A Year with Youth and Young Adults
Our presbytery has designated 2019 as “A Year with Youth and Young Adults.” It is an invitation to explore how God nurtures faith in every generation and shapes the ways we experience and share the good news of Jesus Christ among all people. We hope you are encouraged to embrace this movement of God's Spirit in your own ministry settings. Giving thanks to God, we celebrate the leadership that youth and young adults offered in worship at our Winter Stated Presbytery Meeting, and present here reflections on God's call offered by two ruling elders.
From Dana Adams, Ruling Elder, Woodlawn Presbyterian Church, Student at William M. Raines High School
My name is Dana Adams and I am a new elder at Woodlawn Presbyterian Church (USA). My call as a ruling youth elder is to spread God’s word and do as God calls me to do and as my church calls me to do. As a youth living in today’s society, it’s hard. I attend William M. Raines High School, where most kids are African-American. The topic of religion and what we believe comes up a lot. I hear different perspectives about religion and God, but because I have been brought up and raised in the lime light of God, I know who and who not to listen to. Some people tend to tell me their beliefs and say, “Oh you should not believe in that, it’s not the truth.” But when I am standing in my faith, it goes in one ear and out the other. God wants me to be a disciple for him. If I’m being honest, it’s hard telling other teenagers about God. Today’s teenagers have so many idols it’s hard to get through to them. Even though it can be a struggle, I still follow through. I am honored to be the youth elder and I will wear it with pride.
From Emma Cottrell, Ruling Elder, Community Presbyterian Church, Student at FSCJ
I feel called to serve because I believe the youth are not only the future of the church, but the present. One of the things I love most about the PC(USA) is the structure, which I know is usually not the first thing people bring up when talking about church. From my experience at the General Assembly, individual members, congregations, presbyteries, and synods all have a voice and the church wants to listen. Pastors, elders, seminary students, and even youth have the opportunity to shape the future of the church. I’m friends with the Stated Clerk and Moderators on Facebook (who are some of the coolest people I have ever met). It is a small thing. But it shows that the role of the Stated Clerk and Moderators is to reflect the will of the church, not be the will of the church. After many, many committee meetings and discussions at the General Assembly, I can assure you that we don't agree on everything. But the PC(USA) allows for that, which is wonderful! I love that our theology and missions aren't determined by a few people at the top, but by thousands of church members.

With all the hate in the world right now, Christianity from the outside looks like part of the problem, not a solution. It’s easy to give in and simply accept what’s happening. I’m just one person, and it’s hard to imagine myself creating change. As I serve in my church, and especially on session, it is so refreshing to see what we are capable of doing when we come together in love, even as a small group. For me, being a Christian is about loving everyone, and it’s great to see that in action. It’s not trying to prove that what I believe is right, or getting recognition for doing the right thing, it’s about loving everyone unconditionally. Seeing my congregation work together to build water filtration systems through Living Waters for the World , or find people beds and furniture through Our Father’s Housewares is inspiring to me. For most of us, we’re never going to meet the people we’ve helped. It’s about selflessly giving what we can. 

A lot of the bigger churches have large youth groups but, from my limited experience, it’s all about “being saved.” At my church, in everything from sermons to Bible studies t o mission work, it’s about what comes after being saved. I can’t see myself at any other church simply because I think the Presbyterian Church (USA) is about practicing unconditional love and acceptance.

Register for the 2019 Youth Triennium by March 15th to
Receive a $125 Scholarship from Presbytery!
Presbyterian Youth Triennium is a gathering for high school age youth from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Many youth have said it changed their lives and is one of the best things that the church does. The 2019 event is July 16-20, 2019, at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Churches are encouraged to be part of this exciting once-every-three-year event, by helping youth – and their families – follow these four basic steps :
Step 1 - Encourage youth who can attend the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium, and have the church session endorse your participation and make a plan for funding the experience.
Step 2 - Complete and submit the  Presbytery Registration packet (button below), which includes church and parental endorsements.

