The latest news for you

News from First United Methodist Church, Bristol, TN

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
October 17 – 23, 2019
Laity Sunday

October 20, 2019

Jacob Wrestling With The Angel Of The Lord by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
Genesis 32: 22-31
A Divine Rumble
Rev. Caleb Frazier

From the Pastor’s Pen
It is gut-wrenching to me that everywhere I look, people seem to be doing their best to tear each other to shreds. In our politics, in our schools, in our churches, in every group or organization or workplace where people gather, people are inflicting violence on each other with their words and with their actions.
How did we get here, y’all?
Maybe that’s not the right question. Maybe that just puts me in the same camp as everybody else who longs for what feels like a better day we remember from our past.
Maybe the right question is, Where do we go from here?
I remain convinced that the right answer is to model the kind of community we want to see. Of course, if what you want to see is back-biting and gossip and slander, that’s a pretty easy thing to model. It feels great when you’re doing it. It feels justified and cathartic, like you can take on the world by chopping out the legs of one person at a time. It’s also a time-tested way to ensure that what you dish out is what is served back to you.
Violence begets violence. Slander begets slander. Gossip begets gossip.
Maybe that is, in fact, the kind of community you want to see. Maybe that’s the kind of world you want to live in. Maybe retribution and destruction are exactly the tools you want to use to set the world aflame until we are all incinerated in their fiendfyre.
That’s the way of the world.
Of course, we’re not called to be of the world. In it, yes, but not of it. That violence is not for us.
What we’re called to model is forgiveness. What we’re called to model is compassion. What we’re called to model is joy. What we’re called to model is understanding. What we’re called to model is all the fruits that are born of agape.
That’s what makes our space a sanctuary. It’s not the brick and mortar or the high ceilings or the crosses on the roof and the altar and hanging from the ceiling. It’s what happens inside. It’s the agape we show each other.
I’ve seen an agape community modeled well. It’s not something we get right all the time, but it’s something we can keep trying to do. The first time I saw it wasn’t in church, by the way. It wasn’t in youth group. It wasn’t in Young Life or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (I was never cool enough for them).
It was at Buffalo Mountain Camp. It was in that tight, intense Summer community where we found ourselves nurtured by each other and, because that’s how we found ourselves loved, we did our best to nurture our campers in the same way.
When I saw what that looked like, I started noticing it in other places. I caught glimpses of it at the Wesley Foundation at ETSU. I tried to embody it in other places I went, because it felt so much better than the other way of living.
I discovered that places where we model that kind of love are places where people are healthier and deeply happier. I discovered that those are places of blessing.
It’s a way of living that we have to learn together. You can’t do it on your own. It’d dependent on interaction, on sharing.
That’s what I hope we can build together. I hope we can build a community where everyone is welcome and embraced and built up and loved and forgiven. I’m convinced that that’s the way to shine light into a dark, cold world.
I really hope every one of you will join me in that effort. We won’t see God’s Kingdom come without it, and with it, every effort we make will make the veil between heaven and earth just a little more threadbare.

Feed the Hungry: Henderson Settlement
This Weeks’ Feed the Hungry
offering is for
The Henderson Settlement, a mission agency of the UMC within the Redbird Missionary Conference in Frakes, KY.
Their mission is to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through service to the community by meeting basic needs in Appalachia.
In 1925, Methodist minister Hiram Frakes came to the Laurel Fork Valley in Southeastern Kentucky with a dream of educational, economic and spiritual reform for the community.
Local families donated 123 acres of land, and Rev. Frakes started a school for the area children. That was the beginning of Henderson Settlement. Today it consists of 1,600 acres and provides multiple programs and activities for the community.
Click on the link below to learn more.

Recycling Expert Extraordinaire!
Do you have an interest in helping to organize a
recycling program at church?
Let’s use our paper and other recyclables more responsibly.
Join the discussion by emailing Rev. Brandon or Julie Blanton.
423-652-2811 or 423-914-9820

Worship Last Sunday
Message by Rev. Brandon Berg from  Luke 17:11-1 Promoting General Shalom

Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the dark of doubt away,
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

~Henry Van Dyke, 1907

Jesus, the very thought of thee with sweetness fills the breast;
but sweeter far thy face to see, and in thy presence rest.
O hope of every contrite heart, O joy of all the meek,
to those who fall, how kind thou art! How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah, this nor tongue nor pen can show;
the love of Jesus, what it is, none but his loved ones know.
Jesus, our only joy be thou, as thou our prize wilt be;
Jesus, be thou our glory now, and through eternity.

