I leave for my first General Assembly on Friday!  I am most excited about worship and fellowship with Presbyterians from across the nation, including some of my seminary classmates (Columbia, class of 2009). I am honored to join our transitional executive Steve Benz in accompanying our six commissioners and our young adult advisory delegate (YAAD) in their first General Assembly experience. Just a few weeks ago, I was asked to fill the role of committee parliamentarian for the Social Justice Committee. During the week of May 12th, I attended GA leadership training in Louisville. During training, someone took a photo (see below) of ourRead More →

By: Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk Photo: First Presbyterian Church, Green Cove Springs, Florida The program for entering 2013 statistics has closed, and over the next few months I will use them as a springboard to share some interesting facts and figures about our congregations. Starting with the basics, the total number of congregation members in our presbytery at the end of 2013 was 17,074 (it was 17,334 in 2012). Twenty-one of our 63 churches had a net increase in membership. There are three churches in our presbytery with over 1,000 members, eight between 500 and 1,000, 23 between 100 and 500, and 29 with underRead More →

“Life is a gift … so spend time with the Giver.” These were some of the thoughtful words of our newest presbytery member, Dr. Harry Johnson, as he shared his faith journey with the Examinations Commission last week. If you attend the May Stated Presbytery Meeting, you will have an opportunity to meet Harry and his wife Christine, who moved to the Palm Coast area last year. His name will be added to our pulpit supply list (on our website) very soon. Harry comes to us from the Presbytery of Lake Michigan. He is a native Minnesotan and grew up five hours north of Minneapolis/St.Read More →

By: Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk During the Gainesville clergy lunch last week (barbecue style in the Kanapaha church fellowship hall), I sat by Eddie and asked him what he has been up to. This General Assembly (GA) Commissioner will be putting a lot of activities on pause when he goes to Detroit in June.  And it is clear that everything he does will be enriched by the GA experience! Eddie, who came to us from Charleston Atlantic Presbytery, has been serving as a Parish Associate at First Presbyterian in Gainesville for about a year now.  He preaches, teaches and shares the sacraments when asked byRead More →

Dear friends in service to our Lord Jesus Christ,  The word is Stewardship, and it is such a wonderful word with such a bad reputation. I have been told more than once, “We don’t do the ‘S’ word.”  I have often wondered why that is, because the concept of being a steward of God’s creation, of tending to the earth that God has entrusted to us, is such a powerful image.  It evokes covenant and care, great responsibility and great reward, and a strong understanding of the relationship God wants to have with us.   I love the word stewardship and am grateful to GodRead More →

  On Saturday, February 1, the presbytery accepted Inquirer Melanie Marsh Baum (Ft. King Presbyterian) as a candidate for ministry under our care.  Melanie is a graduate of Florida State University with a BFA in Theatre and a minor concentration in dance.  Before entering into theological study and preparation for ministry, Melanie worked as an artist and arts educator in San Diego, California for ten years.  She has worked as an actor, dancer, and director, as well as teaching dance, theatre and arts activism to youth and adults of all ages from toddlers to grandparents.  While in San Diego, she began pursuing a Masters degreeRead More →

Greetings in the new year, in the new life that we find in the birth of our Savior, Jesus the Christ! On my drive to work the other morning, I heard a report on the cold weather shelters that some of our area churches set up in Jacksonville Beach on an emergency basis, and I was reminded once again that the baby born to us this Christmas taught us to care for the least of these in need. I am grateful to God for all of the ministries that so many of you do to do exactly that, with no concern for your own wellbeing,Read More →

Last week, we said goodbye to Dorothy Dornblaser, who sent the following email message on her last day: Greetings friends! Today is my last day as Director of the Presbytery’s Resource Center. However, the center will remain open for your use during office hours (Mon. – Thursday 8 – 5, Fridays 8 – noon. Items can be mailed to you by contacting Nancy or Michelle at the Presbytery office or you can come to the center and spend time going through the materials. Resource center contents are on-line at the Presbytery’s website (staugpres.org). The link to the on-line catalog is in the center of theRead More →

Here I am on January 1, 2014, hiking the San Felasco trails.  Jack and I had a wonderful walk in the woods in the rain.  It gave me time to begin thinking about all that has been and to hope for the possibilities of all that is tocome.  As I go “out on a limb” to find a new future, I want to say thank you to the colleagues and friends who supported me and shared in my ministry. You havebeen kind and generous of spirit and I have learned much from you. Thanks too to Nancy Brown and members of the staff who servedRead More →