FUMC Bristol Newsletter December 21 – 27, 2017

<!–Copyright (c) 1996-2017 Constant Contact. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under a separate written agreement with Constant Contact, neither the Constant Contact software, nor any content that appears on any Constant Contact site, including but not limited to, web pages, newsletters, or templates may be reproduced, republished, repurposed, or distributed without the prior written permission of Constant Contact. For inquiries regarding reproduction or distribution of any Constant Contact material, please contact legal@constantcontact.com.–>

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven –
praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”
                            Luke 2: 13-14

Sunday, December 24
 Christmas Eve

Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling

 Luke 1:26-38

 Magnificat: What Makes Your Soul Sing?


Rev. Brandon Berg
Join us Sunday evening at 7 p.m.as we gather in the sanctuary to celebrate
the birth of the Christ Child.
This week’s Feed the Hungry offering is for Local School Missions.
This fund helps families in need within the Bristol School System.


To Our Church Family,
Please consider a year-end gift to your church and
a 2018 pledge.
(Gifts must be turned into the church or postmarked by December 31 to apply toward your 2017 giving.)
We are still running a deficit, but you are helping to close the gap. That is good news. We have new pledging units. More good news.
Now we need those of you who have not yet pledged to please turn pledge forms into the church. (Forms will be available in your bulletin and in the River.) You have pledged $96,884 to date. We ended last year at $142,042. Please help the Finance Committee in their work to plan a budget for the 2018 year.
Thank you for your faithfulness to the work of the church both in missions and administration. We need both to be a church doing God’s work.
                                                                                                The Finance Committee

From the Pastor’s Pen . . .

I know we’re busy traveling and preparing our homes and doing all the other Christmas preparations, so I want to offer you one word to hold onto in all your busy-ness:


God Is With Us.
Here’s why:
Every name of God is a promise; a title, I suppose, describing a way in which God relates with us. Provider, Father, Source, Stronghold, etc.
But this is the season that we celebrate my favorite name of God, the one around which my prayer and my theology centers.
Our more Puritanical friends might consider that a threat, remembering that we are Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, but that’s not the message Jesus brings. God is not with us, watching our every move and hearing our every thought and just waiting for a moment to smite us or at least tick another failure into God’s record book of sins.
No. God is with us, guiding us, embracing us, helping us back on our feet, flooding us with hope and love, with healing and forgiveness.
Even in those moments when I can’t forgive myself, God is with us, knows the whole story, knows how badly we’ve messed up, and says, It’s okay. I forgive you. Try again.
Even when the prognosis is bleak, when the injury is life-altering, when the problem is ongoing, God is with us, the one from whom all healing comes, and has divine fingers on each nerve and muscle and bone.
Even when we cannot love ourselves, or when we find ourselves facing people we find simply unloveable, God is pouring love into us until we are overflowing.
Even when hope seems gone, the One who breathed over primordial chaos, who was and is and is to come, is with us and saying to us, I’ve got this. Follow me. Go this way. Say these words. I’ll make it alright, and I’ll do it through you.
If God is with us, who or what could possibly stand against us?
Jesus only walked the dusty streets of Judea for a few years, but the Spirit is still inspiring us today, and the Creator is still making something new around us and in us, and the Incarnate One is still present in the hungry, the cold, the sick, the imprisoned, and in every other person who is in any way marginalized.

God is with us.

God will never go away.
God will never abandon us.
God is with us.
So in the midst of your business this season, take a moment to breathe God’s Spirit in. Take a moment to celebrate incarnation. Take a moment to feel and see and taste and smell and hear God around you, within you, among you right here, right now.
It’s a promise. The best one, I think.
God is with us.

Last Sunday  .  . .

A Festival of Lessons and Carols

led by Phil Haga and the Chancel Choir
Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
                     ~Charles Wesley, 1744


That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them, “Don’t be afraid! I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

                                                                                                                               Luke 2: 8-12 NLT

 “…the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem!
Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph.
And there was the baby, lying in the manger.
                                ~Luke 2: 15-16


He is Born
He is born, the holy Child,
play the oboe and bagpipes merrily!
He is born, the holy Child,
sing we all of the Savior mild.

Thru long ages of the past, prophets have foretold his coming;
thru long ages of the past, now the time has come at last!

O how lovely, O how pure
is this perfect child of heaven;
O how lovely, O how pure,
gracious gift to humankind!

Jesus, Lord of all the world,
coming as a child among us,
Jesus, Lord of all the world,
Grant to us thy heavenly peace.

He is born, the holy Child,
play the oboe and bagpipes merrily!
He is born, the holy Child,
sing we all of the Savior mild.
 ~Traditional 19th Century French Carol

Sing we now of Christmas, Noel, sing we here! Hear our grateful praises to the babe so dear.
Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel! Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

Angels called to shepherds, “Leave your flocks at rest, Journey forth to Bethlehem, find the child so blest.”
Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel! Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

In Bethlehem they found him; Joseph and Mary mild, seated by the manger, watching the holy child.
Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel! Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.
He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
They are reborn-not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan,
but a birth that comes from God.
So the Word became human and made his home among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
             ~John 1:1-5, 10-14

Biblical Exploration
Every Sunday
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Youth will not meet on
Wednesday, December 27 or
Wednesday, January 3.
Blessings and
Merry Christmas!

The church office will be closed on Monday, December 25 as we celebrate the birth of our Lord.
The office will be open on Tuesday (Dec. 26) from 9 a.m. until noon, and on Wednesday and Friday (Dec. 27 and 29) from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., but will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 28.

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.


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 nlt noon on Wednesday.

 Like what you see in your church newsletter?  
Why not
to a friend, 
or co-worker! 

at the end of the newsletter. 

Share some good news today!
Calendar & Events Schedule 

Week of December 21-27, 2017

Thurs, Dec 21:    6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
                             6:30pm-Girl Scouts
 Fri, Dec 22:        5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
                            6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 Sat, Dec 23:       9:00am-Simmer Down Catering (until 2 pm) – Kitchen
 Sun, Dec 24:     9:30am-Sunday School Hour
                            9:30am-The River Worship 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)
                          12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal  
                            7:00pm-Christmas Eve service


Mon, Dec 25:      6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
                            7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC

Tues, Dec 26:     8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
                            8:00am-Meals on Wheels-Kitchen
Wed, Dec 27:     Youth will not meet
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


Stay Connected
Like us on Facebook
First United Methodist Church of Bristol Tennessee, 322 Vance Drive, Bristol, TN 37620