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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 August 30 – September 5, 2018
September 2, 2018
Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Mark 7:1-8
The Celebration of Beauty
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
The time is again upon us to stop wearing white.
You can. I think I’ll keep wearing my white alb on the first Sunday of the month, though.
This weekend is that end-of-Summer holiday that I keep mixing up with that beginning-of-Summer holiday. There will come a day, hopefully soon, when I don’t confuse Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Maybe it would help if they were in alphabetical order.
Labor Day is the September one. On September 5, 1882, the Central Labor Union in New York planned a demonstration and picnic (people are more likely to come together if you feed them) to show “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” in New York City. It took them about an hour after their scheduled start time to wrangle everyone together and march, but they got there eventually and thrilled the residents of the city with their presence and boldness.
And afterward, the celebration looked a good bit like modern celebrations of Labor Day, except with more people.
Today, it has become unpopular to support organized labor. Stories are often told of instances when unions have protected jobs and salaries that are questionable. Some unions have acquired a reputation for unfair or unethical practices.
We have forgotten that it is primarily through organization that workers in industrialized economies have gained safer working environments, more stable and livable wages, and reasonable working hours and compensation for overtime, at least.
But a lot of those changes happened generations ago. We not only take them for granted now, but we’ve forgotten how they came about, and we aren’t even sure how important they are. Aren’t they what’s responsible for breaking the economy worldwide?
We forget, I think, that organized labor has a human face.

By April of 1998, Richard Formella’s diabetes had pretty well gotten the better of him. He had spent a long career working as a machinist for Daimler-Chrysler in Detroit, and was deeply loved and respected by his co-workers. They gladly covered his responsibilities when he came in so exhausted that all he could do was sit at his desk and lay his head down. Making sure his wife and children whom they knew and heard stories about were secure was a lot more important than keeping him accountable to his work responsibilities.
In December, his body had had enough. Congestive heart failure landed him in the hospital. While he was there, a union representative brought him the medical retirement paperwork he’d put off completing. He made sure Richard signed it so that however long this hospital stay ended up being, he and his family would be alright.
His hospital stay wasn’t long, though. On Christmas Eve, the demon Diabetes and all his posse of Complications took Richard’s life.
To the end, his friends and co-workers rallied around him and stood up for him. They organized on his behalf when he wasn’t able. They were there for him.
I think that, at their best, that is what organized labor or unions or guilds are. They are people who are there for each other.
And when the demons of disease and greed and bureaucracy are too much for us to face on our own, we just might find that, together, with one voice, we can name them, call them out, defeat them, and come out stronger together on the other side.
There’s something to be said for the power of community, the power of organizing. I think there’s something worth reclaiming that we’ve lost track of. I know there aren’t many marches or demonstrations or even public events going on close to us this Labor Day, but I hope that in the midst of your lake/river/grill time, you take a moment to give thanks for the folks who have worked so hard to stand up for so many workers. And maybe take some time to talk about what it might look like to stand up for them today.
Have a joyful and reflective Labor Day.

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our “Feed the Hungry” offering this week is for 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 Opportunities:
Food collection for Bristol Faith in Action
Many thanks for your generosity in providing food for the BFIA pantry! It will be delivered this Thursday.
Hospice Lunch Week
Food Donation-
We now have all needed volunteers to provide food!!

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.
In observance of the holiday, Church offices will be closed on
Monday, September 3.

Last Sunday
John 6:56-69
Bread that Satisfies

Larry and Kathy Wagner celebrate their 55th Wedding Anniversary on
September 1. Tom and Donna Felty celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary
this week. Our congratulations and God’s blessings to both dear couples!

Praise the Lord with the sound of trumpet,
praise the Lord with the harp and lute,
praise the Lord with the gentle sounding flute.
Praise the Lord in the field and forest,
praise the Lord in the city square,
praise the Lord anytime and anywhere.
Praise the Lord in the wind and sunshine,
praise the Lord in the dark of night,
praise the Lord in the rain or snow or in the morning light.
Praise the Lord in the deepest valley,
praise the Lord on the highest hill,
praise the Lord, never let your voice be still.
Praise the Lord with the crashing cymbal,
praise the Lord with the pipe and string,
praise the Lord with the joyful songs you sing.
Praise the Lord on a weekday morning,
praise the Lord on a Sunday noon,
praise the Lord by the light of sun or moon.
Praise the Lord in the time of sorrow,
praise the Lord in the time of joy,
praise the Lord in the every moment, nothing let your praise destroy.
Praise the Lord in the peace and quiet,
praise the Lord in your work or play,
praise the Lord everywhere in every way!
~Natalie Sleeth

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

~Psalm 84:5

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
by the living Word of God I shall prevail,
standing on the promises of God.
~R. Kelso Carter

Lord, we have come today, hungry in our souls,
and you have satisfied us;
Your bread, Lord, is enough.
Go, Friends, in the name of the one
who holds the words of eternal life.

