March 01, 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: Rev. Jessi Higginbotham
St. Giles Presbyterian Church

Ash Wednesday
“As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the
grace of God in vain.” 2 Corinthians 6:1
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a day we dedicate to remembering
our mortality. We receive ashes and we pause to remember all Christ
has done for us. This year, pause to remember the abundant grace we
receive daily from God. Paul reminds us in the letter to the Corinthians
that the grace of God shouldn’t be forgotten in vain, it is the greatest of
all gifts and we have received it for free.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted
by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he
was famished. Matthew 4:1-2
Lent is a symbolic period of time. Just as Jesus went into the desert to
pray and fast for 40 days so we use these 40 days for our own time of
prayer and reflection. Some focus on giving things up, others take on
new spiritual practices. If we spend our Lenten time focusing on God’s
abundant grace, we may find the best practice is expressing gratitude.

Dear God of abundant grace, we pause during this Lenten season to
remember all you have given us. We pray this is a season of gratitude
and remembrance. We pray for strength and patience as we approach
Easter. May we be led by your Spirit this day and everyday. Amen.

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.
Report of Terms of Call
Please remember to submit your Terms of Call report by March 6, 2023. Reports may be returned to Charlie Evans, Stated Clerk, by email or by mail: Presbytery of St. Augustine, 1937 University Blvd. W., Jacksonville, FL 32217.
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. Read the position description.
Many Positions Available In Our Presbytery
Check out the many ministry opportunities throughout our presbytery here.
Mutual Mission Cuba Team
Moderator Susan Rose and the Mutual Mission Cuba Team have returned from serving in the Matanzas Presbytery in Cuba. While there, the Presbytery of St. Augustine and the Matanzas Presbytery signed a partnership agreement. We thank God for the wonderful work that was done and for this partnership. 
Synod of South Atlantic Stated Meeting
The Synod of South Atlantic Stated Meeting was held Feb. 24 and 25, at Epworth by the Sea.
More News From Around The Presbytery
Service of Ordination & Installation of Dana Riley
The service of ordination and installation of Dana Riley will take place this Sunday, March 5, at Riverside Presbyterian Church at 3:00 p.m. All are invited to attend.
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).
Celebrating Black History Month
Woodlawn Presbyterian Church recognized two of their own living legends on the last Sunday of Black History Month. Lloyd N. Pearson Jr., the first African American moderator of our presbytery, and Elder Mary T. Mickel, the first female African American moderator of our presbytery.
Ash Wednesday Services
The Co-Moderator of the General Assembly, Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, and the Clerk of the Synod, Valerie Young, were in attendance at St. Giles Presbyterian Church's Ash Wednesday service.
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
Open House
Join us for Open House on Saturday, March 4, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for guests to visit Montgomery, learn how to schedule a retreat and get a taste of camp life. Fun activities include a rock wall and zip line.
Rummage Sale
Join us for our Rummage Sale on March 3 and 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 each day.
Donations for the Rummage Sale may be dropped-off this week from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Montgomery. For more information, email Rebekah Rodgers.
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.
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.
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.
Lenten Resources
We'd love to see what your congregation is doing this Lenten season. Send your ideas to
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.
Presbyterian Publishing Corporation Introduces New Resources
The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation is introducing new resources throughout 2023. This year they are debuting Spanish and Korean resources first, with an intentional expansion of curriculum for children, adults and ordered ministry. In addition, there are bilingual aids that are accessible to English-speaking congregations. Presbyterian Publishing Corporation also offers free Spanish-language Christian education resources with topics focusing on the Bible or on Christian practices. Click here to learn more.
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
Conferences and Learning Opportunities
Association of Smaller Congregations Annual Conference
March 2-5, 2023 Epworth by the Sea. View registration information here.
Savannah Presbytery's J. Richard Bass School of the Laity
March 11, 2023 Epworth by the Sea. View more information here, and to register, click here.
Key Events
  • March 2 Quarterly Clergy Breakfast at Riverside, 8:30 a.m.
  • March 2 Quarterly Clergy Lunch at First Lake City, 12:00 p.m.
  • March 2-5 – Association of Smaller Congregations Annual Conference, Epworth by the Sea
  • March 3 Quarterly Clergy Lunch at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Ocala, 11:30 a.m.
  • March 3 – Fish Fry Friday, Montgomery Center, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • March 5 – Ordination & Installation Service of Dana Riley at Riverside, 3:00 p.m.
  • March 11 – Savannah Presbytery's School of Laity, Epworth by the Sea
  • March 17 – 3rd Friday Work Day, Montgomery Center, 9:30 a.m.
  • March 19 – Ordination & Installation Service of Rachael McNeal at Memorial, 3:00 p.m.
  • 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.