A few notes as summer rolls along: · It is August now – the start of my seventh year as your Presbytery Executive and Stated Clerk. August almost does not seem to be a summer month any more. School is starting again soon (When you are married to an educator, you always live by the school calendar.) And just the other day, I saw displays of Halloween-themed candy in a store. Before Halloween even arrives, we will be headlong into the Christmas holidays. And don’t get me started on the increasingly diminishing importance of Thanksgiving (except as a retail sales marker)! · Here is something to keep in the front of your mind: on January 13, 2019, Central Florida Presbytery will be celebrating the chartering of a new congregation, Hope Presbyterian Church in Lake Nona. Plans are being made for the celebration worship for our newest congregation in the mid-afternoon when most people should be able to attend. An Administrative Commission has been named by CFP to work with the folks at Hope Presbyterian as we move towards this momentous day! Visit them at www.hopenona.com. · If it were up to you, where would you attempt the next new church development in our Presbytery? · Speaking of Hope Presbyterian, they are partnering with Washington Shores Presbyterian Church in a project called “2 Million Steps for Change.” Members are asked to track their daily steps with a fitness band, smart watch or a free pedometer available at the church. The step count can be shared using a Google document sheet online. The congregations are seeking to log a collective 2 Million Steps for Change and raise awareness and funds for The Bail Project. This effort was inspired by the bail offering and march during the 223rd General Assembly in June in St. Louis. For more information, contact Erika Rembert Smith or Nancy Graham Ogne. · Is your congregation involved in an interesting project or ministry? Let your presbytery know about it! Please email your information to Cheryl Carson for inclusion in our communications to our presbytery's church. · If your name is Community Presbyterian Church, then you have construction going on at your church. CommPres Celebration is building a new multi-story Christian Education and Life Center on the southeast corner of their grounds, giving them much needed ministry space. CommPress Howey in the Hills is doing a complete renovation of their sanctuary. Work began around July 1 and will result in an expanded chancel area and narthex, new stained glass windows, and more room all around. The congregation is worshiping in Crowder Hall while the work progresses. · Christ Presbyterian in Ormond Beach also has been sweeping up construction dust. Renovations to the sanctuary began in late 2017, and renovations to Fellowship Hall to make it more suitable for contemporary worship services was also undertaken. · Sheryl Sumlin-Walker was installed as Pastor of United Presbyterian Church in Daytona Beach on July 22. Glory Cumbow will be installed as Associate Pastor at Westminster-by-the-Sea on August 12. These are Presbytery events, so attend and celebrate with our sisters and brothers if you are able. · Several months ago, I wrote about the potential for sizeable increases to General Assembly per capita for 2019-2020. The amounts requested were dramatically reduced by the time the General Assembly convened on June 16, and when the meeting ended a week later, per capita for the General Assembly was set at $9.85 for both years (original asks were $10.71 and $11.45). GA per capita is currently $7.73. Synod per capita will be unchanged for 2019 ($1.50). Presbytery will present recommendations for the 2019 budget, including total per capita costs, at the December stated meeting.
Rev. Dr. Dan Williams Executive Presbyter/Stated Clerk