Therefore go and make disciples of all nations
  ...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
May 8th, 2013

God of Provision and Unconditional Love,
On this day when we acknowledge the importance of motherhood among us, we first give thanks that you are a loving parent to us all. From your being all life was born, and in your bosom all creation is nurtured. You have formed us in your image as your children, and gathered us together as a brood under your wing. You have united us as kindred members of one human family, and we are grateful to be your offspring together. We celebrate your divine love, reflected in human expressions of motherhood.
We give you thanks for the mothers among us, and ask that you strengthen them in their daily tasks. Grant them wisdom in the lessons they teach, patience in the discipline they foster, and persistence in their promotion of decency and compassion, both by word and example. May they be given the honor and thanks they deserve but often do not receive.
We thank you for all motherly figures: grandmothers, aunts, sisters, wives, step-mothers, foster mothers, guardians, babysitters, teachers, health care providers, neighbors, friends, loved ones, and many others, who practice self-sacrifice and embody compassion to all who are privileged to be in their influence. Grant them vigor to carry on their work, and the satisfaction that the holy privilege of their task affords.
We acknowledge to you, O God, that even amid our grateful celebration, many of us come with restless spirits, reluctant to name the difficulties of this day.
For some, this day brings the sorrowful awareness of their own inability to conceive biological children. Draw your tender spirit near their feelings of self-betrayal, impotence, and grief, and remind them that those who struggle with infertility have always shared a special place in your heart. We pray for those who have suffered miscarriages, those fatigued by fertility treatments, and those struggling through the process of adoption. May they remember that in your power and through your church, they can still leave a lasting legacy beyond themselves.
For some, this day is marked by loneliness and grief, as they spend this first Mother’s Day as a widower, an orphan, or a parent who has lost a child. To those who today live in the wake of the death of a loved one, grant glimpses of the resurrection. Bring to them a steady restoration of their broken hearts, allow them to live into their future with hope, and empower them to carry out the legacy of lessons instilled within them.
For some, this is a day that surfaces ongoing tensions that exist within our personal relationships and family dynamics. We ask for healing from the wounds of our past, a path of forgiveness for wrongs both experienced and committed, and the rebuilding of trust forged in honesty, authenticity, and love.
We give you thanks for the wide spectrum of motherhood represented among us today: new mothers and young mothers whose children are in their most tender years; mothers of grown children who transition into empty nests and a new chapter of self-discovery; mothers and grandmothers of advanced years, whose twilight of life is marked by frailty of body but a potency of spirit. Theirs is a cumulative reminder that though our lives are marked by transition and change, your nurture and affection for all your children remains the same.
Therefore, remind us to live with a child-like faith, curious to every wondrous mystery, attentive to your every instruction, obedient to your every command, and willing to share with every one of your children. We give you thanks, O God, who is a loving Mother and Father to us all, and in whose name we pray,
Sunday, May 13 @ 10:30 AM

If you cannot make it, you can watch the
service LIVE online at 10:30 am.
Activities for May 11th - 19th:
Get your small group or Bible study to attend this together for a fun evening!
Boy Scout Troop 8 is having a yard sale here at First on Saturday, May 12th, 8 am - Noon. Please support them by donating items and/or attending their sale. See you there!
To donate call Ben Bogart at 941-223-6834 or Scout Master Ken Settlemyer at 845-494-1133.
UMW Activities: The United Methodist Women’s meeting will be May 14 in Fellowship Hall at 11:30 AM - honoring our own Mothers and UMW Fore-mothers. Bring a dish to share for lunch and share your story of your mother.  Others will tell of what our fore-mothers did to start this remarkable organization. 
The executive board will meet at 10:00 on the same day.  
Circles In May, Ethel Long - 9:30 Wednesday, May 16 in the Parlor.
Mary Martha - on break until September. 
Rebekah Circle - Thursday, May 17 at 11:30 AM at Teresa's Restaurant then shop at the Selah Freedom boutique next door after lunch.
Menu this week is Hawaiian Luau

Dinner is served at 5:30. 

Cost is $7 per adult, $18 per family. 


You can mark your RSVP in pew pad or
call the church office.
At Noon on Friday, May 11th.
Have a great weekend!
Our church has supported the Enright's, missionaries in Zambia, Africa, for more than thirty years. Ken and Lorraine have shared their work at our church service many times over those productive years. They started their ministry in the Congo in 1950, moving to Zambia in 1998. Kafakumba Pastors School, initiated in 2000, meets twice a year and equips Nationalist pastors to share God's word and to minister to their own people. Teaching the cultivation of bananas, aloe, yucca, other vegetables, and bee/honey production, along with animal husbandry has helped support the mission and the local people. When Ken saw the need to transport missionaries and/or family members out of their assigned areas in Africa due to personal or medical emergencies or civil unrest, he bought a plane, learned to fly and Wings of the Morning Aviation Ministry was born.
Ken and Lorraine retired several years ago, turning over the run of the mission to second son, John and his wife Kendra. Their fifth child and youngest daughter Elinda and husband Nate Steury joined the outreach recently. John and Kendra were still active in all areas of mission work.
We heard the sad news last month that John and Kendra were in an auto accident December 26, 2017 in which John lost his life. The accident occurred in Africa and Kendra had many weeks of healing and rehabilitation. There have been many meetings with supporters, friends and business partners to help decide how to move forward with the work John believed in so strongly. Please pray that God will show them His will in future planning.
It is noted that over the years through the Enright's and their work, hundreds of churches have been planted in Africa and thousands of people have been saved through education, native industries, feeding, healing and God's abundant grace.
If you would like to make a donation to the John Enright Memorial fund, click  here.
The Gathering, Homeless Ministry
Carter and Marita will be out of town on Sunday, May 13. We NEED more volunteers!
’Gathering at the Water Fountain’ is a Sunday early morning mission at our church for the area homeless. It is a time of fellowship and prayer. They are provided a hot breakfast, distribution of used clothing and other support. It takes volunteers to continue this wonderful ministry. Please prayfully consider helping just one Sunday a month. 
Call Roz Keppler, 941-545-5845, for more info or to sign up.
As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  1 Peter 4:10 
ONGOING NEED: PLASTIC GROCERY SACKS; NEEDS: men’s JEANS, SIZES 32, 34, 36, 38 (none); WHITE SOCKS (none); men’s white and colored t-shirts (only have XXL sizes), Men’s shoes (except for dress shoes) TOILETRIES: EVERYTHING, especially, INSECT REPELLENT, RAZORS, DEODORANT.
COTERIE: Something Special for Single Women
Our next Luncheon will be held at Freedom Village, on Friday, June 1, at 11:20 AM in the Tuscany Restaurant.
For more information call Rosemary Althoff:
Click on the balloons to watch First Church's 125th Anniversary Video. Check out what's special about our past, present, and future...
 First United Methodist Church of Bradenton 
603 11th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205