Latest News: May 28-June 3, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
May 28-June 3, 2020


May 31, 2020
"The Pentecost" by Jennifer Allison
John 7:37-39

Water, Wind, and 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 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’ve made it through Lent, cloistered through the season of Easter, and we’ve finally landed at the Sunday of Pentecost! Praise God who has brought us this far!

I’m going to offer a reflection on Pentecost, and it’s not what I’m going to focus on Sunday. I just want to offer this observation:

Peter is a klutz.

The story, to refresh us, goes like this: the disciples are gathered together in one place, when suddenly the Spirit breaks into their room and starts them all proclaiming the good news of Jesus. They rush out of the room like the wind had rushed in and this monstrous crowd gathers around and hears them speaking in every hearer’s own language. It’s mind-boggling to the crowd, and a number of them suspect there’s alcohol involved. So Peter steps up and begins to preach:

“Listen, all you good residents of Jerusalem! These guys aren’t drunk. It’s only nine in the morning.”

Friends, there are good sermons and bad sermons, and there is a whole spectrum between the extremes. What Peter offers here is a Bad Sermon.

You can’t start off that badly and expect to recover.

But it doesn’t matter. The people aren’t drawn to Peter. I’m convinced that Luke only records his first sermon as a means of explaining what’s going on and summing up what everybody else is proclaiming.

In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young will see visions.
Your elders will dream dreams.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

What’s miraculous and transformative here isn’t Peter’s defense of the disciples’ behavior. What’s miraculous is the disciples’ behavior. What’s miraculous is that Spirit opened their mouths and poured out good news.

Put yourself in the shoes of one of those disciples. They don’t have public speaking training. They haven’t gone to seminary. They have no homiletical training. They’re just so full of Spirit that they can’t help but pour out their exclamation of Jesus’s resurrection.

What would it take for that not to be nerve-wracking for you?

They’re inexperienced and untrained and clumsy and perfect for the job.

They’re perfect because God formed them that way.

So are you.

So I hope Pentecost is a reminder of your calling this year. You are exactly the person God needs to proclaim the good news of our risen Lord with your words and with your life. You don’t have to do it perfectly. Spirit has that part covered.

You do you. God will handle everything else.

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

Luke 24:44-53
Common English Bible

Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law from Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. He said to them, “This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and a change of heart and life for the forgiveness of sins must be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. 49 Look, I’m sending to you what my Father promised, but you are to stay in the city until you have been furnished with heavenly power.”

He led them out as far as Bethany, where he lifted his hands and blessed them. As he blessed them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. They worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem overwhelmed with joy. And they were continuously in the temple praising God.

"I'll Fly Away" Acrylic by Joan McLoughlin

I'll Fly Away

Some glad mornin' when this life is over
I'll fly away
To a home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away
I'll fly away, oh, glory
I'll fly away
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by
I'll fly away

Just a few more weary days and then
I'll fly away
To a land where joy shall never end
I'll fly away

I'll fly away, oh, glory
I'll fly away
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by
I'll fly away
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by
I'll fly away

Albert E. Brumley, 1932

UMCOR Disaster Response
FUMC-Bristol recognizes June 7th to support the disaster response efforts of
the United Methodist Church. From the devastating tornadoes throughout the South Eastern US to the overwhelming effects of COVID-19 nationally, UMCOR has been on the front lines to assist.

UMCOR’s administrative costs are covered by donations received on UMCOR Sunday (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing), along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year. None of UMCOR’s support comes from apportionments;
it’s all second-mile, voluntary giving.

Please donate generously using the link below to help replenish UMCOR funds so they can be ready to help where needed.
Our New Book Study
continues this Wednesday
via Zoom

We've had a great showing for the first two weeks of our virtual book study.
If you haven't joined in, it's not too late.

Thanks to Suzanne Rollins for leading this week's study.

We will be studying "Part Three: Weight", this coming Wednesday, led by Brandon.
Please join us!

Here's the link to participate:

Topic: Glory Happening book study
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 911 4326 2294
Password: 633880

Here's a link to purchase a copy:

During our period of virtual service, please be reminded of three ways
that you may contribute your tithes and offerings:

  • Personal check via mail to the church

  • Holston Conference free online giving tool.
Click below to be directed to that website, and choose
Clinch Mountain District.

  • Bank draft from your personal checking account. A permission form and voided check are needed to initiate this. Leave a message with Carol to have the form mailed to you.
Wednesday Morning Serendipity

Brandon captured a photo of a beautiful fawn resting on the church grounds;
its attentive mother was close by.

There is room at the table for Dinner for ? participants.

Mad Greek was the restaurant of choice this last Tuesday, so Mad Greek it was! This is a fun way to find new places and visit some of our favorites. Please, feel free to send votes each week or new suggestions. I expect some of us will try to maintain some social distancing even in the summer.

If things go well, maybe we could take folding chairs and our orders to the church, sit 6 feet apart on the grounds and eat together one of these times. If you like that idea, let me know. I’d love just to see familiar faces!!!!! even if I can"t hear you well.

Sue Dietz

A Note From Your Lay Leader,
Sue Dietz

Start, stop, continue.
I can feel a change in how I am dealing with this time, can you?

Sunday, May 24, started a 100-day stitching challenge for our Embroiders’ Guild. I just read it is time to stop my diet and let my body adjust to where it is now. I hope to continue working outside and enjoying trying new recipes.

I never thought there would be stages to this social distancing and staying home! For me It started out as a snow holiday, turned into a time of anxiety and is now a time of not knowing
quite what to do to stay safe.

Are you ambivalent about what to do next? Do you get emotional at ads that show people doing good things? Are you confused? Well most of us are in that boat with you. Now more than ever, remembering the love God has for us makes me feel comforted especially during times when fear seems so close.

So, I will stitch, develop a good maintenance eating plan, look for fun things to cook and bake, help keep up the space we are to care for but most importantly I will remember God loves us all.

Historical Musings From
Penny Hudson

Explore the history, starting in 1907, of First United Methodist Church in Bristol.

Virtual Holston Annual Conference
June 27, 2020

Theme: I Love to Tell the Story

The conference mission offering this year is directed to
Opioid Addiction Response and Change for Children.
These projects will promote wonderful work in
serving and ministering
to those in need.
Please keep these missions in mind as we approach conference.
Send your photos and announcements for the Newsletter
call Julie at 423.914.9820.
For each publication, information is
needed by noon on Wednesday.
May 28-June 3, 2020

Sunday, May 31
11:00am-live-stream service via Facebook
Wednesday, June 3
6:00pm-virtual book study: Glory Happening via Zoom

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