July/August 2018


The Pastor’s Pen

The work on our sanctuary has begun. The plaster has gone up. The painters are ready with their brushes. And the carpet fitters will soon be rolling out the new carpet. I so look forward to worshiping with you in our sanctuary when the workers are done. And I especially look forward to gathering with friends old and new when we celebrate the Bicentennial of Oxford Presbyterian Church on September 16 in our redone space. That will be a glorious occasion befitting the repairs being currently done to the sanctuary.

I remember when it finally dawned on me that this work would require that we “retrench” our worship to the fellowship hall for several weeks (Some?mes I am slow with such realizations!). The disruption of losing availability to our most important space was not something I was looking forward to. But I have to say that the “inconvenience” of worshiping together in our fellowship hall while our sanctuary is a temporary worksite has been a surprising gift. Our smaller worship space this summer has required that we sit closer together, that the choir and liturgist and pastor and congregation are all in near proximity to each other. And I love that this has been necessary.

Proximity holds out the possibility of intimacy for us, an intimacy that reflects the love and affection that God has for us. Proximity holds out the possibility of deeper fellowship, of a deeper sharing and mutual exchange of prayers and blessings and burdens with one another. Proximity gives us the opportunity to trust one another to an even greater degree than we ever have. There have been more requests for prayer shared in our worship over the last month than any other time since I have been your pastor, and it has been nothing less than beautiful to witness this sharing of the burdens of our hearts with one another. The hymns have been sung louder than I can ever remember—perhaps we are more bold to sing as our songs are less performance and more sharing in offerings of praise to God.

The word “chapel” derives from the Latin word capella which means “little cape.” Legend tells us that St. Martin of Tours, while in the Roman military, came upon a scantily clad beggar and immediately cut his cloak in half and gave one of the pieces to the needy man. Later that night in a dream, Martin witnessed Jesus speaking to angels and saying, “Martin clothed me with this cloak.” Martin would eventually leave military service and become a bishop in the 4th century church. Little worship spaces that would temporarily house the relic of Martin’s cape were called capella. The word is still in use today to refer to relatively diminutive places of worship. I have begun to refer (somewhat jokingly but increasingly seriously) to our fellowship hall as the Oxford Presbyterian Church chapel. The room, which is utilized for meals and meetings, for sharing and study, has become a place where we receive the gifts of Word and Sacrament together. In reality, fellowship and worship are not separate activities but are part of the Christian life that have always belonged together. In sharing faith we share real life with one another. And our chapel space has been a tremendous gift in helping us realize that to a greater degree. I do look forward to returning to our beautiful sanctuary, but I will always look back fondly upon our time this summer in our temporary space. May we bring the gifts we have received from God in our fellowship?hall worship experience with us when we resume our normal habit of gathering in our pews with our windows and organ and our new plaster, paint and carpet. It would be a terrific beginning to our next 200 years together.

All blessings in Christ,

News from the Session


  • Nominees for the 2018 Nominating Committee: Walter Gould, Cathy Yancey—representing the Session; Lindsay Miller—Sunday School; Retta Powell—Presbyterian Women and Jim Ingram—Presbyterian Men.
  • Called Congregational meeting to be held at both services on June 10 for the purpose of electing the Nominating Committee. (Meeting held on June 10 and election approved)


  • Acceptance of television and stand, to be used as monitor at worship and teaching services, given by Terry Hobgood in honor of Marie Hobgood.
  • Alan gave a brief report of activities at the PCUSA General Assembly which met in St. Louis, MO, June 16—23.


  • Worship services moved into the Fellowship Hall on May 27 while sanctuary was closed for renovations.
  • Communion was served on May 6 and June 3 at both services and also to the shut-ins by Alan. Next communion will be on July 1 and August 5.
  • Ellen Gould will supply the pulpit on August 12.
  • Paul Shelton served as minister on June 17 while Alan was away.

by Judy Miller, chair 

Remembering our saints

Please take a moment or two to write a sentence or two about a Saint you know or have known in your time at Oxford Presbyterian Church. Give to Ellen for use on  All Saints’ Sunday, November 1.

Thank you!

from Ellen Gould

Christian Education

Kids, remember that we have Sunday School every Sunday from 9:45 until 10:30. We are studying some Old Testament heroes and are memorizing The Lord’s Prayer.

Sunday, July 1, Ellen will be away from OPC. Children’s Sunday School will be self-directed. Parents, bring your kids and enjoy the activities that have been prepared. Kids will remain in worship for Children’s Church. Clipboard activities will be available.

