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Our Mission:
To identify and strengthen leaders 
so that every congregation
makes new and mature disciples for Jesus Christ.
Our first ONLINE presbytery meeting turned out to be a powerfully meaningful day!
173 ministers, ruling elders, corresponding members, and other guests registered for the meeting, with 160 in total attending at least portions of the meeting!

The YouTube link for to our meeting and the Leadership Forum in the afternoon will be available for a few more weeks:

  • If you just want to review 224th General Assembly (2020) Co-Moderator Elona Street-Stewart's greetings and land acknowledgement, clicking here will jump right to it.

  • If you want to review Margaret Kibben's sermon, "What's in a Name?" -- click on this link.

  • If you want to hear Rebecca Higman's meditation as part of her examination for ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament, this link will take you there.

  • If you missed the Leadership Forum with Elona and Margaret Thursday afternoon, you can view it by clicking here.

By the way, if you participated in the meeting on Zoom or viewed it on YouTube, please consider filling out our online evaluation form by clicking here or here.

Meanwhile, in other news you can read more about below:

  • The Presbytery of Tampa Bay is officially a Matthew 25 presbytery!

  • The Presbytery voted to establish a task force to respond to a challenge to all Presbyterians from the 224th General Assembly (2020) in an action called On the Church in This Moment in History – Responding to the Sin of Racism and a Call to Action.

  • You can still participate in our Presbytery offering for the Native American Church Property Fund.

  • The new 12th edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised hit bookstores (both local and online) on September 1st.

  • and more!



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

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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!
We are a Matthew 25 Presbytery!
On August 27, our Presbytery voted overwhelmingly in favor of taking this action . . .
. . . and you can hear comments made during the meeting in support of doing so by clicking on this link. Norm Hatter is followed by Mike Loudon and others in supporting making this official --- and following through on it!

This is the motion discussed at that link and approved last week:

The Presbytery of Tampa Bay commits itself to being a Matthew 25 Presbytery, putting intentional effort into each of the three focuses 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.

The Commission on Church Vitality is making grants available for congregations to purchase start-up resources as they consider becoming Matthew 25 congregations. Reach out to CCV Chair Andy Walton at andy.trinityclearwater@gmail.com or Assoc. Presbyter Libby Shannon at libby@pbty.com for more info.
"On the Church in This Moment in History – Responding to the Sin of Racism and a Call to Action"
In their new role as the Bills & Overtures Committee, our General Assembly commissioners and Young Adult Advisory Delegate called us to take on a challenge -- and we did!
On their recommendation the presbytery approved that the Presbytery of Tampa Bay:

  • Direct the moderator to appoint a task force to begin work needed in response to the challenge to all Presbyterians and especially to presbyteries as expressed in Item 00-29: On the Church in This Moment in History – Responding to the Sin of Racism and a Call to Action as approved by the 224th General Assembly (2020). 

The Task Force should be formed and make an initial report on the start of its work at the November 12 stated meeting of the Presbytery. Coach and Coordinator Patrice Hatley mentioned at the start of discussion on this motion that her phone was "blowing up" with texts from people who want to be a part of this important work.

To better understand this action and the task ahead, click here to read the Bills & Overtures Committee's report with background and rationale for calling for a task force to begin the work needed to respond to these challenges, permitting us to take these matters seriously and give them the focused attention they deserve. The report includes clickable links to documents mentioned in it from Item 00-29.

You can also read an edited version of the final General Assembly action on Item 00-29 with all the additions, deletions, and changes made by the Assembly without all the [brackets]boldface and strike-through text by clicking here. The edited version includes clickable links to specific reports mentioned in the text so you can read and reflect on the recommendations yourself and consider how you and your church or ministry might follow through on some of them long before the 225th General Assembly meets in 2022.

If you'd prefer to read a to read the full, marked up version of Item 00-29 as viewed by the Assembly on Pc-Biz, you can do so by clicking here.
You can still participate in our offering for the Native American Church Property Fund
Txt-to-give is no longer available, but you can still give online or by mail!
The Native American Church Property Fund was established by the Presbyterian Foundation in 2019 as directed by the 223rd General Assembly (2018). The fund was created as a response to overtures which lifted up the plight of 92 Native American congregations, many of which are on tribal lands. The 224th General Assembly (2020) further urged Presbyteries to contribute to this fund in order to support urgent and immediate repairs.

The Presbytery of Tampa Bay Coordinating Team agreed with a proposal from our General Assembly Commissioners and Young Adult Advisory Delegate that the offering received be directed as a response to that call to action. Here’s how to contribute:

  • Click here to give online through First Presbyterian Church, Lakeland for this special offering. Scroll down at the link to select “Presbytery of Tampa Bay Special Offering for Stated Meeting on August 27" 

  • Mail a check payable to Presbytery of Tampa Bay to the office at 455 Scotland St, Ste. 1, Dunedin, FL 34698. Be sure to write Aug 27 Presbytery Offering on the memo line and/or include a note telling us what the check is for so we’ll be sure to direct it properly.
Update from Commission on Church Vitality
CCV has been busy supporting ministries across the Presbytery
In the earliest days of the pandemic the Commission on Church Vitality (CCV) made the decision to generously and freely support the ministries and missions of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay as the world stopped and turned in a different direction through pre-approved grants. 

