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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 March 22-28, 2018
Loving God, we open our hearts to you. We invite you into our inmost being,
only to find you already there. Strengthen us in our quiet places and then lead us
into the work of justice and peace.
March 25, 2018
Palm Sunday
Mark 11:1-11
Blessed is the Coming Kingdom

Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up.

This Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, also known as Palm Sunday.
It’s a little quirky that we should call it Palm Sunday, though. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, & Luke) don’t bother calling the trees, “palms,” but John does:
The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him.
It’s not that there’s something special about palm trees. They’re just trees. Sure, if you live in Southern Appalachia, they’re a novelty, but they’re just another type of tree in the Middle East. It’s a harsh landscape, and it takes a tough kind of organism to survive there.
Palms of sorts have done just fine in Israel for a long time. What makes them stand out, apart from their height, is the particular shape of their compound leaves. They sway and wave in a dramatic fashion that other tree boughs don’t necessarily do.
It’s as though they’re built to dance.
It’s no wonder that those are the boughs that the people grabbed. They were available and appropriate for the task at hand.
Today, we celebrate Palm Sunday with palms because it’s tradition. You’re supposed to use palms. It’s the way we’ve always done it. And this year’s palms, ideally, become next year’s ashes.
But they wouldn’t have been palms had the story happened in Australia. They wouldn’t have been palms had the story happened in Alaska. They wouldn’t have been palms had the story happened in Appalachia.
The people used what they had on hand. They used what made sense. Their coats, branches from nearby trees, grasses cut in the fields, whatever worked was what they used.
This wasn’t a grandiose, extravagant parade. It was a parade made up of the things at hand. It was a pauper’s parade.
Sometimes we need to remember that, at its essence, in its own world, our story’s content isn’t nearly as extravagant or complicated as we make it.
Our stories are born of the common things from the world around them. They are written with the language of the people of their own time.
Maybe it’s time to use our own language to speak to a people where they come from. Maybe that would cause us to listen a little better, and to get to know the world around us.
Maybe Jesus will have a new word to say to us, too.
Feed the Hungry Offering
Our “Feed the Hungry” Offering 
this week is for
Local School Missions.
This fund helps
families in need within
the Bristol School System.

Special Easter Offering
FUMC will be collecting a special offering
on Easter Sunday toward the Help for Haiti children’s shelter overseen by FUMC
member Leferne Preptit. Though the
mission continues to have a strong
foundation of regular monthly donors,
we still need additional offerings in order
to be able to meet our budget each year
to provide housing, food and education for
nine children whose families were affected
by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Please
consider donating on Easter to support one of our church’s most vital missions.
  •  Bethchina size pant 10 / T- shirts 8 medium in junior girls section, shoe #9
  • Jenny size pant 5/6, T shirts, dress junior/small, shoe #7-1/2
  • Jeffreyna size 8/9 pant, medium T- shirts 6 small in girl section, shoe #6
  • Michlove size 6/7 pant T- shirts 6 small, shoe #4m
  • Dorvely size 5 pant/medium, T-shirts 5/6 small in girl section, shoe #4m
  • Christine Fleurent size 4/5 pant, T-shirts 5/6 small in girl section, shoe #13.0M
  • Wesley size pant 16 medium, shirt 11/12 medium in young boy section, shoe size 9m
  • Yves Love size pant 8, shirt 8 s/p, shoe size 4m
  • Marvens size pant 8, shirt 6/7, shoe size 4m
2018 Clinch Mountain District
Sets Goal of 400 Health Kits
for Liberia
Put into a large Ziploc bags these items:
  • 1 hand towel
  • 1 washcloth
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • 2 tubes toothpaste 6.4 oz. or less
  • 1 bottle shampoo 15 oz. or less
  • 1 bottle lotion 18 oz. or less
  • 1 bottle roll-on deodorant 4 oz. or less
  • 1 small spray perfume/cologne/body mist 4 oz. or less
Put the following items separately into a sandwich-size bag.
  • 1 tube antibacterial ointment 1 oz.
  • 1 bottle Tylenol/acetaminophen 500 mg. 24 count
  • Remove price tags from all Items.
  • Please use only the quantities listed.
  • NO SUBSITUTIONS or additional items are allowed due to Customs regulations. This includes notes, cards, photos, religious tracts or anything else that is not on the list.
  • A $5.00 donation is to accompany each kit – do not put money in the bag.
  • Delivery information to follow.
Last Sunday
 John 12:20-33
They Will All Know Me . . . I Will Write My Law on Their Hearts
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from death, O God, God of my salvation,
And my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
Were I to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
                                   ~Psalm 51:10-17
Easter Egg Hunt 9:30 a.m. Easter Sunday
The Children’s Department is planning FUMC’s annual
Easter egg hunt for children.
FUMC members are asked to contribute plastic eggs and candy for this event.
You may drop them by the Children’s Department this Sunday
or deliver them to the church office next week any time M-Th 9-2.

