teachers during March:
 
Preschool/Nursery ~ Jenn Walter
K-2 ~ Sarah Miller and Deb Sayers
3-5 ~ Mitch Hardy
6-8 ~ Prue Dana
 
Acolyte during March: Lydia Bartel
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ADULT LENTEN STUDY AT OPC  lent
 
Lent has traditionally been a time for contemplation and study. This year at OPC will be no different!
 
Two study groups will be offered. Feel free to join one or both groups, and attend, as you are able. It is ok to miss sessions, and please attend even if you haven't been able to keep up with the readings . Also feel free to bring a friend...OPC membership is not required!
Books are available in the church office, 523-6364, office@oxfordpresbychruch.org. If you are able to pay the cost of $10 per book, it will help defray the church's expense and would be gratefully accepted. OPC bought books at a discounted rate and is unable to return them so we are hoping to sell all that we have.
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GROUP 1
The Way of Life - 
Reading "The Great Spiritual Migration" by Brian McLaren
 
First two weeks led by Ellen Buerk; second two weeks led by college students Abby VanGorder and Griffin Barrington
 
Sunday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m., Ellen Buerk's home, 520 N. Patterson, Oxford (street dead ends into Ellen's driveway. Parking available at the house). Chili, barley soup, cornbread and cookies will be served. - 
Part I of the book "The Great Spiritual Migration"
 
Sunday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m., Ellen Buerk's home, 520 N. Patterson, Oxford (street dead ends into Ellen's driveway. Parking available at the house). Light dinner will be served. - Part II of "The Great Spiritual Migration"
 
Thursday, March 1, 6 p.m., OPC Seminary - Part III of "The Great Spiritual Migration"
 
Thursday, March 8, 7 p.m., OPC Seminary - Wrap up of the study_
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GROUP 2
All the Families of the Earth - reading "The Lemon Tree" by Sandy Tolan
and "Blood Brothers" by Elias Chacour, with optional journeys/field trips
 
Led by Amir Zahoor and Pastor Lawrence
 
Saturday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m., OPC Seminary - "Understanding Israel" & "Understanding Palestine"
Saturday, Apr. 7, 10 a.m., OPC Seminary - "The Lemon Tree"
 
Saturday, Apr. 21, 10 a.m., OPC Seminary - "Blood Brothers"
 
Optional Journeys/Field Trips complement the study:
 
Friday, March 9 at 12:45 p.m., Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, 8092 Plantation Dr, West Chester Twp, OH 45069. Friday Prayers followed by conversation with the Imam
 
Saturday, March 17 at 10 a.m., Plum Street Temple, 720 Plum Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Bar Mitzvah followed by conversation with the Rabbi
 
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YOUTH NEWS FROM YOUTH DIRECTOR, MITCH HARDY youth
 
Thank You! - The Youth Ministry at OPC would like to take this opportunity to thank the congregation for the overflowing support! In the month of February, we were blessed to have raised money to contribute to the Oxford Community Choice Pantry and for the Sr. High Youth to use on their Mission Trip this summer. We graciously thank the congregation members at OPC for their prayers, donations, and generosity!

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. Please sign-up by Sunday, March 4 by filling out the following Google Form: https://goo.gl/forms/ hfN340zzdfBzcai52
 
Summer Camp:  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 and an opportunity for students having just completed 3rd-6th grade to attend the PYC Jr.Camp at the Kirkmont Center. 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. Please let me know if you student is interested in attending by Sunday, March 4.
 
Chaperone Needed -  We are looking for one male 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.) You can sign-up to be the Second Adult or to bring snack by visiting the following website: http://www.signupgenius.co m/go/10c054ca4ac2ea3fa7-second 1
 
If interested in any of these youth opportunities or events, please let me know. I can be reached at (513) 907-5641 or mitchelljameshardy@gmail.com .
 
Blessings,
Mitch Hardy


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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.  moeckenj@miamioh.edu (and here is your bonus for reading this section: Old colanders never die, they just can't take the strain anymore.)