January/February 2019


The Pastor’s Pen

My maternal grandfather’s favorite psalm was Psalm 103. I remember it being read at his funeral forty years ago. Since then, I have turned to it again and again and again in my own life of faith to pray to and meditate upon the God that my grandfather knew. Even though my grandfather passed away when I was twelve years old, Psalm 103 has allowed me to know something of the man he was as a Minnesota farmer, a grandson of Swedish immigrants, a World War I veteran, a husband and a father of ten children. I share a faith with him in the same God show to us in Jesus Christ. I was planning on writing a meditation upon the psalm for you all for the New Year, but I quickly realized that any mediation of mine would pale in comparison to the psalm itself.

Thus, here is Psalm 103. May it bless your hearts and minds this year as it has done for me and did for my grandfather.

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—

3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.

10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

14 For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;

16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.

17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,

18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.

21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.

22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

All blessings in Christ,

News from the Session


  • Grateful acceptance of wheel chair as a gift from Terry and Marie Hobgood
  • Ellen Gould to lead the worship on December 30 while Alan is away on vacation
  • Memorial Fund account at Sun Trust Bank to be transferred to a money market account at Edward Jones in order to earn a higher interest rate on the funds
  • The annual congregational and corporate meeting will be held on January 27 following the 11:00 worship hour
  • The Session will begin meeting on the second from the last Wednesday evenings each month at 7:00 p.m.
  • The election of Clerk and Treasurer will be held at the January meeting


  • Communion was served on December 2 and on January 6.
  • Elder Ellen Gould served as minister on December 30.

by Judy Miller, chair 

Congregational Care

Prayers are prayed weekly during worship for Becky Baird, receiving therapy; Sue Huggins at Toney Rest Home; Ann Currin, who comes to church when she can; Dottie Price, recovering from surgeries; John Newell, recovering from back surgery; Fred and Diane Heath, both under health care; Mike and Linda Diamond, who deal with health issues; Judy Knight, wife of C.B. Knight, who is recovering from back surgery; Randy Downey, recovering from knee surgery; Michael Boyd, also recovering from surgery; Isabella Baird, daughter of Stephen Baird, who is still on our list having gone through cancer treatments; Hannah Hobgood, daughter of Richard Hobgood, who has ongoing health problems.

Others who receive our attention are the elderly and shut-ins.

We keep the birthdays on out ‘attention’ list. If you see their names on the calendar, they would love getting a card from you and even a visit. If you are not on the birthday list, please contact me, or the church office to get your name on the calendar.

Please keep all in your prayers.

from Cathy Yancey, chair

Christian Education

A new CE committee has been formed and first meeting held. Discussions included: Sunday School being held at a time other than Sunday mornings; education sessions taking place outside OPC walls, and Lenten Bible study and other studies or book clubs.

by Earron Couch, committee chair

Music Notes

Our choir had a glorious time singing Pepper Choplin’s cantata, “Night of the Father’s Love”, with the choir of Oxford United Methodist Church on  Saturday, December 15. We have plans for  more joint performances. Lindsay Miller sang “O Holy Night” at the cantata at the Methodist Church

I found it strange to be in the Methodist building where I used to work. With all the remodeling, I couldn’t  find anything!

On Christmas Eve, our choir sang with the Timothy Darling Choir while the Rev. Omokunde played an incredible drum accompaniment like the professional he is.

On December 23, Rett Jackson played “Silent Night” at the 11:00 a.m. service. His skillful pedaling was outstanding.

We are happy that Rachelle Messer has joined the choir. She and her husband, Logan, have been coming to OPC for several months now. Rachell’s alto voice and choral experience add a lot to our sound.

by Kathy Webb

Presbyterian Women

The Presbyterian Women’s Circle met on November 12 and the reports were that 35 hygiene kits were put together and delivered to Raleigh. These were to help those who had recently been affected by the recent hurricane; fruit bags to be sent to shut-ins on the 18th; fleece blankets given to the women and candy to the men as gifts in December.  This was done on the 17th. The mission for January will be making a monetary gift to the CWS Blankets Fund. The ladies are continuing to enjoy the Bible studies, “God Is with Us”, Cathy Yancey leading the study in November and Judy Miller in December. The January lesson will be taught by Retta Powell. The ladies decorated the church with Christmas wreaths and Chrismon trees.

