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 December  2013
(scroll to see it all)
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From Our Pastors
   (not til Jan)
  Online Giving!
  Mustard Seed
  Mitten Tree
  Important Tax Tip
  SafeHaven Deco 
BIrthdays and stuff 



Deadline for the JANUARY 14
newsletter is DECEMBER 15, 2013



Our Christian Educator, Christine Garton, has informed us this week that she has been in a process of discerning the next steps for herself in her vocational journey.  For a year or more, she has been listening for how she is being called to serve God and others at this time in her life.  She feels called to draw on her education and experience in Christian Education together with new training so that she can move into a new venture in spiritual formation and spiritual direction ministries.  To this end, she plans to leave her work as educator at Oxford Presbyterian on June 30 and move with her family to the Philadelphia area.  



 Continue reading and to Christine's Letter








The season of Advent helps us prepare to celebrate Christmas.  Just as Lent, a time of self-examination and prayer, leads us into Easter, so Advent leads us to Christmas.  The season dates back to the sixth century and was practiced widely in the West by the eighth century. 

            The traditional Advent color is purple, signifying the royal color of the coming Sovereign.  Sometimes, today, blue is also used to signify hope, one of the central themes of the season.

         The word "advent" means "coming."  In Advent, through the centuries, the Church has kept in mind three dimensions of the word.




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Christine Garton, Director of Christian Education, can be reached at cgarton@OxfordPresbyChurch.org or you can call or text her cell phone at 850-276-3231.



THANK YOU to our November 2nd-5th grade Sunday School teachers: Alyssa Klein, Linda Hesford, Jill Grajewski, and ChristineGarton.





THANK YOU to the members of Alpha Phi Omega who helped clean, organize, and label the supplies in the Art Sunday School room on Saturday, October 26.  Allison Burko, Abby Fath, and Megan Catanzaol, we appreciate you spending your Saturday morning helping our church!











Keep these friends in your prayers:


John Woodruff, Adele McLaren, Michael Irwin, Sara Smith, Stacey Winn, Joyce Trump, Helen Martin, Cathy Fey, Marilyn Rettig, Brian Hitsman



Prayers for Member Deborah Bommer who is recovering from her second knee replacement surgery.





Twin girls, Hannah Marie and Lucy Lynn, were born to Erica and Daniel Chaney on Oct. 18, 2013.  They were welcomed home by their big sister, Abigail.   Grandparents are Pamela and Dennis Deahl and GreatGrandmother is Evelyn Black.






Thank you to Lynn Jacobs for her Hymn Festival, "The Wonder of Music in Our Faith."  She demonstrated her grace, talent and love with exquisite organ playing that brought tears to some eyes and brought the entire congregation to its feet at the conclusion.  Our incomparable choir, led masterfully by Kent Peterson, joined Lynn.  The first-rate guest instrumentalists added depth and majesty.  Thank you to everyone who was involved.  Pastor Barbara called Lynn out to take her most deserved bows, but she is so modest and moved so fast, the only photo is a blur.  


DID YOU KNOW?  When members of a choir get together, they do more than harmonize their voices. Singing demands certain breathing patterns, and as breathing becomes coordinated, heart rates became synchronized., according to research published in Frontiers in Psychology.  (now that's REALLY keeping the beat!) 



Dear Congregation,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for praying for my high school classmate and later friend, Becky Bee during her 11 month battle with liver cancer.  She truly suffered the whole time. I am an RN and have never seen such a struggle.  Though she lost her Mother after taking care of her for 7 years and her father while she was sick, she had a truly wonderful companion of 20 years named Tim.  They were to be married after her illness was cured.  Becky was an only child.  She and Tim were angels made in heaven.  They couldn't have loved each other more. She received her engagement and wedding rings early and they made her so happy.  They were inseparable and met at the Hyde Park Presbyterians singles club long ago.  She had about every complication one could have.  Thankfully she suffers no more.  You can send your condolences to:

Tim c/o Becky Bee 5335 College Corner Pike, Oxford, Oh.  Sincerely, Jan Reinhart




Thank you to everyone who donated blood.  30 units of blood were collected!  Special thanks to Ruth Miller for managing the canteen. Also, many thanks to Marilyn Curry for donating all the refreshments.

