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This would be one of those times when copy-n-paste wasn't my friend and the forest got lost while looking at the trees . . . Sorry for the additional email in your inbox tonight!

And, yes, the November Presbytery meeting is on NOVEMBER 12, not August 27. (Thank you, Kris Marone, for letting me know -- the rest of you don't have to now! 😉)
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Our Mission:
To identify and strengthen leaders 
so that every congregation
makes new and mature disciples for Jesus Christ.
The Presbytery of Tampa Bay has committed itself to being a Matthew 25 Presbytery, putting intentional effort into each of the three focus areas of the Matthew 25 Invitation:

  • Building congregational vitality by challenging congregations and their members to deepen and energize their faith and grow as joyful leaders and disciples actively engaged with their community, seeing new disciples engaged in ministry and longstanding believers develop in faith as the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared in word and deed.

  • Dismantling structural racism by fearlessly applying our faith to advocate and break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.

  • Eradicating systemic poverty by acting on our beliefs and working to change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.

How is your church putting intentional effort into one or more of these areas? How might you do so? Send your ideas and updates to info@pbty.com with "Matthew 25" in the subject line.
Two weeks until our next meeting!
Here are some reminders and updates on the meeting AND some news of other things, too
At 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 12, the Presbytery of Tampa Bay will be holding a meeting online using Zoom video conferencing for participants --- and a livestream on YouTube for guests and observers. 

Among other items, the meeting will include:
  • Election and installation of moderator and vice-moderator of the Presbytery. Rev. Bobby Musengwa, Pastor of Maximo Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg will be nominated for moderator, and Ruling Elder Sally Speer of Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church in Tampa will be nominated for vice moderator.
  • Our special guest preacher is the Rt. Rev. Prof. Maake J. Masango, MTS, MA, ThD, Emeritus Professor of Theology, University of Pretoria --- and he is Bobby Musengwa's uncle, too!
  • We'll be recognizing at least one minister's retirement, hearing updates from ministry partners, and more.

Maximo Presbyterian Church will be our "host church" and most of the worship service will be led from there as we gather online from across the presbytery..
  • We will start the meeting promptly at 8:30 a.m.
  • Our online meeting "room" will open for participants for sign-in no later than 8:00 a.m.
  • Visitors, guests, and others who want to observe the meeting will be able to watch on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Pky9kVyEVTM.

All of our ministers and clerks should now have seen an email for them on how to register themselves and/or elder commissioners from their churches. If you are one of those and haven't seen my earlier email, please contact me ASAP.

  • If you expect to participate in the meeting as a ruling elder commissioner elected by your session to attend the meeting on behalf of your church and haven't been given the Zoom registration information, please contact your pastor, clerk of session, or me right away.

  • If you are a pastor/moderator or a clerk of session and have NOT yet sent the name(s) and contact info for your elder commissioner(s) to Ann Marie at office@pbty.com, please do so ASAP (or send me an email to let me know when you expect to be able to tell us). NOTE: This is an extra step; commissioners still need to use the online registration using the links in my earlier emails to complete their registration for the meeting.

In August, the Presbytery of Tampa Bay adopted "Special Rules of Order and Standing Rules for Electronic Meetings of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay," and we'll be using them again for this meeting. This includes limiting registration and participation in the Zoom meeting environment to those with privilege of the floor.

  • If you have any questions about who should and shouldn't register for the Zoom meeting, please reach out to me ASAP.

  • If you're in one of the following categories and did NOT get the email (either directly from me or forwarded from someone else) about registering to participate in the meeting, please get in touch with me right away:
  • Ruling Elder member of this presbytery's Permanent Judicial Commission
  • Ruling Elder former Moderator of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay
  • Ruling Elder Commissioner to 224th GA (2020)
  • Ruling Elder Certified Christian Educator
  • Commissioned Pastor currently serving a church
  • Non-Ruling Elder Certified Christian Educator in educational ministry
  • Corresponding Member (generally a minister member of another presbytery)

We will offer online training (both live and by video) for new participants; look for more details on that below.

Key dates:
  1. Thursday, October 29, WAS the regular, two-weeks-before-the-meeting deadline for sending reports and other information for the presbytery packet to me at statedclerk@pbty.com.
  2. Thursday, November 5, is when we'll distribute the Presbytery packet via email and on the website.
  3. Thursday, November 12, at 8:30 a.m. is when we'll call the November Stated Meeting to order.

