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Reopening Updates & FAQ

Learn how in-person services will look different now that we have reopened.



We are excited to be meeting in-person and we invite you to view the details below to learn more about what to expect when you arrive. We offer both online and in-person weekend services and we welcome you to worship with us in the environment that you are most comfortable.


Are seating reservations required?

You do not need to reserve your seat in advance. Seating will be provided on a first come, first served basis. All pews are open and available for seating in the Sanctuary.

What sanitation measures will be in place? 

Our team frequently disinfects surfaces throughout the building and we sanitize the sanctuary between services. Hand-sanitizing stations are placed throughout the building. Water fountains, cafés, and coffee stations remain unavailable at this time. All seat-back materials, papers, and pens are removed.

What about face coverings?

As a church, we follow the guidelines from our United Methodist district, who in turn are strictly following CDC guidelines. As of May 2021, the CDC has issued new guidelines that those who have been vaccinated are not required to wear masks in public. To that effect, masks are no longer required during Sunday Service for those who have been vaccinated.

What if I am considered “high-risk”?

If you or someone in your family is considered “high-risk” for severe illness, and/or you are uncomfortable attending a service with unmasked people, we encourage you to worship with us online. We have a faithful and active online community that has been engaging in our livestreams for over a year.

Will the café be open?

The café will remain closed at this time, but you are encouraged to bring a water bottle or spill-proof coffee container from home. We hope to resume the PC Café this fall!

What if I don't feel comfortable coming in person yet?

We completely understand, and we want you to do what makes you the most comfortable! We invite you to worship with us online on Facebook and at pinecastleumc.com/watch-live at 10:30 am.


If any of the following applies to you, please worship with us online:

  • In the last 14 days you have tested positive, been experiencing symptoms, or have a known exposure to COVID-19.
  • If you are in a “high-risk” group, or you care for someone who may be at “high-risk” for severe illness.

For more information and updates follow us on social media. We are @pinecastleumc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Welcome back! What to expect at Pine Castle UMC


What You Can Do

Pine Castle UMC family,

Our pastors and entire staff can’t wait to welcome you back on September 13.

But before you walk through the church doors, we want to remind you that reopening and staying open is a team effort.

We’re doing all we can to make sure you’re safe and comfortable and we need your help, too.

What Pine Castle UMC is doing...

• Limiting capacity to allow enough space for social distancing.

• Providing masks and no-touch hand sanitizer stations.

• Sanitizing high-touch surfaces before, during, and after services.

• Staying informed about best practices for a safe environment.

What you can do...

• Pre-register here so we can prepare enough seats for everyone to attend safely.

Please note: If you do not arrive by 10:25am, your spot will may be offered to someone else.

• Wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer. But we’ll have some on hand for those who don’t.

• Practice social distancing, which unfortunately means avoiding hugs and handshakes for now.

• Choose the safest worship experience for you. If you’re high-risk, we encourage you to attend our online service here.

We really mean it when we say that we’re all in this together. Whether you join us online or in person, we love you and we’ll see you soon.

Your Pine Castle UMC Staff


Reopening Announcement

We will reopen our Church building for services on Sunday, September 13.

Dear Pine Castle UMC family,

Words can’t express how much we’ve missed gathering together over the past few months. And while it’s been wonderful to watch us come together to support one another and serve our community, we're excited to announce that we can do some of that in-person soon.

That’s right—our church leadership has decided to reopen our building for services on Sunday, September 13.

For months, we’ve prayed about the right time to reopen and asked God for the wisdom to do it safely. We’ll continue to lean on Him and on each other as we remain patient and work together to follow social distancing guidelines upon reopening.

Our service will be at 10:30 as usual, but a few things will be different. All of the details are on our website HERE, but here are the fast facts:

• We will keep a safe distance from one another by seating each family 6 feet apart.

• We will pre-register for services HERE to give us time to prepare to accommodate everyone. No one will be turned away.

Please note: If you do not arrive by 10:25am, your spot will may be offered to someone else.

• We will wear masks inside the building. No one loves them, but we ask you to please wear them to church.

• We will limit touch by not serving coffee and communion or passing the offering plate.

If you are considered high-risk or just not comfortable returning to church right now, please continue to join us online HERE. The circumstances aren’t ideal but like many of the storms we face in life, they are temporary. We look forward to being reunited soon.

Your Pine Castle UMC Staff


We’re thankful you’re a part of our Pine Castle family!

Check back here for updates and information.

We plan to resume in-person services on Sunday, September 13.

In the past several weeks we have monitored guidelines and best practices for gathering in a safe way. After a significant amount of prayer and preparation we plan to resume in-person services on Sunday, September 13.

