The latest news for you

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
February 21-27, 2019
Seventh Sunday After the Epiphany
February 24, 2019

Luke 6:27-38
Loving People Who Are Hard to Love
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
I know some of us are on the periphery of what’s going on this weekend in Saint Louis, and I envy you that position; but whether you are deeply invested in what happens at our called General Conference or whether you couldn’t possibly care less, I hope you will be intentionally and fervently in prayer for all the saints of God who are gathering to envision together God’s future for the United Methodist Church.
Also, know that whatever decisions are made or not made this weekend, First United Methodist Church, Bristol, will still be a strong and vibrant and welcoming congregation; and it is my intention to shepherd us into a brilliant future together.
But for now, pray.
Pray for each of the delegates from the Holston Conference. Their names and pictures are a little farther down your newsletter.
Pray for the other delegates around the world. Maybe you know some of them.
Pray for each person who has a deeply held conviction about the future God has in mind for The United Methodist Church: I have those deeply held convictions, myself, and they don’t agree with the convictions many of my colleagues hold just as deeply. It turns out only God knows best.
Pray for each person who is going to be deeply hurt by decisions that are made or not made at General Conference.
Pray to be a vessel of healing for at least one of those persons.
Pray for the staff of America’s Center Convention Complex, for the staff of hotels hosting our delegates and General Conference attendees, for wait staff at area restaurants, for the residents of Saint Louis who will be working around distracted and stressed delegates.
Pray big prayers.
Pray deep prayers.
Pray fervently.
Pray constantly.
And when General Conference has ended, keep praying. On the Sunday of General Conference, we will worship and pray together. On the Sunday following General Conference, the Clinch Mountain District will gather at Lebanon Memorial United Methodist Church at 3:00 to debrief.
And life will go on.
And we will need each other’s prayers.
So keep praying. God is listening. God is intervening. God is still speaking.

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

Help for Haiti Special Offering March 3
What a Privilege to Be Invested in the Lives of these
Nine Precious Children of God!
The March 3 Feed the Hungry Offering will be used to buy clothing and shoes for the nine Haitian children FUMC helps support. Our goal is to raise $900.00 prior to Leferne Preptit’s visit to Haiti during the first week of March.
In years past, church members have provided clothing and shoes for individual children. This year, we have elected to collect and provide funds to Melila and Leferne, who are familiar with the children’s sizes and preferences, and allow them to shop for the children.
Your offering may be given at any time on or prior to March 3.
Just mark in the memo line of your check, “Help for Haiti Special Offering.”

Operation Envelope Final Report
Thank you to all who participated in this fund raiser for the
General Budget. You helped raise a total of

In Worship Last Sunday
A Matter of Perspective
Luke 6:17-26

The Lord proclaims:
Happy are those who trust in the Lord,
who rely on the Lord.
They will be like trees planted by the streams,
whose roots reach down to the water.
They won’t fear drought when it comes;
their leaves will remain green.
They won’t be stressed in the time of drought
or fail to bear fruit.
~from Jeremiah 17

Pastor Brandon prayed with children as they gathered around
and immersed a hand into the water in the baptismal font.

There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest name on earth.
It tells me of a Savior’s love, who died to set me free,
it tells me of his precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea.
It tells of one whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe;
who in each sorrow bears a part that none can bear below.
Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus,
Because he first loved me.
~Frederick Whitfield, 1855

Blessed are you
with eyes to see and hands to open
to each neighbor you meet;
Lord, we are blessed.

Make us a blessing.

Blessed are you
with hearts to trust and minds to discern
the Kingdom of Heaven breaking through the darkness;
Lord, we are blessed.

Make us a blessing.

Blessed are you
with good news to proclaim and healing to bring,
so go and make family of everyone you meet
until all creation is one in the One who is Three:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


In Children’s Worship Last Week . . .
We were privileged to have Rev. Susan Groseclose visit our Children’s Department last Sunday. Susan is Assistant Director of Connectional Ministries for Holston Conference. Her specialty is Children’s ministry.
Mr. Mike taught our lesson from Jeremiah 17.
God’s Spirit is like water. If our faith is rooted in Him,
He delivers what we need.

