Greetings from the Moderator SEPTEMBER 2023
August has been a really busy time in our presbytery. The month began with the Office and Personnel Committee selecting a candidate to recommend to be our Stated Clerk. That person is our current Assistant Stated Clerk, the Rev. Christina Greenawalt. The Transition Team selected a couple to recommend to share the Interim Exec position. The Council met twice, once for its regular meeting and once to review terms of call to be presented to presbytery for Christina and to review the terms for the Interim Exec position. Our pastors and sessions have been invited to share their thanks for Dan Williams’ ministry among us as he prepares to retire September 30. On the final Sunday of the month, presbytery commissions installed two new minister members of presbytery in their places of service, the Rev. Cassandra Riker as Associate Pastor at First, DeLand and the Rev. Dr. Jason Hefner as pastor at Lighthouse-Christ Church, Ormond Beach.
In all this, I have been reminded of God’s providential care for us. Times of transition are always uncertain times. We are not sure what’s ahead when we know that things will not be as they have been. I think it’s why we have the story we have in Acts 1. Jesus spends 40 days with the disciples post resurrection during which he speaks to them about the kingdom of God. The disciples having had all this time with him, all this opportunity to understand, ask “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” To quote a friend of mine, “They just don’t get it.” They were looking for things to be the way they had learned to expect them to be. We do that, too. But life is full of changes and as a presbytery we are in the midst of a time of change.
We have a chance in the months ahead to look at who we are as a presbytery now, post Covid pandemic, with technology that makes it possible to do a lot of things together online that we have always done face to face. The recent changes in our Book of Order allow for us to meet on line and in person as long as we can all hear each other at every level of the church. That means that the folks who join in worship on line have a chance to participate in congregational meetings on line as well. We are a smaller presbytery than we were a decade ago, both in number of churches and in number of members. We have a chance to think together about what that means for our stewardship of money and resources, to decide together how this presbytery can best be a witness and a resource for the ministry of our congregations so that the ministry of the whole people of God in this place can flourish. We have already established a Strategic Planning Team, chaired by elder Ralphetta Aker McClary of Washington Shores Church to lead us in that look at who we are.
A time of chance is unsettling, but it is also exciting, an opportunity for new leadership to lead us into God’s future for us. The Nominating Committee is looking for leaders to join in the work of presbytery in 2024. A list of the presbytery committees that describes what they do will be part of the packet for the September meeting. Please look at it and when you sense that God may be calling you to share your gifts in the work of presbytery, let Jody Mask, chair of the Nominating Committee, know of your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.