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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 May 17-23, 2018
May 20, 2018
John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15
The Spirit Will Show the World
Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
Our kids haven’t reached the age at which playing dress-up isn’t cool any more. I’m pretty thankful for that. We still end up with princesses and cats and stormtroopers parading around the house and running after each other outside.
Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever quite outgrew the age of playing dress-up, either. I think what changed is what I imagined myself to be.
Now I don a collar and a cassock and fancy myself a reverend, or shorts and a singlet and fancy myself a runner. Sometimes I even change my colors and fancy myself in solidarity with somebody.
It’s related to the way life can imitate art. If I make myself up a certain way, it can shape how I behave and talk. That’s the fundamental idea behind a habit. In monastic communities, a habit is a thing you put on that defines and shapes you, that helps you disappear and surrender yourself to the community and to Christ. It can be very helpful to think of our more familiar word, “habit,” in the same way. It is a practice that we put on, that we garb ourselves in, that shapes who we are and how we think of ourselves.
In a previous appointment, the community I was serving would celebrate Old-Fashioned Day, trying to hearken back to a day when their parents and grandparents were shaping the church. Women would wear fancy hats and frilly dresses, and men would wear flannel and overalls.
On one such Sunday, a member came up to me and complained, “None of the men who came to church here would dare wear overalls to church. Overalls are working clothes. They all had one dress shirt and slacks, and maybe a coat and tie they would save and care for and wear just for Sunday.”
I thought that was enlightening. Maybe it’s only recently that we’ve become more relaxed about our church attire. Maybe that trend is shaping our memory of those days of yore, and we’re recalling them being much more relaxed than they actually were.
I think we still put on habits today, though. I obviously do, in my dog collar and cassock and seasonally-appropriate stole, and many of you choose to dress up in your best, too. I won’t judge you whether you do or don’t. I can’t put my expectations on you.
What I can observe is that our habits shape us. What we put on defines, even if only in small part, how we see ourselves. It defines, in a large part, how we present ourselves to each other.
Why don’t you try it for a day? It’ll be simple this Sunday. It’s Pentecost. The liturgical color is red. It doesn’t really matter which. Whether you’ve got brick red, fire-engine red, candy apple red, or burnt sienna, put that habit on and see how it shapes your experience in worship. See what it’s like for us to be together celebrating the miracle that happened fifty days after the Resurrection, remembering the holy spirit landing on each follower of the Way like a tongue of flame.
Wear your red this Sunday. Put that habit on and let it shape you, and let it shape all of us together.
I bet if you open yourself to it, you’ll be keenly aware that the Spirit is moving among us and inspiring us still.
This week’s Feed the Hungry offering will support the annual
Holston Conference Mission Offering
which this year is designated for “Change for Children” and for
our South Sudanese Brothers and Sisters in Exile in Uganda, Africa.
Change for Children provides grants for Holston-related
children’s ministries for children in poverty (50%)
and for children in Africa (50%).
Mission of the Month
Liberia Health Kits
2018 Liberia Mission Project
Pick up your plastic bags with instructions, located
both in Tankersley Hall and in the Narthex.
The last day to return kits is Sunday, May 27.
Last Sunday we celebrated Ascension Sunday
and Mother’s Day
Luke 24:44-53
And They Were Continuously in the Temple Praising God
Gathering and Greeting
Have you signed up to work this Friday and/or Saturday?
Sue surprises two of our volunteer workers, Betty and Suzanne,
with hanging baskets from the SPR.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
to every change God faithful will remain,
Be still, my soul; your best, your heavenly friend
through thorny ways lead to a joyful end.
~Katherine von Schlegel
Go Now in Peace
Thank God for mothers!
Thank God for my mother!
Thank God for mothers of the past.
Thank God for the mothers of today.
Thank God for soon-to-be mothers.
Thank God for the mothers with hearts so big.
Thank God for the mothers who are so strong.
Thank God for the mothers in spirit.
We thank you, Lord, for the women who have influenced
our lives in so many ways.
Last Week in Children’s Sunday School
Ms. Kathy taught us about Paul and Silas from Acts 16. They were in prison when an earthquake broke the door, but no one tried to escape. When the jailer came, he listened to Paul’s message about Jesus, and he became a believer.
We made cards for our mothers by tracing our hands.
Mr. Mike helped us plant pretty flowers to surprise our mothers for Mother Day.
For Youth
We’ll Be Celebrating the End of School with Pinball
Wednesday, May 23
6:30 p.m.
For more information contact
John, Brandon, Andy, Rebekah, or Erica.
FUMC Youth at Recent Rock Band Event
Yard Sale !!
It’s FUMC’s Church Yard Sale – And it’s THIS Week-end
Friday and Saturday, May 18-19
Come One – Come All – Bargains Galore
All proceeds from the sale will support our children’s shelter in Haiti.
Wildly Wonderful Workers Prepare for
Outstanding Yard Sale Weekend
Please come on over and help us!
On Thursday (TODAY!) we need all the help we can get
to price items and complete the set up for the sale.
Workers are also needed for Friday and Saturday during the sale.
Beautiful People Beautifying the Church
A tremendous THANKS from the Trustees to everyone who helped
on Work Day last Saturday. Lots of projects were completed.
The pew in the sanctuary was recovered. Room numbers and names in the hall that were falling down were rehung. Parking lot lines were repainted. The penthouse door on the roof of Tankersley Hall was secured. New dogwood trees donated by Gary, Joe and DJ were planted. The stonework of the downspout drywell was repaired. We also replaced the door closer on the Tankersley Hall door by chair storage, weeded the Garden Berm, weeded the Garden Sparger, and weeded the Playground.
Dinner for 8 Group Enjoys Lovely Evening
Our Dinner for Eight group met at Giuseppe’s (Chop House was overbooked
with Prom) for a wonderful dinner and conversation. We’ll try Chop House for
lunch on the second of June.
Holston Annual Conference
June 10-13
Lake Junaluska, NC
Please be in prayer for those who will attend and decisions that will be
made during the Conference.
Camp Bays Mountain
Move the Flame!
The last few steps are being taken to begin a brand-new phase of camping ministry in the Tri-Cities. The first campers will flood Camp Bays Mountain on June 3, and they will gather on Thursday evening for holy communion and dedication to following Jesus around the first vespers campfire of the camp’s history!
But first, we have to Move the Flame from
Buffalo Mountain Camp to Camp Bays Mountain.
So Thursday afternoon, June 7, some folks will begin a relay of hikers and bikers and runners to pass the torch from one camping generation to the next.
If you’re a person who hikes, bikes, or runs; and if you have fondness in your heart for Buffalo Mountain Camp and Camp Bays Mountain, we would love for you to be a part of Move the Flame. Jennifer Bradley ( is organizing relayers, and you can find more information online or you can ask
Rev. Berg. Let’s get together and Move the Flame!
Camp Bays Mountain will offer summer camp 
for children and youth grades 1-12.
Pastor Brandon Leads Camp Dedication Crowd in Song
New Swimming Pool for Campers
 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 17-23, 2018
Thursday, May 17
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
 6:30pm-Girl Scouts-TH
Friday, May 18
8:00am-Church Yard Sale
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, May 19
8:00am-Church Yard Sale
9:00am-Simmer Down Catering (until 2pm)-TH
9:00am-Holston Quilters Guild (until noon)-TH
Sunday, May 20
  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 21
 6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tuesday, May 22
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
8:00am-Meals on Wheels (until 11am)-Kitchen
 7:00pm-Martha Circle
Wednesday, May 23
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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