Latest News: June 11-17, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
June 11-17, 2020

2nd Sunday After Pentecost

June 14, 2020
"Sarah Hears and Laughs" by James Tissot
Matthew 9:35-10:8

Old, Old Stories: Laughing at God

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

Businesses and churches are beginning to open their doors again. You should know that the evening of the day this newsletter is being sent out, June 11, the Administrative Council is meeting virtually to begin to formulate a plan for our own re-opening at FUMC.

I ask you to pray for us and to exercise patience.

We will proceed with caution. Churches who have prepared less well have reopened with disastrous consequences. Infection has spread and people have died. We absolutely do not want to be the means of further infection spreading in our community.

New infection rates are still trending up. I am thankful we are in a more rural area of our country, and the progress of COVID-19 infections in our communities has remained slow; but it would take very little inattention to set numbers climbing steeply.

I deeply appreciate your faithfulness in attending our live-streamed worship and book studies and your continued faithfulness in giving. I covet the faithfulness of your prayers and your reaching out to each other in this time of isolation. You are proving that the Church is far more than a building.

Friends, we will come together again soon. It will take everyone’s help to ensure that we can do that safely. We will all be responsible for personal best practices of distancing and wearing masks to keep your air to yourself. We will need lots of hands to prepare and to close the spaces we use. We will need you.

So please be in prayer about ways in which you can help. Please be wise as serpents and gentle as doves as we begin to move forward.

If you have been frustrated by a lack of momentum or news about reopening to this point, I am sorry. Frankly, there just hasn’t been any news to share. We will do our best to communicate our next steps, though. In the meantime, stay tuned and stay in prayer. Stay in communication with each other. Show each other the love of Jesus.

I love you all. I miss you. I hope we can gather together again very soon.


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

Responsive Reading
Psalm 8
Common English Bible

Lord, our Lord, how majestic
is your name throughout the earth!
You made your glory higher than heaven!
From the mouths of nursing babies
you have laid a strong foundation
because of your foes,
in order to stop vengeful enemies.
When I look up at your skies,
at what your fingers made—
the moon and the stars
that you set firmly in place—
what are human beings
that you think about them;
what are human beings
that you pay attention to them?
You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
crowning them with glory and grandeur.
You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
putting everything under their feet—
all sheep and all cattle,
the wild animals too,
the birds in the sky,
the fish of the ocean,
everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

On June 1st The Holston Conference published a plan for returning to in-person worship. This plan represents the first stages in the planning process;
strategies for individual churches may vary and
adjustments may be needed as we move forward.

A link to the document is below should you wish to read the plan in it's entirety.

It's Official–

The Berg Family has been appointed to First-Bristol for another year!
We rejoice in having Brandon, Karoline, Noah, Rebekah, and Sarah with us… and the cats as well!

Our Book Study continues this week.

"Part Five: Fire"

Link to participate:

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

Link to purchase a copy:

Worship at Sugar Hollow
is still scheduled for July 12th.

Our worship structure and community socialization will no doubt need to be adjusted this year, but plans are underway to worship together outside.

Keep this date on your calendar!
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

  • Free online giving tool. 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.

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

620 State Restaurant was the restaurant of choice this last Tuesday. 620 has received votes every week. I have plenty of restaurants with one vote on the list, so please send any new ideas or the one restaurant you want to visit.

I have received positive responses about trying a Tuesday tailgate in the church parking lot. this would depend on the weather for the day. Chairs, social distancing, and good food ! –Sue D.


From Sue Dietz
Lay Leader

  • Send up a prayer for the Poultons ; he had hip surgery Tuesday.
  • Dow Strader had a cornea transplant in Knoxville Wednesday.
  • Be prayerful for Nathaniel Van Horn, Jr. and Roxanne Bareika; his mother entered hospice care this week.

Historical Musings From
Penny Hudson

Historical notes, New Sanctuary, Part One, 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.
June 11-17, 2020

Sunday, June 14
11:00am-live-stream service via Facebook
Wednesday, June 17
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