Online Worship Service, watch here on Sunday’s at 10:30 am.


In light of current circumstance and government request regarding COVID-19 and gatherings over ten people, we have an important announcement. 

We are not holding live worship but instead have ONLINE Services. We are not canceling Sunday Worship.  You can still watch online like a normal Sunday.

Small groups and support groups that meet on campus will need to pause or meet online until July 5th.  (See below) 

We believe, as Scripture teaches, that God is in control.

Please join us in praying for our nation, community, and the world. We know that our God provides peace that surpasses all understanding. 
To email Pastor Clark Edwards, click here:
To email the church office, click here:
COVID-19 Re-opening Update, June 3, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of First UMC Bradenton,
I trust and pray this letter finds all of you doing well. As we lean towards gathering back together here at church, we wanted to reach out to you with the following information that we hope will be helpful to you. We do ask that everyone please consider being somewhat flexible as sometimes things change.
I have asked a group of Leaders to work with me to discern how best to reopen our church for worship. A number of hours has gone into this endeavor and our planning continues. We have listened to the advice of the CDC, our Bishop, the United Methodist Florida Conference as well as many of you who have called me directly or taken me up on my offer to “Chat with the Pastor” small groups. 
It is not an easy task to find the right balance between safety and personal space. No doubt, some activities and our Sunday Worship Service must be modified as we work to keep everyone connected yet safe.
I would like to lay out our thoughts as of this moment. Please know this is not set in stone but rather it is our current thinking. Please consider these ideas prayerfully. 
I am also sending you by email, a survey of only 3 questions. Please review and respond as soon as possible so the Planning Committee can continue their work.
Your feedback is important.
1.     As of now, our plan is to tentatively reopen the church for worship on Sunday, July 5th.  However, this date may move depending upon the status of COVID-19 within Manatee County. Our area continues to be noted as a “hot spot”, so we are watching these numbers closely.
2.     Our personal greetings are one of the many ways we share our Christian love for each other. For the time being, we will need to limit our greetings to winks, nods, smiles, and waves. 
3.     To allow for proper social distancing, our seating capacity will be significantly reduced. Utilizing only every other pew on both the main floor and the balcony, there will be approximately 60 seats available for worship services. The pews and “safe seats” will be marked and Ushers will guide arriving guests to an available seat.  Of course, families will be able to sit together and there will continue to be a handicap section next to the first pew, but it will be moved to the side opposite the front entrance so as not to impede traffic flow.
4.     Two worship services are being considered pending the results of the survey: 9:00 to 9:40 a.m. and 10:30 to 11:10 a.m. The services will be shorter in duration to allow a volunteer group to disinfect the pews, restock the Health Care stations, etc., between services.
5.     To assure we can accommodate all who come to a service, we may need to institute a weekly on-line reservation system. This will help determine the count expected for each service to assure adequate seating. Overflow capacity (although also limited) is being considered in Fellowship Hall but we have not yet worked through the technical issues.
6.     To allow for better control of the traffic entering the Sanctuary, we are considering having only two entrances into the church; the ramp door and the glass doors by the elevator. There will be markers at the steps in front of the church indicating it is not accessible
7.     Elevator use will be limited to one family or one individual at a time to allow for proper social distancing.
8.     Proper social distancing markers will be present on the ramp coming into the church as well as the sidewalk from the parking lot. Volunteers will be available to help move people through as quickly as possible and to provide distancing reminders if necessary.
9.     Upon entering the building, all parishioners will pass through a Health Care Station. One will be set up at each  entrance. At the station each person, including children, will be provided hand sanitizer and will have their temperature taken (no physical contact). We are considering the requirement that face masks will be mandatory {see survey question}, and one will be provided should someone forgot to bring their own. Gloves will be provided upon request.
10.  We will provide a safe waiting area for anyone registering a temperature of 100.4 or higher. This will allow the individual and their family to rest and have their temperature retaken twenty minutes later.  At that time, if their temperature is still is unacceptably high, they will be very politely asked to return home. The Church Office will follow up with them in the days ahead to check on their health and see if there is anything they need, or what the church can do to help them.
11.  Kids Connection will be cancelled until further notice. Children 4 years and older will remain in the pew with their family. An activity packet will be provided to help keep them occupied during the worship service. The Nursery will be open for children 3 years old and younger.
12.  All information related to the worship service will be highlighted on the screens in the Sanctuary. There will be no paper programs distributed.
13.   To protect everyone’s safety, the Bibles, Hymnals, Attendance Pads, pens, and envelopes will be removed from the pews and stored for future use.
14.  The Ushers will not pass offering plates rather one will be placed at the front and the back of the Sanctuary for  individuals to drop off their donations.
15.  The music program will continue with pre-recorded videos and some live solo performances from the Chancel. However, as social distancing cannot be maintained,  the entire choir will not resume in the near future. Words will be on the screens but, to keep all members of the congregation safe from another’s respiratory droplets (the primary way COVID-19 is spread), for the time being singing from the pews will not be allowed.
16.  The Ushers will follow dismissal protocols to assure proper distancing following the service.
17.  On the designated Sundays, Communion will be served in individual, pre-packaged servings.
18.  The Leaders of the Sunday morning Bible Study classes are considering whether they will resume or wait until a later date. Once they notify us of their decision, how best to accommodate their needs will be considered.
19.  The Welcome Center, Coffee Bar and access to the Fellowship Hall and the Kitchen will be closed to lessen the disinfecting needed between services.
20.  Bathrooms under the Sanctuary and near the office will be open and available.
21.  We will continue to have an off-duty police officer (as available) present on Sunday mornings.
22.  Posting our service online will continue.  
This is where we stand today but, as I have mentioned, the details are fluid. Do not hesitate to call me or register through the office for one of my small group sessions should you have questions or concerns that you would like discuss.
603 11th Street West
Bradenton, FL  34205
Join us online on Sunday’s at 10:30 am.
Church Office Hours:
(as of 6/3/2020)
Tuesday-9 am – 2 pm
Wednesday-9 am – 2 pm
Thursday-9 am – 2 pm

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