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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
July 11-17, 2019
Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

July 14, 2019

Good Samaritan in Tibet by Frank Wesley, India 20th Century
Luke 10:25-37
What Must I Do to Measure up?
Rev. Brandon Berg

From a
Parishioner’s Pen
“Defining Neighbor” is the subheading the late Eugene Peterson gave to his paraphrase of Luke 10:25-37. Some revile the Message, preferring the poetic familiarity of the King James. Peterson was purposeful in his paraphrase, intending to strip away indecipherable layers so that younger generations could access the Good News. “Defining Neighbor” makes more sense to people who have no concept of a “Samaritan.”
As I began my appointment to hospice, I knew people would have widely ranging experiences of faith and familiarity with spiritual practices. I knew that I had to seek common ground. The Good Samaritan is common ground. For even the secular world draws on the story in television, movies, with laws dubbed after “Good Samaritan.”
A religious scholar quizzed Jesus: “…How do you define neighbor?” The characters unfold: an injured traveler, robbers, priest, religious leader, and a foreigner – the Samaritan.  Jesus then asked a question to answer a question: “Who was a neighbor to the traveler left beaten?” It was easy for the scholar to answer: the Samaritan who treated the sick, injured one kindly.
Called to a room, in my first weeks of hospice chaplaincy, I sat down with a patient’s daughter who was plagued with grief and guilt. She was weighed down, by many responsibilities and the anticipation of her loved one’s death. 
I remember her face folded with furrows of doubt and sadness as the questions spilled from her mouth. How could she allow the patient to die without being the sole, hands-on caregiver? How could she leave her beloved parent in a center and trust its nurses to do what she ought to do as a daughter?
These are tough questions. They must be addressed in layers at a time. We would have time for those layers. She was so shrouded in worry that I knew I needed to begin with a story. So, I took a deep breath and invited her to join me. 
I asked, “Do I understand your parents took you to church?” Yes, she replied. “Do you recall some of the stories you learned?” Yes, and she named a few. “Do you know the Good Samaritan?” Of course, she said. She gently named the characters and the plotline. I could see the tension easing in her posture.
“Ah… do you recall one more whom you and I have not named?” She quieted and thought. She smiled: “the innkeeper.” I nodded. “You have many responsibilities. Caring for your parents. Caring for your work. Caring for your self.” The Good Samaritan was wise. He didn’t take on the whole, extensive care of the ailing man. He sought help from another. “The innkeeper,” she repeated.
As you move along this journey with your loved one, you will still need to go about your life. You can entrust your loved one – in part – to the staff here, at this center, aided by the skills and support of your hospice team. Like the Samaritan, you can come back and check in on things – regularly, daily, if needed. You can call. We will call you.
It’s a difficult thing for a person to decide that it is time to seek out a senior living community, a nursing center, the help of homemaker services, home health, and even hospice nurses, chaplains, social workers, aides, and volunteers. But these folks are like the Innkeeper in the story. These folks are also part of whom Jesus defines as “neighbor.”
Catherine Rollins

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.

Our Help for Haiti Mission
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.
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

We are pleased to announce that First United Methodist Church-Bristol has been awarded
from The Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. Grant Program,
a grant in the amount of $2,000 to be used towards our Help for Haiti Children’s Shelter program.

From a Parishioner’s Pen
While in Wisconsin for my stepdad’s funeral, we got a call that our back door was open. Even though the police secured the door, we were concerned that the house wasn’t secured, since the deadbolt couldn’t be locked. We decided to travel home on Friday instead of Sunday.
We were driving home Saturday after a night of rest Friday. I was following Rick in my truck so that I could watch his truck pulling the boat.
Because we had to travel home so quickly and Rick did not get much rest, I let him sleep in at the hotel Saturday morning. We got a late start on Saturday.
By the time we got started, it was raining pretty heavily in Kentucky. It was difficult to see, and I convinced Rick to pull over. Rick finally agreed. As he turned into a parking lot, I saw the tire on the boat trailer shred.
The rain stopped within five minutes of stopping. We looked for the jacks in both of our trucks, but we were unable to locate them. So I drove to AutoZone to purchase one. The one AutoZone sold me was not oiled, so the hydraulics wouldn’t work. A few seconds later, a Good Samaritan stopped to help us. He owned the tire shop two miles sway. He went to his shop and got us a jack, and helped change the tire. He then had us follow him to his shop where he happened to have a spare for the trailer as well. He was also able to repair the rim.
Once we got on the road, we realized that we were closer to the Cumberland Gap tunnel than we had thought. We were less than five miles from the tunnel. If we had continued driving, the tire may have blown in the tunnel, or right after, where there were no gas stations, houses or anything. I truly believe with all my heart that God was looking over us. I had a long talk with him on the ride home and thanked him for looking over us and others on the road.
If the tire had blown while we were driving on the interstate we would have been going about 65 miles an hour, but the tire blew when we were stopping. I believe everything happens for a reason, and I am grateful that somehow my backdoor was open, because we would have traveled on Sunday, and the Good Samaritan would not have been there to help us. The Good Samaritan was going to his shop on a Saturday that his shop ordinarily was closed; yet he was going to get something from there.
Roxanne Bareika

