Newsletter: July 22-28

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
July 22-28, 2021

Welcome to In-Person Worship Again….

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.

  • Enter the narthex doors beside the sanctuary.
  • Wear a cloth mask that covers your mouth and nose until you are seated if you are vaccinated; if you are not fully vaccinated wear your mask continuously.
  • wear your mask when participating in singings and readings.
  • 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.

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.

8th Sunday After Pentecost

July 25, 2021

John 6:1-21

"It Is I; Don't Be Afraid"

Rev. Alan Gorrell

From the Pastor's Pen

Our trash can has gotten really full the past couple weeks. It usually doesn’t; I’d like to think that we don’t go through that much refuse for a family of five, that our half-full receptacle we haul to the end of the driveway every Wednesday evening is a sign of better stewardship of our resources. But these past couple weeks have seen us doing some deeper cleaning than usual, and that has included disposing of some stuff that is not reusable, repurposeable, or recyclable.

I’m torn between the wastefulness of throwing it all away and the relief of having all that junk out of the house.

As I’m writing this, my computer is constantly pinging at me with alerts that I’ve received new emails, most of which are encouraging me to spend money on things I don’t need. I have no feelings of guilt whatsoever deleting those without even opening them. Is that a double standard?

Sometimes we need to get rid of stuff. Sometimes things need to be disposed of. Sometimes things outlast their usefulness and degrade. Running shoes do that every three or five hundred miles. Child safety seats do that after five years or so. Financial papers do that after a few years, so I hear, but I don’t remember exactly how long we’re required to keep them, so they don’t ever get thrown away.

That’s got me thinking…

Songs that reflect colonializing, nationalistic, or racist ideas probably ought to be disposed of. Theologies that harm people and do not reflect the love of Jesus need to be incinerated. Scripture whose cultural context is no longer its current context needs to be thoroughly examined and understood for what it is.

Some of this stuff is deeply endeared to us; I know that. That doesn’t make it good or healthy or holy, though. We probably need to be more aware of the difference between what we like and what is good. If it isn’t good, if it isn’t useful and loving, it probably just needs to go in the refuse bin and off to the side of the road.

I know we’re a little late for Spring cleaning. I also know that the Church is quite late doing a deep cleaning of all our harmful stuff. So let’s take care of it now before anybody else gets hurt by our broken down junk.

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

The Berg family will be on vacation in Michigan July 23 – August 1.
We covet your prayers as we travel and step away from our busyness.

On July 25, Dr. Alan Gorrell will be preaching.

On August 1, we will worship virtually together.
A link to the service and the order of worship on YouTube
will be emailed and posted on Facebook soon.

Also, Rev. Caroline Hawthorne will serve as an emergency pastoral contact
while I am on vacation. Her number is (423) 963-9703.

  • Methodism 101 is a five week class taught by various pastors. This class is for anyone who wants to know more about the Methodist church. Some folks might remember Rev. David St. Clair, who served First Bristol a few appointments ago. He is offering the first class: Who We Are.

  • Charge Conference will be at First Bristol on November 7, and we will host the Bristol TN Missional hub and the Washington County Missional Hub.

More about these exciting events in next week's newsletter!

Last Sunday

8th Sunday After Pentecost

Greeting and



Sue Dietz

Last Sunday's Sermon

"A Traveling God"

Rev. Brandon Berg

Opening Hymn
"I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord"
UMH 540

sung by Phil Haga

Gospel Reading

led by Rev. Berg

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Common English Bible

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place.

Many people saw them leaving and recognized them, so they ran ahead from all the cities and arrived before them. When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.

When Jesus and his disciples had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret, anchored the boat, and came ashore. People immediately recognized Jesus and ran around that whole region bringing sick people on their mats to wherever they heard he was. Wherever he went—villages, cities, or farming communities—they would place the sick in the marketplaces and beg him to allow them to touch even the hem of his clothing. Everyone who touched him was healed.

Closing Song

"Near to the Heart of God"
UMH 472

Phil Haga with Betty Curtis

Adult Sunday School

join us!

  • MASKLESS, if you feel comfortable
  • vaccinated people may attend
  • 9:30am-Shaw Anchor Classroom
  • study materials available on main hallway literature table

on weekday mornings in the 8:00am hour.

Share your prayer requests with him
or join him online.
Remember that you can mail your offering or bring it to the church at
or give online at
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
July 22-28, 2021

Thursday, July 22

Sunday, July 25
9:30am-Sunday School, Shaw Anchor Classroom
11:00am-Sunday morning service IN-PERSON and live-streamed on Facebook

Tuesday, July 27

First United Methodist Church
Rev. Brandon Berg, Pastor (276.237.6498)
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