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 September  2015

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From Our I-Pastor
 connections report
BIrthdays and stuff 

Becky Quay will once again be showing church services on DVD at The Knolls.  For September it will be on Tuesdays the 8th and 22nd in the Assisted Living Dining Room at 10 A.M.  All are welcome!

Deadline for the October 2015
newsletter is 
September 20
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August 31, 2015
Your experience, knowledge, dedication and presence will be sorely missed.
May God bless you as you discover all the best that life has to offer in the years coming ahead. 
May your every dream be fulfilled. 
May God bless you with health and happiness. 
Best wishes on your retirement, Elaine.
From everyone in the Oxford Presbyterian Church

From Our Interim Pastor
A Year You Won't Want to Miss!
Rev. Hart Edmonds

In the year ahead, Oxford Presbyterian Church has the opportunity to continue fostering energy and excitement about the church's future and the next chapter of its life with new pastoral leadership.  A Mission Study Team is beginning work and hopes to complete an initial draft for approval by Presbytery by the end of September.  There are a number of other plans being shaped for the year ahead, with many more creative possibilities to follow, which will be listed below.  At the same time, I also want to offer a few spiritual principles to guide us as we seek to be led by the Spirit of Christ.
First of all, the future of Oxford Presbyterian Church is not the sole responsibility of any one of us on our own. The future of the church is in God's hands. 

September-October Worship & Sermon Series
Theme: "Moving Out of Scare City"

I don't know about you, but I often think twice before listening to cable news shows at night. Usually I don't sleep well when I do, because fear usually seems to be the focus.  If we can scare you, the cable shows assume, then you'll stayed glued to see how it all ends, like some horror show.  The sense that there is not enough drives greed, fear and exclusionary behavior. We begin to live in "Scare City" where it seems that death, starvation, feelings of being overwhelmed and swallowed up can lurk around every corner. The Good News is that this is an illusion. A spiritual journey into the truth of abundance offers us an alternative vision of where to live our lives. This worship/sermon series will have us
"Moving out of Scare City"
and traveling to the vast, open habitats of God's abounding grace.  It will introduce this year's Stewardship Season, which reminds us of God's goodness toward all creation and us.  (This series begins September 20.)
September  6      
"What would James Do?"
Text: James 2: 1-10, 14-17                                                       
Communion Sunday                                                          (Office closed Monday for Labor Day)
September 13                                                            
Welcome Back Picnic & Jazz Worship Service
Musical Guests: Ted Ziedses des Plantes' Jazz Stompers
Picnic for Everyone in the Courtyard Follows Worship
September 20                                
Towers of Power
Text:   Genesis 11: 1-9
September 27                               
Around Every Corner
Text:   Isaiah 41: 10
October 4                                        
The Other Side of the Tracks     
Text:    Acts 15:8-9
October 11                                     
Altars Everywhere
Text:   I Timothy 1: 8-19   

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The Interim Transition Team met through the summer, discussing feedback from the Lenten Series and the Talk Groups, as well as reading and pondering selections from a Field Guide for the Missional Congregation, Embarking on a Journey of Transformation (Rouse and Van Gelder). 

 In July we teleconferenced with Dale Riemer of the Center for Parish Development to begin planning a Leadership Retreat in the fall.  We provided Dale with a summary and then some detail of events along our interim journey and our hopes for OPC in the future.  We are excited that our team and the Session have approved a robust outline for the Leadership Retreat on September 12 at the Knolls of Oxford.

We are coming close to the time when a pastoral search committee will be formed.  While this is a key agenda for the coming year, there is a temptation to "wait until the new pastor comes" to move forward.  So much interest and excitement about OPC has come out of gatherings and activities last fall and spring, we don't want to go "on hold" and lose that spiritual energy and vitality. At this retreat Dale will facilitate, as we will plan the direction for the year ahead in ministry, mission, and building relationships with the community.  This Leadership Retreat will include present and past members of Session, Deacons, leaders of OPW, Committees, and church school teachers, and any others who might wish to join in the planning.  Look for more details and registration information in the days ahead.
Join us for a Year You Won't Want to Miss!!!   
Pat Gifford, for the Interim Transition Team                                                                            
If you have any questions, feel free to contact any member of the team. Pat Gifford, Mary Jo McFadden, Diane Young, Janet Ziegler
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What's happening in Christian Education?

