Ocala First Connection
JUNE 3, 2020
Dear Ocala First Church Family,

We have tough news to share this week. This past Tuesday, June 2, one of our staff members tested positive for Covid-19, after feeling ill over the weekend. We have been working with staff and a few volunteers who have been on campus, to trace our exposure and contacts with one another, checking in with our primary care physicians and being tested as appropriate. Some staff members may need to self-quarantine. We began a thorough sanitizing of our church facility this afternoon.
We had a long conversation with our primary care physician this morning. Based on some interactions David had with this employee on Tuesday, our doctor was unequivocal that we both need to self-quarantine for 14 days (through June 17). The nature of the exposure makes it a gray area, but as pastors, we feel an ethical responsibility to be cautious, ensuring we do not cause harm to others.  We will follow our doctor’s orders to self-quarantine, monitor for any symptoms and be tested next week. 
We covet your prayers for our staff, both for those who have or may have the virus, and for the anxiety these circumstances inevitably bring.  We are blessed with a wonderful staff and never want to take their, or your, health and safety for granted.
Even with these new developments, the discussion about re-launching our in-person ministries is ongoing. You can find the latest information, documents and resources on our website (CLICK HERE)

We will continue to emphasize and prioritize the clear scientific consensus related to religious services outlined by the CDC including the wearing of masks, social distancing, sanitizing, and other measures. We will have several proposals for Church Council to consider on Thursday, June 4.

We appreciate your prayers and patience as we work diligently to ensure the safest environment and the most meaningful worship possible.  
Online worship and our Cox 21 broadcast will continue to be our primary way of worshiping together over the summer, even as we take our first steps towards gathering in person.

We love you! We miss you! We are praying for you!
Pastors Anne and David Fuquay
We invite you to join us in a simple spiritual practice this summer: READING SCRIPTURE TOGETHER!

From June 1 to August 28, we will read the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). We will join United Methodist congregations across the Florida in reading one chapter a day together. We will share teaching videos and other resources each week to supplement the daily readings. 

If you haven’t gotten started, you still have plenty of time to catch up!

One resource we will use is a short book by Bishop Ken Carter:
A Beginner's Guide to Practicing Scriptural Imagination. Copies will be available at the church office for $10, or you can order your own from Amazon, Cokesbury, or The Upper Room Bookstore. Kindle editions are also available.

Additionally, Bishop Carter has created a public Facebook Group that anyone can join. There you will find even more reflections, webinars, and other resources. CLICK HERE TO JOIN GROUP

We hope you will join us in this spiritual discipline as we grow together as a congregation!
Help us find the right person for our team!
You can forward the downloaded job description,
or simply send them this link:

Our Family Ministries Team is awesome!

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!

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.

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]