Triennium Remembered
The 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium experience has been described as wonderful, powerful, life-giving, holy, joyful, worshipful, exciting, hot …. Imagine thousands of teenagers waiting outside in the sun for 30-45 minutes just for the chance to enter into worship together – everyday. 

Triennium created the opportunity for youth to build relationships with other youth from around the country (and around the world) and to grow in God's love and faith. For the 29 youth and 8 adult advisers who shared this experience, it was not just a summer memory … the results are continuing in congregations and throughout the presbytery as people bring this experience “home.” Triennium 2019 is over, yet the experience of praying “Here’s My Heart” and living within the kingdom of God continues.

“Here’s My Heart” was a Triennium theme, explored each day using different scripture passages, music, activities, and spiritual reflection. In one activity, our presbytery group created acrostic poems using the first letters of the phrase, HERE’S MY HEART. Here is one of the group’s poems, with a link to the others.

Fall Stated Meeting of the Presbytery
Tuesday, October 1 at MPCC
Summer Gathering of Our Presbyterian Women
Over 100 participants gathered on a rainy Saturday at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center for the Presbyterian Women Summer Event. Together they spent time in fellowship, prepared 10 buckets full of disaster cleaning supplies to donate to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and listened as Rev. Joy Laughridge offered “a peek into the Word” of this year’s PW Bible study titled “Love Carved in Stone.” The Lakewood Players also shared a drama, titled “Flood Waters,” about what Presbyterian Women really do behind the scenes. Over $500 was collected for Montgomery. Thanks to all those who made this annual summer event such a success! Save the date for the Winter Presbyterian Women Gathering on Saturday, January 25, 2020 , which will be held at Montgomery and sponsored by the Presbyterian Women of Lakewood Presbyterian Church.
Check Your Disaster Plan!
As this newsletter is being finalized, a hurricane is threatening our state. It is a good reminder to check your disaster plan and be prepared! The presbytery's Disaster Preparation and Assistance Commission and the Florida Presbyterian Disaster Network (FLAPDAN) are ready to help those affected by major storm events.

Upcoming Celebrations in our Presbytery
Our Presbytery has several upcoming celebrations of our life together, in addition to our upcoming presbytery meeting on October 1! Mark your calendars and plan on joining in the services of installation of Michaele Wood, and the commissioning of Yvan Kelly as a ruling elder commissioned to pastoral service (CRE) at Middleburg Presbyterian Church. Teaching elders in attendance and ruling elders commissioned to pastoral service are invited to wear robes and red stoles and process in together if possible. Please meet fifteen minutes prior to the beginning of the service.
Sunday, September 15
4:00 p.m.
Service of Installation
Rev. Michaele Wood
Kanapaha Presbyterian Church
6221 SW 75th Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32608
Sunday, October 6
4:00 p.m.
Commissioning of Yvan Kelly as Ruling Elder Commissioned to Pastoral Care at
Middleburg Presbyterian Church
4654 Rosemary Street, Middleburg, FL 32068
Session Clerk Workshop
This year's Session Clerk Workshop will be held on Saturday, November 16, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The meeting location is being finalized. This annual workshop provides ongoing training and updates for our clerks and others who are interested in church process and our PC(USA) constitution. We also help build supportive relationships between clerks and churches. Save the date for now and watch your email for registration details!
Save the Date for the Presbytery Education Event - November 2 at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center
The Leadership Development and Care Committee and Training Team are working out the program and speakers for the Education Event on November 2. The engaging day of training will be held at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center. Full details and registration information will be shared soon via email and our website. For now, save the date!
New Book of Order Available
The 2019-2021 Book of Order is now available in print and electronic form. For a free download of the electronic version in English, use the Download PDF Version button below to go to the the PC(USA) Store and enter your order. Then follow the instructions to complete your download. 

For the print version in English, follow the Purchase Print Version button below to the PC(USA) Store. The print version costs $10.

The PC(USA) Store has the new Book of Order in Braille, Spanish and Korean as well. Typing Book of Order into the search bar will find all of the electronic and paper versions.

PC(USA) Planning Calendars
It is anticipated that the new  PC(USA) Planning Calendars  would be shipped the last week in August - which means they will be available very soon! You can order copies through the presbytery office for a discounted rate of $10 - email  If you have already placed an order with Nancy Brown, she will be in touch with you soon to coordinate delivery, pickup and/or mailing options.
Community Presbyterian Church Has a New Pastor
After a diligent discernment process, Community Presbyterian Church has called the Rev. Melanie Marsh-Baum as their new pastor (head of staff).  Rev. Marsh-Baum is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, a lifelong Presbyterian, and has deep roots in the Presbytery of St. Augustine. She was born and raised in central Florida, and grew up in Ft. King Presbyterian Church in Ocala. Melanie served the presbytery in numerous ways in her youth, including as a summer camp counselor at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center, and on planning teams for presbytery events. She has served the national church as part of worship, keynote and drama teams for Montreat and Triennium Youth Conferences.
Melanie's philosophy on life can be summed up in the quote by Jewish Rabbi Daniel Hillel: "I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." She looks forward to sharing her love of dance - as well as her love for PBS Masterpiece Theatre and all kinds of chocolate - with her new community of faith. 

