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A Publication of the Oak Hill United Methodist Church
March 30, 2022


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Worship Service


 8:30 Early Worship
 9:45 Sunday School
11:00 Worship

Everyone is welcome.

Worship with us online at
facebook.com/OakHillUMC
or https://www.oakhillumc.org/live

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

The Pastors' Corner

 
I have received a few questions about The United Methodist Church’s General Conference, so I want to share what is going on.  

General Conference is The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body for all matters. It is composed of elected laypeople and clergy from around the world. The United Methodist Church is the only worldwide denomination that operates as a democracy.  

A few weeks ago, it was announced that General Conference originally scheduled for 2020 has been postponed until 2024. This delay is due to COVID travel restrictions that complicate assembling a global body.  

The postponement of General Conference matters because the denomination needs to address its position on human sexuality. Specifically, it needs to address:
  1. Whether pastors can officiate at the weddings of same-sex couples (currently they cannot);
  2. Whether people who are in the LGBT+ community can be ordained and appointed as pastors (currently they cannot);
  3. Whether and how the denomination should divide over different perspectives on the above issues.  
General Conference was supposed to address these issues in 2020, but it did not meet due to COVID. Since then, some progressive/liberal congregations have left the denomination. This most recent delay has spurred some traditionalist/conservative congregations to plan to launch a new denomination in May 2022 rather than wait until General Conference meets in 2024.  

If you would like more detailed information, watch this video by our Bishop, Robert Schnase, or read this article by our District Superintendent, Laura Merrill.  

I know that many people at Oak Hill are deeply concerned about the denomination’s stance on issues of human sexuality and whether the denomination should divide over these issues. Before COVID, this congregation invested significant energy in developing a welcoming statement that clarifies who God calls this congregation to be.  

In my time at Oak Hill I have visited with hundreds of people about their dreams for this congregation. I’ve met with people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve heard from people who have family and friends who are in the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve talked with people who have a traditionalist understanding of human sexuality. One thing is clear: You want this to be a congregation where all God’s children are welcome. 

You want Oak Hill to be a congregation where people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community find a welcoming spiritual home and can grow as disciples of Christ. You want this church to be a place where every person can experience and grow in their love of God, others, and themselves. In a culture that is highly polarized, you want to live as a community where people with different perspectives (including their understanding of human sexuality) can live together in Christian love. I think you expressed this dream in the vision statement our Church Council adopted last month: A diverse community united beyond our differences by the Love of Christ where everyone is welcome, everyone is connected, everyone is growing, and everyone is serving.  

Let’s embrace this vision. I believe it is inspired and makes God smile. As we live into the vision God has placed on our hearts, this church’s future is bright.  
While our larger denomination is in a period of uncertainty, what should we at Oak Hill do? 
  • Pray for The United Methodist Church. It needs our prayer. If you’re not sure where to start, pray Jesus’ prayer in John 17:6-26 – that we might be one. Pray that in the midst of our divisiveness, God’s will would be done.  
  • Contact our General Conference Delegates and share your perspective. It is currently unclear whether we will elect new delegates for 2024. If we do, run or nominate someone to serve. The United Methodist Church operates as a democracy.  It needs committed, passionate people to serve as delegates! If this is an important issue to you, participate in the process.  
  • Live as the church God calls us to be! We have thousands of people in our immediate community who deeply need what this church has to offer – the Love of God and the Love of this community. Let the Love of Christ shine for all the world to see.  
Blessings,

Stephen



Warehouse Service


Thanks to everyone who served at the Central Texas Food Bank. I think we made a pretty great team as we processed 128 boxes representing 3,600 pounds of donated food/drink items. Our efforts on a foggy, drippy St. Patrick's Day morning netted 3,000 meals for our brothers and sisters in Central Texas. Way to Go! 

Our next opportunity to serve as a team is Tuesday, April 19 beginning at 9 am back in the warehouse. Here's the link to sign up. https://cafb.volunteerhub.com/lp/oakhillumc


The Little Van that Could


The City of Austin and Travis County partnered to offer a Pop Up Clinic of services for people experiencing homelessness. Last Wednesday, the oak Hill UMC van volunteered to transport people to the clinic. Even our van has a servant's heart.


