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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
March 7-13, 2019
Celebrating Girl Scout Sunday
First Sunday of Lent
March 10, 2019

Juliette Gordon Low (October 31, 1860 – January 17, 1927) was the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA. 
Luke 4:1-13
Lenten Practice #1: Persistence
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
We spend a lot of time and effort trying to make sure that our churches and ministries are safe, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Those are important efforts, and I am thankful we have an opportunity to afford each other that safety. I hope we keep getting better at it.
But once upon a time, safety was a lot more difficult to guarantee.
In 203 c.e., a young, socially respectable woman named Perpetua was imprisoned for confessing faith in Jesus Christ. The story of her martyrdom is recorded mostly in her own hand and is one of our very earliest extant Christian writings.
We commemorate her on March 7.
I don’t think that’s the only reason to remember her today, though. Hers is a story of a staunch faith, but also an imaginative faith. She is steady in her confession in the face of her weeping father and amid the violence of the prison and the stadium in which she meets her end. She is open to the possibility of revelation in dreams and the power of prayer even to save a brother who had been devoured by cancer years earlier.
That sounds odd. It’s a strange story. When you have a chunk of time, wend your way over to an english translation of the story. Don’t read it while you’re eating.
Even though it’s a martyrdom story, a story full of suffering, it’s also a story full of hope and mercy. Perpetua does not begrudge her captors and torturers. Time after time, she shows them grace and kindness. Time after time, she writes of her hope in the glory she will meet when her story comes to an end.
It’s a hard story to read, not only because the language is archaic and the events horrific, but mostly because Perpetua’s faith is so steadfast it makes me feel like a worm.
I’m well aware when my courage and my kindness have failed. It happens all the time. But somehow, I keep coming up with new opportunities to be courageous and kind, and courageously kind. Occasionally, I even do an alright job.
I’d love to be like Perpetua. I mean, not pregnant and imprisoned; but I’d like to have that kind of courage and steadfast kindness. I’d like to have faith and love and hope shining through me like she does.
Maybe Lent is a good time to aim for that. Maybe I need to take advantage of the opportunities I have to be courageous and kind.
God, help me. I really need more of that in my life.

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.
FUMC Finance Report
Well done. We have raised $1234.00 for Clothing for Haiti. Thanks to all who donated.
General Budget Information
The General Budget balance will be posted as quickly as possible following the end of each month. This gives the most accurate picture of the financial status for First UMC.
    February 28 Balance -$11,543.47 

Holston Conference Lenten Devotion
As we follow along on the journey with Jesus to the cross, the season of Lent calls us to a time of prayer, fasting, and giving. Lent is also a time of contemplation, a time of dedication, and a time of preparation.
Our hope and prayer is that these reflections might encourage you as well as enhance and deepen your experience of the Lenten journey this year. Please read the Scripture for each day, and then read the reflection, followed by the prayer, closing thought, or challenge offered by the author.

In Worship Last Sunday
Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)
I Can See Clearly Now

The Lord is king! Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
Let the whole earth quake!
The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem, exalted above all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name. Your name is holy!
Psalm 99:1-3

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence, my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou and thou only, first in my heart,
great God of heaven, my treasure thou art.
~Mary E. Byrne, 1905

Lord, the light of your love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness, shining.
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us.
Set us free by the truth you now bring us.
Shine on me, shine on me.
Shine, Jesus, shine;
Fill this land with the Father’s glory.
Blaze, Spirit, blaze;
Set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow;
Flood the nations with grace and mercy.
Send forth your word,
Lord, and let there be light.
~Graham Kendrick

As the Lord lives, listen to Christ and follow him
from the places of revelation
to the places of mission.
And may God shine the light of glory into your hearts.
c 2003 Nathan Nettleton

In Children’s Worship Last Week . . .
“This is my Chosen One. Listen to him.”
This was Transfiguration Sunday lesson.
Sophia made this artwork with help.
It is a mountain top experience of utter grace.
Jesus’s clothes dazzled with light. God’s Voice spoke out of the cloud.
What does that Chosen One say? 
•Love one another as I have loved you….With a self-giving love. 
•Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
And love your neighbor as yourself.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭9:23-41‬ ‭NRSV‬‬
~Kate Rollins

What is the Way Forward?
It is the example we model for our children as we
love God and love one another.

First UMC Children Join Worship
During Holy Communion

Ms. Suzanne and Ms. Kathy sit on the floor at the back of the sanctuary during
Holy Communion, teaching our newest children the meaning of this
church ordinance.

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

Pick up a Ziplock bag with instructions in the narthex or Tankersley Hall.
Fill the bag and return to the collection bin in the narthex.
Turn-in date to be announced.

