Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. ~ Matthew 25:34-35 NIV

How do you show God how much you sincerely love Him in ways that are meaningful to Him? After all, He created and owns the very air you and I are breathing right now. So what could we possibly do to show Him how thankful we are for our health, friends, and the wonderful privilege of living in the United States of America? Is there anything else we can do to speak His love language? Something really near and dear to His heart. 
God has a soft spot for others, just like He does for you, and there are ways of “loving others” on His behalf that are very important to Him. Jesus says in Matthew 25:35-40 (NLT) that when we clothe and feed the hungry and visit the sick and imprisoned, we are doing this unto Him as well: “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” Take advantage of this inside scoop on how to do something for the God of the universe in a meaningful and personal way. This Thanksgiving, be the “hands and heart of Jesus” to someone, would you?

Thank God for the things you cherish most, positioning your heart in a state of thankfulness. Ask God to give you a heart of compassion and to use you as His hands and feet to the people around you.
~ Alex Anderson
"Company's Coming!"

Please make a reservation via these options:

  • Call the church office at 941-747-4406
  • Email
  • Let the volunteers know when they check you in on Sunday morning if you'll attend the following week

We are asking everyone to PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY - at least 15-20 minutes prior - as many are arriving at the same time and we must safely check you in before the service starts.

We will continue to follow the guidelines as set by the Conference and the CDC with:   
  1. Requesting you wear a mask
  2. Use the hand sanitizers at the door 
  3. Have your temperature taken at the door 
  4. We will have social distancing with the seating
  5. We will not be singing out loud, but you may hum along with the songs played

Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this new normal!
"Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." ~ Jeremiah 17:14

Please pray for the following: 
Rosemary Althoff, Rev Sherry Angus, Diane Benson,
Roger Betten, Rev Gary Buhl, L Dee Collins, Ann Gooden Combs, Marcia Costello, Rev. Dennis DeWitt, Lu Edwards, Josephine Farley, Connie Hamilton, Bob King, Don Kinnaird, Duane & Margot Moore, Mary Doris Parker, Bonnie Richardson, Jerry Shelso, Frank Sturgell, Tim Swafford, Vicki Taylor, Linda Theiss, Penny Weiskerger, Mary Woltz, Charlie Wooten, Carolyn Wright
We extend our Christian love, prayers and sympathy to the family and friends of Mike Edwards, Pastor Clark's brother, who went home to be with the Lord on November 21, 2020

A celebration of life will be held at
Trenton United Methodist Church
Friday, Dec. 4th at 11:00 am
203 2nd Street
Trenton, FL 32693

 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ~ Luke 23:43
The flowers are placed on the on the Altar today in loving memory of Helen & Walter Young and Tom & Bernie Kitsch

~ Elizabeth Kitsch
A 2020 Thanksgiving Message from Bishop Ken Carter

We invite you to watch the video or read the message below.

