Dearest Faith Community Near and Far-

Good afternoon Wintergarden Faith Community! Well, there is nothing like hitting the ground running after a 14-week sabbatical and getting up to date on everything that has been going on. I’m still trying to figure out how to answer the question, “How was your sabbatical?” So you will probably hear different responses from me about what my sabbatical was like for a while. At this point I can tell you a slept a whole lot, started walking most days of the week, continued adjustments with my chiropractor, read a whole lot of great books, went on a lovely family vacation to Colorado, spent a week alone in the mountains of North Carolina, had a wonderful girl’s weekend with my best friend Nicole, enjoyed a conference in Nashville, and time with Emma to celebrate my birthday. Although the bathroom didn’t get remodeled yet, Lamont’s office space in our house did. The bathroom is next on the household projects!

There was also a lot of thinking and processing the past couple of years and discerning what’s next as I personally move forward and we move together as a faith community. The main thing I will continue to share is what an amazing gift the sabbatical was for me and my family. I am so incredibly grateful to each of you for this sabbatical. 

A huge thank you to Pastor Syl, the staff, the session, and all our volunteers for keeping the ship afloat and finding many ways forward each and every day. I know everyone learned a great deal about all the stuff at church. And I look forward to moving forward in a way that is healthier for everyone and allows us to embrace our mission to feed our community in the way God intends for us to. 

As I was thinking through what “re-entry” would look like for me personally, I realized I needed to do so slowly. I will primarly be working from home through Thanksgiving. There are many different reasons for this and I pray you will all understand. I will be available via phone, text, email, and video conferences. Just reach out! Know I will be limited with communication on Mondays because I will be working on my sermon. So, if you pray for me on Mondays for the Holy Spirit to come and inspire me and fill me with the word needed to be preached, I would greatly appreciate it! 

A huge change in my schedule is that I will be taking Fridays and Saturdays off. There will be some exceptions to this (like workdays on Saturdays), but I’m really going to work hard on sticking to this for my sanity and for my family. I will not be checking or responding to emails, returning text messages or phone calls, and trying really hard to not work at all. If there are emergencies, I will absolutely respond to those. Please just call twice or reach out to Lamont if you cannot reach me. 

As we venture into November, our series for the month of November will be “An Attitude of Gratitude.” In the midst of everything going on, having an attitidue of gratitude can help make or break any situation. I’m looking forward to being back in worship with you all and seeing what God has in-store for us this upcoming season. Blessings to you this weekend and see you at either the workday on Saturday or for worship on Sunday. 

Dates to Remember

  • Thanksgiving – We’re having 2 of them! Lots of turkey, food, and fellowship!
    • We’ll do a joint celebration with First Presbyterian Church the Sunday before Thanksgiving at 5 pm at Wintergarden. A sign up sheet will be circulated. And we look forward to gathering around table with our siblings in Christ to share in a wonderful meal. 
    • We’ll also do our traditional Community Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day at 2 pm. After our meal, folks are invited to stay to wath the movie “Jesus Revolution.” A sign up sheet will be circulated. 

Making Headway
We’re making some headway on some more projects around the church. 

  • Parking lot lights are installed and working great! 
  • The canopy for the food pantry will be fully completed today! After the construction is complete, electrical will be added and more fans. We are ready for the heat (but let’s pray it doesn’t arrive anytime soon)!
  • Shower permit is still in the final stages. Hopefully that project will begin this month. 

I am looking forward to seeing you all. 

Much love, 
Pastor Devon

Worship with Wintergarden
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Breakfast Church @ 9:30 am
Worship following about 10:00 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 WORSHIP SERVICESunday, November 12, 2023
Breakfast Church @ 9:30 am
Followed by Worship @ 10:00 amSermon: An Attitude Of Gratitude: Choosing Today
Joshua 24:1-3, 14-25
Every Monday Lectio Divina 8am
Every Wednesday Food Delivery Truck
Every Thursday Food Pantry 12-4pm (Except Thanksgiving week, will be Nov. 21 from 12-4pm)
Nov. 11 Coffee, Conversation & WorkdayNov 19 Thanksgiving with First Pres at 5pm at Wintergarden
Nov 21 Homeless Coalition 4:30pm
Nov. 23 Community Thanksgiving Meal beginning at 2pm with a movie to follow
Nov. 30 CNS Care N Share (5th Thursday because of Thanksgiving.)
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, November 13, 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: Psalm 90:1-12

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 8-9am. 

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)
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.”
Facebook for Wintergarden Presbyterian ChurchFacebook for the Garden of Eatin’ at Wintergarden Presbyterian Church