Latest News – Jan 9-15, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
January 9-15 , 2020

Baptism of Christ Sunday

January 12, 2020
Matthew 3:13-17

My Child, the Beloved

Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor's Pen
There is an ongoing conversation in the running community about how potentially helpful technology and metrics are for a workout. Once upon a time, not too long ago, runners would lace up some shoes and step outside without starting a watch or a phone app. Some more dedicated runners might start a stopwatch on a digital watch to get a careful reading of their entire elapsed time. They could compare that to the distance they knew their route would take. That requires careful planning, of course. Especially in our region, roads that curve around mountains and follow winding streams are difficult to measure. A runner could, potentially, drive a route ahead of time to check the distance, but the way a car follows the road isn’t the same as the way a runner does. There is some variation in the measurement.

This morning, I left my phone on the kitchen counter, uncovered my watch and opened Strava, my running app that connects me to a social network of other athletes, and touched the start button as I left the driveway. My watch is smart enough to know when I have to pause for traffic to cross Volunteer Parkway, and it restarts again when it senses that I’m moving. I don’t have to stop and restart a stopwatch, and I don’t have to work to find the distance of a particular route. The Global Positioning and motion sensing technology built into the watch do the job for me.

The other side of the technology conversation reminds us that our dependence on technology and metrics can sometimes be a stressor of their own and can take some of the joy and freedom out of the sport. Many, and possibly most runners choose the sport specifically because it gives us a moment of pause, a period of the day when we step away from busyness and stress to find a little relief, and maybe some cathartic self-abuse that will make us emotionally, spiritually, and physically stronger.

Can we experience that freedom if we’re tethered to metrics with a device that can receive and send all our communications even when we leave the rest of the technology at home? When my watch dings to let me know I’m receiving a text, I can choose either to pause and review it or to keep going and ignore it. I’ll usually choose the latter, because the run is my priority in that moment. I will glance at it, though, just to make sure it is something I can ignore. And so I let the busyness and stress in for a moment.

I’ve gotten very bad at setting aside time to fully pause. I know how necessary it is. I have a strong sense why God commands us to sabbath. I just have a hard time doing it.

Maybe I need to leave the watch at home, or find out how to shut off the notifications I keep receiving while I’m running. I value the pacing and the record of the run, but I wonder if it would be more valuable to step out of contact completely.

I’m not going to offer advice one way or another about how you ought to sabbath. I’m just going to remind you that it’s important. I suspect each of us needs to find our own balance of connectedness and rest. I suspect that the balance is going to change over time and probably from day to day. But maybe that is as good a piece of advice as any I might give you today. Find your balance. Find your sabbath practice. Make it work for you.

Do what you need to let God’s Spirit heal you from the wear and tear of living in a broken world. But whatever that looks like for you, make sure that you do it.

You are too important to let yourself break down. God needs you. God will take care of you.

This Week's Feed the Hungry Offering Is for Recovery Road.
Bristol Recovery Road for Women, Inc. is a faith based recovery program
for women who have been released from jail, providing them a safe and
healthy place to live, job training, and other basic needs until they are
back on their feet again.
Blessing Bundles Fundraiser for Recovery Road

How does this work? Contribute $15 per Blessing Bundle

How many may I purchase? One, two, twenty . . . Options are limitless!

How will my donation be used?" Bundles will be combined to restock Bristol Recovery Road with new kitchen supplies. You can do this through PayPal., or give Karoline Berg your donation.

Get the complete story on WCYB’s website here
Last Sunday at First UMC
Your Light Has Come by Rev. Brandon Berg
Matthew 2:1-12
Arise! Shine! Your light has come;
the Lord's glory has shone upon you.
Though darkness covers the earth
and gloom the nations,
the Lord will shine upon you;
God's glory will appear over you.
Nations will come to your light
and kings to your dawning radiance.
~Isaiah 60:1-6
As the new year breaks upon us
and change begins to crest the horizon;
Let us open our eyes
and behold the glory of the Lord!