Step 3 - Complete the online registration participant information process, using the button below linked to the Triennium Participant Release Form.
In the first box “Delegation/Name,” scroll down and select “St. Augustine Presbytery / Chris Lieberman."  
Step 4 - Send your Triennium Deposit to the presbytery office (1937 University Blvd W., Jacksonville, FL 32217), and complete final payments.
Deposit before March 15 is $125.00
Deposit after March 15 is $180.00
The good news is that twice as many youth may be attending from our presbytery. Please help us make sure no one is left out because they weren’t invited.
Reflections from a Moderator
by Mary T. Mickel
This year of serving as our presbytery moderator has been one of growing, learning, healing, celebrating, and thanksgiving! God has a way of making scriptures come alive in our lives. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” As the office of moderator unfolded, with all the responsibilities of the presbytery, this scripture, your prayers, love, and support of family have been an inspiration for me to walk with victory every step of the way. My faith allowed me to know with confidence that whatever presents itself, the “light” of Jesus Christ was leading the way.

224th General Assembly - Application Period Opening Soon
The next General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will take place June 20-27, 2020, in Baltimore, Maryland. Our Nominating Team will soon begin the application process for those who feel called to serve as our presbytery's commissioners (two ruling elders and two teaching elders) and as our young adult advisory delegate. All expenses are paid for travel, lodging, and food. Be thinking about possible candidates for this amazing opportunity to serve the church. If you have questions, please contact Patti Phillips, Nominating Team Chair, at (386) 288-5660 or pmphillips622@comcast.net ; Joe Rigsby, Volunteer Management Committee Chair, at (904) 480-0683 or jwr777pm@aol.com ; or Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk, at (904) 612-9766 or sandra@staugpres.org .
2019 Terms of Call Needed Soon!
Each year at the Spring Stated Meeting, the presbytery publishes the terms of call for all pastors serving congregations. For an installed pastor, the session is required to review the terms of call each year (with any change approved by the congregation). Please send all installed pastor 2018 terms of call to our stated clerk, Sandra Hedrick, by March 12, using the form on the session clerk resources part of our website ( click here to access the form). For stated supply pastors, if we have a current contract, that is all we need. Forms may be sent to Sandra Hedrick via email at sandra@staugpres.org or mailed to 1937 University Blvd. W., Jacksonville, FL 32217. This information will be reviewed and approved by the Member Preparation and Call Commission at its March 19 meeting. Thank you!
Winter Stated Meeting – A Ministry of Gracious Hospitality
Thanks are extended to Pastor David Lee and members of Highlands United Presbyterian Church who served as amazing hosts of our 2019 Winter Stated Meeting! Highlights and photos from the meeting can be downloaded from our website using these links.