Paula Foltz and Marilyn Curry, Co-Chairs






Angel Report: Angels received 8 cards, 7 calls, 23 visits and 9 rides/errands.

Kindness fund: cheered 12 people with fresh flowers or balloons.  Prayer Shawls: We wrapped 5 friends in prayer shawls.

The Prayer Line included 27 individuals and 23 folks received caring cards.




Deacon Class of 2013 Graduates with HIGHEST HONORS and MANY THANKS!

Missy Friede, Marge Smith, Sue Skillings and Debbie DeGennaro are leaving the Board of Deacons.  We are so grateful for each one of them and all they accomplished and gave.  We will miss seeing them on the Board, but luckily we'll still see them around.  We look forward to welcoming the new Deacons in January



Answer to the question of the month.

A pineapple!



Deacon shoppers spent $149.62 on spaghetti, tuna, tomato sauce and body wash after checking with the Oxford Community Choice Pantry to see what was needed.  Skilled shopping as our goal each month is to spend $150.


Do you know someone who needs a Prayer Shawl? We have all shapes, sizes and colors available.  If you have a friend or relative to whom you would like to give a Prayer Shawl, please call Sue Skillings 523-3120.



Oxford Presbyterian Church Women 






resume meetings in January.



:  We need two people to Co-Chair the Spring Rummage Sale.  The purpose of the sale is to raise money for Missions.  The side benefits are recycling of household goods and clothing, and fun and fellowship among the many workers.  We have an experienced workforce ready to sort, set-up, price, and sell.  The dates of the sale will be May 1-3. For more information, or to volunteer, call Sue Wilson, 523-8848.



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First Friday Niters Annual Christmas Party begins at 6:30 p.m. December 6, at the Dericksons 2650 Oxford-Millville Road. Bring a covered dish and your own table service. If you need a ride, contact Nancy Sturgeon at 523-4309.  Everyone is welcome!






The Stewardship and Finance Committee, after researching many ways to do this has chosen to use the contributions program connected with ACS our church software program.  It's safe and fast and your giving information is kept completely confidential.

If you want to make your contributions to our church electronically just:


1.  go to the church website www.oxfordpresbychurch.org

2.  and click on the "Online Giving" on the sidebar.

3.  Enter your email address.

4.  Click "Create an Account"


It is much preferred to sign in this way rather than to register as a "guest" because our church software will automatically credit your contribution to your account.  Our Financial Secretary, Jean Hitsman, won't have to transfer the contribution to your account manually!



Mustard Seed Investment Group Seeks Members.


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.

The group meets four times a year in members' homes, contributing $50 each quarter.  The value of our portfolio currently fluctuates between roughly $17,000 and $20,000 dollars at present.  For the fourth year, we have contributed Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, raising the amount to $600.  The beneficiary is determined by vote of the members.  As the value of the portfolio grows we hope the amount distributed will grow as well. The portfolio is the property of the church.

We will meet December 4th at 7:30 at the home of Joan and Charles Teckman, 119 Country Club Lane.  Come and visit with us to see if you are interested




is once again bursting with mittens for children of all ages, beginning December 1, the first Sunday of Advent.  If you are able, please take a mitten from the tree, write out your check for $40-$50 made payable to the Oxford Presbyterian Church.


Place your check inside of the envelope that's already in the mitten, and bring everything to the Molyneaux Lounge. Put thesethings in the "Mitten Tree Basket". Check off the child's name on the list and write your name next to it.


Your donation will allow a gift(s) to be purchased by the parents for their child or children at Wal-Mart. Parents are thrilled to be able to make choices for their children at Christmas time that would otherwise be impossible. Parents are under the supervision of the Family Resource Center who has volunteers at Wal-Mart to assist with the shopping and the check out. Let us help light up yet another face at Christmas!




