The latest news for you

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
January 31 – February 6, 2019
The Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
February 3, 2019

Calling of Jeremiah by Marc Chagall
Luke 4:21-30
The Power of Words
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
This Saturday is February 2, a date that some of us may mark by gluing our eyes to a television early in the day in the hope of seeing Punxsutawney Phil react to the presence or absence of his shadow.
Saturday is also a day exactly forty days after the beginning of Christmastide, which, as you might guess, is a day we mark in the Church in a particular way. Forty is a number that retains a special place in the Christian tradition, and a quick survey of some of our Biblical stories can give you a pretty good sense why we might find it a number worth marking.
In the specific case of this day following Christmas, we mark the sum of the eighth day after Jesus’s birth, when he would have been

circumcised, and the thirty-three days following that, when Mary could present herself in the Temple for purification following the delivery of her child.
Having trouble with that math? It adds inclusively, like musical intervals, not like counting blocks. A major third plus a minor third is not a sixth, but a perfect fifth.

February 2 is a major Feast Day in the Church, and it goes by three different names marking three different aspects of the day.
The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary highlights the requirement of Leviticus 12:1-5 that the mother of a male child be ceremonially purified at the cost of a lamb for a burnt offering or a pigeon or dove for a sin offering.
The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus commemorates the requirement of Exodus 13:12-16 that the first offspring of every womb be given to YHWH. It also remembers that extraordinary story of Simeon and Anna immediately following Jesus’s presentation, the moment when Simeon proclaimed that Jesus was
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
   and for glory to [God’s] people Israel.

And so February 2 is also celebrated as Candlemas, to mark the Light of the World coming to stay among humanity and be our Light that cannot be extinguished or overcome. In some traditions, people bring their candles to be blessed for the coming year.
I know we use light bulbs now, but Lightbulbmas doesn’t really have the same ring. I don’t recommend bringing those to be blessed, but if you really want to, I won’t turn you away.
How you might celebrate or ignore Candlemas/Purification of BVM/Presentation of Jesus this year is entirely up to you. I simply want to bring it to your attention. Maybe it can be an opportunity to allow Jesus to renew the light the Holy Spirit has sparked within you. Maybe every time you replace a light bulb in your house, you can give thanks for the Light of the World.
I’ll simply leave you this little reminder of the day and let you play with it as you like. I hope that it offers you a little transformation and a little enlightenment. I hope you can find your own way to celebrate the Light for revelation to all of us.

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.

In Worship Last Sunday
The Body of Christ? by Joseph Carrier
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder,
consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee;
how great thou art, how great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee,
how great thou art, how great thou art!
~Stuart Hine

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small.
all things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all.
~Cecil Frances Alexander, 1848

We have all been baptized into one body
by one Spirit,
and we all share the same Spirit . . .
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it,
and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
All of you together are Christ’s body,
and each of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:13b,26-27 NLT

In Children’s Worship Last Week . . .
Ms. Misty taught our lesson from 1 Corinthians 12.
The Church is one body with many parts. The Church works
together to share God’s love.

Just for Tweens
BeTween Bible Study (Grades 5 and 6)
Jeremiah’s Call
Jeremiah 1:4-10

Wednesday, February 6, at 6:30 p.m.

Our deficit is $-10,623 before the last bill pay of the month.
Operation Envelope will end on Sunday, February 10. We have raised $3,822 to date. 
How high can we take it in one more week?

Resurrection Weekend
Resurrection was a beautiful and inspirational weekend. 
We were treated to the grace of God through music, inspirational words,
and Christian fellowship. 
In addition we “hot tubbed”, laser tagged, and worshiped God. 
A great weekend with some great teens. – John

The teens had a great time at Just Jump on January 23.
Jump, Climb, and Fall (into foam blocks)

General Conference News

On February 23 – 26, 864 delegates from around the world will gather to discuss our denomination’s stance on homosexuality.

 Twelve delegates, plus four alternates, from the Holston Conference will be sent to represent our 872 churches and over 160,000 members. This is a heavy task, burden and honor, but we want our delegates to know they are not facing this alone. We invite you to help lighten this load by praying for each of them by name.

Top Row: Emily Ballard, Wil Cantrell, Mark Flynn, Randy Frye

Middle Row: Kim Goddard, Becky Hall, Del Holley, Sandra Johnson

Bottom Row: Bob Lockaby, John Tate, Carol Wilson, Karen Wright


Not Pictured: John Eldrige, Dennie Humphreys, Joyce Moore, Paul Seay

Clinch Mountain District News
Clinch Mountain District Special General Conference Debriefing
Sunday, March 3 at 3:00 p.m. (3/3@3)
at Memorial UMC
24 Tate Avenue
Lebanon, VA
Staff/Pastor/Parish Relations Training and
Safe Sanctuary Training
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Location TBD

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.

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

Support Healing Hands Health Center
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 31 – February 6, 2019
Thursday, January 31
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
Friday, February 1
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, February 2
Sunday, February 3
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
12:30pm-Communications Meeting-Library
Monday, February 4
1:00pm-Food Pantry Volunteers
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, February 5
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, February 6
6:30pm-Fellowship Group-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