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 December 2015

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From Our I-Pastor
Getting to Know          Bridgite
Thank you
BIrthdays and stuff 

I'll be at The Knolls on Dec. 8 & 22 showing a church service on DVD in the Assisted Living dining room at 10 A.M.
Becky Quay
 All are welcome!

Deadline for the January 2016
newsletter is 
December 20
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From Our Interim Pastor
The Spirit of Advent
Pastor Hart Edmonds
The four-week period leading to Christmas is called the Season of Advent.  During Advent we wait for holiness to come as a baby, the child who comes to be known as Jesus Christ.   What a marvelous time of year, and what a challenge!   How can we find a quiet center of expectancy and await with hope the gift of Jesus Christ?  I heard of one church's effort, where on a Sunday, members of the congregation passed a stethoscope around so each person could listen to the heartbeat of an unborn infant inside its mother.   That's what Advent is like- listening to the hidden heartbeat of a baby soon to come.  The word Advent means "coming."

Advent to Christmas Season Worship Themes 2015
"Into this world!"
The scripture texts for our journey through the Advent and Christmas cycle paint a picture of the world into which God came in human flesh. Like our own time, this world seemed an unlikely or even hostile environment for this fragile incarnation of peace and hope. This season we will proclaim the entrance "into this world" again of the light for which we still so desperately yearn. What are we called to bring into this world?
1st Sunday of Advent- November 29           
Sermon:    "The Vision Made Plain"                                                            Text:    Habakkuk  1: 1-4, 2: 2-4; 3: 17-19                                                                                   
2n Sunday of Advent- December 6            
Sermon:   "For Such a Time"                                                                    Text: Esther 4: 1-17
3rd Sunday of Advent- December 13         
Sermon"  "Called for Good Reason"                                                    Text: Isaiah 42: 1-4
4th Sunday of Advent- December 20         
Children's Christmas Program
Christmas Eve:  December 24                           
Lessons and Carols                                                                                    Service at 7 p.m.
Sunday after Christmas: December 27             
Sermon:  "By another route"                                                                   Text:    Matthew 2: 1-12
2nd Sunday after Christmas   January 3             
Sermon:   "A voice was heard"                                                                   Text:   Matthew 2: 13-23

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Special Column

I don't have any pets, but as a child we did have a German Shepherd named Killer.
I was born and raised in Oxford, Ohio.  My father and mother were originally from Rogersville, Alabama and they moved here because my father found a job in Oxford with a family friend.
I like to read Inspirational books; my favorite movie is The Wedding Date.  I love "Love" so romance movies are always my top choice, along with animation and cartoons.
In my spare time I love to read, travel, watch football (pro, college, high school), and I love braiding my nieces and grandson's hair.
My favorite holiday is Christmas. Christmas is the only time of year when my entire family and their families get together.  It's a sight to see!
When I grow up I want to be a Titus 2: 3-5 Woman:
Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.[a] Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,[b] to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
Ministry is my ultimate passion in life.  I pray to be an inspiration to many for the purpose of spiritual development and growth through all I say, do and live.
Two things on my bucket list that I pray to cross off some day is to sky dive and go to Hawaii.

The one thing I would like to add is how thankful to God I am for this opportunity to work with everyone here at Oxford Presbyterian Church.  My first day in the office was mind blowing! Thank you for all the thoughtful acts of kindness shown to me, the flowers, the plant, the gifts, the cups of coffee and all the personal greetings of those who stop by to introduce yourselves to me.  You've made my transition here a wonderful experience.
(Bridgite kindly responded to some questions and added more info for this column.  What a sport!  What a treasure for OPC--ed.)  (skydiving?  Wow!)

