Presbytery of St. Augustine

Hurricane Irma Recovery Information

f_jacksonville_flood_170911.nbcnews-ux-1080-600As recovery efforts continue in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the St. Augustine Presbytery Disaster Assistance Commission, in coordination with the Florida Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Network (FLAPDAN), wishes to share important information to everyone affected by the storm.

Legal Aid Hotline for Irma Survivors (free legal advice for those who can’t afford an attorney)
Home Cleanup Hotline for Hurricane Irma
From now through September 30, call the number below for help with home cleanup. As they are able, reputable and vetted relief agencies may assist you and your neighbors cut fallen trees, remove drywall, insulation, flooring, furniture, appliances, tarp roofs, etc. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need.
It is important to understand this hotline CANNOT assist with social services such as food, clothing, shelter, insurance, or questions about FEMA registration. Volunteers work free of charge and provide the tools and equipment necessary to complete the work. To request help: Call 1-800-451-1954

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance—Hurricane Response Information







Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Response to Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey

You shall be . . . the restorer of streets to live in. —Isaiah 58:12












Hurricane Irma, a record-setting storm, is now dissipating, but the devastation is just starting to be known.

Members of PDA’s National Response Team will arrive in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina this week to provide aid, assess damage, and offer spiritual and emotional care for those impacted by the winds and flooding. While PDA has already been in contact with presbyteries throughout Florida and Puerto Rico, the Church remains mindful of the areas where contact has, so far, been difficult to make. Once the information arrives from the Florida Keys as well as the Caribbean islands nearly wiped from the map, the destruction of this storm will begin to be fully known.

There are years of recovery ahead. Will you help extend the hands of Christ by standing in the GAP? — Give. Act. Pray.

PDA’s emergency response and specialization in long-term recovery is fueled by your generous gifts. Designate gifts to: Atlantic Regional Hurricanes DR000194. You can also give with a credit card by visiting or by calling 800-872-3283.

PDA is still in need of support for mucking out and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf region after Harvey. Thank you to those of you who have already directed gifts to (DR000169-Harvey).

Download the bulletin insert here.
Put together Gift of the Heart kits for survivors in the affected areas — hygiene kits and cleanup buckets are especially needed. For more information, go to
Contact the PDA Call Center to be notified of volunteer opportunities. Call 866-732-6121 or email
Learn how your congregation can help families that have lost everything. Stay informed and like us on Facebook or visit Be sure to share updates with your congregation.

God of help and hope, in the challenging days, months and years to come, work through us to bring relief and respite from urgent need,comfort and the hope of peace for those who grieve the loss of family, home and safety, and faith to walk on through weary days of rebuilding. May we be steadfast in love, stronger than death,and thus, with those whose lives we seek to sustain, together bear witness to your redeeming love.

(For a more in-depth prayer, click here.)

For more information, visit

Fall Stated Meeting of the Presbytery

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center

88 SE 75th St.

Starke, FL 32091

(352) 473-4516

Jeff Welch, Moderator

-Worship and Fellowship
-Meet New Minister Members
-Area Gatherings with Area Coordinators
-Receive Offering for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
-And Much More!
Preacher: Ron Watson
Co-Celebrants: Joyce and Chris Lieberman
Pianist: Rick Roberts
Presbytery Docket Deadline: Thursday, Sept. 21st. Please submit reports and docket information to the Stated Clerk at
Display Space: If you would like a display table, please email requests to the Stated Clerk no later than Sept. 25th.
Registration: The registration tables will open at 8:15 AM. Training for new commissioners will take place at 8:45 AM.
Excuse Requests: Teaching Elders, Certified Christian Educators, Committee Moderators, and Ruling Elder Commissioners who are unable to attend should submit an excuse request to the Stated Clerk by email to or by phone at (904) 612-9766 (cell).
Lunch: Lunch will be provided at a cost of $10 per person.
Child Care: Child care will be provided. If you will need child care, please call Kris Weaver at the MPCC office at (352) 473-4516 by Sept. 25th to provide the number and ages of children who will be coming with you.
Additional Commissioners*: Churches sending additional ruling elder commissioners for one year which began with the 2017 Spring Stated Meeting (number in parentheses is total):
Lake Shore (2)                      
Lakewood (3)                        
Marion Oaks (2)                     
Mayport (2)                            
McIntosh (2)                           
Memorial (3) 

