A Publication of the Oak Hill United Methodist Church
February 16, 2022

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Worship Service

 9:45 Sunday School
11:00 Worship

Everyone is welcome.

Worship with us online at

The 11:00 service is livestreamed.
Click to Make a Donation

The Pastors' Corner

A little over two years ago, Gillian Westerman came to Oak Hill to serve as Director of Music Ministries. She came with hopes of building on Oak Hill’s history of strong music ministry.  

A few months after she began, COVID hit.  Perhaps no ministry was affected more than music.  

I want this congregation to know how hard Gillian worked during a challenging time. You may have appreciated the music she organized and led each Sunday. You may not have seen what else she did. She led weekly online choir rehearsals, developed an online girls’ choir, organized a youth chimes group, and led awesome music for Vacation Bible School. She planned worship, oversaw our audio visual team, and edited videos.  

Last month a few choir members got COVID, and we suspended choir for a few weeks, just as Gillian was about to leave. This is not the way she wanted to end her time leading music at Oak Hill.  

Yet throughout her tenure at Oak Hill, Gillian has been a consummate professional who is deeply dedicated to Christ and this church. I have been honored to serve with her.  

Gillian’s last Sunday will be February 27. During worship, we will pray God’s blessing upon her and Drew. Following worship, we will have a reception in the Fellowship Hall.  

Join with us that Sunday to thank Gillian for all she has done and to pray God’s blessings upon her.  


Women's Retreat

Oak Hill's annual Women's Retreat is coming soon. Our theme is Created for Joy. Come experience conversation, contemplation, communion, nature, and friends, and add JOY to your journey. Share special moments with Pastor Missy Jenson, Pam Castles, Catharine Corder, Patti Fowler, Debi Witt Jones, Linda Moore, and Laurie Sharp. Join us and bring a friend!
  • February 18-20, 2022 (Friday 4pm - Sunday 11am)
  • Well Spring Retreat Center, 959 Wellspring Road, Blanco, TX 78606
  • Contacts: Jeannine Inbody 512.923.0705; Susan Shineldecker 512.632.2823
The retreat center is located in Blanco, Texas on several remote acres near The Narrows, which we'll have a chance to see during a Saturday hike. Guests will bring their own bedding and share a two-bed, three-bed room. Roommate requests will be honored. Registration is flexible. Stay for two nights or just one ($50), or just attend for the day on Saturday ($35). You can cancel at any time for a full refund. We are asking all attendees to provide a negative covid test taken 24-72 hours before the retreat in order to better ensure everyone's safety. Please Register Here

UMW Book Club 

Our February selection from the United Methodist Women’s Reading Program (UMW) is When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up by Jamie Janosz. Our meeting will be this Thursday morning, February 24, at 10:00. Depending on the Covid stage, we will either meet via Zoom or in person in the Adult Education Building Room 101. If you are new to the group, I will be happy to add you to our email list.  Contact me if you have any questions, Diana Goodloe at

Flood Buckets

Service opportunities are a great way for us to put our faith into action and to make God's love more tangible for us and for others. And we're stepping up our game in this area. In addition to our mission trips, and service events, we're going to be incorporating monthly service opportunities into our Sunday Morning Youth Gathering times. We'll be cooking meals for the homeless and food insecure in partnership with our feeding ministries. We'll be doing things to be in ministry with our homebound members.

This past Sunday we had the opportunity to assemble flood buckets (cleaning buckets) to be given to those whose homes have been damaged by floods, fires, hurricanes, etc. in large-scale disasters. Thanks to the Community Ministries Team for working with the youth to make this hands-on service opportunity possible!

Location: We’ll be stationed in the Church Parking Lot.
Appointment: Click here to make an appointment online.
Eligibility: Click here for eligibility questions.
Questions: For question contact Jennifer Freel.

Feed My Sheep

On Tuesday, February 22, we will once again be delivering our delicious delicacies of casseroles, baked goods and fruit to our friends at Sunrise.Thank you all for your boundless generosity and continued loving support of this ministry!  Please click here to signup.

