Ocala First Connection
July 23, 2020
Dear Ocala First Church Family,
 
Grace and Peace to you! As we noted in our e-news last week, given the continued rise in Covid-19 cases in Marion County, our Re-Launch Task Force made new recommendations related to the resumption of in-person ministries to Church Council.

Church Council approved the following general guidelines: 
 
  •  Our church’s ministry plans related to meeting in-person will be based on specific, quantifiable data for Covid-19 cases in Marion County. 
  • Our primary data point will be the 7-day average number of cases per 100,000 residents in Marion County.
  • Our ministry plans will be organized by phases based on that data. We are using the metrics outlined on this website: (CLICK HERE)
  • Red: 25+ cases per 100,000 residents
  • Orange: 10-24 cases per 100,000 residents
  • Yellow: 1—9 cases per 100,000 residents
  • Green: less than 1 case per 100,000 residents

Marion Country is currently at 37 cases per 100,000 residents.

Church Council called on our ministry staff and volunteer leaders to develop a creative and engaging ministry plan for the fall based on the contingencies of each phase. The first of these plans will be shared next week! Beginning in August, we will be rolling out new Bible studies, worship opportunities, mission and service opportunities, children's ministries and more! Stay tuned!
 
Below we have shared a graphic that outlines the basics of this phased approach. Please note that "outside ministries" and "inside ministries" in the orange and yellow phases include worship. Safety precautions for each phase and other details will be shared as those phases begin.

As we learn more about the virus and how it is spread, we will adjust how we do each ministry. Please remember that we are still working on the specifics for each phase but we have some great things in the planning stages for this fall!
 
We know there are many differences of opinion on the best ways to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our congregation has chosen a path of sacrificial love after the example of Christ: to “love our neighbors” by “doing no harm.” We have faith that God is at work in and through these new expressions of our church’s life, no less than before the pandemic.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us, and our church leadership, with your questions and concerns. We welcome the conversation as we continue to discern the most faithful way forward for our church.

 
We love you! We miss you! We are praying for you!

Pastors Anne and David Fuquay
WORSHIP WITH US ONLINE!
This Summer we are
READING SCRIPTURE TOGETHER
( Summer in the Scriptures)

We have been reading one chapter per day from the Gospels! Today, July 23, we are reading Luke 9. You can find the reading schedule and some teaching videos on our website:


Bishop Carter has created a public Facebook Group that anyone can join. There you will find even more reflections and resources.

Let us continue this spiritual discipline
as we grow together as a congregation!
FIND US ONLINE!
KIDS AND FAMILIES - STAY CONNECTED!
Our Family Ministries Team is awesome!
FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP

During this time when we cannot gather in person, your offerings can be made online and though the mail. Your generosity helps sustain and strengthen the work and witness of our church!

Gifts can be mailed to the church office.
(1126 E. Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL, 34470)

You can also give online at any time!
PASTORAL CARE

If you need prayer or need to speak with our pastors or a member of our Care Team, please call the church office.

In-Person visitation is suspended for most care facilities, and we are all trying to practice social distancing to protect those most at risk from serious illness from Covid-19.

We will keep our prayer list updated. Our Pastors and Care Team will reach out with phone calls and notes.

All members are encouraged to check-in with one another regularly, particularly with those older members who are not online and may feel more isolated during this time.
LOOKING AHEAD

Given how rapidly things can change during a pandemic, our leadership and staff will continue to closely monitor the situation and adapt our plans as needed. We will keep you informed each step of the way.

Updates on our website:

Updates from the Florida Conference Website:
Visit our webpage for updates, sermon videos and more!
[352.622.3244]  [info@fumcocala.org]  [www.fumcocala.org]