Go from here, friends, and be a people of hope,
for what the world needs right now
is the hope of the One who holds us all.
A Huge Thank You to everyone who came on this week and helped to take down Christmas decorations! Many hands make light work!
The River: A Contemplative Worship Service
First UMC has two worship services on Sunday Mornings.
The River meets at 9:30 a.m. in Tankersley Hall. It is a contemplative worship service, rich in scripture, pastoral message, music, and reflection. The Lord's table is observed weekly.
The Traditional Worship Service
The Traditional worship service meets in the sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. It is replete with hymns and traditions passed down through generations of Methodism and held in hearts. A choir assists Worship Minister Phil Haga in the singing of hymns and brings an anthem.

Pastor Brandon's sermons are based on scripture and follow church liturgy. They are relevant and speak to our daily lives. We observe the Lord's table on the First Sunday of each month.

Won't you join us this Sunday for one of these services?
You will be blessed!
Alan Gorrell is teaching an Adult Sunday School Class every week at 9:30 a.m. There is no adult age stipulation; younger and older adults are welcome! If you are missing Bible Study, join this class!

Sunday's lesson is about Ruth's Covenant with Naomi from Ruth 1:1-2:3:3; 4:1-20.

We begin each class by singing familiar hymns. Come; listen, discuss, and learn; sing and enjoy!
Worship Committee will meet on January 19 at 12:15 p.m. in the choir room. This will be our first meeting of the year to plan and organize worship events for 2020. All who are interested in being a part of this committee are welcome to attend.

Choir will not rehearse on January 19.
Good Time in Johnson City for Group of "Eight"
A Group of "Eight" gathered for a delicious meal and fellowship
at Carrabba's in Johnson City last Saturday.

Their next adventure is planned for Saturday, February 15 at noon.
The group will meet at Alfredo's Restaurant, 812 Commonwealth Ave,
Bristol, VA. Please RSVP to Kathy Wagner.
Elk Garden School Community Ministry has an immediate
need for these items:

Pasta sauce
Peanut butter
Toilet paper
Canned chicken
A collection bin is located in the narthex.
JANUARY 20–21, 2020
The Bristol Train Station Board, YWCA NETN and SWVA and APEC will host a community observance of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The commemoration event will be held on the national King holiday. Our theme, “The Legacy Lives” reminds us that the work Dr. King began is still important and unfinished. The celebration will bring greater awareness to Dr. King’s work and mission, promote unity and diverse participation within our community, educate, encourage and inspire deeper community dialogue, and help us to learn from the past.

Monday, January 20
1:30 PM : Gathering at Paramount Theatre on State Street
2:00 PM : March begins
2:30 PM : Program begins at Bristol Train Station
7:00 PM : Father Gregory Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles, CA*
"The Whole Language — The Power of Extravagant Tenderness" located at Lee Street Baptist Church — Bristol, VA

Tuesday, January 21
10:00 AM : Father Gregory Boyle*
"Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship" located at King University Memorial Chapel — Bristol, TN

*Sponsored by King Institute for Faith & Culture
Resurrection 2020 – January 24-26 – LeConte Center – Pigeon Forge, TN
Ministers Convocation
Flourish: Health and Growth for Every Church
February 17 – 19
Pigeon Forge, TN
May 5 – 15, 2020
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
January 9-15, 2020
Thursday, January 9
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room

Friday, January 10
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio

Saturday, January 11

Sunday, January 12
9:30am-The River Contemplative Worship Service-TH
9:30am-Shaw-Anchor Adult Sunday School
10:00am-Common Ground Worship-Chapel
11:00am-Traditional Worship Service-Sanctuary
12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal
Monday, January 13
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, January 14
Wednesday, January 15
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
    First United Methodist Church of Bristol Tennessee | 322 Vance Drive, Bristol, TN 37620