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Last night we witnessed the beauty of holiness during the Taize worship.  It was a time of contemplation, deep worship, silence and praise to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
I had invited family members and five of my friends.  Every one of them was touched by the entire evening and would like to attend another service.  They were each from different denominations other than Presbyterian and one does not attend any church...it was a service to bind us together through the Lord Jesus Christ.
One pastor stated, "Find out what other churches are doing in your community and then do something different."  I personally believe this type of worship will bring those students together in Oxford that do not want a "hype" worship service but one that ministers to healing, wholeness, and quiet contemplation.  The music alone will bring those who have doubts about church.  It will also minister to those who would be more comfortable in an alternative worship service.
Please thank the Session, Kent, choir and musicians.  Thank also the worship committee for the servant hearts that prepared that beautiful environment for worship.  My heart overflows with gratitude for the people who allowed this wonderful worship to occur in our church.  Praise Be to God.  In Christ, Billie Maynard




The indoor shots are from an experience designed to prompt conversation about the consequences of sin and the freedom of forgiveness.



  Keep these friends in your prayers

Marilyn Young, Genee Hesse, Robbie Wells, John Reller, Stacey Winn, Betty Barnhart, Evelyn Black, Denny Carlson, Cathy Fey, Marilyn Rettig, Sarah Soika

Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayers

(Pride and...)
Congratulations to Valerie Green- THS Volleyball Athlete of the Year!
Congratulations to Katie Curry, SWOC Player of the Year!  Katie is the first player to make it to the district level competition in 20 years.  This is the 4th consecutive year for THS Tennis to be SWOC League Champs!  
In September, the 3rd and 4th Graders were presented Bibles during the Bible Breakfast.  Recently, a stack of thank you notes was found in the former education office labeled "Church Family". The following are a few excerpts from those notes." 
Dear Church Family, Thank you for the Bible.  I'm looking forward too using it".  "I'm totally going to read it is awesome.  Thank you thank you thank you.  You're awesome.  Thanks once again.  I'm going to read it every every day. "  "Awesome." "Thank you for the bible I plan to Read in it and bring it to church." "Thank you, thank you for the bible.  Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.  " 
Note:  On September 27th the following students received Bibles:  Bryson Fears, Elsa Friede, Finnegan Friede, Emma Lake, Spencer Lykins and Bryce James.
 Thank you Dick Munson for hosting another fun 45-56 gathering at your home on Nov. 8th!!
Thank you to Ken Hormel for the many years of gifting the church with beautiful, fresh from Maine, Christmas wreaths.  Everyone appreciates these glorious wreaths, not just those who pass thru the doors on Sundays, but everyone in Oxford as they see the Memorial front doors.  Taking over for Ken in keeping this tradition going is the housekeeping committee of OPW. 

Many volunteers make work go quickly!!  We had almost 30 people join together on Saturday, November 21 from 9 am to 11am to clear out the Seminary making way for the construction team to begin the stabilization process.  The kitchen cabinets were cleared, contents boxed, and stored in the back of the kitchen (which will not be affected by construction).  The refrigerator, the tables and chairs, furniture from the first and second floors were put on trailers and moved to Glenn and Judy Rymer's barn. The lovely manger was carefully moved to the barn until needed for our "Celebration of the Manger."  A few tables, Cookie Walk items, and community dinner supplies were moved to the Memorial for use in December. Wall furnishings and other delicate items were stored on the landing under the WWI memorial window.
Many thanks to Joe Simpson for coordinating the work assignments, Gwen and Nick Fears for their truck and trailers, Rich Drewes and his truck, Pat Gifford for refreshments and communication and all the wonderful folks who volunteered:  Billie Maynard, Lee Fisher, Rosemary Fisher, Jack Gifford, Rachel Mehl, Barbara Skipper, Lynn Cronk, Dick Munson, Libby Birch, Paula Foltz, Greg Hughes, Michael Hughes (your "reach" was invaluable for those top shelves!), Tom Holmes, Janet Holmes, Grady Holmes, Steve Flee, Lisa Brunkhorst, Robert Simpson, Bill King, John Bailer, Jenny Bailer, Diane Young, Cy Young, Joy Russell, Layne Listerman, Jo Reinhart, Mary Jo McFadden, and Chuck Crain.  Hope we didn't miss anyone!
Your fellow congregants in action! Most of the heavy lifting was done by the kitchen packing crew, many of whom are depicted here.  Cy Young packed boxes 6 feet tall at the back of the kitchen.  Rich Drewes and Chuck Crain took time to admire the work. Loading the manger in the Fears' trailer.  Click here to see the pictures .  (don't ask me why i couldn't get the pictures right here, just click.---your slightly frustrated ed.) :) 