Middleburg (2)
Mikesville (2)
Murray Hill (2)
Nueva Esperanza (2)
Ocala First (3)
Orange Park (2)
*Churches send additional commissioners to ensure that we have “parity” between teaching elder and ruling elder commissioners.

Hurricane Irma Update

As recovery efforts begin in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the St. Augustine Presbytery Disaster Assistance Commission (SAPDAC) is in the process of contacting all churches within the presbytery. We are grateful that no extremely serious damage has been reported thus far. Some of our churches are in areas that may be without power for some time.
We continue to work closely with the Florida Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Network (FLAPDAN) and are expecting visitors from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. We continue to pray for everyone impacted by Hurricane Irma and will send updates from FLAPDAN and others as we receive them.

Updates & Information from FLAPDAN: As a member of Florida VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), FLAPDAN is seeking church volunteer teams who would like to assist in clean-up efforts. Volunteer Teams are currently needed for tarping, debris removal and muck outs. Florida VOAD recently adopted a national platform called Crisis Cleanup to coordinate the efforts of volunteers who want to respond after a disaster.
If volunteer teams would like to assist, FLAPDAN requests all members to register for Crisis Cleanup and to watch two mandatory training videos (both links are provided below).

Individuals who would like to assist should register at or join with a local trusted disaster organization such as the American Red Cross or a church volunteer team that is using Crisis Cleanup (see above).

For those who suffered property damage, you may call 800-451-1954 to register your need for assistance through Crisis Cleanup.

FLAPDAN has also asked us to share the following information:

Disaster Distress Helpline: The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Calls (1-800-985-5990) and texts (text “TalkWithUs” to 66746) are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the country, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support.

American Red Cross: The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public, and available in English and Spanish. There are a number of ways to use this service:

·         Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website.

·         Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English.

·         To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Bulletin Inserts Available

The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has put together a bulletin insert as it is relying on the generosity of Presbyterians to provide financial and hands-on support to help the whole church stand with these communities and the Presbyterian family as it responds to its neighbors. 

To download a PDF copy of the bulletin insert, please click on the image below:


New Book of Order Available for Download

The amendments proposed by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) and approved by the presbyteries are now included in the NEW Book of Order (2017-2019)

While physical copies are on backorder through, you may download a PDF version of the new Book of Order free of charge.

The NEW Book of Confessions, which includes the new Confession of Belhar, is available for pre-order through at a 40% discount now through its “publish date” of Oct. 13th.


Presbyterian Women’s Horizons Bible Study Kick Off Held Saturday August 19th

This gallery contains 10 photos.

The Presbyterian Women’s Horizons Bible Study Kick Off was Saturday, August 19th at Montgomery Conference Center.  It was a day filled with learning and laughter.  A skit presented by Lakewood Presbyterian gave an overview of the Hebrews Study in an entertaining fashion.  Reverend Sheryl Sumlin-Walker from Trinity Presbyterian in Palm Coast gave the Bible Study introduction and officiated the Communion Service.  

More than one thousand tee shirts were donated by the eighty-five women attending.  These went to Rethreaded, an organization in Jacksonville which helps get women and children out of sex trafficking.  Over $2000 was raised with sales of items made from tee shirts as well as jewelry items and leather items.

Nancy Secrist made a presentation on Days for Girls, a group which makes washable sanitary pads for girls in developing countries so they can stay in school.  This will be the 2018 Together in Service mission for the St. Augustine Presbyterian Women. More information will be forthcoming.

 The Labyrinth on Camp Montgomery grounds was made available for a meditative walk guided by Willow Bartlett.  There was a 50/50 drawing which raised $250 and was donated to Montgomery.