And now . . . on to the rest of the news! Keep scrolling --- and be sure to look for how you can order many of Cedarkirk's favorite baked goods for pickup on Sunday afternoons in November!



Rev. William A. Wildhack III
Stated Clerk and Manager of Communications
(813) 868-4800, opt. 2

+ + +
My work---and this newsletter---is supported by per capita funds from congregations in the Presbytery of Tampa Bay, which also help unite all Presbyterians in sharing God’s love through mission and ministry. Thank you!
Orientation to Zoom and our Presbytery meeting
Minister members and Ruling Elder Commissioners should look for a separate email with more details on participating in our November 12 meeting shortly!
August 27 2020 PTB meeting screenshot
In the meantime, anyone who will be participating in the meeting as a minister member of the Presbytery, a ruling elder commissioner from a congregation, or in any other role with privilege of the floor, should update the Zoom client on their computer, tablet, and/or smartphone. Click here for tips (and a video) from Zoom on how to do that.

We strongly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for the meeting because of how we will use Zoom's features (they all work on tablets and smartphones, but they're easier on Zoom).

Visitors, guests, and others who want to observe the meeting will be able to watch on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Pky9kVyEVTM, so you don't need to worry about Zoom this time!
Jill Duffield, Editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, reflects on All Saints' Day
Jill Duffield has been the editor of The Presbyterian Outlook for a while now and spoke at a presbytery meeting here a few years ago. She is wrapping up her time in her current position and leaving soon for a new ministry. With All Saints' Day on Sunday, November 1st, this editorial published on the web this week speaks to how especially important this day feels to many this year. From the link below:

Perhaps the loss of so many lives to the coronavirus makes remembering those who entered the Church Triumphant particularly meaningful. Maybe I want a robust All Saints’ Day because so many memorial services and funerals could not take place in the full ways those departed children of God deserved and we needed. I know I need space to both mourn and rejoice with abandon, lamenting death but also celebrating the gift of life. All of these yearnings surface this year, but what I long for the most is a sense of perspective, a reminder of the long arc of history, the witness of people who came before me and kept the faith even under extraordinary circumstances. I need to hear the stories of disciples who weathered storms, made mistakes, took risks, failed or succeeded, but in all of it attempted to run the course set before them.
For all the saints

All Saints' Day feels especially important this year. Perhaps the loss of so many lives to the coronavirus makes remembering those who entered the Church Triumphant particularly meaningful. Maybe I want a robust All Saints' Day because so many...

Read more
In Memoriam
"For all the saints, who from their labors rest . . ."
Thinking about All Saints' Day this Sunday and reading Jill Duffield's reflection on it in the last block of this eNews reminded me of other losses and memorial services and funerals that we've missed while unable to gather to celebrate the life of someone close to us while also mourning their loss.

Early each year, the Presbytery of Tampa Bay gathers the names of Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ruling Elders in our presbytery who have died in the previous year and reads them aloud in memoriam during worship in our first presbytery meeting of the year.

Jill's column and that thought was also a reminder that, in this time of pandemic disruption and distraction from the ordinary course of life, we failed to pass along earlier word of four ministers whose time with us on earth has ended this year.

O God, you have designed this world, and know all things good for us. Give us such faith that, by day and by night, in all times and in all places, we may without fear entrust those who are dear to us to your never-failing love, in this life and in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Willard Nelson "Buddy" Doyle
February 22, 1944 - March 09, 2020

From his obituary:

Willard Nelson “Buddy” Doyle, 76, of Morning Pointe of Greeneville, passed away Monday, March 9.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years: Frances Griswold Doyle; two daughters: Amanda Frances Doyle of Houston, Texas, and Rebekah Janice Doyle (Manuel) Quizhpe; four grandchildren: Jonathan Quizhpe, Alexandria Quizhpe, Juan Carlos Quizhpe and Sandra Elizabeth Quizhpe; three nieces; and special friends: Dr. Robert Wild, Vern McCarty and Charles Bagley. He had a passion to give pastoral care and teaching of the Bible. He was a Presbyterian Minister from 1969-2018, and was a Parrish Associate at First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin, Florida, until 2018.
James Sankey Clinefelter
April 14, 1930 - June 27, 2020

Reverend James (Jim) Sankey Clinefelter, 90, of St Petersburg, Florida, passed away on June 27, 2020 at Westminster Suncoast.

Jim was born on April 14, 1930 in New Castle, PA to Frank and Mabel Clinefelter. He had just one sibling, his sister Miriam Magill who preceded him in death.

