December 27, 2022
Dear Presbytery Family,

We greet you today with joy in this Christmas season! This edition of Staying Connected highlights new ministry opportunities and upcoming events.
Christmas Reflection
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king; Let every heart prepare him room…” Hymn #134, Glory to God Hymnal. Text: Isaac Watts, 1719

In the gospel according to Luke, when it was time for Mary to give birth to Jesus, she and Joseph had to settle for a stable because there was no room for them at the “inn.” (Luke 2:7) The Greek word translated as “inn” here is translated twice as “guestroom” elsewhere (Mark 14:14, Luke 22:11). The guestroom mentioned in the latter passages was the room where Jesus and his disciples observed the Passover meal – the “Last Supper.”

What does it look like to prepare room for Christ “in our hearts”? Maybe we start by examining what’s lodged there already: anger, self-doubt, judgmentalism, pride, regret? Whatever else is there, no worries. Christ is accustomed to being in places like this; he found space to be at table with followers who argued about their status and even betrayed him. These are the people he loved, prayed for and chose to continue his mission. This is the world he was born to save.

The joy of this season arrives with the birth of our newborn king - into the world and also into our hearts, made whole by his presence in them.

Joy to the world! Let heaven and nature sing!

In faith and gratitude,
Jerie Lukefahr
Moderator 2022
Winter Stated Presbytery Meeting
The Winter Stated Presbytery meeting will be held on Saturday, February 4, at 9:30 a.m., at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center. The offering for this meeting is designated for Mutual Mission. For more information view the notice of the meeting, and to register, click here. See you in February!
Lake Shore Church To Hold Final Services
After 75 years of vital outreach and robust ministry, the wonderful members of the Lake Shore Church have discerned that the time has come for them to close this particular part of Christ’s Church and continue their worship and service in other congregations. They will hold their final Sunday morning service on January 1, at 10:30 a.m. The presbytery through its commission will hold a Service of Thanksgiving and Dissolution on January 15, at 3:00 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. Kathy McLean, a former pastor, preaching the service. Everyone in our presbytery is invited to either or both of these services to show your appreciation to the people of Lake Shore and to give thanks to God for the church’s life and witness.
Many Positions Available In Our Presbytery
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 [email protected] with the dates and details.
News From Montgomery Center
Camp Gift Certificates
Give the gift of summer camp to a child this year! Gift certificates for summer camp at Montgomery are now available for purchase. Contact [email protected] to order.
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 energetic 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.
More News From Around The Presbytery
Presbytery Giving Update
Great thanks to God for the 29 congregations pledging their financial support for 2023 so far. These pledges show an average increase of 15% over this year for a total of $154,000 pledged to-date. If you are one of the 24 congregations that has not yet submitted your commitment, please do so by December 31 here. Thank you.
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.
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.
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.
Materials for Year End Gifts from Presbyterian Foundation
This page links to a webinar, bulletin inserts, slides, and year end tax information.
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.
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
  • January 15, 2023 – Lake Shore Service of Thanksgiving, 3:00 p.m.
  • January 25-28, 2023 – APCE Annual Event, Birmingham, AL
  • January 28, 2023PW Annual Gathering at Montgomery Center, 8:30 a.m.
  • 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
  • October 3 Fall Stated Presbytery Meeting (details TBA)
Jerie Lukefahr, Moderator of the Presbytery
Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk
Joe Albright, Chair of Coordinating Council
Previous Staying Connected emails are available on our website.