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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
January 24-30, 2019
The Third Sunday After Epiphany
January 27, 2019

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
The Body of Christ?
Joseph Carrier

From the Pastor’s Pen
Fra Angelico The Conversion of St. Paul
January 25 is the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul.
Paul is one of the most confounding and frustrating characters I find in our scripture. If we could do a better job contextualizing his letters, I think I’d have a much easier time with him, but the two millennia separating our cultural experience with his make understanding his world very difficult.
I used to have a fierce dislike of Paul, actually. Once I finally understood that the Bible is quite a lot more than the inerrant, inscribed word of God; that it is actually the witness of countless generations to the activity of God in their world; then I moved from the struggle of cramming Paul’s square peg theology into my round world slot and began to question nearly everything he had to say and find his circuitous logic to be a serious impediment to his clear communication.
That complicated sentence covers a couple decades of my theological development. Forgive me.
I have, since then, learned the importance of context.
I understand that Paul has a lifetime of Zionist legalism to deal with, and sometimes the legalism too deeply informs his theology, and at other times his push against his past is an overcorrection.
I understand that Paul is writing to communities of faith in very different stages of development and in very different cultural contexts. What he says to one community and one particular situation does not necessarily apply to another, and certainly may not hold true or useful for us today.
I understand that Paul is writing before our evangelists realize they need to record the story of Jesus. His is a younger reflection of the witness of the Church than our gospels record. It is also, at least in its early stages, a witness of an outsider of whom much of the community was deeply apprehensive.
I understand, most importantly, that Paul is trying his best with the tools he has at his disposal. His toolset is impressive, certainly, but the philosophical and linguistic tools we have available to us today are two millennia more advanced, which can make Paul’s thinking look clumsy in comparison to modern theological thought.
But Paul was trying very hard. What he provides for the early Church is extraordinary. What we can glean from his story and his writings is profound. I wish we had a fuller collection of his works, because I have the impression that, like John Wesley and Will Willimon, Paul didn’t have an unpublished thought.
We have much to thank Paul for, and a deep debt of gratitude to Jesus for knocking him off that horse and striking him blind. We don’t have to agree with him. I think, in fact, he would welcome us arguing with him. We owe him that theological engagement. In fact, maybe engaging with Paul will throw us off our own horse and bring us into a deeper, more transformative relationship with Messiah, as well.
I’m thankful for Paul. He makes me shake my head sometimes, but I’m thankful that he shows us how to engage our minds with our faith and our story. I’m thankful for the light and voice from the heavens that completely off-balanced him, and I’m thankful for the ways he still off-balances us today.
May Paul continue to enrich us in our faith and our life together.

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry offering today is for Local School Missions.
This fund helps families in need within the Bristol School System.

The Church Gratefully Acknowledges
A Gift to the Memorial Fund in Memory of
Dorothy Hackley
Mother of Donna Felty
Given by Doug and Carol Taylor

In Worship Last Sunday
Created for Each Other
John 2:1-11

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not;
as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and starts in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
~Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923

Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee,opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!
~Henry Van Dyke, 1907

Beloved, your light is glowing over the mountains,
breaking through the clouds in God’s own sunrise;
God, our Light, make us shine!

In Children’s Worship Last Week . . .
We learned about a miracle that Jesus performed. A miracle is something special that happens which people cannot make happen –
God must make it happen.
At a wedding feast in Cana, when the parents of the bride and groom ran out of wine for their party, Jesus’s mother asked him to help. “Do whatever Jesus tells you to do,” Mary said to the wedding helpers. Jesus asked the helpers to fill six big vessels with water. He then turned it into wine for the guests to enjoy.
The children made bridal veils and bow ties. Mr. Mike helped the children make Kool-Aid to show how the water may have looked as it changed from water to wine.

On Friday, Our Youth and Leaders will be Headed to Pigeon Forge for

What is Resurrection?
Resurrection is an awesome annual event of worship and spiritual growth for youth and youth mentors. Each year over 12,000 come together in Pigeon Forge, TN, to celebrate the God of The Resurrection. Through inspirational words and music led by nationally-known speakers and musicians, young people encounter the Lord in new and deeper ways.
For many, Resurrection is an opportunity for conversion, decision, and revival. For others, it becomes a moment of realization that their faith needs to grow deeper and more serious.
Resurrection is hosted by the youth ministry of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. Most of the youth and adults who attend Resurrection come from the geographical areas of northeast Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia. However, a significant and growing number of youth and adults come from churches outside of this region. Resurrection has become an interdenominational celebration, welcoming youth and adults from Baptist churches, Presbyterian churches, the Christian Church, Lutheran churches, and more, as well as non-denominational churches; and from states as far away as Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Resurrection testifies to the common experience of Jesus Christ’s living Lordship that binds all believers into one, despite our divisions. We desire to make all welcome here.
Although Resurrection has become a large gathering over its 30-year history, the focus of the event has remained constant: the individual young person and his or her response to Jesus Christ. We recognize the leadership of their parents, their peers, their leaders in their local churches, and youth groups to grow in radical discipleship that can change the world.
We invite you to come and be with us and experience the life-changing power of Jesus Christ—the One who is The Resurrection and The Life.

Jorge Acevedo
Jorge Acevedo loves Jesus Christ and his Church. Touched by the grace of God at seventeen, he was never the same. Rescued from a life of addictions, his greatest delight is connecting people to Jesus and the Church. Jorge is the Lead Pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site, United Methodist congregation in Southwest Florida. He was born in Puerto Rico, and at age four months Jorge and his family moved to the United States. Jorge is married to Cheryl Montgomery, and they have two children and four grandchildren.

