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A letter from Pastor Richard Jones

Dear St. Mark’s UMC,

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all of your

ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

We have been trusting in the Lord for his care and guidance throughout this time of physical

separation. We have experienced challenges to our faith and our views of what it means to be

God’s church. We have been reminded of the power of connection, humility, and hope.

Through it all, the love of Christ has proven faithful and true. God is working and doing a new

thing in us and around us. It is time to trust God with our plan of returning to corporate worship

and group gatherings as restrictions continue to be lifted in our county. Praise God for the ever

presence of Jesus Christ and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all of this.

I am sending this letter to officially announce the good news that worship at the building of St.

Mark’s UMC will resume June 21st, 2020 at 10AM! Praise the Lord! We are calling this 10AM

service our Communion Service, and for now it will be like a combined service. The Waterfront

Worship service will resume as well at the Ocean Ave. beach entrance at 7:30AM. We will

continue to have our online worship service for those who do not feel ready to join us in group

worship or gatherings. For now, we are not ready for the Sunday School classes to return on

Sunday mornings, but we hope that will change soon. We will continue to send you our

Wednesday Devotional and Sunday Service videos in the coming weeks.

I have included with this letter a St. Marks Covenant and Safety Guidelines document that was

approved by our SMUMC leadership team. There you will find the basic information about how

groups and worship services will be conducted to ensure the safety of everyone as we return to

the building. For safety reasons, all groups meeting indoors (i.e. Sunday School classes, small

groups, and bible study groups) will need to contact me before returning to the building.

Thank you for everyone’s ongoing support through your prayers, gifts, and tithes. Thank you

also to those donating food and making masks for the community. We continue to collect those

on Mondays from 10AM to 2PM.

I am excited and full of joy knowing that we will be together again soon in worship to celebrate

God’s goodness and mercy in us and around us. May the Lord richly bless you and keep you.

In Christ’s Loving Service,

Richard A. Jones, Pastor




To fulfill Christ’s commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves by ensuring the safest possible environment for congregational worship and gatherings during COVID-19.


St. Marks UMC is following the direction of the Florida UMC Conference guidelines which are based on the latest information from the CDC and Government officials. Keep checking our website for updates. Please be responsible for your health and actions, being respectful, patient, and kind during this time of transition.


Sunday indoor seating at our services will be limited for safety of all worshipers. This means that once designated seating is full, we will ask you to worship with us via our online services on our website and return another time.



1. High Risk individuals and people who are symptomatic are strongly encouraged to stay home.

2. All participants are required to wear face masks at all times (we will provide some if needed).

3. All participants are required to sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving the building (Please NO shaking hands or hugging).

4. All participants must follow social distancing guidelines: maintain 6 feet apart, follow designating entrance and exit flow, and agree to designated seating appropriate for the event.

5. All participants must follow the worship instructions by the pastor or group leader that are specific to each service, knowing these might change with time depending on circumstances.

6. There will be NO sharing of materials, food, or drinks before, during, or after any event on church grounds. Drop Boxes will be provided for you to leave your offering as you exit.

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