FUMC Bristol Newsletter December 7 – 13, 2017

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For a child is born to us, a son is given to us,
the government will rest on his shoulders,
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

                                                                                ~Isaiah 9:6


Sunday, December 10
 Second Sunday of Advent



Mark 1: 1-8

 Prepare the Way of the Lord 
Rev. Brandon Berg 
Last Sunday  .  . .
was the first Sunday of Advent

No one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen…

Mark 13: 24-37
 Rev. Brandon Berg
Our worship began with The Hanging of the Greens Liturgy
as we shared the spiritual significance.

We have readied our space;
We have begun the preparation songs:
Lord, we are waiting for you.


Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father,

There is no shadow of turning with thee;

Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;

as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

all I have needed thy hand hath provided;

great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

                                                                                                                               ~Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923

We have heard the old, old story;
your promise to come and redeem creation:
Lord, we are waiting for you.

 To God be the glory,
great things he hath done!
So loved he the world
that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life
an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate
that all may go in.
Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
                                                                                ~Fanny J. Crosby, 1875

Set us to work, Lord;
keep us fit for the task:
Lord, we are waiting for you.

Lord, we are waiting for you. 
Prepare your heart and your life
Because Jesus has come.
Jesus is with us.
Jesus is coming again.
FUMC children collect special missions offering.
This week’s Feed the Hungry offering is for Family Promise of Bristol.
This program provides an opportunity for us to show God’s grace and Christ’s love to children with homeless families in the Bristol Area.

From the Pastor’s Pen . . .

At the time of publication of this article, its subject will have passed. I apologize for that; I should have seen it coming.

A disclaimer: This article may be unsuitable for some holiday-dazed children.

December 6 is the Feast of Saint Nicholas. His legend (a right jolly old elf?) has become rather expanded beyond his actual history. Of course, the writing of history that is factual and accurate is a pretty modern phenomenon, and one we seem to be outgrowing by the day.

People who have written stories about saints typically are more concerned with their continued and increased veneration than they are with checking primary sources.

So we don’t necessarily know that Nicholas left gifts in the windows of poor children.
We don’t know that he appeared (more like apparated) to Constantine to plead on behalf of three residents of Myra.
We don’t know whether he attended the Council of Nicaea.
We don’t know if he punched Arius in the face there.

We don’t know if he fell asleep during the proceedings and saved a storm-ravaged ship during an out-of-body experience.

But they’re awfully cool stories.

And maybe, as a friend of mine has been known to say, there are some stories that are true, and there are some stories that are truer than that.

Maybe it’s okay that today’s reindeer fly, and that Nicholas’s windows have turned into chimneys.

Maybe the important thing is to remember to be generous.
Maybe the important thing is to stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves.
Maybe the important thing is to be passionate about what is important to you (and, I might add, to remember that we all have two ears and one mouth and should listen twice as much as we speak).

It’s worth celebrating Nicholas, I think, even if his legend is a bit larger than his history as Bishop of Myra. It’s worth telling big stories. That’s probably all parables are, anyway.

So live into those stories this season. Learn from them. Love them like they’re brand-new.

Maybe in doing that, you can make your life the stuff of legend, too.


The Hanging of the Greens began on Saturday as church members came together 
to prepare the sanctuary for the Advent season.

Tables in Tankersley Hall were beautifully set as the Bristol United Methodist Churches came together at First UMC on Wednesday, December 6 for the Advent Luncheon Series.
Rev. Liz Hamilton of Addilynn Memorial UMC brought the message.

After a stirring message, Tankersley Hall was filled with people and warmth, joy and laughter,
and with enough delicious soup, coconut cake and white chocolate chip cookies for everyone!

Our Beautiful Haitian Family
Above, from top left, clockwise, are: Bethchina Belice, Christine Fleurent, Dorvelie Dorvil, and Djennie Besson.
Leferne Preptit has shared these pictures of the children from his most recent journey to Haiti.
How blessed we are that the God who loves us and loves them has
bonded our hearts together in His love.

A Group Picture – Everyone Smile!
In Children’s Church Last Sunday . . .
Preparations for the Christmas Season and the retelling of the wonderful story of the birth of the Christ Child began early in the week.
 The lesson was about how the Angel Gabriel visited Mary
to tell her she would have a baby, and her baby would be the Son of God.