Jim is survived by his wife of 67 years, Verlee Jones Clinefelter, and their 4 children: Candace Bowman (Corcoran, MN), Steve Clinefelter (Fallbrook, CA), Dave Clinefelter (Henderson, NV) and John Clinefelter (Ames, IA). Jim is also survived by 4 grandchildren, Jennifer (Bowman) Shadewald (Elk River, MN), Alison Bowman (Maple Grove, MN), Daniel Clinefelter (Anchorage, AK) and Rachel Clinefelter (La Jolla, CA), and 2 great grandchildren, Estella and Bodhi Schadewald.

A Celebration of Life for Jim will be announced once the COVID-19 crisis has passed. In lieu of flowers
the family would suggest contributions to Lighthouse of Pinellas for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Robert J. Walker
July 12, 2020

From his obituary:

Rev. Dr. Robert J. Walker was born in Pittsburgh, PA., the son of William R. and Helen Louise Walker. He was graduated from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, and then was graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He was a pastor in two churches in the Pittsburgh area from 1956 to 1965. He then served as Associate Pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Largo, FL. from 1965 to 1977. He served as pastor at the Presbyterian Church in the Highlands in Lakeland, FL from 1977 to 1984. He became the Organizing Pastor, then the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Port St. Lucie, FL. from 1985 to 1993. While he was there, he earned his Doctorate of Ministry degree from his seminary. He retired with the honorary title of Pastor Emeritus.

Left to cherish Bob's memory are his wife Alyce, and his children: Richard T. Walker (Janet), John W. Walker, Stephen P. Walker (Kim), Susan Walker Overstreet (Chip), Sylvia Paul, John R. Penty, and Stephen J. Penty. His grandchildren are: Dr. Erin Walker, Nicholas Walker, Ian Walker, Emily Overstreet, Luke Overstreet, Alyssa Paul, Matthew Paul, Madison Penty, and Olivia Penty.
Del R. Poling
1930 - 2020

From his obituary:

Del R. Poling, 90, a longtime resident of St. Petersburg, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 1, 2020. He was the beloved husband of Janet E. Poling with whom he shared 68 years of marriage. He was born in Maryland, the son of Renus and Armeda Poling. Del was a graduate of Sparrows Point High School, and continued his education later graduating from Maryville College, TN. There he met his bride, Janet, and embarked completing training at Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, then continuing on a career as a Presbyterian minister, and trained counseling therapist. Del was mentored by several premier and pioneering therapists, and became a lifelong trainer himself, helping people solve problems, develop their gifts and potential. Change was not a negative word to Del, and he pursued change with great creativity and vigor. Del was a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg.
COVID-19 Information
The Commission on Church Vitality is honored to extend their COVID-related block grants through the end of the year. Grants are available for up to $5,000 a month and renewable each month via this Google form.

Each ministry in the Presbytery is eligible for up to $30,000 of total grant support. If you have questions about the process (or trouble accessing the form), please reach out to Libby Shannon, Assoc. Presbyter for Emerging Ministries, at libby@pbty.com.
There's information and more resources on our COVID-19 webpage

Check it out by clicking here: COVID-19 Resources webpage.

We also post updates from time to time on our Facebook page -- and you don't even need a Facebook account to view it (though Facebook will nag you to create one, it's not necessary to see our posts).

When your church or ministry changes --- or If it has already changed --- your in-person and online worship and other plans, please send a note to info@pbty.com so we can update our list of online worship opportunities on the Presbytery's webpage and on Facebook.
ICYMI: Election Day is November 3
The Presbyterian Voting Campaign offers background, a schedule of events, and resources for voter education and advocacy, along with help for questions specific to nonprofit organizations -- like churches -- with a 501(c)(3) status. From the link:

Both Jesus and John Calvin placed a significant emphasis on the role of justice advocacy as central to our faith. Participation in the electoral process is a part of our responsibility as people of faith. We are called to vote our faith convictions at the polls. These convictions are grounded on principles of faith commitment and a larger view of building both global and local communities that are sustainable through sharing the resources of God. Jesus’ call to faithful community building through the inclusion of all people and our denominational commitment to voter participation and justice are at the center of this campaign.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to taking a continued stand for equity and equality for all God's people. Seeking to be a faithful witness to the need to continue to stand and bear witness in issues of justice, the Presbyterian...

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A reminder from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in 1797
From Stated Clerk Bill Wildhack:

As the nation and world watches our national, state, and local elections next week, two common phrases in the news will be "majority rule" and "the will of the people." This political season has reminded me again that decisions made by Presbyterian church leaders are supposed to be based on more than just those two things --- and we have said so consistently since 1797.