To ensure the deductibility of your church contributions, do not file your 2013 income tax return until you have received a written acknowledgment of your contributions from the church. Some of your contributions may not be tax-deductible if you file your tax return before receiving a written acknowledgement of your contributions from the church.


The office will be closed the week between Christmas and New
Year's. During this time, your year end contributions may be left in the mailbox at the church and will be posted to your 2013 giving statement.





Oxford Presbyterian Elves and their friends will be adding to the Christmas spirit at Safe Haven Farms, a residential home for autistic adults near Middletown.


When:        Sunday, December 8

Time:         Leave from OPC at 1:30 p.m.

Directions:  Provided by Dave and Sue Wilson

                 Carpooling will be available


It will take about an hour to decorate, plus drive time.  Any time you can give is appreciated.  Fresh greens are needed.  

Contact Karen Shearer - 523-5934 

(shearerk@talawanda.org) or

Judy Fisher - 523-3489 (fisherrh@miamioh.edu)

If you can provide, or, know a source for greens.  

Questions or concerns can also be addressed by these two elves .




Help spread the news-share what's happening with you and your family by sending info to Nancy Moeckel, your newsletter editor.  (moeckenj@miamioh.edu)


Deadline for January 2014 Newsletter is 

December 15, 2013







The Seminary Options Team is a new column that will be in every newsletter until the charge to the Team is complete.  


Click here to see the November Report from the Team 


The future of the Seminary is an important decision and needs YOUR participation.


Seminary Options Team Members


  • Rich Drewes (chair) 664-6919 drewesra@gmail.com
  • Brad Cronk      524-8574  bcronk@woh.rr.com
  • John Curry      523-3598   jcurry1@woh.rr.com
  • Steve Flee       523-4037   sflee@woh.rr.com
  • Pat Gifford      523-2227   gifforp@miamioh.edu
  • Tom Holmes    523-3857  holmest2@frontier.com
  • Mary Lee Keebler  524-7464   keebleml@miamioh.edu
  • Nancy Moeckel 523-6003  moeckenj@miamioh.edu
  • Tom Poetter   664-8226   poettets@miamioh.edu
  • Joe Simpson    523-8363   simpsojc@miamioh.edu
  • Barbara Barnes 523-6364 bbarnes@oxfordpresbychurch.org
  • Mark Barnes    523-6364  mbarnes@oxfordpresbychurch.org


FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ANY MEMBER with your comments, questions, concerns, ideas and support.  


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Annual Holiday Craft Fair

Talawanda Band Boosters


Oxford Holiday Festival Winter Arts and Craft Show

Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location: Oxford Community Arts Center



A Ceremony Of Carols And Other Sacred Choral Works

Miami University Chamber Singers and Choraliers.

William Bausano, conductor.                       Jacquelyn Davis, harp


Monday and Tuesday, December 2 and 3

7:30 pm Kumler Chapel on 

Miami's Western College campus


Featuring Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, and other sacred works by composers from the 16th to the 21st centuries, including Allegri, Duruflé, Mendelssohn, and others.

Tickets are available at the Miami University Box Office

529-3200 or online at https://www.hdg.muohio.edu/BoxOffice/



Professor of Music

Director of Choral Activities



Upcoming Performance



A presentation of music and theater for the whole family.


DECEMBER 7, 2:00pm and 7:00 pm

Montgomery Assembly of God

7950 Pfeiffer Rd

Montgomery, OH 45242

Can you find Jesus on Ebay? If a charitable gift is defective, should you ask for a refund? Did Mary and Joseph ever face an income tax audit? In a season of gift giving, Friends of the Groom Theater Company answers these and other questions with a collection of stories and scenes that celebrate the Presence behind the presents. If you're going to be in the Cincinnati area next month, come see us perform at Montgomery Assembly of God. The church will present a musical program entitled: Christmas is Coming, interspersed with scenes by Friends of the Groom.  Admission is free; an offering will be taken.



