A Publication of the Oak Hill United Methodist Church
March 2, 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

The 11:00 service is livestreamed.
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The Pastors' Corner

I haven’t heard it sung since I was a kid, myself, so I don’t even know if this little rhyme is something my children are familiar with; but as I got to thinking yesterday about Ash Wednesday, my thoughts turned to the familiar words of “Ring Around the Rosie.” As I did a little investigating around the history of this rhyme, I found there are many different versions of the children’s song. But the words that I grew up with went like this:

“Ring around the rosie.
A pocket full of posies.
Ashes, ashes.
We all fall down.”

At face value, the words just seem like a bunch of gibberish. But one explanation that was offered as to the rhyme’s origins dates back to the Black Death, the bubonic plague that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages. Those claiming the connection say that the first line alludes to one of the symptoms of the plague—a reddish-purple, ring-like rash. They also say that it was fairly common for people to carry flowers, incense, or perfumed oils around with them in an attempt to ward off the disease. And then the last two lines reference the cremation of the bodies of those who died, and the fact that most people who contracted the plague died.

Whether there’s any truth to the explanation or not, however, is not what caused the rhyme to plant itself in my thoughts. Rather, the last two lines remind me of the ancient practice of wearing sackcloth and ashes as a sign of penitence for wrongs committed, and of the fact that we ALL fall down. As Paul writes in Romans chapter three, “all…are under the power of sin…There is no one who is righteous, not even one…All have turned aside.”

On Ash Wednesday we remember our own sin, personal and collective, that separates us from God. We enter into a space of self-examination and repentance as we humbly seek God’s forgiveness for all the ways we have turned away from God. And as we begin our journey through Lent, we seek to prepare ourselves for the weight of Christ’s death that looms before us, but also for the hope and the joy that will soon follow with the resurrection.

“Ashes, ashes. We all fall down.” But, thankfully that is not the end of our story. With Christ’s help, we can all get back up again, too.

In God’s peace,
Pastor Ryan

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Soup Supper & Worship - 6:00
Join us for a simple soup supper 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 or courtyard and will be friendly for folks of all ages.

COVID Update

We are excited things are finally looking up. This week Austin-Travis County moved down from Stage 5 to Stage 3 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.  

Back to Two Services!

Don't forget that we will return to our two service schedule beginning March 6. There will once again be 8:30 and 11:00 AM services. The 11 AM service will be livestreamed. The 8:30 service will provide weekly communion. Please join us for whichever service meets your needs.

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.

Next Prayer Walk March 5

Prayer Walk is set for this 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. Sign up here to let us know you’re coming or just show up!

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 at COVID Risk Stage 4, Oak Hill United Methodist Church walk participants will meet at the playground at Circle C Metropolitan Park this Sunday, 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

We're wrapping up our Penny War this Sunday, so if you want a chance to help sway the results between the Guys and the Girls while also helping us fight world hunger, be sure to get your contributions added to the jugs before it's too late!  Right now the girls have the lead, but that can change quickly!

Remember, paper money counts in favor (place that in your team's jug), and coins count against (place those in the opposing team's jug). And every dollar and cent counts, so look for the jugs this week in the narthex on your way in or out of worship!

Food Bank Service

Hello friends,

Thank you so much to those who served at the Central Texas Food Bank on February 17. Wow! What an amazing group you were! Of the approximately 25 people serving on our shift, 17 of you came with Oak Hill UMC. Way to go! And, we were very productive, processing 2400 pounds of food that represents 2000 meals. It looks like we had a pretty good time. 

Mark your calendars. Our next opportunity to serve will be 9 am to noon, Thursday, March 17 - yes, it's St. Patrick's Day. I can't think of any better way to celebrate the Irish spirit than hanging out with some of you at the food bank. Here's the link to sign up.

Vicki Matustik

Upcoming Lenten Study

During Lent, beginning this 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.


Theology on Tap

Pastor Stephen will be leading two classes during Lent. The studies will be based on the same text, "Questions God Asks Us" by Trevor Hudson, and each study will be six sessions long.Theology on Tap will be held at the Waterloo Ice House on Sunday evenings at 5:15 from March 6 to April 10. A Zoom version will meet on Thursdays at noon from March 3 to April 7. Please contact Pam for the Zoom link.

The Listening Room 

The Listening Room at Oak Hill welcomed singer/songwriter Walt Wilkins for its Feb. 25 concert. Approximately 75 people attended the event which included Wilkins and his band as well as Claudie Gibson opening. It was a great evening of music and fellowship.  
Of those attending, more than 50 were making their first visit to our church, so the series is also a great way to invite people onto our church. The next edition of The Listening Room at Oak Hill is scheduled for Friday, March 25 featuring American Dreamers

Want to be part of the welcoming team? For information or to sign up for information concerning future concerts, contact Vicki Matustik at

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

Women of Valor

We have a new name! Mom2mom is now Women of Valor, taken from the 31st chapter of Proverbs, which begins, “Who can find an eshet chayil” or woman of valor? In the Jewish tradition, this proverb is regularly sung to women in praise of their accomplishments and all the good they contribute to their families and community. It reminds us of the holiness of everyday tasks, and we were inspired to continue a tradition that lifts up each other and the women in our lives.

Women of Valor is a women’s book group. We meet every other Thursdays at 7:30 PM in each other's homes/porches. Please contact us at and join our Facebook group: Women of Valor, formerly known as Mom2Mom. While a book group on the surface, we mostly enjoy the conversations that flow from the books. Our Thursday nights are the park benches and breathing room we all need to simply be with God and each other. Women of Valor affirms that all people are beloved children of God, and welcomes women of every age, background, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, and family configuration.

So we would like to offer a hearty Eshet Chayil to all the women of Oak Hill in honor of the good gifts and courageous love you offer to our Oak Hill UMC family--we'd love for you to join us at our next book talk or social get-together!

A Huge Thank You to the UMW

This past Sunday, the ladies of the UMW treated our high schoolers to an awesome hands-on baking lesson, teaching our youth how to bake some delicious cookies! We had a ton of fun, and we're looking forward to having the same opportunity again this week for our 6th & 7th graders! Thank you so much for sharing your time with us.

Church Work Day on March 26

To prepare the church facilities for the upcoming Easter services, a Work Day has been scheduled for March 26 from 9 AM to 3 PM with a light lunch at noon. Since this is the first Work Day we have been able to have due to the pandemic, a longer workday is needed to complete the preparations for Easter.
Work projects will focus on the Sanctuary, the Main Building and the Mission Building. Sign up sheets and a Sign Up Genius will be available listing the projects we are focusing on for the 26th.
See you there!
     Board of Trustees

Easter is on its Way!

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. Your support is appreciated!

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. 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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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

Zooming & In Person

  • Hillside Ringers - Handbell Choir - Contact Sarah Walton - Meets other Sunday at 4:00 pm
  • Women of Valor - Book Club - Contact - 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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