Newsletter: September 30-October 6, 2021

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

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 continuously.

> 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.

Child like Faith by Dolores Develde

October 3, 2021

Mark 10:2-16

“Simple Faith”
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
 September 30, 2021

It’s World Communion Sunday! This is one of the Sundays I really look forward to. I love celebrating our unity in Christ, the Church catholic who are one body of an increasingly diverse palate. But the celebration that typically centralizes our time of worship on this Sunday is one we won’t be commemorating.

I’m not happy about that. I’m actually pretty angry. I’m ready to be done with COVID-19 and its drawn-out effects on the folks who contract it and on our global community. But until our neighbors are ready to receive the life-saving vaccine and act like mature adults, the rest of us are going to have to keep each other safe in the best way we know how. So, while the Delta variant is threatening our unvaccinated and immune-compromised folks, we’ll hold out on the things that unmask us inside the church building.


It’s a good thing that communion isn’t centrally about a thumb-sized piece of bread soaked by Welch’s Unfermented Methodist Communion Wine. It’s much more deeply about communing together, about community itself. It’s about widening the circle for us who celebrate at an open table. It’s about proclaiming again that everyone is welcome here.

That’s why this Special Sunday raises funds to enhance the voices of ethnic minority young persons around the world. We believe we in the Body of Christ are better together, better when we support each other, better when we hear the voices that have been dampened throughout the uglier parts of our history. World Communion Sunday is one way we can celebrate and strengthen the rich chorus of voices that is Christ’s Church.

So I hope you’ll celebrate with us, and I hope you’ll prayerfully and generously support our World Communion Sunday offering in The United Methodist Church. Opportunities like this bind us together in love, with or without a little piece of juice-soaked King’s Hawaiian.


Last Sunday at First UMC

18th Sunday After Pentecost

September 26, 2021

Prelude – I Lift My Heart by Hal Wright; Phil Haga, Organist

Opening Hymn – UMH 57 O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing

Isn’t He with Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee by John Wimber; Phil Haga, soloist; Betty Curtis, accompanist

Psalm 124

James 5:13-20

When People Pray by Rev. Beth Tipton

Hymn of Benediction – UMH 129 Give to the Winds Thy Fears
Postlude – All the World Rejoicing by Steven Claymore; Phil Haga, organist

Find the order of service here

and come pray with Rev. Berg here.

Morning Prayer

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

It’s not too late to join us in a thought-provoking book study

Rev. Berg is leading the Wednesday 6pm study. Sign up here.

From the Finance Committee:

Red Number Report from Finance

As of September 1, we were-$9,929.91 in our General Fund.  There are no more loans to count on.  If you have not had the opportunity to give to the church, please consider donating at this time.  There are three months left in our fiscal year to change the report to BLACK Numbers.

Elk Garden School Community Ministries needs 600 cans of SpaghettiOs or Ravioli for Holiday Boxes. Rev. Natalie Justice will pick them up by November 15th.

It’s Charge Conference Time!

Charge Conference is the Election Season of the local United Methodist Church. The mission and the membership (that’s you!) of the local church is represented in the work of multiple teams, including (but not limited to):

Administrative Council

Finance Committee

Board of Trustees

Staff Parish Relations Committee

Lay Leadership Committee

Missions Team

Worship Team

I hope you’ll do a handful of things in preparation for this year’s Charge Conference.

  1. Pray. We need the power and guidance of your prayer for us, but also because prayer (as noted below) guides you to…
  2. Get Involved. The gifts you bring to Christ’s Body are unique and beautiful and important. You see the needs of our community and the gifts of our church in a way that nobody else does, and we need your voice, your hands, and your feet.
  3. Be Present. Charge Conference is the one regularly scheduled time we, as a church, are democratic. This is when your vote counts loudly and clearly. This is also when we get to see what ministries and miracles other churches around us are celebrating, and that’s an exciting thing to hear!

