Latest News: April 9-15, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
April 9-15, 2020
photo by Doris Ford

Easter Sunday

April 12, 2020
Matthew 28:1-10

Christ is Risen!

Rev. Brandon Berg
Schedule adjustment:

Morning worship at 11:00 a.m. via Facebook Live

The River and the Traditional service will not gather
until further notice per
Bishop Taylor.
Our virtual worship together will take their place
until our time of social distancing is lifted.

If you have not connected to FUMC via Facebook,
please go do that. You can also connect to Rev. Berg
on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram.
He will try to share uplifting and empowering things
on those media.
From the Pastor's Pen


The Three Days.

Triduum is an abbreviation of either Triduum Paschale or Triduum Sacrum. It begins today. It is the time when hope disappears from the cosmos. God has been executed by Rome at the demand of the Temple leadership.

Forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.

If Messiah had shown up as some military leader with any hope of defeating the sprawling empire of Rome, maybe — just maybe — the leaders and scholars of the Temple in Jerusalem would have decided to follow him; but that is not how God chooses to be with us. If Messiah had shown up that way, in fact, God would not have been with us, but above us, ruling over us, commanding us.

That is not how God chooses to be.

God chooses to come to us, to be particularly present with us, imminently in our most vulnerable moments, to show us by example how the better part of healing is forgiveness, the better part of teaching is imagination, the better part of leading is serving, the better part of reigning is suffering alongside our siblings. Those things are not just good leadership; they are good humanity.

God chooses to come to us and show us how broken our political and religious systems are by offering Godself to the very worst of their inclinations. Jesus guides those political and religious leaders to the only logical end their practices and systems ever could achieve, to their reductio ad absurdum, which is the same end that all systems of human design will ever have: Death.

We have killed God, and the world has turned dark.

We have extinguished the light of eternity.

So we find ourselves in the Triduum, the days of darkness, the days of hopelessness. We have done this, you and I. We have plunged the world into a night without end.

Do we realize what we have done? Do we hope for a savior even while we have killed him? Are we still looking for the dawn?

What do we think that dawn will bring? Who will there be to bring news that is good?

Three days. Jesus said something about three days. What did he mean by that?

Wait, friends. Wait and see.


While we are practicing social distancing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak,
FUMC will not be keeping regular office hours.
If you need to reach Rev. Berg, he will still be responding by email at
and by text or call (276) 237-6498
For Your Information…

Bristol's Promise has been around since the early 90's, finding areas of need in our community and starting initiatives that meet those needs. Several churches have asked how they can help our community.
Listed below are current opportunities:

1. Making face masks for donation to the United Way for
distribution to feeding sites, food pantries, etc.
2. The Salvation Army and Haven of Rest are in need of toilet paper, To-go Food Boxes, and food service gloves
3. The United Way is coordinating volunteers for many of the organizations. Visit their website for more information
4. Visit for a list of resources including food, financial, and basic needs information
5. Visit for a list of resources in our community
6. Child care for the essential workers in your church family.

Please join us for our Trauma Informed Community meeting via Zoom. This meeting brings many different organizations together so that we can be a Trauma Responsive Community. Sign up through our website:
Brandi B. Peters- Community Resource Navigator
(423)444-0622 Ext 701
The Walk
book study will resume via
Zoom HD video meeting
on April 15th.
Click on the link on our church Facebook
page to follow along.

Masks for Ballad Health
Our own Cindi Carnahan has been making cloth masks for donation to Ballad Health patients.

Ballad requested masks from the community, and Cindy was happy to put her creative skills to work.

Below is a link for instructions and a template if you would like to make masks as well.

Bristol Food Pantry Needs Help
The Bristol Emergency Food Pantry
is asking for volunteers in order to keep its doors open and it's volunteers safe.

Abbreviated hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1-3p.m.

Please call 423-571-4449 for
information about helping.
Stations of the Cross

Images representing the stages of Christ's passion and death.

Though we can't personally experience the stations in the sanctuary this year as we have in the past, please take a moment for reflection.
Stages One through Four
Stages Five through Eight
Lay Leader Weekly Report
by Sue Dietz

  • Easter Sunday as well as Holy Week services are available live and recorded

  • Please, be aware the worship services we see during Holy Week and Sundays are not open for us to attend. The Berg Famil;y is sheltered together, and musicians (Betty and Phil) follow safe distance rules. We don't want to lose Anyone to COVID-19

  • Thank you from the Finance Committee for continuing contributions from the congregation. There are envelopes available by the Tankersley Hall door; slip them into the building door.

  • We are in process of applying for a grant that would cover salaries and utilities for eight weeks. Please keep your church leaders in prayer that we may be guided to make the right decisions.

  • A big thank you to Julie Blanton for doing our newsletter and Tom Felty for keeping an eye on the church building and to Betty Curtis for her gift of music for our worship. I know there are others who are going above and beyond. Let me know who I have missed, and we will have a big shout out to them also.

Be safe, and know that you are loved.

Happy Anniversary
to the Bashams!

We hope that Russ and Beverly had a wonderful 67th anniversary celebration.

FUMC-Bristol Historical Note submitted by
Penny Hudson

"My eye always goes to the candle burning in the sanctuary. You know, the one next to the choir loft. When I look at the eternal flame, this verse comes to mind: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven- Matthew 5:16".

The Eternal Flame candle was given in memory of former church member Sue Ella Crawford.
Sue Ella was instrumental, with others, in launching Meals on Wheels at FUMC-Bristol in 1972. Sue Ella has been variously described as a sweet older lady who was a wonderful servant to children.
Included is a photo of her from the 1984 church directory.

In 2019 Alan Hale modified the Eternal Flame to be electric.

Holy Week at First UMC
Holy Monday, April 6
Holy Tuesday, April 7
Holy Wednesday, April 8
Maundy Thursday, April 9
Good Friday, April 10

All Services 6:00 p.m. via Facebook

General Conference to move to 2021

The Commission has determined that General Conference will not meet in 2020 as originally planned and will work toward
setting a date in 2021.

Holston Annual Conference

June 7-10, 2020

Lake Junaluska, N.C.

The conference has not been rescheduled as of yet; any changes will be posted.

Coming This Summer…
Worship at Sugar Hollow

July 12

Save the Date
Send Your Pictures and Announcements
to Publish in the Newsletter
Send your photos and announcements for the Newsletter
call Julie at 423.914.9820.
For each publication, information is
needed by noon on Wednesday.
April 9-15, 2020
Thursday, April 9
6:00pm- virtual Maundy Thursday Service via Facebook

Friday, April 10
6:00pm-virtual Good Friday Service via Facebook

Saturday, April 11

Sunday, April 12
11:00am virtual Easter Sunday Service via Facebook
Monday, April 13
Tuesday, April 14

Wednesday, April 15

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