Our Love and Condolences
The church family at First United Methodist Church wishes to
express love and condolences to
Roxanne Bareika in the loss of her father
Charles Bareika on August 5, 2018
and her stepfather
Richard Behringer on July 1, 2019

In Sympathy
The members of First United Methodist Church extend
our deepest sympathy to
the Family of
Irwin “Basil” Wyatt Jr.,
who passed away on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
Basil was the son of the late
Irwin Basil Wyatt Sr. and Leona Broyles Wyatt.
All were members of First United Methodist Church.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, July 11, 2019, from 5 until 7: p.m. at Oakley-Cook Funeral Home in Bristol, Tenn. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 12, 2019, at Glenwood Cemetery in Bristol, Tenn., with the Rev. Barbara Farmer officiating. 

Our Heartfelt Sympathy
The members of First United Methodist Church extend
our love and sympathy to
the Family of Paul Lee
who passed away on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.
The family will receive friends at Weaver Funeral Home
12:30 to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 14, with the
funeral service immediately after, at 2:00 p.m. The burial will
take place at Sinking Springs in Greene County.

The Church Gratefully Acknowledges these Gifts to the Memorial Fund
in Memory of Shirley Olsen
by Louise Carver, Katherine Hale, Marian Hensley,
Beverly and Dick McCallum, Ron Schoenhardt,
Thomas and Barbara Smith, Walter and Nancy Vernon,
and George T. Young

In Worship Last Sunday
Nate Roark shared the a message from Philippians 1:6

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you,
will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
~Philippians 1:6

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after You.
You alone are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship You,
You alone are my strength, my shield; to You alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship You.
~Lloyd Stone, 1934

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?
Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
~John Bell, 1987

We have a family whose children have been under the ministry of our church who are very much in need of furniture.
Specifically needed are:
2 Full-sized Beds
Living Room Seating (Sofa and Loveseat, or Sofa and Chairs)
If you have any of these items that you are willing to give, please call
Carol Johnson at 423-946-3286. Arrangements will be made to pick it up.

copied from The Call, Volume 19, Number 13

The Rev. Caroline Hawthorne and Nate Roark stand at the pulpit at Hunt Memorial United Methodist Church (L) and
Hunt Memorial United Methodist Church (R).. 