Not everyone will be comfortable returning to in-person services right away. That's OK! We encourage every household to make their own decision on whether or not to return immediately.

touchless services

We're committed to creating an environment where you can worship and feel safe. To make this possible, our services have been redesigned to create a sanitary, touchless environment and allow for social distancing.

Please note that any public location where people are present provides an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.

How many people can attend on Sunday morning?

How do I know I’ll get a spot?

We aren’t turning anyone away, but seating in the sanctuary will be limited to 25% of our normal capacity. We have added overflow rooms and other creative seating options to give as many people as possible the opportunity to worship in-person while still following social distancing guidelines. 

What happens if I show up and there are no spots left for that service?

We will direct you to an overflow room with more available seating. We are following the reduced capacity guidelines very closely, so it’s possible that some individuals or families may not be able to attend in their preferred location. 

Please use the card below to reserve your spot and help us know in advance how many people are planning to attend. At this time, PC Kids is temporarily closed, so be sure to include your kids, too!

Please note: If you do not arrive by 10:25am, your spot will may be offered to someone else.

In-Person Services

We are excited to meet face-to-face again beginning September 13. In-Person Services are BACK -- but they aren't back as usual. Here's a look at some of the changes you may notice.

Entering the Building

Doors will open 45 minutes prior to each service for seniors and those most at risk

We will open our doors to the general public 15 minutes before the service. We ask that you remain in your vehicle until we open the doors and that you do not congregate in the lobby, hallways, etc. before or after services. As you enter the building, you'll probably receive a wave instead of a handshake.

In order to help people stay safe, we're removing some things that you may be used to touching, like coffee, bulletins, and hand-outs. We have also turned off the water fountains. Feel free to bring your own resealable water bottle and coffee from home in a no-spill travel mug.

Restrooms will be limited to one person at a time

Our cleaning team will be wiping down surfaces and sanitizing between services.

In the Sanctuary

As you enter the sanctuary, you'll notice we've blocked off every other pew to provide more social distance between families. To maintain social distance of 6 feet, spread out unless seated with members of your own household.

Instead of passing the plate, there will be a basket at the back of the sanctuary as you exit, or you can give online here.

We'll keep the services short, giving you plenty of time to chat and reconnect with one another. Remember, you may be comfortable giving a bear-hug to your neighbor, but they may not feel comfortable receiving it! So when you reconnect, please do so outside, maintaining social distance.

PC Kids Ministry

PC Kids ministry, including the nursery, will not reopen in the immediate future. Your children should remain with you at all times. We believe God is giving us an opportunity for our children to witness their parents worshiping and engaging in the services. We will have PC Kids sermon note pages available on Sundays. (Bring your own crayons or pencils). Changing stations are available in the restrooms.

Parents may also continue to minister to their children at home, utilizing the PC Kids Family Do-Votions located here in conjunction with the PC Kids Zoom video conferences here.

Face Masks

We ask everyone to wear a face mask to adhere with the executive order from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. This is in alignment with CDC recommendations, and follows the guidance of the Florida Conference of United Methodist churches. We will be providing all volunteers with face masks to wear while serving.

Wearing masks protects those around you. We do not consider masks to be optional for any persons over 2 years old, and we will have one available for you on Sunday if you forget to bring yours from home.

We know the topic of face masks is a polarizing one. It is not our intention to take a political stance on this issue. Our encouragement to wear masks comes from a desire to love our neighbors and to help them feel safe and comfortable while worshiping together. If you have concerns about this topic, please read these excellent articles:

Church, Don't Let Coronavirus Divide You

Do We Have Freedom or Responsibility to Wear Face Masks during COVID-19?

If you still have questions, please email us at contact@pinecastleumc.org.

Working together to stay safe and well

What We’re Doing

  • Staff and volunteers will be wearing masks.
  • Additional hand-sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the building.
  • All services will be a touchless experience, and all high-volume areas will be thoroughly sanitized between services.
  • PC Kids will not be available at this time.
  • No water fountains will be open or usable.
  • No hospitality food or beverages will be offered.
  • No offering plates will be passed. Instead, baskets will be located at the back of the sanctuary as you exit.
  • All materials such as paper and pencils will be removed from the pews. We encourage you to bring your own Bible.

How You Can Help

  • If you don't feel well or have health concerns, please stay home and join us online here.
  • Don't forget to wear your face mask. We will have one available for you on Sunday if you forget to bring yours from home.
  • Please wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often.
  • Maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and others.

Online Services

Online Church will continue to be a viable option for our most vulnerable members to engage with Pine Castle UMC.

  • You're not feeling well, are running a fever, or have symptoms.
  • You have knowingly been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You are considered vulnerable or high risk.

We want to pray for you

We understand how hard this season has been and we're praying for God's guidance and wisdom in all of the choices you face in the weeks ahead.

How can we pray for you? Let us know using the prayer request button below.