At our meeting last week, CCV Chair Andy Walton reported that, through mid-August CCV had distributed $525,861.51 in COVID-19 grants to more than 40 ministries, missions, and partners in the Presbytery, and an additional $70,000 through CCV's regular grant program. 

Congregations have supported their pastors and other staff; not fallen behind on their expenses; expanded their food pantries; increased their support of outreach to homeless folks; upgraded their technology to better enable virtual community; purchased supplies for sanitizing the church; supported a tutoring program geared toward refugee children; and shown the love of God across Tampa Bay. 

The CCV has been honored to walk alongside ministries and congregations from every corner of the Presbytery and to that end has extended this season of COVID relief grants till the end of September and increased the amount each ministry is eligible to receive up to $30,000 in monthly increments of up to $5,000 --- and must be reapplied for monthly if you applied before. 

Pastors/moderators and clerks of sessions: please direct any questions to Libby at Libby@pbty.com or CCV Chair Andy Walton at Andy.TrinityClearwater@gmail.com. The grant application form can be found by clicking here.
There's a NEW edition of Robert's Rules
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 was released last Friday at the National Association of Parliamentarians and hit bookstores on September 1, 2020. 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!
After the presbytery meeting last week, several have asked for more guidance on using Zoom for session and congregational meetings
These three documents --- which were developed for our presbytery meeting, may be a good starting point for further conversation.
I'm happy to talk with any pastor, moderator, or clerk of session about how these might be adapted for your use --- and will probably have some ideas from the brand new sample rules for electronic meetings included in RONR 12th ed., too. -- Blessings, Bill (statedclerk@pbty.com)

Additional Technical Guidance covers more about how to get and use Zoom.
"Zoom Expertise" for PTB Zoom Meetings is pretty much a checklist of just-one-little-step-above-minimum Zoom skills needed for meaningful participation in larger meetings and more formal ways of voting in both larger and smaller settings.
Check out our new COVID-19 resources webpage
Ministry Connections Consultant John Reiter went back over issues of the eNews since mid-March and put together a webpage to help our congregations and ministries find in one place many of the things we've mentioned here and on our Facebook page.

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.
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.

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Updates from our partners
The September issue of Glad Tidings from Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Tampa Bay is here

From Robin Powell:

There is lot to read this month so grab a glass of iced tea, find a cool comfy spot, clean your glasses and enjoy.

Included along with the presbytery PW newsletter is the churchwide 3rd quarterly newsletter, the latest from Mission Haven - be sure to watch the video (the producer is a 3rd generation missionary kid), and a sheet of photos with a group from Ghana sent in by a local member.

Villa International has only 17 in residence due to Covid 19 workers who have been sent home. The expenses go on even though the rent collected is greatly reduced. Your mission dollars for our missions and offerings (Birthday and Thank) are much appreciated. Cedarkirk is a recipient of this year's Thank Offering!

Be Happy, Calm, Loving, Healthy, Awesome.

Editor's note: Robin also included a copy of "PW Savvy #34" from Synod of South Atlantic PW with this issue of Glad Tidings. Written by Janice Grimes Lewis, Racial Equity Member at Large, for PW in the Synod, Savvy #34 is called "On the Road to Hope - The Intersection of the Confederacy and Black Lives Matter." You'll find it on pages 15-16 in the newsletter.
Florida Council of Churches Clergy Convening
Online Thursday, September 17, 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The 2020 Florida Clergy Convening will be held virtually this year! The convening is hosted by the Florida Council of Churches and presented by Pastors for Florida Children.

The theme for this year's convening is, "Building a Faithful Democracy: Hope to Face the Future." Our featured speaker is Rev. Jennifer Butler. Rev. Butler serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Faith in Public Life (FPL). FPL has played an important role in changing the narrative about the role of faith in politics by empowering religious leaders to fight for social justice and the common good. Workshops will also be offered during the convening on three critical topics.

We all want to be well informed on social justice matters as we head to the polls for the 2020 election. Spread the word about this free event among those in your network!

Convening Schedule:
1:00 p.m. Welcome, Spiritual Reflection by Rev. Jennifer Butler, Faithful Voter Response
2:00 p.m. Workshop - Public Education Transformation
3:00 p.m. Workshop - Criminal Justice Transformation
3:45 p.m. Workshop - Immigration Transformation
4:30 p.m. Adjourn

Workshop Leadership:
Faith in Florida - Nancy Palacios, Deputy Director
Florida American Civil Liberties Union - Kara Gross, Legislative Director
Florida School Boards Assoc. - BillieAnne Gay, Director of Advocacy & Legislative Services
Southern Poverty Law Center - Carrie Boyd, Florida Policy Council 
Pastors for Florida Children - Rev. James T. Golden & Rev. Rachel Gunter Shapard, Co-founders

Please register for the virtual event here. A link to the webinar will be emailed to you prior to the date of the event for log-in purposes. For more information contact Rev. James T. Golden at jamethegold@aol.com or Rev. Rachel Gunter Shapard at rguntershapard@cbf.net.