Seminary work has actually begun.
Drywall has been installed on the second floor ceiling. It will be finish coated, primed and painted, probably next week. The same crew will remove all of the kitchen cabinets and move them to the Rymer Barn.
We will have electricians re-install the emergency lights and fire alarm sensors. At this point the second floor will be legally usable.  Note that the stained glass windows are in the process of restoration. (see the Bill King article at the end of this newsletter). Two have been rehung and two are waiting for ceiling completion. At that point 5 windows are scheduled for restoration, one or two at a time.
Rich Drewes is working with the asbestos abatement and floor installation contractors to coordinate their activities. Asbestos abatement will remove the first 4 or five layers of flooring. Then SSRG will remove the rest and fill the wet crawl space with concrete as per the plan of structural engineer Ray Brake.
Once work is complete we can finish the Seminary spaces to accommodate the master plan under development.
Joe Simpson and Pat Gifford
Facilities Committee


Thank you to each member of the pastor search committee. Those who will share their time and expertise to serve this vital function are:  Tom Holmes, Jenny Bailer, Linda Crist, John Curry, Jennifer Lake, Jen Walter, Tip Ziegler.


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.




Do not meet in December
Christmas Tea
Sunday, December 13, beginning at 2:30 in the Molyneaux Lounge.   Everyone one is invited to enjoy:
  • Jean Derickson playing carols for us to sing
  • Listening to Karen Simpson read a Christmas Story. This year's story will be taken from T.S. Poetter's book 50 Christmases Stories of Love, Hope, and Reconciliation in Christmastide  A Memoir.
We start with tea and cookies.
Hostesses are the Coordinating Team. Contact Person is Karen Simpson.
From the November Session meeting
Members shared "bright spots" in congregational life during the past few weeks.  The Taize service topped the list.
Approval was given to the Sexual Misconduct Policy created by the Personnel Committee.
A congregational meeting will be convened on December 13, following worship, for the purpose of electing church officers for the coming three-year terms.
Use of the Seminary building will be curtailed as the stabilization process is underway.
Steve Flee has resigned as church treasurer after six years of faithful service.  Sue Skillings was approved as the new treasurer. (thank you both!)
Ginny Layton (thank you!) will be filling in as financial secretary, during December and possibly January, while Jean Hitsman is recovering from surgery. (for whom we will be praying-ed.)
Considerable time was spent defining our vision of OPC's future.  The Transition Team and the Mission Study Team led a productive discussion.  Information gathered will be incorporated in the church information form.

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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!

