On Saturday, July 24, we held an emergency zoom meeting of our Re-Union ministry team to decide how to respond to the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases here in Tulsa Country, primarily due to the delta variant and the unvaccinated.
As you will read in this newsletter for all the details, we determined the wise and safe decision was to take a step back, moving from our Phase III to a modified Phase II stance.
The next day, during the Time With the Children on Sunday morning, I talked with them about flexibility. After having them stand to do a few stretching exercises to demonstrate physical flexibility, we discussed what it meant to be flexible in other ways.
Using an example like preparing to take a car ride to go and do something fun, but then having to cancel or postpone because something else came up, we talked about the need to be flexible when it comes to plans that need to be changed. Sometimes that includes needing to be patient until we can go back to our previous plans. I think they understood.
I expanded that to explain how the congregation had to be flexible and patient in needing to go back to wearing masks in worship, even for those who were vaccinated. I hope the congregation understood :-)
God has blessed College Hill with dedicated and faithful leaders who are able to carefully and thoughtfully weigh situations and circumstances in order to make wise decisions. We are also blessed that you in our community of faith trust in those decisions, being flexible enough (which is often not very easy) to keep moving forward, even when taking a step back every once in a while is the right thing to do.
Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we continue to navigate through this ongoing pandemic. May God bless you and keep you!
Blessings, Rev. Todd
5th Sunday Special Offering
School’s starting soon, and you can help! The College Hill Outreach & Mission Team has designated this month's 5th Sunday Special Offering to benefit our neighborhood elementary schools, Kendall-Whittier and Sequoyah.
Items requested by each school:
~Zip lock bags quart size and gallon
~Dry erase markers
~Colored copy paper
~Classroom snacks (prepackaged ones are best)
~Bottles of water
~ Girls athletic shoes: Sizes 11 and 12 (little kids); children’s 1-6
~ Boys athletic shoes: Children’s 1-8; youth size 13.5
~ Girls uniform pants (tan, black, or navy): sizes 7, 8, 10, 12, 16
~ Boys uniform pants (tan, black, or navy): sizes 3T, 4T, 7, 8
~ Girls uniform shorts (tan, black, or navy): sizes 3T, 4T, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15
~ Boys uniform shorts (tan, black, or navy): sizes 3T, 4T, 7, 15
~ Girls underwear (packets): sizes 4, 6, 10
~ Boys underwear (packets): sizes XS, S, XL
~Miscellaneous items: Alarm clocks, toothpaste, toothbrushes
You can bring purchased items to College Hill anytime during August. Final collection will be August 29th. Members of the O&M team will deliver donations to the schools. If you prefer to make a monetary donation to College Hill, please designate it for Sequoyah and/or Kendall-Whittier. Thanks for supporting students and teachers!
KIDS CONNECTION NEWS
Apple Picking Time
About 6 years ago, a group of College Hill kids (Josie, Audrey & Wyatt, Sofia & Jesper) along with Gary & Linda Watts, planted this apple tree by the southwest corner of the parking lot. Now this tree is loaded with apples. Pastor Todd presented the first apple to Linda Watts during our worship service on July 4th. The next Sunday, a new batch kids went out and picked the apples (over 60). We hope to preserve these apples so we can give them as presents at Christmas time.
Our CE Ministry Team is working on some exciting changes for kids. We are starting with an update to the Worship Connection space (see below). And, we are exploring how to best serve the needs of our families. Stay tuned for more details!
For questions or more information, (click name to) email our Christian Education Ministry team Moderator Susan West, or you may call her at 918-724-7521.
Kids CE rooms being updated!
Susan West, moderator of our Christian Education ministry team, and artist, has been repainting one of the small rooms on the 3rd floor, and the Worship Connection room on the 2nd floor! Here are some before and after photos.
Celtic Circle Gathering
Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and restrictions, the Celtic Circle Lughnasa gathering scheduled for August 3, will be postponed and rescheduled for a later date when we can either meet safely indoors or when the weather is cooler and we can comfortably meet outdoors.
