January 2022
Two Infant Baptisms at Gateway Alcohol and Drug Rehab Facility in Jacksonville
Christmas is a special time of year, filled with wonder and love. It may or may not be the right time of the year to coincide with the actual birth of Jesus, but it is most certainly a place of His manifestation in the world today. This was definitely the case on Christmas Day of 2021, which saw the wonder of not one, but two infant baptisms (of twins) at Gateway Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation facility on Stockton Avenue in Jacksonville.

Building upon the success of prison ministry efforts for many years in the Diocese of Florida, a mission had begun at Gateway just prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, as a joint venture of the Diocese and the Church of the Good Shepard, located a half-mile away on Stockton. Initial results were favorable, with monthly services, good enthusiasm and attendance in the 40’s. To the best of our knowledge, this was a first in TEC, but a logical extension of Christ’s Call to take the Gospel to “the ends of the Earth”. 

Volunteers in the effort have included Canon Allison DeFoor, Randy DeFoor and Leigh Philips from the Diocese, Barbara Stevenson from St. Mark’s, Paul Arrington, a former senior warden and Teri Calinao (now departed for seminary) from Good Shepard. 

These efforts were suspended when COVID-19 forced the lockdown of the facility at Gateway to avoid contagion, but the folks at Gateway kept the connection alive, at the request of both clients and staff, awaiting a break in the spread of the disease. It came at the end of 2021, and though it has re-closed for a time, Christmas services were held at Gateway in the afternoon of Christmas Day.

At the service, 39 people gathered, and a Eucharist was celebrated with Christmas carols. Paul Arrington attended and Canon DeFoor celebrated and preached. During the service, an individual came up for communion, carrying a brand new baby, with a second baby carried right after her by a friend. The priest mentioned “we also do baptisms” and smiled as he handed the bread. When the service concluded, the mother presented herself and requested baptism for her two babies.

So, after the Christmas service both of these babies were baptized “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. The baptisms were entered upon the rolls of Good Shepard as the closest parish. We know of no similar efforts or such wonderful fruits in TEC.

When COVID-19 is further behind us, we will reboot the mission at Gateway. To God be the Glory. Volunteers are sought.
Camp Weed Updates
Parish Golfing at Suwannee Country Club and Camp Weed
Great Group Rate Available!

Suwannee Country Club and Camp Weed are offering a great opportunity to bring your church group - minimum of 12 people - to Live Oak to play nine holes of golf (cart included). The day also includes a delicious lunch in the Varn Dining Hall at Camp Weed and the Cerveny Conference Center!

Come enjoy the beauty of Live Oak and Camp Weed with a great group rate at the Suwannee Country Club!

Details: Weekdays only - Monday through Friday (please give 2 weeks notice)
Cost: $40 per person
Contact: Email Gina for availability info@campweed.org
Phone: 386-364-5250
Camp Weed Amazon Wishlist
Camp Weed has created an Amazon wish list to support its 2022 summer camp programming.

All items purchased can be sent directly to the office at Camp Weed.

11057 Camp Weed Place
Live Oak, FL 32060
Summer Camp Deck
Renewal Project
March 4-6

Don’t miss out on this special volunteer opportunity to work with friends, create new memories and enjoy the beauty of Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center!

Camp Weed is seeking anyone who is interested in being a part of the Summer Camp Deck Renewal Project. Those who wish to contribute can do so physically or financially. Meals, social, and cabin lodging will be provided by Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center. There will be a bonfire with s'mores at the Cross on Saturday night, March 5.
Happening Recap at Camp Weed

On Jan. 21-23, Happening was held at Camp Weed. Happening is a weekend renewal retreat led by youth, for youth. Kids in grades 10-12 are invited to attend any of our three annual Happenings, and we invite 9th graders to join us for our spring Happening (typically held in April). 

High school students put together an incredibly moving weekend filled with learning, sharing and building relationships.
Registration Now Open for
Ministry Exploration Day (MED)
Saturday, March 12
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Jacksonville

Are you exploring the Holy Spirit’s movement in your current vocation? Are you interested in further exploring both lay and ordained ministry?

If so, the Diocese of Florida is sponsoring a Ministry Exploration Day (MED), to be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in the Ortega area of Jacksonville.

For more information and to register, click here or the button below.
Episcopal Relief & Development
Thank you for 20 Years of Incredible Impact!

In the past 20 years, the Episcopal Diocese of Florida contributed $4,202,330.99 from a total of 17,809 gifts to Episcopal Relief & Development, including a $175,000 contribution from an individual in 2021.

We in the Diocese have not only been one of the major contributors, but have also been the recipient of grants to help us recover from local disasters like hurricanes. In 2005, our Diocese received a $75,000 grant from Episcopal Relief & Development for hurricane relief. With this money, we repaired 14 houses, one Episcopal Church and one Episcopal Conference Center from hurricane damage and tornado damage. We also saved one family home from foreclosure.

A big thank you to Jack Tull for serving as diocesan coordinator for Episcopal Relief & Development. During his time, he has helped lead the charge in us providing individuals, families and congregations across dioceses in the U.S. and Anglican Communion with not only disaster relief, but also to facilitate healthier, more fulfilling lives in communities struggling with hunger, poverty and disease.

Thank you to Jack and to all of you for your contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development over the years. Your contributions have changed the lives of so many.
Cursillo Team Training on Zoom
Thursday, January 27
6:30 p.m.

Team training is open to those on the Cursillo team #143, anyone thinking of working on a team in the future or Cursistas who just want to know more about Cursillo.

Zoom Information:

Meeting ID: 862 4199 5944   
Passcode: 298915
Best Wishes in Retirement to Judy Maurer!
Judy Maurer, age 88, recently retired from St. John’s Cathedral after working there for about 20 years as the Cathedral Receptionist. Judy is known as the "cathedral concierge" and was the first person you saw upon entering the Cathedral House. Between her administrative duties and serving as a host to guests who are visiting the church, Judy was such a valuable part of the St. John's Cathedral team.

Congratulations on your retirement, Judy!
Free At-Home COVID-19 Test
In case you missed it, residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from USPS.com. Please note the following:

  • Limit of one order per residential address
  • One order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January

For more information and to place your order for a free at-home COVID test, click the button below.
Diocesan Happenings
Coming Up:

Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022 - 179th Annual Convention at Camp Weed

Friday, March 4 - Sunday, March 6 - Summer Camp Deck Renewal Project at Camp Weed
Helpful Links
  • Diocesan Website Updates: Please email communications@diocesefl.org with any updates and include the URL of the page where the changes are needed.
  • Looking for a job? Visit the employment page on our website for some of the current opportunities. Click here
  • Listing a job? Email communications@diocesefl.org with the job description and position contact information to be posted on the employment page.
Diocese of Florida | 325 N. Market Street | Jacksonville, FL 32202 | 904.356.1328