Esperanza Meal

We are continuing to provide meals to the Esperanza Community on Friday, February 25. Our menu will include hamburgers, toppings, chips, fruit cups, and pie slices (these last ones were donated to the church). This time, UMM will provide the food and cooking. We need your financial support and your service to load, transport, and serve the meals.

Your past support is appreciated and has enabled us to sustain this ministry. Please consider this request and step up as you are able. Click here to signup to help out. 

Wonderfully Made

Wonderfully Made is a study of human sexuality with a Christian foundation. Oak Hill UMC has supported the children of our congregation and surrounding community by offering a workshop about human sexuality since 2002. In our local public schools, children will be presented with information about human sexuality. The difference between what is presented in public schools and what is presented in Wonderfully Made is the concept of God. We read from the Bible. We share our beliefs that we are all created in the image of God, and that everything God created is good. We share that every person is of sacred worth.
Dates and Times:        
Thursday, February 24th, 7-9pm, parents only meeting.
Friday, February 25th, 7-9pm, students only meeting.
Saturday, February 26th, 8:30am-12:30pm, students only meeting.
Sunday, February 27th, 1-3pm, parents and students together meeting.
For more information about the content of the workshop, and how to register, please contact Jennifer Barkis at 512-554-5840 or

Walt Wilkins -  songwriter, singer, traveler, troubadour - the calling I answered, the life I chose, the way I make my way.

I chose to go full time on this road 25 years ago. Its been a spiritual quest, an amazing trip, at turns heartbreaking & transcendent. In that time I've made nine solo records, four records with The Mighty Mystiqueros, one with my wife Tina, and there's a new live record with my friend Kevin Welch. I've had 100 or more songs recorded by other artists, traveled a fair part of the world, and had some very large times.

Mostly, I drive, play & sleep & dream. Its a rich experience, a wild ride, and the way I make my way. I hope to meet you if I haven't. If I have, I hope to see you again soon on this path. Cheers.

Walt’s latest release is “Pedernales” released in 2021.

What: An evening with Walt Wilkins and Friends
When: Friday Feb 25th, 2022 - Doors: 7:30 PM Music: 8:00 PM
Where: 7815 Hwy 290 West, Austin, Tx  (across from ACC Pinacle)
Cost: $25 suggested donation at the door.
RSVP Click here to RSVP
Masks and social distancing required. The space is quite large and we'll limit the audience size due to Covid. If there should be any changes due to Covid, you will be alerted via email. 
Non-alcholic drinks and snacks will be served outside the venue.

Refugee Move In

Our Afghan family of three moved into their new apartment on February 5th! Their experience does not end with move in, they are still in the thick of relocating. Although they don't speak English, their outgoing and happy three-year-old daughter ran right up to us with a smile and hug. And while the parents still seemed a little anxious, the little girl was delighted to find all the donated toys and books in the apartment! It was good to learn that they were not in Austin alone as they have extended family in the city. We did good! The apartment looked cozy and is well stocked for their immediate needs. It was a good maiden voyage of our ministry and it was wonderful working alongside church friends.
The hotel was full of other Afghan families waiting and eager for their own apartment. So, we are planning to continue. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, please see Vicki at the Connection station, or contact Pam Chen or June Johnson. You can participate hands on or via donations to the apartment set-ups. We would welcome any donations of goods to help set-up a kitchen (pots/pans, silverware, dishes, etc.), bedroom linens, and bath linens.  Items can be new or gently used. We have designated space in room 10 of the Missions Building to store the items.
Hebrews 13:1-2  Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Messy Church!

Have you heard that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made?” This often quoted phrase comes from Psalm 139 which praises God for God’s wonderful, creative works - including us! Let’s join the psalmist: what in creation makes you say, “WOW”? 

Join us at Messy Church as we explore this scripture passage through movement, creativity, and thoughtful conversations. Bring a friend, your own picnic dinner and chairs or blankets, and meet us in the courtyard area outside the sanctuary at 5pm! See you there!

