The Illusionist – Tom Coverly

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Illusionist and Comedian Tom Coverly! Next on the schedule: Our monthly breakfast on Saturday, Janauary 26 from 7am-10am. $7 for adults, $3 for kids 3-10.

will be in Oxford for One Show Only at OUMC on Tuesday, January 8th at 7:00pm. This is a free, all-ages show, geared especially for youth ages 10-14.

“Tom Coverly is one of our favorite speakers . He is a very dynamic speaker who relates in a very positive way with our kids.  His message is always straight from God and his heart. Another bonus is his awesome magic!”

– Charles Huizinga {Campus Life director}

Thanks for coming, Tom! Hope to have you here again!

Rolling River Rampage is almost here!

July 22 – 26 will be here sooner than you know it!  Don’t miss out on a fun week of Vacation Bible School!

Sunday through Thursday, from 6pm to 8pm, we will be going on a Rolling River Rampage.  This is open for kindergarteners through 6th graders.  You can register online through the link below:

Oxford UMC VBS 2018

Roast Beef Dinner

We’re having a Roast Beef Dinner on Saturday, April 14th.

There will be seatings at 4:30pm and 6pm.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-10.

All proceeds go to support the mission and ministry of Oxford UMC.

Meal includes:  Roast Beef, Parslied Red Potatoes, Green Beans, Creamed Mushrooms, Cole Slaw, Apple Sauce, Roll & Butter, Dessert, Coffee & Tea, and Sweetened Ice Tea.

To make your reservations, please call the church office at 610-932-9698.

Lent/Easter Schedule – UPDATED

Have you made your plans yet for the Easter holiday?  Here is what is happening at Oxford United Methodist Church:

Sunday, March 25:  Choir Cantata at the 10:55 service – children’s choir and Spirit Bells as well  (8:30 worship service, and 9:45 Sunday School as usual)

Thursday, March 29:  Holy Thursday Service with Communion and (optional) foot- or hand-washing at 7:00pm

Friday, March 30:  Joint Good Friday Service at Allen AME Church (corner of 8th and Market Streets) at 6:00pm. (NOTE TIME CHANGE)  Refreshments following the service.

Sunday, April 1:   Community Sunrise Service at 7:00am on the green (intersection of Rts 10 & 472)                                                                                                                         Informal Easter worship at 8:30am, with Communion                                   Sunday School at 9:45am                                                                                                 Traditional Easter worship at 10:55am, with our                                             Quarter Ringers handbell choir, and Communion

 

A History of Violence = A Society of Fear

In Luke 16, Jesus tells the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  The rich man ends up in hell for his sins (neglecting the poor) and wants to warn his brothers so they might avoid his fate.  Abraham tells him his brothers have the words of Moses and the Prophets – that is warning enough.  But the rich man says, “if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.”

To Abraham replies, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

I was reminded of this in light of the most recent school shooting, as people express the hope that this will bring about meaningful change to our gun laws.  I don’t think we will have meaningful change, until we have an honest reckoning of our history as a nation.

What Jesus is saying in the parable is that, when we don’t have a correct understanding of our past, it will keep us from understanding what is happening in the present.  The rich man’s brothers have not learned what they should have from Moses and the Prophets, so they will not accept the truth, even from one risen from the dead.  As long as Americans believe the myth that we are a basically peaceful and just people, a majority of us will accept gun violence as an anomaly that cannot be prevented.

The reality is, the United States of America is a nation steeped in violence.  We violently separated from Great Britain; we violently evicted Native Americans from their land; we violently enslaved Africans; we violently settled the issue of slavery (or states rights, depending on your perspective); we oppressed every wave of immigrants that came here from countries that we weren’t familiar with; we have been perpetually at war since our founding.  We have been involved in a war of some sort for 93 percent of our years since our founding.

If we weren’t a violent people, why would we make one of our first priorities in our constitution addressing the issue of arming ourselves?

The reality is that we, as a nation, have almost always seen violence as the answer to our problems, which makes violence the norm, and instead of making us feel peaceful, it makes us more fearful.  And the only way we see to defeat our fears is more violence, because we are afraid if we choose a less violent path, someone else will use violence against us.

I’m not saying all this so that we might feel guilty about being Americans.  I’m saying this because until we acknowledge how violence has shaped us, we cannot see how fear is now warping us.

So, how do we break the pattern?  Well, of course, the answer is Jesus Christ.

Seriously.

First, if you don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus, you at least have the model of someone who responded to the violence of his society with nonviolence, and though he died, he started a movement that, when it adhered to his ideals, brought about change.

Second if you do believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ (as I most definitely do), then you have the freedom from fear, so you can respond to violence in the only way that defeats it.

And that is with death:  our death.  We must allow our desire to respond to violence with violence to die, because that only brings more death.  We must allow our fear that someone might take advantage of us tomorrow to die, because that only permits more death to happen today.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are on very thin ice when you defend the unfettered right to own guns in the face of all the lives that are damaged by gun violence in our society.  When Peter saw the answer to the violence Jesus was about to face as taking up arms, Jesus told him to put away the sword.  Violence does not end violence: it only births more violence.  And violence never occurs without causing injustice.  When Jesus declined to respond to the violence against himself with violence, he established the path, the narrow path, he wanted his followers to take:  the nonviolent one.

For the sake of America, Christians need to put not America first, but Jesus Christ first, even as that makes us “un-American.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are not here for ourselves, or for our nation, but we are here for the oppressed who like Lazarus hunger at our gate for justice and mercy.

The Oxford Great Date Night – February 9

Hey couples!  Celebrate Valentine’s Day early by coming out to the  Oxford Great Date Night on February 9!

Storyteller, singer and plain funny guy Mark Cable will be entertaining us at 7pm in the Penn’s Grove Auditorium (301 S Fifth St, Oxford).  Free dessert at intermission!

Tickets are $20 per couple.  While tickets may be available at the door, don’t wait until the last minute to reserve your spot!  Call the church office (610-932-9698), or learn more at the Oxford Great Date Night Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/events/1167307443399355/