Melanie is married to Darrell Baum. They have three young children, Violet (8), Lena (4), and James (almost 1), who are excited to make new friends and explore new adventures as they return to the place they call "our homeland!" 

Rev. Melanie Marsh-Baum will begin her service as pastor with Community PC on September 10th. Thanks be to God.
Rev. Tom Walker Retires from Palms Presbyterian Church
After 17 years as Pastor of Palms Presbyterian Church (Jacksonville Beach), the Rev. Tom Walker is retiring effective September 7. Tom and his wife, Jan, have relocated to St. Simons Island, GA, where they will “rest, renew, and maybe even find time to play a round of golf or two, enjoy long walks with our golden Obie, fish, and possibly write a book or two.” He will continue to serve at Columbia Seminary as board chair. Blessings on your retirement as the Palms community begins a new chapter in their life together as a congregation. 
Rev. Bob Shettler Retires from First Presbyterian, Gainesville
First Presbyterian Church, Gainesville celebrated the ministry of Rev. Bob Shettler as he retired on August 25. After 14 years as Pastor, Bob and his wife Connie plan to enjoy their retirement in Gainesville. They are looking forward to spending time with their daughters and five school-age grandchildren. The presbytery wishes the Shettlers well in their retirement, as the congregation begins their search for their next pastor.
Rev. Larry Green Receives Doctorate and Expands Ministry as Clinical Director of Gainesville Community Counseling Center
The Rev. Larry Green recently earned a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northcentral University. His dissertation was entitled “Therapy with Same Sex Couples: A Qualitative, Narrative, Multiple Case Study Providing Insights for Therapists and Training Programs.” Congratulations, Dr. Green!

Dr. Green has now transitioned into full-time therapy and serves as the Executive Director and Clinical Director of the Gainesville Community Counseling Center (GCCC). The counseling center will be one of the programs housed in the Gainesville Ministry Center, located at the former Highlands Presbyterian Church. The GCCC offers individual, group, couples, and family therapy provided by one full-time and 2 part-time therapists. They will soon add horticultural therapy, music therapy, and art therapy. There will also be retreats for couples, LGBTQ youth, and young adults.
Pastors' Retreat in Matanzas Presbytery, Cuba
After February’s mission trip to Cuba, plans emerged to offer a Pastors' Retreat in Cuba, in partnership with the Matanzas Presbytery leaders. Retreat plans are being finalized, and pastors will receive event and application information soon! Here are the details you need to know now: 

DATE: February 10-17, 2020 (the dates may vary by a day depending on flight availability)

LOCATION: Hotel Melia, Varadero and the Seminary in Matanzas

ACTIVITIES: Worship, fellowship, relaxation, and learning about the Matanzas Presbytery

ANTICIPATED COST: $1200 per person

Please note that applications and non-refundable deposit of $200 will be due October 1. No late applications will be possible due to the visa processing schedule. The second payment will be due December 1, with the balance due on February 1.

Participation will be limited. If you are interested, please contact Diane Watkins at for further information as soon as possible.
Jamaica Medical / Dental Mission Planned for June 2020
Our Jamaican Ecumenical Mutual Mission leaders are planning their next Dental/Medical mission trip to provide care to our Jamaican friends in June 2020. If you know of dental workers (dentists, technicians, assistants, and hygienists) that would be willing to be a part of this mission, please contact Bob Bell at

