Latest News: July 30-August 5, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
July 30-August 5, 2020

9th Sunday After Pentecost

August 2, 2020
The Five Thousand- Eularia Clarke
Matthew 14: 13-21

Old, Old, Stories: Wrestling With 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
and our Administrative Council.
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
During Brandon's vacation time he offers a poem for our reflection by Steve Garnaas-Holmes, a United Methodist pastor in Massachusetts, who writes a daily blog called Unfolding Light.

"Unfolding Light is a daily reflection rooted in a contemplative, Creation-centered spirituality, often inspired by my daily walk in the woods. In poems, parables, psalms, thoughts and the odd weather report I hope to invite readers into a spirit of presence, compassion, justice and delight. Though these writings are rooted in the Christian story you’ll hear in them melodies of many traditions. Unfolding Light is for anyone who wants to be a part of God’s healing of the world."

The river doesn't know how to be a river.
The bird doesn't have to write a song.
The candle only needs a wick.

The wire that brings the voice of your grandmother
to your hungry ears does not know your grandmother,
does not know her voice, or the way she says the word precious.

The heart does not begin to know the love of God,
only opens to it,
holds the space.

We do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit prays in us
with sighs too deep for words.
(Rom. 8.26)

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



Brandon opened with

words of greeting.






Opening Hymn UMH 540


I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord

I love thy kingdom, Lord,
the house of thine abode,
the church our blest Redeemer saved
with his own precious blood.

I love thy church, O God!
Her walls before thee stand
dear as the apple of thine eye,
and graven on thy hand.

For her my tears shall fall,
for her my prayers ascend,
to her my cares and toils be given,
till toils and cares shall end.

Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways,
her sweet communion, solemn vows,
her hymns of love and praise.

Sure as thy truth shall last,
to Zion shall be given
the brightest glories earth can yield,
and brighter bliss of heaven.


Responsive Reading by the McGrady Family


Psalm 105:1-11, 45b

Give thanks to the Lord;
call upon God’s name;
make God’s deeds known to all people!
Sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord;
dwell on all God’s wondrous works!
Give praise to God’s holy name!
Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the Lord!
Pursue the Lord and God’s strength;
seek God’s face always!
Remember the wondrous works the Lord has done,
all God’s marvelous works, and the justice God declared—
you who are the offspring of Abraham, God’s servant,
and the children of Jacob, the chosen ones of the Lord.

The Lord—the Lord is our God.
The Lord’s justice is everywhere throughout the whole world.
God remembers the Lord’s covenant forever,
the word the Lord commanded to a thousand generations,
which the Lord made with Abraham,
the solemn pledge God swore to Isaac.
God set it up as binding law for Jacob,
as an eternal covenant for Israel,
promising, “I hereby give you the land of Canaan
as your allotted inheritance.”

Praise the Lord!


Gospel Reading and Sermon by Rev. Alan Gorrell

Old, Old Stories: The Promise That Takes Awhile

Matthew 13:13-33, 44-52
Common English Bible


He told another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in his field. It’s the smallest of all seeds. But when it’s grown, it’s the largest of all vegetable plants. It becomes a tree so that the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches.”

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through all the dough.”

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that somebody hid in a field, which someone else found and covered up. Full of joy, the finder sold everything and bought that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one very precious pearl, he went and sold all that he owned and bought it.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that people threw into the lake and gathered all kinds of fish. When it was full, they pulled it to the shore, where they sat down and put the good fish together into containers. But the bad fish they threw away. That’s the way it will be at the end of the present age. The angels will go out and separate the evil people from the righteous people, and will throw the evil ones into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.

“Have you understood all these things?”Jesus asked.

They said to him, “Yes.”

Then he said to them, “Therefore, every legal expert who has been trained as a disciple for the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings old and new things out of their treasure chest.”

Thanks to Rev. Berg, Rev. Gorrell, Donna Camper, Phil Haga, Betty Curtis, and
The McGradys Family for bringing this service to us.
Please keep the Hobbs Family
in your prayers.

Jim had surgery recently after a fall, and Brenda has had
health issues as well.

The Call is the weekly newsletter
of the Holston Conference churches.

Click on the link below to read this informative newsletter.



The Holstonian

is the official newsletter of Holston Conference
United Methodist Women.

Click on the link below to see a copy.

Tithes and offerings may be donated using the

free online giving tool. Choose Clinch Mountain District.


or mail your check to the church if you wish.

Financial Report

Financial Report for the month of July

The ending balance for July is $4,319.04
This balance reflects the help received from the SBA loan we received in May. There is no question this has given us a boost. We will hopefully be given this $16,000 amount as a grant when we have turned in our expense report showing it was spent on staff and utilities. If not for the loan we would be in the red.

It’s now our turn to be sure we send in our gifts and tithes to keep our church in the black. Let us be prayerful as we consider our part.

Sue Dietz
Lay Leader


Good trouble…
We have had a week of mourning and remembering as John Lewis is memorialized across the country. The music in the Rotunda was a worship service for us as we watched. I’ve been thinking about the times John Lewis has seen and how I saw them. I’m only two years younger and have seen much of what he experienced. I remember integration in a popular Kansas City swimming pool. I don’t know what I expected, but when I got to go it was no different except for more kids and many colors. No big deal. I remember my dad talking about having to go through the burned-out areas in DC after the fires to get to his job in the Federal Triangle. I remember wanting to go march when I was in college and not really understanding until I was older what a frightening experience that would have been.
As I’ve listened to the speeches and reminiscences one term has stood out, “Good trouble.” This morning it dawned on me, that is what Jesus did during his ministry! Good trouble. Is that not what our Methodist Church talks about when we talk about Social Justice? For me this has been talk. For John Lewis it was action. Action is frightening. It means change from the status quo. As Methodists are we ready? Am I ready? I pray so. John Lewis worked the day he died! Do I have that willpower? I pray so.
The Bible tells the story of a great troublemaker, Jesus. He loved, He spoke truth, He broke the rules when it was right to do so. Our marching orders are right there in the Bible! Above all LOVE and GOOD TROUBLE.



Keep Us Updated
Have you had a change of physical address, phone number, or email address? Please notify Julie Blanton or leave a message at the church office so that we may update our records.
Thank You!


Send your photos and announcements for the Newsletter
call Julie at 423.914.9820.
For each publication, information is
needed by noon on Wednesday.
Calendar of Events
July 30- August 5, 2020

Sunday, August 2
11:00am- Sunday morning service via Facebook
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
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    First United Methodist Church of Bristol Tennessee | 322 Vance Drive, Bristol, TN 37620