Gillian Farewell & Blessing 

There will be an informal farewell reception for our Director of Music Ministries, Gillian Westerman immediately following the 11 AM service on February 27 in the Fellowship Hall. A basket for cards and notes will be available to express thanks to Gillian for her leadership of the choir, her service to Oak Hill UMC, and her many talents. The reception will be in the Fellowship Hall unless Covid concerns require us to move it outdoors. Come visit with Gillian and Drew as they embark on a new journey. 

Interim Director of Music Announced

As we begin the search for the next leader our music ministry, we want to ensure Oak Hill has strong music leadership during an interim period.  

We are pleased to that Louise Avant has agreed to serve as Interim Director of Music beginning in March.  

Louise has a long history of directing choirs in Austin. She served as Minister of Music at First Baptist Church for 25 years. Prior to that she served at First United Methodist and Berkley United Methodist churches. She currently serves as Interim Music Director at Central Presbyterian Church. She is section leader and sings with Conspirare, teaches voice, and is an accomplished pianist.  

Louise believes that God is calling her to serve in interim positions as churches look for the next music leader. She knows Oak Hill’s history of strong choral music and wants to serve with us.  

Please thank Gillian for her ministry at Oak Hill. Also, pray for Gillian, Louise, and the music ministries at Oak Hill.  

Leslie Dippel                                        Stephen Sanders
Chairperson SPRC                              Lead Pastor

Supper Club - Chili Dinner - March 2

Our last Supper Club meal came at just the right time before the winter weather, brightening up an otherwise gloomy evening for the residents. Thank you to everyone who helped support this effort, we couldn't do it without you. We are excited to bring a chili dinner as our next meal to the residents of the Garden Terrace Apartments. Please see the Signup here for opportunities to contribute.

Super Bowl Party

Last Sunday, the youth had a fun Super Bowl Watch Party in the Fellowship Hall. In Addition to the big game there were lots of other fun games and fellowship.

CROP Hunger Walk

This year’s CROP Hunger Walk is being described as a hybrid walk because of uncertainty with the Covid Pandemic. Since Austin is still in COVID Stage 5, Oak Hill United Methodist Church walk participants will meet at the playground at Circle C Metropolitan Park on March 6 at 2 PM to step out and support an end to world hunger. 

Last year with a virtual walk, Oak Hill United Methodist Church pledged to raise $2500. We were able to raise $3932 and were recognized by the Austin CROP Hunger Walk for our fundraising effort. 

Please strongly consider joining us to raise money to provide an end to hunger locally and around the world. You may register to join our team or donate at

Penny War for CROP Walk

Hey church! The youth are joining in efforts to raise money for the CROP Walk, and we want to invite you to jump in on the fun while we do! We're going to be having a Penny Wars competition over the next three Sundays between girls and boys, and you can help sway the results!  

Rules of the Game:
  • Paper money counts in favor of the team's total.
  • Coins count against the team's total.
  • The team with the highest total at the end of MYF on March 6th wins!
We'll be placing jugs in the narthex for each team and every contribution has the potential to create an upset. Join us for some fun and let's fight world hunger together!

Next Prayer Walk March 5

Prayer Walk is set for Saturday, March 5 beginning at 9 AM at the Still Waters Retreat Center, 9406 Granada Hills Drive. We are reserving the "barn" near the house for the morning so people can come, participate in Prayer Walk, or as an alternative to CROP if they can't make Sunday, March 6 at Circle C Metropolitan Park. We're going to offer a pot luck brunch following our walk with time for people to walk more trails if they wish. We will talk about the CROP Walk and how funds raised from the walk help alleviate world hunger during our brunch time. 

