The O-U Mission Team is collecting school supplies for our sister community in Indianola through our partnership with Rasberry UMC. Basic school items can be dropped off at the table in the Activities Center lobby. Mission Team will deliver supplies to Rasberry UMC by mid/late August. Supplies include paper, notebooks, crayons, pencils, pens, rulers, glue, notecards, etc.
We have many opportunities for you to get involved in the life of the church. If you’d like to help in our worship services, Children & Family Ministries, Student Ministries, College Ministries, small groups, or anything else, contact the church office, 662.234.5278, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The generosity, kindness and consolation given through the Congregational Care Team touches every member of our congregation. Help us support and care for one another.
- Meal Support… as needed, in times of illness, accident, chemotherapy or other on-going treatments, funerals, new babies, and other situations.
- Freezer supplies… Provide casseroles or desserts for freezer (home-made or not) to be used in all of the above situations.
- Freezer… Help with reception and meal for the family and friends.
- Prayer Team… The prayer team meets every week to pray for prayer requests. Emergency request go out by phone and e-mail.
- Deliver flowers… The altar flowers when left are delivered to Emeritus, Hermitage, Graceland and others.
- Lay Speakers… Join the team of Lay Speakers who speak at Hermitage, Emeritus and Haven House.
- Prayer Shawl Ministry... Knit or crochet a simple shawl which is to be given to someone in crisis.
Angel Tree: Ministry that organizes and provides Christmas gifts, toys, and clothing to local needy children. OU works with the local Salvation Army to screen applicants and enlists church families to provide gifts.
Boys and Girls Club: A national organization that provides a safe place that is a positive and productive outlet for community children when they have free time and might otherwise be on the streets. Daily after-school program and summer day camp. OU provides financial support and a member serves on the board.
Community Thanksgiving Meal: Free Thanksgiving meal and fellowship offered to the community at large. We often enlist the help of other community churches.
Doors of Hope: Non-profit organization that supports homeless people as they transition from homelessness to self- sufficiency. Clients are housed four-six months and are supervised and supported by a licensed social worker as they find work or further their education.
Habitat for Humanity: Non-profit ecumenical Christian housing ministry inviting volunteers to build houses together in partnership with families in need. OU has sponsored the building of 8 of the 13 houses built by Oxford-Lafayette Habitat.
Leap Frog: Non-profit after school tutoring and enrichment program for at-risk first-third graders in the Oxford City and Lafayette County schools. OU partners with St. Peter’s Episcopal Church to provide financial support and provides meeting space and snacks twice a week.
Interfaith Compassion Ministries: Collaborative effort among local churches to provide assistance with basic needs such as rent, utilities, and prescription drug program in a centralized location to individuals in Lafayette County who face crisis situa- tions. ICM is the main agency working with homeless. OU provides financial support as well as a Board member and volunteers.
Meals on Wheels: Program that delivers meals to home- bound and elderly of Oxford and Lafayette County.
More Than a Meal: Provides free, nutritious meals, educational tutoring for children, speakers, and essential toiletries to anyone in Oxford on Tuesday evenings during the school year at the Stone Center.
The Pantry: All-volunteer food distribution organization providing families in need with a week’s supply of food and staples. Delivers food to homebound clients. OU maintains the Pantry every January by organizing volunteers to unload and stock Tuesdays and head distribution Wednesdays and Thursdays. Women’s Prison Ministry: Provides weekly devotional sessions with women prisoners at the local jail. Supports releasees with toiletries, clothing, and other assistance; encourages church attendance for releasees; helps releasees find jobs and places to live.
Student Ministries International Trip: Every summer, OU’s Emerge: Student Ministries participates in an international trip. In 2014, they helped build a school in Belmopan, Belize, which will open up educational opportunities for 90 more students in that area. For information about the 2015 trip to Costa Rica, contact Director of Youth Ministries Kelly Fenwick at email@example.com. Africa Mission Trip: In July 2015, OU will participate in a medical mission trip with St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church to Zimbabwe to offer medical assistance, children’s ministry at an orphanage, and install a hospital water system.
Feed the Hunger Pack-a-Thon: National organization that helps distribut nutritious meal packs to at-risk children all across the world. The University of Mississippi began hosting Pack-a-Thons in 2011.
Oxford‐University United Methodist Church sent nine missionaries from Oxford to Trelawny, Jamaica. The team ministered to locals, tutored kindergarten through sixth grade, built bunk beds and more.
Team Leader Jean Shaw said, “This is the best mission trip I’ve been on — and one of the best trips including family trips and travel with friends and tour companies. Loved it.”
Shaw said she still feels energized by the experience. Other members included Russ Mclellan, Deborah Robinson, Chris Stasny, John Takerer, Pat Forrester, Patricia Gillenwater, Lyndy Berryhill and Delaney Bondi. The mission trip was made possible through Praying Pelican Missions with
Brent and Cathy Kirk along with the help of Dillon Fowler and Andre Eldemire. The group left early Saturday morning on January 9 and arrived at the guesthouse provided late that night. The next morning, the group attended church services in Bunkers Hill. They were introduced to some “loud,” yet authentic worship session as well as led Sunday school and devotional time.
Monday, the real work began. For the next three days, the team would arrive before classes started at a local school to tutor and assist teachers. Most children seemed to be shy the first day, but it did not last too long.
For their physical education class, Mclellan led the group that taught the students baseball. The school had received a donation of equipment before, but children only knew how to play cricket. It was a learning experience, but by the end of the week students were already hitting homeruns.
After lunch at school, the group would take the bumpy ride back to the Roland Anderson guesthouse to build the bunk beds. Starting from scratch, the team completed five bunk beds in three half‐afternoons. Stasny and a couple locals were experienced in building furniture, but the rest were relatively novice. The beds built will provide more sleeping quarters for missionaries in the following years at the guesthouse.
Thursday morning, goodbyes were said to the students. Several gave out homemade cards with flowers taped to them were given by the children with “We’ll miss you all” and “I love you” written.
Pat Forrester said it was an inspiring trip for all involved.
“We had no restrictions with our faith and love for Christ,” Forrester said. “I have never prayed for an elderly person ‐ in pain ‐ waiting for surgery, but we did it and they appreciated the prayers.”
The group was driven to the town of Falmouth and visited a hospital. Robinson, Shaw and Gillenwater had made prayer shawls and hygiene care packages to give out to the sick. Later, supplies were delivered to a local convalescent home.
Pat Forrester said it was an inspiring trip for all involved and that the prayer shawls given out were an extra source of comfort to the patients.
When the reflective session on the trip was held, words like “Inspiring, “and “Family” described the way everyone felt.
Delaney Bondi, team member, said, “The part I loved most about my trip to Jamaica was the love we were shown by everyone we encountered.”
The mission trip came to an end and the OUUMC missionaries returned to the winter weather. While the trip seemed quick, the memories made will last.
written by Mission Team Member Lyndy Berryhill