Please contact Mark Miller for more information about upcoming Celtic Circle gatherings.
A Big Welcome to
Kari and Allen White!
Joined College Hill by Zoom
on February 9, 2021
· Grew up going to Evangelical churches
· Holds a BA in Fine Arts from TU, and an MS in Counseling from OSU Tulsa.
· Worked 35 years (counseling and administration) with persons with addiction and severe mental illness.
· Has two biracial adult children (Grace and Evan) from a previous marriage.
· Currently teaches swim aerobics at the Owasso YMCA.
· Enjoys gardening, reading biographies, and anything having to do with the arts.
· Grew up as a Methodist.
· Taught high school math and history, and worked as an IT specialist for several years.
· Currently teaches math at Rogers State College.
· With first wife, Nina (deceased), adopted 2 African American infants (Breanna and Shayna) adding to a family of two daughters (Jessica and Chandra). All 4 daughters are now employed in the Tulsa area.
· Is an avid reader, especially of nonfiction or historical works.
Kari & Allen:
· Met on Match.com, and found they shared a sense of humor and love of sports, theater, and music. Were married in Key West in 2012.
· Began attending College Hill in 2019. Have been very active participants (over Zoom) in both the Sunday morning Gathering, and in the College Hill Book Group.
· Having African American children has added greatly to the couple’s understanding of racial challenges faced by those in our state and country. Both provided valuable information and insights as we discussed How to Be an Antiracist.
· Kari and Allen say they are delighted with a congregation that is so welcoming, that has a Progressive viewpoint, and that strongly supports social justice.
The extended Kari & Allen White family
Congregational Care Team Needs Substitute Drivers
Barbara Perry has two people who will take her to and from church on most Sundays, but there will be weeks when we need a driver to do one of these things.
Would you be willing to be an occasional substitute driver for Barbara? If so, please let CC Team moderator Gretchen Hrachovec know. Call or text Gretchen at 918-697-4198.
This wooden toy horse on wheels (Tom MIx's horse, Tony) is from the Jim Brown Collection (long-time member, passed away in 2019), and will be part of The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) which is currently under construction across from Cain's Ballroom in the the Tulsa Arts District.
Cowboy movie star Tom Mix spend part of his life in Dewey, OK. Tony "The Wonder Horse" was Tom's famous trick horse and appeared in 34 silent films from 1922 to 1932.
Birthday Endowment Fund
A meaningful way to celebrate your Birthday in this new year is to donate an amount equal to your new age to the Endowment Fund.
This donation is also a wonderful way to honor others such as children, grandchildren and friends and allows the church to have funds available for special projects.
Checks can be made payable to College Hill and marked "Birthday Fund" on the memo portion of the check.
Visit our Facebook page for
1 - Esteban Valencia
1 - Laura Stanford
2 - Pat Valencia
2 - Elizabeth West
2 - Ann LaMar
6 - Meagen Burrows
6 - Cooper Thomason
7 - Patrick Fox
8 - Michelle Brobston
9 - Rachel Fuller
10 - Kristy Wyatt
13 - Katy Walker
13 - Norman Gainey
14 - Jim Brady
15 - Judith Nole
16 - Tim Gillean
16 - Cathy Elliott
20 - Kari White
23 - Adrienne Coleman
23 - Lori Clark
24 - Haley Brobston
25 - Susan West
26 - Mark Bergner
26 - Celia Ketcham
26 - Dana Livingston
27 - Betty Coleman
30 - Bruce Ketcham, Jr.
30 - Julie Buckley
30 - Allen White
Birthday Endowment Fund!
Rachel Fuller's Birthday Reception
Due to the recent increase in Covid-19 cases, masking, and indoor social gathering restrictions, we will no longer be meeting in Fellowship Hall on August 8th for Rachel's Birthday reception. But we will recognize her during the service of worship.
