Greetings Community Family,
Yesterday we received further guidance from the Bishop and the Florida Conference concerning our Covid-19 response that we want to share with you.
As we expected, live stream methods will continue to be how we worship. On June 15th the Conference will examine the situation again, but it is not expected that in-person worship will be resumed at that point. For Community, our gatherings of worship consist of hundreds of people across multiple services. It is probable that it will take time before gatherings of that size are safely permitted. Your lay and staff leadership are closely monitoring this situation and have been discussing ways that gatherings can take place; safely, ethically, and responsibly. If you would like to see the guidance that was offered in its entirety, please click here.
What we have seen in this season is great resolve in the people called Methodists, in the people called Community, as we have searched for ways to navigate this time. More of our small groups and Sunday School classes have started to meet weekly via Zoom video calls. Our children and youth ministries are continuing to meet this way, twice a week, to stay connected and encourage one another. Our United Methodist Men have also engaged in their weekly Men’s Prayer Breakfast via Zoom. Our leadership committees and church staff are meeting regularly via Zoom as well.
As for weekly worship, we have hundreds of people that are tuning in each week to live stream one of the two worship services we offer; and a few have even shared they are watching both. We have also heard from folks all around the country that they too are joining us for worship via live stream. We are so thankful for the abilities and the gifttedness of those that are a part of this church family. Through their service and efforts, it allows us to offer an engaging and vital experience of worship for folks in many different places. While some of those that have begun joining us are doing so because their church is not offering much during this season, we have some that are joining us, or any church, for the very first time. They feel a desire to worship, an act that has not been a part of their story up to this point, and they have chosen our family to connect with for that purpose. That is a great thing and we praise God for that!
We are so amazed at how the people of this family have continued to find new ways to reach out to each other as well as new folks. We are grateful for all that have continued to serve the people of this community in this time of uncertainty. We are blessed to have discovered new gifts in our church, new paths for connection, and new people to walk with us. We have seen great resolve in the people called Methodists, in the people called Community.
While how we connect has changed, our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ has not. We invite you to continue to find ways you can make connections with those around you. We humbly ask, that you keep this church and its volunteers, congregation, staff, and leadership in your prayers as we press on. May the presence of God shine within us as we lean into our faith, love our neighbors in any way we can, and seek to share the Kingdom in all the ways we can.
Please continue to look out for each other, stay connected with the church, and know that we love you all!
Pastors Debbie, Daryl, and CJ
This is your community, United!