The latest news: February 6 – 12 , 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
February 6 – 12 , 2020

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

February 9, 2020
People Pouring Seawater on Salt Field During Sunset, photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh
Matthew 5:13-20

Making the World Better

Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor's Pen
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

The fruit of a plant is the evidence of its nourishment and tending. Plants, it turns out, need varying degrees of water, sunlight, fertilization, acid, and probably a host of other things to make them the best they can possibly be. I’m only slowly learning that, but I’m thankful for folks who are more committed to understanding gardening. The care we take of a plant, though, consistently is reflected in its fruitfulness, whether the fruit it bears is good for eating or good for looking at.

It’s interesting to hear Paul talking about fruit, since his professed specialties are study and tent-building. I guess everybody’s got a hobby.

When he writes to the church in Galatia, this is the image he uses. It’s probably a bit more palatable than a theological discourse would be. I beg your forgiveness when I and my colleagues tend a little too strongly in that direction.

Paul is thinking about fruitfulness. He doesn’t say it outright, but his image points back to Jesus telling the disciples, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit.”

Good fruit is nourished by God’s Spirit. Good fruit is evidence of our connectedness to Jesus. Good fruit is evidence that we are allowing ourselves to be tended by the Gardener.

Good fruit is evidence that we are trying to be fruitful.

And every good fruit that we bear makes us better at bearing other good fruit. The fruits of the Spirit make each other better. Becoming better at self-control allows us to be kinder to others. Being kinder to others grows our ability to love unconditionally. Loving unconditionally grows our patience with others and ourselves.

You can’t grow one fruit without making another healthier.

You also can’t starve one fruit without withering the others.

Be holistically fruity, friends. Let God’s Spirit make all your fruit healthier. Don’t starve your good fruit; starve your ugly, toxic fruit. Let God cut those things right out of your life.

The world needs more fruitful people. Be that. Counter the ugly around you with beauty and pure sweetness with no artificial flavoring. Be genuine and holy. Be fruity.

This Week's Feed the Hungry Offering Is for
Bristol Recovery Road for Women, Inc.
Bristol Recovery Road 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.
Thank You for Giving to Recovery Road!

What a successful campaign we had!

You helped provide the ladies of Recovery Road with a variety of new and high-quality kitchen supplies from Pampered Chef! They should be set on kitchen supplies for well into the future!

Again, a huge Thank You!"
A Special Offering for South Sudan
February 16
On Sunday, February 16, churches across the Holston Conference will take a special offering to continue our ministry with South Sudan. Your gifts are vital to continue this ministry. Without your gifts, the ministry may end.
Our goal is $150,000. However, thanks to the generosity of the Holston Foundation a $75,000 matching gift has been given. This means for every dollar you give your impact is doubled.

Watch the video below to see how United Methodists are impacting the lives of the South Sudanese in the name of Jesus. Please give generously on February 16.
Our Deepest Sympathy to the Family of
Don Glen Tankersley, Sr.
Please pray for the family of Don Tankersley, Sr., who passed on January 30. His family offers their thanks to all the people who have been so kind to them in the past several months.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 7, 2020, at Shelby Hills Cemetery in Bristol, Tenn., with the Rev. Clarence Dishman officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001, or online at by clicking "Donate" or to your charity of choice. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family and viewed by visiting Arrangements especially for Mr. Tankersley and his family have been made through Oakley-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory.
A Book Study Coming Soon to First UMC!!!
The Walk examines five essential spiritual practices rooted in Jesus’ own walk with God. How do we walk with Christ—daily follow him, grow in him, and faithfully serve him? In The Walk, Adam Hamilton focuses on five essential spiritual practices that are rooted in Jesus’ own walk with God and taught throughout the New Testament. Each of these practices is intended as part of our daily walk with Christ while also being an essential part of growing together in the church.
Read this excerpt from Chapter One of The Walk: Back in the mid-1600s, Christian theologians in England and Scotland created a document called the Westminster Catechism to teach and summarize what Christians believe about God and what it means to be human. It was written in a question and answer format. Perhaps the best-known question posed in the Westminster Shorter Catechism was, “What is the chief end of man [or humankind]?” The answer: “to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
We were created to display God’s glory. Our lives are only properly oriented when we are seeking to give glory to God, honoring, revering, and recognizing God as the source of our lives. Our praise is not merely in words, but from the heart and with every part of our being. We are meant to be a living hallelujah. In seeking to give thanks, to praise God not only with our words but also with our lives, rendering our worship to God, we find communion with God and the grace, strength, and love to live as his people.
About the Author:
Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, where he preaches to more than 8,000 people per week. Adam writes and teaches on life’s tough questions, the doubts with which we all wrestle, and the challenging issues we face today. He explores the “gray” areas that present themselves when the Bible’s teachings and life experiences cross paths.

Plan now to participate in this five-week study led by Pastor Berg.
Let's learn, or remember, together the practices of Jesus that will help us
in our daily walk with Christ and grow us together as a church.
What better way to journey – hand-in-Hand, and hand-in-hand,
through this season of Lent?

Last Sunday at First UMC
Matthew 5: 1-12 Blessedness for Fools
by Rev. Brandon Berg
With what shall I approach the Lord,
Do homage to God on high?Shall I approach the Lord with burnt offering,
With calves a year old?
Would the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
With myriads of streams of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for my sins?

God has told you, O mortal, what is good,
And what the Lord requires of you:
Only to do justice
And to love goodness,
And to walk humbly with your God.
~from Micah Chapter 6
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His word
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will, he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
~Daniel Towner
Friends, this life is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved
it is the power of God.

Go look for God empowering what is foolish in the world,
Go look for God choosing what is weak in the world,
Go look for God lifting up what is low and despised in the world;
Go with humbleness and goodness and mercy,
that the world might be blessed and turned on its head.
~from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
SPR Meeting
Sunday, February 9, 3.00 p.m.
Church Library
Trustees Meeting
Sunday, February 9, 4:00 p.m.
Church Library
Finance Committee Report January 2020

Balance as of January 31: ($1257.29)

Please note that we are beginning to build a deficit for the first month in 2020. Monthly giving will help us to see where we can expect to be in a few months. If you give through stock sales, etc. , please let the Finance Committee know so they may use that information to help calculate planning of spending. You are not asked to give an estimated amount. Carol can keep a list for the committee. She may be reached Tuesday through Thursday most weeks.
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?
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
February 26 St Luke UMC Jane Taylor, DS
March 4 Reynolds Memorial UMC Sean Glenn, Bluff City UMC
March 11 First UMC Natalie Justice, Marion, VA
March 18 State Street UMC David Jackson, Emory UMC
March 25 Addilynn Memorial UMC Annette Warren, Cedar Bluff UMC
April 1 Virginia Avenue UMC Estel Williams, Edgefield UMC
April 8 Sinking Springs UMC Mary K Briggs, Emory & Henry
Services 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Lunch served 12:30 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Everyone welcome.
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
February 6 – 12, 2020
Thursday, February 6
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room

Friday, February 7
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio

Saturday, February 8

Sunday, February 9
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
3:00pm-SPR Meeting-Library
4:00pm-Trustees Meeting-Library
Monday, February 10
4:30pm-Delta Kappa Gamma (until 9 pm)-TH
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, February 11
Wednesday, February 12
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