We are looking for a congregation to host the 2020 Winter Stated Meeting on Saturday, February 1, 2020 . The meeting space needs to accommodate 140-190 attendees for parking, welcoming refreshments, worship, business meeting, and lunch. The church will need to provide child care on site. Space is also needed for several table displays. If you have questions or would like to volunteer your church, please contact Stated Clerk Sandra Hedrick at (904) 612-9766 (cell) or sandra@staugpres.org (email) no later than April 1, 2019.
Churches Sending One Additional Commissioner
Every year, starting at the Spring Stated Meeting, some of our congregations are asked to send additional commissioners to the presbytery meeting. This is done so that we can have as many ruling elders as teaching elders voting at each meeting. Starting with our May 7 meeting, these churches are asked to send additional commissioners so that the total number will be as shown here:
  St. Andrews (2)
St. Giles (2)
St. Johns (2)
San Mateo (2 )
Silver Springs Shores (2)
South Jacksonville (2)
Starke First (2)
Trinity (2)
Weirsdale (2)
Westminster (2)
Thank you to the congregations in this past year's list. Beginning on May 7, you will return to sending the number of commissioners shown in parentheses below:
First Palatka (1)
Palms (3)
Peace (1)
First Perry (1)
First Reddick (1)
Riverside Presbyterian (3)
If you have any questions, contact the Stated Clerk, Sandra Hedrick at (904) 612-9766 (cell) or via email at  sandra@staugpres.org .
Meet Your 2019 Moderator, Rev. Diane Wilson!
As the oldest of five children, born and raised in Tracy, California, a small farming town in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Teaching Elder Diane Wilson had reason to believe that she was going to go to college, get married, sing in the church choir, teach Sunday School, and live there for the rest of her life. Little could she have predicted how God would open mighty doors at turning points in her life, sending her to seminary at the urging of her pastor and on to serve the church and the military as a Navy Chaplain.  As she explains, “Only God above could have been orchestrating all things, because my God was too small, and I could never have imagined what was ahead of me.”
Meet Carter Grant, Inquirer and Justin Forbes, Candidate
Carter Grant was enrolled by the Presbytery of St. Augustine as an Inquirer in the preparation for ministry process. Ms. Grant is a member of Geneva Presbyterian Church and has been endorsed by her session as she discerns her call to Ministry of the Word and Sacrament. Carter is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina, with a degree in International Business. She currently is serving as a staff member in two ministry settings: as a Pastoral Assistant with UKirk campus ministry and as a Youth Director with a Presbyterian congregation in Columbia, South Carolina.  Carter Grant is pictured here with our Stated Clerk, Sandra Hedrick.
Justin Forbes moved from being an Inquirer to now being a Candidate for Ministry of the Word and Sacrament of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Mr. Forbes is currently a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church. Justin received an M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and now teaches at Flagler College. Among other responsibilities at Flagler, he serves as the Director of the Youth Ministry Program. Justin is also a PhD candidate at the University of Aberdeen. Justin Forbes is pictured here with his liaison, Bruce Hedgepeth.
Our Presbytery Welcomes Joy Laughridge
as Pastor, Lakewood Presbyterian Church
Lakewood Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, is pleased to welcome the Rev. Joy Laughridge as its Pastor. She began serving with Lakewood on January 28, 2019. Joy is transferring from the Presbytery of Tampa Bay, and has served congregations in Tampa and Dunedin. Born in Durham, North Carolina, Joy is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and was ordained in October, 2005. She is also pursuing a D.Min degree through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, focusing on outreach and discipleship. Joy’s family includes her daughters Vanessa (7) and Virginia (10), who are settling into their new school. Together, they enjoy dabbling in the arts and creative expression and being active outdoors. As Joy begins her ministry at Lakewood, we also thank Tom Borland, who served as Interim Pastor. 
Welcome Marc Jones, Pastor St. Andrews Church
We welcome Marc Jones as the new Stated Supply Pastor at our St. Andrews church in Jacksonville. Marc is married to Leatha Deanne Davis-Jones and resides in Keystone Heights. In connection with his call to St. Andrews, his membership will transfer to our presbytery from the Presbytery of Wyoming. He will be introduced at the Spring Stated Presbytery Meeting on May 7. Several years ago, before moving to Wyoming, Marc served as one of the pastors of our Faith church in Melrose.
Upcoming Services of Installation
We invite you to participate in the upcoming Services of Installation for the Rev. Jo Anne Dyson and the Rev. Joy Laughridge. It is requested that teaching elders in attendance and ruling elders commissioned to pastoral service wear robes and red stoles and process in together if possible. Please meet in the narthex fifteen minutes prior to the beginning of the service.
The Rev. Jo Anne Dyson has been called as Pastor of Fort King Presbyterian Church in Ocala

Service of Installation:
Sunday, March 24, 2019
4:00 p.m. followed by a reception.

Ft. King Presbyterian Church
13 NE 36th Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34470

The Rev. Joy Laughridge has been called as Pastor of Lakewood Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville

Service of Installation:
Sunday, April 7, 2019
4:00 p.m. followed by a reception.

Lakewood Presbyterian Church
2001 University Boulevard W.
Jacksonviile, Florida 32217

Mutual Mission Update
Cuba Mission Trip
As this newsletter is being prepared, the Cuba Mission Team has just returned from Cuba. Stay tuned for photos and stories from the trip in the upcoming newsletter and on our website. The Cuba Mission Team is pictured here on the grounds of the seminary in Matanzas.
Our Jamaica Ecumenical Mutual Mission Partners, through their Executive Committee, have begun their work on learning how to become more independent and self-supporting. The Executive Committee is pictured here as it was led in a planning retreat by Dr. Henley Morgan, who spoke on the topic “ Toward Self-sufficiency and Sustainability.” 

Sunday, March 10, will begin a week for the combined Dental and Medical teams as they provide dental and medical services to churches in the St. Ann Parish of Jamaica. The team will be made up of dentists, hygienists, physicians, nurses, and a pharmacist. Chris Lieberman will be accompanying the group to lead morning devotions and offer spiritual support. On the day they arrive in Jamaica, Jim Gaff and Bob Bell will bring greetings from our presbytery at a worship service at New Beulah Moravian Church in Mandeville, Jamaica. Our JEMM partners will begin a year-long celebration of the 40 th anniversary of the Mutual Mission program of the Presbytery of St. Augustine and our JEMM partners -- the United Church in Jamaica, the Moravian Church, and the United Methodist Church in Jamaica.