The Third Sunday of each month the youth will be collecting small change during the time of the Children's Story to give to mission. There will be a designated mission each month. 

On August 30th Church School Children will focus on the lesson," Who is the greatest?" From Mark 9:30-37.  As school begins for the year, children like to be first rather than last. This lesson will focus on serving others.   The teachers will explain this passage that states, "If anyone desires to be first he shall be last of all and servant of all."



  Keep these friends in your prayers

Genee Hesse, Robbie Wells, John Reller, Stacey Winn, Betty Barnhart, Evelyn Black, Cathy Fey, Marilyn Rettig, Sarah Soika
Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers

On August 11th, we celebrated with the family of Dave and Sue Wilson the 2nd anniversary of baptism for their granddaughters, Emma and Brookelynn.
Romans 8:38-39
                                                                                                            38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Dear church family,
I am so unspeakably grateful to you all for the many blessings you bestowed upon me both during Denny's illness and after his passing.  I cite the passage from Romans at the beginning of this letter because your many acts, both simple and profound, radiated to both of us the true love and light of God in a moment of grave existential darkness.  The cards, flowers, meals, prayer shawl, hugs and prayers (especially the prayers) meant more to us than mere words can adequately express.  Denny was particularly touched by the many cards of support and encouragement he received from the Sunday School children, Women's Circles and individual church members.  Your expressions of Christian love touched his heart deeply. For that fact alone, I shall always be grateful and indebted to you.  Thank you for radiating the light of Jesus and the love of God to us both during an extremely difficult sojourn in our lives.
Yours in Christ,
Kent Peterson


Deacon's Annual Children's Food Drive collected 174 pounds of food and as of 7/26/2015 cash donations of 555.00 plus 35.00 before the Drive began for a total of 590.00.

The Stress and Concern Committee of the Deacons would like to update their list of volunteer for "Bakers, Food Makers, and Drivers."  (candlestick makers are not needed at this point-ed). 
Please consider contributing by offering to:
Prepare a meal
Prepare or buy an entrée
Prepare a side dish
Bake cookies
Furnish transportation to church
If you were on the old list and wish to continue to volunteer, please re-register with the committee
Email or call the Deacons to get on this important list.
Loretta Clum is coordinating.

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 call Cornelia Browne.




will meet on September 15.  Pastor Cheryl will lead the lesson, Lawretta Clum will lead the mission yearbook discussion and Betty Reinhart will lead Least Coin. 

will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 pm in the home of Billie Maynard. The co-hostess is Violet Suit. Nancy Sturgeon will give devotions. Sue Wilson will present lesson one from the Horizon Bible study.
If you desire to purchase the study book in advance, Karen Simpson has copies; the cost is $8.
We will be trying to arrange car pools  

The meeting was opened with a Bible study based on Romans 12: 1-8 encouraging us to discern the will of God and that we are one body with many different gifts.
The resignation of Tip Ziegler from session was accepted.
The resignation of Elaine Patterson, on August 31, 2015, as administrative assistant was accepted.  A search is underway to fill the position.
Taize worship service is being planned for the fall.
During the months of September through May the children will be conducting a least coin "bucket collection" on the third Sunday of each month with the proceeds going to a specific mission.
Stewardship Sunday will be November 8, 2015.
Discussion will be held with Hopewell Board of Directors to negotiate a Sunday, in the summer of 2016, for OPC to conduct the service, that is not Memorial Day weekend. OPC will not hold a service in the Memorial building on the Hopewell Sunday- members will be encouraged to attend Hopewell.

