Latest News – January 23-29 , 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
January 23-29 , 2020

Third Sunday after the Epiphany

January 26, 2020
Matthew 4:12-23

Calling and Casting

Dr. Alan L. Gorrell
From the Pastor's Pen
Resurrection. It’s the most inexplicable mystery in the gospels. It’s so important that all four retell it, even that weirdo, John. It’s so central that Paul won’t stop harping on about it. Resurrection is essential to positing the deity of Christ.

Resurrection is also a great big youth retreat happening this weekend.

For the past thirty or so years, a massive number of teens has descended upon Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge for a rally that will be their spiritual high for the whole year. Probably. It’s huge. It’s loud. It’s in your face.

It’s really all a bit much.

I suspect that our young people are increasingly cynical of attempts to manipulate their emotions in such obvious ways as the lights and music and preaching of Resurrection has been designed to do. Now, my suspicion may be strongly influenced by my own perspective, but I think it’s worth considering, at least.

For recent years, Resurrection has employed a Quiet Room, a low-sensory zone for youth (and adults) who are overwhelmed by what can become oppressive stimuli in the concert hall. I don’t remember that being a need when I went to Resurrection in the ‘90s. Folks who weren’t fans of the noise and light just sulked, Daria-esque, until it transitioned into something more palatable.

A lot of young people today are accustomed to constant, swiftly changing stimuli. Recent science points to evidence that the barrage of digital information being constantly streamed at young people is actually rewiring their brains. They think differently from every generation that has preceded them.

But that stimulus overload is entirely different from what happens at Resurrection. We can control the stimuli coming from phones and tablets and computers and televisions and headphones. In the concert hall, the sound and fury is inescapable.

Now, that kind of overstimulation isn’t something everyone experiences at Resurrection. My experience in recent years is that most of the crowd still goes for the rock and roll and the lights and the mosh pit and the screaming and the singing along with music so loud you can’t hear your own voice. And it’s not just the youth leaders who are trying to relive their childhoods. It’s the young people learning how powerful a shared experience can be with a few thousand of your closest friends.

So I ask you to pray for them. Pray for these young people and their mentors and chaperones. Pray for the city of Pigeon Forge and all the off-season employees who are about to be extremely busy. Pray that the Spirit transforms lives. Pray that every person involved in this weekend’s experience sees the face of Jesus at some point. Pray that, as they come home from this extraordinary weekend, they might find themselves re-created in a way that cannot be written off or trampled upon.

Pray for these young people, particularly. They are not just the future of the Church. They are her present: brilliant and shining lives that we cover and shade at the risk of losing our own souls. Listen to them. Take them seriously. Let their transformation transform you.

Pray for Resurrection, friends. Don’t stop. Pray without ceasing. Even after we all come back, grumpy and exhausted, keep praying. We’ll need it.


This Week's Feed the Hungry Offering Is
for Local School Missions.

This fund helps families in need within the Bristol School System.
Blessing Bundles Fundraiser for Recovery Road

How does this work? Contribute $15 per Blessing Bundle

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
John 1:29-42 Look! The Lamb of God!
by Rev. Brandon Berg
Great is Thy faithfulness
O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not
Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been
Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me.
~Thomas Chisholm
Pastor Brandon and Sue Bryngelson
Brave Cold Weather for MLK Day March
(Sue is behind the camera.)
Yoga Stretch & Strengthen Class
Yoga Class had fun at playing “Goat Yoga.”
Homebound Committee Meeting Set

Thursday, January 23
10:30 a.m.
Church Library

Pray for our youth and their leaders
who will be attending


Martha Circle
Tuesday, January 28
6:00 p.m.
Tankersley Hall
Bring a snack to share!
The Reverend Leah Burns will be facilitating a two-session discussion and workshop based on Ibram X. Kendi’s new book: How to Be an Anti-racist. In the book, Kendi states that “the only way to undo racism is to identify and describe it—and then dismantle it”. He goes on to say that “racism has always been terminal and curable”…and that cure is what this workshop seeks to enable.
Participants in this workshop will wrestle with and discuss answers to questions such as:
–What is the historical context of racist ideas?
–How do we heal and repair the damages done over generations?
–How do we continue to propagate these ideas in our relationships, in our institutions, churches, schools and communities?
–What are the intersections between race and gender, race and class, and race and sexuality?
–How do we uproot racism from our communities and society—starting with ourselves?
–As facilitator for these workshops, I plan to push the group to develop strategies to move the conversation of anti-racism to a place where people develop engage in and implement solutions.
Come if you are able on February 2 and February 9 and invite others.
Next Group of "Eight" Outing Planned
Saturday, February 15 at noon.
Alfredo's Restaurant
Please RSVP to Kathy Wagner.
Ministers Convocation
Flourish: Health and Growth for Every Church
February 17 – 19
Pigeon Forge, TN
May 5-15, 2020
Holston Annual Conference
June 7-10, 2020
Lake Junaluska, NC
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 23-29, 2020
Thursday, January 23
10:00am-Homebound Committee-Church Library
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room

Friday, January 24
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:00pm-Girl Scouts-TH
6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio

Saturday, January 25

Sunday, January 26
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-Choir Room
Monday, January 27
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, January 28
6:00pm-Martha Circle-TH
Wednesday, January 29
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