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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
August 8-14, 2019
Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

August 11, 2019

Ten Virgins by Jorge Cocco Santángelo
Luke 12:32-40
Keep Your Lamps Lit
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen

Last Sunday morning, we awoke to the news of a second mass shooting in Ohio compounding the fear and helplessness we felt following a Saturday attack in Texas. A few years ago, those twin events would have sent us into a tailspin of horror and active calls for legislative response, but community-shattering acts of terror like them have become normal. In fact, these two attacks help keep 2019 on track to host more mass shootings than there have been days in the calendar year.
Is it callous to shield myself from shock of the news of 31 deaths caused by bullets ripping through people’s bodies? Is it unchristian to choose to focus on preparing my family for church rather than helping them process the 255th mass shooting in the country this year?
As Noah was cleaning up his breakfast, he caught me bemoaning the increasing difficulty of recycling our waste, and the problem of outsourcing the process to other nations. That, to his mind, wasn’t really a priority right now. Addressing the increasing level of violence in America was the thing we needed to deal with.
He’s not wrong, but it’s an unbalanced perspective. Addressing the attacks of the weekend was important. So was addressing the problems that led to the attacks. So was addressing our lack of recycling capability at our house. So was addressing his need to brush his teeth and hair that morning.
Which of those things could I do something about at that moment?
I’m not great at multitasking. I’m not even good at it. In fact, I’m pretty abysmal at it, but at any given time, I couldn’t count the number of projects and tasks I have ongoing and active. The state of my physical desktop testifies to that. Things move closer when I’m dealing with them immediately, and they move a bit farther away when I’m setting them aside to deal with later.
I have to deal with what I can do right now, with what needs to be addressed immediately. I’ll miss some things sometimes, and some things won’t get the attention they deserve, and some things will be done well. Looking back at any given moment, I may find I’ve made both poor choices and good choices.
I’m not trying to make sure my kids get a substantial breakfast because I don’t care about the lives lost in El Paso and Dayton. It’s just what needs to get done in that moment. There will be time later that I need to set aside to address those acts of terror.
In fact, that needs to start, I suppose, by recognizing that both attacks are exactly that: acts of terrorism. What else can we do? We can pray, but we have to remember that prayer is an act of communication, of listening for revelation and inspiration. We need to expect that an act of prayer will lead to an act of mercy or healing or forgiveness or advocacy. Prayer will transform us so we can become agents of holy transformation.
I don’t know what that transformation will look like for you, but I expect that it may involve a phone call or email to a local, state, or national representative. It may involve taking advantage of leadership weaknesses in lobbying groups to push for change. It may involve finding those places and people who offer counseling or therapy to grieving families or to people with violent ideologies or tendencies. It may simply involve transforming the language we use to be less confrontational, less belligerent, and more like the hope that proclaims, “the Kingdom of heaven has come near.”
There are things you can do. There are things you need to do. There are things God is calling you to do right where you are with the gifts you have. Don’t worry about what you can’t do. Take control of what you can.
That’s how God needs to use you.

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.

for participating in our Anderson Elementary School
supply donation project.
The supplies were delivered on Monday.
Your generosity and support of our neighborhood children is so appreciated!

Come out on Saturday, September 28, 10am to 4pm and join the fun at First United Methodist Church of Bristol’s

First Annual Harvest Fete Fundraiser.

Celebrate the Autumn season with old friends and new, play some games, score some deals, and get a jump start on holiday shopping!

① Do you have old yard signs…political, yard sale, for sale…you will give us? Please bring to church and leave in the Narthex. We will gather and repurpose them for Fall Fete advertising.
② Tables for those wishing to sell arts and crafts are for rent for $20. All proceeds from the sales go to the seller.There will be only 15 to 20 tables available, so contact Rebeca McGrady or Julie Blanton soon.
③ Do you have freezer space to store some cookies, bread, cakes or cupcakes for the bake sale? Can you whip up some yummy baked goods for the sale? The UMW will keep you informed where and when baked goods should be at the church. All donations will be appreciated!
④ How about volunteering to join other cooks in our wonderful church kitchen close to the Fete date to help bake corn breads to go with the chili for takeout?
⑤ FUMC crafters and artists: We will have a table to offer your donated works of art for sale. All proceeds from this table will go to the General Fund. All wood workers, painters, quilters and crafters are invited to participate.
The Fall Fete will be held on Saturday, September 28 from 10 am to 4 pm. Can you volunteer to help where needed that day? Please contact Sue Dietz so we can plan on just the right spot for you.

