Newsletter, April 1-7, 2021

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
April 1-7, 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.

Easter Sunday

April 4th, 2021
John 20:1-18
"Christ Is Risen!"

Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor's Pen

Three days.

A lot can happen in three days. In our region, the weather can shift from Spring back to Winter and sling into Summer in three days. It’s dizzying at best, migraine-inducing and arthritis-inflaming across a wide swath of our population, but it sure isn’t uncommon.

A good strong stomach bug can hit and clear an entire household within three days.

A bird can build an entire nest in three days.

A Bradford Pear can come into full blossom and transition into full leaf in three days.

Change happens quickly. Three days is nothing for a Creator who can drive the world into dark and hopelessness and then defeat hell and death within that timeframe.

For three days, the world waits. For three days, creation holds its breath. Or perhaps not. Perhaps, like the disciples, creation dives into grief in fear and denial for three days. Perhaps it is not only humanity that doesn’t know what will happen when love dies and fear wins.

Are you familiar with what it feels like when fear wins for three days?

I hope you’re not, but I know that some of us are.

I encourage you to take these three days, this Triduum, to feel that fear. It will be painful. It will be unpleasant. It will be a lot easier to skip over it and move on into an Easter joy or even willful ignorance.

But let yourself be immersed in the fear, especially if you are a person who does not experience immersion in fear often. Let yourself let go of the privilege of protection from all the dark, evil powers that threaten people who live in racism, sexism, depression, anxiety, or any other oppressive fear that threatens so many of our siblings. Let yourself be immersed in the darkness and unknowing. Let your empathy learn.

After all, we profess faith in a Savior who knows all our fear, a Savior who can deliver us through them.

What can you learn in three days? How can God’s Spirit transform you within three days?

I encourage you to find out.

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

Palm Sunday

Words of Greeting and

by Sue Dietz

Responsive Reading
led by Rev. Berg

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
adapted from the
Common English Bible

Give thanks to the Lord who is
because the faithful love of God lasts forever.
Let Israel say it:
“God’s faithful love lasts forever!”

Open the gates of righteousness for me
so I can come in and give thanks to the Lord!
This is the Lord’s gate;
those who are righteous enter through it.

I thank you because you answered me,
because you were my saving help.
The stone rejected by the builders
is now the main foundation stone!
This has happened because of the Lord;
it is astounding in our sight!
This is the day the Lord acted;
we will rejoice and celebrate in it!

Lord, please save us!
Lord, please let us succeed!

The one who enters in the Lord’s name is blessed;
we bless all of you from the Lord’s house.
The Lord is God!
The Lord has shined a light on us!

So lead the festival offering with ropes
all the way to the horns of the altar.
You are my God—I will give thanks to you!
You are my God—I will lift you up high!
Give thanks to the Lord who is good,
because the faithful love of God lasts forever.

Opening Hymn
"Hosanna, Loud Hosanna"
UMH 278

sung by Phil Haga

Special Music
'The Palms'

Sung by Phil Haga
with Betty Curtis accompanying on piano

Gospel Reading

led by Rev. Berg

Mark 11:1-11

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”
They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Last Week's Sermon

"Palm and Pomp and Parade"


Rev. Berg

Closing Hymn

"All Glory, Laud, and Honor"
UMH 280

Sung by Phil Haga
Waving the Palms

Please Remember
The Coppedge Family
in your prayers.

John passed away March 21st, 2021

The church gratefully receives a donation to
the Memorial Fund in memory of
John Coppedge
by Jeffrey and Cynthia Bergstrand

A Note From Our
Lay Leader

Thank you…

If you have not had the opportunity to meet her, I would like to introduce Ernestine Blanton. She has been a member of First for many years. She was a member of the Friendship Sunday School Class and active in the life of our church. She is known for her beautiful award-winning watercolors. We have gotten to know each other better through the pandemic. It started with the fall tailgates. She came with her daughter, Julie. When Sue Bryngelson was facing surgery, I promised to call Ernestine with updates. She had shared that when you are not able to get to church due to health or Covid restrictions you feel cut off. I knew this, but she made me really understand and feel the loss. During this time John Coppedge passed. He and his wife Frances had been good friends with Ernestine and her husband through work and bridge. Ernestine was unable to make it to church to help with the meal for the Coppedge family, but she and Julie could and did cook. I kept Ernestine posted about the outpouring of the women in the church to provide a great church dinner. She was thrilled with the love and wanted a way to thank the church for remembering and ministering in this time of lock in and illness. So here it is:

Let us begin to renew friendships and remember those who may not be able to be with us but could sure use a call or note just to say, “You are not forgotten!”

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
April 1-7, 2021

Sunday, April 4
11:00am-Sunday morning service IN-PERSON and live-streamed on Facebook

Tuesday, April 6

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