Children discover Mary in the nativity set.

The children made yummy rice crispy wreaths with the help of the adults.

Biblical Exploration
Every Sunday
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, December 13
6:30 p.m.
Bake Christmas Cookies
Teens will bake Christmas cookies
for Nursing Home caroling next week.

The people in this lovely family are members of Addilynn Memorial United Methodist Church. Meet the Boggs family – Scott, Tiffany, and their children, Tyler and Ellie.They are in urgent need of our prayers.Tiffany was diagnosed with brain cancer a year and a half ago and has been in treatment, including clinical trials, since then. Last week, their 13 year old son, Tyler, was taken to Vanderbilt where his suspected diagnosis of bone cancer was confirmed. Initial reports indicate a very aggressive Ewing Sarcoma.The following prayer requests have been given specifically for Tyler: to be healed; to find the best possible treatment plan to completely rid his body of disease; to tolerate treatment with few side effects, to manage and keep up with school work; for pain management; for caretakers; for a huge support team-prayer warriors; his anxiety and fear of needles; for strength for his parents and for his sister, Ellie.

Last Sunday, our worship time at Addilynn was filled by Tiffany giving praise to God for His presence in their lives; for her awareness of God’s love and goodness through her illness and now, through her son’s diagnosis. Her faith and her love for God empowers and strengthens and humbles all of us. Thank you, prayer warriors, for keeping this precious family in your prayers. – Carol Johnson
Bristol United Methodist Churches Advent Luncheon Series
Everyone Is Invited!
Gathering: 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Worship: 12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.
Lunch: 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 13
Host Church: John Wesley UMC, 311 Lee Street
Preaching: Rev. Ray Amos, Jr. of South Bristol UMC
Wednesday, December 20
Host Church: South Bristol UMC, 1809 Southside Avenue
Preaching: Rev. Caroline Hawthorne of St. Luke-Hunt Memorial UMCs

King University Choirs Annual Christmas Concert 
Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Tennessee
(adjacent to School’s main campus)
Admission is free and open to all.
Attendees are asked to bring food or funds to benefit the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry.
December 20
7:00 p.m.
(Doors open at 6:00)
Colonial Heights
Christian Church
105 Meadow Lane
Kingsport, TN

Tickets at
and at
Colonial Heights
Church Office
Family Promise of Bristol 1st Annual Gingerbread Cookie Fundraiser
Are you looking to give the perfect Christmas gift while supporting families with
children that are encountering homelessness?
Cookies are $25 each (order 10 or more for a reduced cost of $15 per cookie)
Several pick-up and delivery (Tri-cities area) dates available.
Call 276.494.0388 to place your order.
 Everyone is invited to participate
in the creation of your church’s newsletter.  

Send photos and announcements to admin@fumcbristol.wpcomstaging.com.
For each publication, information
is needed by noon on Wednesday.

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or co-worker! 

at the end of the newsletter. 

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Calendar & Events Schedule 

Week of December 7-13, 2017

Thurs, Dec 7:    6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
                           6:30pm-Girl Scouts
 Fri, Dec 8:        5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
                           6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 Sat, Dec 9:     12:00pm-Christmas Party-Sun House, Bristol
                           2:00pm-YMCA Christmas Party
 Sun, Dec 10:     9:30am-Sunday School Hour

                           9:30am-The River Service, TH
                         10:00am-Common Ground Service, Chapel
                         11:00am-Traditional Worship, Sanctuary

                                          (childcare is provided from 9:30am to 12:00pm;                                                                  children may be picked up at any time)
                         12:30pm-Choir Rehearsal                   


Mon, Dec 11:     6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
                           7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC

Tues, Dec 12:    8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wed, Dec 13:     6:30pm-Youth Activity
To make changes or additions to the calendar
contact Alan Gorrell 423-652-7377
or Sandy Gorrell 423-652-1987.

Our Vision-
Building A Community Where Anyone
Can Become
A Deeply Committed Christian

First United Methodist Church

Rev. Brandon Berg, Pastor (276.237.6498)

 322 Vance Dr., Bristol, TN 37620


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First United Methodist Church of Bristol Tennessee, 322 Vance Drive, Bristol, TN 37620