Freeze Night Shelter Returns


On Friday, March 11, the Oak Hill Community Alliance, which includes Oak Hill UMC, hosted a freeze night shelter for our homeless friends and neighbors at Austin Oaks Church (AOC). All were blessed by the generous amount of space at AOC. It had been two years since hosting a shelter at OHUMC, and finally, Covid restrictions were lifted which led to the opening of the shelter at AOC.  

Approximately 30 guests spent the night, served by numerous volunteers from the alliance of churches, as well as the Travis County Constable's Office and The Other One's Foundation. And as always, OHUMC was well represented. The guests received the same excellent services as in the past, including transportation, hot meals, showers, haircuts, and an opportunity to choose from available clothing. Several guests told volunteers that “we missed you!”  While we missed having it on our campus, Austin Oaks’ facilities will allow the Alliance to accommodate 100+ guests in the future.


American Dreamer @ the Listening Room


American Dreamer mixed a bit of blues and gospel into its unique blend of Americana in the third installment of The Listening Room at Oak Hill on Friday, March 25.

The stringed quartet performed before about 70 in the Sanctuary. The band voiced appreciation for the chance to perform to a wonderful crowd in an environment with great acoustics.

The Listening Room will take a break in April due to Easter activities and will likely return in May. Check the Cornerstone for the concert announcement.


A Little Spring Cleaning


A great deal of Thanks to all of the volunteers and staff who spent their Saturday sprucing up the church campus for the Easter observances. They accomplished a great deal during the church’s workday. We had members power washing during the week in preparation for the work day.

Then on Saturday, there were members pulling weeds and planting heat tolerant plants around the Main Building and garden. Another group did repair work on the door and ramp of the Mission Building before moving over to paint the bridge and doors to the Church Office.

A third group worked at the Sanctuary to both clean the interior and relocate items not needed in the Sanctuary and to begin the repair of the lattice work over the Narthex windows on the West wall. And a fourth group consisting of our Boy Scouts cleaned out the small retention pond adjacent to the East parking lot and trimmed around the large retention pond.
 
Although there are repairs, painting, and power washing still to be done, this was a great start to getting ready for Easter.

Youth Sunday School Shopping Trip


Food insecurity is a real problem faced by many people in Austin, and we want to do our part to help feed those we can. So, this Sunday (April 3rd) during Sunday school, the youth are heading next door to HEB to do some shopping to help supply the food pantry at Simpson UMC. If possible, the youth are asked to each bring $20 to help purchase groceries on our shopping trip.


Theology on Tap


Pastor Stephen has been leading two classes during Lent. The studies are based on the same text, "Questions God Asks Us" by Trevor Hudson, and each study is six sessions long. Theology on Tap will be held at the Waterloo Ice House on Sunday evenings at 5:15. A Zoom version will meet on Thursdays at noon. Please contact Pam for the Zoom link. Here's the group at Waterloo.


Teach Children's Sunday School


Our goal for Children's Sunday School is to share our faith story while providing an experience that is both positive and fun. We are looking for teachers to help in two age levels at 9:45 am in the Children’s Building. For more information contact childrenmin@oakhillumc.org

UMW Book Club March Selection

 
Our March selection from the United Methodist Women’s Reading Program (UMW) is Falling Into Place: A Memoir of Overcoming by Hattie Kauffman. Our meeting will be on Thursday morning, March 31, at 10:00. We will either meet in person in the Adult Education Building Room 101 and/or via Zoom. 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 dianagoodloe@gmail.com

Pasta Supper Club


The chili dinner we delivered to the residents of the Garden Terrace apartments last month was a huge hit! The recipients of our sack meals really enjoyed being able to reheat a homemade meal in their apartment microwave. Thank you to everyone who contributed!

This month we would love to be able to bring the residents a homemade pasta dish they can reheat and eat in their apartments.