Stay tuned for photos, video highlights and stories of their mission experience in next month’s newsletter and on Facebook.
Hodges Blvd. Presbyterian Church Mission Trip to Immokalee

From January 27 to February 2, Hodges Blvd. Presbyterian Church sent 12 Mission Co-workers to Immokalee, Florida, to assist migrant families recovering from flood damage from Hurricane Irma. Our trip was coordinated through the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, which provided case management and great construction supervision. We worked on two houses which had suffered roof, wall, and floor damage. The homeowners were most appreciative of our efforts.

On Friday afternoon, we assisted in serving 500 meals at Mision Peniel, a ministry of the Peace River Presbytery, which serves the Immokalee farm workers. Besides serving the meal, we also distributed take-home food, diapers, and children`s clothing provided by the Mision Peniel ministry.
News from Presbyterian Women
Days for Girls
An important part of the purpose of Presbyterian Women is to “support the mission of the church worldwide” and “strengthen the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).” To that end, we worked together to send seventy hygiene kits from Days for Girls with Mutual Mission to Cuba. In Cuba, a Days for Girls representative will educate girls on their use and care. Each kit should last a girl three to five years and allow them to go to school during their menstrual period.

The Melrose Satellite Sewing Room (pictured) is busy making components for the kits each Wednesday. Women from all over Gainesville meet several times a week to make components, as well as teach sewing and run “Sew-a-thons” to get more cutting and sewing done. Women from First Presbyterian in Gainesville are in charge of the Sewing Room at the old Highlands Presbyterian once a week. The goal of this worldwide mission is to equip girls and women with hygiene kits so that every girl can stay in school. Education is the key to a better life for all of us.
Mission Haven
Another mission PW is working to strengthen is Mission Haven. This residence for missionary families on leave to the U.S. is owned and operated by PW in the Synod of South Atlantic. There are three homes and six apartments for missionaries and their families in Decatur, GA, on the campus of Columbia Seminary. Since its inception, the Mission Haven has been a PW core mission. Now churches may donate to this mission directly, as well as through Presbyterian Women. Please add this mission to your budgets if it is not already there.
Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments
The 2019-2020 Presbyterian Women / Horizons Bible study looks at what it would mean to consider the Ten Commandments as a letter from a loving God. Author of Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments , Eugenia Gamble, suggests that a fresh embrace of the Ten Commandments may ultimately contribute to the restoration of ourselves and our communities. “Moral behavior matters, not simply because immoral actions can anger or disappoint God, but because principled behavior is how love becomes real, both toward God and in community.” Look for the Bible study materials in the March/April issue of Horizons magazine. If you don’t yet receive a subscription to Horizons , subscribe by April 1, 2019, to receive a free copy of this study. Call toll-free (866) 802-3635 or visit www.presbyterianwomen.org/horizons to subscribe.
Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center Update

It was a pleasure to report on our progress to many of you at the Presbytery Meeting on February 9 th .

Montgomery Day, March 10
As voted upon, Montgomery Day has moved to March 10, 2019 . Montgomery Day was established 3 years ago as one of the few special offerings specific to our presbytery. We encourage your congregations to learn about MPCC programs, including Summer Camp, and to provide an offering to support Montgomery. In years past, we have celebrated Montgomery Day presbytery-wide in June. Recently, we realized that moving it to earlier in the Spring allows us to kick off the year with enthusiasm and support for our adult programming, retreat planning, and Summer Camp. If you would like to have someone from the Montgomery Board of Trustees or staff attend your service for a Minute for Mission on March 10, please let us know as soon as possible at lexi@montgomerycenter.org or maurie@montgomerycenter.org

As we move forward as a sister organization to the presbytery, we are working to separate our financial and accounting systems from theirs. As such, we are asking that any personal contributions made for Montgomery be directly addressed to Montgomery. Contributions can be made online at www.montgomerycenter.org/donate or sent to 88 SE 75 th Street, Starke, Florida 32091.

Work Day, March 9
Please join us on March 9th for a Work Day hosted by the Montgomery Board of Directors. We invite one and all to spend the day at Montgomery helping us with various projects around our site - from picking up limbs to washing windows, pressure washing to organizing closets. The work day is from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and lunch with our new Culinary Director is included! If you would like to organize a group from your church, please let us know so we can be ready to put you to work! 
Jubilee Party – April 6
Come celebrate with us! The Montgomery Center cordially invites you to join us for our very first Jubilee Party on April 6th from 12 p.m. 4 p.m.! Come celebrate with us as we step into the future here at Montgomery, get a tour of the projects we’ve been working on, enjoy a BBQ hosted by our new Culinary Director, and thank all of those who have worked so hard to see Montgomery succeed. To RSVP: www.montgomerycenter.org/jubilee
Summer Camp
Don’t forget! Summer Camp registration is open! Take a look at our camp schedule for Summer 2019 by clicking on the OVERWHELM graphic. The theme this year is “Overwhelm,” and we challenge you to live an overwhelming life! Overwhelming with so much love, joy, grace, and faith that you shine like a lighthouse in the darkness. Join us this summer and explore how people throughout the Bible showed overwhelming faith and how we can do the same.