Adult Day Service

December is here and so is the magical time of year.  I am very excited to be able to announce that the ADS have collaborated with MINI UNIVERSITY. They will bring a classroom of their students over to the ADS once a month and we will have an hour-long intergenerational get together with activities planned.  This month we will be doing a Christmas ornament project with their students and exchanges holiday stories and goodies on Dec 9 from 10:30 to 11:30. 


Other Highlights' for December include

 2nd - Drumming with Pete Carel

 5th - last day with Speech and Hearing student.

13th. Travel to Sr. Center for Holiday Dance and carry in Lunch.

18th - Sing a long with Bob Baer at 1:45

19th  - Go to Woodland Country Manor for Christmas Bingo.

20th- drive around and look at the Christmas decorations.


**We are closed Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1.


The ADS continues to be a place where people with special needs can come and spend an enjoyable day with peers and friends having a good time exercising their mind and body while their loved ones complete their tasks/work and know that our clients are loved and cared for.  Thank you for entrusting us with them.  


We would like to take this time to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanza.  Enjoy the Holiday season and Welcome 2014 with open arms! 


                  Debbie Curry, LPN-Director




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December Birthdays



1          Arnold McCashland

2          Virginia Swanson

2          Ned Stephenson

2          Joe Foltz

4          John Dolibois

4          Jim Wespiser

4          Prue Dana

5          Carol Flee

6          Margaret Smith

7          Martha Shriver

7          Kep Small

8          Vada Sanford

8          William Trostel

9          Evan James

10       Carol Bowers

10       Louise Griffing

10       Sue Skillings

11       Laura Harvey

12       Barbara Barnes

12       Ann Bader

13       Linda Boardman

15       Sue Wilson
15       Robin Vealey

17       Lynn Jacobs

17       Jan Reinhart

18       Paula Green

18       Don McKillop

18       Nick Fears

18       Jonathan Hunter

19       Pris Berry

20       Dick Munson

20       Steve Brown

20       Robin Thomas

22       Mamie Broadhurst

22       Maggie Garton

23       John Curry

25       Holly Gage

27       Anne Bailey

28       Won Ahn

28       Randall Brakemeyer

28       Tom Poetter

28       Jean Hitsman

29       Jean O'Connell

30       Nancy Sturgeon

30       Taryn Satkowski

31       Whitney Hartman




December Doodles


WINTER SOLSTICE, December 21, 12:11 P.M. EST 


"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?"

Dr. Seuss


Question of the Month?

What do you get if you cross an apple with a Christmas Tree?

Look for the answer SOMEWHERE in the newsletter.  Ho-ho-ho.



December 1 is World Aids Day


International Free Hugs Day is Dec 4.

Human Rights Day is 10 December.

December is Read A New Book Month


There is a Friday the 13th in December.  If you live in fear of the number 13, you suffer from Triskaidekaphobia.

(that's easy for you to say!)


December's full moon is called the Full Cold Moon. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.


The average growing time for a Christmas tree is seven years.


Franklin Pierce was the first president to decorate an official White House Christmas tree


The only female deer to grow antlers are reindeer. Reindeer in the United States and Canada are called caribou. The reindeer has wide spreading hooves, an adaptation to travel in deep snow.



From Our Pastors 
Full Article




The season of Advent helps us prepare to celebrate Christmas.  Just as Lent, a time of self-examination and prayer, leads us into Easter, so Advent leads us to Christmas.  The season dates back to the sixth century and was practiced widely in the West by the eighth century. 

            The traditional Advent color is purple, signifying the royal color of the coming Sovereign.  Sometimes, today, blue is also used to signify hope, one of the central themes of the season.