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Oxford Presbyterian Church/Miami University Connections Ad Hoc Committee
(OPC/MU Connections) Meetings, June 25, 2015; July 9, 2015; August 13, 2015.
These meetings were all focused on discernment, meaning that the committee was not engaged in planning anything in particular, but in discussing what it thought the possibilities are for supporting a university community outreach program through the church.  Session approved convening of the meetings, to be led by MEF Chair Tom Poetter, at its May '15 session meeting.
Participants:  Each of these members/staff came to at least one of the three meetings... Carol Klumb, Cal Klumb, Hart Edmonds, Nancy Moeckel, Jeff Smith, Mary Jane Roberts, Hannah Noel, Cheryl Edmonds, Tom Poetter (convener).
Pastor Hart had shared some materials with Tom ahead of the first meeting on June 25 about campus ministry, particularly the www.ukirk.org website and start up materials for groups seeking clarity on pursuing university ministries.  One document is the "Readiness Assessment Tool for Congregations Considering Collegiate Ministry."  Tom gleaned three strands of conversation/areas of inquiry to begin our meetings from the opening section of the tool, "1. Rationales for a Collegiate Ministry Initiative."  One caveat is that from the beginning we wanted to keep in mind the notion of ministry to but also beyond students in the university community.
The three areas of inquiry are: 
1) What are the collegiate ministry experiences of individual members of the group?
2) What are reasons to initiate some form of campus ministry and reasons not to do it?  
3) What voices/perspectives are missing from our conversation so far?  Who can help us along?
Do you know something about the church you want to share?  It can be a person, an event, your special memory, a story, whatever.  Others would love to know what you know.  Please share.  With interest and response, this will be a permanent column.  Send your write-up to Nancy.  Or call and we can chat. Who will be our next guest contributor?  YOU!

As I read the new Guest Column in the August Newsletter, I thought his would be the perfect way to share my thanksgiving for the prayer shawl project by some of our members.

My mother, Mary Lee Keebler made several of the shawls and enjoyed her time doing so.  Before my earthly father's (Will Keebler) death in 2011, at some point he was given a prayer shawl. As his health declined I would see him wrapped in the shawl upon occasion and I felt comfort knowing he was wrapped in love and warmth by God and our church family members.

When my mother passed away in November 2014, The Deacons left a prayer shawl for me at my doorstep. It is a beautiful shawl and obviously God inspired because it is my Mom's favorite colors. Then as the family cleared my Mom's house, I retrieved my dad's shawl also.

In April of 2015 after I fell and broke my arm, requiring surgery, I was at home for a two-week recovery period. Several days as I sat on my couch, a bit chilled and possibly feeling a little sorry for myself, I reached for the shawls, wrapped one around my shoulders and put the second across my legs.   I truly felt the peace of God and as if my parents had their arms wrapped around me. It was very comforting.  

So I thank the wonderful members who spend their creative hours making these shawls and distributing to anyone they feel is in need. I encourage our members to secure a shawl and spread the peace and love to anyone in need of comfort, church members or not. I think this mission has far reaching potential.
Debbie Keebler Davidson



Becky Quay will once again be showing church services on DVD at The Knolls.  For September it will be on Tuesdays the 8th and 22nd in the Assisted Living Dining Room at 10 A.M.  All are welcome!
Party Time!
It's "3F" time again
Fun, Fellowship and Food!
Sunday, September 13 is the annual "Welcome Back" picnic, which is being held in the courtyard immediately after the worship service. The Membership, Evangelism and Fellowship Committee has arranged with LaRosa's for a pizza party. The Worship and Music Committee is again sponsoring the Ted Ziedses des Plantes Jazz Band to provide uplifting music before the service as well as during the picnic. Feel free to invite a friend! This event kicks off the "Year You Won't Want to Miss", so be sure to mark your calendars and plan on attending this special time for our OPC family and friends.
A Special Reason for Joy and Celebration!
During the Sunday, September 27 worship service, the 3rd and 4th grade youth will be presented with Bibles, marking another step in their faith journey. Youth to receive Bibles are Bryson Fears, Elsa Friede, Finn Friede, Bryce James, Emma Lake and Spencer Lykins. Come and celebrate this special joyful milestone in the life of these children! Prior to the church service, the youth and their families will participate in a Bible Breakfast hosted by the Christian Education Committee.
Attention parents of 3rd and 4th grade youth: Mark your calendars for attending a breakfast on September 27. Additional information will be sent later.
"Budding Artists: Creating Beauty at any Age".
Two of our favorite members have been busy painting! Jean Butterfield and Louise Griffin have indeed created beauty. More of their artwork is on display in The Commons Art Gallery at the Knolls. Here are a few samples of their art.  Drop in and see more art!  

