Dearest Faith Community Near and Far-

August seems to be passing quickly! And we (your session) pray all is well with you.

What’s New

  1. We have a few changes to breakfast church of which we want you to be aware. On the first Sunday of the month, we will continue gather for a full breakfast as we have since the storm. Everyone is invited to bring a dish to share for this meal together. Following the meal, we continue our time of worship. However, on the following Sundays, we will instead have a lighter continental breakfast with simply pastries, muffins, and fruit. You are still asked to bring something, but we intend to make it simpler as we are all busy these days. This is intended to ease the pressure of the need to cook each Sunday, but also to allow to continue the feeling of breakfast church. 
  2. The other change to Breakfast Church that is happening relates to start times. Pastor Syl, from 1st Presbyterian Church will begin covering for Pastor Devon on Aug 27th. He will continue to preach at his own church, but will then come and preach at Wintergarden afterward. Because of this, we will have to shift our services to being 30 minutes later. He will be covering from August 27th through the remainder of Devon’s sabbatical. Therefore, starting Aug 27th breakfast will be at 10 am with our service to follow at about 10:30am.
  3. In pantry need, the permit for the pantry sunshade structure has been accepted! This is very exciting for those standing in the heat! And we have a subcontractor for the work. He is working to provide an accurate quote and to procure materials. The existing metal structure is coming down this weekend in preparation for the new one and to make it easier for the volunteers to arrange their tents for protection better.
  4. More great news! The kitchen is coming together! Cabinets have been set and templating for counters and sinks should happen today. Electrical will be completed by end of day today.
  5. And let’s not forget  about the Christmas cantata! It’s exciting to think about the holidays already and we will begin practicing  for the cantata “Mary Did You Know” by Joel Raney for Christmas with First Presbyterian.
    • Practices will begin September 28 at 6:30 ea Thurs
    • Will perform Dec 17 Sunday morning at First Presbyterian and Dec 17 Sun afternoon at Wintergarden.  More details about times to follow. 
    • Music scores and CD’s will be available to anyone who would like to participate.  
    • If anyone wants to sing but doesn’t like to drive after dark we can arrange transportation. 
    • Please know this is open to “anyone.”  You do not need to read music or have a perfect voice to sing. Just a desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Should be fun!!!
    • Contact Heather DeGroot for music. We are excited about this opportunity and need you to help make this happen!
  6. Please know that your church elders are all working through whatever comes during Devon’s sabbatical. In addition to the Wintergarden family members listed below are able to help in the specific areas listed. If you have a need, please reach out! Also the pastor@wintergarden email will go to Pastor Syl while Pastor Devon is gone. He will be covering for much of Devon’s time away.

Much love, 
Wintergarden Presbyterian Church 

Worship with Wintergarden
Sunday, August 20, 2023

Breakfast Church & Worship @ 9:30am
with going Live on Facebook around 10 am

IN THE SANCTUARY and on Facebook Live
*Please bring a dish to share. 

How to access the bulletin:
Bulletin HERE
How to Access Services Online:

Join us on Facebook for Worship Services
Remember, you don’t need a Facebook Account
to join us for worship. 

You can also click HEREfor the Facebook link.


Sunday, August 20, 2023 at 9:30 amSermon: Perseverance OR Persistence
Matthew 15: 21-28Join us IN THE SANCTUARY at 9:30 am for a time of Food, Fellowship, and Worship. Please bring a dish to share this Sunday. Thank you to everyone who helped set everything up for church today!
Every Monday Lectio Divina
Every Wednesday Food delivery
Every Thursday Food Pantry 12-4pmAug. 24: CNS Care N Share 
Aug. 25: Family Fun Night (Last Friday of every month)
Preview of The Chosen Season Two
Beginning Sunday, September 10 after Worship
Follow Me Biblical Practices for Faithful Living

With Pastor Devon’s sabbatical just around the corner, we thought we would take a moment and introduce you to Pastor Syl and his wife Betania. Syl is the new pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Port Charlotte. Since he is part-time, we have been able to work it out for Syl to lead us during Devon’s sabbatical. Syl’s first Sunday will us will be August 27th. Prior to Syl joining us, Rev. Melana Scruggs will preach and Rev. Karen Wismer. Hopefully Syl can come join us on a Sunday before Devon leaves so everyone can meet him. We are excited and blessed that Syl will be with us during this time. Below is a bit more about Pastor Syl. 

