February 15 , 2023
Dear Presbytery Family,

We greet you today with abundant love! This edition of Staying Connected welcomes the Rev. Ruth Elswood to Riverside, offers resources for Lent and features new upcoming events.
The Rev. Ruth Elswood Joins Staff of Riverside
Riverside Presbyterian Church has just welcomed Ruth Elswood as its Parish Associate for Pastoral Care. In addition to pastoral care, this position coordinates the ministry of deacons and assists with worship services. In our presbytery, Ruth has served in several ministry roles, including parish associate at First Ocala and stated supply at Covenant. She is is also a member of the Presbytery Support Team (formerly known as the Care and Reconciliation Team). We give thanks to God for this new ministry relationship and know that it will be a blessing to all!
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 are, currently, serving in the Matanzas Presbytery in Cuba. So far, they have visited the communities of Manguito, Perico and Jagüey Grande. Prayers for the work that they will do in the mission field.
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.
Updates from the Presbyterian Women
Welcome PW Moderator Nancy Carlton!
Nancy was installed as the new PW Moderator at the Annual Meeting on January 28. Carol Graff will take on the role as secretary. A meet-and-greet event was held last week for their first meeting. They plan to meet quarterly going forward.
The PW held their Annual Meeting, on January 28, at Montgomery Center.
Synod of South Atlantic Stated Meeting
The Synod of South Atlantic Stated Meeting will be held Feb. 24 and 25, at Epworth by the Sea. Click here for more details about the workshops that will be available. For more information, please contact Lisa Lovelady by email or phone 904-356-6070.
More News From Around The Presbytery
Riverside Chancel Choir Sings Duuuval
The Riverside Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir sent the Jacksonville Jaguars off to Kansas City with a fun, unique arrangement as the team battled their way through the playoffs last month. "Duuuval," is a popular chant heard at sporting events in Jacksonville. Although the Jaguars lost in the playoffs, the arrangement is a win in our hearts. Check out the video here.
Lake Shore Service of Thanksgiving and Dissolution
The presbytery, through its commission, held a Service of Thanksgiving and Dissolution, at Lake Shore Presbyterian Church, on January 15. Members of the presbytery, current and former members of the church and many friends were in attendance. The Rev. Dr. Kathy McLean preached a meaningful and heartfelt sermon, beautiful music was chosen and led by Tommy Carlton, Rev. Dr. Stephen Vance shared his memories of serving at Lakeshore and letters were read from other former pastors. It was a service of pure joy and gratitude for everything the Lake Shore Church has meant to the community over the years, even as tears were also shed that this fine church now ends its ministry and mission in Jacksonville.

The worship service was followed by a reception, in the fellowship hall, where many people shared remembrances with each other while purusing the many pictures and other memorabilia on display. Thanks be to God for the long legacy of ministry and mission experienced in this place over the years.
Share Your Events
We would be happy to publish your event in the coming weeks! Email Gabrielle@staugpres.org with the dates and details.
News From Montgomery Center
Lenten Fish Fry's
Lenten Fish Fry Fridays will begin Feb. 24. They will take place, at Montgomery, each Friday during Lent from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. More information to come.
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.
Summer Camp - Family Camp
Registration for 2023 summer camp is now live! New this year is Family Camp, which takes place June 16 through 18. Family Camp features include:
  • A chance to unplug and spend intentional time together as a family.
  • Activities such as arts and crafts, canoeing, outdoor worship, s'mores, swimming and more.
  • Open afternoons that are perfect for quiet time and/or exploring the 167 acres of beauty.
  • Optional childcare the second night.
  • Lodging in an Inn room with two queen beds and a tub. (Refrigerator access available upon request. Cabins available for larger families with a linens discount.)
Hiring Summer Staff
Ready for a fun summer outdoors where you get to make a difference in children's lives? Montgomery is working to fill their summer staff positions. Click here to apply.
Beginning Your Planning for Lent?
Here are some Lenten resources!
We'd love to see what your congregation is doing this Lenten season. Send your ideas to gabrielle@staugpres.org.
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.
A Year with Matthew for a Matthew 25 Church: 2022–2023
This resource prepared by the Office of Theology and Worship connects the Gospel readings from Revised Common Lectionary Year A with the Matthew 25 invitation’s priorities. Check it out here.
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.
Key Events
  • February Black History Month
  • February 17 3rd Friday Work Day, Montgomery Center, 9:30 a.m.
  • February 24 Lenten Fish Fry, Montgomery Center, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • February 24-25 Synod of South Atlantic Stated Meeting, Epworth by the Sea
  • February 25 – Memorial Service for Earle Sickles at Silver Springs Shores, 2:00 p.m.
  • March 1 Quarterly Clergy Lunch at First Gainesville, 12:00 p.m.
  • 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 3 Quarterly Clergy Lunch at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Ocala, 11:30 a.m.
  • March 2-5 – Association of Smaller Congregations Annual Conference, Epworth by the Sea
  • 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.