Instead of cupcakes in Fellowship Hall after worship, we’ll have individually wrapped cookies for people to take home with them, as well as a basket to deposit cards for Rachel.
Kim Childs' 15th Anniversary Reception
Due to the recent increase in Covid-19 cases and indoor social gathering restrictions, Kim's Anniversary reception scheduled for August 15 has been postponed until a later date..
However, we are still collecting (cash) donations to give to Kim as a gift, and there is a card (made by Susan West) that is circulating for signatures.
July 13 marked Kim Childs' 15th anniversary as College Hill’s Director of Music Ministry. At the July 11 service, the flowers were given in Kim’s honor, Rev. Todd and Fred Schone, moderator of the Personnel ministry team, acknowledged Kim’s 15 years of exceptional job performance and dedication, and a token of College Hill’s appreciation was presented to him inside a card designed and made by Susan West.
The card when opened, displays a 3-D scene where the background is an actual picture of our organ. Next comes a depiction of both the chancel and bell choirs, and in the foreground in silhouette is Kim conducting.
Thanks to Susan West for her talent and effort. It’s been said “At College Hill, if you want to send the very best, you send a Susan West”.
While we have had to postpone Kim's Anniversary reception that was scheduled for mid-August, due to updated Covid-19 restrictions, Kim and his service and commitment as Director of College Hill's Music Ministry remains in our hearts and minds.
As of July 25, face masks and social distancing once again required
in the church building.
An emergency called meeting of the Re-Union ministry team met on Saturday morning, July 24. Dr. Todd Redding serves as the moderator of this team, which also includes many ruling elders currently serving on the Session.
We need to share with you the following important information.
Re-Union Update Data Points:
· The delta variant of COVID-19 is now responsible for >80% of new infections in the United States. It is more transmissible than the native virus.
· The delta variant is surging in areas with low vaccination rates, including Oklahoma, resulting in a fourth wave of COVID-19 disease.
· Cases in Tulsa County are currently doubling on a weekly basis. The 14-day trend is a steep rise and new cases now exceed 25 per 100,000 population (goal of <10-20). These are the primary metrics monitored at College Hill to consider re-imposing stricter preventative measures.
· The unvaccinated are at extraordinary risk, but breakthrough cases are increasing even among the fully vaccinated. Breakthrough cases are >80% mild or asymptomatic. However, it is currently unknown how easily a mildly ill or asymptomatic vaccinated person, who becomes infected, can spread the virus. Hospitalizations and deaths are once again rising among the unvaccinated population.
· CDC guidance during previous surges included indoor masking and social distancing for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
· Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery and The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health, among others, are recommending re-imposing indoor masking and social distancing for all individuals.
1) Re-enter a Modified Phase II for in-person activities at College Hill.
2) Masks are required for all individuals over the age of 2 while in the building.
3) Reduced congregational singing with masks (limit of 2 hymns, 2 verses each).
4) Plexiglass shields to be utilized for soloists & the check-in table.
5) Continue current staggered congregational seating.
6) The “Time with Children” will continue with masks and social distancing, followed by their Worship Connection class on the 2nd floor.
7) No fellowship gatherings allowed in Fellowship Hall before or after worship services.
8) Scheduled fellowship activities in August will be very limited or delayed.
9) Small groups may utilize the church with masks and social distancing.
We truly appreciate everyone's patience and flexibility during this time when it has become necessary to take a step backwards in order to keep everyone safe. We will continue to diligently stay on top of the situation and make new recommendations as situations dictate.
