City of Oxford and Miami University
The City of Oxford, founded in 1810, covers approximately seven square miles in the northwest corner of Butler County, in Southwestern Ohio. The cities of Cincinnati and Dayton are within an hour’s drive. Oxford is the home of Miami University, chartered by the state of Ohio, in 1809. Eighty-eight percent of the population of approximately 22,000 residents lists their race as White/Caucasian.
Oxford has a Community Arts Center, city parks and recreational facilities, a new public library building, a local hospital, a weekly farmers’ market, and a summer music series. Just outside of the city are Hueston Woods State Park and The Knolls of Oxford, a continuous care retirement community. About 3,000 students attend five schools in the Talawanda School District that serves Oxford and the surrounding rural townships. McGuffey Montessori School is a privately run preschool through eighth grade institution located in the city. Ninety percent of the citizens over the age of twenty-five have at least a high school diploma, over half of the population have a bachelor’s degree, and about a third have graduate or professional degrees. Oxford area churches and houses of worship include Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Jewish, AME, Baptists, Catholics, Quakers, Unitarians, Mormons, and some evangelical congregations. A local Ministerial Association meets on a regular basis. The average selling price for a home in the last year was $171,000. Most residents choose to live one or more miles out of town in the suburban neighborhoods or rural countryside.
Miami University has more than 16,000 students as of the 2015-16 academic year and is the major employer. The University contributes to the quality of life with a first class recreational sports facility, art museum, lecture and concert series, major intercollegiate sports events, and an Institute for Learning in Retirement. Student faith groups include those for Muslims and Hindus, as well as Campus Crusade for Christ, and the interdenominational Campus Ministry Center.
Holy Trinity Church Building
Holy Trinity Church is located about two blocks from the center of Oxford’s Uptown area and about four blocks from the Miami University campus. The current church building was constructed in 1952. Problems with asbestos discovered in a minor construction project in 2001 led to a major restoration and remodeling. The bell tower was also added in 2001. The new Community Wing, completed in 2015, contains two meeting rooms, two children’s classrooms, and the Rector’s and Communication Director’s offices.
Profile of the Holy Trinity Congregation
The most recent parochial report recorded 243 active baptized members, 197 communicants in good standing, and 7 communicants under age 16. Average Sunday attendance was 85. Easter Sunday attendance was 246.
The number of pledging units has remained almost constant for several years. $213,324 was pledged by 66 units in 2014. Total operating revenues for 2014 were $273,400. Operating expenses were $280,900.
1. The brief history of Holy Trinity Church included in our web pages illuminates the character of our congregation. Guided by the Holy Spirit and inspired to truly see God in all people, the parishioners who populate our pews on most Sunday mornings have given generously of their time, talents, and treasures to serve our mission. Their contributions have been exhaustive: they have sung or played in our first rate music programs, they have taught our children in Church School or led Adult Forum, they have given unselfishly to pastoral care and they have led major outreach efforts that have positioned Holy Trinity at the forefront of social justice causes in our broader community. And with these longstanding exhaustive involvements, our core congregation is exhausted. Our demographic profile, like that of many other churches today, reveals a median age of our parishioners in their late sixties. However, there is no less enthusiasm for our mission today than at other times in our congregation’s history. Parishioners are proud of our history and very ambitious for the future of Holy Trinity, witness the enthusiasm for our new Community Wing. But there is a profound feeling of “it’s someone else’s turn” when it comes time to find volunteers for our many parish programs and initiatives. And the needed number of “someone else’s” just is not there.
2. A well-deserved pride in what we have done well and still do well as a congregation brings an almost reflexive desire to continue doing the same—not pruning any commitments and, thus, not having much openness to envisioning a future where things might be done differently. Continuing unchanged may not allow the growth of the congregation that we desire.