We approach Thanksgiving as Christians by seeking to understand who God is in our lives. We give because we first received. Life is a gift. Health is a gift. Faith is a gift. Gratitude is the basic posture of life before God. The sins of pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness get in the way of who we really are, before God. To know this is to sing the hymn,
Now thank we all our God,
With hearts and hands and voices.
In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, Paul writes to the early church about the nature of generosity, which is deeply grounded in the gift of God through Jesus Christ, who though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor. This was his sacrificial death for us, that we might have life. We are saved by his grace. We rejoice. We give thanks. 
And as his followers we seek to take on his mind, to grow into his likeness. Disciples are generous people. Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, speaks of the generosity of the church in Macedonia. In their extreme poverty, the Macedonian followers of Jesus have displayed a surplus of generosity.
This is the ministry of giving and receiving. We give because we have first received. Paul is taking a collection for the Christians in Jerusalem. Gifts are coming from Corinth and Galatia, where there seem to be more resources, and from Macedonia, where there seem to be fewer resources. 
These churches were connected to each other in the one body of Christ. As United Methodists, we are a connection. In a physically distanced pandemic, the connection has been strained. In our national election season, the connection has been strained. In our response to public expressions of racism, the connection has been strained. And yet we are a connection, bound together in a ministry of giving and receiving. 
This Thanksgiving is a very different holiday for many. A quarter of a million Americans have died of COVID this year, and because of the virus many cannot gather together. Remember that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, speaking of the grace of God in the lives of the Macedonians. Listen to his words:
During a severe ordeal of affliction,
their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
They voluntarily gave according to their means,
And even beyond their means,
 They gave themselves first to the Lord,
And by the will of God, to us.
They gave themselves first to the Lord. Generosity is always a spiritual practice. Gratitude is a spiritual practice. Each is a response to God, whose nature is grace. To give ourselves to the Lord is to live in his grace. We have been through a severe ordeal of affliction—some individuals, some families, some churches more than others.
And yet, abundant joy overflows, even amidst our constraints.  I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 this Thanksgiving. The language of grace in this passage—from the Greek word charis—is pervasive. The offering that Paul was taking up was important to him—he refers to it in three other New Testament books—Romans, 1 Corinthians and Galatians. The example of the Macedonian church is likened to the grace of Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us (Galatians 2), who emptied himself, taking the form of a servant (Philippians 2). 
For Paul, the collection he is taking is not a commandment (2 Corinthians 8. 8), it is not a coercion. It is a test of our love for one another. It is a sign of our connection.
We come, each of us, with some wealth and some poverty, with some gifts and in our needs. As my friend Gil Rendle notes in his work on quiet courage, this may be a season to avoid the language of abundance and scarcity. We speak more honestly to use the language of sufficiency. God’s grace is sufficient. We have enough. We share. 
In the economy of God, when we join Jesus in his mission, it is never clear who is helping whom. Whoever you are, you have a gift. And whoever you are, you have a need. This is the ministry of giving and receiving. This is our connection.
This thanksgiving I invite you to first give yourself to the Lord. 
I invite you to the spiritual practice of gratitude. Name two or three blessings. Dwell there for a time.
And then I invite you, I don’t command, I don’t coerce, but I invite you to be your most generous. Who is in need, materially? Who can benefit from your gifts? I invite you to dwell there also. 
This Thanksgiving, let us lean into its spiritual purpose. 
Now thank we all our God,
With hearts and hands and voices.
Let us give ourselves to the Lord, and to each other, with Thanksgiving. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Please call the church office or email
to make a reservation for Christmas Eve Services
Deadline is Dec 17th
Fine Arts Concert Series
Handel's Messiah
Virtual Concert

Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 4 PM EST

George Frederick Handel's cherished Messiah is fast becoming one of First Church's holiday traditions. This virtual concert of the Christmas portion of Messiah will be performed by choir, soloists, and orchestra. Be sure to share this beautiful Christmas gift with a friend.

Check back for link coming soon! 
If you would like to place Poinsettias in the church for the Christmas Season, cost is $7.00/ea. Please fill out a form - which you can get from the office or pick up on Sunday morning - and place it along with your check (made payable to First UMC) or cash in the envelope, and place the envelope in the collection basket - or return to the church office. This helps to decorate our sanctuary for Advent and also is a way of honoring friends and family.  

The deadline for orders is Monday, Dec. 7th
Your 2021 offering envelopes can be picked up in the West Lobby of the Sanctuary.
If you do not see your name and would like a box, please let us know.
Ushers Are Needed

If you would like to join the Usher Team, please contact Bill Howard


Men & Women Are Welcome!
If you want to "Catch Up With Pastor Clark", join us for lunch on Tuesday, Dec 8th in Fellowship Hall. We will be eating at 11:30 am. Robin's Restaurant will cater a hot meal and the cost is just $8. Reservations are needed by Sunday, Dec 6th.

Call Bev Clapper 756-9091
or the Church Office 747-4406
for more information and to make a reservation
A trip is planned to go to the Sailor Circus in Sarasota, on Thursday, December 31st. The cost is $23. We will be leaving at 11:30 am. Reservations are needed and check made payable to the church by Wednesday, November 25th.

Call Bev Clapper for more information at
Wondering how you will survive the weeks surrounding Christmas?
Are you dreading the holidays knowing that everything has changed and that happy memories from past years can't be recreated?

We will be holding a "Surviving the Holidays" seminar, led by Sandy Pulos with the Samaritan Counseling Services, for people who are grieving a loved one's death. You'll learn:

  • How to deal with the many emotions you'll face
  • What to do about traditions and other coming changes
  • Helpful tips for surviving social events
  • How to discover hope for your future
  • You'll be welcomed by warm, caring people who understand what you are going through and who want to help

When: Dec. 9th
Time: 10-Noon
Where: Fellowship Hall

Refreshments will be served
Please contact the church office to register by Dec. 7th 941-747-4406
I'm sure this 2020 year has been crazy for all of us in different ways. We are still here in the trenches doing what God has called us to do, providing a hand up out of the depths of addiction to an abundant life! Many people need our help, and none of it happens without YOU! We hope you join us for our 3rd Annual Fundraiser, it will be a safe & fun event for all! Information is provided below & more details to come soon!