BRISTOL, Va. (July 9, 2019) — Nate Roark was sleeping in the same room when his father died from complications related to opioid addiction.
“I woke up to hear him coughing his last few breaths,” says Roark, who was 12 at the time.
Five years later, the 17-year-old survivor of a broken home is an aspiring preacher and recent winner of the Denman Evangelism Award.
Roark was surprised by the award on June 11 at the Holston Annual Conference, when his name was called out in front of an audience of about 1,800 in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
As an active United Methodist, Roark was already attending Annual Conference as a member of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. After he accepted the award, Roark received a big hug from his district superintendent, the Rev. Sandra Johnson.
His guardian, the Rev. Caroline Hawthorne, was also ready to hug him. Then Roark got another surprise.
“I looked over and I saw Caroline and my mom standing together … ” he says.
“Nate broke down,” says Hawthorne.
The teenager has not lived with his mother for a few years. But when Hawthorne invited her to North Carolina to see her son receive the award, Roark’s mother said, “I want to be there.”
Sitting in the fellowship hall of Hunt Memorial United Methodist Church a week after Annual Conference, the pastor and the boy she took under her wing shared their remarkable story with a combination of tears and joy.
Hawthorne has been Roark’s legal guardian for two years, “but he’s been part of my life for seven years,” she says. Appointed to Hunt Memorial as a part-time local pastor in 2012, Hawthorne immediately encountered the little boy who was at the church – and other local churches – whenever they were open.
“I was 100 percent in all of the churches,” Roark says. “It was an escape.”
Roark’s parents suffered from addictions. He and his sister bounced between living with their parents and other relatives.
At Hunt Memorial, the pastor and the little boy connected through the weekly Chief’s Kids ministry. Started in 2008 by Bristol’s police chief, the program offers a hot meal, games, and Bible study for children in nearby public housing.
While Hunt Memorial has about 15 to 20 in worship attendance, the church serves about 30 children each week through Chief’s Kids and another 20 in the youth program.
“I got very involved in Chief’s Kids. Nate immediately clung to me … It caused some tension because Hunter had never shared me before,” said Hawthorne, referring to her biological son who is four months younger than Roark.
“She just gives off kind vibes,” Roark says.
The pastor worried about the Roark children and helped them as best she could. By the time Nate was in 7th grade, his 36-year-old father was under hospice care.
When his father died, Roark’s mother was working on her own recovery and his older sister struggled with other challenges. The boy was sent to live with his aunt, where he was given a closet to adapt into a bedroom.
“I was grateful for it,” Roark says. “It was mine. I got to paint the walls.”
“It was the first time in his life that he was getting some stability,” Hawthorne says.
In early 2016, Hawthorne’s husband, Stacy, was diagnosed with a rare adrenal cancer. Churches from the Bristol area jumped in to pray for and reach out to the Hawthorne family.
“Stacy was definitely the man of the church,” Roark says. “He was the only man I was willing to talk to.”
Seven months after the diagnosis, Stacy died at age 45.
Stacy and Caroline were married 20 years. Suddenly, the part-time local pastor was struggling with not only grief but supporting her young son. (“Stacy was definitely the breadwinner,” she says.) Arrangements were made for her to work full-time with the appointment of a second church, St. Luke United Methodist, while living in its parsonage.
The decision for Nate Roark to join the Hawthorne family happened one day as they were all driving back from a youth gathering. “We had a heart to heart,” Caroline said.
During the drive, Roark confessed his aunt’s home was beginning to present some challenges. Hawthorne immediately realized the St. Luke parsonage would make a good home for Nate.
“It was very spontaneous,” the pastor says. “I felt God speaking to me and saying, ‘You need to take this boy in.’”
Hawthorne had heard those words before. Noticing how much she worried about Roark, her husband Stacy had once said, at the height of his illness, “Why don’t you just get that boy and bring him here?”
When Caroline asked Nate if he wanted to live with her and her son, his response was emotional.
“It was one of the first times I had cried in a hot minute,” Roark says. “The amount of compassion that was allowed … It was definitely a switch for me. I didn’t get to see all the things that were happening behind God’s curtain.”
Roark’s mother wanted a better life for her son and quickly agreed to let the pastor become his legal guardian, Hawthorne said.
Roark is a veteran of Holston Conference ministries, including Resurrection, Youth Assembly, and camp. At Annual Conference, he added another United Methodist milestone to his experience: He was elected a delegate to Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in July 2020. Youth members are rarely elected as United Methodist delegates.
Hawthorne noticed years ago that Roark has a strong connection to his faith: “He does know so much about the Bible, coming from a broken home that didn’t focus on the Bible.”
Roark said he learned about scripture by spending a lot of time in church. As an eighth grader, he preached his first sermon on Youth Sunday at Hunt Memorial. He began to recognize a call to full-time ministry, which others have affirmed, according to Hawthorne.
Since that first Youth Sunday, Roark has preached at several churches in the Clinch Mountain District. He’s received training in advanced lay speaking and participated in Defining Moments (now known as Engage), a discerning ministry at Emory & Henry College. This week, he’s the vacation Bible school storyteller at Reynolds Memorial United Methodist Church.
“Nathaniel is always up for serving in whatever way he is asked, and he reaches out on his own initiative through Christ in his heart,” said Monika Surcey, who wrote a letter of recommendation for Roark to receive the Denman Evangelism Award. “There are always all sorts of peers and adults around him, kind of like Jesus himself.”
Roark says he has adapted to having rules in his home (“He never had rules before,” Hawthorne explains) and to feeling accepted and loved, even when he makes mistakes. He once spilled paint on the carpet and fully expected to be sent away.
“All Caroline said was, ‘Just help me clean it up,'” he said. “For a long time, I was wary of trying not to get sent back … I’m definitely comfortable now. I have a full sense of foundation and security.”
He works at a movie theater and is getting ready for his senior year in high school. He fantasizes about attending college in faraway places while his surrogate mother hopes he will attend Emory & Henry.
Roark says he’s grateful for the “power of a small church … This church was the one that nurtured me, which turned into Holston Conference nurturing me.”