Our Principles of Presbyterian Government (in the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity section of the Book of Order), are derived from and intended to restate Historic Principles of Church Government, first adopted in 1797 -- not long after the U.S. Constitution went into effect in 1789 and the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791.

Two of our Principles place one additional condition on top of --- and arguably more important than --- either the "will of the people" and "majority rule" for decisions made by presbyters (ruling elders and ministers) meeting in sessions, presbyteries, synods, and the general assembly. Take a look:

  • F-3.0204 Seek and Represent the Will of Christ: Presbyters are not simply to reflect the will of the people, but rather to seek together to find and represent the will of Christ.

  • F-3.0205 Decision by Majority Vote: Decisions shall be reached in councils by vote, following opportunity for discussion and discernment, and a majority shall govern.

Taken together, these remind us that decision-making in the church is a little different from popular understandings of representative democracy, because instead of merely representing the will of those who elected them, ruling elders and ministers are required to "seek together to find and represent the will of Christ" --- and sometimes as they discern together they discover that the will of Christ for their congregation is different from the will of some, many, or even most of the people. It's a hard place to find yourself as a leader, but it sometimes flows from our promise at ordination to "fulfill [our] ministry in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions." (W-4.0404d.)

By the way, don't jump too quickly to the final phrase that "a majority shall govern." That conclusion comes after discernment, after discussion, and after seeking together to find and represent the will of Christ. It's the other bookend to "not simply the will of the people."

Click on the Book of Order link above (or on the book!) to read more of and about our Principles of Order and Government within the church on pages 11-15 of the Book of Order (pages 47-51 of the PDF)


Thanksgiving Interfaith Celebration for Refugees
Welcome Refugees with a Thanksgiving Card
Two of our presbytery's ministers, Sally Campbell-Evans and Will Wellman, are part of an interfaith team that has organized a Thanksgiving Interfaith Celebration for Refugees in Tampa for the last two years. They write today:

Tampa has been welcoming refugees for many years and for the previous two years, a Thanksgiving Interfaith Celebration for Refugees has been offered in our community.

Since Thanksgiving is the one holiday we can all enjoy regardless of one’s particular faith background and since we are grateful for the religious freedoms we enjoy in the U.S., Christians, Muslims and Jews have joined together to celebrate this season and these new neighbors.

This year, however, we cannot gather in person due to COVID-19, but we do want to welcome the 100+ refugees (from Congo, Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia and more) who have moved to Hillsborough County since last December. So, we are giving them a $20 gift card to Walmart and having children and youth from across the county decorate Thanksgiving cards.

If you or members of your church family would like to decorate a Thanksgiving card to welcome some of our newest neighbors, please do so and send them to:

Janet Blair
4664 30th Ave North
St Petersburg, FL 33713

We would like to receive the cards by November 13th. Thank you!

The the attached flyer should help explain this event even more. Hope you’ll join us.

Grace and peace,
Sally Campbell-Evans and Will Wellman
Interfaith Thanksgiving Flyer
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If you see that in a browser, please scroll back to the top and click on "Click here view this email as a Webpage."
Cedarkirk is having a FALL BAKE SALE!!!
Acting Executive Director Matt Shick writes:

Since most of you won’t be joining us for a retreat this fall, we figured we’d send the best part of a Cedarkirk event to you: DESSERT!

Throughout November, we are offering many of Cedarkirk’s most requested fall baked goods for sale online. From cinnamon rolls to pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes, just place your order online and we’ll have it ready for you to pick up on the Sunday you choose (Nov. 8, 15, or 22).

Feel free to stop by for a brief hike or snag a shark’s tooth or two from the river before you take your goodies and run – we’d love to feed your belly – and your soul.

Other Resources
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay is providing free Mental Health First Aid training . . .

. . . to people in nonprofit organizations, faith communities and educational settings free of charge (others pay $125) as it works toward its goal to train and empower 5,000 key personnel in nonprofits, faith communities and other community settings across the region to identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illness within the next three years.

Mental Health First Aid training is similar to CPR training. It helps people identify, understand and respond to someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.

Click on the link below to learn more and sign up!
Mental Health First Aid - Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Learning to identify, understand, and respond to the mental health needs of our friends and neighbors

Read more
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The next six units of Growing in God's Love: A Story Bible Curriculum are here! These essential units provide you with all the material you need to continue faith formation through the major seasons of the church year. They are each available as a print or a download. You can find samples of each session, info on "at-home kit guides," and more at the link below . . .
New Seasonal Curriculum Units Available!