What Goes Around, Comes Around 
Janet Holmes and Nancy Sturgeon collaborated with Jane Baer and Jean Butterfield to put together this information.  Lately, Janet Holmes has heard congregants suggesting that the kitchen in the Memorial needs to be bigger, and she laughs saying, "When I was a little girl, I remember the kitchen in the Memorial being HUGE".    The Memorial kitchen used to be where the current Christian Education Office, hallway, and craft storage spaces are located.  This is an area of approximately 32 feet by 24.  Some of the original cupboards are being used in the current CE storage space.  There was a long work table in the middle of the kitchen, probably 6 feet long, and the refrigerator was not in the kitchen, it was outside on the east side.  The kitchen was adjacent to a large Fellowship Hall in the general area of the current Molyneaux Lounge, and offices.  The minister's office was where the current financial office is on the Northwest corner of the building.  There were two pass-throughs from the kitchen to this area.  This Hall was open to an upstairs balcony on the second floor.  There was a stage at the west end of the Hall for plays, Christmas Shows, and similar occasions.  Jane Baer remembers the large hanging lights in this two story Hall.  As a child, Janet Holmes remembers numerous potluck dinners where Mildred Douglas, from the United Presbyterian Church, was known to bake ham loaves, casseroles, breads, and desserts.  Her work included catering food and flowers for many Oxford Weddings and special events. 
      As for the Seminary Church, the kitchen was much smaller than it is now.  It was about one/third of its current size.  Back then, adjacent to the kitchen was another smaller room that was sometimes used for Sunday school classes, small dining, or the nursery.   This area is now all kitchen area in the Seminary Building.    There was a very small refrigerator in this kitchen and a coal fired range!  Many students, sororities, and fraternity members would be served meals from this kitchen.  As many as 80 students were fed on special occasions and they each paid a small amount for this meal, yet it was an important financial asset to the church.   Jean Butterfield and Nancy Sturgeon both remember Mrs. Charlotte Colter bringing her baby in a Moses Basket to sleep in the kitchen while she worked.   The Fellowship Hall in the church is still about the same size except it too had a stage on the north side.   As a side note, at Christmas time, Santa Claus (Ura Grover) would climb in through a window to distribute candy and gifts to the children in the Fellowship Hall.  The upstairs stained glass windows each had a real candle lit for the Christmas Eve service.  In the summertime, all of the Oxford Churches rotated having the Sunday service for all Oxford Church goers.  (Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, AME, and both our churches) Jane Baer remembers all the ladies wearing HATS every Sunday, including the ladies in the Choir at the United Presbyterian Church.
      On a national level first, 1966, and then a few years later, the Presbyterian Church (Memorial Building), and the United Presbyterian Church (Seminary Building) merged.  As a result, the two congregations decided to make the Seminary Building the main Fellowship Hall and to enlarge the kitchen.   The Memorial Building became the main offices, Sunday school, and Services space and thus the kitchen became much smaller.  According to Dr. Phil Shriver and Edith Puff's book, The History of Presbyterianism in Oxford, OH, these kitchen renovations were approved in 1971.

Seeking God, Serving Others, Sharing Christ's Love With All
New Friends Span Generations
After an intense and productive week of meetings with the Transition Team and Session my mind was racing with all the possibilities and opportunities ahead for Oxford Presbyterian Church.  And then the thoughts go to "programming" and getting people energized and involved!!  As is often my shortcoming, I start thinking of how to "get it done" instead of praying and asking the Lord to show the way.  But a wonderful story of His work in our congregation lifted me up at the end of this busy week.
A few weeks ago, Bella Walter, a sixth grader at Talawanda Middle School, decided that she wanted to learn to knit.  She taught herself some of the basics by watching online tutorials.  Then she told her mother, Jenn that she would like to knit a shawl for the Deacon's Prayer Shawl project!
Cornelia Browne, who chairs the project, learned of this and called Bella to find a time to get together. Cornelia is a seasoned knitter, a member of the Loose Knitters Club, and has taught many knitting classes. This was a special opportunity for both of them!  They sat on the Walter's back porch as Bella learned the stitches for a shawl by making a scarf.  As Jenn said, "It warmed my heart so much.  That was intergenerational without planning!"  She shared a picture of that special moment.
Here is a young person wanting to serve, a long-time member of our congregation eagerly helping make that happen, and a bond is formed!  "Embracing opportunities for intergenerational learning and service," is part of our Plan for the future...but it can happen NOW!  The joy of sharing talents, of working together, and serving the Lord is especially meaningful when it happens spontaneously...no programming needed!!  Shall we seize the opportunity more often??        -----Pat Gifford
     Click here to see a sweet picture of  Bella and Cornelia

(Have you seen or been involved in other moments of "our mission statement at work?"  Be sure to submit that story to the newsletter. ----ed.)


