Latest News – November 21, 2019

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

November 21-27, 2019

Christ the King Sunday

November 24, 2019
Battle of the Milvian Bridge, between Constantine the Great and Maxentius in 312 A.D. by Raphael Sanzio

Luke 23:33-43

Christ is King

Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor's Pen
I had the honor, a few weeks ago, of presiding over the wedding of a couple friends. It was a very small service involving the couple, a photographer, a friend who helped the bride prepare, and me. The weather turned out to be pretty dismal, but we enjoyed it anyway. The photographer had possibly the greatest challenge. He had a long list of shots he wanted to achieve. I know that would be a headache for some couples, but these friends are also experienced photographers; they wanted him to pull out all the stops, which he made a real effort to do.

It was fascinating watching him work, but even more thrilling was coming to the celebration of marriage last weekend and seeing the fruit of his efforts. Select pictures from the day were planted on tables all around the party venue. He captured the excitement we shared that day; the humor we maintained between drizzly, cool rain showers; and the light…

I wish I had the know-how or even a minimal understanding of how a photographer can capture and filter light so I could explain what he had done. Some of it was related to the ambient light we were gifted that day, but most of the beauty he accented in those images was due to his own extraordinary skill.

The moments he captured that day caught his imagination in a particular way, and he knew exactly how to communicate that into film and onto paper.

It’s a gift. It is an extraordinary gift.

I’m thankful for artists like him. I’m thankful for people who see and hear and experience things from a specific perspective and find a way to express what they experience in a medium they comprehend. Neil Gaiman, a few years ago, put it this way:

Most of us only find our own voices after we've sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. (Commencement speech at The University of the Arts, May 17, 2012)

You see the world from a specific perspective. No one else sees it through your eyes, but sometimes, you might have the opportunity to share how you see it. Maybe someone else will find it beautiful, too. Maybe your perspective can broaden someone else’s imagination.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that you ought to blurt out everything you see. A little self-control and tact can go a long way. But sometimes, in your own best medium, it can be a real gift for you to share a little piece of your world.

Our photographer from that wedding had been practicing his art for a long time. He had invested a lot in it. But he had to start somewhere.

So should we.

Use your gift, friends. Share it. What you see and hear and understand is God’s gift of perspective to you. If you can bring a little joy and understanding to the world by sharing it, I think it’s worth the effort.

This Week's Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry offering for today is Local School Missions.
This mission helps families in need within the Bristol School system.
Send a Card to and Pray for Someone Today
All of us know how wonderful it feels to hear from a friend – anytime – just to know they are thinking about us and maybe to hear some of their latest news. This is especially true if sickness has kept someone away from family and friends they have loved.

Here are some beloved FUMC friends who are dear to us, but who currently are not able to worship with us. As the Lord lays it on your heart, would you lift up special prayers for them this week? Would you send them a note/card and tell them so?

As you think about these and others you have missed, call the church office. We will share addresses so that we, all of us, may stay in contact by way of cards.
John and Frances Coppedge
Jack Ford
Oakmont at Gordon Park
Last Sunday at First UMC
Message by Rev. Brandon Berg
from Luke 21:5-19, What Sign Will You Give Us?
For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice for ever in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.

Before they call I will answer,
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
They shall not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain,
says the Lord.
~from Isaiah 65
The beautiful flowers on the altar Sunday were given by
Sue Bryngelson in memory of Lynn Bryngelson's November 12 birthday.
Donna Camper has completed her coursework for becoming a
deaconess in the United Methodist Church. We are blessed at
First UMC that Donna plans to serve here!
There'll be joy in the morning on that day.
There'll be joy in the morning on that day.
With the light of the dawn the darkness is gone.
There'll be joy in the morning on that day.

There'll be love and forgiveness everywhere.
There'll be love and forgiveness everywhere.
And the way of the Lord will that day be restored.
There'll be love and forgiveness everywhere.
~Natalie Sleeth
For those of us who have poured soul and spirit
into this fellowship and this space,
Jesus's words are a hovering threat:
As for the things you are admiring,
the time is coming
when not even one stone will be left upon another.
All will be demolished.

What we're looking for is a sign that gives us comfort;
something that says:
those words don't apply to us,

But we hear you, Lord.
Following you doesn't guarantee security.

Then go with this hope:
By holding fast, you will gain your lives.
Go trusting in the One
who is Way, Hope, and Life.
An Opportunity to Serve
First UMC will be serving at the Soup Kitchen during the first two weeks of December, Monday through Friday, 9:15 a.m. until finished. Take this opportunity to bless others and be blessed this Christmas season. To volunteer, contact Carol Taylor at 423.989.3574 or email
Next Group of "Eight" Outing Set

The next Group of "Eight" gathering
will be Saturday, December 14 at noon at Carrabba's Italian Grill in Johnson City. More information will follow.
Sunday, December 15, 11 a.m.
On the morning of December 15 during the 11 o'clock hour, Phil Haga and the Chancel Choir
will lead the church in a service of worship through music and scripture.
Join in as we prepare our hearts for Advent.
Come, let us adore Him, Christ, our Lord!
A Vision for the Church in 2020
By now you should have received a letter
from the Church Finance Committee.

We need your estimate of giving as soon as possible to build a budget. The future of the church is in God’s hands. The budget is in ours.

If you did not receive a letter, let Carol know. We will send one immediately.
Extra letters and forms are also available on the table in the church foyer. You don’t have to be a member to help.
Thank you in advance for helping. All gifts are appreciated.
End of October

-$25,049.35 General account
+3034.35 Designated reimbursement account
The Finance Committee has established a Designated Reimbursement account.
The seed money for this account was the money earned by the Fall Fete.
Since then there have been gifts from others in the church.
If you wish to contribute to this just mark your gift Designated Reimbursement.
This gift would be above your normal giving.
Hey, Matt . . .
Hoo-ray, it's your Birthday!
That would be TODAY – November 21
Have a totally wonderful day and year!
UMW Fundraiser
The UMW is selling knives with proceeds used for missions projects.
Think ahead for Christmas gifts.
Contact Kathy Wagner at (423) 323-5446.
Theatre Bristol presents “Miracle on 34th Street” this Christmas under the direction of Dottie Havlik, opening December 6 and running weekends through December 22 at Theatre Bristol’s ARTspace, 506 State Street, Bristol, TN, Tickets are on sale now.

Two of our First UMC members, Rebekah and Lara McGrady, are performing in this production. You won't want to miss it!
Camp Bays Mountain
Our community and local churches have a need that Camp Bays Mountain is fulfilling.
Last year forty-two campers made first time decision to follow Christ and thirty-nine indicated a call into ministry while at summer camp.

Consider a gift to enable Camp Bays Mountain to complete its funding.
When you give to camp, you are investing in the next generation.
Mail checks to Camp Bays Mountain, PO Box 2706, Kingsport, TN 37604.
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
November 21-27, 2019
Thursday, November 21
10:00am-Homebound Meeting-Library
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room

Friday, November 22
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:00pm-Girl Scouts-TH
6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio

Saturday, November 23

Sunday, November 24
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, November 25
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, November 26
8:00am-Men's Prayer Group-Tankersley Hall
6:00pm-Martha Circle-Tankersley Hall
Wednesday, November 27
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