The latest news for you

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
August 1-7, 2019
Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

August 4, 2019

Luke 21:1-4
Merciful Living
Paul Bowman

From the Pastor’s Pen

On Sunday afternoon, several of us from First UMC celebrated the installation of our incoming District Superintendent, the Reverend Jane Taylor. It was a beautiful service full of symbols of the office of the District Superintendent, grounded in scripture, and bringing together United Methodists from around the Clinch Mountain District in the sacrament of Holy Communion.
It was a good way to mark a time of change.
We seem to be surrounded by change. Big waves of transition are washing over our politics, our culture, our theology, and even our daily schedules. It can be difficult to find a routine to cling to when so many things seem so utterly out of control.
Or maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe your experience is that things are pretty steady right now. Maybe there’s something about my particular perspective that makes me feel like the disciples in the wind-rocked midnight fishing vessel in the moments before they scream at Jesus to wake him and beg him to calm the storm.
Or maybe being in the middle of a lot of change is making me forget that change is itself a constant in creation. There are patterns that are steady and historical trends that seem predictably circular, but all things are constantly in a state of transformation. Maybe what I need is to simply embrace the change that surrounds me.
That is something I had to learn early in my experience as a whitewater kayaker, actually. A river is constantly falling downstream, driven by the force of gravity. As it carves its way into gullies and gorges, it bounds around boulders and squeezes down chutes, filling in behind sharper corners in holes and eddies. If I choose to fight the river in the ways it wants to go, I wear myself out and don’t enjoy the river as much as I would if I let the current put me where it wants to go.
I have to embrace the flow of the constantly changing stream.
Maybe I just need to embrace the constant change that surrounds me. Maybe I need to find the places where it’s clear the Spirit is at work, and take on the role of John the Baptizer in pointing and hollering, “Look! There’s Jesus!” Maybe I need to work less on complaining about those places where the change is actually stagnancy and decline and decay, and work more on finding ways to help God redeem those situations.
I mean, surely if God can embrace this good creation and keep molding it into the Kin-dom of heaven, I can do my little part to embrace it as well.
It’s worth a shot.

If it seems that the newsletter is a bit short this week, it is. Our church computers/server/internet have been down since last Thursday. A technician from Charter Communications worked on it most of this morning, and with a little more tweaking, we hope to have it back in service by Thursday morning in time for preparation of Sunday’s bulletins.
Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry offering today is for Bristol Faith in Action. BFIA is a cooperative outreach ministry of the churches of Bristol and the local community, formed to serve any persons whose circumstances leave them with significant physical, social, emotional or spiritual needs.
Anderson Elementary
School Donations
There is a bin in the narthex through August 4th to donate school supplies. See the list below if you wish to contribute.
Crayons 24pk
Medium size pencil box
#2 pencils (No glitter or characters, do not sharpen well)
Glue sticks
Hand sanitizer
Clorox wipes
Sandwich bags
Elmer’s white glue
Safety scissors
Medium size backpack, no wheels
Paper towels
Wide ruled notebook paper
Colored pencils
Earbuds (for laptops)
Thank you!

The Church Gratefully Acknowledges these Gifts
in Memory of Shirley Olson
to the Memorial Fund
by Helen Holland and
Robert and Carol Wright
in Memory of Paul Lee
to Meals on Wheels
by Robert and Carol Wright

Fall Fete – September 28 
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. 

Estate Sale
Kathy and Larry Wagner are in process of liquidating Loetta’s estate. Although they will advertise publicly next week, Kathy would like anyone at church who is interested to come and look first. If you are interested, call Kathy and make arrangements for a time to come out. Also, if you know others at church who may be interested, let them know. Kathy’s cell number is (423) 534-6701. 
First UMC Monthly Financial Report
June 30 Balance: (-17,162.64)
2019-20 Holston Conference Handbook/Directory and Calendar

You can place an order for a 2019-2020 Holston Conference handbook/directory ($18 each) and/or Holston Conference calendar ($10 each). Call the office to have Carol order either (or both) for you. Write your check to First United Methodist Church.
One order will be placed to the District Office on behalf of the church.
Deadline to submit your request to FUMC Office is August 22.

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
August 1-7, 2019
Thursday, August 1
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Friday, August 2
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, August 3
Sunday, August 4
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, August 5
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, August 6
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, August 7
            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