Annual Christmas party at the home of Jean and Mel Derickson, 2650 Oxford- Millville Road.  Festivities start at 6:30 with food, fellowship and caroling.  If you've never attended an FFNers, NOW is the time.  Come on, join inAll are welcome.
Answer to the question of the month
We wish you a Merry Christmas
"The Highlight of My Christmas Season"
Carolers will visit members who reside at the Knolls, Woodland Country Manor, and in their own homes but are not able to come to church.  A message of song will be brought to them this Advent Season.  One of the recipients of a visit from the carolers last Christmas Season said, "It was the highlight of my Christmas Season".  Another person who was entertained last year stated, "It's already on my calendar".  Needed are carolers who will bring the message of the Advent Season to our members that are not as mobile as they once were.
Carolers meet at Memorial at 6:00 p.m. on December 13th.  There are two groups one with families and young children and the other with adults.    After the caroling there will be fellowship at the homes of
  • Jenn and Scott Walter at 98 Lantern Ridge for families 
  • Brad and Lynn Cronk's at 165 Hunter Woods Drive for couples and single adults. 
Please bring an appetizer to share for this fellowship time.  Please call Lynn Cronk at 513-524-8574 or lcronk@woh.rr.com if you are able to help with this ministry. Songbooks will be provided. 
Thank you for helping spread the "Good News" during this Advent Season.
Yes, in the Molyneaux beginning Sunday December 6, crèches will be on display.  Please bring a special crèche you may have to display.  Dick Munson will be available with cards to identify your specific Nativity Scene.  Some of these Nativity Scenes are very simple and made by children and others are very intricate and may be a scene from another country.  These Crèches will be on Display through January 3rd.  If you do not have a Nativity Scene to display you can still view the exhibit in the Molyneaux throughout the Advent Season.  All ages are invited to view this exhibit and you will be able to enjoy this array of Crèches during coffee hour with refreshments beginning December 6th
If you have that special scene and would like to share it with our congregation please bring it before church or during coffee hour on the 6th.   How interesting it will be to view the different ways artists have depicted the Christ Child, Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and the Wisemen!  By visiting this exhibit it is a wonderful way to get into the Christmas Spirit this Advent Season.  How do you view the Christ Child?? 
Thank you Dick Munson for making this exhibit possible! 
The 2015 annual Train Display
Will be held December 5 and 6 from 10:00am to 5:00pm at 3088 Millville-Oxford Road.  There will be a free shuttle bus from Marshall School.  All proceeds benefit local nonprofits and local families living with M.S.  Join us for this amazing display and Open House.  There will be raffles, cookies, cocoa, and hotdogs.  Cash or credit card only.  Sadly, not handicap accessible.
And let Karen Shearer know you are going
Sunday, Dec.6 a group of adults will be going to Safe Haven Farm to decorate the Hatton Center for the holidays.  Safe Haven Farm is a residential home for autistic adults in Butler County. We have spent happy hours decorating for the Christmas season turning this facility into a festive wonderland. Decorations donated by our church have been stored on site and are ready to be unpacked. We do need fresh greens and willing workers. Please contact Karen Shearer, 523-5934, or Karen.l.shearer4@gmail.com. We can carpool!
When: Sunday, December 6
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Meet: In the church alley
It takes around 30 min. to get there, and we usually stay 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Be sure to let KAREN SHEARER know you are going.  We don't want to leave you behind!
(DID I REMIND YOU TO LET KAREN KNOW YOU ARE GOING?  We don't want you left behind! ---ed)
The Mitten Tree will be bursting with mittens for children of all ages beginning November 29, the first Sunday of Advent (and also December 6and 13).  Please take a mitten from the tree, put your check made payable to the Oxford Presbyterian Church, or cash inside of the envelope that's already in the mitten.  Put your name and the child's name on the outside.  Bring everything to the Molyneaux Lounge.  Put these things in the "Mitten Tree Basket."  Suggested donation is $40-$50.  Your donation will allow gifts to be purchased for needy children by their parents.  Parents are thrilled to be able to make choices for their children at Christmas time that would otherwise be impossible.  The Family Resource Center oversees the purchases.
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 around $20,000 dollars.  For the fourth year, we have contributed to 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 Dec. 2nd at 7:30 at the home of Bill Fisher: 4883 James Rd.  Please visit with us to see if you are interested. Call Joe Simpson 513-523-8363 if you would like a ride.
I'll be at The Knolls on December 8 & 22 showing a church service on DVD in the Assisted Living dining room at 10am
Becky Quay