First UMC Monthly Financial Report
July 31 Balance:  (-$18,378.78)
Worship at the River Last Sunday
Paul Bowman of the Holston Foundation spoke to us about
Merciful Living. Our text was Luke 21:1-4,
about the Widow’s mite.

Prayers were offered for children and teachers returning to the
classroom, and a blessing of the backpacks.

Special prayers were said for our
friends and loved ones, and
for our nation and world in crisis.

Traditional Worship Last Sunday
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices;
who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
and keep us still in grace, and guide us when perplexed;
and free us from all ills, in this world and the next.
~Martin Rinkart, 1663

During the Children’s Sermon, Mrs. Goyette taught about baptism and life
 in Christ. We take off the old life and put on the new.

Prayers were lifted for all children and teachers returning
to school this week.

The Holston Foundation presented a grant check to Leferne Preptit for
Help for Haiti in the amount of $2000.00.

In remembrance of Me eat this bread
In remembrance of Me drink this wine
In remembrance of Me pray for the time
When God’s own will is done.
In remembrance of me heal the sick
In remembrance of me feed the poor
In remembrance of me open the door
And let your brother in, let him in.
Take eat and be comforted
Drink and remember too
That this is my body and precious blood
Shed for you, shed for you.
In remembrance of me search for truth
In remembrance of me always love
In remembrance of me don’t look above
But in your heart, in your heart
Look in your heart for God.
Do this in remembrance of Me
~Robert Kochis

A member recently captured this picture of a guard lion
protecting our church.

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
Saturday, 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 ~

The Next Outing of
the Group of “Eight”
is Saturday, August 24
at Noon
at Gourmet and Company
Mountcastle Drive
Johnson City, TN

A Community Worship Service

Sunday, August 25, 6 p.m.

First Baptist Church, Bristol, VA

A reception will follow

There will be a food collection as well as a monetary offering that will go to the Bristol Food Pantry in memory of Dr. Frank Aichinger.  

Please come and be a part of this celebration of our community.

Love One Another
John 13:35
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
September 28, 2019
East Tennessee State University Mini Dome
Adoration 2019 is a one-day conference in the fall when church congregations, pastors, community leaders, college students, outreach organizations, families, and thousands of citizens come together for a common purpose: to celebrate Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through prayer and worship and to collaborate on how to restore Appalachia from drug abuse. Adoration 2019 is the third large gathering hosted at the East Tennessee State University Mini Dome by the non-profit organization, Adoration Life. If you have a heart for the Body of Christ, prayer, worship, the drug epidemic, and helping others, Adoration 2019 is for you! Looking for 1,000 Church Representatives, you can help us by registering to be the representative for your church at
Purposes of event:
To Worship Jesus Christ
To serve the Body of Christ
To Restore Appalachia from Drug Abuse
What we are looking for?
1,000 Representatives from 1,000 churches to sign up online at and physically
attend the event. Each Rep. is symbol of his or her church and has to be approved by the church
leadership before signing up.
Event Schedule
 1:30 PM – Doors Open
 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Public Prayer Service
 3:30 PM – 5:45 PM – Organization Expo (Recovery Organizations)
 3:30 PM – 5:45 PM – Block Party with Food Trucks
 5:45 PM – 6:00 PM – Public Reading of Scripture
 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Main Event

If You Have Hearing Loss,
You May Benefit from a CaptionCall Phone

Per Penny Hudson: We have one now, and it is wonderful. You wouldn’t believe the difference it makes. The FCC taxes we pay on phone bills covers the cost and installation of these phones.
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 8-14, 2019
Thursday, August 8
10:00am-Homebound Team-Library
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Friday, August 9
12:00pm-BTCS Meetings-Library, Classrooms (until 5pm)
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, August 10
Sunday, August 11
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 12
3:00pm-BTCS Meetings-Library, Classrooms (until 8:30pm)
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, August 13
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, August 14
            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