Sermons of Service April 29, 2018 Presbytery of Tampa Bay

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    Dave Baker

    Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary use words 
    ~ commonly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi

    The Commission on Church Vitality (CCV) of Presbytery of Tampa Bay (PTB) invites all
    congregations in the Presbytery to participate in a presbytery-wide mission project called Sermons of Service on Sunday, April 29, 2018.

    The concept is simple – on Sunday morning, April 29, during the regularly scheduled
    worship time and instead of the regular worship service, provide opportunities for those attending to engage is some type of service related mission project that benefits others.

    Participating congregations can develop projects suitable to their congregation and
    community. These can include but are not limited to at least one or more projects that occurred outside the church building in the community, as well as providing types of inside projects in which members with physical limitations can also participate.

    The objective is to give our congregations presence in our communities on Sunday
    Morning, beyond our worship services. It is also an opportunity for people not normally engaged in active service projects to experience the joy of serving.

    Last October Trinity Clearwater Presbyterian had its first Sermons of Service, followed by a second one in December. Trinity pastor Andrew Walton says, “We began each one with a brief 10-minute worship of a hymn, prayers, offering, and brief explanation of the projects for the day.” The congregation then went to work on inside and outside projects that included:

    • assembling hygiene kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance according to PDA specifications found on their website.
    • assembling boxes of food and water for a community in Puerto Rico. .
    • going into the surrounding neighborhood and picking up trash and brush.
    • placing door-hangers soliciting any small jobs anyone would like the church to do on the next Sermons of Service Sunday or another time.
    • assembling hygiene kits adapted for local homeless programs.
    • sorting bags of donated clothing for Clothes To Kids.
    • cleaning crew to the Clothes To Kids store.
    • cleaning crew to Kimberly House to clean one of their apartments for single mothers.
    • making sandwiches for the Cold Night Shelter. Both Sermons of Service concluded in good Presbyterian fashion with food: a simple sandwich-bar lunch together (lunch preparation was a good inside project for a few people). According to Pastor Walton, both experiences were very rewarding for those who participated. “We even had visitors participate with positive feedback!”

    Want to participate? Here are some guidelines:

    1. Get support from your congregation’s mission committee/team/ministry, pastor(s) and session
    2. Let the Presbytery know you are participating by emailing the Stated Clerk at
    3. Identify your inside and outside projects
    4. Gather any materials needed (items for kits, tools, etc.)
    5. Get the word out in your congregation.
    6. Get the word out in your community.
    7. On April 29 join hundreds of Presbyterians around Tampa Bay in Sermons of Service!
    8. Share your experience with the Presbytery CCV through stories, photos, and video clips.

    The Presbytery will be working with congregations and local media outlets to create broad interest and awareness of Tampa Bay Presbyterians making a difference through Sermons of Service!

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