         The word "advent" means "coming."  In Advent, through the centuries, the Church has kept in mind three dimensions of the 

word.  Our Advent scriptures and Advent carols help us reflect on the past coming in Christ's birth, Christ's future coming to bring in the fullness of God's reign of love, and Christ's present coming in the Holy Spirit to comfort, guide, and challenge us now. 

            What difference does it make to prepare for Christmas with the whole story of Christ in mind?  It makes Advent a special season for hope.  We proclaim boldly our hope in Christ for a new age of peace and joy.  We pray for a new birth of love in our lives and in our world.  We rededicate ourselves to those things that proclaim our hope in Christ, stretching ourselves to forgive, to care for the poor, and to make adjustments in our style of life that will more clearly demonstrate that God is our hope, the ground and center of our lives.  We do this knowing that the Spirit of Christ is with us now to give us the vision and the courage we need.  When we come to Christmas, then the whole meaning of Christ our Savior will be fresh in our minds as we celebrate Christ's birth.  With our hope thus refreshed, we will be able to move into the new year more expectantly.   

            It's always intrigued us that as the calendar year is ending with the month of December, the new liturgical year (the new Church year) is just beginning with the season of Advent.  It may be one subtle way the Church proclaims that with God there is always a new beginning, there is always hope no matter what has gone before.  We serve a God who makes all things new (see Revelation 21.5).    

            We hope the enclosed (click on ) Advent Brochure, which lists our congregation's Advent and Christmas events, will be a helpful resource for you as you prepare to celebrate Christmas.  On behalf of the whole staff we wish you a hopeful Advent and a joyful, blessed Christmas!

            Mark and Barbara  




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Christian Education Full Article 



YOUTH MISSION TRIP MARKETPLACE will be in the Molyneaux Lounge on Sunday, December 8 immediately following worship.  Come shop for Christmas ornaments and other items to keep or gift.  All proceeds benefit the 2014 Youth Mission Trip to New Jersey for Hurricane Sandy help. 


WRAPPING PAPER DONATIONS NEEDED!  Do you have a roll or two of Christmas wrapping paper you could donate to the Parent's Night Out Youth Mission Trip Fundraiser?  Please drop off donations on the bench outside the Christian Educator's office by Wednesday, December 11.  Thanks for your help! 


HELP!!!  SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED for the 2nd-5th grade workshop rotation classes.  Teachers commit to teaching one workshop for 2 Sundays in a 3-Sunday block.  If you are willing to teach Sunday School, please contact a member of the Christian Education Committee or Christine Garton ASAP. 



NO YOUTH GROUP MEETINGS on December 1 due to Thanksgiving Break.


ALL 6TH-12TH GRADERS ARE INVITED TO OUR YOUTH CHRISTMAS PARTY SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8 @ 11:15 AM IN THE YOUTH ROOM.  Come decorate cookies, play games, and wish the interns well on their exams!  Friends are welcome to this party, which will end @ 12:15 PM. 


CONFIRMATION CLASS FOR 8TH & 9TH GRADERS STARTS IN JANUARY!  An overnight retreat January 19-20 and a Confirmation Breakfast for the whole family are among the activities planned to kick off confirmation.  If you would like your 8th or 9th grader to be part of the 2014 Confirmation class, please contact Pastors Mark or Barbara Barnes or Christine Garton.  Class will meet weekly from sometime in January until May. 


MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP will meet January 26 at 11:15 AM with Emily and Cassidy, our youth interns.  There are no other youth group meetings in January. 



ADVENT WORKSHOP for the entire congregation will be held in the Molyneaux Lounge on Sunday, December 8 immediately following worship.  This year's workshop has self-directed activities and resources available to take home for all age groups.  The Christian Education Committee hopes you'll stop by and see what is available!


Be sure to visit www.OxfordPresbyChurch.org for a listing of websites and apps available for family use on the topic of Advent. 


