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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.
Last week, I gave a heads-up to all ministers, pastors, and clerks of sessions . . .
. . . with information on our next ONLINE presbytery meeting coming up on Thursday, November 12, at 8:30 a.m.
As we continue to live and work in a time of pandemic, the Coordinating Team has again decided to hold our Presbytery meeting online while CDC and Florida Department of Health still recommend avoiding large indoor gatherings, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain and ventilation challenges may increase rather than decrease the chances of unknowing transmission of COVID-19.

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 also 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 (look for the link in a later eNews and with the meeting materials a week before the meeting).

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 a minister member of this presbytery or a clerk of session and did NOT see that email, please get in touch with me ASAP.

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.

As we did in August, to maintain the integrity of the meeting while also conducting an open meeting, we'll limit registration and participation in the Zoom meeting environment to those with privilege of the floor. We'll also again make a live stream available for observers and guests who might have attended in person may still watch (that link will be in a future eNews).

  • 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 NOT have display tables or opportunities for outside organizations to speak at this meeting. We are able to share PDFs of materials that other organizations would have put out on display tables at an in-person meeting. If that applies to you, please contact me to discuss that.

We will offer online training (both live and by video) for new participants; watch for more details on those opportunities in the next eNews.

Key dates:
  1. Thursday, October 29, is 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!



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

P.S. to church treasurers, admins, and finance committees: The Commission on Ministry approved new forms for reporting ministerial compensation in 2021. Click here to read all about it. (We sent an email about this to ministers, clerks of sessions, and some other folks the other day, so you might have already heard about this.)

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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!
COVID-19 Information

The Tampa Bay Times reported this morning that "New cases of the virus are rising in the state once again, as they are across the country. For the first time since summer, there is now a noticeable statewide increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations."

Further, Pinellas County -- with more of our churches than any of the other 6 counties in the Presbytery -- is one of the counties showing "the highest jumps in new cases across the state."

****This news suggests that now may be a good time to review -- and remind everyone of -- your church's plans and processes for mitigating risk and caring for each other when gathering for in-person worship.**** 
Florida coronavirus cases rise again as death toll...

There is bad news Florida's fight against the coronavirus pandemic. New cases of the virus are rising in the state once again, as they are across the country. For the first time since summer, there is now a noticeable statewide increase in...

Read more
New this week -- updated 10/14 -- from the Centers for Disease Control about Holiday Celebrations:

Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses low risk for spread. In-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk. Event organizers and attendees should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size and use of mitigation strategies, as outlined in the Considerations for Events and Gatherings. There are several factors that contribute to the risk of getting infected or infecting others with the virus that causes COVID-19 at a holiday celebration. In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk, so it is important to consider them individually and together . . .

Read more at the link below!
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

As many people in the United States begin to plan for fall and winter holiday celebrations, CDC offers the following considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. These considerations are...

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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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Race, Faith, and Climate Change: An Interfaith Dialogue
Neddy Astudillo and GreenFaith want you to know about this Florida-led effort and online event at 6pm on Wednesday, October 21
Sign up today for a panel presentation on Race, Faith, and Climate Change on Wednesday, October 21, 6-7:30 pm. This panel brings together experts from multiple faith traditions to explore pressing issues surrounding climate change and its disproportionate impact on communities of color.

You can email Neddy at neddy@greenfaith.org with questions about this event or her work.
Presbyterian Women offer updates and a resource for online retreats
Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Tampa Bay sends a monthly newsletter to all its members (and us) . . .
And this month included a write-up of a PW retreat held online by another presbytery with a note that it might be helpful for planning a retreat or similar activity. Click through below for more!
Online retreat image
Tampa Bay Presbyterians are helping meet food needs in meaningful ways both big and small
The Community Food Pantry at Village Presbyterian Church in Tampa has grown from serving 600 families in a month to serving 2,300.
Serving the community from the inside out ... just take...

Community Food Pantry September By the Numbers: *532 Volunteer opportunities for a total of 1,626 hours; students accounted for 125 spots and 378 hours of that *2,309 families were served a total of 116,317 meals * Added 506 new clients *200+...

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Lakeview Presbyterian Church is reaching out in St. Petersburg, too!
Operation Attack, a longtime food ministry located at Lakeview, will offer a free food drive-thru with the help of Circle of Faith (a congregation of the American Baptist Church that meets at Lakeview), Operation Attack volunteers (from several congregations), and volunteers from Lakeview.

