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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
December 6 – 12, 2018
Second Sunday of Advent
December 9, 2018

Luke 3:1-6

Discipleship Is Road Construction
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
It takes me usually half a mile. Out – step, step; in – step, step, step. Half a mile from the house is the corner of Holston and Vance. I don’t usually look left or turn that way, but I know the church is there.
Out – step, step; in – step, step, step. The hill takes me down to Volunteer and that stoplight. It pulls me into the intersection and I’m praying that nobody is coming either way. It’s too early for traffic, anyway. Who’s up before 5:00?
Out – step, step; in – step, step, step.
On the east side of the parkway it’s just staying with the rhythm. A breath cycle every five footfalls. The pattern begins with a different foot each time. It’s supposed to be more balanced that way, easier on the hips, easier on the knees, because I’m not exhaling and putting pressure on the same side each time.
I read that recently. I was already breathing in that pattern, but it’s nice to know that what I’m doing is a best practice.
Out – step, step; in – step, step, step.
On Lark is a Skeins & Things and a cabinet store that look like they’ve been there for a long time. God, bring them business today. And the health foods store. It’s so little. I hope they can help someone toward sustainable eating habits.
Out – step, step; in – step, step, step.
Past the high school. Make our students strong. Help them be confident in who you have created them to be. Help them be grace and peace to their peers today.
Out – step, step; in – step, step, step.
Thank you for John and Joe and Suzanne and all those beautiful folks who have made the YMCA a vibrant ministry. Be with all those big guys in the window. I ought to do some strength training. I’ve been saying that for years now. One day it’s going to catch up to me.
Out – step, step; in – step, step, step.
The Bristol sign is still lit. Thank you for the joy of serving here. Thank you for these folks who’ve made me and Karoline and our family welcome here. Thank you for all these storefronts, for their creativity, for their business acumen. Thank you for giving Lara and Andrew a chance to shine. I’m sorry I missed Fiddler.
Out – step, step; in – step, step, step.
There’s almost nobody at Volunteer and State this early. Thank you for the clear signage and the walk signal. How is it visually impaired persons know when to cross if all those things do is beep at you?
Up the hill. Out – step, step; in – step, step, step. Somebody in this town in in the market for one of those hot little ‘Vettes at Gatton. Give them a spirit of generosity; there are some folks around here and some ministries who could do with a little boost.
Twelfth. Can I keep breathing through my nose up this hill today?
Down the Mark Vance Bike Route. Thank you for the downhill. Thank you for those good little guard dogs. Be with their people I’ve just awakened. Oops.
Out – step, step; in – step, step, step.
Up ninth. Last big hill before home. Be with Dr. G. today; with all those beautiful students and loving, brilliant teachers. Help the crew get that parking lot done.
Knob Hill. Holston. Thank you for good neighbors.
One last hill.
Breathe. Peace. Breathe. Thank you for another run. Thank you for this town. Thank you for these kids I’m about to awaken. Thank you for another beautiful day. Thank you for your promise.
You’re pretty amazing, YHWH. Thank you for your inspiration again.
So it is. So be it.

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry offering this week will go to 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.

Looking for a Christmas gift and a way to honor or remember a friend or family member? How about giving to the General Fund or
Help for Haiti? 
There will be cards in the church office for you to fill out and include in a card or gift to that person or their family. 

The Giving Tree
The tree in the Fellowship Hall is empty. We are hoping you will bring socks, gloves, hats and scarves to dress it. All the donated items will be taken to a homeless shelter. Just come in and add your offering to the tree.

Save the Date
Save the Date for the Marriage of
Nathalie Preptit and Adam Schorsten
February Twenty-third, Two Thousand Nineteen
Nashville, Tennessee

Last Sunday We Celebrated
the Beginning of Advent
Stay Alert!
Luke 21:25-36

God of the ages,
we commit ourselves again, this year,
to remember the story of your coming.
Wake us up from slumber and
and remind us to look to you for hope,
who are our safety, our righteousness,
and our promise.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; there’s just something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain;
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all Heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there’s something about that name.
~Gloria Gaither

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Come, Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
~Charles Wesley, 1744

Today, Lord, we eagerly anticipate the coming of your salvation.
Even now, Lord, we feel the dismay of the nations.
Lord, keep us alert and strong,
ready to stand before the Human One.

Thank you to everyone who participated! A special thank you to Suzanne Goyette for planning activities with our children and to Penny Hudson for the pictures.
The church has been beautifully prepared for Advent.

Church Work Day
Saturday, December 8
9 a.m. to Noon
Jobs for Members of All Abilities

Martha Circle will meet
at the home
of Peggy Wilson on
Tuesday, December 11 at 6 p.m.

