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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 March 15-21, 2018
Loving God, we thank you that you are with us, and that we may call upon you
no matter where we are, or what we are feeling. Keep us mindful of your presence and trusting in your promise—that you are working with us in the moment-by-moment unfolding of our lives.
March 18, 2018
Fifth Sunday of Lent
“They Will All Know Me . . .
I Will Write My Law on Their Hearts.”
John 12: 20-33
Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
The Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us that the “spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) falls on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 12:15 P.M. EDT.” For this runner and lover of whitewater, it can’t come soon enough.
Especially after this week’s spring forward out of “daylight savings” time and back into standard time, from which I’m still reeling as I write this as though I’m suffering from jet lag, I’m pretty doggone tired of dark mornings and temperatures that don’t get reasonable until it’s nearly time for daylight to disappear again. I don’t care if this has been one of the mildest winters I’ve lived through, I’m over it. Bring on Spring!
(…he says, checking prices on nasal flush systems.)
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want warmer weather to hurry along. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to long for longer days. Or, even if it is unreasonable, I don’t think it’s unusual.
But it doesn’t look very hopeful, does it?
I guess we’ll have to live through whatever Winter decides to keep throwing at us. The Equinox isn’t really an indicator of consistently increasing temperatures, anyway; not any more than global warming is a predictor of the disappearance of winter altogether. Winter and its dark and cold are a reality that will exist as long as the Earth maintains its tilt and its steady orbit around the Sun.
It is something we have to live through, like it or not.
I guess I think of Lent in the same way. It’s really not a season I enjoy, but the gathering darkness is enormously important. Following Christ doesn’t just mean jumping to the resurrection; it means suffering and dying with God Incarnate, or there will be nothing from which we could be resurrected.
But somewhere deep in the soul, there’s a seed of prophecy: new life is coming!
That seed of hope, that prophetic understanding is a thing that keeps me going, not just from day to day, but within the larger scope of my vocation and my faith. This is an astounding mess we find ourselves in today, surrounded by injustice and facing down uncertainty and irrelevance at every turn. What do we do when the future looks so grim?
Well, personally, I remember that on Friday, the future looked hopeless for those first disciples huddled together in Jerusalem, certain that the Temple authorities and Roman soldiers would be after them next, convinced that the cross Jesus had instructed them to bear would be nailed to them within hours. So, except for the one who was lost, they waited.
And today, as our churches atrophy, we wait.
And today, as our message seems entirely irrelevant, we wait.
And today, as The United Methodist Church faces her darkest hour, we wait.
And even as we come within days of the spring equinox, waking to temperatures below freezing, befuddled and frustrated, we wait.
Because somewhere buried deep within us, there is a seed of hope prophesying: new life is coming.
The Word of God is still speaking new life. Wait. Pray. Wait.
And be ready for it. Be ready when Jesus calls you.
New life is coming.

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our offering this week is for the Haven of Rest Infant Ministry.
This program helps families needing assistance for their babies ages 0 – 12 months.
Haven of Rest Infant Ministry
624 Anderson Street, Bristol, TN
Hours Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Clothing
  • Baby Bath/ Shampoo/ Desitin
  • Jackets/ Sweaters/ Coats
  • Blankets/ Swaddles/ Bibs
  • We do not offer formula
Contact: Jacinda Lauman, Office Manager, Infant Ministry
Last Sunday we celebrated Girl Scout Sunday.
 John 3:14-21
The Truth that We Do
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the Mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.
                                                         ~Robert Robinson, 1758
The Church Gratefully Acknowledges These Gifts:
In Memory of
Loetta Cornett
To the Memorial Fund by
Brenda and Jim Hobbs
Helen Holland, J. S. and Phyllis Marcy,
Ben and Joan Cole
To the Choir Fund by
Ron Schoenhardt

