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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
February 7 – 13, 2019
Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany
February 10, 2019

The Calling of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew by James Tissot, 1886-1894
Luke 5:1-11
Here Am I; Send Me!
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
Thou my everlasting portion,
more than friend or life to me,
all along my pilgrim journey,
Savior, let me walk with thee.
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.
How many of you are swaying to the 9/8 rhythm now?
Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
hear my humble cry;
while on others thou art calling,
do not pass me by.
I poke fun at quite a lot of theologians (and others) who fill the world by publishing their every thought, but I don’t think that’s why we know the hymns of Fanny Crosby so well. She was a writer of thousands of spiritual songs, but that’s not why hers have stuck around. They’ve stuck around because they’re good!
That is to say, they are meaningful and theologically sound and they sing well. Crosby’s hymnody comforts and challenges with clarity that keeps a hold on our hearts.
Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
strength for thy labor the Lord will provide…
Some of us are more moved and nurtured by the hymns we sing than by any words I might proclaim from the pulpit.
Frankly, I’m totally okay with that. As long as something is inspiring you to go and be the hands and feet of Christ, and as long as something is opening your heart and mind to see Jesus in the marginalized and in the faces of God’s most vulnerable children, I’m happy. Who am I to argue with God’s Spirit?
I’m no Fanny Crosby.
I try. I try to put pretty and meaningful words together. Sometimes I do alright. Sometimes I fail miserably.
But I try. I’m putting forth some effort. And when I know I can’t make it happen, I hope I can keep pointing to saints like Fanny Crosby who have done a much more eloquent job than I. I hope that, in the end, my song is nothing less than:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear God’s voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory,
great things he hath done!
It’s a hundred years older than I, but it’s a hymn with staying power. Crosby died some forty years after she penned those words, welcomed into rest on February 12, 1915. I think that makes this a good weekend to remember her. If you have a few minutes, read her story again. Plenty of people have recorded it. Celebrate a life of praise and inspiration, and see if the words God’s Spirit inspired in her nurture you into deeper discipleship.
O the pure delight of a single hour
that before thy throne I spend,
when I kneel in prayer, and with thee, my God,
I commune as friend with friend!

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry offering this week is for 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.

In Worship Last Sunday
The Power of Words
Luke 4:21-30

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
~Dan Shutte, 1981

I replied:
Ah, Lord God! I don’t know how to speak, For I am still a boy.
And the Lord said to me: Do not say, “I am still a boy.”
But go wherever I send you and speak whatever I command you.
Have no fear of them, For I am with you to deliver you–
declares the Lord.
~from Jeremiah chapter 1, Jewish Publication Society

Two of First’s Youngest Greeters
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.
~Frances Havergal, 1873

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same, and he must win the battle.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours, through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever.
~Martin Luther, 1529

Today, we have seen as in a mirror, dimly;
but then we will see face to face.
Today, we have part of the story;
but then we will know fully,
even as fully as we are known by Jesus.

In Children’s Worship Last Week . . .
Ms. Kathy taught our lesson from Jeremiah. God told Jeremiah that
he would be a prophet.

Ms. Kathy taught us a variation of the game “Mother, May I?”. We were told to do something like take three baby steps, or one giant step, or to spin, or to hop; however, instead of saying “Mother, May I?” before proceeding, . . . We said, “With God’s help I can!”
God doesn’t need a cell phone to call you. Just listen!
Just for Tweens
BeTween Bible Study (Grades 5 and 6)
Jesus Calls Disciples
Luke 5:1-11
THEME: Fishing

Wednesday, February 13, at 6:30 p.m.

Youth Games Night with Rebekah and Andy
Wednesday, February 13, 6:30 p.m.
Tankersley Hall

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

 A Festive Gathering
 Martha Circle enjoyed a Christmas social at the home of Peggy Wilson.
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

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

Do You Have Lunch Plans Friday?
Cafe’ Central
Rivers Way
We could still use some customers for our Cafe Central lunch this Friday. The lunch is prepared and served by students from Tennessee High School. This week we feature Chicken Enchilada Soup, Black Bean Burritos and a Homemade Dessert. Our Virginia High lunches regularly fill up on Thursdays, but we need customers with the Friday lunches. Join us and support the workforce training of our students of differing abilities for only $5! To sign up, go to
Tom Hanlon
Executive Director,
River’s Way, Inc.
423-612-1242 c

Share the Love with
Family Promise of Bristol

Family Promise of Bristol is partnering with Belk to raise awareness of family homelessness and to raise money for Family Promise through a Point of Sale (POS) campaign. This means that as customers check out at their local Belk store, they will be asked to donate to Family Promise. This year’s awareness and fundraising campaign will take place at Belk Stores from February 3 through March 2. 
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

Timeline: Methodism in Black and White
Missionary Vivienne Gray served with her husband, Ulysses, in Liberia, 1948 to 1988. Photo courtesy of New World Outlook. For the Timeline, go to: United Methodist Now Newsletter
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
February 7-13, 2019
Thursday, February 7
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
Friday, February 8
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:00pm-Girl Scouts-TH
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, February 9
Sunday, February 10
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, February 11
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, February 12
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, February 13
5:30pm-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