Returning to Resurrection for the second year, I AM THEY made its national debut in January 2015 with their self-titled album on Essential Records. The band was formed in Carson City, NV and their five-piece, pop-acoustic-worship sound is anchored by three-part vocal harmonies. The group, made up of Abbie Parker (vocals/harmonium), Jon McConnell (vocals/guitar/keys), Matt Hein (vocals/guitar/mandolin), Justin Shinn (keys/banjo) and Sara Palmer (drums) represent I AM THEY.
The name was inspired by John 17 and created with the intent to adopt on a personal, individual level. As Jesus prays in this chapter, He consistently refers to His disciples as “they”. It is important to each band member to be the “they” that Jesus referred to.

Pray for our young people and their leaders as they travel and participate in Resurrection this weekend.

Youth Rock Band
Wednesday, January 30
6:30 p.m.
Tankersley Hall

Just for Tweens
BeTween Bible Study (Grades 5 and 6)
“One Body, Many Parts”
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Wednesday, January 27, at 6:30 p.m.

If you plan to make a pledge to the Church this year, please do so as soon as possible. This information is used to help plan our spending for the year.
Envelopes are located outside the sanctuary and by the entry table in The River.

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Fellowship
First UMC’s “Dinner for Eight” group of twelve enjoyed the gracious hospitality of Alona Kennedy and a delicious meal last Saturday. 
Several of us went on to see the movie Mary Poppins Returns. We learned in the movie we have “No place to go but UP”.This is true not only for our lives but for our church group. Our “Dinner for Eight” has grown and is now “Dinner for a Dozen-or more”. 
Our next outing will be to Machiavelli’s on February 23 for dinner. Christian fellowship — it is what it is all about.

Are you blessed by the beautiful fresh flowers that grace our Altar during Traditional Worship? For many, nature inspires worship just as the anthems, scriptures and homilies lift our hearts to praise. How priceless it is when our entire being is awakened to Christ’s Presence!
Members of First UMC have the opportunity to provide an arrangement(s) during the year on specific dates of their choosing both to glorify God and
to honor or commemorate loved ones.
Contact Kathy Wagner, 423.323.5446, if you would like participate.
Call soon to reserve your date(s) of choice.

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

2019 Buechner Lecture to Showcase Research of Kate Bowler
Kate Bowler, a church historian at North Carolina’s Duke Divinity School, will share wisdom derived through research and lessons of faith learned from her own experiences on Monday, Jan. 28, during the annual Frederick Buechner Lecture presented by King University as part of its Institute for Faith and Culture.
Bowler will begin her visit at 4:30 p.m. with a talk entitled “Remembrance and Hope: A Conversation with Kate Bowler.” The afternoon event will feature an interview with Bowler, showcasing research on the contemporary American church that was derived from extensive interviews with megachurch leaders and ordinary people. At 7:30 p.m., she will delve deeply into her memoirs as she presents “Living Between the Possible and the Impossible.” Both events will be held at Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Virginia, and are free to the public.

Bristol Crisis Center
Chili Fundraiser

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
11:00 to 2:00 pm
Bowl of chili with toppings, corn bread, and a desert
$5.00 Pick Up
$6.00 Delivery
** We will deliver lunch to local **
Business Delivery will be $6.
You must call 276-466-2218 by Friday, February 1 to pre-order

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

Community Coalition Announces Public Forums
Bristol Day Center for Homeless
A coalition of concerned community members (the Coalition) representing Bristol’s private, public, non-profit, faith-based and homeless sectors has announced its plan to address the critical needs of Bristol’s homeless and underserved communities. The group seeks support to establish the Bristol Day Center, a daytime shelter to serve the homeless, persons experiencing housing insecurity and those living in subsidized housing. 
The Coalition recently publicly released its Community Proposal: The Bristol Day Center, and will now follow with two public forums to further educate the public about this project and to provide an opportunity for the community to ask questions and/or provide relevant insight regarding the Proposal.
Two public forums will be held on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at noon and 6 p.m. at the Bristol Public Library, in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room. Community members will have the opportunity to attend at either time; forums will cover the same material and information. A copy of the released Community Proposal: The Bristol Day Center can be accessed by contacting the United Way of Bristol. 

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

The Sweetest Way to say Happy Valentine’s Day!
Sweets for the Sweet
Let us surprise someone for you with a delicious cupcake from Blackbird Bakery!
For a donation of $50 each; orders of 10 or more are $25 each
Personal Delivery is available to Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City, Piney Flats, Blountville, Bluff City, and Abingdon areas on February 14th, 2019
Special delivery can be requested for February 13th if needed
“Surprise a Senior” by donating anonymously for a nursing home resident who is often forgotten
Order deadline is Friday, February 8th
Please order online:  at or contact Jodi Kemple at (423) 573-4327 or

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
March 6; Ash Wednesday
South Bristol UMC
March 13
First UMC
March 20
Weaver UMC
March 27
St. Luke UMC
April 3
Trinity UMC
April 10
John Wesley UMC
April 17
Addilynn UMC

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 24-30, 2019
Thursday, January 24
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Friday, January 25
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:00pm-Girl Scouts-Tankersley Hall
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, January 26
Sunday, January 27
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 28
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, January 29
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, January 30
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