The latest news for you

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
October 24 – 30, 2019
Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
October 27, 2019

Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector Icon
Luke 18:9-14
Righteousness and Self-Righteousness
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
I’m not on social media much. When a social media app on my phone has a red dot with a number inside it, I’ll open the app and see what notifications it’s pointing to. Then I go back to what I was doing. I just don’t want to commit the time to keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else is being widely used in this particular moment.
Occasionally, though, I’ll come across something fascinating when I’m in one of those rare still moments in between things. You know, like waiting for the school bus to get to the bus stop, waiting for an appointment, things like that. Then I’ll scroll through a social media feed to see if there’s anything interesting.
Last week, there was.
I follow some interesting people on Twitter, typically people who think deeply and write in contexts that aren’t primarily electronic. The way my feed worked out last week, two pretty different characters had two very different approaches to experiencing the present moment:

I hope I spend more time experiencing the present with joy and relish than feeling like I’m imprisoned by it, but I know that feeling of being trapped has a way of creeping in and wrapping itself around me unknowing until I find myself suddenly encased and suffocating.
Maybe that resonates with you.
Maybe what I need to remember in those moments is that they are only momentary. Maybe that is the wisdom in the observation that Dr. Tyson offers. The future into which we are traveling, that is, in every moment, becoming the present, is a promise of freedom and hope. I am not trapped in this moment, but am always moving away from it, out of a past to which I may never return and into a future full of nothing but potential.

What I need to do is look for that hope. What I need to do is grasp for that joy. What I need to do is recognize how God is present in this moment, journeying with me into unknowing.
I need that presence today. I hope you can find God with you, too.

This Week’s Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry offering this week is for Local School Missions.
This fund helps families in need within the Bristol School System.

The 5th Annual Chili Cook-off, sponsored by FUMC Youth,
is this Sunday, October 27, starting at 11:00 a.m.
in Tankersley Hall
Walk-in entries accepted
BUT . . .
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

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!
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!

All Saints Sunday – November 3
On Sunday, November 3, we will remember our First UMC members who are now with our Lord with a special bulletin insert to honor them. If you would like to include your loved one on this special day, please submit the following to our church office no later than Monday, October 28.
  1. Photo of the member
  2. Full name of the member
  3. Your relationship to him/her
  4. Date of passing
If you would like to make a donation in memory of one of our deceased members, please include the information below:
  1. Name of the deceased member
  2. Name of the contributor
  3. Write “Saints” on the memo line of your check.
All photos will be returned.
All memorial gifts will go to our general budget.

Charge Conference
Sunday, November 17
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Weaver Memorial
United Methodist Church
132 Peoples Road
Bristol, TN 37620

Paper Recycling
Do you have an interest in helping to recycle
paper at church? We need a person or two who will keep an eye on recycling bins and transport when full.
Join the discussion by emailing Rev. Brandon
or Julie Blanton.
423-652-2811 or 423-914-9820

Last Sunday Was Laity Sunday
Message by Rev. Caleb Frazier of the ETSU Wesley Foundation
from Genesis 32: 22-31, A Divine Rumble

First UMC was blessed to have Rob Wright sing for us
Oh, Rest in the Lord by Felix Mendelssohn.
Rob has only one more Sunday with us before moving to
Thailand. Rob, you will be greatly missed by your
family and friends at First UMC!

This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on,
time to believe what love is bringing,
laying to rest the pain that’s gone.
For by the life and death of Jesus, God’s mighty Spirit, now as then,
can make for us a world of difference,
as faith and hope are born again.
Then let us with the Spirit’s daring, step from the past and leave behind
our disappointment, guilt, and grieving,
seeking new paths, and sure to find.
Christ is alive, and goes before us to show and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings;
our God is making all things new.
~Brian Wren, 1978

ETSU Wesley Foundation
Each fall, thousands of students attend ETSU. Many of these are young adults who are building a foundation for their future. They are seeking guidance as they ask important question like …
What do I want to do as a career?
What am I looking for in a potential spouse?
What do I believe about God and the church?
Wesley’s mission is to invite students to be a part of their campus ministry, provide space and direction for their most important questions, and engage students in the church for a lifetime.
Wesley has done this for countless young people who can now point back to this ministry as a crossroads that changed their lives.
For generations, Wesley has offered Christ to and changed lives of young adults.
Would you like to help? You can give online at or mail a check to ETSU Wesley Foundation, 1100 Seminole Drive, Johnson City, TN 37604.

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.

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

November 4, 2019
9:15 a.m. King University Memorial Chapel
The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History
7:00 p.m. Lee Street Baptist Church, Bristol, VA
Racial Reconciliation and Christian Witness

The Frederick Buechner Lecture-November 18, 2019
9:15 a.m. King University Memorial Chapel
Receiving the Saints: Augustine and Monica through Painters’ Eyes
4:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN
A Conversation with James K. A. Smith
7:00 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN
Testimony as Poetry, Augustine the Artist

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 24-30, 2019
Thursday, October 24
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
6:00pm-Girl Scouts-Tankersley Hall
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Friday, October 25
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
 6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, October 26
Sunday, October 27
9:30am-Sunday School 
9:30am-The River Contemplative Worship-Tankersley Hall
10:00am-Common Ground Worship-Chapel
11:00am-Traditional Worship Service-Sanctuary
11:00am-5th Annual Youth-Sponsored Chili Cook-off-Tankersley Hall
12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal
Monday, October 21
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, October 22
 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-Tankersley Hall
Wednesday, October 23
6:30pm-Youth Activity-Tankersley Hall

            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