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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 May 24-30, 2018
Trinity Sunday
May 27, 2018
John 3:1-17
Here Am I; Send Me
Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
I’m walking the streets of the nation’s capital this week in between opportunities to hear from some of the giants of the art of preaching. On my way from my bus stop to National City Christian Church, I caught myself admiring modern, glass-and-steel structures shaped around old stone monoliths, and the words of the disciples began ringing in my ears:
“Teacher, look! What awesome stones and buildings!”
Do you remember how the conversation proceeds?
The foundation for the Jerusalem that Jesus and the disciples are touring during that conversation was built by David and his son Solomon a thousand years before. Multiple rebuilding projects followed that in a history that is likely not lost on the disciples.
Solomon in particular was a fan of overbuilding and collecting the very finest things he could get his hands on. And the finest people. And the finest foods. The finest everything, really.
We might be guilty of whitewashing his legacy, frankly. Being present in this place that takes such deep funding and such manipulation of people’s talents and people’s gifts and, well, just people is making me rather keenly attuned to that manipulation.
I don’t suppose I’m like the disciples in that way. They, and so many people today, come to Jerusalem and to the District of Columbia in utter amazement at the scope and the glory of their surroundings.
I tend to see at least hints of the objectification and enslavement that makes these things possible.
A different person would invite you, now, to be keenly observant of what and who makes possible what surrounds you, what makes you comfortable, what enables your particular lifestyle. Go and be thankful for that.
I’m not that person.
I would invite you to become keenly aware of the objectification and enslavement and oppression that makes your life possible, and to call it to account.
Bite the hand that feeds you, as it were.
If, as Christians, as little Messiahs, we aren’t called to hold power to account, to speak truth to it, then what on earth are we actually learning from Jesus?
That’s what I’ve got for you this week. I apologize if it’s not amusing or cute. There is a grinder screaming in my right ear while some underpaid workers are trying to fit a custom cut twelve-foot high pane of glass into a steel frame that has reshaped itself as the dozen or so stories of concrete and steel above it have settled and reshaped it. Hundreds of people have walked and run and biked and driven by as I’ve been typing. It’s a bit distracting.
And all they’re trying to do is sustain this old city and her old systems.
God have mercy on us all.
This week’s Feed the Hungry offering will go to the
Peace with Justice Offering.
Please come. Give generously.
This offering provides grants
which encourage Christian lines of action to assist
humankind to move toward a world where peace and justice are achieved.
Grant applicants seek to do one or more of the following:
  • Assist United Methodists understand and respond to violence and militarism.
  • Involve United Methodists in efforts to end conflicts and violent aggression in the world, nation, or community.
  • Promote just national and international policies and actions (governmental and non-governmental) seeking to restore communities and respond to the disproportionate effect of injustices on racial and ethnic persons.
  • Support policies that promote systematic economic justice and the self-development of peoples.
Mission of the Month
Liberia Health Kits
The last day to return kits is Sunday, May 27.
What An Awesome Yard Sale It Was!
We raised $4,236.00 for the Children’s Shelter in Haiti !!
A huge and heart-felt ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped with preparations,
on the day of the sale, and with removing the remnants!
What an exhausting yet exciting event!
We had wonderful support from our community.
On Monday, FUMC men
packed up what was left to assist
civic groups and ministries.
Great work, men!!
Last Sunday
John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15
The Spirit Will Show the World
Gathering and Greeting
Suzanne shared the excellent
outcome of the yard sale this
past weekend. The church
raised over $4,000 for the
Children’s Shelter in Haiti.
We are thankful for everyone who
helped and for the Lord’s blessing!!
The children shared with us:
The Holy Spirit came like wind.
The Holy Spirit came like fire.
“I shall pour out my Spirit” saith the Lord from on high,
“And the young shall see visions, and the old prophesy;
And your sons and your daughters shall grow strong and increase
For the fruits of the Spirit shall be love, joy and peace.”
~Natalie Sleeth
God of Grace and God of Glory, on thy people pour thy power;
crown thine ancient church’s story, bring her bud to glorious flower,
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.
Cure thy children’s warring madness, bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul,
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal, lest we miss thy
kingdom’s goal.
~Harry Fosdick
The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit. John 3: 8
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
~Daniel Iverson
Last Week in Children’s Sunday School
Ms. Misty taught the children about Pentecost. They made ‘fire’ and ‘wind’ streamers from glow sticks and ribbons to help demonstrate the lesson. During worship, the children told the story of Pentecost to the congregation using the streamers they had made.
Everyone enjoyed Icees and cookies for the snack.
The children helped Mr. Mike feed the fish.
Hey . . . It’s a Surprise!
Wednesday, May 30
6:30 p.m.
For more information contact
John, Brandon, Andy, Rebekah, or Erica.
Beautiful People Beautifying the Church
A tremendous THANKS from the Trustees to everyone who helped on Work Day!
Safe Sanctuary Workshop June 3

Sunday, June 3, 7:00 p.m.

South Bristol UMC

Led by Carolyn Kidd

Please consider attending if you have not yet been through this training.

Also, please let Pastor Brandon know if you plan to attend.

Holston Annual Conference
June 10-13 Lake Junaluska, NC
A Pre-Conference Briefing in the Clinch Mountain District will be held at
Lebanon Memorial United Methodist Church
24 Tate Avenue
Lebanon, VA
Sunday, June 3, at 3:00 p.m.
All Clergy, Lay Members to Annual Conference and At-Large Members
are expected to attend.
Please be in prayer for those who will attend this year’s Conference
and the decisions that are to be made.
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.
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 24-30, 2018
Thursday, May 24
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
 6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Friday, May 25
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, May 26
9:00am-Simmer Down Catering (until 2pm)-TH
Sunday, May 27
  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
6:00pm-Administrative Council-TH
Monday, May 28
 6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tuesday, May 29
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, May 30
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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