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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
January 17-23, 2019
The Second Sunday After Epiphany
January 20, 2019

John 2:1-11
Created for Each Other
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
The most visible responsibility I have as a pastor is the time I spend pouring words out of my mouth in the pulpit on Sunday morning. There’s a good bit more to this vocation than that, but smithing transformative words is what everybody expects out of the preacher. Maybe that makes it a little strange for me to prioritize this statement today:
Actions speak louder than words.
Trite, isn’t it? But coming up on the celebration of the ministry and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that seems like an important thing to say.
Dr. King was, of course, a preacher first; but he stood in a unique position to take tangible action in organizing, marching, proclaiming, writing, and simply being present to stand against injustice and on the side of the proposition that all God’s children are uniquely and equally beloved and of sacred worth.
Dr. King was a man of prophetic action.
That is, in fact, a technical theological term. It’s even one you might not struggle to spell, unlike “soteriology” or “exegesis.” I bring that particular term up because, in this day of proof-texting and decontextualized reading of our scriptures, it might be important for us to recognize that the action we read in our scriptures can speak a lot more to the nature of discipleship than the words do at their face value.
Let me offer an example. The fourth chapter of Ezekiel finds God telling the prophet to draw the city of Jerusalem on a clay tablet, plop it on the ground, and then lay siege to it for more than a year. He doesn’t have to say a word to anyone who sees him doing it. The action says what God needs the people to hear.
Take a look for yourself. It gets a lot weirder than that.
That’s prophetic action. What is happening in the text is important, and we often miss that because we focus on our scriptures as a book of rules.
Pay some attention to what is happening. Look at the staging. Look at the cast. Look at the geography and the political landscape. What our Biblical heroes, especially Jesus, are doing is fundamental to the stories we read of them.
And it’s frankly fundamental to our story, too.
Let your actions speak more loudly than your words. Pay attention to the places where your words and your actions conflict. Fix them.
If we can reconcile our words and our actions, and especially if we can bring our actions more in line with Jesus’s actions, we might just find the world around us begin to transform into the kind of place Dr. King dreamed of:
…where the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood;
where every child is not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character;
where we can transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
This is the time of action, friends. Angry words only harden hearts. It is time for lovingkindness and justice to shape our faith and our society.
It is time to act in peace.
That, I am convinced, is what God’s Spirit is bringing today.

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry offering today is for Local Missions.
This mission helps members of our church family as well as
other immediate local mission needs.

The Church Gratefully Acknowledges these Gifts to the Memorial Fund
in Memory of
Jimmy Sargent Bowen
Given by

Sandy Vance
David and Peggy Gillespie

In Memory of Nettie E. Hicks
Nettie Evelyn Beal Hicks, age 98, of Rocky Mount, died on Friday, January 11, 2019. She was born in Meigs County, Ohio, on October 12, 1920. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Hicks Sr. Surviving are her son, Paul Hicks II and wife, Karen; three grandsons, Benjamin (Dawn), Jonathan (Kimery), and Stephen (Emily) Hicks; 13 great-grandchildren; brother, Stanley Beal; and sister, Lucille Swart. Mrs. Hicks worked for many years as an accountant in Bristol, Tenn. She was also an active member of First Methodist Church in Bristol, Tennessee before moving to Rocky Mount 12 years ago and joining Franklin Heights Church.
In Worship Last Sunday We Celebrated Baptism of the Lord Sunday.
I Love You; You Are Mine
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to his temple draw near;
join me in glad adoration!
~Joachim Neander, 1680

Excerpts from Psalm 139
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God,
They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts,
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

O let the Son of God enfold you with his Spirit and his love,
Let him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.
O let him have the things that hold you,
and his Spirit like a dove
will descend upon your life and make you whole.
Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs.
Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs.
~John Wimber, 1979

Not the confidence of right belief or right practice,
but simply being right here with God’s Spirit.
We remember, Lord, more than any doctrine,
knowing you love us.

