Ocala First Connection
April 23, 2020
Dear Ocala First Church Family

We hope you all doing well with all the support and resources you need to manage everything in the midst of this pandemic. If there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to reach out to us (352.622.3244).
We received word at the end of the last week that Bishop Carter has called for United Methodist Churches not to hold public worship until May 15 . The State of Florida has determined that schools will continue online learning through the end of the semester on May 28. Over the next month, our church leadership will begin discussions about how we will restart our in-person ministries once we feel it is safe to do so. We appreciate your ongoing patience and your continued support of Ocala First UMC.
We love you! We miss you! Please be in touch if we can help you in any way.

Pastors Anne and David Fuquay

An idea hatched on Thursday, April 16 and shared on social media, found overwhelming success on Sunday, April 19 outside our Family Life Center. The call went out for food donations for Interfaith's food bank and our community responded with overwhelming generosity! All those trash bags represent 10 pick-up truck loads of non-perishable food for those in need in our community.

Many thanks to Suzanne Green for her leadership! And to Trip and Jett Green, Mark and Shannon Vianello, and Lori White who put a lot of sweat and tears of joy into the efforts on a hot Sunday afternoon.
HANNAH ROBARGE: Our New Youth Intern
Hannah Robarge has joined our staff as the Youth Intern.

We are so thankful for Michaela Allbritton who served in this role for the past academic year. Michaela is helping Hannah hit the ground running and will continue to volunteer with our youth!

Hannah grew up at Ocala First and was active in the youth group as a teenager. Our church has a special place in her heart. She has worked in our preschool and helped with our Family Ministries in countless ways over the years.
Hannah is planning a career in children and family ministries and is excited to be working with our youth. And we are excited to have her join our team and help lead our youth program!

Highlights from Mark: Scenes from the Earliest Gospel
  • April 20 - May 2, 2020
  • Registration is now open – $30
  • Ocala 1st people use discount code O1UMC to save $10
  • https://tinyurl.com/swsg2r9

Through the Wilderness of COVID-19 with Jesus

Sitting with Job during COVID-19
Our Family Ministries Team is awesome!

An important part of worship each week is the giving of our tithes and offering. We know that sometimes we give out of our abundance and other times out of our relative poverty. God looks not on the offering but on our heart of the giver. Being generous with whatever we have is one of the great sources of joy in our lives and one of the most powerful testimonies of our hope and faith, our trust in God alone.

During this time when we cannot gather in person, your offerings can be made online and though the mail. We pray God’s blessings on both the gifts and the giver. 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!

This beautiful chalk drawing was created by the Brian and Lauren Cartwright family during Holy Week!

Our church has seen so many blessings in the community, from chalk drawings to food drives, from faith-over-fear crosses to Corona-Buddies. Keep letting the light of Christ shine!

14  “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  15  No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  16  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

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.

We will provide in-person visits in an emergency.

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]