Vacation Bible School is coming. Depending on the completion of renovation work in the Sanctuary, it will be in early August or perhaps in October. We will let you know as soon as possible.

by Walter Gould, committee chair

Music Notes

The choir is preparing for the Crime Stoppers Concert at OPC on Sunday, August 5 at 4:00 p.m., (that is, if the sanctuary work has been completed).

We have enjoyed singing in the Fellowship Hall, which has wonderful acoustics. It was quite an experience to watch the grand piano turned on its side to be moved into the different space.

A Lenten/Easter cantata for 2019 is currently being decided on, hopefully with the composer(s) conducting. This is the same group of choirs we sang with this past Lent: Methodist churches in Creedmoor, Butner and Oxford.

The OPC choir is currently taking some vacation time, but will resume practice on July 17. If you would like to join us, we would be happy to have your voice added to ours.

by Kathy Webb

Presbyterian Women

The  Presbyterian  Women’s  Circle  will  not  meet  through  the  summer,  but  will  resume  on September 24, meeting in the Fellowship Hall at 11:00 a.m. Following the business matters and Bible study, a light lunch will be served. The new study for the 2018-2019 year will be “God’s Promise: I will be with you”

by Delores Johnson, moderator

Please Remember In Your Prayers

Sue Huggins (residing at E.E.. Toney Rest Home, Room 110),  George Yancey (recently received prosthetic eye), Dottie Price (recently underwent hip replacement surgery), Ann Currin, Pete Strother, John Newell (temporarily residing at Brantwood Nursing Center), Mike & Linda Diamond, Fred & Diane Heath, Randy Downey, Julie Gaydon, Isabella Baird, Hannah Hobgood.

From the Bicentennial Committee

Work is ongoing on the Sanctuary renovation. The plaster repair is complete and painting and carpet replacement should begin in early July. We are hoping that the whole process will be complete sooner rather than later. In the meantime, worship continues in the Fellowship Hall. The atmosphere is intimate and the singing is beautiful we will be happy to return to our Sanctuary, but the Sundays in the Fellowship Hall will be remembered fondly.

July 29 is the date for a historical presentation by Mark Pace. Mark will share details of how OPC has been a vital community member and has been instrumental in helping to found other Granville County churches.

The big Homecoming celebration is scheduled for Sunday, September 16. Worship will include leadership from several guests including former OPC pastors, Phil and Jan Butin. A picnic lunch will be served on the church grounds. Please call or email the church office to register yourself and any friends or family members you plan to bring along to the big day. A head-count is needed to ensure that enough food is prepared. Carol Barnes has been compiling addresses and wants to be sure no one is left out. Please let her know anyone near or far that you may want to invite and send to her as soon as possible…919-693-2681 or [email protected]. The invitations will be mailed out mid-July.

Clean-up dates will be announced soon. All hands are needed to spruce up our building.

by Ellen Gould


The April mission— Children’s Hope Alliance totaled $450.00.
The May mission—Presbyterian Disaster Assistance totaled $760.42.
The June mission—Families Living Violence Free—$450.00
Pennies for Hunger collections in May—$36.20 and June—.$45.05

Thanks to all who so generously support our mission projects!

Our July mission will be to receive donations for the Back Pack Buddies. These funds are forwarded to ACIM who are able to purchase supplies at a reduced rate so that more can be given to the children who need food items at their homes.

The August mission will be the collection of offering to be sent to World Vision. This world-wide organization especially reaches out to the impoverished children, providing water, food, clothing, housing and are available for adoptions.

From  ACIM—Walmart Distribution Center in Henderson will soon begin donating refrigerated and frozen meats and produce to the facility. They will have to lease a refrigerated truck for pick- up each week. Also, needed are a walk-in refrigerator and freezer. The plea to local churches and organizations is for donations to help meet these expenses. Please consider making a donation from time to time to help cover these expenses. Make checks payable to OPC; memo, ACIM-Walmart.

by Delores Johnson

Sunday School

Adult Class

Lindsay Miller
Delores Johnson
Cathy Yancey
Walter Gould

Youth Class

Walter Gould

Young Marrieds

Alan Koeneke

Elementary Class

Ellen Gould

  The Adult Class will continue using the Wired Word Curriculum

Flower Schedule



8—Lynn Allred

15—Peyton Tarry

22—Delores Johnson

29 –Twisdale family



12—Tara Roberson

19—Sue Huggins

26—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 meeting will not be held in July, but will meet on August 1.


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.