Artist:  Jean Butterfield
Artist:  Louise Griffing


The 2015 CROP WALK is Saturday. September12 a.m.  The 5 K walk will begin and end at Millett Hall. Greek affiliated and non-Greek, as well as community members are invited to participate in the 25th OxfordCROP Walk named in honor of L. Warren Nelson, local community organizer.
Neighbors and friends walk together to take a stand against hunger in our world. Different ages, faiths and backgrounds walking together can raise awareness and funds for international relief and development, as well as local hunger fighting. Some 2,000 communities across the country including Oxford take part each year. 25% of the money raised fights hunger in our community by going to the Oxford Community Choice Pantry. SIGNUP TO WALK OR SUPPORT A WALKER AFTER WORSHIP OR DURING FELLOWSHIP TIME. You may also get a pledge form from your church office.
You can now "Walk on the Web".  Check it out on www.cropwalkonline.org.

Mabel Kramer Christmas Stockings.
 No Two Alike!
If you want to purchase a Christmas stocking made especially for you, contact Pris Berry at 513-524-7098, no later than mid-November.  Cost is  $50.00.  THIS IS THE LAST YEAR FOR THIS OFFER


By now all the local school and Miami are back in full swing.  People are now starting to decorate for fall.  We will do this as well in September. 
We have a few needs.  If you are able to help that would be greatly appreciated.  We are willing to come pick it up!  Any donations are greatly appreciated.
Miami Speech and Hearing Graduate students are back and have 2 hours of jammed packed activities on Thursday afternoons from 2-4. OMA will be returning on Wednesday Sept 23 for a 1:1 art class with our clients.  Bird Tales will be returning on Monday Sept 14 to teach us all about birds.  They will be from 2-3.  We are so grateful that these programs returned again this year and love being able to provide it to our clients.
We are growing and would like to thank everyone for his or her referrals and would like to ask you to keep spreading our message.  We do have a few more spots available.  Please contact Debbie Curry, LPN/Director at 513-523-0464 for more information

Oxford Presbyterian Church Staff
Telephone: 513-523-6364
Fax: 513-523-8215
Seminary Building: 513-523-7411
Interim Pastor: Pastor Hart
Music Director: Kent Peterson
Organist: Lynn Jacobs
Pastor Emeritus: Dr. Joseph R. Hookey
Parish Associates: Dr. Bruce Bueschel, Rev. Diane Ziegler
Administrative Assistant:
Financial Secretary:
Director/Teacher C.C.N.S.:
Sarah Mapel: 207-3630
Newsletter Editor:
Nancy Moeckel, moeckenj@miamioh.edu
Class of 2017:
Mary Jane Roberts, Jeff Smith, Robert Smith, Janet Zeigler
Class of 2015:
Carol Burkhalter, Diane Young, Brent Bader, Jenny Bailer, Mary Jo McFadden
Class of 2016:
Pam Deahl, Lynn Cronk, Pat Gifford, Tom Poetter, Rich Drewes
Deadline for the September, 2015 Newsletter is August 20, 2015

"The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible."  George Burns
September is National
Honey, Piano, Little League, Fall Hat, National Hispanic Heritage (September 15th thru October 15th), Subliminal Marketing, Kids Good Manners, Back to School, Autumn Fun, and Classical Music Month.
Some great one-day celebrations:
September 4th: Eat an Extra Dessert Day,
September 8th: National Grandparents Day
September 18th: Rice Krispies Treats Day
September 21st: World Gratitude Day
The word 'mosquito' comes from the Spanish for 'little fly'  (I knew you were itching to know that!)
Question of the month:
What part of the Bible is known as the 'Decalogue'?Carefully read the ENTIRE newsletter to find the answer hidden somewhere.
The trickiest tongue twister in the English language is arguably "Sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick". Give it a try and shee for yourself.

