Therefore go and make disciples of all nations
  ...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
A Piercing Thorn

Read:  Isaiah 53:1–6  | Bible in a Year:  Isaiah 53–55; 2 Thessalonians 1
But he was pierced for our transgressions . . . and by his wounds we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

The thorn pricked my index finger, drawing blood. I hollered and then groaned, drawing back my hand instinctively. But I shouldn’t have been surprised: trying to prune a thorny bush without gardening gloves was a recipe for exactly what just happened.
The pain throbbing in my finger—and the blood flowing from it—demanded attention. And as I searched for a bandage, I found myself unexpectedly thinking about my Savior. After all, soldiers forced Jesus to don an entire crown of thorns (John 19:1–3). If one thorn hurt this much, I thought, how much agony would an entire crown of them inflict? And that’s just a small portion of the physical pain He suffered. A whip flogged His back. Nails penetrated His wrists and ankles.
But Jesus endured spiritual pain too. Verse 5 of Isaiah 53 tells us, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him.” The “peace” Isaiah talks about here is another way of talking about forgiveness. Jesus allowed Himself to be pierced—by nails, by a crown of thorns—to bring us spiritual peace with God. His sacrifice, His willingness to die on our behalf, paved the way to make a relationship with the Father possible. And He did it, Scripture tells us, for me, for you.
Father, I can’t imagine the pain Your Son endured to wash away my sin. Thank You for sending Him for me, to be pierced for my sins that I might have a relationship with You. 
Jesus allowed Himself to be pierced to bring us spiritual peace with God.

Isaiah 53:1–6 is part of a section of the book known as the Servant Songs. There are four Servant Songs in Isaiah that describe the service, suffering, and triumph of the servant of the Lord—Jesus the Messiah. These songs are found in Isaiah 42:1–9, 49:1–13, 50:4–11, and 52:13–53:12.
This last servant song describes the suffering and triumph of the servant. Though He is pierced, crushed, punished, and wounded, it’s His suffering that brings us peace and healing (53:5). The ultimate purpose for this suffering is outlined in verse 10—His life is an offering for sin. The servant takes our place—suffering for us and bearing our sins. And by His suffering and death, we are given life and peace. But death is not the end for the servant: “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life” (v. 11). In His suffering and resurrection, Jesus reconciles humanity to God (see Matthew 8:17; Acts 8:30–35; Romans 10:15–17; 15:21).
How can you celebrate the life that Jesus died to give you?
For more on the book of Isaiah, see Old Testament Survey: Ecclesiastes–Isaiah at .
October 21 @ 10:30 AM

If you cannot make it, you can watch the
service LIVE online at 10:30 am.
Activities for October 20 - 27:
THIS Sunday, Oct 21st, is Mission Giving Sunday at First. Each month, the Mission Committee will highlight a ministry that is church supported. Your monthly mission giving helps support many missions. 
FONHARE (Foundation for Haiti Rehabilitation) is highlighted for October. Our own Sandy Barton visits the ministry each year and will bring us pertinent information on Sunday.
Please join us on Sunday, after worship, for Lunch Bunch, a time of food and fellowship, at Robin's Downtown Cafe , 428 12th St W. 

On Monday, Oct 22, at 10:30 AM, a New Grief Support Group will convene in the church parlor and meet weekly through November 19th.
Christians need one another especially after the death of a loved one. We offer this new grief support group 
for you to share and receive support from one another. 
Dr. Richard J. Vantrease, our professional counselor from Samaritan Counseling S ervices, will be the discussion leader along with our new counseling intern, Grisille Feisthammer.
Instead, Pastor Clark is encouraging everyone to come out and help with the Trunk or Treat at
5 PM. There will be food, games and fun
you can help with. 

We Need More Cars!
Bring your car decorated for the kids to
trick or treat to. 
Please call Becky for more info or to sign up,
Next Sunday, Oct 28th, First For Kids Preschool students will be here to sing. 
Can’t wait to hear them!
Our Boy Scout Troop 8 will also be here next Sunday with their world-famous, delicious popcorn. You can purchase and take with you or order for Christmas. Please help support them.
The 2018/2019 Fine Arts Concert
Series presents:
Something Old, Something New,
Something Borrowed, Something Blue