From:  Don Hanson, bell-ringing coordinator
A Christmas tradition has been the Salvation Army bell ringing.  I can remember the bells ringing and Salvation Army bands playing on downtown street corners in citites across the country.  Not only is this a Christmas tradition, but it is also a major fundraiser necessary to support the mission of the Salvation Army
For the last several years, the Kiwanis Club of Oxford has coordinated Salvation Army bell ringing at different locations in oxford.  We are again performing this service for the a5th years. Volunteers can access the Kiwanis website at www.oxfordkiwanisorg and schedule a date and time.  Each shift is one hour long and one can volunteer for as many shifts as desired.  Upon completion of scheduling, the volunteer will receive a confirmation via email.  Early scheduling of dates and times is encouraged.  Volunteering as a family or grandparents/grandchildren, or just friends is highly encouraged.  It should be noted that all money collected is deposited directly into a Salvation Army bank account and all donations are distributed to local causes.  The Kiwanis club of oxford serves only as volunteer coordinator.  Don Hanson contact info:  dphanson4@yahoo.com or t23-5418
The Miami University Choraliers and Chamber Singers, and William Bausano, present a concert of sacred choral works, including Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols on December 1 at 7:00 and 9:00pm in Kumler Chapel. Tickets are available at the Miami University Box Office.

Thank you to all who donated to the 3d Annual No Bake -Bake sale.  We appreciate your continued support and generosity.  Our Pie winner will be in the January newsletter.
A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to Lyla Payne and Maureen Hohnhorst   for all their time and talents they donated to the ADS Holiday Market Sale.  These ladies have been coming to the ADS every week to work on crafts for us to sell.  We had a very successful sale this year.
We will be raffling off a beautiful Department 56 "Snow Village" that was donated by Maureen Hohnhorst.  The village consists of 11 buildings, houses and many figurines (HOCKEY PLAYERS).  Please consider buying tickets for yourself or for someone to give as a gift.  Stop by the senior center to check it out.  It will be on display and raffled off on December 21 at Supper for a buck.  Tickets are $1 a piece or 6/$5.  Thank you again Maureen
We have a new program starting here at the ADS.  Our Miami Intern, Regina Gray has developed an intergenerational activity every other week with moms and young children from 10 months to 6, to come in for 1 ½ hours to participate and engage with our clients.   After the trial run, I have seen what a fantastic opportunity this is for us.  Look for pictures on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/communityadultdayservice We share our activities that take place during our day there. 
We do have openings   available.  We are very flexible.  Clients can attend every day or a couple days a week.  We strive to provide a positive experience for older adults with special needs.  If you would like more information please call me at 513-523-0464
Oxford Presbyterian Church Staff
Telephone: 513-523-6364
Fax: 513-523-8215
Seminary Building: 513-523-7411
Interim Pastor: Pastor Hart Edmonds
Interim Associate Pastor: Pastor Cheryl Edmonds
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
Class of 2015:
Marilyn Curry, Sue Wilson, Paula Foltz, Ruth Miller, Martin Miller

Class of 2016:
Janet Holmes, Deanna Maxwell, Lawretta Clum, Cornelia Browne, Molly Todd

Class of 2017
Danny Cross, Connie Everhart, Matt Lykins, Jean O'Connell, Breanne Parks

