FUMC Bristol Newsletter December 14 – 20, 2017

How far is it to Bethlehem?
Not very far.
Shall we find the stable room lit by a star?
Can we see the little Child, is He within?
If we lift the wooden latch may we go in?
                                                                                ~Stan Pethel
Sunday, December 17
 Third Sunday of Advent
 Festival of Lessons and Carols 
Phil Haga 
Last Sunday  .  . .
Prepare the Way of the Lord
Mark 1: 1-8
The McGrady family brought the Advent Candle Liturgy and lit the Advent Candle.


Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates,

behold the King of glory waits;

the King of kings is drawing near;

the Savior of the world is here!

                                                                                                                               ~Georg Weissel, 1642

John announced, “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am-
so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and
untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you
with the Holy Spirit.”
                                                                             ~Mark 1: 7-8 NLT
 People, look east.
The time is near
of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair
as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east:
Love, the Guest,
is on the way.  
Angels announce with shouts of mirth
him who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
with the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.
                                                                                ~Eleanor Farjeon, 1928
The Lighting of the Advent Candle
at The River service. 
John said:
“One stronger than I am
 is coming after me.”
Thank you, Lord,
that we can rely on your strength.




You told Isaiah to speak

compassionately to Jerusalem;

now send us with words

of comfort for the world.

This week’s Feed the Hungry offering is for Local Missions.
This mission helps members of our church family and
other immediate local mission needs.

From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
Our neighbors have some lights.
By “lights” I mean I have to put on sunglasses to drive past them at night.
I mean, their electric bill for December is probably higher than our entire year.
I mean, these people would give Clark Griswold a run for his money.
Is that unkind? If it is, I’m sure this article will get back to them and I’ll end up with toilet paper in the big Spruce in our front yard.
They have their way they like to mark this season. Our kids think it’s beautiful. I think we got our tree up and decorated and that’s about all we’re going to carve out time to do.
Our preference in decor isn’t just the result of having two full-time jobs and three overtime kids, though. Karoline and I tend to prefer simpler things. We don’t want to throw our resources and effort into frills and fashion. We tend to prefer function over form.
That word, “prefer,” is important here. I recognize that there are some folks who will read this article by the light of their own fabulous holiday extravaganza. Cool. Take pride in that. That’s how you express yourself.
Or maybe it’s how you compete with your neighbor.
I don’t tend to think that competition is what this season is about, but sometimes our competitive nature can be difficult to step away from.
I’m aware that I’m wandering a bit with this little epistle. I suppose that puts me in good company, though. After all, during this season, we are celebrating a God who loves us enough to wander into the backwaters of the Roman empire in a time when running water and centralized roads were a brand-new thing. We are celebrating a God who so longs to be near us, wanderers that we are, that the Eternal shrugged off eternity for a generation so that we could, for a moment, touch Forever.
I can’t tell you how to celebrate that. Incarnation, I think, is an exercise in prodigal, extravagant love. It’s God giving us a whole lot more than we need or than is necessary to show us love. It’s God giving up glory to take on the mundane.
So maybe if we take a season to clothe the mundane with glory, that’s okay.
So go for it with your lights. Clothe your home with glory. See if you can outshine the Bristol Motor Speedway.
And this year, remember that glory is choosing to make a home with you.
That, my friends, is really the point.
Our Beautiful Haitian Family
In Children’s Church Last Sunday . . .
 We talked about the angels’ visits to Joseph and to Mary.
The children made angels. They also wrote their names
to include in Christmas cards for our home bound members.
Each week the names of the leaders who are working with your children
are posted on this bulletin board.
Biblical Exploration
Every Sunday
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, December 20
2 – 4 p.m. (School’s out)
Caroling and Cookies at Nursing Home
We will not have meetings on
Wednesday, December 27 or
Wednesday, January 3.
Blessings and make it a Merry Christmas!
Please keep the Boggs family – Scott, Tiffany, and their children,Tyler and Ellie – in your prayers. They are members of Addilynn UMC. Tiffany was diagnosed with brain cancer a year and a half ago and has been in treatment, including clinical trials, since then. Tyler, their 13 year old son, has very recently been diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer.
These prayer requests were 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.
UPDATES: Tyler will be receiving his treatments at
St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center.
As a matter of praise, offerings were taken independently by three churches last week to help the family with expenses. The Boggs’ insurance deductible for Tyler was $6400. The amount of the combined offerings was — $6400. God performs miracles that are so personal you know they are His doing and not coincidental. Please let your prayers, and praise, continue!   -Carol
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 20
Host Church: South Bristol UMC, 1809 Southside Avenue
Preaching: Rev. Caroline Hawthorne of St. Luke-Hunt Memorial UMCs
Wednesday, 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
2018 Flower Calendar Posted
The 2018 Flower Calendar has been posted on the bulletin board in the church narthex.
If you would like to place flowers on the Altar in honor or in memory of a loved one or for a special occasion, please sign the calendar on the line by the corresponding date.
Cost per arrangement — $50.00.

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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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Calendar & Events Schedule
Week of December 14-20, 2017
Thurs, Dec 14:    6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
                             6:30pm-Girl Scouts
                             6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
 Fri, Dec 15:        5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
                            6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 Sat, Dec 16:       9:00am-Simmering Down Catering (until 2 pm) – Kitchen
                            9:00am-Quilters Guild (until noon) – TH
 Sun, Dec 17:     9:30am-Sunday School Hour

                         10:00am-Common Ground Service, Chapel
                         11:00am-Combined Worship Service, Sanctuary
                                          (childcare is provided from 9:30am to 12:00pm;                                                                  children may be picked up at any time)
                          12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal
                          12:30pm-NA Regional Meeting (until 5pm, tentative) – TH
Mon, Dec 18:      6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
                            7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tues, Dec 19:     8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wed, Dec 20:     Youth will not meet at 6:30 — Meet at 2:00 for Caroling and cookies
to the Nursing Home
To make changes or additions to the calendar
contact Alan Gorrell 423-652-7377
orSandy 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