If you have an interest in coming to our circle, you will be cordially welcomed. We meet in the Fellowship Hall at the church beginning at 9:45 a.m.

by Delores Johnson, moderator

Please Remember In Your Prayers

Sue Huggins, Dottie Price, Ann Currin, John Newell, Mike & Linda Diamond, Fred & Diane Heath, Becky Baird, Randy Downey, Dottie Price, Judy Knight, Julie Gaydon, Isabella Baird, Hannah Hobgood.

From the Bicentennial Committee

Just as we knew it would, our bicentennial year has come and gone and left us with many profound memories. We look back fondly on our special occasions. Charlie Bryan and his gift of the portrait of our first pastor was enlightening and surprising. Mark Pace brought us warm and personal bits of history. The “United We Sing” event was a new venture that gave us new friends and brightened spirits. Fillipa Duke blessed us with music and a showcase of what the OPC organ can do. Lee Anne Shelton Lequick astounded us with historical facts and sweet sentiments from her own family.

We endured renovations to the sanctuary and now enjoy worshiping in a beautifully  restored space. Worshiping in the Fellowship Hall, nursery and choir room provided the congregation with insights related to close fellowship and many reported enjoying the experience.

Challenges included the falling of the ceiling in the Fellowship Hall which was taken in stride by OPC family members. Perhaps the biggest challenge was the need to postpone the long-anticipated homecoming celebration caused by the effects of Hurricane Florence. The date changed from September 16 to October 28, resulted in several other changes, but the word describing the Homecoming event was “Glorious”.

On the last Sunday of the year, a time capsule prepared by Rett and Nick Jackson was dedicated and will be placed under the floor of the chancel to be opened in twenty-five years. Many items placed in the capsule were sweet surprises revealed in 2018.

A final meeting of the OPC Bicentennial Planning Committee is scheduled for Sunday, January 23 at 12:30 PM. Lunch will be served and will include a brief business meeting and a time of celebration.

by Ellen Gould


The World Vision mission in August collections totaled—$155.00.

The Murdoch Center collections in September totaled—$294.00

Special offering to Children’s Hope Alliance—$40.00

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance collections in October totaled—$814.58

Pennies for Hunger collections in November was $34.25 and in December—$25.40

November mission collections for ACIM were $570.00

Joy Gift offerings in December  totaled  –   $343.00

Children receiving ‘angel’ gifts totaled 16

January and February mission—- donations to Church World Service Blanket  Fund

Angie Arnold is the Missions chair for the next three years. Please support her in all efforts to promote the mission projects.

by Delores Johnson, chair 2018

Sunday School

Adult Class

Lindsay Miller
Delores Johnson
Cathy Yancey
Walter Gould

Youth Class

Walter Gould

Elementary Class

Ellen Gould

  The Adult Class will continue using the Wired Word Curriculum

Flower Schedule



13—Angie Arnold

15—Peyton Tarry

20—Retta Powell

27—Retta Powell



10—Retta Powell

17—Judy Miller

24—Ellie Bradsher

If you wish to make a donation to the church for a special mission in lieu of flowers, you may do so by contacting Carol Barnes or the church office and the Pulpit Bible will be displayed on the Communion Table. You may also do this in honor or memory of a loved one.

To Remember

Men’s Group supper and meetings will be January 9 and February 6.


Buffet Breakfast served every Sunday morning following the 8:08 contemporary service as prepared by Terry Hobgood. Everyone is invited and the time of fellowship and the delicious foods around the tables are enjoyed by all.

There are no upcoming events.