Presbytery of St. Augustine

We are Called to Serve!

Dear Presbytery Family,

Scripture reminds us that the church is one body in Christ Jesus with many parts, each part important to the whole. Likewise, our presbytery relies on many volunteers who serve in different capacities, and we give thanks for everyone’s time and talents!

It is time for the presbytery’s Nominating Team to meet and make nominations to fill roles in our Coordinating Council and in each of our commissions and teams.  We ask you to prayerfully consider how God may be calling you or someone you know to serve. Nominations will be presented at the Fall Stated Meeting on October 1, 2019. These nominations will include the Class of 2020 as well as some vacancies in other classes.

Click on the link below for the application to serve form (PDF file) which contains more information about duties and responsibilities. The deadline for returning the form is August 1, 2019

Application to Serve form

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

Patti Phillips, Nominating Team Chair,

Joe Rigsby, Volunteer Management Committee Chair,

Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk,

Chris Lieberman, Relationship Coordination Director,

Apply to Serve at General Assembly!

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will meet in Baltimore next year from June 20-27, 2020. The commissioners come from every presbytery in the country to participate in worship, service, fellowship and business meetings. The Assembly is made up of equal numbers of teaching elders and ruling elders as well as advisory delegates (young adult, theological students, mission workers, and others). Serving our presbytery in this way is hard work but is rewarding and can be a life-changing experience. All expenses are paid for those who attend.
If you believe that God may be calling you to serve our presbytery this way, please let us know by filling out an application and sending it in no later than August 1. To be a commissioner, you must be a teaching elder or ruling elder (you do not have to be currently serving on your session). The requirements for serving as a young adult advisory delegate are on the application form. 
If you have any questions, please contact:
Patti Phillips, Nominating Team Chair,
Joe Rigsby, Volunteer Management Committee Chair,
Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk,
Chris Lieberman, Relationship Coordination Director,

Cuba Connection

Save the Date for Church, Coffee & Culture! 
Monday, August 5, 3:00 p.m. at Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Augustine.

We are pleased to welcome Rev. Dr. Ary Fernandez-Alban and Rev. Dr. Beidy Casas-Aragon who serve as a dedicated clergy couple in Matanzas, Cuba.  Watch for more details coming soon!

Triennium Update – June 4

Excitement is building! Twenty-five youth are registered to attend the 2019 Triennium as part of the Presbytery of St. Augustine delegation, leaving by bus on July 15th! Most youth who attend this once-every-three-year event say it is a powerful part of their spiritual growth and one of the best experiences offered by the church. For many people, the Triennium event is a life-changing experience. 

In trying to make attendance affordable and include as many youth as possible, we will likely exceed our presbytery’s Triennium budget. To offset expenses the Coordinating Council is providing a way for individuals or congregations to make secure, direct donations to support this valuable youth experience.  

As part of our Presbytery’s focus of 2019 being “a year with youth and young adults” your generous support in nurturing faith is appreciated. If you would prefer to send a check, payable to the Presbytery of St. Augustine, you can mail it to the address below. Please include Triennium in the memo designation.

Stay tuned for more updates as the Triennium draws near!


Healthy Pastors Healthy Congregations

Healthy Pastors Healthy Congregations Seminar
Monday, July 15 at 6:00 p.m.
Orange Park Presbyterian Church

Learn More Today!

Would you like to receive $10,000 for student loan repayment, debt reduction, or a contribution to your BOP Retirement Savings Plan? The Healthy Pastors Healthy Congregations program may be for you!

The Healthy Pastors Healthy Congregations program brings a pastor and congregational leadership together to work toward financial sustainability by providing financial education and consultations to both the pastor and congregational leaders.

Click on the video link below to hear Pastor John Diller, Orange Park Presbyterian Church, share his experiences with the Healthy Pastors Healthy Congregations program.

The success of the program rests on covenants among the pastor, the congregation, and the Board of Pensions. Each party promises to take specific actions that, together, will help build a brighter financial future. Pastors who covenant with their congregational leadership to complete the program receive individual financial counseling with Ernst & Young Employee Financial Services, a provider of independent, objective employee financial education and counseling. 

Qualifying pastors who complete the program receive a grant of up to $10,000. The grant may be used to reduce or eliminate the pastor’s educational or other debt, or to boost personal savings in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a 403(b)(9) plan.

This is a great opportunity to help strengthen the financial health of you, your family, and your congregation. We strongly encourage you to learn more and complete the Covenant paperwork (available via the “Learn More Today” link above) with your session prior to attending the workshop.

Please RSVP to so that we can plan for dinner. There is a limit of five congregations that can participate in this seminar, so act now! If there are more congregations interested in the program, an additional seminar can be added.

Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations Seminar
For Pastors and the Congregation’s Leadership Team
Monday, July 15 at 6:00 p.m.
Orange Park Presbyterian Church
1905 Park Avenue / Orange Park, FL 32073



Summer Event of the Presbyterian Women

Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center

We are excited to share that the Summer Gathering of the Presbyterian Women will be Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center in Starke!
Presbyterian Women are encouraged to sign up early for the August 17 Bible Study kick off. We will be looking at an overview of the lessons from the Love Carved in Stone study and doing a hands-on mission project together. There will also be time to meet with women in your region to share ideas. Join us for a day of fun and learning.
For detailed information about the summer event, including mission project details and the registration form, please click here. Please note the early registration deadline is August 1.
Please share this information with your congregations and friends who support the Presbyterian Women. If you have any questions about the Summer Event, please contact Nancy Carlton, Vice-Moderator / Planner, via email. Thank you!

Personal Reflections on Finding Faith in the Midst of Fear

By Rev. Charles Freeman, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church

Rev. Charles Freeman, Pastor with Grace PC in Gainesville, is preparing himself for major surgery on May 20, followed by at least a week in the hospital and a minimum of 6-8 weeks of recovery.  

Our faith proclaims that whatever we face in life and in death, God is with us –and we do not face it alone.  As many others facing serious life challenges can identify, Rev. Freeman has given expression to the fears and the faith that mix within his soul with insight and honesty.  Bearing witness among this community of care and support, Charles offers this personal reflection. . .

“. . . This is the state of things for my body, and it’s going to be a slog to get through this surgery and recovery to whatever weird variant of ‘normal’ awaits on the other side. It’s also a little more complicated in that there’s a hernia in the way (left over from that cancer surgery) that has to be fixed before the actual colostomy can be done, which means a long day on the table (and more opportunity for complications, if I’m honest, but I’m trying not to think about that too much).

 “So there’s been plenty of anger and even rage so far, and I’m quite sure there will be more. There’s been plenty of sadness and even despair, too. There isn’t happiness. Why would there be? There has basically been a more or less steady flow of uneven, turbulent, and even contradictory emotions, which I don’t expect to change any time soon. The standard sardonic humor has also been kicking in, as the surgery has acquired the rather pompous nickname, The Great Rerouting, which, if nothing else, has the merit of being more or less accurate and substantially less gross-sounding than what will actually happen.

“I mean, I’m not going to have a *normal* life after this. It may be some new approximation of “normal” in the sense of a routine that sets in and becomes a pattern against which some form of life may happen, but it won’t remotely be “normal” in the sense that any kind of 50%+1 of the population experiences it. And as I’m sure you’re aware, this isn’t exactly a great conversation starter. In fact, it’s pretty good conversation stopper. So it tends to shut me down or shut me off sometimes. I have been able to confide in some valued friends and, of course, I am married to a woman who has had an unfortunate amount of dealing with my health failings with grace and steel beyond my capacity to grasp. We will be challenged again, and I have no soothsaying power to say how it will come out. Not to mention there will be a rather substantial period of enforced non-work that will no doubt fill up with all manner of reflection and reconsideration, whether I want it to or not (I’m hoping to fill it with reading and writing, but the other will happen regardless).

“So if anybody saw this hymn and wondered where it came from (, now you know it’s personal, or will be.

“This was absolutely not something I wanted to do, but all the illness and failure of that body part was absolutely hindering my ability to function much at all, much less to do my job. I have a choice between two impaired qualities of life, and I am choosing the one that at least offers a chance of some kind of “normal” living.

“I am grateful to the session for their forbearance and understanding, both in planning for the absence itself and in allowing me the professional time and vacation beforehand (when I can hopefully still do both).

“Now that you’ve subjected yourself to more than you ever wanted to hear on this, I’ll stop.”

Spring Stated Meeting Photos

The Spring 2019 Stated Meeting was held on May 7, 2019, for worship, fellowship, discernment, and taking action.  Here are a few photos from the meeting.  Video clips are available on our our Facebook page!

Tools for Building Resilience

You are invited to attend
Tools for Building Resilience

A workshop presented by

In partnership with City of Jacksonville &
Northeast Florida Long-Term Recovery Organization

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Time: 9:00a to 1:00p
Ed Ball Building, 214 North Hogan St. 1st FL Training Rm.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(across the hall from the Brick Café)

You will learn how to…

Recognize your own signs of stress
Use tools for stress management in the midst of difficult moments
Increase calm and effective responses to stress
Make lifestyle choices to promote resilience

Register at:

Please register by Friday, May 17, 2019
For questions, contact: Raelyn Means at 904-748-9723 or