Rev. James T. Golden
Chair, Social Action Committee,
Florida African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Joyce Lieberman
Executive/Stated Clerk,
Synod of South Atlantic - Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Rachel Gunter Shapard
Regional Vice President,
Together for Hope Black Belt
Updates from Beth-El
Latest newsletter: Your Worship Is Within God's People

You can feel it, when the Spirit moves. One morning I was lured into the food pantry by the familiar sound of an alabanza* my soul knows very well. "Milagroso, abres camino, cumples promesas, luz en tinieblas. Mi Dios asi eres tu." "Way maker,...

Read more
Back-to-School: Preparing for the New Normal
To see the full School Supplies Needs List, just click here or on the image!

You can drop off school supplies --- or order from Amazon and have your donation delivered directly to Beth-El by clicking here!

From the Amazon link:
"Help Beth-El Farmworker Ministry collect school supplies! It's as simple as clicking and purchasing - AMAZON will ship your items directly to the mission (select Beth-El/Teresita in Wimauma). Consider the gift of at least one backpack (sturdy and good quality please) and a few school supplies to fill it. This is an easy way for the congregations of Peace River Presbytery to help support Beth-El... from a distance!"
Update from Thornwell
Bonnie Thompson, Thornwell's Advancement Officer in our area sent a link to the latest issue of Thornwell Life. You can reach Bonnie at 727-235-5585 or bonnie.thompson@thornwell.org with questions or to learn more.
Thornwell Life | 2020 Volume 3 - Thornwell

Give to Support Stories of Hope and Wholeness Read our most recent issue of Thornwell Life for stories of life change from our Building Families and Teen Moms program, testimonies from a Foster family and a student in our Transitional Living...

Read more
Online education opportunities
September 15 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT
FREE 90-minute Presbyterian Outlook webinar
Presented by certified coach, speaker and the author Kerry Connelly
Sponsored by Presbyterian Publishing
Learn more and sign up at the link below
Holy Imagination + Race: How the Church Can Be a Healing ...

September 15 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT 90-minute Presbyterian Outlook webinar Presented by Kerry Connelly Sponsored by Presbyterian Publishing - Free of charge to participants Click here to register (or use the form at the bottom of this page).

Read more
Continuing Education -- Union Presbyterian Seminary

Upcoming Pathways Online Courses These online courses meet weekly for five-weeks, one class meeting per week. Polity & Administration (Pathways Online Course) Led by: Rev.

Read more
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center courses online
Registration is now open for both sessions of Mediation Skills Training Institute scheduled for this fall: October 5-9 and November 16-20, 2020. 

This event is designed for clergy and other church leaders seeking to learn skills that will help them deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. Registrants will attend remotely, and will need a device with both a camera and microphone in order to participate fully.

In addition to this 5-day event, the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is offering a variety of 90-minute webinars designed to help people cope with the unique challenges that arise from the current pandemic. Discounts of up to $200 are availableFor more information, please consult this MSTI Brochure or this LMPC Events Calendar.

Learn more about the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center and all their programs on their website. Questions? Call the LMPC office at 630-627-0507, or email Admin@LMPeaceCenter.org.
Two upcoming ONLINE Events hosted by Montreat
October 12–14, 2020

This three-day virtual event will be designed for church leaders and congregational members to reconsider what effective evangelism might look like in their particular neighborhoods and communities. We will intentionally seek the wisdom of 1,001 New Worshiping Communities as well as congregations working in the Vital Congregations initiative as we create an interactive platform for sharing the practices and lifestyles, individual and corporate, that allow people to effectively share the good news.
  • Program in partnership with Theology, Formation & Evangelism ministries in the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Click on the topic titles for more information on each event and visit Montreat's full Program and Events Calendar for more in 2020 and 2021!
Other events and resources
‘Keep singing the Matthew 25 vision’
Like a prayer, a new Matthew 25 hymn asks God to ‘Send us your Spirit’ and ‘Show us your way’

Note: The author/composer and arranger/performer grant permission for use of the hymn and recording in worship, online or otherwise. For other uses, please consult the copyright holders.
'Keep singing the Matthew 25 vision'

by Tammy Warren | Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE - The bold vision and invitation of Matthew 25:31-46 to be the hands and feet of Jesus, serving people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor, is awakening compassionate faith to new...

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Stewardship Kaleidoscope - Real Tools for Real Ministry

Stewardship Kaleidoscope is an annual conference offering excellent plenary speakers, informative workshop leaders, provocative worship experiences, and incredible networking opportunities for all who are passionate about stewardship and...

Read more
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 September 14, so please send input and ideas to me before then, please!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! -- Bill