PARENTS NIGHT OUT FUNDRAISER & GIFT WRAPPING will be held on Friday, Dec. 13 from 5 PM-11 PM at our church.  Check-in will be in the Molyneaux Lounge.  PIZZA DINNER INCLUDED.  Cost is $8 per hour per child ages 0-5th grade.  Your child is welcome to arrive at any time that is convenient for you.  Dinner will be served around 6:30 PM.  Youth 6th grade and older are invited to help out.  Dinner will be provided for all youth and adult helpers.  Kids will play games and watch movies during their time at church.  Going Christmas shopping?  Bring your packages back to church to have them gift wrapped in the Geneva Room.  Donations accepted for gift wrapping services.   ADVANCED SIGN UP REQUIRED!  Please sign up with Christine Garton via text @ (850) 276-3231 or e-mail @ cgarton@OxfordPresbyChurch.org by Wednesday, December 11.  All proceeds benefit the 2014 Youth Mission Trip to New Jersey for Hurricane Sandy help.  




All families, young adults, college students, and youth are invited to come caroling on Sunday, December 22 @ 6 PM.  Please meet @ the Seminary between 5:45 and 6 PM and then we will travel to The

Knolls.  Friends are welcome to come along.  The Walter Family invites you to their home for a time of fellowship with refreshments after caroling.  The Walter's live at 98 Lantern Ridge Rd. in Oxford.  Please see ADULT NEWS for caroling information for the adult group who usually goes to Woodland Manor.   




Our worship service geared toward young families will be held on Tuesday, December 24 at 4:30 PM.  You don't have to be part of a young family to attend this worship service though!  This year we will NOT be doing the nativity character dress up (but feel free to have your child dress up for this service if they wish).  The service will be participatory for ALL who attend, not just the children.  Hope to see you there!


CHILDCARE WILL BE AVAILABLE DURING THE 7:30 PM CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE FOR CHILDREN 2ND GRADE AND YOUNGER IN THE PRESCHOOL CLASSROOM.  We will watch a Christmas DVD.  Adult sign-in and sign-out required, so please drop off and pick up your child or children.  Thanks!



REJOICE! REFLECTIONS ON FOUR SEASONAL HYMNS Advent Study will be offered at the Knolls in the Country Kitchen from 2-3 PM on Monday, Dec. 2, 9, 16 & 23.  The congregation is invited to this study led by Christine Garton.  We will learn more about the origins of the following hymns: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," "Silent Night, Holy Night," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."


ADVENT WORKSHOP for the entire congregation will be held in the
Molyneaux Lounge on Sunday, December 8 immediately following
worship.  This year's workshop has self-directed activities and resources available to take home for all age groups.  The Christian Education Committee hopes you'll stop by and see what is available!



A BIOLOGIST'S STROLL THROUGH THE BIBLE: PIGS & DOGS will be offered by Dr. Paul Russell on Sunday, January 12 at 11:20 PM in the Molyneaux Lounge.  No sign up necessary!  Join us for the latest installment in Dr.
Russell's popular series that examines the history of Biblical references to particular animals and their significance in scripture. 




All will meet at the Seminary. Dress warmly, bring bells. After caroling to homebound members the following groups will gather for light refreshments at:


Youth & Families

       The Walters, 98 Lantern Ridge Rd.


       The Wilsons, 6538 Morning Sun Rd.





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John the Baptist*


John ate bugs.  That's okay for a frog. 

But it was strange for a prophet.


         John was strange in many ways.  He lived alone in the desert.  He ate locusts, which look a lot like grasshoppers.  He wore scratchy clothes made from camel's hair.  And he baptized people to help them understand that God washes away their sins.  Nobody else was doing baptisms like that.  John invented it. 

         Even though John was strange, people loved him.  The Bible says so.  And so did a Roman history writer named Josephus.  He lived a few years after John.  Josephus described John as a good man who taught the Jews to live right.  John taught them to treat others with respect and to worship God. 

         John's parents were priests who worked at the temple in Jerusalem.  That means he could have been a priest, too.  He could have lived a comfortable life.  But God had a special job for John: to prepare the world to meet him. 