Thank you for supporting the Hands-on mission projects!
Thanks to Jennifer Daniel and the John S. Battle English Department for donating 20 dictionaries!

  • 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)
  • 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.
Can you see the spiritual in the every day?
We have a challenge leading up to Easter to help open our eyes the presence around us. Post a photo in response to the word each day (or as many days as you can)!

The 3/3@3 Debriefing
If you missed the 3/3@3 debriefing but would like to view the video, click on the
link above. It leads to the Holston Conference website where the video and other information about the General Conference are posted.

March 13, 2019
The Fellowship Class
Beginning Chapter 2 of
A Crazy, Holy Grace:
The Healing Power of Pain and Memory
by Frederick Buechner
5:30 p.m. in the Library
Bring a snack to share.

BeTween Bible Study
(Grades 5 and 6)
God’s Covenant with Abraham
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

6:30 p.m.

For Youth . . .
It’s Movie Night on the BIG SCREEN !!
Join Us at 6:30 p.m.for an Evening of Fun and Fellowship with a Message!
Come Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to
10:30 a.m. for Biblical Exploration.

FUMC Youth Are Becoming Escape Artists
We had a great time and solved the puzzle.
That is four for four successes. Go FUMC Teens!

Combined Cluster Youth Night at YMCA
Friday, March 29, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Combined Cluster Youth Night at the YMCA will be Friday March 29th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. For those who have not been before, the doors are locked at 6:00 PM, and other than the lifeguards (provided by the Y and supervised by John Mack) we will be the only people in the building. We will have access to the children’s and adult pools, Gym and children’s gym (climbing tower/slides), game room and most of the exercise equipment. Please remember to bring $3/person to pay and tip the life guards. Also, let me know how many from your respective churches that you expect to attend so we can schedule sufficient life guards. John Mack will again do the welcome and Ray Amos will provide the opening devotional.

Hope to see you there!

Together in Christ,

Curtis Frye

Lenten Luncheons
an Offering of the United Methodist Churches of Bristol
The Wednesdays of Lent 2019
Worship and Mid-Day Food & Fellowship
Worship: 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. / Lunch: 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

March 13
First UMC Bristol
322 Vance Drive
Bristol, TN
Message by: Alan Gorrell
March 20
Weaver UMC
132 Peoples Road
Bristol, TN
Message by: Mike Wood
March 27
St. Luke UMC
105 North Street
Bristol, VA
Message by: Ed Harlow
April 3
Trinity UMC
320 Carter Street
Bristol, VA
Message by: Earl Maine
April 10
John Wesley UMC
311 Lee Street
Bristol, VA
Message by: Clara Bristol
April 17
Addilynn Memorial UMC
3225 Avoca Road
Bristol, TN
Message by: Joyce Moore

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.

Clinch Mountain District News
Staff/Pastor/Parish Relations Training and
Safe Sanctuary Training
Sunday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Alleluia! Three Hundred Years of Celebration in Song
William & Mary Department of Music Presents
The William & Mary Choir
James Armstrong, conductor
Works from England, Norway, Denmark, Germany,
Latvia, Russia, and the United States
Monday, March 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
St. John’s Episcopal Church
500 N. Roan Street, Johnson City, TN

UMW Annual District Day Apart
Saturday, March 23
Lebanon UMC

Registration 9:30 a.m.
Service 10:00 a.m.
Lunch immediately following
Deadline for Registration is March 16.
Our guest speaker will be Brooke Atchley from Elk Garden
School Community Ministries, our 2019 District Hands-on Mission.
Our Communion Celebrant will be Barbara Doyle
All women are invited to join us for worship, music, fellowship and good food.

Special UMCOR Offering Will Be
Received on March 24

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

Dates of Spring Yard Sale Set:
May 31 and June 1

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

Registration for Summer
Camp 2019 Is Open!!
Visit and click on the Summer Camp tab.
If you know of someone who is interested in applying for a counselor or staff position, please call Camp Director Jeff Wadley at 423.329.8401.

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
March 7 – 13, 2019
Thursday, March 7
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
Friday, March 8
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, March 9
Sunday, March 10
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
5:00pm-Trustees Meeting-Library
6:00pm-Finance Committee-Library
7:00pm-Administrative Council-TH
Monday, March 11
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, March 12
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, March 13
12:00pm-Lenten Worship Service and Lunch-FUMC, Dr. Alan Gorrell, Speaker
5:30pm-Fellowship Class-Library
6:30pm-Tweens Bible Study-Upstairs Classroom
6:30pm-Youth Activity-TH
            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