By: Alexandra (Sandra) Hedrick, Stated Clerk
“Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20.
We held our Winter Stated Presbytery Meeting on Saturday, February 2, 2014, at the historic Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida. The weather was warm, and the pre-meeting fellowship was especially delightful. Dudley Weaver welcomed us on Memorial’s behalf.
We were called to worship with the sound of a magnificent pipe organ and enjoyed congregational singing, prayer, the Word, and the Lord’s Supper. We read the names of each teaching and ruling elder who had died during 2013 and gave thanks to God for their lives and their service. Moderator Gabe Goodman brought the morning message after portions of Acts 15 were delivered as a Reader’s Theater. The message included a call for both unity and reformation in our presbytery – “Reformation is the work of God among us. And it must begin in each church … one church at a time rediscovering our mission to make disciples who worship joyfully, serve with compassion, and grow in Christ all their lives.”
There were approximately 115 teaching elders and commissioners in attendance; significantly more than half were ruling elders. We received $1,048 in the morning offering, which was designated for the Jamaica Ecumenical Mutual Mission.
Although the meeting was concluded by the time designated for lunch (this wonderful lunch is described in more detail below), it included a full agenda. Highlights of the presentations and actions include:
- Reception of new or newly installed teaching elder members: Charlie Rumpel, the pastor of Weirsdale Presbyterian Church; Amy Hunt, the pastor of Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville; M.B. Choi, the pastor of Korean Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville; and Diane Wilson, a former military chaplain who has moved within the bounds of our presbytery and has become actively involved in the life of the St. Giles congregation in Jacksonville.
- Reception of Melanie Baum as a candidate for ministry. Melanie’s family was present as Melanie spoke at the meeting and received prayer and a warm welcome.
- Approval of a memorial resolution for the life of Rev. James Hampton Goodner (November 15, 1920 to October 14, 2013). Family members were present for the presentation and thanksgiving.
- Approval of the 2014 operating budget (posted on our website under the “Resources” menu item).
- Approval of an overture for the 221st General Assembly that calls for lifting travel restrictions for United States citizens traveling to Cuba.
- Approval of the purpose of our transition team, which is to assist the presbytery with “finding its identity, mission, and focus as the gathered saints of St. Augustine Presbytery, and making recommendations regarding the structure and funding necessary to bring about the new vision.” The proposal that was approved included a description of history, milestones, and process (the purpose document will be posted on our website under the “Resources” menu item).
- Oral reports from Presbyterian Women (Patti Phillips, Moderator), the Mutual Mission Committee (Richard Kirk, Moderator), Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center (Jim Montgomery, Board President), and Transitional Executive Presbyter Steve Benz.
- Election of six 221st General Assembly Commissioners, one Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD), and three alternates (see chart below for names).
- Election of individuals to several presbytery offices, including treasurer and president of the corporations (see chart below for names).
- Election of a new commissioner to the Administrative Commission for the Mandarin Presbyterian Church and approval of new designated co-moderators.
- Dismissal of the Faith Administrative Commission with an expression of gratitude for its service.
- Approval of the December 31, 2013 roll of teaching elders, commissioned ruling elders, and ruling elders certified to be commissioned, and a Christian educator.
- Receipt of additional reports from the stated clerk, committees and commissions (including administrative commissions) of the presbytery and approved proposed actions.
- Installation of our new Moderator, Cynthia Graham, following remarks by our outgoing Moderator, Gabe Goodman.
The lunch provided by the host church congregation included generous grilled pork loin sandwiches with a basil mayo and Fontina cheese, a tasty pasta salad, and a fabulous chocolate bread pudding with two sauces.
The Spring Stated Meeting will be held at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center on May 6, 2014, at 9:00 a.m.
It will be my pleasure to answer any questions you may have about these brief highlights or to provide you or your congregation/session with more information. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell phone: 904-612-9766.
Alexandra (Sandra) Hedrick
Presbytery Stated Clerk
Newly Elected Commissioners, Committee Members and Officers
General Assembly Commissioners
Elizabeth Clarisse (RE, First Lake City)
Stephen Crowley (RE, First Palatka)
Elizabeth Mitchell (RE, First Jasper)
Andy Gans (TE, Ft. King)
Kathy McLean (TE, Lake Shore)
Eriberto Soto (TE, First Gainesville)
General Assembly YAAD
Molly Smathers (Palms)
General Assembly Alternates
Ricky Kirby (RE, Orange Park)
Robert Schlegel (RE, Ft. King)
Larry Green (TE, Westminster)
President of the Corporations – Wayne Flowers (RE, Geneva)
Moderator-in-Nomination – Ralph Moulder (RE, First Starke)
Treasurer – Chuck Atkins (RE, Lakewood)
Administration and Finance – Cheryl McDavitt (RE, St. Giles)
Jeff Welch (TE, Dunnellon) (2015, unexpired)
Kathy VanderVliet (RE, Lakewood) (2014, unexpired)
Council – At Large
Betsy Clarisse (RE, First Lake City) (2014, unexpired)
Robert Nellson (RE, Palms) (2015, unexpired)