Latest News: April 23-29, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
April 23-29, 2020
photo by Penny Hudson

Third Sunday of Easter

April 26, 2020
Michael Torevell; "Road to Emmaus"
Luke 24: 13-35

Weren't Our Hearts on Fire?

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 perBishop 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

My blood pressure has come down in the past couple weeks. I check it twice a day to keep an eye on it, which is something that my primary care providers have been advising me to do for quite a few years. I’ve been living with hypertension since I was nineteen. That’s a big part of why I’m so attentive to running. I know what kind of long-term risks I live with, and I’m trying to minimize them.

But recently, my blood pressure has come down.

Now, y’all, I know that part of the cause of my high blood pressure has been genetic, but I also know that I struggle to handle stress well. When I talk about how we’re made of dust and aren’t built to handle stress and worry, about how it only gives us ulcers and headaches and knots in our shoulders and all manner of other ills, I know whereof I speak. I live this. I’ve transitioned from one unhealthy stress-internalizing mechanism to another every few years.

But recently, my blood pressure has come down.

Imagine that. During this unnerving forced period of pause, the background, stress-related causes of my hypertension have suddenly eased and my body is feeling the release.

I know I’m observing this from a place of privilege. In the short term, at least, my family’s financial stability isn’t threatened by this current social pause. I know there are folks who don’t have the same luxury. I know that a lot of people are simply out of work with no way to make ends meet, and it is my hope and prayer that they find some relief from their various debtors and commitments. Most of us are one lost paycheck away from bankruptcy even without a global health crisis.

But as much as we can, perhaps this is a time for us to step back and breathe. Inasmuch as we can practice social distancing and wash our hands, we have some control over how quickly COVID-19 spreads. Apart from that, we are essentially powerless.

And what we cannot control is not ours to try to control. It is not ours to worry about.

This is a time to practice letting go.

Let go of the stress. Let go of the worry. Let your body and soul and mind heal. Let the inward and spiritual focus of Lent continue on. It’s alright. This is still a time of sacrifice. It will be until the global pandemic is under control.

So remember Jesus’s recommendation: watch the flowers in the field that don’t panic when the winds and rain come, and don’t worry about what will happen when the sun rises again. They simply take in what comes their way today and let it transform them into something brilliant and beautiful.

Take this time in. Let it wash over you. When all this passes, as all things do, God will have brought us all through. If we’re truly attentive, God will have transformed us, and maybe something truly new and miraculous will await us on the other side.

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
Last Sunday

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
The Walk

book study will resume via
Zoom HD video meeting soon.

Click on the link on our church Facebook
page to follow along.

Native American Ministries Sunday

April 26, 2020

Native American Ministries Sunday serves to remind United Methodists of the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans to our society. The special offering supports Native American outreach within annual conferences and across the United States and provides seminary scholarships for Native Americans.
United Methodists celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday on the Third Sunday of Easter.

Please consider donating by check or click on the link below to donate online:

For more information about UMC Native American Ministries Sunday click here:

Holston Annual Conference
Hands -On Mission Project:
Liberia School Kits

Usually this time of year we are busy collecting school supplies for the annual Hands-On Mission project: School Kits for Liberia. Mike Sluder, Director of Connectional Ministries, Holston Conference, reminds us that our brothers and sisters in Liberia and Zimbabwe are in
desperate need of the supplies we send annually.
Plans are being revised for kits to be collected and turned in later this year.
Details will be posted as soon as we know them.
In the meantime, be safe if you venture out to shop for supplies,
but please keep this project in mind.

Intructions for preparing a kit:

May-June 2020
Upper Room Daily Devotional
is now available.

Call the church office and leave a message if you would like one mailed to your home.

Historical Musings From Penny

Have you ever wondered about the baptismal font in the sanctuary?

Click the link below to read the history by
Penny Hudson.

Lay Leader Message
From Sue Dietz

Surprises and Gifts

Do you remember the tulip from last week? The story goes on. Last Saturday we went to Pals for a late lunch and to get iced tea to take to our daughter and her husband in Grey. Even at 4 pm there was a long line of cars waiting to get in to place orders.
We watched a driver try to make a left-hand turn in to also place an order. When we got to our turn to turn in Dale waved the driver in ahead. We placed our order and finally made it to the pickup window. That driver had paid for our lunch and two gallons of iced tea! They were out of the drive before we could even
wave a thank you.
The gift of finding a volunteer tulip was matched by the kindness of a stranger. It is hard to accept many kindnesses, isn’t it? We don’t feel worthy or that we must do one back. I think the message of Easter is that God gives us gifts so precious that we could never repay Him; His Son, a tulip…. The best way to thank Him is to pass on our gifts to others; a mask, a fresh baked goodie, a listening ear. We know what we can give, so let’s give it!

Your Lay Leader

Be safe, and know that you are loved.

From Sue

Loan update: We were not part of the first group to receive the SBA Loans. We should be close to first in line with our bank now that more money has been approved. Because this is not a loan for the building but for payroll the Administrative Board and not Trustees are the governing body. Not sure just what that all will mean or when. We are doing what is needed, and that is all we can do besides pray.

Are you watching the Sunday morning worship from First? The Bergs are really perfecting their recording talents! Brandon, Karoline and kids thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to worship together. Betty and Phil, you bring such joy to us. The playing and singing make it easier to join in from home. I’m not sure about a Zoom concert from our homes, but I know there is joy as we join in.

There is one week left in April to receive your tithes and offerings for April. If you are planning on giving at this time either send a check, drop it off at the Tankersley door, or use the credit card donation through the Conference.

Our district is the Clinch Mountain District.

Holston Annual Conference
Lake Junaluska

Rescheduling is underway.


General Conference
has been tentatively
rescheduled to
August 31-September 10, 2021
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 23-29, 2020
Thursday, April 23

Friday, April 24

Saturday, April 25

Sunday, April 26
11:00am-live-stream service via Facebook
Monday, April 27
Tuesday, April 28

Wednesday, April 29
The Walk book study via Zoom-see Facebook for information

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)
Our Vision
Building A Community Where Anyone
Can Become A Deeply Committed Christian