Both fresh and shelf food will be offered. Saturday, October 24 from 9 am until 12 pm (earlier if the food runs out) is the second of three planned food drives. The third drive will take place December 12.
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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."
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
Update from the Synod of South Atlantic
Our Synod has prepared a PDF to share with updates on how per capita and mission giving make a difference across the Synod's sixteen presbyteries throughout Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. From the PDF:

We are all learning how to be the church of Jesus Christ in new and creative ways, using technology for worship, education, mission, and even pastoral care. These times are challenging but they also give us the opportunity to find ways to love and serve Christ together, even when we are apart.
Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) gets revised about every 10 years -- and 2020 is one of those years!
The brand new 12th Edition of RONR hit bookstores on September 1, 2020 --- and that makes it the "most recent edition" referred to in the Book of Order and required for use in session, presbytery, synod, and general assembly meetings -- and probably in your bylaws for congregational meetings, too.

You can read more about the 12th Edition and order a copy (hardback, paperback, or searchable eBook for Kindle at the official Robert's Rules website. You should also be able to get it at your favorite local brick-and-mortar book store now, too! There is a list of major changes, key section changes, and a PDF to download of all significant changes on the Newly Revised 12th Edition webpage.

Even if you're comfortable and confident with parliamentary procedure, downloading the PDF of significant changes is a great refresher and reminder that not everything in the 11th Edition may be quite how you remember it --- and the 12th Edition might have changed it, too!

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NOTE from Bill: After responding to nearly identical questions from different churches recently about how to hold congregational meetings online when large group gatherings, I put some thoughts together that some may find helpful for congregational, session, and other meetings on Zoom (which you can get by clicking here). In the file, you'll find background info on electronic meetings in general and in the PC(USA), some reminders from the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order, and some nuts-and-bolts of setting up and running a formal business meeting on Zoom (complete with links to Zoom's help screens).
Concert Series Returns!
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:

Continuing to honor the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we open our new season with a performance of the stunning Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, “Pathetique”. You will also hear works by Chopin and Liszt. The rich acoustics of the Peace sanctuary and the full concert grand Baldwin piano will enhance your experience of these exciting works for piano.

Pietro is a highly acclaimed pianist, having started performing at the age of nine. He obtained his Bachelor’s diploma at the Conservatory G. Martucci in Salerno, Italy and later a Master’s degree with distinction at the renowned Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. Recently, he has been busy teaching and concertizing in Europe and the USA. He recently moved to Florida and we are excited to have him opening our series.

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
Hurricane Preparedness During a Pandemic
From the link: Preparing for a hurricane can be a stressful time in any year. But add to that the pandemic environment we are currently in and stress can go through the roof! As we try to keep our roofs intact (both literally and figuratively) let’s look at some of the ways the pandemic will make this hurricane season more challenging and what we can do now to prepare.

Online education opportunities
POAMN is pleased to announce that registration is open for our first National Zoom Conference, Shaping Faith in Crisis: Peace by Piece on October 27-28, 2020.
This event will bring together leaders and experts on aging, spirituality, and pastoral care, as well as leaders from communities of faith, seminaries, academia, and community organizations. The current pandemic has made pastoral care an even greater challenge with the need for SIP (Shelter In Place) and social distancing. As shepherds and faith leaders we still must care for people, many of whom are feeling a rise in loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Virtual Conference 2020 - POAMN

Why Ask Why? Faith & Lament in Times of Crisis Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Rigby |W.C. Brown Professor of Theology | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Professor Cynthia Rigby joined the faculty of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1995....

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Free Webinars from ChurchLaw&Tax
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Confronting...

Workplace sexual harassment has gained renewed attention after recent high-profile cases emerged in the realms of entertainment, media, sports, and politics. One result: the growing #MeToo movement, and legislative responses from a...

Read more
Watch FREE for a Limited time! "Rethinking Your Church's ...

On September 9th, Church Law & Tax hosted this webinar with noted CPA and author Michael Batts. Originally an exclusive for Church Law & Tax Advantage Members, the recording is now available to you for a limited time.

Read more
October 23–25, 2020

What’s Essential: Discerning the Church’s Work Amid the Twin Pandemics of Structural Racism & COVID-19

Our goal is to provide participants with capacity-building tools and resources to work for antiracist transformation in their churches and institutions. Participants will finish this antiracism training with concrete action steps for their congregations and local communities.

This Crossroads antiracism training will specifically address the political challenges facing the church in light of how the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the acute structural inequities of the USA and their impact on communities of color, particularly Black, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities. Given the coronavirus pandemic and its disproportionate impact, our antiracism training will also address how the church is called to be a political actor. What and where is the Church being called to do and be?

Visit Montreat's full Program and Events Calendar for more in 2020 and 2021!
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 October 26, so be sure to send input and ideas to me before then, please!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! -- Bill