January 31, 2020
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

In preparation for worship,
we encourage you to read the Scripture passage
and reflect on what God’s word might be to you.

Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12
Message: "#Blessed"
Including the Sacrament of Holy Communion

(Image: The Mount of Beatitudes in northern Israel where Jesus is believed to have delivered the Sermon on the Mount in the Korazim Plateau. )
Ministry News and Upcoming Events
An Open Letter to International Students
Much uncertainty and many questions continue to swirl around the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. When Pastor Lawrence, Pastor Marc and leaders of local faith communities became aware of prejudicial expressions directed at international students at Miami University, they knew they had to respond with kindness and welcome.

As neighbors in Oxford, the following open letter to international students has been shared with the Miami Student, Oxford Observer and Hamilton Journal-News:

--

To Our Neighbors – International Students at Miami University,

We believe that life is a gift freely given to every person in every nation.

With the recent news of the coronavirus grabbing headlines around the world, we are reminded that good health is also a gift. Our hearts break at the fear and anxiety caused by the uncertainty around how little we know about this disease. We care for all whose lives have been touched by this disease – particularly family members and loved ones directly impacted.

We believe that your presence is a gift. We welcome you and look forward to the ways you will enhance our community this semester whether you are a new or returning student. We admire and praise your courage to study far from your first home. We seek to learn from you and share our hospitality with you. We stand in solidarity with you during this time of fear and anxiety swirling around a little known disease.

Thank you for choosing to study at Miami University. Thank you for joining us to live in this community. We invite you to consider Oxford your home as well.

Pastor Lawrence Bartel, Oxford Presbyterian Church
Pastor Marc van Bulck, Oxford Presbyterian Church
Rector Sara Palmer, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Pastor Logan Dysart, Faith Lutheran Church
Pastor Caleb Henry, Oxford United Methodist Church
Marcy Miller, Executive Director, Hillel at Miami
Fr. Jeff Silver, St. Mary Church & Catholic Campus Ministry
Youth Group Slide Show
Check out a special video presentation of some of our favorite images from youth group this year. The video will be playing in the Molyneaux Lounge before and after worship over the next two Sundays.
Souper Bowl of Caring
Sunday, February 2 following service the Youth will be collecting nonperishable foods to donate to the Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services (formerly known as Oxford Community Choice Pantry.) Our goal is to collect 150 items to alleviate hunger to families and individuals in need who live in the local area. Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services (TOPSS) serves approximately 300 families in the   Talawanda School District. Help us reach our goal!
Youth Group
Youth Group Super Bowl Party!  Youth Group will be meeting at Faith Lutheran, Sunday, February 2 for a Super Bowl party! The game starts at 6:30 p.m., but feel free to show up a bit early and hang out! Please bring a Super Bowl snack, and bring a friend.  We'll see you Sunday!
2020-2021 CCNS Preschool Enrollment
Priority Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year will begin the week of February 2, 2020. If you would like an enrollment packet, contact Miss Sarah. Please note: All priority applications and contracts should be submitted by March 2, 2020.

Open Enrollment will begin the week of March 2, 2020. If you have any questions or would like to setup a time to visit please contact Miss Sarah: ccnsoxfordpreschool@gmail.com
Tuesday Evening Circle
The Tuesday Evening Circle will meet February 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the home of Karen Simpson, 1325 Dana Drive, Oxford. Sue Wilson will be the co-hostess.
Community Blood Drive
The Oxford McCullough Hyde Blood Drive will be held on Wednesday, February 5 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 pm. The trailer will be parked behind the hospital on Church Street.

Please give blood if you are able as it will help so very many people in need.
Save the Date
The forty days of Lent begins Wednesday, February 26  known as Ash Wednesday. Join us for a light supper in the Seminary Church at 5:30 p.m. You may bring bread or fruit to compliment the soup that will be provided.