Ms. Penny spied a mockingbird perched outside our classroom window.
Following the 11:00 Worship Hour, parents of our children
met with Susan for a delicious meal and a discussion about children’s Christian education at FUMC.

FUMC Youth
Wednesday, February 27, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27
5:30 p.m., Library
Join us for a discussion of . . .
A Crazy, Holy Grace:
The Healing Power of Pain and Memory
by Frederick Buechner
Bring a snack to share.

Clinch Mountain Mission Project
School Kits for Liberia
District Goal – 400 Kits

  • 1 – Twelve-inch ruler
  • 1 – Coloring book
  • 1 – Small solar-powered calculator
  • 1 – Small dictionary
  • 1 – Ten or 12 pack pens (blue or black)
  • 1 – Ten or 12 pack pencils
  • 1 – Pack erasers
  • 1 – Box 24-count crayons
  • 3 – Spiral notebooks (70 sheet count)
  • 1 – Pair flip flops (adult size)
  • 1 – Poncho (adult size)
  • 1 – Pack 100 to 150 sheets notebook paper (wide-ruled)
  • 1 – Two-gallon zip-lock plastic bag.
  • Remove price tags from all items.
  • Place all items in the plastic bag.
  • USE ONLY THE QUANTITIES AND SIZES LISTED. If you cannot find a 10-12 package of pens or pencils, it is okay to open the package, count out 10 or 12, and rubber-band them together.
  • NO SUBSTITUTIONS or additional items are allowed due to Customs regulations. This includes notes, cards, photos, religious tracks, or anything else not on the list.
  • A $5.00 donation for shipping is to accompany each kit.
  • A container will be provided in the church narthex to collect kits.
These Are Our Delegates to
UMC General Conference
They Need Our Prayers

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

reception to follow

For further details and information regarding the wedding weekend and to RSVP, please visit: Access code: nashville2019
Join Us for Worship
Ash Wednesday Service – March 6, 7 p.m.

Community Lenten Lunchtime Services
Wednesdays at Noon

March 6
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

Rev. Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez
Association for Hispanic Theological Education
Monday, March 11, 2019
9:15 a.m. “Back to the Future”
Memorial Chapel, King University
7:00 p.m. “Remembering the Future, Hoping for a Past”
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Bristol, VA
Dr. Gonzalez will be speaking as part of King College’s 2018-2019
Remembrance and Hope Lecture Series.

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.

Holston Habitat is building with a Bristol family in 2019. We are inviting 8 to 10 churches to participate in our 2019 Bristol Faith Build. We will host an informational meeting on Thursday, March 21 at 5:30pm at Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol, VA. That evening, volunteers from several churches will meet each other, Richard & Susan (the family building with us on this project), and Tom Bowers, the site supervisor. We’ll also share this project’s construction calendar and how volunteers can easily register online. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Mandy Penz at 423-239-7689, ext. 801 or
Seeking Volunteers
A member of the community for 45 years, the Bristol Crisis Center is seeking volunteers passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of others. We are seeking volunteers to help us empower others by:

• Answering our 24-hour Crisis Intervention Hotline

• Serving on an Advisory Council

• Serving on the Board of Directors

• Performing General Office Duties

• Calling persons in our Just Checking program to provide daily contact to

persons who are home bound.

• Assisting with Fundraising Efforts

• Assisting with our Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence programs

• Assisting with Social Media

Training is provided to all volunteers.
If you are looking to make a difference in our community, please contact Dreama Hawkins at 276-466-2218.

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 21-27, 2019
Thursday, February 21
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
Friday, February 22
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:00pm-Girl Scouts-TH
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, February 23 – General Conference Today through Tuesday
Sunday, February 24
9:30am-The River Contemplative 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 25
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, February 26
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
8:00am-Meals on Wheels-Kitchen
12:00pm-Martha Circle-TH
6:00pm-Worship Committee-Library
Wednesday, February 27
5:30pm-Fellowship Group-Library
            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