Dedication of the 2021 Methodist Build

This past Saturday, February 12, seven new Austin families became new homeowners thanks to the help of Habitat for Humanity and it’s many volunteers and contributors. Oak Hill UMC members were onsite for two of the work days and did their part to make these deserving folks’ dreams come true. Rising prices and scarce availability have made buying a home in Austin impossible for many. This recent batch of new homes brings the total of Habitat for Humanity homes in Austin to 41.
The house Oak Hill helped out with is the new home of Omelio, Martha, and their two daughters. The photos above show Phyllis Snodgrass, CEO of Austin Habitat for Humanity, dedicating and blessing the new homes; the onlooking crowd and media; the families sawing their boards (instead of cutting ribbons); Omelio thanking the volunteers; and Omelio and family in front of their new home.
Thanks to all of those who contributed and volunteered to help with the 2021 Methodist Build Habitat House. You have truly made a difference in your community.

Endowment Fund to Award its 2022 Grants:

Apply Now! The OHUMC Endowment Committee is now ready to distribute grant(s) for 2022. Grant funds are derived from interest earned by and appreciation of the fund’s principal assets. The principal (which currently stands at $171,682.50) will remain untouched except for the addition of donated dollars. Total fund balance (principal plus earnings) for the year ending 2021 was $244,013.65. The Endowment Fund committee will be meeting soon to assess financial market conditions, set a grant goal for 2022 and to consider submitted grant applications.  

If you have a project in mind that could benefit from an Endowment Fund grant, please contact Brad McMahon, 512-940-1215, Grants are intended to be used for special mission projects/ministries within and outside the walls of our church. Grant funds may also be used to meet unusual expenses of OHUMC teams/committees/organizations not normally included in the church operating budget. All forms are due by March 15, 2022. 

In addition to submitting a grant request form (which is pretty straight forward and short), we will invite you (and your team, if applicable) to meet with our committee to discuss your thoughts on the merits and risks of your project.  

Ash Wednesday

This year, Oak Hill UMC will offer two ways to commemorate Ash Wednesday on March 2nd:

“Stop and Receive” -  7:30-9:00 AM 
Come by the Oak Hill UMC parking lot by the outdoor chapel to stop and receive ashes. You can do this on your way to work or school. You may either remain in your car or get out. One of our pastors will impose ashes on your forehead. If you prefer to impose ashes on yourself, we will have ashes available for you.
Ash Wednesday Dinner & Worship - 6:00
Join us for a simple soup dinner at 6:00. Followed at 6:30 by a beautiful worship experience to help you begin your Lenten journey. Pause with us for a time of reflection, music, and prayer. The dinner and service will be in the Fellowship Hall and will be friendly for folks of all ages.

Upcoming Lenten Study

During Lent, beginning Sunday, March 6 through Sunday, April 10, we will have a worship series based on the book, Questions God Asks Us by Trevor Hudson. If you teach a Sunday School class we would love to have your class join in this book study. As we get closer to Lent, we will have more information to share, including classes pastors will be leading. If you're interested in using the book in your Sunday School class, it is available here.


Food Bank Service Opportunity

Our next Central Texas Food Bank service opportunity is tomorrow, Thursday, February 17 from 9 am to noon. We will be working in the warehouse practicing social distancing and required mask wearing. We have 15 slots available for volunteers. Sign up here. Questions, contact Vicki Matustik at or visit the Connection Station on Sunday mornings.

Recycling Aluminum Cans for Habitat

We started collecting aluminum cans for Austin Habitat from the Shady Hollow and surrounding communities in 2019. Oak Hill UMC was added in December 2020. Approximately each month the collected cans are recycled at CMC Commercial Metals, which pays by check made out to Austin Habitat. As shown below, 1048 pounds of cans were delivered to CMC Commercial Metals in 2021, with $566.82 going to Austin Habitat. You might note that the price of recycled aluminum increased during 2021.

For 2021 the Oak Hill UMC congregation delivered 287 pounds of their aluminum cans and in some cases cans they collect from their neighbors. The amount of cans has been increasing each month. To participate you can leave cans inside the entrance of the Missions building. Use the “old” Church key to open the entrance door. Also inside the entrance you may find a supply of gently used plastic bags for you to take and use.

The photos above show a load of aluminum cans at CMC Commercial Metals, and the cans subsequently loaded on a cart for weighing.