Class of 2015: Tom Holmes, Nick Fears

Class of 2016:Chris Adryan, Joe Simpson

Class of 2017: Lisa Brunckhorst, Bill King

Deadline for the January 2016 Newsletter is December 20, 2015

2       Arnold McCashland
2       Virginia Swanson
2       Ned Stephenson
2       Joseph Foltz
4       James Wespiser
4       Prudence Dana
5       Carol Flee
6       Margaret Smith
7       Keppel Small
8       William Trostel
9       Mark Hare
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     Ellen Smith
18     Donald McKillop
18     Nick Fears
18     Jonathan Hunter
19     Priscilla Berry
20     Richard Munson
20     Steve Brown
20     Robin Thomas
23     John Curry
25     Holly Gage
27     Anne Bailey
28     Thomas Poetter
28     Jean Hitsman
29     Jean O'Connell
30     Nancy Sturgeon
30     Taryn Satkowski
31     Whitney Hartman
Winter solstice occurs on
Monday, December 21, 2015 at 11:49 PM EST
The traditional Christmas plant we call a poinsettia was known by the Aztecs as cuetlaxochitl (pronounce that-I dare you)
St. Francis of Assisi is credited with making the nativity scene part of the Christmas tradition. In 1223, he organized a live crèche to emphasize Jesus's humble beginnings in poverty.
Human Rights Day is celebrated across the world. The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.
Spiders and spider webs are considered good luck on Christmas.
(you go, Charlotte!)
Things other countries leave out for Santa:
In Britain and Australia, he is sometimes given sherry or beer, and mince pies.
In Sweden and Norway, children leave rice porridge.
In Ireland it is popular to give him Guinness or milk, along with Christmas pudding or mince pies.
Most Christmas trees are a mere 10 years old or so. But given time, they can become huge. The tallest Douglas fir tree in the world, for example, rises 327 feet in CoosCounty, Oregon.
The Geminids are considered by meteor experts to be at the top of the list, surpassing in brilliance and reliability even the August Perseids. The moon will be a narrow crescent and will set early in the evening, leaving the sky dark all through the rest of the night - perfect conditions for watching shooting stars.
This will be your chance to see an average of two meteor sightings every minute, or 120 per hour!
In the seventh century, Advent was celebrated in Spain with five Sundays Pope St. Gregory VII (1073-85) reduced the number of Sundays in Advent from five to four-the current practice.
The Advent wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. Even these evergreens have a traditional meaning: The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing
Charles Dickens is said to have considered the names Little Larry and Puny Pete. Thankfully, he came up with Tiny Tim.  (whew!)
Question of the month:  what is the familiar title of this carol?
Jovial yuletide desires for the second person singular or plural by us.
As always read every word in every column in the newsletter to find the answer.
Thanks to Bill King for the information and pictures of the Seminary Stained Glass Window Restoration Project