From a Parishioner’s Pen
When asked to write an article for the newsletter, I didn’t think I had much to contribute.Then I remembered last Sunday. In the early River service the day started out with a leaky pipe and spilt flowers on the altar. Phil and Trinka got to work. Things went downhill a little when the speaker wasn’t there, but you know, the Holy Spirit took over that service, brought us together with a children’s sermon from Suzanne Goyette and filled our hearts with grace during communion. Many of us had a badly needed laugh when the wrong Bible passage was first read and Suzanne got a look that only meant, “Oh, oh.” Folks, we left with new joy in our hearts and peace from our silent prayer together and communion. 
The 11 o’clock was not well attended. We had a rising Tennessee High Senior as our speaker. What could this young man bring in a message to fill our hearts? He brought a message of faith and hope for our churches, our youth and for each of us. I won’t go into his story, but suffice it to say, by the time it ended, this writer was having trouble holding back tears of joy and thankfulness.
Here are two points from Nathan: 
  1. Don’t fake it until you make it, FAITH it until you make it. Faking just holds off those who are there to help you. God sends us help. When we have made it, God will send us
  2. He talked about being asked the size of his Sunday congregations. “Eight to twelve people,” he answered. The questioner said, “What a pity!” She did not ask him about the rest of the week, or he would have told her that on Mondays, his church hosts about 30 youth, and on Wednesdays, the pastor leads a well-attended Bible Study, and during the week, his church runs a homeless center. 
We at First UMC are moaning about our numbers. Let us instead look at our opportunities and what we do already: Haiti Shelter, Meals on Wheels, UMW, Feed the Hungry, missions support, Family Promise, and many acts of volunteering and kindness in the community. We may be small, but we are thorough. 
You have an opportunity to join in with the First UMC family to have a great Fall Fete. Not only will we help raise money; more importantly, we will introduce new people to a church that has fun! Please consider what part you can play. Don’t tell me you are too old…PRAY. Don’t tell me you are too busy…so are most of us. Don’t tell me you don’t have anything to offer…GREET. Don’t tell me you can’t think of anything…we have some ideas you can use. 
Let us replace our worry with FAITH as we make it!
Sue Dietz

Fall Fete 
Please join the fun! 
A Fete is a gala day · garden party · bazaar · fair · feast · festival · jubilee · 
Keep September 28 open for a fall celebration at the church. Plans are only forming but it is hoped to have a bake sale, craft and art sale, small yard sale, games and any other things you can think of for raising money for the general account and introducing folks to First UMC. 
Please contact Julie Blanton or Sue Dietz if you want to help plan and/or contribute to the craft and art sale
We need a few folks who enjoy working on publicity including posters, tv and radio and newspaper. 
How about a group sponsoring a bar-b-que sandwich and drinks sale?
If we work together and contribute our own talents, we could have an outreach time and help raise some money for the church. This is being sponsored by the Finance Committee. 

Children’s Ministry
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. 
From a Parishioner’s Pen
My mind is an interesting place to wander around in. While not very well organized, it is filled with a wonderful collection of treasures, useless things, a little garbage and a thousand little ditties and old songs. 
If you would indulge me, I will share with you some of my reflections on prayer.
God is good. God is great. Kneeling beside my bed, hands folded, eyes closed. The Lord’s Prayer. Sweet Hour of Prayer, Let’s Just Have A Little Talk With Jesus. The prayers of a righteous man availeth much.  Prayers Answered. “Be careful what you pray for, you might get it.” Don’t pray for patience, you will be tested. Unanswered prayer.
Do you have a room like this in your heart? 
There is no wrong way to pray. There have been times in my life when I couldn’t pray. I didn’t have the words. I was too fragile. Too stubborn to give in. Afraid that the answer wouldn’t fit my plans.
If you are in one of those dry spots, ask someone to do it for you. The body of Christ is wide and deep. It includes those beside you, those far away, and all those who have joined the church triumphant. 
God is alive and well. He is at work in his world. Be brave! Live dangerously! Pray! 
I will be praying with you and for you. I hope you will be doing the same.
Suzanne Goyette

