Latest News: February 13-19

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
February 13-19 , 2020

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

February 16, 2020
Matthew 5:21-37

Growing into Spiritual Maturity

Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor's Pen
I’m relatively prepared to address a lot of weird questions. I can offer guidance on theology and polity and all sorts of other fun stuff. There’s one type of question, though, that kind of boggles my brain, and it happens more frequently than one might hope.

Pastor, I haven’t seen Congregant X in a while. Do you know what’s going on with them?


I’m pretty human about keeping confidences. I try hard to be mindful of that, and I find it’s usually best if I just keep my trap shut if there’s any danger of sharing something that’ll turn into gossip.

So first, that wouldn’t be my sort of data to copy to you.

Second — and this strikes right at the heart of a lot of the problems a lot of our churches face — if you’re wondering about somebody, just speak to them yourself.

What nags me about that isn’t so much that it puts me as an emissary between people. Fine. I can do that when I need to. What bugs me is that it’s a symptom of a chronic illness in our communities. Community is about relationships. Relationships require communication. If we’re not communicating with each other, we’re not in relationship. If we’re not in relationship, we don’t have community.

Now, I know we’re busy. I know we’ve all got a lot going on. But it’s stunningly easy to make an attempt to reconnect with someone. There are a lot of media through which we can make that happen, and some of them take very little time and effort.

But try. Don’t lean on somebody else to do it. Perhaps you are here for such a time as this. Reach out with a call, a text, a message, maybe even a visit. Building and maintaining this community is on all of us. We share that responsibility.

So the next time somebody comes to mind, assume it’s a little nudge from the Spirit. Reach out. Make contact. Show them you care.

It’ll make a difference.

On Sunday, February 16,
Our Feed the Hungry Offering
Will be taken for South Sudan
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. The ministry has been expanded to assist South Sudanese refugees who have fled into neighboring countries.
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.
A Book Study Coming Soon to First UMC!!!
How do we walk with Christ—daily follow him, grow in him, and faithfully serve him?
Plan now to participate in this five-week study led by
Pastor Berg.

If you have not already done so, please respond to the survey sent to your email by Pastor Brandon requesting your thoughts on this study and others to follow. We want to accommodate as many as we can!
"Sacred Conversations on Race:
Working Toward a Beloved Community"
April 26
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Pleasant View UMC
Dear Pastors,
On April 26, from 2-6 pm at Pleasant View United Methodist Church, the Clinch Mountain District will host "Sacred Conversations on Race: Working Toward a Beloved Community" sponsored by the Holston Conference Outreach Advocacy Team.
We seek to live into our Baptismal covenant and answer the question “Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?”
This excellent program will include dialogue about the structures and history of racism in the United Methodist Church, what it means to benefit from white privilege, and how we can become a beloved community—with equality AND equity. We are called be ONE BODY in Christ Jesus.
Pastors, you are expected to attend this event. If you are unable to attend, please let me know (and the reason). This is important work for the church to engage in. It would be wonderful if at least one lay person could also attend.
Jane Taylor
Clinch Mountain District UMC
Last Sunday at First UMC
Matthew 5: 13-20 Making the World Better
by Rev. Brandon Berg
Isn't this the fast I choose:
releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke,
setting free the mistreated,
and breaking every yoke?

Isn't it sharing your bread with the hungry
and bringing the homeless poor into your house,
covering the naked when you see them,
and not hiding from your own family?

Then your light will break out like the dawn,
and you will be healed quickly.
Your own righteousness will walk before you,
and the Lord's glory will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and God will say, "I'm here."

~from Isaiah 58
To those huddled in the shadows of fear and worry,
God sends us to be light.
To those whose lives and hopes have lost all flavor.
Jesus sends us to be salt.
To a society where love is tossed aside as easily as a food wrapper.
Spirit sends us to be faithful carers of everyone we meet.

(c) Thom Shuman
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.
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 13-19, 2020
Thursday, February 13
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
6:30pm-Mankind project-Youth Room

Friday, February 14
5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio

Saturday, February 15
9:00am Holston Quilters-TH
11:00am Girl Scouts-TH

Sunday, February 16
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, February 17
4:30pm-Delta Kappa Gamma (until 9 pm)-TH
6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Tuesday, February 18
Wednesday, February 19
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