All in all it a wonderful day was had by everyone.  If you missed it, put it on your calendar for 2018.  It will be the same date, August 19th.

Electronic Forms Now Available for Presbytery Nominating Committee


st_augustine_logo_colorWith the deadline quickly approaching for servant leader applications, we are happy to share with you electronic forms which may be filled out on your computer and emailed to by Tuesday, August 15th. We hope that you find these forms more user friendly.

If you have questions, please feel free to call Joe Risby at (904) 480-0683 (cell). Forms may also be returned via fax to 904-737-6658 or mailed to Presbytery of St. Augustine, 1937 University Blvd. W., Jacksonville, FL 32217.

For more information about the General Assembly, scheduled for June 16-23, 2018 in St. Louis, visit here. 




Service on Presbytery Team or Commission

Service as General Assembly Commissioner

Service as Synod Commissioner




General Assembly Applications Due August 15th

PCBizThe General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) meets every other year, and the next meeting will take place in St. Louis in June of 2018. 

Serving as a GA commissioner or young adult advisory delegate is a wonderful and memorable experience. Please take a look at the application and consider whether you or someone you know is being called to serve the church in this unique way. If you have any questions, please call/write to Joe Rigsby at 904-480-0683(c) or   

The application deadline is August 15, 2017. Please fill out and return to Sandra Hedrick, States Clerk, at Our representatives and alternates will be elected at the Fall Stated Presbytery Meeting in October so that we can report the names to the General Assembly by the December deadline.

About The General Assembly:
The General Assembly consists of commissioners elected by presbyteries. Half of the commissioners will be ruling elders, half will be teaching elders. Few will ever have been commissioners to the General Assembly before, but most will have served in one of the other governing bodies of our church: the session, which provides care and oversight of a local congregation; the presbytery, which provides care and oversight of a group of congregations; or the synod which provides care and oversight of several presbyteries.

It reviews the work of synods, resolves controversies in the church, is responsible for matters of common concern for the whole church, and serves as a symbol of unity for the church.

The General Assembly has several specific responsibilities outlined in Chapter 3 of the Book of Order. The assembly seeks to protect our church from errors in faith and practice, is responsible for assuring that the expression of our theology remains true to the biblical standards in our historic confessions. The General Assembly presents a witness for truth and justice in our community and in the world community. It sets priorities for the church and establishes relationships with other churches or ecumenical bodies.

New Communications Coordinator Announced

Communications Coordinator Kristen Magda

Communications Coordinator Kristen Magda

The Presbytery of St. Augustine welcomes Kristen Magda as our Communications Coordinator! She is excited about serving in this key role in our new presbytery structure. Kristen will be responsible for communications within the presbytery, including producing a newsletter, sending emails to large groups, maintaining and improving the website, promoting gatherings and events, and much more. 

Kristen, who has over 15 years of experience in the communications field, moved to the Jacksonville area last summer from Massachusetts. She most recently worked as the Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations at Stonehill College, a small Roman Catholic liberal arts college near Boston. 

In that role for eight years, she worked closely with the college’s senior administration in developing institutional messaging while serving as the college’s lead news writer. She also co-managed the school’s social media accounts and played a critical role on its emergency response team.   

Prior to that, she worked in athletic communications for six years where she oversaw publicity for several athletic programs, first at Brown University in Rhode Island and then at Nichols College near Worcester, Mass.

Kristen and her husband Andrew have a five-year old son named AJ and reside in Fleming Island. She comes to us from a Roman Catholic background (her uncle is a priest in the Ormond Beach area). 

You may welcome Kristen by email – or phone (904) 733-8277 (x122). She looks forward to serving with us in our mission: “to support our faith community, so that together we may witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

With joy and thanksgiving,

 The Bridge Staffing Team
Jeff Welch – Moderator
Mary Mickel – Moderator-Elect
Ralph Moulder – Council Moderator
Edd Norris – Discernment and Design Team Chair 

Sandra Hedrick – Stated Clerk

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