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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
April 4-10, 2019
Fifth Sunday of Lent
April 14, 2019

Mary Anoints Jesus Feet. by Oluwaseyi Alade
John 12:1-8
Lenten Practice #5: Prepare
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
Bristol is about to get fast and loud.
Some of you will be heading out of town this weekend while race fans flood in. Some of you will shelter in place, although it turns out it’s not nearly as difficult to navigate around race traffic as I’d once imagined. Some of you will be brave enough to navigate to the southern edge of Bristol and take part in the NASCAR festivities, yourself.
As for me and my house, we like our sport with a little more nature and a little less gas.
This weekend may be the closest our children have gotten to the race, though. Our plan is to drag our wagon full of Girl Scout cookies to one of the campgrounds, and maybe down the sidewalk in front of the Speedway, and rid ourselves of the rest of them to satisfy the munchies of race fans. We just have to get the timing right.
It should be an adventure.
And on Sunday, while race fans are waking and wending their way to the Speedway, we will gather to listen and learn and pray and praise as we always do. Sometimes, even when things get wild all around us, our lives just continue on.
I suppose there’s always a degree of normalcy, and I suppose there’s always something extraordinary going on in our lives and in our communities. Weekends like this one, though, serve to magnify the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. Maybe when the extraordinary is magnified, the ordinary feels even more calming. Maybe when the ordinary consumes most of us, little extraordinary moments pop all the more.
Maybe what’s important is to revel in all of it, to give thanks in all things, to enjoy life in its abundance.
Maybe that’s a good goal for this weekend. Wherever you find yourself, revel in it. Enjoy it. Relish it.
It’s going to be wild in places this weekend. Bristol is about to get really busy. It’s about to get fast and loud.
Then, on Monday, I guess, Bristol will wake up, clean up the mess, and get back to normal.
And then, when the ordinary is what fills us up, we can revel in the little extraordinary moments.
Until the next time.

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.

Monday, April 15
Worship Service, 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 16
Worship Service, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 17
Worship Service, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 18
Maundy Thursday Worship Service, 7:00 p.m.
Holy Communion, Foot Washing
Friday, April 19
Tenebrae Worship Service (Service of Darkness), 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 21
Sunrise Service, 6:30 a.m.
Brunch, 9:00 a.m.
Joint Worship Service, 10:00 a.m.
Children’s Egg Hunt, 11:00 a.m.

Feed the Hungry Offering
This week’s “Feed the Hungry” Offering will go to Bristol Faith in Action.
BFIA is a cooperative Ourtreach ministry of Bristol and the local community, formed
to serve any persons whose circumstances leave them with significant physical, social, emotional or spiritual needs.

Meals On Wheels
Could Use a Helping Hand
Did you know that the 4th Tuesday of each month several of our dedicated members gather to make food for people of our community who might otherwise not have a hot meal that day?
Baked spaghetti, bread, peaches, cottage cheese, and salad are prepared,
packaged, and delivered to an average of 48 households.
But our Meals on Wheels Team needs a helping hand.
Please consider being a Driver, delivering food to approximately 7 houses on a specified route. It will only take about an hour of your time, and your help will make a big difference to both the recipients and our church Meals on Wheels Team.
Call Brenda Hobbs or Julie Blanton
423-968-4391 or 423-914-9820

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

School Kits are being turned in!
Watch for the last turn-in date to be announced soon.

Thank you for supporting the
Hands-on mission project!

In Worship Last Sunday
Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32
Lenten Practice #4: Prodigal

Loving God, we thank you that you are with us, and that we may call upon you no
matter where we are, or what we are feeling. Keep us mindful of your presence and trusting in your promise – that you are working with us in the moment-by-moment unfolding of our lives.

Phil Haga beautifully sang, Flee as a Bird by John Carter.
This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on,
time to believe what love is bringing, laying to rest the pain that’s gone.

Christ is alive, and goes before us to show and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings, our God is making all things new.
~Brian Wren, 1978

In Children’s Worship Last Week . . .
Our lesson was about the Prodigal Son.
The word for this week was “grace.” 
Grace means God loves us when we do the right thing. God continues
to love us when we do the wrong thing. We can always come
home to God. What a reason to celebrate!

We tried to toss coins into the muffin cups. That was hard for most of us! Then Mr. Mike gave grace by allowing us to come close, kneel,
and put the coins in. That was much easier to do!

Church Financial Report for March 2019
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.

    March 31 Balance (-)$9,384.20

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 Fellowship Class
Wednesday, April 10
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 the Youth – Wednesday, April 10
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.

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.

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

Saturday, April 13, 6:25 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Combined Cluster Youth Night at YMCA

Bring $3.00

What Have You Borrowed Lately? . . . #Me Too
Please take a moment to look around your home to see if you may have borrowed and forgotten to return any pots, plates, tools, tablecloths, etc. from our church kitchen. Workers have noticed that some of our supplies are missing.
(As for me, I am always needing to return ink pens – not to the kitchen – but to the office. I must purge my purse of pens about once a month as my desk supply dwindles. I take them, not because I need them, but because it is a non-thinking, yet finely-honed habit I’ve developed during my working career.)
Now that you have my confession (thank you – it was good for my soul), I hope you can offer grace to me and to others, as well, as we all check for things we’ve borrowed … and return them. Blessings, Carol

Be a Shepherd.
Easter Egg Hunt – April 21
The Children’s and Youth Departments will host an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday morning, immediately following a Joint Worship Service at 10:00 a.m.
Over the next three Sundays, would you help us by bringing
small novelty toys
or a small monetary donation (to offset costs)
Items must be small enough to place inside a plastic Easter Egg.
You may leave donations on the desk in the front office.
Your help will be so appreciated!

Save the Date
May 10

Keep the evening open. Details to follow soon . . .

Spring Yard Sale
May 31 and June 1

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

Worship and Picnic at Sugar Hollow State Park
Sunday, June 2

First United Methodist Church will hold a Sunday morning joint worship service and
picnic afterward at Sugar Hollow State Park. More details will follow . . .

Holston Annual Conference
at Lake Junaluska
June 9-12

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.

Travel to the Holy Land
Where Scriptures Come Alive
Join Bishop “Dindy” and Rusty Taylor on this “Travel with Friends”
Tour of the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome. 

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.

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
April 4-10, 2019
Thursday, April 4
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
Friday, April 5
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, April 6
Sunday, April 7
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
4:00pm-Trustees Meeting-Library
Monday, April 8
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, April 9
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, April 10
12:00pm-Lenten Worship Service and Lunch-John Wesley UMC, Message by Clara Bristol
5:30pm-Fellowship Class-Library
6:30pm-Youth Activity-Downtown Scavenger Hunt
            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