Latest News: June 18-24, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
June 18-24, 2020

3nd Sunday After Pentecost

June 21, 2020
"His Eye is on the Sparrow", Elizabeth A. Smith
Matthew 10:24-39

Rev. Jane Taylor, District Superintendent

will present a video sermon available on
Clinch Mountain District of the Holston Conference
Facebook page

This Sunday, June 21st, 10:30am
Sunday, June 28th, 10:30am

These sermons have been provided by Rev. Taylor for use
 during the pastor appointment transition period.

Our virtual Facebook sermons with Brandon will resume
Sunday, July 5th.

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


Good afternoon, Clinch Mountain Friends.
There is a wonderful opportunity this Saturday to join Reverend Barbara Doyle and District Superintendent Jane Taylor to learn more about Juneteenth.

If you are interested, please watch the videos below (an investment of 20 minutes and 43 seconds), then email Jane at to join the discussion, which will be this Saturday,
June 20, at 4 p.m.

Service of

After the repetitive and violent injustices on the bodies of black Americans in recent days, we have felt called to worship – to place before God our lament, our prayers, and our need for courage and hope.
We are a group of women and men who call ourselves Conversations on Race: Building Authentic Relationships. We are not experts, but we are people who embrace the journey of anti-racism and loving our neighbors. We have found sharing our grief and resolve can be helpful, healing, and motivating. In that spirit, we invite you to join us for a time of worship and the opportunity to covenant together to be God’s vessels as we pray with Jesus, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Join us on Saturday, June 20th at 3:00 p.m. We will be using Zoom Webinar to broadcast this service. You may register now by clicking the button below. Please invite your friends, family, and neighbors to join us for this special day of worship and lament.

Fathers Day 2020
Loving God, we lift this day our gratitude for the loving men who have brought us the precious heart of your Father Love.
Blessed be the name of all sons, and brothers and fathers who reveal a glimpse of your loving presence on earth.

from Rev. Jane Sommers

On June 1st The Holston Conference published a plan for
 returning to in-person worship.
Our Administrative Council is carefully considering best practices
to keep us safe in our reconnection.

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

Last Sunday

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 Adapted from the New Revised Standard Version

I love the Lord, who has heard
my voice and my supplications.
Because the Lord inclined an ear to me,
therefore I will call on God as long as I live.

What shall I return to the Lord
for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of God’s faithful ones.

O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your serving-maid.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all God’s people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

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 church has received its quarterly distribution from the Kroger Community Rewards Program.

19 Households participated
$ 66.73 Total Donations

It's easy to participate. Simply link your Kroger Shopper's Card to First-Bristol, then every time you shop at Kroger a percentage of the sale goes to the church.
For more information click on the link below.

A Memorium
has been gratefully received for
Reba Elizabeth Lewis
from Allan Lewis
to the Memorial Fund.
Our Book Study continues this week.

"Part Six: Honor"

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.

Cootie Browns' was the restaurant of choice this last Tuesday. 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 next week.

Our tailgate dinner in the church parking lot is a go as far as rules for group gatherings. Will a Tuesday work? We could each bring some homegrown tasty foods, takeout from a restaurant, or local Farmers' Market delights. Let me know if you are interested and we will schedule.

Sue Dietz
Lay Leader

I Wonder…

I wonder how so much can be happening outside the bubble of our neighborhood, our town.

I wonder how these times can show not only our “underside” but also the best we have to offer.

I wonder when First UMC will be able to worship together again. Will any of our church family fall prey to The Virus? Will there be a cure soon? Will my kids and their families be safe?

I wonder how I have changed. I wonder how you have changed. I wonder how we have changed as a church.

I do not wonder about God though. He did not send this to punish us; He loves us. He will use this time to bring about good. (I see this in the acts of kindness shown on TV and talked about on the radio. I see this in the open discussions about racism, things I did not know had even existed or happened!) If we listen quietly, He will bring us peace even during the whirlwind of our worries and questioning. We are His children, and He will see us through.

Historical Musings From
Penny Hudson

Click on the link below to read about history of First-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 18-24, 2020

Sunday, June 21
11:00am-live-stream service via Facebook
Wednesday, June 24
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