In other JEMM news, our Jamaican friends held a “One Day Think Tank Session on Mission” for past participants of Youth Exchange. Persons in attendance were those who participated from 2000 – 2018. It was a great event and we look forward to hearing how JEMM utilizes the skills of these past participants for greater effectiveness and efficiency.
Mutual Generosity – Mutual Missions
“Hearts and Hands” is one of the Special Offerings of the Presbytery of St. Augustine. This special offering was formerly known as "2 Cents a Meal" and many of our churches collect the Hearts and Hands offering each month in worship.  This is your way to support and strengthen the mutual mission effort between church partners in Jamaica, Cuba, the presbytery, and many of our local congregations. Currently, we are celebrating 40 years in Mutual Mission. JEMM (Jamaica Ecumenical Mutual Mission) has inspired “hearts and hands” among followers of Christ so that needs are mutually shared, responded to, and met.  Medical and dental teams travel and serve together in cooperation and consultation with our partners in the Caribbean.  There are youth and pastor exchanges.  “Hearts and Hands” is really a grass-roots and spirit-filled partnership that you can proudly support.  JEMM and the Cuba ministry are not funded by a presbytery line-item. Funding relies on your generosity through the "Hearts and Hands" offerings which is placed in a designated account that helps to fund the work of JEMM. All of the teams that participate in the mission trips are self-funded or have churches that sponsor them.
Hear from Albanian Missions Speaker
The founder of the Illyricum Movement Albania, Eduart Demo (Edi) and his family are traveling to Florida in late September and early October, and are seeking out churches where they can share their incredible ministry of planting healthy and local Christian churches in Albania. Edi and his family (wife and 11 and 14 year old sons) are traveling on faith and would need accommodations. If you would be interested in having Edi speak in your community, click here for contact information and to read more about this ministry. We received this information from the Rev. Becca Gillespie (formerly the Pastor at Middleburg), and the Coordinating Council wanted to share it in this newsletter. The church she currently serves (Fuquay Varina Presbyterian Church in North Carolina) recently returned from a mission trip to Albania and witnessed firsthand the power of the ministry.
Our first annual Oktoberfest is coming up! Please join us at Montgomery on October 12 from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. for a family-friendly Fall event. Oktoberfest will feature classic German foods like bratwurst, pretzels, sauerkraut, and, of course, select beers for those over the age of 21. We'll also have dancing, games, Florida Football, and tons of activities for the little ones.

So dig out your lederhosen and join us for a fun-filled day at Montgomery! Get your tickets at
Fall Events
We have worked tirelessly to put together wonderful programs for the Fall. In addition to Oktoberfest, we will be hosting several retreats:

  • Silent Retreat - November 8-10
  • Youth Retreat - November 15-17
  • Men's Retreat - December 6-8

Click on the web address below for full retreat information and registration. If you would like to receive the full calendar or are interested in creating your own unique event, please reach out to the Montgomery office at or Lexi Green at
Invest in Montgomery!
We recognize that we are all constantly pulled in many directions. If you have not already done so, please consider Montgomery as you begin to look towards the fall season and eventually the end of the year. Montgomery is more than just a summer camp; we have a program or activity for you, but we need your investment. Please think about how you can join us in our mission, provide group referrals, request help in planning a program for your group, invite us to attend an event, or speak at your church. In addition, prayerfully consider a financial contribution. God is good and is working in, under, and through Montgomery. We pray that we can show you how YOU can be part of this great renewal. Please contact Lexi Green at for more information or to schedule an event. 
  • 2019 Fall Stated Meeting of the Presbytery - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center.

  • 2019 POAMN National Conference - October 15-18, 2019 at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. This Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network conference focuses on intergenerational engagement.

  • 40th Anniversary Celebration of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Palm Coast - November 10, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Special worship service will be followed by a reception and dinner. More details coming soon!

  • The Art of Yes, and ... - November 14-16, 2019 at Epworth-by-the-Sea in St. Simons Island, GA. A conference sponsored by South Atlantic Puerto Rican Region of the Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators.

  • Winter Presbyterian Women Event - January 25, 2020 at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center, sponsored by Lakewood Presbyterian Church.

  • 2020 Winter Stated Meeting of the Presbytery - Saturday, February 1, 2020 at Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Augustine.

  • Pastors' Retreat in Matanzas Presbytery, Cuba - February 10-17, 2020.

  • 224th General Assembly of the PC(USA) - June 20-27, 2020 in Baltimore, MD.

It's a simple sign. One message — "No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor."  Three languages: Spanish, English and Arabic. If you’d like one of these free yard signs, please give Chris Lieberman a call at 502-475-8025. He would like to share the message and meet people courageous enough to identify themselves as a welcoming neighbor.  

St. Giles Presbyterian Church, Orange Park has a Christian Education Director position open. The Director is primarily responsible for the Christian nurture, training, and fellowship of children and youth. He/she will develop, coordinate, guide, and promote an active Presbyterian Youth Connection (PYC) ministry and Christian Education (CE) program in unity with adult (inter-generational) education initiatives. Visit our website classifieds page for details. Contact  St. Giles Presbyterian Church at (904) 272-1244 for more information. Resumes can be sent to

Parent Loans - T he Parent Loan was designed for PC(USA) members seeking an affordable loan to assist with the expenses of dependents attending college in the US.
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.