From Our Interim Pastor
Full Article

The Spirit of Advent
Pastor Hart Edmonds
The four-week period leading to Christmas is called the Season of Advent.  During Advent we wait for holiness to come as a baby, the child who comes to be known as Jesus Christ.   What a marvelous time of year, and what a challenge!   How can we find a quiet center of expectancy and await with hope the gift of Jesus Christ?  I heard of one church's effort, where on a Sunday, members of the congregation passed a stethoscope around so each person could listen to the heartbeat of an unborn infant inside its mother.   That's what Advent is like- listening to the hidden heartbeat of a baby soon to come.  The word Advent means "coming."
But Advent waiting is active, not passive.   We prepare, consciously and intentionally.   In worship, in fellowship, and in opportunities for service as the people of God at Oxford Presbyterian Church you are invited to prepare for Christ's coming.  Our worship theme this year will be "Into this World."  Listening to the news and observing events unfolding in our world and you might think, what a terrible time to think about a vulnerable child coming into our world.  That was also true at the time of Christ's birth.   The Advent Season is about the interplay between light and dark.  "Darkness covers the earth and thick darkness the peoples," the prophet Isaiah said.   We see that evident in the longer nights of December, and we see that in the darkness of sin that encroaches on our lives.  "But on those living in the land of darkness, a Light has dawned," Isaiah proclaimed.   The message of Advent is that the Light of Christ is breaking through our darkness by his birth and will burn bright on Christmas with forgiveness and salvation, hope and joy, peace and love. 
We yearn for hope, peace, joy, and love to be reborn in us, especially in a world where so many are hopeless, where violence so often chokes the thirst for peace, where discouragement darkens joy, where fear is so often opposed to love.   But here again our faith gives strength in the words of the Gospel of John, "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it."  (John 1: 5)
The sacred gift of the Christ child comes to us through Mary and Joseph- through a human family. In our lives, the roots of love are born in us through human families of many kinds.   So part of the spiritual deepening of Advent involves our families.  It may mean honoring our roots, with all their challenges and blessings.  It may mean giving thanks for the identity, strengths, and hopes that come to us through family, and doing whatever preparation is needed to offer gifts of love and forgiveness.  For none of our families is perfect! 
Advent is a time to remember that we are able to love and forgive because we are loved and forgiven.  God has loved us without measure.  Our very first home is in God.
Through the unlikely story of unwed parents on a journey, a local inn and stable animals, peasant shepherds and glowing angels, God's amazing creativity in the material world will be revealed.  Heaven and earth will unite in our hearts.  Human flesh and Holy Spirit will be one.


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The confirmation class will be meeting after church on December 6, 13, and 20. They will help with the Youth Group Chili Fund Raiser on December 20
Many thanks to our College Interns, Robert Garrett and Ben Baughman, who are working with our Confirmands

When students enter the Narthex they are encouraged to pick up a children's bulletin or an Action Bible before they enter the sanctuary.  They attend the first part of the worship service and are dismissed after the children's story for Celebration at the Manger practice in the Geneva Room on December 6 and 13 before going to their regular classes. 
December 6- Second Sunday in Advent
Nursery:  Infants through age 2,
Nursery 1st Floor
Preschool: Ages 3-5,
Preschool area, 1st Floor
Grades K-2: 
 K-1 Room, 2nd Floor
Grades 6-7: 
Geneva Room, 2nd Floor
 Grades 8-12:  Participating in Worship Service on Communion Sunday
December 13- Third Sunday in Advent
Nursery: Infants through age 2,
Nursery 1st Floor
Preschool Ages 3-5,
Preschool area, 1st Floor
Grades K-2: 
K-1 Room 2nd Floor
Grades 6-7: Geneva Room,
2nd Floor
Grades 8-12: 
AV Room
December 20- Fourth Sunday in Advent
Nursery: Infants through age 2,
Nursery 1st Floor
All other children and youth are invited to the sanctuary for Celebration at the Manger
December 27
Nursery: Infants through age 2,
Nursery 1st Floor
Preschool Ages 3-5.
Preschool area 1st Floor
All other children are invited to worship in the sanctuary
Hello everyone just a quick update from the Youth and some dates to keep an eye out for!
The youth have been busy bees in sports and activities these past few months and we are so proud of their success and hard work. A big shout out and congratulations to both Katie Curry and Valerie Green for being named Athlete of the Year in Tennis and Volleyball. We all know they work really hard and definitely deserve this honor!
As winter approaches we all know how busy the schedules get for families. So here are dates that you need to be looking forward to for the Youth.
Dec: 13th Christmas Party and Gift Exchange at the church 5-7pm. We will be joining with the rest of the congregation who will be going Caroling from 6-7pm.
Dec 20th: Celebration of the Manger and Pitch in Chili Fundraiser following service.
Mission Trip Fundraiser
December 20th
Following the Celebration of the Manger
$5 a person
$20 for families of 4 or More
Hope to see you there!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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(and here's your bonus for reading this section:  What is Santa's favourite pizza? 
Answer: One that's deep pan, crisp and even. (ohhhhhhhhh)