If you eat a polar bear liver, you will die.  Humans can't handle that much vitamin A. One polar bear liver typically contains as much vitamin A as 79 to 115 chicken eggs
This total lunar eclipse will be visible from most of North America.  The eclipse will begin on the evening of September 27.


From Our Interim Pastor
Full Article
A Year You Won't Want to Miss!
Rev. Hart Edmonds
In the year ahead, Oxford Presbyterian Church has the opportunity to continue fostering energy and excitement about the church's future and the next chapter of its life with new pastoral leadership.  A Mission Study Team is beginning work and hopes to complete an initial draft for approval by Presbytery by the end of September.  There are a number of other plans being shaped for the year ahead, with many more creative possibilities to follow, which will be listed below.  At the same time, I also want to offer a few spiritual principles to guide us as we seek to be led by the Spirit of Christ.
First of all, the future of Oxford Presbyterian Church is not the sole responsibility of any one of us on our own. The future of the church is in God's hands.
Perhaps we need to remember a text, attributed to Jesus, first spoken to Simon Peter back at the beginning:  "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it."  (Matthew 16:18, NRSV).  It is not so much about Peter or his profession of faith, but about the promise of the One who does the building:  I will build my church! 
I think it is time for a breath-the deep, life-giving breath of the Spirit-in a new day.  It is always good to welcome the joy of the Spirit of Christ in our lives.  It is always a good time to confront our dragons and demons and be free of the heavy burdens we try to carry in the name of Christ.  It is always a good time for listening for a call, for being disciples who can be surprised and inspired, for serving in the midst of God's beautiful and broken world.
Secondly, imagine the year ahead as a year to share God's blessing.   Presbyterian pastor and author Graham Standish recalls hearing someone say to him very early in his life as a pastor,  "You know, God never sets you up to fail." What a wonderful blessing to receive at any point in life!     So many people and churches today struggle to live out of a confidence that God Is a God of blessing and not a God of judgment and rejection.    Now this doesn't mean we won't go through difficult times in life. That God doesn't set us up to fail doesn't mean that we won't suffer, struggle, falter or fall. It means simply that God will always find a way to help us.  God seeks to bless us in all circumstances.  At a wedding I officiated recently, I made this comment to those gathered. There is the power to bless and there is the power to withhold blessing from others.  Which will you choose?  In the year ahead, how will you as a friend of Christ and of brothers and sisters here at Oxford Presbyterian Church choose to bless others?
Here are a few opportunities to experience in the year ahead:
On Saturday, September 12 there will be a Leadership Retreat at The Knolls for all current and formerly serving Elders and Deacons, as well as committee members, Trustees, and anyone interested in exploring ways to serve in the life of OPC.   You will be hearing more about this opportunity in the days ahead with the encouragement to attend and get involved.  Our retreat leader will be the Rev. Dale Ziemer from the Center for Parish Development in Chicago.
Coming up quite soon on Sunday, September 13 we will offer our annual Welcome Back Picnic with music offered by Ted Ziedses des Plantes' Jazz Stompers.   Ted's group will once again play before and during worship, as well as afterward at the picnic in the church's courtyard area.  This is a day not to miss!  So invite friends and neighbors to attend.
Coming in mid-October we will be planning a weekend bonfire andd cookout at a home outside Oxford hosted by Nick and Gwen Fears.  There will be s'mores, hot-dogs, apple cider, and hopefully some pumpkin carving.  Details to come!
In November, we are making plans for our first ever experience in Taize worship here at OPC, with an opportunity to be centered and inspired by this meditative style of worship that incorporates lots of music and scripture and focused prayer.   Taize worship began in France following WW2 by leaders in the Reformed/Presbyterian Tradition.  Through the years, hundreds of thousands of young adults have come to the community where Taize worship is observed. 
What I've shared is a foretaste of "A Year You Won't Want to Miss."  The central purpose of the coming year is to find our faith and lives renewed and refreshed as God's people called to mission and service.
I'll leave you with some thoughts to ponder about the hunger for community and spiritual renewal in our day which comes from the book Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Christ by Ruth Haley Barton:
Unfortunately today, because there is so much isolation and loneliness,
people often get confused about what they are looking for in community.
They are unable to discriminate between the companionship of interested people and
the community of  people who can help them seek God.
Spiritual community makes real our seeking and supports us in that seeking."
You are invited to join with others in the Year Ahead as we seek the deep community that Christ offers.
Pastor Hart