If you know any young men or women who would be great camp counselors this summer, please encourage them to reach out to Lexi Green for more information. Counselors should have a faith background and be: (at least) a rising senior in high school, willing to share the love of Jesus Christ, and able to pass a background check. Lexi can be reached at lexi@montgomerycenter.org
Engaging Aging in Today’s World
The Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN), in collaboration with the Adult Lutherans Organized for Action, is hosting the 2019 regional conference on May 22 at St. Leo Abbey, near Dade City. The one day conference, Engaging Aging in Today’s World , is designed for both older adults and for the leaders who do ministry with and for them. Events include ecumenical worship, music, keynote address by Rev. Ray Jones with the Presbyterian Mission Agency, workshops, resource booths, interaction with the Abbey’s Benedictine Monks and Oblates, optional tour of the Abbey, and great fellowship! Cost is $35 per person, with housing available at the Abbey or at a nearby hotel. Click on the links below for the event brochure and the link for online registration. POAMN is an organization of clergy, staff, and friends engaged in ministry with older adults. Visit the POAMN website for more information.
The Art of Yes, and ...
Registration for this South Atlantic Puerto Rican Region of the Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators event is now open. Click on the graphic for further details and to register for the November 14-16 event which will be held at Epworth-by-the-Sea in St. Simons Island, GA.
Be sure to check out the classifieds page of our website to check out employment opportunities within the Presbytery of St. Augustine. If you have a position you would like us to post on the classifieds page, please email info@staugpres.org .

Blue Hymnals Available
First Presbyterian Church Palatka has about 75-100 blue Presbyterian hymnals they would like to donate. If your congregation is interested, please contact the First Palatka office at (386) 328-1435 via email . The presbytery office also has a supply of blue hymnals that are available. Email us at info@staugpres.org if Jacksonville is more convenient.

Choir Folders Available
Palms Presbyterian Church has a supply of choir music folders that are available. The folders were used by the Cypress Village Chorus. Contact Bobbie at (904) 503-8365 if you are interested.

  • March 9 (9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.) - Montgomery Work Day
  • March 10 - Montgomery Day!
  • March 10 - 16 - Jamaica Medical / Dental and Housing Mission Trip
  • March 15 - 17 - Association of Smaller Congregations Conference and Retreat, Epworth-by-the-Sea, St. Simons Island, GA
  • March 24 (4:00 p.m.) - Service of Installation, the Rev. Jo Anne Dyson, Ft. King Presbyterian Church, Ocala
  • April 6 (12:00 - 4:00 p.m.) – Jubillee Party and BBQ Luncheon at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center
  • April 7 (4:00 p.m.) - Service of Installation, the Rev. Joy Laughridge, Lakewood Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville
  • April 21 - Easter Sunday!
  • May 7 (9:00 a.m.) - Spring Stated Meeting of the Presbytery at Montgomery
  • May 22 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) - Engaging Aging in Today's World Conference, St. Leo Abbey, Tampa
  • June 16 - Camp Montgomery Summer Camp begins (registration is now open)
  • July 16 - 20 - Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2019, Purdue University
  • October 1 (9:00 a.m.) - Fall Stated Meeting of the Presbytery at Montgomery
  • November 14-16 - SOAP APCE Conference, Epworth-by-the-Sea, St. Simon's Island, GA
Celebrating With You!
If you are celebrating a milestone anniversary as a congregation or in years of ordination as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, please let us know. Email Marigrace Doran so that we can include your milestone in The Connection.
The Presbytery of St. Augustine Connection Newsletter is a publication of the Presbytery of St. Augustine. It is written and designed by Communications Coordinator Marigrace Doran. Editorial assistance is provided by Stated Clerk Sandra Hedrick, Relationship Coordinator Director Chris Lieberman, and other presbytery leaders.

Masthead photo by Will Barnwell
The mission of the Presbytery of St. Augustine is to support our faith community, so that together we may witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.