Latest News: April 30-May 6, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
April 30-May 6, 2020
photo by Penny Hudson

Fourth Sunday of Easter
Good Shepherd Sunday

May 3, 2020
Viera Hlonikova: Jesus as Shepherd
John 10:1-10

Shepherd and Gate

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

We have in our yard a reasonably representative cross-section of flora. We have a paper birch spreading over a bed of elephant grass beside the driveway. A few dogwoods march along our northern property line. A row of box elders hide our front walk and the knockout roses in the front garden. Quite a lot of other green and pastel friends pop up throughout the year in different places around our house.

The one that keeps surprising me at the moment, though, sits all alone on the embankment at the head of our driveway, and I’ll stop noticing it over the next few weeks. But for now, every time I step out of the kitchen door or out of my car, she assaults me with her rich fragrance.

She’s a lilac, and she is quite full of herself right now.

What strikes me about her is not just the power of her aroma, but it is the degree to which she draws me back to my childhood. My mother counts lilac among her favorite flowers. A couple stand at the foot of her back porch, and I assume they are throwing their scent out into the world right now, too.

For just a moment, our lilac brings me back to moments of early discovery, days when naming things was newer to me, when identifying the bringers of different smells was still a nascent skill. It brings me to days when my father was teaching me to stack landscape timbers and fill behind them; to plant ivy to hold the steep embankment in place so our dogwoods could, years down the road, hide the entire facade of the house with their white and pink crosses.

Smells do that. They take us back much more powerfully than words or images can.

Take some time, in these coming days, to let the aromas surrounding you transport you somewhere else. Remember. Reminisce. Relive.

This is a gift, this deep memory.

When words fail, this is the Holy Spirit filling your senses and bringing you peace.

Let it come. Stop and smell the lilac.

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
We celebrated Native American Ministries

As we depart from one another, remember,
Creator God was here before we came
and will be here after we depart.

Creator God came in with us
and will stay with us when we depart.

We are all connected to each other and to our Creator.
All praise to Creator God!

Excerpt from the Native American Writing Group
of the Open Source Liturgy Project
(Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church)

National Day of Prayer

Thursday, May 7th
Our New book study
will begin May 13th.

More information on
our Facebook page.

Here's a link to purchase a copy:

National Nurses Day
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

This year we appreciate and support our nurses,
as well as other healthcare providers,
as never before.

Thanks to them for their tireless and compassionate efforts during this global crisis.

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,
perhaps in May and June.
Details will be posted as soon as we know.
In the meantime, be safe if you venture out to shop for supplies,
but please keep this project in mind.

Instructions 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 or delivered
to your porch.
Please specify regular or large print.

Historical Musings From Penny

Have you wondered about the history of the Childrens' Garden?
Click on the link below to read more.

The Childrens' Garden is in need of a volunteer or two to sow and maintain the space. Please share your vision of how the garden could be creatively used to benefit our congregants and
the neighborhood.

A Note From Sue Dietz


Having sewn most of my life, when I hear pattern, I think of the Vogue patterns my mom could sew and enjoy the challenge while I cringed and looked for Simplicity. For those of you who do not know, Vogue patterns were expensive and often quite complicated while Simplicity ones were easy. There are so many different patterns in our lives.

There is nothing simple with our new patterns of life…masks, not seeing friends, zoom yoga. And, I have lost some of the patterns in my life…meetings, visiting friends, the church. And there is something about taking away my patterns, be they for sewing or life. I am thrown for a loop. Have you experienced that…fuzzy brain, so many projects you could do and just don't?

Maybe we can use this time to realize just what patterns are good for us and which ones we have followed for so long that need to go away. I am trying to honor finding some quiet time to pray, to know I don't need to always be busy or perfect, and that God really loves me just because I'm me. Giving up patterns isn't easy but for me it is well worth the work.

Here's to some new patterns,

Your Lay Leader

Be safe, and know that you are loved.
Remember our weekly
Feed the Hungry

Bristol Faith in Action, Anderson School, local mission needs,
Recovery Road,
and Holston Home for Children

all still desperately need our help even as we cannot convene weekly to contribute.

Please consider donating by personal check to the church, notating on the comment line which type of donation you wish to support.

Holston Annual Conference
will be virtual
June 27, 2020
1:00pm to 3:00pm

Theme: I Love to Tell the Story

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 30-may 6, 2020
Thursday, April 30

Friday, May 1

Saturday, May 2

Sunday, May 3
11:00am-live-stream service via Facebook
Monday, May 4
Tuesday, May 5
Cinco de Mayo

Wednesday, May 6

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