Blessings, Rev. Todd
Live-streaming for those who choose to watch the service on our YouTube channel:
COLLEGE HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC
Dr. Kim J. Childs, Director of Music
Mike Gibson, Organist
VIRTUAL MUSIC OFFERINGS
AUGUST 1 - Caleb Ricketts, tenor ~ TBA
AUGUST 8 - Dana Livingston, soprano ~ TBA
AUGUST 22 Fight the Good Fight -John Gardner
AUGUST 29 Just As I Am- Richard DeLong
College Hill Chancel Choir is on Summer Break and rehearsals resume August 11. The Choir practices Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. in the second story choral room (next to the church office) for singing, fellowship and fun! (While strictly adhering to the most current Covid-19 guidelines and safety requirements recently implemented by College Hill's Re-Union Ministry team.) If you would like to sing with the Chancel Choir, we are welcoming new members.
BELLISSIMO HANDBELL ENSEMBLE
College Hill BELLissimo Handbell Ensemble is on Summer Break and rehearsals resume August 11. BELLissimo practices Wednesdays at 5:45 p.m. in the second story choral room. (While strictly adhering to the most current Covid-19 guidelines and safety requirements implemented by College Hill's Re-Union Ministry team.) If you are interested in playing in this fun ensemble (permanent member or substitute), please contact Director of Music for more information.
Please contact the Director of Music Ministry at email@example.com or call him at 918-230-2770 with any questions or concerns.
The term “green living” has been a buzzword for years now. Join the eco-friendly movement by switching to solar power, going paperless, listening to NPR and drinking local beer.
Here are more ideas of what one person can do to save our planet:
Give up plastics. The statistics are shocking. Thank you, NPR, for an excellent look at how to use less plastic, and thank you, Gay Miller, for finding the story and Judith Nole for providing the link:
Get rid of junk mail. There are many services that can help you remove your name from mailing lists for credit card offers, catalogs and other unnecessary junk. Taking your name off the list will help reduce the staggering 4 million tons of junk mail printed annually – an industry that destroys millions of trees annually and consumes more energy than 2.8 million cars through its production and dispersal.
Dim the screen. Laptops, desktop computers and tablets use a lot of energy, and their brightly-lit screens are one of their biggest energy expenditures. To reduce the amount of energy needed to power your devices (and keep your battery going strong for longer), reduce screen brightness to the lowest level you can still comfortably see.
Set the display to turn itself off when it isn’t being used and power down when you’re finished.
And, of course, when you upgrade your device, recycle the old one.
Eat Sustainably. What we eat contributes around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions and is responsible for almost 60% of global biodiversity loss. Moving away from a meat-dominated diet towards a more plant-based diet can lower your impact on the environment. Note: Vegetarian and vegan foods are increasingly available in restaurants, cafes and supermarkets.
Drink local beer. Beer made locally does not have the carbon footprint of beer that came from a distribution center, as there is much less transport involved. Likely the ingredients in local beer are homegrown, too. There’s also less waste involved if you take the beer home in a re-sealable growler.
Check out the new Oklahoma Craft Beer Trail, a project of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s agritourism program and the Craft Brewer’s Association of Oklahoma.
And remember: Take aluminum cans, plastic #1 & #2 and glass to the MET. Put only paper and cardboard in your blue recycle barrel for weekly collection.
Teaser for September’s column:
If everyone in the US repurposed just half of their yards to make space for native species of plants, shrubs and trees, we would create a vast network of “homegrown national parks” that would provide more wildlife habitat than all of the national parks combined.
– Dr. Michael Fox, Animal Doctor column, Tulsa World.
Mary Ford’s Memorial Garden
Most of you remember Mary Ford. For those of you that are newer members, Mary was a long time College Hill member and saint. She was an avid gardener and most of both her front and back yards were devoted to flowerbeds. Her favorite flowers were zinnias. She used to sit on her patio and watch the pollinators feast on her huge bed of zinnias.
Her adult son used to help with her garden chores. After his death, I took over his duties. Mary and I enjoyed working in her garden together for several years until she decided to go live with her daughter out of state. After the chores were done, we would sit on her porch and visit.
I always think of her when I see zinnias in bloom and have expanded my zinnia bed this year. I believe she would be pleased.