The Bradenton Community Fine Arts Concert Series opens the new season with Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue…  a pipe organ show on Sunday, October 28 at 4:00, here at First. Something for everyone including Bach and Franck (“Old”), Broadway show tunes (“New”), Marches and Patriotic songs (“Borrowed”), a Scott Joplin rag and the theme from An Affair To Remember (“Blue”). No tickets necessary (a free will offering will be taken), plenty of free parking and a beautiful setting to enjoy enjoyable and inspiring music. Doors open at 3:00…see you then!
Something Special for Singles: 
Coterie Luncheon on November 2nd, 11:20 AM at Tuscany Restaurant at Freedom Village.  Call Rosemary Althoff for information and/or reservation at 941-782-8844.
All Saints Sunday is
Nov 4th. This is a time when we remember and honor the passing of our loved ones from First Church. The Worship Ministry Team will again display the altar cloth created to remember the departed member(s) most responsible for our Christian development. You may add your “saint’s” name with permanent marker on one of the cloth squares provided. This will be added to the altar cloth to become a lasting testimonial which will be displayed each year on All Saints’ Day.
Young At Heart's next Luncheon will be November 13th. We will have Dulcimer players here to entertain us. Everyone is invited.
The meal is catered, so please RSVP by calling Bev Clapper at 941-756-9091.
Tickets on Sale Now!
For the first time, THE AMERICAN SOLDIER is coming to Sarasota! Please join us for this moving performance by Douglas Taurel in honor of Veteran's Day 2018.
Based on real stories from the American Revolution through current day Afghanistan, this show helps us understand why it is so difficult for men and women in the armed services to re-enter civilian life. It honors and exposes their flaws, their scars, their families, and their spirits.
Tickets include limited seating at the show, heavy hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine, and an opportunity to support services for veterans at Harvest House while honoring all of those who have served our country.
For more information on THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 

Proceeds will benefit the VETS Freedom program at Harvest House


Hurricane's Michael and Florence… Soon all UM Churches in our district will gather for our Super-Charge
Conferences. As our missional
focus, we are collecting gift cards to Home Depot or Lowes, or money to support UMCOR and relief efforts here in FL. 
Please bring these donations to the church office or drop in the offering plate. We need them by Nov.2nd.
Thank you and please continue to pray for those whose lives have been impacted by these disasters. Please also pray for the Response Teams, disaster coordinators and the many volunteers who are working tirelessly to provide relief. 

Gift will match up to $500,000 in Hurricane Michael donations

October 17, 2018

Sisters and Brothers in the Florida Conference,
Thank you for your response thus far to the needs of our brothers and sisters in the United Methodist churches of the panhandle of Florida. Many of you began to receive offerings last Sunday.
I want to share an extraordinary development with you and ask for your continuing generosity. The people of the First United Methodist Church of Ormond Beach have challenged the Florida Annual Conference to help our sisters and brothers in the panhandle through a matching gift up to the amount of $500,000.
Click here  to donate. Please make checks payable to The Florida Conference Treasurer, with Hurricane Michael in the notation line, and mail to: Florida Annual Conference, 450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., Lakeland, FL 33815-1522.
As I wrote to you, these offerings will be distributed by Bishop David Graves and the cabinet of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference to local churches with the greatest needs.
I give thanks from the depths of my heart for your faithfulness and generosity. I am reminded of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, especially chapter 4. This is the ministry of “giving and receiving” (verse 15), and God will supply every need of ours, and His church, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (verse 19).
We ask that all gifts to be matched be given by December 31, 2018.
Please share this invitation. Pam and I plan to give again. We are inspired by this extraordinary gift from God’s people, and we ask you to join us. And, again, thank you!
Ken Carter
Resident Bishop
Florida Conference
The United Methodist Church
Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child project.  We have 50 plastic shoeboxes available to fill, but you can also purchase your own and fill it. Labels are also available for a girl or boy, age 2-4, 5-9, 10-14. 
Please, NO candy, liquids, toothpaste or breakable items allowed. Toys, crafts, books, clothing, and accessories are all good. 
They ask for a donation of $9 for each box. If you can not afford that, we still want your box. If you are unable to pack a box, maybe you might donate the postage ($9.00). 
The deadline for the boxes is Nov. 1. 
The Gathering, Homeless Ministry
’Gathering at the Water Fountain’  
This ministry is held every Sunday
morning at 7—8 AM. A full breakfast, listening to, and praying for the men and women that attend. They are given a lunch to go and can get a change of clothes and, or toiletries. Please consider volunteering or donating.
As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  1 Peter 4:10 

The Gathering had 102 people attend last Sunday morning and only 6 volunteers.  Our numbers of patrons are increasing and our salty servants are decreasing. Please consider volunteering. If you’re not an early morning person, then consider coming at 8:00 to help with clean up. Thank you.

Cooler weather is just around the corner, so JACKETS AND BLANKETS would be greatly appreciated.
We currently have NO MENS’ CLOTHING OR SHOES!
Would you like to receive professional counseling in a Christian context at affordable fees? Our church now
provides this ministry to its members (and non-members).
For details or appointment, contact Richard Vantrease at 941-926-2959 or 813-331-7395.
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