Austin Habitat for Humanity - Aluminum Can Proceeds - 2021 

Date      Pounds    Cents/lb.    Dollars

01/21/21    109          44          $47.95
02/26/21    70            49          $34.30
04/12/21    78            49          $38.22
06/16/21    125          47          $58.75
07/16/21    86            52          $44.72
09/01/21    151          58          $87.58
09/30/21    142          65          $92.30
10/29/21    103          60         $ 61.80
12/15/21    184          55         $101.20
TOTALS    1048                     $566.82

One Service

Don't forget that we have moved to only one Worship time, each Sunday @ 11 AM. Until March 6, there will be no 8:30 service.

Job Opportunities

Oak Hill United Methodist Church is looking to fill four positions.
For full details on the positions and how to apply, please click on the job title.

Organist / Accompanist - helps to lead Oak Hill UMC in its online, and in-person music ministries by supporting the Director of Music Ministries, playing hymns and other service music, and accompanying a variety of groups and soloists.

Office Manager (Part Time) - Support the mission of Oak Hill by performing administrative functions for the church in order to empower the congregation to serve its mission.     

Custodial Position (Part Time - Evenings) - The custodial person will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing, classrooms, restrooms, kitchen and dining room and all other common areas. The ideal candidate for this position is detail-oriented, flexible and willing to take on non-routine cleaning and special task as the need arises.

COVID Precautions Update

Austin-Travis County is at Stage 5 due to the highly transmissible Omicron outbreak. (See

As a Church, we are committed to following the new guidelines to ensure the well-being of our community. We encourage you to discern your personal involvement with in-person activities on church grounds based on the recommendations from our health officials. 

Following the guidance of public health officials:

  • We highly encourage everyone including children over two-years of age to wear a mask on the campus regardless of vaccination status.  

  • We encourage everyone to upgrade to N95 or KN95 masks.  

  • We encourage you to practice social distancing and to be mindful of your proximity to others not in your household. 

  • We encourage those at high risk or who have not yet been fully vaccinated to consider participating online instead of in-person.  

  • All worship leaders, including pastors, musicians, and church staff will wear masks if they are in close proximity to others

  • Everyone working with children and youth will wear masks.

  • We ask that groups not eat together indoors on campus. Meals should be eaten outdoors with appropriate distancing.  
The Responsible Return Team continues to listen public health officials. When conditions improve, we will adjust our guidelines.  

Let’s continue to act in Christian love and compassion for all of God’s children.  

Sunday School Classes

If no building or time is mentioned, classes will meet in the Adult Education Building from 9:45 - 10:35 am each Sunday.

  • Children's Sunday School Gathering - Meet in the Great Room of the Children's Building - In Person - Contact Jennifer Barkis
  • Christian Fellowship - Room 202A - In Person - Contact Alice Wiley
  • Family Faith - Room 201A - In Person - Contact familyfaith
  • Friends in Faith (FIF) - Zoom -  Contact Paul & Diana Nelson
  • Friendship Bible Class - Room 203 - In Person - Will Zoom simultaneously if requested. Contact Chuck Feuerbacher 
  • Open Door -  Room 206 - In Person - Will Zoom simultaneously if requested. Contact Vicki Matustik
  • Regenerates - Room 102 - In Person - Contact Susan Coffman

Zooming & In Person

  • Hillside Ringers - Handbell Choir - Contact Sarah Walton - Meets other Sunday at 4:00 pm
  • Mom2Mom - Book Club - Contact Catharine Corder -  Meets in person in members' backyards and porches every other Thursday at 7:30 pm
  • UMW Book Club - Book Club - Contact Diana Goodloe - In Person - Meets the last Thursday of the month at 10:00 am
  • Wednesday Morning Study Group - Contact Meryl Kettler.
Stephen Ministers care for people facing tough times through confidential, one-to-one Christian care. They provide the emotional and spiritual care needed when someone is faced with a crisis or difficulty such as grief, spiritual needs, health issues, relationship problems, job situations, or other life challenges. If you are in need of someone to share your concerns, or if you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, please email Alana Oehler or call her at 512-289-1988. For more information click on:
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