Newsletter March 25-31, 2021

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
March 25-31, 2021

Welcome to In-Person Worship Again….

We rejoice in once again gathering together for in-person worship!

If you are uncomfortable with worshiping in person or unable to join us for whatever reason, please tune in as we live-stream the service on Facebook.

As a reminder, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Even though people are being vaccinated and infection rates are declining, we will be maintaining recommended best public health practices for the foreseeable future. When you come worship with us, some specific things will happen:

  • Enter the narthex doors beside the sanctuary.
  • Wear a cloth mask that covers your mouth and nose.
  • Temperature checks will be done.
  • You will be asked a handful of questions about your current health and recent interaction with other people who may be at risk for COVID-19.
  • Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and anyone outside of your immediate household.
  • Minimize your use of the lavatory and sanitize the spaces you use, and
  • Exit the Sanctuary through the side doors closest to the parking lot.

This is a first step back toward normalcy, and we are looking forward making more progress very soon, but we will all have to cooperate to ensure that can happen.

Schedule Adjustment:

In-person worship at 11:00a.m. Sundays in the sanctuary
can also be viewed on the church Facebook page.

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.

Palm Sunday

March 28th, 2021
Mark 11:1-11
"Palm and Pomp and Parade"

Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor's Pen

It is 63º outside and the sun is shining. Tiny wind chimes are tinkling on our porch. Big, fat pink blossoms have exploded out of our neighbor’s tree. I don’t know what they are, but they’re all we see out our window.

I don’t want to be inside writing. I want to be outside playing.

Even the birds are taunting me. Neighbors have been mowing their onions for a couple weeks now. I guess we should, too. I wonder if the mower will start.

Only the cat seems content to be inside. Figures. They sleep some twenty hours every day, anyway.

I don’t want to be like the cat. I want to go outside.

That’s probably what’s best for me anyway. It’s time to fling open the windows, dust off the porch furniture, and go enjoy the gift of Spring God has given us.

I think that’s what I’m going to do.

This isn’t a particularly deep theological reflection this week. It’s just an exhortation to go find God outside. Shout at a neighbor across the street. Go for a walk. Smile.

Yeah, the darkness of Lent is upon us, but as usual, it’s contrasting with the outbreaking of Spring. Go on out. Hold those two things in contradiction. See how they play together. Watch the harmonies unfold.

That’s what I think I’m going to go do. Try it. I think you’ll like it

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

5th Sunday in Lent

Words of Greeting and

by Sue Dietz

First Reading

Thanks to Trinka Felty
this reading

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Common English Bible

The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. It won’t be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant with me even though I was their husband, declares the Lord. No, this is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my Instructions within them and engrave them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. They will no longer need to teach each other to say, “Know the Lord!” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord; for I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sins.

Opening Hymn
"Near to the Heart of God"
UMH 472

sung by Phil Haga

Thanks to
David Swecker

for reading the

Lenten Liturgy

Gospel Reading

led by Rev. Berg

John 12:20-33
Common English Bible

Some Greeks were among those who had come up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request: “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One to be glorified. I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me.
“Now I am deeply troubled. What should I say? ‘Father, save me from this time’? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time. Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
The crowd standing there heard and said, “It’s thunder.” Others said, “An angel spoke to him.”
Jesus replied, “This voice wasn’t for my benefit but for yours. Now is the time for judgment of this world. Now this world’s ruler will be thrown out. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” (He said this to show how he was going to die.)

Last Week's Sermon



Rev. Berg

Closing Hymn

"This is a Day of New Beginnings"
UMH 383

Sung by Phil Haga
The Berg ladies were in attendance in proper mask attire

Please Remember
The Coppedge Family in your prayers.
John passed away last Sunday.
This photo was taken on John and Frances' anniversary in 2015.

A Note From Our
Lay Leader

Can You Hear Me Now?

First, I want to say that the second first Sunday back brought such a great feeling. The sun was shining, and the parking lot had several cars by the time we got to 322 Vance. There was a mix of River and 11 o’clock folks. All went well until we were ready to start…no sound. Several electronic savvy folks tried to fix it. No luck. We found out those with loud voices and those with quiet voices. Those listening on Facebook had trouble with sound too. Fortunately for those of us at the church Phil, Brandon and Jennifer can belt it out. In the months and years to come that snafu will go down in our oral history. I understand another church did not have heat for its first Sunday back. It is good that we have a week before Holy Week to correct the sound problems. Hopefully as you read this it will be a past problem.
As I think about Lent this year, I keep thinking about the Garden and the arrest. After the joy of Palm Sunday how could this happen? Why didn’t God have a different plan? How could Jesus face what was ahead of him? The disciples must have thought something had gone wrong. They never did seem to “get” what they were told. I hope Holy Week will teach me something new. I will listen.

Sue Dietz

The Call Weekly Newsletter

Here's the link for the weekly
email newsletter of the
Holston Conference

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 25-31, 2021

Sunday, March 28
11:00am-Sunday morning service IN-PERSON and live-streamed on Facebook

Tuesday, March 30

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