Dear Presbytery Family,
 
Rejoice in the Lord, always. Paul wrote these words from prison to those he cared about deeply about as they faced troubles and distress. 
 
We write to you caring deeply about the parents, teachers, administrators, grandparents, children, youth and legislators who are wrestling with difficult decisions about when and how schools can be safely operated. As our churches adopt new ways of learning, praying, and worshiping – and our presbytery prepares for a virtual Zoom meeting – we are rediscovering the value of moving forward together, guided by our love of God and concern for the well being of our neighbors. We all face problems. As people of God, we do not face them alone. Let Paul’s words take root in your heart:
 
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:4-7)
 
Things to share this week include:
 
  • The first electronic presbytery meeting, with limited business, will be on Tuesday, July 28, at 6:00 pm. Click here to register and see the initial notice. You can also view information about training opportunities so that all voting participants will know how to vote, be recognized, etc.
 
  • Our Prayer and Devotion page is a place to make prayer requests and access daily lectionary readings.

  • Our COVID-19 resources page contains ideas for a vibrant congregational witness in this season as well as considerations for when and how to hold in person services and activities in the church building. Many of our congregations are holding Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer by virtual means, using creative and fun learning methods. Share your VBS stories with Marigrace Doran.
 
  • We affirm the responsibility of each session for staying informed of local conditions and making decisions for keeping people safe. Some churches that began worshiping in person have now suspended those services again. When your electronic worship services change, please email Marigrace Doran so that we can keep our web page up to date.
 
  • We continue to lift up the Matthew 25 initiative of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Five of our congregations have now become a part of Matthew 25, including Fort King, Kirkwood, Memorial, Middleburg, and Palms. We have started sharing our Matthew 25 stories on the presbytery website!
 
Finally, as Paul continues in his letter to the believers in Philippi, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  (Philippians 4:8)
 
In God’s Spirit of grace and peace,
 
Diane Wilson, Chair of Coordinating Council
Edd Norris, Moderator of the Presbytery
Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk
Chris Lieberman, Relationship Coordination Director
On Behalf of the Coordinating Council