Following dinner, ashes from Palm Sunday palms will be used during the worship service that begins at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Seminary Church. Communion will be served. All are invited to attend these events that usher in the Lenten Season.
Honored Woman
The Honored Woman Award  is given annually to more than a thousand women nationally who have willingly, joyfully, and faithfully served their church. At Oxford Presbyterian Church you may nominate a woman for this award by sending a letter of nomination to Lynn Cronk at 165 Hunter Woods Drive, Oxford, OH 45056 or  lcronk@woh.rr.com . In the letter detail their work or contributions they have made with their time and talents serving Oxford Presbyterian Church.

Deadline for submissions is  February 28, 2020 . If you have questions regarding a nomination, please contact Lynn at 513-524-8574. Only nominees nominated in letters received in 2020 will be considered.
Called to Life Retreat 
The participants in the Called to Life Retreat on January 18 were full of ideas and enthusiasm!! We have enough vision for a generation and projects for three congregations!! Three groups were formed, "Caring for Creation," "Eradicating Systemic Poverty," and "Life Skills/Life's Guiding Hands," to create proposals for projects to support our Calls. Click here for more details.
Creating a Healthy Oxford Community
kroger plus card
Kroger Plus Card

Do you shop at Kroger's and have a Kroger Plus Card?  If so you can help the Deacons of the Oxford Presbyterian Church reach out to those in need in our church and community.  Here's how! To participate in the Kroger Community Rewards Program, one must have a Kroger Plus Card and a Kroger.com account, and will have to register with the Rewards Program. To sign up for the Rewards Program:

  • Go to Kroger.com
  • Click on "Save"
  • Click on "Kroger Community Rewards"
  • Click on "See more details to enroll today!
  • Click on "Sign In" (enter email address and password) OR Click on "Create an Account" (if you do not have one)
  • Either way, once enrolled, select Oxford Presbyterian Church as the recipient of Kroger's donations. Our organization ID # is KT661
Organic Gardening Workshop at the OPC Seminary Building
It may still be gloomy winter in Oxford, but it's never too early to start planning for a bountiful summer harvest! Join Craig Harkrider, Farmer and Owner of Stoney Hedgerow Farm at the Seminary Community Room on February 9 from 2-5 p.m. , to learn organic vegetable gardening skills that will help you grow healthy produce while also protecting creation. Craig is a fixture at the Oxford Farmer's Market, known for his wonderful peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and many varieties of garlic. Entry $10, all attendees receive $5 in "market bucks" for use at the Oxford Farmer's Market. Tickets available  here .  
Soul Cinema
No Soul Cinema blog post this month, but  Matt Benzing  did want to mention a couple films that he  saw  recently .

J ojo Rabbit , which has been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar is a darkly satiric look at Nazi Germany through the eyes of a ten year old boy. Unlike anything else your likely to see this year.

Director Taika Waititi has a unique vision and his movie brings to mind Hope and Glory , Slaughterhouse Five , and even Calvin and Hobbes . Currently playing at the Hamilton AMC.
Honeyland , currently streaming on Hulu, is up for Best Foreign Language Feature this year. It is the first movie from Macedonia that has ever been nominated. Honeyland tells the story of a middle aged woman who lives in an abandoned village and keeps bees. She manages her hives in the traditional manner following the rhythms of nature. When a family moves in next door, she is grateful for the company but soon realizes that their reckless behavior is threatening her livelihood. The movie is meditative and moves at a deliberate pace, but it draws you in with its beautiful cinematography and its message about caring for creation.
Living Into Hope

Every act of love, gratitude and kindness; 
every work of art or music inspired by the love of God
and delight in the beauty of his creation; 
every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or walk; 
every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings, 
and for that matter one’s fellow non-human creatures; 
and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, 
every deed which spreads the gospel, builds up the church, 
embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, 
and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world 
– all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, 
into the new creation which God will one day make.
- N. T. Wright
Oxford Presbyterian Church | 101 N. Main Street, Oxford OH 45056