Join Us on Sunday, December 16,
at 11:00 a.m.
for Lessons in Carols, Followed by Dinner

An Old Fashioned Family Christmas Dinner will follow the 11:00 a.m. unified worship service and presentation of Lessons in Carols, led by our choir.
Turkey, dressing, gravy, rolls and drinks will be provided. Please bring your favorite side dish or dessert.
Everyone welcome!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson
Directed by Steve Baskett

You won’t want to miss this Christmas Production!
It features First’s very own Lara and Andy McGrady!
Theatre Bristol
Sunday, December 16, 2:30 p.m.
Tickets $12.00 Seniors $10.00 Students $10.00
purchase tickets at

(Let’s get rid of the MINUS)
The General Budget account needs help! This is the account which pays our staff; keeps our lights, heat and water working; supplies teaching materials for classes; keeps our kitchen supplied with necessities; and supports other worship and administrative needs.
This weekly report enables you to know the facts. We are in this time together.
Account Balance as of November 25
-$12, 234.54
Account Balance as of December 2

Operation Envelope
Campaign returns…
First UMC finds itself in a negative financial position. We are asking each of you to take an envelope from the $1 to $200 envelopes. Return the envelope with check (marked Envelope in the memo) or cash and your name. You will be given credit for this over-and-above gift. The envelopes will be placed outside the sanctuary and by the entry table in The River service.

Fellowship Study Group

Unafraid and Unashamed: Facing the Future of United Methodism
by Wil Cantrell
Open to Any and All to Join for Now or Any Time
Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. starting in Tankersley Hall
Bring a snack to share!

5th and 6th Grade Bible Study
Wednesdays 6:30-8:00

M. A. F. I. A.
(my Almighty Father is Awesome!)
Join us Wednesday, December 12
for Trivia Night/Challenge Night
6:30 p.m., Tankersley Hall

Youth Sunday School – Weekly at 9:30 a.m.

Sunday, December 9

GIVE MORE – Wednesday, December 12
Sunday, December 16

LOVE ALL – Wednesday, December 19
Sunday, December 23

Join the conspiracy. Wednesday sessions begin at 10 a.m.;
Sunday sessions begin at 7 p.m.

Wednesday Community Advent Services
December 12    Virginia Avenue UMC
December 19    John Wesley UMC
Services begin at noon

Camp Bays Mountain Summer Camp
2018 Summer Camp Summary Report
  • Attended by 258 campers and 24 staff.
  • 10 percent made first time commitments to Christ.
  • 10 percent are considering a call to ministry.
  • Registration for 2019 summer begins January 1, 2019
Please consider giving to support registrations for young people from our church to attend camp in 2019 and to complete our church’s commitment to support 2018 attendees.
Registration is approximately $400 per person per week.

Worship in Children’s Church Last Week
Our lesson was from Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonians.
Advent is a time to watch and wait.
What are we watching for? We are watching to see what God will do.
What are we waiting for? We are waiting for the birth of Jesus (Christmas).
Paul reminds us to encourage each other.
It is hard to wait!!

A Message from DeVonne Phipps, Director of BFIA:
Many times we receive phone calls asking what is needed here at BFIA. Currently we need cleaning supplies, personal care items, and food items. We have plenty of Peanut Butter and Diapers, but we are low on everything else.
Food item ideas:
Macaroni and cheese (very popular for kids)
Pasta with Sauce either tomato or Alfredo, or cheese
Oatmeal or Cereal
Breakfast Bars or Pop Tarts
Canned Chicken with Chicken Helper
Tuna Helper
Homeless Food items:
Can openers
Pop top food items such as Chef Boy Ardee meals, Stew, Ravioli, etc.
Foil pouch foods such as tuna
Vienna Sausages
Beenie Weinies
Crackers with cheese or peanut butter
Breakfast Bars or Granola Bars/protein Bars
Already prepared food items such as cooked flavored rice (ex. Uncle Bens)
Fruit cups/applesauce cups
Peanut butter
Plastic spoons
$5.00 or $10.00 Fast Food gift card (grocery gift cards are not regulated and tobacco or alcohol can be used instead of getting food)

Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.
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
December 6-12, 2018
Thursday, December 6
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
Friday, December 7
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, December 8
 9:00am-Church Work Day (until noon)
Sunday, December 9
 9:30am-The River Contemplative Worship Service-TH
                            (Childcare is provided from 9:30am to 12:00pm.
                             Children may be picked up at any time.)
9:30am-Sunday School Hour
10:00am-Common Ground Service-Chapel
11:00am-Traditional Worship Service-Sanctuary
12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal-Choir Room
4:00pm-Trustees Meeting-Library
5:00pm-Finance Committee-Library
7:00pm-Advent Conspiracy-Church Library
Monday, December 10
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, December 11
8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
6:00pm-Martha Circle-Home of Peggy Wilson
Wednesday, December 12
10:00am-Advent Conspiracy-Church Library
5:30pm-Fellowship Study Group-begin in TH (Bring a snack to share)
6:30pm-BeTween Bible Study (5th and 6th Graders)
6:30pm-Youth (MAFIA)
            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