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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
June 27 – July 3, 2019
Third Sunday After Pentecost

June 30, 2019

The Double Portion by Brenda R. Wright 
Luke 9:51-62
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
I came across the introduction to the Letter of James during Morning Prayer. I have to confess that I find most epistle introductions obnoxious, and I’m aggravated when they come up in our regularly scheduled readings. It’s all
Writer to church in place:
Grace and peace and blah blah blah and I thank God for you blah blah blah.
I zone out until the author finally gets past the fluff to reach the subject at hand.
I forgot that James doesn’t spend much time on fluff, so this morning’s reading was refreshing.
I also forgot that James has a little gem tucked into the middle of his first chapter. You’ve probably heard this quaint little tidbit:
Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.
But four verses prior is an enormously important paragraph that leads into it.
No one who is tested should say, “God is tempting me!” This is because God is not tempted by any form of evil, nor does he tempt anyone. Everyone is tempted by their own cravings; they are lured away and enticed by them.
Testing and temptation, James argues, don’t come from outside us. They aren’t a refining project by a Vulcan-esque God. They aren’t the allure of a disguised demon trying to distract us from heavenly focus. They are within, where we hide from the world and sometimes from ourselves our most destructive, murderous tendencies.
Paul even offers a list of examples to the church in Galatia. I bet you’ve heard it before:
The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that.
It’s not a complete list. Some of those you’ll recognize in yourself. Some of the things that test and tempt you won’t make that list.
Name them anyway.
Then choose to do better.
Choose the fruits of the Spirit. Choose holiness.
Those are the good and perfect gifts that come from God.
Those are the gifts that will reshape our community into the Kinship of God we are trying to initiate. Pay attention to yourself and your choices. Take responsibility for yourself, and God will do miracles through you.

Feed the Hungry Offering for Holston Home for Children
This week’s “Feed the Hungry” Offering will go to Holston United Methodist Home for
Children in Greeneville, TN. For the children and staff of Holston Home, Fifth Sunday
offerings throughout our Annual Conference give children a chance to encounter
acceptance and love and hope for their future.

The Bruce and Mary Cunningham Center, located on the main campus, houses group-care facilities, a gymnasium, Beacon School-Quillen Day Treatment Program and the Chapel.
Beacon School serves students from the group care programs as well as day students from area public school systems. Beacon School often helps children remain in the community in family care rather than require placement in a residential treatment or mental health facility. 

Students gathered to pray at Beacon School for “See You at the Pole.”
It was a rich time of prayer and reflection.

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

In Sympathy
The members of First United Methodist Church extend
our love and deepest sympathy to
Bill Olsen in the passing of his beloved wife
Shirley Olsen
on June 22, 2019.
and to Larry and Kathy Wagner
in the passing of Kathy’s Cousin
Oliver Hope Frazier
on June 14, 2019.

In Worship Last Sunday
Pastor Berg shared the
message Just Desserts from Luke 7:1-10

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
what wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing,
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM,
while millions join the theme I will sing, I will sing;
while millions join the theme I will sing.
~folk hymn

We were blessed to have with us a youth group and their leaders from Gum Spring UMC (near Richmond, VA). They were on their way to Jonesville, VA to be missionaries for a week. First UMC had the pleasure of hosting them as guests of our church for Saturday night as well as for worship on Sunday morning.
Dr. Gorrell shared news from the Holston Conference. He has created a poster board of information from the Conference and placed it on the table in the narthex for our review.
We received an offering for Local School Missions.
The Chancel Choir joined the Children to sing an African-American spiritual, “Elijah Rock.” Tawana explained that spirituals were songs composed and sung by slaves working on plantations to spread the word to slaves working on nearby plantations about the status of the underground railroad on any given day – when it was safe to go.
Elijah rock, rock, rock
Elijah rock, comin’ up, Lord.
Elijah rock, rock, rock
Elijah rock, comin’ up, Lord.

Hallelujah! – One more time!
Elijah rock, rock, rock
Elijah rock, comin’ up, Lord.
Elijah rock, rock, rock
Elijah rock, comin’ up, Lord.

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.
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 Chisholm, 1923

When we have nothing to offer, no hope to lean on:
The Lord is our hope.
When we are doing our best but we still fall short of our own expectations:
The Lord blesses our efforts.
Whenever we approach and humbly seek God’s help:
The Lord gives what we need.
Go from here a people of hope, a people blessed, a people with exactly what we need,
and offer all that the Lord is to all the world.

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.
In Appreciation
A most heartfelt thanks to Mike and Tawana Teague for including the children in active worship this past Sunday! It was fun, artistic, and worshipful. Mike, thank you for helping us understand the story behind the music, and Tawana, thank you for helping us get our “spiritual on”.  Let’s do it again soon! 
We only have a month until school starts. If you would like to help teach, plan a special event, or help us in any way…. please contact Mike, Suzanne, or Brandon. Help us honor our families and lead the children to become dynamic disciples of Jesus Christ. 

A Mother Doe Leaves Her Baby in the
Safety of the Church

Mr. Mike and Ms. Suzanne walked outside to this precious sight a couple of weeks ago. . .a fawn sleeping peacefully in the shade of First’s church sign where Mama Deer had temporarily left Baby while she foraged for food.
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:
First UMC Monthly Financial Report
May 31 Balance: (-$16,297.00)
It is Camp Time at Camp Bays Mountain!
To register, go to & click on the summer camp tab.
Brochures are available on the table in the narthex.
Have no children, but 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 Tu-Th, 9-2.
For each publication, information is
needed by noon on Wednesday.

Your Church Event and Planning Calendar
June 27 – July 3, 2019
Thursday, June 27
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean – The Upper Room
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Friday, June 28
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, June 29
Sunday, June 30
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, July 1
1:00pm-Food Pantry (1-4pm)-Bristol Emergency Food Pantry
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, July 2
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, July 3
            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