You can drop off your donations in the Missions Building Monday April 4 - Wednesday April 6. Please click here to Signup for opportunities to contribute.

Women of Valor


Join Women of Valor on Thursday, April 7th (7:30-9:30) to discuss The Next Right Thing, by Emily Freeman. 

"If you have trouble making decisions, because of either chronic hesitation or a more recent onset of decision fatigue, Emily P. Freeman offers a fresh way of practicing familiar but often forgotten advice: simply do the next right thing. With this simple, soulful practice, it is possible to clear the decision-making chaos, quiet the fear of choosing wrong, and find the courage to finally decide without regret or second-guessing. Whether you're in the midst of a major life transition or are weary of the low-grade anxiety that daily life can bring, Emily helps create space for your soul to breathe so you can live life with God at a gentle pace and discern your next right thing in love." 


Women of Valor meets every other Thursday (7:30-9:30) in each other's homes and back porches.  Email us to find out where we're meeting next: womenofvalor@oakhillumc.org


Casseroles for Esperanza


It's time again for casseroles at Esperanza! Let's continue to offer love and support to the folks experiencing homelessness who reside at the Esperanza Community. As their lives continue to transform and the construction continues to provide better and more secure shelter for them, we at Oak Hill UMC have another opportunity to warm their souls and share our love through a hot meal, healthy and home-made by you. Click here to sign up.

We recently cleaned out the pantry at our Kitchen and have re-positioned those items into the Kitchen in the Mission Building where they can be put to use by our creative chefs; please check it out!

Mary Martha Luncheon


The Mary Martha Circle will meet April 11 in the Fellowship Hall from 11:00-1:00 for a luncheon and program. Please bring a salad or a desert and be ready for good fellowship!


Easter is in Bloom

You can purchase a beautiful lily to be displayed in the Sanctuary in honor or memory of a loved one during Holy Week services. Click here for more information and to download the order form.

Easter's On Its Way!


Holy Week


Be on the lookout for an email coming your way soon with all the details about Holy Week at Oak Hill. We hope you can join us throughout this special week. Be sure to pick up some invites for your friends in the lobby (Narthex) of the Sanctuary.


Senior Recognition


Calling all High School Seniors!  Senior Recognition Sunday is May 1st and we want to make sure you're included in our celebration! Email Ryan Jenson (ryan@oakhillumc.org) to get in on the party!


Seeking Volunteers for VBS


Vacation Bible School 2022 will be July 11-15. We need volunteers! Please contact Karla Anderson-Sarmiento. karla.a.sarmiento@gmail.com.


RADA Cutlery for UMW


Thank you for supporting Oak Hill United Methodist Women. By clicking here when you shop, you’ll be purchasing high-quality Made in USA products, while helping our group raise money for our missions. And, with over 100 products priced under $15 you're bound to find something you just can't live without. Your support is always appreciated!

COVID Update


Austin-Travis County is at Stage 2 for Covid Community Risk.

The CDC has issued a new metric, Community Levels, for developing risk-based guidance. Travis County is currently in the lowest Community Level. With these updates, there are changes to mask guidance for our area.

In counties with a low transmission rate, wearing a mask is optional based on a person’s comfort level, preference, and level of risk. In response to the change in recommendations from local and national health professionals Oak Hill is now mask optional.

Let’s continue to act in Christian love and compassion for all of God’s children, being considerate and extending compassion to people who may have different levels of comfort with this change.

The Responsible Return Team continues to listen to public health officials. If conditions change, we will adjust our guidelines.  

Job Opportunities


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

Pianist / 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.

Sunday School Classes

Classes will meet in the Adult Education Building from 9:45 - 10:45 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
  • Youth Sunday School - Youth Couch Room - In Person - Contact Ryan Jenson

Zooming & In Person

  • Hillside Ringers - Handbell Choir - Contact Sarah Walton - Meets other Sunday at 4:00 pm
  • Women of Valor - Book Club - Contact womenofvalor@oakhillumc.org - 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:
www.oakhillumc.org/stephen-ministry
 
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