Name of the event:
Hand Up to Victory 3rd Annual Fundraising Dinner
Cost per person: $100/plate
Date: Sunday, Dec. 6th
Time5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
LocationOasis Church
5215 Lorraine Rd
Bradenton, FL 34211

PLEASE RSVP: 941-296-5959

We're also looking for help to make this event even better and would greatly appreciate your assistance.
Volunteer today!


2 ~ Orlando Imes
4 ~ Kendall Taylor
7 ~ Sharon Henderson
11 ~ Pat Van Stedum
12 ~ Marsha La Valle
13 ~ Delvina Hall
15 ~ Doris Yates
16 ~ Angie Thompson
17 ~ Diane Benson
17 ~ Susan Perry
21 ~ Sandy Barton
22 ~ Art Shewbridge
23 ~ Bill Robb
26 ~ Niki Hackney
27 ~ Sue James
27 ~ Joe Wright


1 ~ George & Lita Tyler
17 ~ John & Diane Benson
19 ~ Charlie & Bea Foster
21 ~ Max & Connie Hamilton
United Methodist Women's Gift Baskets, Free Trade Coffee and Chocolates
United Methodist Women will be making and selling beautiful small Christmas gift baskets of chocolates, coffee, mugs and ornaments. Each will contain one pack of free trade coffee, 2 chocolate bars, one coffee mug and one unique Christmas ornament. They are available for $25 each by pre-order only. To pre-order call Vicki Taylor, 941-747-7984. Please specify decaf or regular coffee.

Deadline for ordering is Sunday, November 29. Checks should be made to United Methodist Women. Baskets will be available Sunday December 13 and can be picked up at the church office Monday through Thursday.

Also Free Trade Coffees and chocolate bars will be for sale after church services in the courtyard as long as supply lasts. Special requests are accepted. Like everything else, costs have gone up. Coffee will be $10/lb and Chocolate bars are now $4 each. Pre-orders can also be picked up in the church office. Through free trade goods, small farmers are better able to support their families, build their own businesses and improve their communities.
Angel Tree 2020
The Angel Tree this year will be a little different due to COVID-19. Instead of asking everyone to go out and purchase gifts we are only asking for Gift Cards or monetary donations to buy gift cards for The Florida United Methodist Children's Home. Please consider making a child's Christmas special this year. Drop off your Gift Cards or donations in the offering plate on Sunday or send to the church office. Please include "Angel Tree 2020" with your name on all donations. Gift card deadline is November 29th.

The Christmas Gift Card Drive Is Here!

As Fall is upon us and we move closer to Christmas, we are happy to share with you that our annual Christmas gift card drive will again take place for the children at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home. This drive gives us, as a connectional ministry, an opportunity to show God’s love through gifts. We ask that you again consider purchasing gift cards to be distributed across our ministry to give to the children we serve.

Because our houseparents and therapists know our children well, they will actually go shopping for gifts using a portion of the gift cards. These gifts will be wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree to be opened on Christmas morning, along with a few gift cards that will allow the youth to go shopping. Our goal is to be able to give each child $150 in gifts and gift cards. If we surpass this goal, any additional gift cards will be used after Christmas to purchase needed items for the children throughout the year.

We would be most grateful for the purchase of gift cards in increments of $10-$100 to major chain stores and restaurants (larger increments preferred, if possible). Especially useful and flexible cards for our children include Walmart, Kohl’s, and GameStop gift cards. Popular restaurants our houseparents like to treat the children to over Christmas break include Darden Brands and Papa John’s Pizza. We also strive to make Christmas morning special by giving each child a stocking made by friends of the Children's Home.

In order to prepare our campus for Christmas, we ask that your gift cards arrive before December 4th, if possible. Of course, we are happy to receive donations after that date. Helpful Hints:

• We ask that, if not done so already, the gift card denomination be written somewhere on the gift card.
• Please include a gift card receipt with each gift card, as this will help us with processing the gift cards.
• For those who collect cash donations as part of a group contribution, we ask that you consider purchasing gift cards in increments of $50.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our Development Services Team at 386.668.5088. Again, we thank you for your love and prayers for our children and this wonderful ministry.
Sermon by Phone
Pastor Clark records a new message every week for your listening pleasure. (Not the same as Sunday's Worship Service)

You can access this Sermon by calling

Please share this number with your friends and family.
Be sure to open your Bible to the scripture and read along as you listen. You can also access this message on our website.
Would you like to receive professional counseling in a Christian context at affordable fees? Our church provides this ministry to its members (& non-members) with licensed counselors Richard Vantrease and Grisille Feisthammer. For details or an appointment, contact Richard at 941-926-2959 or 813-331-7395.
 First United Methodist Church of Bradenton 
603 11th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205