Ocala First Connection
April 30, 2020
Dear Ocala First Church Family,
Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!

The news this week has been filled with the first steps in re-starting the economic life in Florida. We know that many are anxious to re-start our in-person congregational life as well. Today we began conversations with our Executive Committee and Church Staff about mapping out both short and long-term strategies for how our on-campus congregational life should be phased back in over the coming months. We know we must be very cautious in re-opening our campus in order to continue protecting our most vulnerable members. We will discuss some initial proposals at our regularly scheduled Church Council meeting on Thursday, May 7.
Among the proposals will be the formation of a “Health and Welfare Committee” (or something similar) to shape and guide this process for our congregation. This committee will include medical professionals, plus representatives from Trustees, church staff and other program area leaders. When we do begin to open our campus, we will have to think about things differently and act differently. Things we never had to think about before – passing offering plates, handing out bulletins, using hymnals, singing in the choir, limiting numbers in specific spaces, keeping safe distances, receiving Holy Communion, sharing meals, how to set-up Tuesday Morning Outreach – will all need to be discussed before we can gather again. Please be in prayer for our leaders as we discern the way forward together.
Our prayers are with the family of Doreen Evans, who passed away on April 29. Doreen was a devoted member of our church with a deeply caring servant’s heart. She served for over 10 years in our children’s ministry and was an active Tuesday Morning Outreach volunteer. She is the grandmother and primary caregiver for Jeremaih Evans. Jeremaih is a much-loved leader on our Family Ministries team. We will surround him with all the love and support we can in the weeks and months ahead.
Our prayers are with the family and friends of Jessie Pryce, who passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on April 20, 2020. There will be a Celebration of Jessie's Life at a later date to be determined. Arrangements by Baldwin Brothers Funerals & Cremations.
We love you! We miss you! If there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to reach out to us!

Pastors Anne and David Fuquay
Our Family Ministries Team is awesome!

Through the Wilderness of COVID-19 with Jesus

Sitting with Job during COVID-19

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, our faith, and our trust in God in all things. This community has come together in so many ways over the past seven weeks. Story after story has been shared of phone calls, meals, cards, drop-by visits (at a safe distance), food donations, financial contributions, acts of service and love, and folks just looking out after each other and helping those who cannot help themselves so we all make it through together.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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.

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]