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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
August 29 – September 4, 2019
Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

September 1, 2019

The Lowest Places at the Feast by Nelly Bube
Luke 14:1, 7-14
The Place of Honor

Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
I talk about Greek a lot because it’s the language of the gospels, and for that matter of the entire New Testament. Greek is not my go-to ancient language, though (Is it weird that I have a go-to ancient language?) When I think of the old words of the Bible in ancient language, I have to confess that I hear Latin.
Not classical Latin. Ecclesiastical Latin.
It’s really just because I’ve sung a lot of stuff in ecclesiastical Latin.
I’m thinking about that because of the pithy question Pilate fires at Jesus. I hear it in Latin: “Quid est veritas?” and not in the Greek: “Ti estin aletheia?”
What is truth?
Pilate is the representative of an empire that makes a practice of syncretism. When Rome comes along and conquers people, she doesn’t make them take on her own pantheon and mythology. She welcomes their pantheon into her own. There are so many Roman gods that a few more couldn’t possibly overcrowd the party.
The Roman system of beliefs happily swallows up everybody else’s. What is truth? It’s whatever you need it to be, as long as it doesn’t disrupt the pax Romana.
It would seem that Pilate’s a pretty reflective guy. He has an inkling that there is or there ought to be something more solid, more permanent, more fixed than what he represents.
What Pilate is looking for isn’t truth, it’s Truth. The question he ought to be asking isn’t, “Quid est veritas,” but “Quo est veritas?”
And, in this case, he is actively in conversation with Truth.
That’s our big centering point. Jesus is Truth. From there, however, the details filter through the heavens like refracted sunlight and break upon us in an infinite spectrum of different truths. The world looks a lot more orange at dusk. What we see depends on our environment.
How I hear Pilate’s question depends on my linguistic preference. Does it bring to mind a data protection agency or a Christian folk duo? How does that influence my understanding of truth?
My perspective matters. The language I hear matters. My environment and my background matters. All that feeds into my understanding of truth.
I know it’s a headache for some of us to come across people talking about their personal truth, and the manufacturing and slanting of facts has led to some surreal political arguments, but it would be irresponsible of us to deny anyone the perspective in which they live. That is real for them. What they see and hear and experience is true from where they stand.
And maybe what they experience can help inform our own perspective. The Dowager Countess of Grantham recently reminded me, “No one is ever in possession of the facts.”
(I apologize for quoting Downton Abbey.)
There is Truth. I am confident of that. I am also confident that I do not see Truth with perfect clarity. All I can proclaim is what I do see and understand, and I have to do that humbly and with the expectation that what I see and understand may not look like what someone else sees and understands, and that’s okay.
You hear truth in an Appalachian dialect, and sometimes I hear it in Latin. Some friends of mine hear it in Greek, and some in Korean.
As long as we’re all looking for Truth, I think we’ll be okay.

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry offering this week 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.

Ballad Health
Hospice House
Lunch Week
Sept 1-7

Thanks to Sue Dietz for getting folks signed up for food donations, and thanks to those who signed up to help!
Tip: call 844-5252 to see if food is needed on a particular day, as the need varies by census. 423-914-9820

Fall Fete

FUMC First Annual Harvest Fete Fundraiser

Saturday, September 28, 10am to 4pm


It’s Time to Get Excited!
We are just a little over 4 weeks out from our big event!
This is going to be fun! It’s also going to require some concentrated
effort from all of us! We need YOU! Find out where you can plug in and expend your energy! It will bless your socks off!
It’s Time to Gather . . .
items for the Jumble Sale.
Items that sell well this time of year are:
Gently Used Clothing (Fall and winter only!)
Fall and Christmas décor (ornaments, wreaths . . .)

Housewares and kitchen items
Remember – we have room at the church to store items prior to Fete.
It’s Time to Bring . . .
your previously used yard signs to the church.
They will be repurposed into Fete signs.
It’s Time to Bake . . .
Cakes, pies, bread, cookies, cupcakes….
Let Sue know what you plan to contribute. Bake now and freeze.
It’s Time to Volunteer . . .
to help where needed at Fete. Contact Sue Dietz.

The children of First UMC are excited to get back to Sunday School and the fun of learning more about following Jesus! Over the past year, though, changing family situations have decimated our teaching team.

That is where you come in.

Maybe God is calling you to teach. Maybe God is calling you to mentor. Maybe God is calling you to sit beside our young disciples and color along. It really can be that simple.

Can you help?

Pray and ponder, and if God is calling you, contact our Children’s Coordinator, Suzanne Goyette. We look forward to a bountiful harvest from fruitful young disciples!

First UMC Monthly Financial Report
July 31 Balance:  (-$16,559.79)
Worship Last Sunday
Message by Rev. Brandon Berg from Luke 13:10-17, Faith You Can Touch

We are not alone, we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In ife, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.


How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God and will still give thee aid,
I’ll strength and help thee, and cause thee to stand
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.”
~Rippon’s A selection of Hymns, 1787

Today you have drawn near to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant,
and he reaches out to touch and heal us.
Go from here, touched by Jesus,
and be healing to all the world.

Reading Buddies Orientation
Thursday, September 12, 5:30 p.m.
Tankersley Hall

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 Chancel Choir has begun to rehearse music for Christmas. We practice on Sundays at 12:15 p.m., immediately after the traditional worship service. Won’t you come and join us?
Dear Church,
I will on vacation beginning Thursday, September 5 through Thursday, September 12.
(I am going to Tampa to celebrate with my sister and her husband their 50th wedding anniversary. Shhhh. It is a surprise! After Tampa, I am going to London, Kentucky for a reunion weekend with college friends.)
A huge and heart-felt thank-you to Julie Blanton who will be completing and sending out the newsletter on September 12. Please send any items you wish printed in the newsletter for the week of September 5-11 to Julie.
I will publish bulletins for both September 8 and 15.
If you need assistance during my absence, the pastor will be available by cell phone. His number is printed at the bottom of weekly newsletters and on bulletins. I will be back in the office on September 17.
Blessings, Carol

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
Purposes of event:
To Worship Jesus Christ
To serve the Body of Christ
To Restore Appalachia from Drug Abuse
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

District Conference
September 29
3:00 p.m.
Pleasant View United Methodist Church

A Group of “Eight” enjoyed a wonderful luncheon at Gourmet and Company
last Saturday.
Our next outing is planned for Saturday, October 5 at La Cucina restaurant in Mountain City. Details to follow soon.

District Youth Festival of Gifts and Talents
October 20
4-6 p.m.
Emory & Henry College

November 3
All Saints Sunday
November 17
Charge Conference
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Weaver Memorial UMC

Hiwassee College Alumni Association, Inc. (HCAA, Inc.) is trying to contact all persons who attended Hiwassee College to keep them informed regarding efforts to revive Hiwassee and restore it to the service it was built upon.

Below are links and address for more information: (copy and paste) to send direct email fill out to be added to an information list

Hiwassee College Alumni, Inc., PO Box 65, Madisonville, TN 37354

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 29 – September 4, 2019
Thursday, August 29
1:00pm-BTCS Meetings- Library and Fellowship Classroom (until 8pm)
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
Friday, August 30
11:00am-BTCS Meetings- Library and Fellowship Classroom (until 6pm)
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, August 31
Sunday, September 1
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, September 2
1:00pm-Food Pantry Volunteers-Bristol Emergency Food Pantry (until 4pm)
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, September 3
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, September 4

            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