Dear Presbytery Family,

We give thanks to God for each of you! In the face of change and uncertainty, you continue to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in your local community and in the world. We hope that you never doubt that whatever little you have to offer, Jesus will take your gift, bless it, and nourish many others with it, just like in the story of the loaves and the fishes.

We continue to pray for our sessions as they make decisions that help to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. As we write this week’s letter, we especially think of students, teachers and parents as they begin a new school year with more questions than answers. We pray for wisdom, for the health of the world, and for the peace of Christ that passes all human understanding. Remember that you can visit our Prayer and Devotions page to request prayers for you, your church family, and your community. That same page provides access to daily lectionary readings.

Other things to share and celebrate today include:

  • Like you, we are tracking Hurricane Isaias so that we can make the necessary preparations. Resources are available on our St. Augustine Disaster Preparation and Assistance (SAPDAC) webpage. If you have damage to report in connection with this storm, and you have not already heard from a presbytery representative, please call James Kendrick, Chair of SAPDAC at (904) 891-4929 (cell) or Sandra Hedrick, SAPDAC Clerk, at 904-612-9766 (cell).

  • We had our first electronic presbytery meeting this week, with about 100 participants! We offer special thanks to Marigrace Doran, our Communications Coordinator, and Jerie Lukefahr, the Chair of our Training Team, for their leadership in preparing for such a good experience.

  • At our meeting, the Coordinating Council presented the proposed changes to our staff design and Manual of Operations. (Click here to view the meeting documents.) If you have any comments or suggestions about the proposals, you are encouraged to email Moderator Edd Norris no later than Tuesday, August 5. All input will be considered as we prepare for a “second reading” of the proposed changes on August 25 at 6:00 p.m. Other actions taken at the presbytery meeting included the election of Ana Lugo-Berrios as president of our presbytery corporation (and chair of the Board of Trustees), the election of an administrative commission to help with the closure of the Reddick Presbyterian Church, and approval of a revised presbytery operating budget.

  • The presbytery will have another called meeting on Tuesday, August 25, at 6:00 p.m. A primary purpose of the meeting will be to take action on the proposed changes to our staffing design and committee structure. A formal notice with a registration link will go out next week. As always, we encourage participants to review the meeting documents in advance of the meeting.

  • Our COVID-19 resources page continues to be updated so that we can support all of our churches, ministers and ministries in the coming months. If you know of a resource that should be added, please email Marigrace Doran at your convenience.

As we trust God and stay faithful in the coming days, let us take to heart these words from 1 John 3:23-24: “Believe in the name of Jesus, the Son, and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in us. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.”

You are God's children. May you know deep in your being that you are held in God's perfect love that casts out fear.

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