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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 May 3-9, 2018
The First Supper by Susan Dorothea White
May 6, 2018
Sixth Sunday of Easter
John 15:9-17
New Commandment; New People
Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
As this week’s newsletter is reaching your inbox, people across this nation will be gathering to celebrate the 2018 National Day of Prayer. In the midst of deeply divided politics and ideologies and theologies, the organizers are borrowing an idea from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, which, by the time he pens his encouragement to them, is one of the most vibrant cities of the Roman Empire, and home of a strong, lasting church in Christianity’s early years.
To that influential church, Paul writes:
“[Be] eager to maintain unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
The NRSV translates the verb, “making every effort,” which is the idea that the National Day of Prayer organizers communicate as well with this theme verse. That’s a tremendously important idea, although not necessarily a well-accepted one when our principles take a front seat to our desire to get along.
That’s why I think it’s really important to consider Paul’s words in their fuller context. His sentence, as is often the case for Paul, is longer than just that verse:
Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.
Yeah, in Greek, that’s all one sentence. The rules about run-on sentences in English don’t apply. Silly Greek.
I’d draw your attention to the phrases that directly precede this year’s theme verse:
Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love…
That’s how we maintain unity in God’s Spirit. The pride of ideology or political principles will never bring us together. They will only ever drive us apart. We have to practice humility, gentleness, patience, and acceptance. We have to listen and operate under the assumption that we just might be wrong, especially in the presence of a God whose foolishness is wiser than our wisdom. Dust that we are, what could we possibly know about the mystery of God?
So pray today. Definitely pray today. And as you pray, listen. Pray with somebody. Listen to their story. Let their story shape you and your story.
And maybe in humbleness, in gentleness, in patience, in acceptance and wonder of each other, the Spirit of God will begin to bring us together in the bond of peace.
Yup. Peace,
This week’s Feed the Hungry offering will go to
Bristol Faith in Action.
BFIA is a cooperative outreach ministry of the churches of Bristol and the
local community formed to serve any persons whose circumstances leave them with significant physical, social, emotional or spiritual needs.
Mission of the Month
Liberia Health Kits
2018 Liberia Mission Project
Pick up your plastic bags with instructions. They are located both in Tankersley Hall
and in the Narthex.
The last day to turn in kits is Sunday, May 27.
Last Sunday
John 15:1-8
I Am the Vine
Meeting and Greeting
Suzanne shared about the Yard Sale Chart provided in the Narthex
where FUMC members can sign up for duty on the dates of the sale,
May 18 and 19.
Erica gives a heart warming thank you to the church for all the help and
prayers getting her through college.
Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness
~John Wyeth
Children help Pastor Brandon tell the story of Acts 8:26-40 about
Philip and the Ethiopian.
Lord, we would really like to settle in and get rooted somewhere;
Remind us that you are our roots.
We would really like to stay here with our friends and family;
Send us out on the wilderness road, to the foreigner, the powerless, the eunuch.
We would really prefer to hold on to our comforts and our treasures;
Prune from us all that is not bearing fruit,
and make us disciples who can feed all creation.
Last Week in Children’s Sunday School
The lesson was about Timothy, who was taught from a young age by his mother and grandmother about being a Christian. When Paul was getting ready to leave on his second trip to visit the people who had become Christians during his first trip to see how they were doing, he asked Timothy to go with him.
Ms. Suzanne taught us to use our hands with a poem: “Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the door, and see the people.” She also taught the song, “I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together.”
Youth Cook Out
May 9
6:30 p.m.
Let Us Break Bread Together
For more information contact
John, Brandon, Andy, Rebekah, or Erica.
Dinner for 8
Group Dinner
at the Chophouse
in Kingsport
Saturday, May 12
Meet at the Church
4:30 p.m.
Spring Cleanup at Church
Saturday, May 12
9 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Lots of jobs for all abilities
The Trustees will meet on
Sunday, May 13 at 4:00 p.m.
in the church library.