In Children’s Church Last Week . . .
This week Ms. Donna taught us about The Last Supper.
We made bread and a cup out of crayon shavings and
wax paper. God’s love changes us – like the heat
changes the crayon. His love makes us beautiful.
Community Lenten Services
Wed., March 21, noon - St. Luke UMC - Jack Stevens, Speaker 
(lunch provided)
Sun., March 25, 5:00 p.m. (Palm Sunday) – Anderson Street UMC
Singers from Anderson Street UMC and other churches will perform
in a combined concert. Doors open at 4:30. Come early to get a seat.
Wed., March 28, noon - Addilynn Memorial UMC – Barbara Farmer , Spkr.
(lunch provided)
Friday, March 30, 6:30 p.m. - Good Friday Service and Holy Communion
Presented by Bristol Methodist Pastors at Anderson Street UMC
Next Exciting Youth Adventure
Wednesday, March 21, 6:30 p.m.
Break the Code
For more information contact John, Brandon, Andy, Rebekah, or Erica.
We have some great scientists at FUMC! Sarah received first place, and BellaShea,
second place in the Science Fair last week. Congratulations, Ladies!
MAY 18-19
Bring it for the Sale
We are storing items in the former nurse’s office.
Do you shop at Kroger? If yes, do you participate in the Community Rewards Program?
It costs nothing to participate, but based on the purchases of those enrolled on behalf of FUMC, Kroger will make a periodic contribution to the church.
How To Enroll: Go to If you already have created an account, sign in; if not, you must create one. Once signed in, look for the “person” figure and down arrow on the far right of your screen. Click the down arrow. Choose My Account. Scroll to the bottom of the page to Community Rewards and enroll. Search for First United Methodist Church, and select the one in Bristol. Or, search by our organization number, which is 85975.
Church Committee Meetings
With the exception of the
Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPR), any member of 
First United Methodist Bristol is welcome to attend any
committee meeting of the church.
Registration Open
April 30 – May 2, 2018

MainStay Suites, Pigeon Forge
A retreat for adults (50+) who desire to explore and enhance their relationship with Christ.
We have this hope as an anchor for
the Soul, firm and secure.
It enters the inter sanctuary behind
the curtain. Hebrews 6:19 NIV
Sponsored by Holston Conference United Methodist Church Foundation.
For details, go to the Jubilation website
Camp Bays Mountain
This year Holston Conference is excited to offer summer camp for children and youth, Grades 1 – 12, at Camp Bays Mountain.
Camp Director Jeff Wadley says, “The outdoor setting, camp activities and summer counselors are avenues for our campers to be introduced to Christ and to grow in faith. Our theme this summer is Here I Am! in which we will study God’s presence in our lives.This is the heartbeat of our camp curriculum.”
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Bristol Train Station
eliminating racism
empowering women
Every Christian knows the story of the Good Samaritan. But how many of us remember
the man on the side of the road who needs attention?
Our region is overwhelmed by people on the “side of the road” due to addiction to opioids.
We have a choice. Like the religious leaders who ignored the man on the “side of the road,”
we can walk on by and pretend the problem and the people don’t exist. 
Or, we can do something about it.
Christians who care about those “on the side of the road” will gather in May to learn
how to help those brothers and sisters who are dying of opioid addiction.
Please join us at The Holy Friendship Summit
Friday, May 18th from 9:00AM – 5:00PM and
Saturday, May 19th, 2018 from 9:00AM – 3:00PM
at Celebration Church in Blountville, Tennessee.
The Holy Friendship Summit is more than a conference or workshop.
It is a long term vision to produce networks, resource sharing opportunities,
and new publications. Clergy, clinicians, congregations, educators, non-profit leaders,
recovery program leaders, and neighbors are called and are coming together
in Holy Friendship.
The people “on the side of the road” are counting on us!
Send your photos and announcements 
for the Newsletter
or call Carol at 423.652.2811
M-Th, 9-2.
For each publication, information
is needed by noon on Wednesday.
Your Church Event and Planning Calendar
Week of March 15-21, 2018
Thursday, March 15     
         6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
        6:30pm-Girl Scouts-TH
Friday, March 16        
         5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
         6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, March 17      
         9:00am-Simmer Down Catering (until 2pm)-TH
        9:00am-Holston Quilters Guild
Sunday, March 18
         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
      5:00pm-Finance Committee-Library
Monday, March 19     
         6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
         7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tuesday, March 20
          8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, March 21    
        12:00pm-Community Lenten Service at St. Luke UMC (Jack Stevens, Speaker)
         6:30pm-Youth Activity (Treasure Hunt)
            To make changes or additions to the calendar contact Alan Gorrell 423-652-7377
                                                   or Sandy Gorrell 423-652-1987.
First United Methodist Church
Rev. Brandon Berg, Pastor (276.237.6498)
 322 Vance Dr., Bristol, TN 37620
Our Vision
Building A Community Where Anyone
Can Become A Deeply Committed Christian
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