March 15, 2023
Dear Presbytery Family,

We greet you with the grace of God during this season of Lent. This edition of Staying Connected features a Lenten devotional, important reminders and new upcoming events.
Lenten Reflection
By: Jerie Lukefahr

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

I belong to a Presbyterian Women’s Circle at my church in Fernandina: the Lydia Circle. We are the only Circle here that meets in the evening. We don’t wear name tags or take minutes. We don’t have a secretary, a treasurer or a historian. We’re not very good at remembering to contribute to PW mission initiatives. But we always enjoy lively conversation, heartfelt prayers and serious Bible study…with our glass of wine (thus, our unofficial name: Wine, Women and the Word!)

For the past few months, we’ve been studying the Psalms using one of the Interpretation Bible Studies. Psalm 23 is the Revised Common Lectionary psalm for the fourth Sunday in Lent. In the chapter on this psalm, the author points out that the Hebrew word in verse 6, “radaph,” can be translated as “pursue” rather than “follow.”

Read more here.
Area Relationship Coordinator Position
We are, currently, looking to fill the Area Relationship Coordinator position for Area 1 (Gainesville Regional Area). This presbytery staff position promotes communication, coordinates mission and fosters connectional relationships with pastors and churches in an assigned geographic area, strengthening the relationship between the churches and with the presbytery. This position is for Teaching Elders or CRE with commission in our presbytery, estimated eight (8) hours per week, reporting to the presbytery’s Lead Presbyter. For more information, or to apply, email Charlie Evans, Stated Clerk. Read the position description.
Many Positions Available In Our Presbytery
Check out the many ministry opportunities throughout our presbytery here.
Youth Initiative Survey
Our Youth Ministry Team is working to analyze youth ministries at different churches. Please assist us by having your youth ministry leader, minister, session clerk or an office staff member complete the Youth Initiative Survey. Only one survey needs to be completed for each church.
More News From Around The Presbytery
Reminder -- Service of Ordination & Installation of Rachael McNeal
The service of ordination and installation of Rachael McNeal will take place Sunday, March 19, at Memorial Presbyterian Church at 3:00 p.m. All are invited to attend the service with a reception to follow at Grace United Methodist Church (8 Carrera St. St. Augustine, FL 32084).
Clergy Gatherings
Earlier this month, our new stated clerk, Charlie Evans, had the opportunity to fellowship with clergy at different locations around the presbytery.
Service of Ordination & Installation of Dana Riley
The service of ordination and installation of Dana Riley was held on Sunday, March 19, at Memorial Presbyterian Church. Dana is serving as the Associate Pastor of Community Outreach at Riverside.
Share Your Events
We would be happy to publish your event in the coming weeks! Email with the dates and details.
News From Montgomery Center
3rd Friday Work Day
Join us every 3rd Friday, at Montgomery, for a workday! Projects range from construction and plumbing to cleaning and organizing. Can't make it on a Friday? Call the Montgomery office to schedule your service day for any time, 352-473-4516.
Lenten Fish Fry
Lenten Fish Fry Friday will take place, at Montgomery, each Friday during Lent from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Spring Youth Retreat: Trail Mix of Life
Trail mix is sweet and salty, just like life. Our lives are filled with joys, worries, hardships and ordinary times. All sixth through 12th-graders are welcome to join us from April 21 to 23, at Montgomery Center for a study on Philippians 4:4-9, as we look at the trail mix of our lives. Click here to register.
Ways to Support Montgomery
  • Sponsor a camper! A monthly gift of $40 toward our Scholarship Fund will send one camper, on full scholarship, to a weeklong summer program this year. If you would prefer to donate a check, please make checks out to Montgomery Center. Checks can be mailed to Montgomery Center, 88 SE 75th St., Starke, FL 32091.
  • Shop our Gift Hero Wish List.
  • Shop our Amazon Wish List.
We'd love to see what your congregation is doing this Lenten season. Send your ideas to
Lenten Resources
Liturgical Lessons
Liturgical Lessons, written and owned by Rev. Jessi Higginbotham, is offering members of the presbytery a FREE Maundy Thursday lesson and activity download. This lesson can be done with children, youth, adults, or as an individual. Click here to download the lesson.
William Black Lodge
Visit William Black Lodge! The mission of William Black Lodge is to provide a place for God's people to come for renewal, worship and fellowship in a comfortable environment surrounded by God's beautiful creation. Located in the heart of Montreat, PC(USA) Persons in Ministry can often stay for as little as $45 a night. Visit their website for more information.
PC(USA) 2023-24 Scholarship Applications Open!
In 2022, 147 students were awarded a total of $665,000 under this needs based program. Do you know someone who should apply in 2023? The opportunities and requirements are explained in this PC(USA) news story
Key Events
  • March 17 – 3rd Friday Work Day, 9:30 a.m. at Montgomery Center
  • March 19 Ordination & Installation Service of Rachael McNeal, 3:00 p.m. at Memorial
  • March 20 – Mr. Rogers Day
  • March 25 Health Fair, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Woodlawn
  • April 6 Do This in Remembrance of Me, 7:00 p.m. at St. Giles
  • April 7 Do This in Remembrance of Me, 7:00 p.m. at FPC Starke
  • April 15 – Spring Fling at Faith, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • May 2 Spring Stated Presbytery Meeting (hybrid) at Riverside
  • May 15-18 Festival of Homiletics, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • October 3 Fall Stated Presbytery Meeting (details TBA)
Susan Rose, Moderator of the Presbytery
Charlie Evans, Stated Clerk
Previous Staying Connected emails are available on our website.