First United Methodist Church

News & Devotions

Updated COVID-19 Guidance


Hello Church Family,

 We have some important news! As you may know, the CDC now recommends eliminating the mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals. Similarly, the Florida Conference has recommended relaxed guidelines, seen in the message below. However, all staff and volunteers working with children and the nursery will continue to wear masks.

Starting this May 16, any person that has been fully vaccinated can come on campus without a mask. We ask that you continue to enter through the courtyard gates and check-in with the QR code or with one of our friendly volunteers so we can identify new attendees, record attendance, and follow up with those requesting care. Finally, out of respect for vulnerable members of our community, we encourage you to maintain safe social distancing in large groups, the Sanctuary, and the Matthias Family Life Center.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and faithfulness.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Rachel

Dear Clergy and Laity of the Florida Conference:

We continue to pray for those impacted by the COVID-19 virus. 

Yesterday the CDC issued new guidance regarding masks for those who have been fully vaccinated. In response, we believe it is appropriate for local churches to follow this guidance and make mask wearing optional for those who have been fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated is defined as being two weeks after the last dose of the vaccine. This decision should be made by your team of shared leadership. It is very appropriate for some churches to continue to require masks for everyone knowing that some persons are not able to be vaccinated. We do encourage continuing to maintain social distance of six feet in between different households. CDC guidance also indicates that fully vaccinated persons can sing in a choral group. We encourage persons to be vaccinated and respect the fact that some cannot be vaccinated because they are immune compromised. Making masks optional requires trust. Churches should consider providing caution zones where people who want to wear masks can do so. 

If you have any questions please contact your District Superintendent or reach the Episcopal Office at [email protected].

The Peace of the Lord,
Bishop Carter and the Appointive Cabinet