The Reverend Silvio Esteves or just Pastor Syl (like the first part of Silver) is a native of Brazil, although, he holds two citizenships. One from Brazil and another one from Spain, since his family came to Brazil from that country. Because of that, he can speak fluently Portuguese and Spanish.Pastor Syl began his studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia, passing through the prestigious McGill University (considered to be the Harvard of Canada), and graduating with a Master of Divinity from the Presbyterian College in Montreal. He also holds a Master of Theology from Tyndale University in Toronto Syl was then ordained by the Presbyterian Church in Canada.He is married to Betania. Add an “a” to the end of “Bethany” and that is how you can say her name. Betania is also from Brazil and they have two sons, Gabriel (25) and Pedro (21). Syl and his family lived for almost six years on Canada’s French-speaking side. Nonetheless, they are not strangers to the US, having lived here for many years, more specifically in Atlanta, the towns of Crested Butte in Colorado, and Sun Valley, Idaho.Syl and Betania love to take long walks and meet new people. They are both delighted they can be part of Wintergarden during Pastor Devon’s sabbatical and are looking forward to meeting the people in our church.You can see more of Pastor Syl at or
Back to School Blessings!
Are you looking for ideas on how to bless backpacks, students, teachers and more? The Office of Christian Formation PCUSA has prepared them for you! Find them here: #PCUSA #BackToSchool #Blessings
Facebook for Wintergarden Presbyterian ChurchFacebook for the Garden of Eatin’ at Wintergarden Presbyterian Church

Do you have a facebook account? If you do, I want to encourage you to like “Wintergarden Presbyterian Church” and “Garden of Eatin’.” Click on the blue circle with the “f” in it to access our two facebook pages. 

Why check out Wintergarden on Facebook? Well, a few months ago, Wendy started doing our Facebook marketing for social media. She spends a great deal of time creating posts, sharing our story, taking pictures, and telling folks about the exciting things happening at Wintergarden. For this, Pastor Devon is incredibly grateful!

One of the things we would love is YOUR help. Every day, Wendy puts up a new post. Then she shares it to her page and the Garden of Eatin facebook page. We would love to grow our audience even more, but it will take YOUR help. When something is posted on facebook, we would love for you to share it with your friends and family. This helps build our online presence and broadens our outreach to share about the amazing ministries and mission at Wintergarden. Oh, and you can share our worship services with others if you would like too. 

Truly, we need your help to connect with the wider community to build more and more excitement about “feeding people physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally in our community.”

FOOD PANTRY VOLUNTEERS NEEDEDPlease contact the church office at 941-743-5335 or email at foodpantry@wintergardenpres.orgIt is starting to warm up, which means we need to be able to rotate volunteers more frequently while outdoors. If you can come and give an hour or more, please talk with Kymmie and come join us. 
Interested in joining our Garden?
Garden of Eatin’ – Food Forest
For more information click HERE
At Wintergarden Presbyterian Church
we’re eager to pray with you!  

Please let us know how we can pray by submitting a Prayer Request online (link below). The prayer requests are emailed to Pastor Devon once submitted.
Prayer Request
Lectio Divina for Monday, August 21, 2023All are welcome to join us as we continue to engage in the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina together as a community. 

This Week’s Scripture: James 3:1-12

We will gather via Zoom for an intentional time of listening, reflecting, responding, and resting in the Word of God. We will meet on Mondays from 8-9 am. 

Here are some details about Lectio Divina. 

Lectio Divina, literally meaning “divine reading,” is an ancient practice of praying the Scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the person listens to the text of the Bible with the “ear of the heart,” as if he or she is in conversation with God, and God is suggesting the topics for discussion.

There are four movements for Lectio Divina: 
1. Lectio: (Listening to the Word of God or Reading God’s Word)
2. Meditation: (Reflecting on the Word of God)
3. Oratio: (Responding to the Word of God)
4. Contemplatio: (Resting in the Word of God)

Here is the Zoom Link: 
Join Zoom Meeting: Click HERE 

Meeting ID: 878 3208 0869
Passcode: 396015
+16465588656,,87832080869#,,,,*396015# US (New York)