Youth – join us in the church kitchen Wednesday, September 5 at 6:30.
We will be cooking spaghetti sauce from scratch.

Church and Friends – You Are Invited!!
Sunday, September 9
11 a.m. and 12 noon, following worship
Tankersley Hall

Sponsored by First United Methodist Church Youth
Help FUMC Youth raise funds for REZ and other upcoming activities.

Five Week Book Study
Begins Wednesday, September 12
and Sunday, September 16

Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Ministry with the Forgotten by Bishop Kenneth Carder
will be offered in two sessions:
one on Wednesday mornings at 11:00 a.m. and
the other on Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Library.

An Invitation from the Choir
Join with the choir on September 23, Unity Sunday, for the 9:30 a.m. Contemplative Service followed by brunch. 
September 23 is also Rhythm and Roots Festival
Sunday in Downtown Bristol.
Come to First United Methodist Church’s early worship at
9:30 a.m. and bring a brunch dish
(the choir will provide juice and drinks).
After worshiping together, we will enjoy a time of
food and fellowship and be
ready for the final day of music downtown. 
This will be FUMC’s only worship service on September 23. 

The Date of Charge Conference for 1st UMC, Bristol Has Been Set:
Sunday, October 14, 2018, 5:30 p.m.
Weaver United Methodist Church
132 Peoples Road
Bristol, TN 37620
Please include this important meeting in your schedule.
This is our opportunity to voice our vote for leadership
within the local church.

2018 Holston Evangelism Conference
State Street UMC
Sunday November 4
2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Cost $10.00 at the door.
Books available for purchase on site.
Childcare provided.
Sponsored by the Holston Conference Witness Team and Discipleship Teams.

Youth Conference
REZ 2019
Pigeon Forge TN
January 25-26-27
Registrations paid by
Aug. 31 are $50
Price increases September 1 to $75,
if space is available.
Our cabin sleeps twelve.
See John Mack to sign up.

Dinner for Eight Enjoyed at Captain’s Table
Our Dinner for Eight group met at Captains Table last Saturday for a delicious dinner and conversation. The first picture shows us hungry and ready for a great dinner.
This picture shows the great view we enjoyed.
Our next outing will be to Amis Mill Eatery in Rogersville for lunch. 
For Anyone Interested in the Arts . . .
Come and Join Us!
The Faith and Arts Committee would like your input on upcoming projects. An organizational meeting will be held soon. Just let Mary Jane Bradbury
or Julie Blanton know.

It is Time to Enroll or Re-Enroll in the
Kroger Community Partnership Program

Several FUMC families participate in Kroger’s Community Rewards Program, attaching their
Kroger card to the church so that a portion of their sales comes to the church.
If you shop at Krogers and are not already participating, you may wish to sign up for this
free-to-the-shopper benefit to our church. (We receive approximately $90.00 each quarter.)
We have a new organization number: BE100
How to Enroll:
  • Go to
  • Create an account (if you do not already have one)
  • Sign in
  • Choose “My Account”
  • Scroll to Community Rewards; Enroll
  • Search for First United Methodist Church
  • Select the one in Bristol, or
  • Search by organization number, which is BE100
Worship in Children’s Church Last Week
Ms. Penny brought her flannel graph and told us the lesson about the
lame man and the pool of Bethesda from John 5.

A huge thank-you to Ms. Kathy, Ms. Suzanne, and Ms. Addie for cleaning
and reorganizing the Children’s Sunday School classrooms. We now
have more room to learn and to play in a safe and fun environment.

We had four pictures to color and then glue on a paper in the right order.
A single, beautiful Morning Glory was growing in the garden.
The matching grant for Camp Bays Mountain has been
increased to $40,000 and the deadline extended to Labor Day!  
Don’t let the window of opportunity to doubly bless this ministry
close without your gift.

Send Your Pictures and Announcements
to Publish in the Newsletter

Send your photos and announcements for the Newsletter
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 August 30 – September 5, 2018
Thursday, August 30
10:00am-Bristol Missional Hub-TH
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
6:00pm-Committee on Lay Leadership-Library
Friday, August 31
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, September 1
Sunday, September 2
  9:30am-The River Worship-TH
9:30am-Sunday School Hour
10:00am-Common Ground Service-Chapel
                            (Childcare is provided from 9:30am to 12:00pm.
                             Children may be picked up at any time.)
12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal
Monday, September 3
 1:00pm-Food Pantry Volunteers (until 4pm)
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, September 4
8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, September 5
6:30pm-Youth (MAFIA)-Cooking Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch-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