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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
March 21-27, 2019
Third Sunday of Lent
March 24, 2019

The Vine Dresser and the Fig Tree (Le vigneron et le figuier) by James Tissot
Luke 13:1-9
Lenten Practice #3: Patience
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
When I awoke Wednesday morning, the thermostat in our house told me it was 32º outside, and the weather app on my phone said it was locally 27º. Karoline later reminded me it was the first day of Spring, and I found myself a little frustrated at the weather for not acting more Springy.
As we were preparing breakfasts and packing lunches, Sarah and Rebekah and I were discussing the beginning of Spring, and Sarah tried to catch a word tumbling around in her mind that she had learned recently relating to the first day of Spring and the time…
“Equinox?” I asked.
I found myself a little frustrated about Daylight Savings Time, glancing out the window and finding the earth still dark.
I find it easy to let some things frustrate me.
Perhaps “annoy” is a better word, but I think “frustrate” is appropriate, too, with its root in the concept of blocking or impeding something.
I’m allowing the insistently cold and dark morning to put me in a frigid, shadowy mood. I’m letting the weather frustrate my joy.
You know, there’s nothing I could possibly do about the time the sun rises or the temperature at its lowest this morning. All I can do is make another cup of coffee to counter my body’s reaction to the dark, and make sure I get our cars started a few minutes before we have to leave so they have some time to warm up.
I can’t do anything about the weather, but I can choose how I react.
That kind of self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. For that matter, so are joy, and patience. All that fruitiness tends to play together. One helps another grow. Ignoring one tends to make another wither.
Personally, I prefer ripe and plump fruit.
So I’m going to try to frustrate my frustration by choosing joy and patience and self-control. That’s a good place to start. That’s something I can do something about.
Spring will come in her own good time and in her own good way. I’ll just enjoy watching her dance and throw her colors around, and see what I can do to dance with her.

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our “Feed the Hungry” Offering this week will go to UMCOR (United Methodist
Committee on Relief). UMCOR offers aid in Jesus’ name to those who suffer when disaster strikes. UMCOR has helped families when tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, when a
massive tsunami devastated Japan, when children in Zimbabwe lost parents to AIDS –
and stands ready to assist with the next mass crisis.

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 We Celebrated the Feast of Saint Patrick
Luke 13:31-35
Lenten Practice #2: Promise

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 stars 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

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of God’s hand.
~St. Patrick’s Blessing

In Children’s Worship Last Week . . .
Mr. Mike and Ms. Penny taught the lesson from Genesis 15 about God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father as many sons and daughters as there are stars in the sky, if they could be counted. The children sang, “Father Abraham.”
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 project!

Church Financial Report
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 

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)!

Wednesday Evening
March 27, 2019

The Fellowship Class
Continuing in 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.

For Youth . . .
It’s Game Night!
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.

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 29 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 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

The Rev. Jane Taylor will serve as Clinch Mountain District
Superintendent, following the Rev. Sandra Johnson, who is retiring.

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.

Women of the Church Are Invited
to Gather for Martha Circle

Tuesday, March 26
6:00 p.m.
at the Home of Peggy Wilson
1030 Columbia Rd 
Bristol, TN 

Organ Concert with Kenneth Miller
Sunday, March 31st, 2019, 3 p.m.
St.Thomas Episcopal Church
124 East Main Street • Abingdon, VA

Kenneth is assistant professor of church
music at the School of Theology at
Sewanee, and serves as organist and
choirmaster of the Chapel of the Apostles.
He will be performing works of Bach,
Walther, Mendelssohn, and Rogg.
Also performing will be St. Thomas’ own
Schéry Collins.
Admission at no charge
as a gift to the community.

Many thanks to our families who participate in Kroger’s Community Rewards Program.
We will soon receive a check for $75.24 based on purchases made during the period December 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019.
It costs nothing to participate! If you shop at Kroger and have not joined but would like to, go to the Kroger website and follow instructions. FUMC’s ID number is BE100.

Be a Shepherd.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were
harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 ESV

Spring Yard Sale
May 31 and June 1

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

Camp Ahistadi Needs Your Help!
We have access to a beautiful corner of creation in our Clinch Mountain District: Camp Ahistadi. The District camp is nestled in in the Jefferson National Forest just south of Damascus, Virginia. The physical location of the camp is 209 Ahistadi Lane, Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee. The Camp Ahistadi Advisory Committee strives to provide a clean and safe natural space for church camps and events – but we rely on churches in the district to help with minor maintenance and repairs.
Spring tasks for this season are on March 30 and/or April 6 (rain day):
Project 1:  Prepare Pavilion - Remove and haul off rotted wooden handicapped ramp, repair sagging shutters, refurbish fire circle area, haul off old basketball goal, and clean up activity field.
Project 2:  Dig out behind cabins – Dig out dirt and leaves that have accumulated and spread nearby. Shovels, mattock and buckets needed. Four cabins.
Project 3: Pressure-wash Lodge basement – Pressure-wash basement and rinse walls with Borax solution. Requires adult supervision. Masks/protective gear available.
Project 4: Clean cabins – Walls, bathrooms, windows and mirrors. Four cabins.
Project 5: Clean Lodge  Clean and sanitize kitchen, wash & dry all mattress covers and dish towels. Clean up/organize left over building materials under front porch.
UMM, UMW, Youth, Sunday School, other church groups, family and
friends all welcome!
Free Hot Dog Lunch!
Call Denton Staley, 276-783-5194, or Hunter Bradley, 276-628-6323,
to schedule a project for your group between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Registration for Summer
Camp 2019 Is Open!!
To register, go to 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.

Where Scriptures Come Alive
Join Bishop “Dindy” and Rusty Taylor on this “Travel with Friends” Tour of the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome. 
On the first leg of your tour, visit locations where Jesus walked and preached in Galilee, and follow the footsteps of Christ through Bethlehem and Jerusalem, including the Old City.
The second leg of your tour will include Biblically significant sites in Greece, including Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Patmos, and the island of Crete. Finally, journey to Rome to visit Vatican City, the Christian Catacombs and many more historic sites.
Your trip begins on August 28 where you will spend 7 days in the Holy Land. On September 5, your journey continues with a 6 day tour of Greece and Rome. If you are unable to attend the full tour, you may choose the first leg of the tour only and return home on September 4.
August 28 – September 3, 2019
Holy Land                      $2,400
September 4 – 11, 2019
Greece & Rome             $2,100
There is a $300 per person deposit upon registration.
The final payment deadline is May 30, 2019.
For those seeking continuing education credits, 3.0 CEUs will be awarded for this tour.

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 21-27, 2019
Thursday, March 21
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
Friday, March 22
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, March 23
Sunday, March 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, March 25
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, March 26
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
8:00am-Meals on Wheels-Kitchen
6:00pm-Martha Circle-Home of Peggy Wilson
Wednesday, March 27
12:00pm-Lenten Worship Service and Lunch-St. Luke UMC, Message by Ed Harlow
5:30pm-Fellowship Class-Library
6:30pm-Youth Activity-Tournament Night-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