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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 June 7-13, 2018
Third Sunday After Pentecost
June 10, 2018
Mark 4:26-34
On God’s Surprising Bounty
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
The members of the Holston Annual Conference are about to converge on Lake Junaluska Assembly.
Karoline and the kids will spend this week enjoying the ease of lake life. I’ll be in and out of Stuart Auditorium in worship and business gatherings from Sunday evening to Wednesday morning. I’m thankful that the Assembly, within the past decade, joined the rest of the twentieth century to install air conditioning in Stuart Auditorium, because it makes those long sessions considerably more bearable.
But that comfort has come at a cost that is more than financial.
Some of you will remember a day when Summer evenings were a time to escape the heat of your home into the shade of a front porch. Some of you will remember neighbors finding each other in that relatively public space, making community, developing relationships.
Before the arrival of central air at Stuart Auditorium, that same phenomenon happened in the space surrounding that old building. Families would gather in the shade of the trees around Stuart, let children run and play together, and enjoy the fellowship of an annual reunion. Members of the Annual Conference could escape outside for a respite from the heat of the Auditorium, but the business of the Conference still went on and could be heard by everyone out on the lawn. If a vote were called for, members could simply slip back inside when the time was appropriate.
I’m aware that I’m waxing a bit nostalgic for an experience I only enjoyed for two years of my personal history with the Annual Conference; and I’m aware that this might sound like I’m bemoaning the loss of community like so many churchy people long for days of yore. I don’t want to stay there, though.
I want to recognize what is lost from front-porch community, certainly, but only for the sake of seeking a way to find that community in the new environment we inhabit.
Front-porch communities afford us a number of opportunities:
fresh air
knowing our neighbors
supporting each other
building and maintaining the community
You could probably name more. I’m particularly interested in the way these opportunities influence each other, and discovering how to reclaim them now.
As we sit in Stuart Auditorium, we interact a little with the people immediately around us, maybe. We who form caucuses continually message each other on the internet, reaching across the auditorium and often back into our larger communities. That puts us in conversation only with the people we choose to surround ourselves with, though.
I’m not sure the solution to reclaiming community is digital. I think there are digital tools to use, but we cannot let them define our communities entirely.
Maybe the answers are all around us, though. I’m part of a group that gathers on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and the only thing we have in common is that we run. Of course, that means we all can afford the gear and the time required to run, which excludes a pretty large demographic group. But our careers and backgrounds are diverse, so there is an opportunity to broaden community there.
What else might be opportunities that are already in place? The Farmer’s Market? Parent-teacher organizations? Ballfields and birthday parties?
Y’all are going to have to help me with this. Reclaiming our ability to have meaningful, peaceful conversations with each other; rebuilding our support systems in our larger communities; bringing people away from their social media and television screens is going to be essential to bringing peace back to our world. If we can’t find the opportunities to make that happen, to rediscover what is lost from our front-porch communities, then our divisiveness and fracturing is only going to worsen.
I need you to help me look around and find the places where that can happen. I need you to help me dream of new opportunities to build community. I need your help starting here, in our community, to find ways to rebuild our ability to be human together again.
So keep your eyes open. Keep your doors open. Keep your hearts and minds open, and I bet the Spirit will do a miraculous, transformative thing through us very soon.

This week’s Feed the Hungry offering is for
Family Promise of Bristol.
This program provides an opportunity for us to show
God’s grace and Christ’s love to children with homeless families
in the Bristol area.

Mission of the Month
How it Works

Volunteers are partnered with a student/buddy; they meet on a weekly basis during the school year for just 30 minutes at a time. Volunteers are welcome to sign-up as a Reading Buddy
for more than one student.
The volunteer reads to, listens to, and encourages the student.
Students learn critical reading skills and establish a positive relationship with the Buddy.

Next week learn the various ways that you can participate
in this valuable program!

Last Sunday
Second Sunday After Pentecost
Mark 2: 23-3:6
(I Samuel 3:1-20)
Who? Me?

O Lord, You have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord,
you know it altogether.
You pursue me behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot attain it.
~ Psalm 139:1-6

How profound to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
~Psalm 139:17-18

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

God grant me
the serenity to accept the things you wish not to be changed.

God grant me
the courage to change the things you want changed.

God grant me
the wisdom to distinguish between the two of them.

Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
~Fanny J. Crosby

Last Week in Children’s Sunday School
Ms. Kathy taught about The Lord’s Prayer from Matthew Chapter 6.
We played a new (to us) game called The Telephone Game.
One person starts the game by whispering a message into the ear of the next person.
The message is repeated down the line. The last person in line says what he or she heard,
which often is quite different from the original message.

Ms. Kathy made a puzzle from The Lord’s Prayer,
and we put it together in the right order.

We made salvation bracelets using colors of faith beads…..
Black represents sin.
Red represents Christ’s blood shed for us.
White represents our lives after repentance.
Blue represents water/Spirit baptism.
Green represents Christian growth.
Yellow represents eternal life with Jesus.

While we were having the lesson, Mr. Mike was getting the garden ready for us.
We then went outside and planted tomatoes.

Hey, Youth!
Guess What?

Wednesday, June 13
Tankersley Hall
6:30 p.m.
It’s Hotdogs and A Hike!
For more information contact
John, Brandon, Andy, Rebekah, or Erica.

Saturday, June 9
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Jobs for All Abilities

Sunday, June 10
4:00 p.m.
Church Library

Holston Annual Conference Begins Sunday
June 10-13 Lake Junaluska, NC

Please be in prayer for those who will attend this year’s Conference
and the decisions that are to be made.

A Lovely Evening Shared By One of Our Dinner Groups
Our Kids Need Your Support
Help shape a child by giving them a week to remember
at Camp Bay’s Mountain.
You can designate a donation to send an active church member’s child
(grades 1-12) to one week at UMC Camp Bay’s Mountain this summer.
Your donation can help give a kid the experience of a lifetime!
Total cost per child: $300-$500. Contributions of any size appreciated!

Camp Bay’s Mountain
Move the Flame!
(It happens today/tonight!)

The last few steps are being taken to begin a brand-new phase of camping ministry in the Tri-Cities. The first campers flooded Camp Bays Mountain on last Sunday, June 3; they will gather this Thursday evening for holy communion and dedication to following Jesus around the first vespers campfire of the camp’s history!
We will be Moving the Flame from
Buffalo Mountain Camp to Camp Bays Mountain.
On 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. Noah and Pastor Brandon are committed to eight miles of running!

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 June 7 – June 13, 2018
Thursday, June 7
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
6:30pm-Girl Scouts-TH
Friday, June 8
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, June 9
9:00am-Church Work Day (Until noon)
Sunday, June 10
  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
4:00pm-Trustees Meeting-Library
Monday, June 11
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, June 12
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, June 13
6:30pm-Youth Activity-Hotdogs and Hike
            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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