So put Charge Conference on your calendar, and in the meantime, talk to your Lay Leadership Committee about how God is nudging you to get involved and active at FUMC Bristol this year. We need to hear from you.

The Lay Leadership Committee is:

Brandon Berg

Sue Dietz

Sandy Gorrell

Trinka Felty

Annual Conference Nominees Needed

Each District of the Holston Conference is allotted a certain number of at-large members of the Annual Conference in addition to those elected at Charge Conference and in other ministry areas. There are currently more laity positions available than nominees. If you are interested in being a member of the Holston Annual Conference in 2022 with full voting rights, please contact Rev. Berg or our Clinch Mountain District Administrative Assistant, Monika Hunter. 

The Emmaus Ministries Virtual Walk and Challenge takes place October 1 – November 12, 2021. During this six-week period, we challenge you to walk 14,000 steps (7 miles/ 11.5 kilometers) (approximately the distance between Jerusalem and Emmaus) at your convenience and in the area of your choice, wherever you might be. Learn more here or at the registration link above.

A Note From Our Lay Leader

Lord, I’m about to lose my mind!

I’m having one of those weeks.  It started with a colonoscopy that went awry because I got my instructions mixed up with Dale’s!  (NEVER plan two colonoscopies in one week for your household!)  So I get to have another procedure in a couple days.  Our calendar does not look like it belongs to people trying to shutter down in place and not get breakthrough cases of Covid.  I’m just having trouble keeping up with it all.  Are you dealing with stuff too?  I bet we all are.

How do you deal with all that’s going on around you and to you?  Last Sunday we heard about prayer.  We were asked when was the last time we truly talked and listened to God.  Not the regular times…meal time, church, bedtime…but quiet times where you can listen as well as talk.  That’s when we may hear that small still voice we heard about the week before.  

I’m closing now, finding a comfortable chair and doing some talking and listening I’ve not done in a while.  Join me?

Sue Dietz

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Calendar of Events

Sept 30-Oct 6, 2021

Sundays 6:08 pm

Bristol Hub Youth at Reynolds Memorial UMC

Wednesdays 6:00 pm

Book Study
Lee Camp’s Scandalous Witness: A Little Political Manifesto for Christians

Live on Zoom. Sign up through the Southern Christian Coalition.

Thursday, Sept 30

8:00pm – AA

Oct 3

11:00am – Sunday Service at FUMC and available for viewing on Facebook and You Tube

World Communion Sunday

8:00pm – AA

Tuesday, Oct 5

8:00pm – AA

October 13

King Institute for Faith and Culture Lecture Series: Maria Liston, Professor of Anthropology, University of Waterloo

7:00 p.m. Central Presbyterian Church, Bristol VA Looking Back to Earlier Pandemics: Plagues, Pestilence, and the Origins of the Hospital in Early Christian Thebes, Greece

October 14

10:00 a.m. Memorial Chapel A Tale of Two Wells: Mothers, Midwives, and Infant Mortality in Ancient Greece 

Nov 1

King Institute for Faith and Culture Lecture Series: Malcolm Guite, Poet, priest, and musician, University of Cambridge

9:15 a.m. Memorial Chapel An Unexpected Music: Poetry and Renewal

7:00 p.m. Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Bristol, Va. Songs and Sonnets: An Evening of Poetry, Song, and Story

Nov 7

11:00am – Sunday Service at FUMC and available for viewing on Facebook and You Tube

All Saints Sunday

8:00pm – AA

Nov 8

King Institute for Faith and Culture Lecture Series: Peter Croft, Founder, J.B. Phillips Society

9:15 a.m. Memorial Chapel J.B. Phillips: The Ring of Truth and the Price of Success

7:00 p.m. Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Bristol, Va. J.B. Phillips: The Fresh Air of Heaven

Nov 14

2:30pm – Charge Conference: Bristol Missional Hub at John Wesley UMC

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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