Ocala First Connection
October 21, 2020
Dear Ocala First Members and Friends,

How quickly things change. Just one week ago, we were in the midst of an 8-day decline in COVID-19 cases in Marion County. We were preparing to initiate our Yellow Phase of ministry, including indoor worship. After including that information in last week's update, the daily count jumped from 31 new cases on October 13 to 60 new cases on October 14. By October 17, our seven-day average moved back to the Orange Zone, where we have remained. With cases rising across the nation, we must remain cautious. We encourage you to continue following the basic health guidelines including wearing a mask and social distancing when in public and avoiding crowded indoor spaces when possible.
Yesterday evening (October 20), our Church Council had a long discussion about the recent rise in cases and the implications for our worship schedule. Here is a summary of the decision they made:
  1. Postpone our plans for indoor worship through November. Church Council will reevaluate our situation at the end of the month, examine Pandemic trends, and make a decision for December at that time.
  2. Beginning Sunday, November 1, the 9:00 am service will be in-person, outdoors in The Grove. The 11:00 am service will remain online only, live streamed from our Sanctuary.
Schedule for Sunday, October 25:
  • 9:00 am – Online Contemporary Worship
  • 11:00 am – Online Traditional Worship
  • 6:00 pm – In-person, Outdoor Worship in The Grove
Schedule for Sunday, November 1 (All Saints Sunday):
  • 9:00 am – In-person, Outdoor Worship in The Grove
  • 11:00 am – Online Traditional Worship
One last note - we apologize for the technical difficulties we have had the past two weeks in Livestreaming our services on YouTube (which is also embedded in our website). We are working to find a solution. We uploaded the services from October 11 and October 18. You can view them now on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/fumcocala

Be encouraged! Be in prayer for one another! Stay connected!

Pastors Anne and David
My Faith Meets My Privilege

The subject of privilege and lack of privilege has arisen in our American society. Privilege is not simply a social or political issue - it is also a faith issue. The Bible speaks often of privilege and its effects. The purpose of this short-term Zoom group is to help participants assess their privilege in light of their faith in a non-judgmental setting and in light of Scripture. The sessions are intended as a tool for awareness and growth. The only book needed is a Bible.

To register, email Pastor Anne at anne@fumcocala.org.
Our Pastor's Bible Study meets each Wednesday at 6:00 pm on Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82538661057)

This ongoing study does not require advance sign-up or the purchase of a book. All are welcome any time!
We want to encourage you with study and inspiration, and help you stay committed to your faith journey in an increasingly busy and distracted world.

Check out Amplify Media, available on the web, as well as apps for your smart phone, tablet and TV (search for Amplify Media in the Apple Store, Google Play Store, and Roku Channel Store).

In the graphic below, you will see the steps you need to take to access for free our church channel on Amplify Media. In addition to all the great resources, you will find our recent worship services and sermon series!

Congregation Access Code: SHXKDM
Our Family Ministries Team is awesome!
This year's theme for Family Ministries is "Partnering with Parents". We are here to support you, encourage you and help you guide your children through this great big world of faith. We know your life is busy and sometimes it all seems too much. So going forward this year, we are here for you and will continue to support your faith and your child's faith. 

Each week we send out a newsletter from Treehouse Kids and Treehouse Kids Jr. If you would like to receive the weekly news from our Family Ministries' Team, contact Shannon Vianello. (352.622.3244) or shannon.vianello@gmail.com.

Here are ways parents can find out what we are doing!

Kylie Haskins, Youth Director
Hannah Robarge, Youth Intern
Check out the latest news from Rooted Youth Ministry online!

You can stay up to date with what's happening at Youth Group by opting in for our text updates! Text @rootedymm for Middle School or @rootedymh for High School to 81010 to get our Remind alerts!⁠

Our offerings through the church are a vital reminder of the many ways in which we can serve God through the ministries and mission. We are blessed to be a blessing for others!

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]