         And that's what John did.  He taught people many of the same things Jesus did later-about forgiveness, love, and obeying God. 

         One day Jesus came to the Jordan River and asked John to baptize him.  John said he wasn't worthy to baptize God's Son.  But Jesus insisted.  Jesus didn't need to be forgiven.  He never sinned.  He wanted to be baptized so people would follow his example. 

         Jesus started his ministry after that.  John continued preaching, but only for a short time.  John criticized a sinful Jewish leader named Herod Antipas.  Because of that, Herod ordered John's head cut off. 

         You can find John the Baptist in Matthew 3:1.  John lived in Israel at the time of Jesus, 2,000 years ago. 


TRIVIA QUESTION: What kind of bug did John the Baptist eat?  Locusts. 



*Taken from Who's Who & Where's Where in the Bible for Kids by Stephen Miller.  



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There they will live again near grandparents and extended family as well as be near several programs to help Christine take the next steps in getting the training and credentials for her shift in vocation. 

She will continue to plan for and oversee Christian Education programs for all ages here in the next seven months, as well as lead the already planned youth mission trip in June.


    Please read Christine's letter to the congregation that follows this one.  It contains the information Christine wrote to us, the personnel committee and the session this week, and now wants to share with the whole church. 

         The session accepted her resignation effective as of June 30, 2014 with gratitude for her work among us and prayers for her pursuit of her new calling.  We join in that gratitude and offer our prayers of blessing for her as well. 

Pastors Mark and Barbara





Dear Congregation,

I am writing to tell you of my departure from my position as Director of Christian Education on June 30, 2014.  At this time, my sense of call is changing and I am feeling driven to pursue professional opportunities in spiritual formation and spiritual direction, including one-on-one faith journeying and workshop and retreat leadership.  Our family will be moving to the Philadelphia area in July 2014.  My husband, Mark, and I want to move our children closer to his parents and our extended family and friends, most of whom live on the east coast. 


I chose June 30, 2014 so I could do one more mission trip with our youth.  Since my first youth mission trip in 1995, I've been hooked!  Mission trips are a lot of work, but they are my absolute favorite thing to do in ministry!  I also want to finish out the school year with the children and youth of our church and contribute what I can to this summer's Vacation Bible School.  VBS won't be hosted by our church this summer, but we will still have the responsibility to help the host church with planning and supply volunteers.  I am also training our senior youth intern, Jenn Burns, so she will know more about youth ministry program planning and mission trip planning for this church since she plans to intern for the 2014-2015 school year.  She has been with us since January 2011. 


My family and I will miss this congregation and the good memories we've created here, but I believe that when God calls you, that call must be explored.  God has been quite persistent!  I have been on a journey for the last 25 years to figure out what was missing in my sense of call, and I can happily report that it was my experiences here in this church that led me to my missing piece, to the recognition of my passion and commitment to spiritual formation and spiritual direction.  This type of ministry involves walking alongside others on their spiritual journey, exploring together what God is doing in a person's life, and providing experiences, support, and resources for them to deepen their relationship with God through Jesus Christ.


Just as I knew in the spring of 2011 that God was calling me to Oxford Presbyterian Church, I currently know God is calling me to the Philadelphia area for exploration of spirituality ministry opportunities.  I thank you all for the part you have played both personally and professionally in my life and in the lives of my husband and children. 


If you have any questions or want to make sure certain things are put in place before I leave, please feel free to talk to me.  I am here to serve you for 7 more months.  


Blessings!  Christine Garton   





Newsletter Editor                            Church Office
Nancy Moeckel                               Elaine Patterson
moeckenj@miamioh.edu                  office@oxfordpresbychurch.org
523-6003                                        523-6364                               
We welcome your feedback on the newsletter.   Hello there, i am glad you are reading this.  You may be the only one, ever.  Do send me a note about what you like and don't like about the newsletter.  I am so HUNGRY for FEEDback.  Thanks, nancy