December 13, 2022
Dear Presbytery Family,

We greet you today with joy in this Advent season! This edition of Staying Connected highlights new ministry opportunities and upcoming events.
Advent Reflection
When the angel Gabriel appears to Mary to tell her that she will give birth to the Savior, her response was, "Here I am, a servant. Let it be to me according to your word."

When I stop and think about it, this is a breathtaking response.

In his book, The Jesus Way, Eugene Peterson writes, "I am going to make a huge guess right here: I am guessing that this prayer was not only formative for Mary, but also formative for Jesus. As Mary taught Jesus to pray, she very likely taught him this prayer […] The formative effect of this prayer on Jesus […] is confirmed by the nearly identical prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane on the eve of his death: 'Not my will but your will be done.'"

Not my will, but thy will. Here I am your servant. Let it be with me according to your will.

Rev. Joe Albright
Geneva Presbyterian Church
More New Church Positions Posted
We have just posted the Transitional Pastor position for Orange Park Presbyterian Church and a Parish Associate position at Riverside. But that’s not all! Check out the many ministry opportunities throughout our presbytery here.
Share Your Events
We would be happy to publish your event in the coming weeks! Email with the dates and details.
News From Montgomery Center
Christmas Poinsettias
Poinsettias, for the Christmas season, are on sale now! Each poinsettia is $10. To place your order, please send an email to Poinsettias can be picked up at Camp Montgomery.

Summer Camp Registration - Register Online
Registration for 2023 Summer Camp is now live! This year, they are introducing a new Wilderness Camp, so this is sure to be a summer to remember. Receive an Early Bird discount when you register by January 5.
Now Hiring!
Montgomery is looking for young adults who love kids, the outdoors and Jesus to become a part of their Camp staff for summer 2023. The following positions will be needed: Overnight Camp Counselors, Day Camp Counselors, Nurses, Lifeguards, Archery Instructors, Spiritual Leaders and more! Training will be provided. Those interested will need to complete this Google Form.
Camp Gift Certificates
Give the gift of Summer Camp to a child this Christmas! Gift Certificates for Summer Camp at Montgomery are now available for purchase. Contact to order.
Gala Is A Roaring Good Time
Another Montgomery Gala Fundraiser is in the books! Thank you to all who supported this event with your time and talents.
December Events Postponed
Montgomery has decided to postpone the Spaghetti Dinner and Elf Run 5K. Everyone's schedules are packed right before the holidays. The Spaghetti Dinner's new date is February 12. Stay tuned for the new 5K date.
More News From Around The Presbytery
Presbytery Giving Update
To date, 22 of our 53 churches have pledged their support toward our 2023 operating budget. Pledges have increased 15% over 2022. If your church hasn’t yet pledged, please do so as soon as possible. Thank you for your commitment to support the mission and ministries of your presbytery.
Christmas Joy Offering
With gratitude for their continued and generous participation, we celebrate the following congregations who have given to the Christmas Joy Offering for at least 20 years!

Arlington Presbyterian Church
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church of Alachua
Marion Oaks Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church of Lake City
Countryside Presbyterian Church
Riverside Presbyterian Church
Memorial Presbyterian Church
Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church
Palms Presbyterian Church

It's not too late to give! This year’s information and materials for the Christmas Joy Offering can be found here.
Read about the impact of the Christmas Joy offering here.
Updates from the Presbyterian Women
From PW Moderator Daryl Mullee
  • Save the Date: The Annual Gathering - Saturday, January 28, 2023, at Montgomery which will be hosted by Riverside's PW. Click here to register online.
  • New Moderator needed: Daryl will not be serving following the Annual Gathering.
Lake Shore Church Update
With great respect and heartfelt gratitude for the congregation and its history of mission and ministry, the administrative commission appointed earlier this year shares that the church has begun the steps of closing. On January 15, 2023, the presbytery will hold a Service of Thanksgiving to which all are invited. Please keep the members of Lake Shore and the community that it has loved and served in your prayers.
A Year with Matthew for a Matthew 25 Church: 2022–2023
This resource prepared by the Office of Theology and Worship connects the Gospel readings from Revised Common Lectionary Year A with the Matthew 25 invitation’s priorities. Check it out here.
Presbyterian Giving Catalog
For eight years, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog has offered a variety of gifts that provide help and relief to families and communities in need, including aid for refugees, access to clean water and ways to end hunger. For more information and to access the catalog, click here.
Gillette Advent Collection Book
This new resource contains old and new hymns by the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.
Short Video on the “Holiday Blues”
We found this short video about managing the “holiday blues” and our expectations for the season insightful and helpful. Watch it alone or with a friend or group.
Year End Gifts Materials from Presbyterian Foundation
This page links to a webinar, bulletin inserts, slides, and year end tax information.
PC(USA) 2023-24 Scholarship Applications Open!
In 2022, 147 students were awarded a total of $665,000 under this needs based program. Do you know someone who should apply in 2023? The opportunities and requirements are explained in this PC(USA) news story
Conferences and Learning Opportunities
2023 APCE Conference
January 25-28, 2023 The Association for Partners in Christian Education's Annual Event. Check it out!

Flagler College Youth Ministry Forum - February 10-11, 2023
Registration is OPEN. View it here.

Association of Smaller Congregations Annual Conference
March 2-5, 2023 Epworth by the Sea. View registration information here.
226th General Assembly (2024)
will be held in Salt Lake City. The dates are June 25-27 for the virtual committee meetings and June 30 to July 4 for the plenary sessions. Read more here.
Key Events
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • January 15, 2023 – Lake Shore Service of Thanksgiving
  • January 28, 2023 – PW Annual Gathering at Montgomery Center
  • January 25-28, 2023 – APCE Annual Event, Birmingham, AL
  • January 28, 2023 – PW Annual Gathering at Montgomery Center
  • February 4 – Winter Stated Presbytery Meeting, Montgomery Center, 9:30 a.m.
  • February 12 Montgomery Spaghetti Dinner, 6:00 p.m.
  • March 2-5, 2023 – Association of Smaller Congregations Annual Conference, Epworth by the Sea
  • May 2 Spring Stated Presbytery Meeting (hybrid) at Riverside
Jerie Lukefahr, Moderator of the Presbytery
Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk
Joe Albright, Chair of Coordinating Council
On Behalf of the Coordinating Council
Previous Staying Connected emails are available on our website.