Full Article

What's happening in Christian Education?
The Third Sunday of each month the youth will be collecting small change during the time of the Children's Story to give to mission.  There will be a designated mission each month. 
On August 30th Church School Children will focus on the lesson," Who is the greatest?" From Mark 9:30-37.  As school begins for the year, children like to be first rather than last. This lesson will focus on serving others.   The teachers will explain this passage that states, "If anyone desires to be first he shall be last of all and servant of all." 
Thank you to our September Teachers:
Nursery:  Rosemary Fisher
Preschool:  Janet Holmes
Grades k-2:  Sarah Miller and Deb Sayers
Grades 3-5:  Emily Lykins
Grades: 6-7: Prue Dana and Katie Saylor
Grades 8-12:  Jenn Burns
September 12: Leadership Retreat at the Knolls
September 13: Welcome Back Picnic, Invite a friend!
September 20: Parent Meeting for Confirmation Youth and Parents 
Sunday, September 27, Presentation of Bibles to 3rd and 4th Graders.  There will also be a breakfast for their families before church. 
October 4: Start of Confirmation class for those in 8th and 9th Grade and older teens who wish to be confirmed. 
October: watch for a date for 45-56 Club to meet for a walk in the park with Dick Munson.
Watch for notices about adult education and spirituality classes. 
Children's Bulletins are coming!  These will replace the activity bags and offer activities as well as a message.  There will be one bulletin for preschoolers and another bulletin that is age appropriate for school-age children. 
If you have questions about the Christian Education Program please contact any member of the CE Committee, Lynn Cronk, Sarah Miller, Dick Munson, Katie Saylor, Mary Shinn, Leanne Staley, Jennifer Walter and Diane Young.   
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Full Article