~Attr. to Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th Century

Here is where God has planted us.
Here is where we grow our faith.
Here is where our mission starts
and where we find nourishment.
Go from here, friends,
a people who recognize what has been handed to us,
and how it was brought about.

Meetings on Sunday, October 20
1:30 p.m. Finance Committee – Library
2:00 p.m. Administrative Council – Tankersley Hall
4:00 p.m. Board of Trustees – Library

Martha Circle will meet on Tuesday, October 22, at 6:00 p.m.
in Tankersley Hall. All women of the church are invited
to come. Everyone please bring a snack to share.

UMW Fundraiser
The UMW made over $300 on the sale of knives at the Fall Festival !!!
These high-quality knives are still available and make wonderful gifts.
Think ahead for Christmas . . .
Contact Kathy Wagner at (423) 323-5446.

The Youth are Sponsoring FUMC’s 5th Annual
Break out the beans, peppers, and your best chili recipe! Now’s your chance to show off your culinary skills and help raise some money for FUMC’s Youth Activities! Plus, an opportunity to win prestige and fabulous prizes!
The Cook-off will be held Sunday, October 27
in Tankersley Hall starting at 11 a.m.
To enter the cook-off: Bring your chili, cornbread, or dessert (1) entry to Tankersley Hall not later than 10:45 a.m. Be prepared to list ingredients for allergens and HEAT LEVEL!
To be a judge: come to Tankersley Hall October 27 from, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Bring your appetite and some Voting Money. (The dishes that raise the most money will be declared winners.)
The Winning Chili and Cornbread Chefs will receive
Bragging Rights and a Fabulous Prize!

New Category!!
Dessert Bake-off
Many people have graciously donated desserts at past cook-offs. Well, now you can compete, too!
The Winning Dessert Chef will receive
Bragging Rights and a Lovely Prize!
While we will definitely accept walk-in entries, it’s so much better for our organizers to BE PREPARED.
If you plan to enter, please email your name and the categories you will be competing in to

Balance end of 2018 -$9,457.92
Year-to-date 2019 -$17,197.49 
Total deficit -$26,655.90 
Fete earnings $ 1,770.42 
Total Balance as of September -$24,885.48 
Most General Budget spending this year has been for the building, parsonage, utilities, pastor insurance and pension, payroll and District/Conference payments. 
The Finance Committee will begin budget work for 2020 in October. Your ideas for committee members would be appreciated. 
Dale Dietz—Chair
Larry Wagner—Treasurer 
Jennifer Daniel—SPR Chair 
Alan Hale—Trustees 
Alan Gorrell–Ad Board and Conference Rep. 
David SweckerAt-large 
Ron Schoenhardt—At-large 
Julie Blanton—Missions Chair 
Sue Dietz—Lay Leader 
Brandon Berg—Pastor

Look Who Came to Church!
This is Jean Bentley’s pup, Marco, who visited The River on Sunday, September 29.

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

October 27
Youth Chili Cookoff
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
November 3
All Saints Sunday
November 17
Charge Conference
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Weaver Memorial UMC

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
October 17-23, 2019
Thursday, October 17
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
Friday, October 18
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:00pm-Girl Scouts-Tankersley Hall
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, October 19
9:00am-Holston Quilters’ Guild (until noon)-Tankersley Hall
Sunday, October 20
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
1:30pm-Finance Committee-Library
2:00pm-Administrative Council-Tankersley Hall
4:00pm-Trustees Meeting-Library
4:00pm-District Youth Festival of Gifts and Talents-Emory and Henry College
Monday, October 21
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, October 22
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-Tankersley Hall
6:00pm-Martha Circle-Tankersley Hall
Wednesday, October 23
6:30pm–Youth Activity

            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