December 21, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Scripture: Luke 1:39-55
Message: "The Songs of Advent: Emmanuel Can and Will"
Including Special Music by the Oxford Brass Ensemble 

(Image: For Advent, we feature the photography from our mission journeys to Russia and Colombia. Today’s image from the 2017 journey to Colombia is inspired by this Sunday’s Advent image of Love.)
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
In this Holy Season, may the Spirit of Emmanuel fill your home
and remain with you throughout the New Year.
Ministry News and Upcoming Events
Lift your voices! Join in the Chorus! Sing Hallelujah!
Come, be a part of a lively holiday evening! All are welcome! Our annual caroling excursions to the Knolls, Woodland Manor and homes of others who can’t get to worship services will take place on this evening, Friday, December 21 from 5:00 to approximately 7:00 p.m. We will meet at the Seminary promptly at 5:00 p.m. and then break into groups…we will need plenty of cars/drivers! The Youth will join us before their lock-in that same evening! We have song books, bells, and lots of enthusiasm!  

Returning to the Seminary, we will have a pizza dinner together, thanks to Membership, Fellowship, and Evangelism Committee. Also included, the famous LaRosa’s chocolate chip cookies!!

After caroling, our Middle and High School Youth Groups will be having a Lock In. All youth are invited to join as we unwind from the last day of school in 2018 and the celebrate the coming Christ at Christmas. For more information, please email Youth Director, Jake Smithers -  youth@oxfordpresbychurch.org
Kiwanis invites you to....
Ring the Joyous Bells!
 
At Kroger... Be a Bell Ringer and Make Change Happen.
 
Volunteers can sign up on the Kiwanis Website at www.oxfordkiwanis.org and schedule a date and time.
 
Each shift is one hour long, and one can volunteer for as many shifts as desired.
 
Currently, times are available on December 21, 22, and 24. 
Candlelight Christmas Eve

Celebrate the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ with your church family at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 24 at the Candlelight Christmas Eve Service.
A Christmas Gift to the Ministry of Oxford Presbyterian Church
This is the perfect season to give a special gift to support the ministry of Oxford Presbyterian Church this Christmas Season. Please feel free to use the pew envelopes for cash or checks. Also give via text or online https://onrealm.org/oxfordpresbychurch/Give  
 
Text giving is so quick!

  1. Text opc1825 and (your designated amount) to 73256. For example, text "opc1825 25" to 73256 for an offering of $25.
  2. Click the link you receive in your text message response.
  3. Follow the prompts to give.

Text giving even saves your payment information, so you can quickly give again.
Christmas Joy Offering

The Christmas Joy Offering  has been a Presbyterian tradition for over seventy-five years. The Christmas Joy Offering will be distributed to the Presbyterian Church Board of Pensions for its assistance programs for retired missionaries / church workers in need and also to develop our future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges. Please place your gift in the Christmas Joy Offering envelope.

Checks may be payable to Oxford Presbyterian Church with the notation: Christmas Joy Offering. Thank you for your generosity! 
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 Tuesday of each month.
All are invited to join us on Thursday, December 27th ( Christmas falls on the 4th Tuesday) . If you would like to attend, but need a ride, please give Becky a call at 523-5747.
Backpack Program
Many children who receive free and reduced-price school meals are left without the nutrition they need on the weekends and holiday breaks.

The BackPack Program, a partnership between St. Mary’s and the Shared Harvest Food Bank, aims to reduce this nutrition gap by discreetly supplying 175 students from Kramer, Bogan and Marshall schools with a bag of food each Friday throughout the school year.
 
The cost to sponsor one student for a year is $50, though any amount is welcome. Checks can be made to Oxford Presbyterian Church with “BackPack Food” in the memo line.
 
This is a Mission and Outreach Committee collaboration with St. Mary’s as we address local food insecurity. Any questions, please contact St. Mary’s at 523-2153.
Spirit of Scotland 2020
The Spirit of Scotland is an an eight-day guided tour exploring our sacred heritage, sponsored by the Oxford Presbyterian Church. If you ever dreamed of walking the historic streets of Edinburgh and Stirling, sauntering across the holy isle of Iona, witnessing the majestic beauty of the Scottish Highlands, or exploring St. Andrews’ ancient university and golf course, the Spirit of Scotland is for you. The tour leader is Pastor Lawrence in coordination with Rev. James Wallace (Church of Scotland). Ecumenical and welcoming, interested friends and neighboring congregations are invited to join us in May 2020 for this exciting spiritual journey.

A brochure and complete itinerary will be available in January.

Informational meetings will be on Sunday, January 13, at 11:30 AM, and Thursday, January 24, at 6:30 PM, in The Seminary, 104 E. Church St. (corner of Church and Popular).

Inquiries can be addressed to the following:
Rev. Lawrence Bartel, pastorlawrence@oxfordpresbychurch.org , (315) 369-5225; Ellen Buerk, ebuerk@hotmail.com , or Will Hazleton, hazletwa@miamioh.edu, (513) 461-1812
Young Adult Volunteer Program
The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program of the PC(USA) is an ecumenical, faith-based year of service in sites around the world and across the United States. YAVs accompany local agencies working to address root causes of poverty and reconciliation while exploring the meaning and motivation of their faith.
 
Program benefits include a regular stipend, housing, all transportation costs covered and student-loan assistance during the year. For more info, please visit the FAQ tab at the top of the YAV homepage - https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/yav/ 
Also, following @yavprogram is a great resource.
 
Young Adults are encouraged to prayerfully consider this life changing experience and keep the following dates in mind:
  • October 1st - Applications Open
  • January 1st -Round 1- (All sites available, early placement)
  • March 1st - Round 2 – (Final date to apply to international sites)
  • June 1st - Round 3 – (National sites only, limited spots available)
Rise Against Hunger Update
The Rise Against Hunger that Oxford Presbyterian Church hosted on October 21, 2018 was amazing. 15,120 meals consisting of rice, soy, dried vegetables, and vitamins were packed for hungry children and families. Over a hundred volunteers from various churches in Oxford, the interfaith community, Miami University community, West Chester, First Presbyterian Church from Eaton Ohio, and Reily Presbyterian Church were there. It was wonderful to see so many volunteers from all over come together and work together for the good of people in need. The Miami University Office of Community Engagement sponsored a meal and discussion about local food insecurity after cleanup for Rise Against Hunger. The Presbyterian Church, St Mary’s Catholic Church, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Hillel the Jewish Center and others attended and discussed ways we can address the structural causes of food insecurity in Oxford.

The 15,140 meals packed went to the Dominican Republic on November 28, 2018 to feed undernourished families there.
Fair Trade Coffee, Soups, Tea and Chocolate available.
See Prue Dana after worship service.
Living Into Hope
Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. 
But it warmed more than your body. 
It warmed your heart... filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. 
Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring 
back the magic feeling of this night, 
the melody would stay in your heart always - 
a song for all the years.
-   Bess Streeter Aldrich
Oxford Presbyterian Church | 101 N. Main Street, Oxford OH 45056