In Children’s Worship Last Week . . .
When Jesus was baptized, God spoke from Heaven so that all the people there could hear and understand. He said to Jesus, “You are my Son, and You bring me great joy!” Luke 3:21-22
God speaks to us today. He knows us by name. Do you hear Him when He speaks your name?

32nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
“Together Arm in Arm Speaking Out, Taking a Stand”
Sponsored by the Appalachian Peace Education Center

6:00 p.m.
“Traces of the Trade” Showing
Showing and Discussion of Documentary with Film’s Creator
St. Thomas Episcopal Church
124 East Main Street, Abingdon, VA
Reception will begin at 5:30 p.m.

12:30 p.m.
“People Like Us: Building Allies for Justice”
Presentation led by Jerry Hill
Charles Wesley UMC
322 East Main Street, Abingdon, VA
1:30 p.m.
March Along Main Street
March will start at
Charles Wesley UMC
322 East Main Street, Abingdon, VA
All groups marching are encouraged to bring a banner or flag
with their group’s name or representation.
2:00 p.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Will take place at Abingdon UMC
101 East Main Street, Abingdon, VA
Reception will follow Celebration
Canned goods brought to Charles Wesley UMC or Abingdon UMC
will be delived to Faith in Action.

Bristol’s Martin Luther King, Jr.
March and Celebration

1:30 p.m.
Gather for March
Can either gather
In Virginia at First Christian Church or
In Tennessee at the YMCA Bristol
2:45 p.m.
Will take place at
Bristol Train Station
101 MLK Jr. Blvd., Bristol, VA

Martha’s Circle
Tuesday, January 22, 12:00 p.m -1:00 p.m.
All women of the church are invited to come.
The meeting will last for one hour only.
You can bring a bag lunch and come during your lunch hour!

For the Youth (M.A.F.I.A.)
Wednesday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Bring $10.00 and Jump Socks (or add $1.75)

Just for Tweens
BeTween Bible Study (Grades 5 and 6)

Wednesday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Benefit Concert for Basketball Coach,
Jon Odum
Sunday, January 27
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Next Fellowship Class Meeting Set
Wednesday, February 6th
5:30 p.m., Tankersley Hall
We will select our next study at the meeting.
Everyone is invited!
Bring a snack to share.

St. Luke’s UMC Valentine’s Day
Dinner and Dancing with Live Band

Saturday, February 9
5:00 p.m.
Tickets are $10.00 per person

John Wesley UMC Hosting 30th Annual
Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast

Saturday, February 16
10:00 a.m.
Holiday Inn Convention Center
Exit 7, Bristol, VA
Guest Speaker: Rev. Adolphus Young,
Pastor of Harris Anderson A.M.E. Zion Church, Bristol, VA
Tickets may be purchased from Alice Pace, Dr. Rev. Kariuki or at the door the morning of the event. Prices are as follows: Adults $17.00, children under 12 years $5.00. For more information, call Alice Pace 423.968.4729.

reception to follow

For further details and information regarding the wedding weekend and to RSVP, please visit: Access code: nashville2019
Dates of Spring Yard Sale Set:
May 31 and June 1

Items may be stored at the church until time for the sale.

contact Alan Gorrell
A Sample Binder on the table in the foyer contains
information about this ministry.

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
January 17-23, 2019
Thursday, January 17
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
Friday, January 18
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:00pm-Girl Scouts-Tankersley Hall
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, January 19
9:00am-12:00pm-Holston Quilters Guild-Tankersley Hall
Sunday, January 20
9:30am-The River Contemporary Worship Service-TH
9:30am-Sunday School Hour
10:00am-Common Ground Service-Chapel
11:00am-Traditional Worship Service-Sanctuary
12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal
Monday, January 21
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, January 22
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
8:00am-11:00am-Meals on Wheels
12:00pm-1:00pm-Martha Circle-TH
Wednesday, January 23
6:00pm to 7:00pm-Worship Committee-Library
6:30pm-BeTween 5th and 6th Grade-Upper Room
            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