So, the first part of the meeting was very personal, with each member sharing (in less than two minutes) a story about his or her own collegiate ministry experiences.  Many of these initial stories became substantial conceptual frames for further discussion and questions.
Following is bulleted listing of some of the major points the group surfaced, discussed, and that made their way to chart paper and these notes.
Why should we initiate some form of campus ministry?
  • To counter dominant forms of outreach now prevalent on campus.
  • Many students who would be interested in another point of view have no access to one.
  • Many local churches have small programs with no coordination among them.
  • Youth bring new ideas, passions, and energy to church.
  • To reach the broader university community beyond the student body.
  • To help people to explore faith in different ways.  Part of college is the journey, the casting off of old pieces and the adding of new pieces.
  • We love students.  They have potential and value.
  • Students need mentors.
  • 19-20 is a pivotal age for students.  They are searching.  They have left home.  There is a new environment (many new ones actually) with little safety net.
  • Minds are still taking shape.
  • To help students figure out a life enhancing faith.
  • To counter the fear in many other religious programs for college students.
  • To introduce the work of the mind as an aspect of faith.
  • To convey that being a Presbyterian "isn't so bad." (this line got a big laugh!)
  • Presbyterians pioneered notions of faith enhanced by learning (and vice versa).
  • Some students have no starting place, so they should start with us.
  • Some students have never had their assumptions challenged.
  • We like working with people who want to find out who they are and who God is.
  • If we reach this generation, we reach the world.  So we should try.
  • Jesus said, "Let the children come unto me."
Why NOT?
Don't rock the boat.  Keep things the same.
  • Unsure about the passion for this type of work present in the congregation.
  • There are "alternate swells" of passion for other things in the church, other focuses, like ministry to the less fortunate.  (We discussed the contours of the assumption that Miami students are all more fortunate.  We mostly contested this notion.)
  • Getting involved with students is a radical move, and can bring up radical ideas.
  • We don't have the funding for the work.
  • The work can be confusing.
  • The University can be intimidating.
All of the conversation around these questions was spirited, honest, and searching.  Our sense of what we are facing and of our understanding of each other grew throughout the meeting.
Tom Poetter gave the group homework since we ran out of time to tackle #3 above.  Homework:  Over email, send your thoughts to all about who should be at the table, and what resources we should tap if we take the step of engaging in campus ministry.
At the second meeting on July 26, we continued our commitment to telling our own stories of faith journey, beginning with a timed talk by each of us about a college learning experience that we have had in the past or recently that was transformational.  In terms of lines of thought as a large group, we talked more about context, how we understand the issues and problems of campus ministry in Oxford, as well as our understanding of the resources that are or aren't at hand for us to use/coordinate/develop...  The conversation was brisk and fun and very informative.  We felt like we had a strong team developing, and that we had a sense of being called to next steps.  We agreed that one of the bottom lines is that there has been a lot of talent, and vision, and commitment to a university ministry expressed in some form by all participants in the room.
With some excitement, we entered the third meeting on August 13.  We met at Pizza Hut in its remodeled basement, ate together, and had a meeting in three parts.  First, each member responded to this prompt: Name and describe a recent learning experience in your world that was transformational.  Second, Nancy and Hart shared their interaction with Jason Santos at the Big Tent meeting in Tennessee, and what they learned at sessions with him.  Jason is the Collegiate Ministry Staff Member with PCUSA.  Other members of our church attending the meetings were Leanne Staley, Karen Shearer, and Pastor Cheryl.  As we listened to them talk about their experiences with Jason, we determined that it would be a good idea to invite Jason to Oxford to meet with our committee as well as to discuss campus ministry with the congregation in worship.
The group also took 30 minutes to brainstorm ideas for ministry events/outreach if we were to begin some programming to the wider university community.  These are just ideas, not plans.  No one has decided to do anything yet, except meet.
Following is the group's list:
  • Connect with students in worship by using technology and social media
  • Convert manse into a discipleship house for university students
  • Create opportunities for intergenerational interaction
  • Create family "clusters" with opportunities for creative learning
  • Have an "outing" once a month
  • Have Big Tent events at the seminary
  • Improve communication, have more of it, and more consistently with college students and university community members
  • Reach out to international students
  • Start a speaker series about issues of knowledge, social issues, and faith
  • Meet young adults where they are.  Figure out how to provide what they need when and where they need it.
  • Create a coffeehouse series.  University musicians supply talent.
  • Open seminary for university student study sessions
  • Think about timing.  When do students have the most "teachable" moments?
  • Provide continuing education for the congregation.  Keep talking about the word and joy and ideas at hand using university/community resources.
  • Make sure all events sponsored by OPC are open to everyone.
  • Provide more communication about things to do on campus
  • Speak in worship and other venues about the challenges students/faculty/staff face
  • Adopt a grandparent
  • Create more opportunities to share our faith stories together
  • Use mail and email to connect with Presbyterian students at Miami University
  • Not all young people and young adults among us are college students.  How do we minister to them?
The team adjourned by agreeing to share the responsibilities of convening our upcoming meetings among members of the group.
The next convener, if and when it occurs, will announce meeting 4, at a future date.
Notes for the Committee and Session prepared by Meeting 1-3 Convener, Tom Poetter
For the OPC/MU Connections Committee, 8.17.15
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We welcome your feedback on the newsletter. We CRAVE your feedback as if it were chocolate  What is missing from the newsletter that you would like to see?  Let me know.  Thanks, nancy.  moeckenj@miamioh.edu 
(and here's your bonus for reading this section: What if there were no hypothetical questions?)