From a Parishioner’s Pen
Only recently I forgave the imperfections in my parents that made them less than perfect in their parenting skills. 
My parents did many things very well. Dad was an excellent provider who moved his family onto a five-acre farm when he and Mom were young and we three children were very small. On this small acreage he created and maintained a private haven for us, planting rose bushes, oaks, walnut trees, sugar maples, white pines, assorted fruit trees and vines; and he planted a big garden every year, giving away much of the produce. He brought in various farm animals (including a pony – to everyone’s delight but his, since he and the pony frightened each other. The pony didn’t stay very long.) Dad dug a pond, built swings and leveled out a race track for go-carts. He labored, often seven days a week at General Motors, a job he said he hated, to take care of us all.
Mom was his right hand girl. She canned, froze, dried, baked, milked, churned, gathered eggs, killed and fried chickens, mowed, scraped snow from the driveway, entertained guests – whatever was required to keep it all together. Mom was a stay-at-home mother who cooked “from scratch” three times a day. She got her children up, washed, fed, dressed and on the school bus five days a week, and she accompanied us to church on the seventh. She sewed many of our clothes, and after a neighbor taught her to drive (when Dad’s impatient attempts failed), she hauled us to music lessons weekly. 
And, wow, how Mom loved my Dad, and vice-versa! 
Except on the days they didn’t. Except on days when angry words flew like razor blades through our house, leaving slow bleeds on everyone in it.
Our lives were not a mural of perfection. I have memories of words and actions which no longer can be repented of nor resolved that dug a trench deeply into my now-aged heart. For years these memories mingled with unmet longings for my parents’ acceptance and affirmation. 
This is the simple truth: My parents were sinners. Not only were they sinners, but so were their mothers and fathers before them. In fact, I cannot name a relative on either side of my lineage who was not or is not a sinner. 
This is my true confession: I am a sinner, too. As much as I desire and try to emulate the life of Christ, I know who I am, and I am not like Him. 
When I am honest, I must admit that, try as I might, I am not the perfect parent I had hoped to be, either. I wonder if my children feel some of those same longings that, in reality, no parent or significant other is equipped to supply?
Once during his sermon, a minister asked these questions: “Is it good to trust people all the time?”,“Is there anyone you can trust all the time?”, “Can you trust yourself all the time?” I answered “no” to all three. 
The apostle Paul said, “I have discovered this principle of life — that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:21-25)
Not because of any personal goodness, but because of Christ’s life-sacrificing love, I and others who put our trust in Him have become children of the most High and Holy God. We have been given His grace. It rains down freely, but never cheaply. 
And, isn’t it His love example and His Spirit power that enable us to forgive others who have done things to cause us pain, whether intentionally or non-intentionally? 
What an amazing truth this is for me and my family members who will be gathering at suppertime in heaven! 
Maybe it is time to allow this truth to be amazing for you and someone in your family, or for you and someone in your church family. 
Will someone pass the biscuits, please? 
Carol Johnson

Church Beautification Project
Our appreciation to Larry and Kathy Wagner, who, in loving memory of Kathy’s mother, Loetta Cornett, arranged for the beautification of the church berms. Thank you!

First UMC Monthly Financial Report
June 30 Balance: (-17,162.64)
Social Action Day
Gray United Methodist Church, Gray Tennessee
August 10, 2019
Pipeline to Prison: Krystal Gourley
Elder Abuse: Carolyn Phillips
Elder Abuse: Susan J. Sheldon
Questions? Contact Jonnie Faye Ball ~
Annual Meeting
Officer’s Training &
Spiritual Enrichment Experience
MeadowView Resort & Conference Center
September 14 – 15, 2019
Spiritual Leader
Reverend Sandra J. Johnson
Questions? Contact: Lisa Black ~

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
July 11-17, 2019
Thursday, July 11
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean – The Upper Room
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Friday, July 12
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, July 13
9:00am-Holston Quilters Guild-TH
Sunday, July 14
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 15
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, July 16
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, July 17
            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