In Children’s Church Last Week . . .
This week we played a great Easter Game. We worked
on our Easter art, and we reviewed all things leading up to
the Easter story.
Please help us gather candy for our
Easter Egg Hunt on Easter morning.
Community Lenten Services
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
Holy Week Services at FUMC
7:00 p.m. nightly
Monday – Wednesday: Services of Word
Thursday: Service of Word and Table and rite of footwashing
Martha Circle
Tuesday, March 27, 7:00 p.m.
Church Parlor
For Youth
March 28 is Game Night
The fun begins at 6:30 p.m.
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!
Top Ten Reasons to Donate
to the Church Yard Sale
  1. It will help your church.
  2. Your junque is in your way. You can’t risk falling over it.
  3. Your children don’t want it either. You already asked.
  4. You have a vision of what could be if the junque were to go away. Hey, Dear, do you think we could put a hot tub in here?
  5. You know you don’t have time to put together your own yard sale - you have thought about it for the last three years.
  6. You will save yourself the embarrassment of re-gifting to THE GIFT GIVER.
  7. Oh, you know you will never wear those footed pajamas . . . again!
  8. One person’s junque is another person’s treasure. Say, I like footed pajamas. What size are they?
  9. You’ll make lots of people happy by surrendering what you don’t want anyway.
  10. You’ll have room to buy more junque.
MAY 18-19
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:
  1. Go to
  2. Create an account. Sign in.
  3. Look for the “person” figure and “down arrow” on the far right of your screen. Click the down arrow.
  4. Choose My Account.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page to Community Rewards and enroll.
  6. Search for First United Methodist Church, and select the one in Bristol. (Or, search by our organization number, 85975.
Church Committee Meetings
Any member of
First United Methodist Bristol 
is welcome to attend
any committee meeting
of the church.
The only exception
is the
Staff Parish Relations
Committee (SPR), of which
you must be a member to attend.
Clinch Mountain District Youth Retreat
When? April 13-15, 2018
Where? Camp Ahistadi
9863 TN-91 Laurel Bloomery TN 37620
(8 miles from Damascus, VA)
For: Youth Grades 6-12)
Speaker: Jason Roe
Come and join us for a weekend getaway and focus on God.
Meals for Friday night to Sunday lunch provided.
We will have fun, games, free time, music, voting for DCYM and CCYM
Fall 2018 reps and talent show!
Can only come for one day? No problem, you can still join us!
DEADLINE – April 1st! (1-2 adults from each church must be present.)
-no cost-
This event underwritten by a grant from the Holston Conference.
Conact: Caroline Hawthorne, Interim District Youth Coordinator,
at, or 423-963-9703.
Youth and adults need to bring sleeping bag, old clothes for service project, layers, tennis shoes, toiletries/towel, etc., and anything needed for talent show.
Antagonism in the Church:
Building a Healthy Congregational Culture
Sponsored by the Holston Conference Task Force on Clergy Abuse
An event for clergy and lay leadership
Be part of the conversation.
2 Events – Featuring Dr. David Brubaker
Saturday, April 21: Concord UMC (Knoxville)
Saturday, April 28: Emory & Henry College
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $25.00 (lunch provided)

Morning conversation about antagonism in the church
Afternoon learning opportunity with Dr. David Brubaker
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 22-28, 2018
Thursday, March 22     
         6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
        6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Friday, March 23        
         5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
         6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, March 24      
         9:00am-Simmer Down Catering (until 2pm)-TH
Sunday, March 25 — Palm Sunday
         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
Monday, March 26     
         6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
         7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tuesday, March 27
          8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
         8:00am-Meals on Wheels-TH
         7:00pm-Martha Circle-Parlor
Wednesday, March 28    
        12:00pm-Community Lenten Service at Addilynn Memorial UMC (Barbara Farmer, Speaker)
         6:30pm-Youth Activity (Game Night)
            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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