Newsletter March 11-17, 2021

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
March 11-17, 2021
Schedule Adjustment:

Morning worship service can be viewed on the
church Facebook page Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

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.

4th Sunday in Lent
UMCOR Sunday

March 14th, 2021
John 3:14-21

Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor's Pen

A couple of memorable dates are coming up this week. The first is the Ides of March. The Ides simply refers to the middle of the month, but it’s not a term we use any more. It’s pretty singularly used to refer to the fifteenth day of the third month, the day Julius Caesar was assassinated by members of the Roman senate.

Caesar, beware the ides of March.

The second memorable day follows it pretty closely. It is the day we have record of the death of Patrick, the missionary of Ireland. So while rivers and beers turn green to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, I might just offer a little background on the life of the saint who somehow inspired the revelries.

Patrick lived in the fifth century and was the child and grandchild of men faithful to the Way of Christ. He did not immediately follow in their footsteps, but following his capture by Irish pirates (just let those two words mull around in your imagination a bit) and enslavement for six years, he converted to Christianity. He fled captivity and found his way back to his family, where his faith and study blossomed.

I invite you to pause and reflect on Saint Patrick as a person whose life is shaped by abduction and enslavement as a teen.

His life becomes the stuff of legend after that. He pens the autobiographical Confession of Saint Patrick, uses a shamrock to illustrate the Trinity, banishes all snakes from Ireland, grows a tree out of a walking stick, and does other saintly weird stuff. What’s a bit more attainable is his accomplishment of evangelizing to the people of Ireland.

Patrick comes to Ireland as an outsider, a southerner. He rejects political games and comes across as thoroughly bonkers to the local druids, but somehow he shares the good news of Jesus Christ with them. His work and teaching become widely known within his lifetime.

So before you get carried away celebrating either of this week’s two prominent deaths, take a moment to reflect on the life of these guys (preferably Patrick), and offer a prayer of thanks that some excited folks allowed God’s Spirit to speak through them and make a way for the faith we hold today.

Oh, and we plan to be back in person in worship on the Sunday following the Ides of March and Saint Patrick’s Day. Don’t want to forget that.

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

3rd Sunday in Lent

Words of Greeting and

by Sue Dietz

First Reading

Thanks to Karoline Berg for this reading

Exodus 20:1-7
Common English Bible

Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

You must have no other gods before me.

Do not make an idol for yourself—no form whatsoever—of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow down to them or worship them, because I, the Lord your God, am a passionate God. I punish children for their parents’ sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way.

Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. Six days you may work and do all your tasks, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work on it—not you, your sons or daughters, your male or female servants, your animals, or the immigrant who is living with you. Because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, but rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Do not kill.

Do not commit adultery.

Do not steal.

Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.

Do not desire your neighbor’s house. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

Opening Hymn
In the Cross of Christ I Follow"
UMH 295

sung by Phil Haga

Thanks to
Rebekah and Sarah Berg

for reading the

Lenten Liturgy

Gospel Reading

led by Rev. Berg

John 2:13-22
Common English Bible

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.
Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? What miraculous sign will you show us?”
Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.”
The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Last Week's Sermon:


Rev. Berg

Closing Hymn

"Lord, I Want to be a Christian"
UMH 402

Sung by Phil Haga

Service of Ordination and Commissioning 2020

March 06, 2021

After nine months of delay amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Service of Ordination and Commissioning was held on Saturday, March 6, 2 p.m. at Concord United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Our own Donna Camper was welcomed as a Deaconess Home Missioner.

A retired teacher, Camper’s current ministry is running a recovery house for women trying to get their lives back on track after incarceration and rehabilitation.
At first, Camper thought she was being called to be a minister, although she had some doubts. "When I heard about ‘love, justice and service’ with being a deaconess, it just fit,” she said.
Camper explained that deaconesses answer a higher calling into ministry. She likes being part of the community the Order offers.
“I feel like there is a support system beside me now. And in front, behind, everywhere with me with the community,” she said.

Donna is also currently serving as our Mission Chair.
Sarah and Rebekah Berg
Girl Scout Sunday 2020

Thanks to The Berg sisters
for helping with Girl Scout Sunday
last year and this year.

Cookies are still available!

See below for information on ordering.

A Note From Our
Lay Leader

Color …

I was watching Hometown on HGTV. The stars help find an old home and then remodel it for the new owner. This time they were remodeling a home for a single minister first time homeowner. They learned he is color blind and bought a special pair of glasses so he could see his new home in color. My dad and son are color blind. The condition led to dad buying a dozen bright red socks he thought were black. David turned in a picture of himself with green hair. After a day of thinking he had anger problems we learned the green looked to him like his sun bleached hair. This is not an uncommon problem. The color blindness is passed to the mother who in turn passes it to sons and the ability to pass it on to daughters.
As a quilter, I love working with color. I have sometimes wondered why a quilter would pick certain colors. From time-to-time Dale will make a comment that a color looks different to him. I realized that just because I see things one way (like blue green) and Dale sees it another (like green blue) neither of us is wrong, we just have different perspectives.
Do I argue (blue green) and never think to try to understand (green blue)? I am afraid I am guilty much of the time. During this time of so much discord, fear, and questioning I will consider turquoise!

Sue Dietz

Rev. Berg streams morning prayer live on Facebook
on weekday mornings in the 8:00am hour.
Share your prayer requests with him
or join him online.

The Holston Conference offers a daily devotional authored by laity and clergy
from all around the conference.
If you would like a word of encouragement birthed from the Bible and understood through the eyes of East Tennessean and Southwest Virginian United Methodists
click on the link below.

Send your photos and announcements for the Newsletter
to or call Julie at 423.914.9820.
For each publication information is needed by noon on Wednesday.
Calendar of Events
March 11-17, 2021

Sunday, March 14
11:00am-Sunday morning service via Facebook

AA meetings have been suspended at this location until further notice
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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