MAY 18-19
Pastor Brandon and Noah Completed The Bristol Half & Half
Pastor Brandon shares, “Noah and I were both top finishers in our age groups. Noah was beat by four big teenage boys, but he still cut nine and a half minutes off his time from last year. Overall, I came in 22nd and Noah came in 55th out of 338 participants.”
Pastor Brandon leads music
at a recent youth weekend
at Camp Ahistadi.
Raleigh Ringers
Hand Bell Concert 
Sunday, May 6
3:00 pm
Euclid Avenue Baptist Church
Tickets $15.00
Available at the Door
& Silent Auction
Fall Race Tickets
Queen Size Mattress
Multiple Golf Rounds
Gym Membership Trials
Themed Baskets
Dollywood Passes
Local Gift Certificates
Week Vacation at N. Myrtle Beach
Saturday, May 5, 2018
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Dinner Served: 5:30 – 7:00; Auction Open 5:30 – 7:20; Dinner Cost: $5.00
Reynolds Memorial United Methodist Church, 327 W. Mary Street 24201
Call or stop by to pre-purchase tickets. 276.669.1134
Joint Fundraiser Hosted By John Wesley UMC, Hunt Memorial UMC
and Reynolds Memorial UMC
All Proceeds Benefit VBS Ministry
The Holston Conference Foundation is now offering a free service to individuals who need a Will or need to replace an existing Will.
1.To get started visit
2.Answer all of the prompts covering your charitable wishes (or skip if you just want a Will without making a charitable gift) For convenience sake the Holston Foundation has listed those entities we work with as a drop-down feature on the website beginning with your local church.
3.Enter pertinent information to create a Will. The process usually takes 25 minutes to complete.
4.Print out your new Last Will & Testament.
5. You can create a legal Will online, or document your wishes and find an attorney near you.
REMEMBER- Your new Will is not executable unless it is signed, notarized and includes three witnesses that can be located!
If you’d prefer to go straight to an attorney to draft your Will and you choose to leave a gift in your Will, we suggest the following language and to advise us of your intentions:
“I bequeath (amount OR percentage) to [church name], a nonprofit corporation organized and existing under the laws of [STATE], with the principal business address of [ADDRESS] and federal tax identification number [EIN].”
Women Build 2018
Be a strong woman during Habitat’s Women Build Week.
Join us as we build in partnership with three local women, Cissy, Susan & Jessica. Choose to BUILD STRONG in either Jonesborough,
Johnson City or Bristol; May 5 or May 10-12.
Even if you can’t build, you can still support our Women Build
activities by donating to honor Cissy, Susan and Jessica by clicking below
A free, one-day camp for grieving children and teens
May 5, 2018 • 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Warriors’ Path State Park • Kingsport, Tennessee
The camp provides a safe, fun, and caring atmosphere to explore feelings of grief.
Campers will:
•Develop an age appropriate understanding of death
•Strengthen coping skills
•Improve self-esteem
•Reduce the feelings of isolation
•Develop relationships with others who have experienced similar losses
Contact Ballad Health Hospice at (423) 844-5252 to learn more about Camp Caterpillar.
Camp Bays Mountain
Summer camp for children and youth grades 1-12
Thursday, May 10, 2018
6-9 p.m.
Bristol Train Station
101 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Bristol, VA
Dinner. Silent Auction. Tickets $125. RSVP to YWCA by May 1.
 Learn how to help brothers and sisters who are dying of opioid addiction.
Friday, May 18, 9:00AM–5:00PM and
Saturday, May 19, 9:00AM–3:00PM
Celebration Church, Blountville
Send your photos and announcements for the Newsletter
to 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 May 3-9, 2018
Thursday, May 3 
 6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
 6:30pm-Girl Scouts-TH
Friday, May 4
 8:00am-Veterans Resources and Training (until 11 a.m.)-TH
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, May 5
 9:00am-Simmer Down Catering (until 2pm)-TH
Sunday, May 6
  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, May 7
 1:00pm-Food Pantry Volunteers (Until 4pm)-Bristol Emergency Food Pantry
 6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tuesday, May 8
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, May 9
6:30pm-Youth Activity-TH
            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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