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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
June 20-26, 2019
Second Sunday After Pentecost

June 23, 2019

Charles Dickens’ Dream, painted by the author’s grandson in 1931.  It was a time “when poverty was often blamed on moral failings.”
 Luke 7:1-10
Just Desserts
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
There is a young person on staff at Camp Bays Mountain who is torn between two worlds. That’s not an uncommon occurrence at camp, but typically staff make a concrete choice, before Summer begins, whether to spend the Summer working at camp or to spend the Summer doing something else. Sometimes, though, the passion for a number of choices is so strong that making a choice is impossible.
I admire that kind of passion.
This particular staff member is trying to balance Summer athletic practices with full-time ministry at camp. She is deeply dedicated to both, and is clearly gifted for both. At camp, she changes children’s lives; at practice, she hones skills that could land her a scholarship in the near future.
How does one choose?
The answer I’ve heard often is that the choice isn’t one we actually have to make; God will choose for us. If it’s not a door we ought to go through, God won’t let us through. Only the open doors are the ones God intends us to cross.
I have my doubts about that.
I think there are plenty of choices a lot of us could make that aren’t necessarily the ones God has in mind for us. There are plenty of directions we could bring our lives, plenty of gifts we could hone that might not optimize our opportunities for ministry.
Does that make them the wrong choices?
Maybe that question isn’t the right one.
Maybe the best question is, How do I make the best out of the place where I am?
Sometimes we won’t have a choice. Sometimes someone else’s choice defines where we land. Then it doesn’t matter what we want. We have to find the face of Christ in the people we are around, and we have to find the best way to be Christ to everyone we meet.
That’s a healthier goal, and probably a more godly goal.
Be the very best you can wherever you find yourself.
Be the very best blessing you can be wherever you find yourself.
And then the world will be blessed through you.

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.

Our Help for Haiti Mission Team Needs Your Help!
Established in 2010 after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, our team for nearly a decade has provided nine children in Haiti (along with a few others over the years) with stable food, housing, adult supervision and education. This has occurred under the leadership of directors Leferne and Melila Preptit, Haitian political refugees and longtime FUMC members.
Sponsors from FUMC (with significant assistance from donors at State Street United Methodist) have been able to keep the mission afloat over the years, but our team has never been able to fully fund the entire cost of the mission through committed sponsors. Instead, we have relied on one-time grants, donations, and fundraisers to fill in the gaps.
Our financial situation, however, is currently becoming more untenable. With rising costs in Haiti for food, fuel and housing in particular, along with numerous other areas, we need to be able to grow our sponsorship base in order to ensure our ability to continue to support our nine children.
If you are someone at FUMC that has never given before, or donated only through one-time gifts, we urge you to consider committing to a monthly sponsorship.
However, we also recognize that many people at FUMC are already part of our core sponsorship base and that our opportunities to expand our donor pool merely from FUMC members may be limited. 
Our mission team would eagerly welcome the opportunity to set up a presentation by Leferne to any community group or other potential donor base that you might be have a connection with outside FUMC. Any personal connections you may have to a potential individual donor outside FUMC would also be a great help.
It is an urgent time this summer to be able to position our mission to provide the necessary support for education and housing costs due this fall.
We greatly appreciate your support of the Help for Haiti mission and your assistance in helping ensure its continued future.
To set up a monthly sponsorship, please contact Carol in the main FUMC office at (423) 652-2811. Leferne Preptit ( or Haiti team member Nate Hubbard ( are also available to help answer any questions or organize a presentation to a potential individual donor or group outside FUMC.

Help for Haiti Mission Team

Join The United Methodist Women at
Holston Mission u 2019!
July 19-20
Pleasant View UMC
Abingdon, VA

Take a deep dive into the Gospel of Mark, the topic of money,
and the inspiring story of women organized for mission.

  • Your registration for the event must be postmarked by Saturday, July 5th.
  • A Spiritual Growth class is available for Youth and Children.
  • PLEASE indicate your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice since your first choice may be full.
  • BOOKS must be purchased online and brought with you to the event.
  • STUDY BOOKS WILL NOT be available in the Program Resource Room.
  • BYOB – Bring your own coffee mug and/or water bottle to reduce waste.
  • BYOS – Bring your own snacks.
  • AN OFFERING for Mission Giving will be collected at the Friday plenary.
Last Sunday,
Donna Camper presented our message from
John 16:12-15,
we celebrated Fathers, and
we gathered a special offering toward
Peace with Justice.
We congratulate Donna who is completing her final
requirements to become a Deaconess in the
United Methodist Church.
Donna will complete her course study this fall. She will be Commissioned at the meeting of the Deaconness, and then, Consecrated at
Annual Conference, 2020.

Shaw-Anchor Sunday School Class
Meets at 9:30 a.m. weekly
Taught by Dr. Alan L. Gorrell and Russ Basham
Begins with a singing of old hymns . . .
Join us!

to Roy Watson
who celebrated his 94th Birthday last week!
Happy Birthday from all your friends at First UMC!

First’s Shepherding Ministry Needs You.
See Alan Gorrell.

Youth will meet for activities once or twice a month in summer as schedules permit. Check the FUMC website for the schedule:
The Youth Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser originally planned for Sunday, June 23 has been cancelled.

Look for it to be rescheduled at a later date.

First UMC Monthly Financial Report
May 31 Balance: (-$16,297.00)
It is Camp Time at Camp Bays Mountain!
To register your child, go to & click on the summer camp tab.
Brochures are available on the table in the narthex.
Do you have no children, but you do have a heart for children and their spiritual growth?
Will you give to support a child’s week at camp?
Your gift could impact a life forever.

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
June 20-26, 2019
Thursday, June 20
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean – The Upper Room
Friday, June 21 – First Day of Summer
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, June 22
Sunday, June 23
9:30am-Sunday School 
9:30am-The River Contemplative Worship-Tankersley Hall
10:00am-Common Ground Worship-Chapel
11:00am-Traditional Worship Service-Sanctuary
12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal
Monday, June 24
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, June 25
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
8:00am-Meals on Wheels-Kitchen/TH
6:00pm-Martha Circle
Wednesday, June 26
            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