The next six units of Growing in God's Love: A Story Bible Curriculum are here! These essential units provide you with all the material you need to continue faith formation through the major seasons of the church year. They are each available as...

Read more
Nov. 8 Peace Music Series Concert- Johnny Varro & Swing 7 at 3 PM
Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church again hosts its annual concert series -- with COVID-19 procedures in place -- at 3:00 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month
Ruling Elder Beth Daniels, Concert Series Chair, writes:

Think Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington and you’ve got the spirit of this great jazz program. You’ll hear great arrangements of favorite tunes from the 1930s, ‘40s and 50’s as renown jazz pianist Johnny Varro teams up with his top- notch ensemble. Johnny and his combo will transport you to another world. Due to COVID 19 procedures and social distancing, reserved tickets are now required. See below for all your options to hear this performance live or by link to our YouTube Channel.

Bandleader and jazz pianist extraordinaire Johnny Varro has played in the best clubs in NYC, LA and performed all over the world with many jazz greats. He moved to Palm Harbor in the 1990s. With the help of Suncoast Jazz Classic friends, Peace was lucky enough to book this great player/arranger for our series. On this program, Johnny will be joined by Randy Sandke, trumpet; Jeff Lego, Trombone; Terry Myer, Alto Sax and Clarinet; Rodney Rojas, Tenor Sax; Charlie Silva, Bass; and David Pruyn, Drums- each one an accomplished player in his own right.

WHERE: Peace Memorial Presb. Church (the pink church downtown) 110 S. Ft. Harrison Ave., Clwr. (corner of Pierce and Ft. Harrison).

For the rest of what you need to know about attending this concert, the rest of the series, and the COVID-19 procedures, visit www.peacememorial.org/concerts
It's still hurricane season!
Covenant Agreement drafted to guide partnership among FLAPDAN, PDA, and the six PC(USA) presbyteries in Florida
Here's a preview from FLAPDAN's report to the Presbytery which will be in the meeting packet next week (and one item of business the Coordinating Team will be bringing for action):

The Florida Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Network (FLAPDAN) and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) have worked closely together since FLAPDAN’s inception in 2004. The relationship has evolved from PDA providing financial assistance to one of mutual benefit and support.

To mark the mutuality between the two organizations, and to mark the support of the partnership by the six PCUSA presbyteries in Florida, a Covenant Agreement has been drafted and approved by PDA leadership (with PCUSA legal signoff), FLAPDAN’s board of directors, and, provisionally, by the executives of the six presbyteries.

The Covenant Agreement is the first and most foundational project to be undertaken. Other collaborative projects will follow once the presbyteries formally approve the Covenant Agreement.
Two recent job openings
It's been a while since we had open positions to share in the eNews. We're happy to share openings among our member churches and ministries (and occasionally beyond). Send information about openings to info@pbty.com with "eNews - employment opportunity" in the subject line --- and be sure to let us know if/when you fill the position!

Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church has a new position opening for an Administrative Assistant

As PCPC continues to grow and adapt to our ever-changing landscape, PCPC's Personnel Committee identified the need for an Administrative Assistant, which is a new position at PCPC. This new role will serve as a welcoming and knowledgeable front line for PCPC, work closely with all PCPC staff to schedule and coordinate events, provide administrative support, and maintain PCPC's church management database. Click here to read more about the position.

Northwood Presbyterian Church is searching for a Director of Schools

Northwood is looking for the right person to provide Christian Leadership, direction and daily support to the teaching staff, aides, children and parents involved in our fully NAEYC accredited and Pinellas County licensed preschool, VPK program and before/after school program serving children enrolled at Leila Davis Elementary School.

For more on the school, the position, and the requirements, click here.
Have you found, "liked," and "followed" the Presbytery of Tampa Bay on Facebook yet? We post informational, inspirational, and sometimes thought-provoking items there fairly often --- and offer a Small Church Network Facebook Group linked from that page. Click the button below to visit our Facebook page and be sure to click on "like" or "follow" to be notified of updates!
Remember, there's always something new to see on our Facebook page and more at the Presbytery of Tampa Bay website. Click the buttons below to start exploring!
Our next regular issue of the eNews should come out during the week of November 9 (but there's a presbytery meeting on Nov 12, so . . . we'll see). But, go ahead and send input and ideas to me before then, please!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! -- Bill