Newsletter: October 6-14, 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.

Eye of the Needle by Vladimir Kush

October 10, 2021

Mark 10:17-31

“Who Can Be Saved?”
Rev. Brandon Berg

From the Pastor’s Pen
 October 7, 2021

This weekend we will commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day, and I feel it’s better to offer you a voice from that community rather than my own, so here is a poem for the first day of Autumn from my favorite First Nations voice, Kaitlin Curtice.

This is the Way
an Autumn poem for you

This is the way of birth—
an emerging,
sometimes a ripping open,
an endurance that leads us out and on.

This is the way of arrival—
the face to the mirror,
acknowledging skin and blood and life,
a welcome to the body of the world.

This is the way of growth—
what was then may not be now,
the boundaries create love
and we welcome ourselves home—to ourselves.

This is the way of liminality—
the thisness even in the pain,
the ripping and the mending,
the treasure of living kinship.

This is the way of Being Human.

Last April, Kaitlin also offered a list of Books by Indigenous Authors to Get Us Through 2020. I recommend it.


Last Sunday at First UMC

19th Sunday After Pentecost

October 3, 2021

Prelude – Why Stand So Far Away My God by Charles Webb; Phil Haga, Organist

Opening Hymn – UMH 452 My Faith Looks Up to Thee

Psalm 26

Mark 10:2-16

“Simple Faith”

Hymn of Benediction UMH 526 What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Postlude O Spirit of the Living God by Ralph Vaughn Williams; 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


Do you find yourself nesting as fall begins to change our world?  I do.  Right now I’ve warned Dale we are moving furniture and rearranging a couple rooms.  I want to watch the woods across the street put on their beautiful colors and then become a beautiful winter scene.  I know, just remember, I’m from Minnesota and do love a good snow.

If you have been wanting to return to in-person worship, NOW IS THE TIME.  We are wearing masks and socially distancing.  Being with others and not just in front of your computer is a most wonderful feeling.  You are missed!

The work of the church is continuing.  The Lay Leadership Committee, annual reports, plans for All Saints, Annual Conference, Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas are gearing up.  You are needed: your knowledge and your skills and your prayers.  NOW IS THE TIME to come back if you are able.

Photo by Pixabay on

Our financial position is not good.  If you are planning on catching up or going the extra mile, NOW IS THE TIME.

(Thanks to those of you who expressed concern about the tests I wrote about.  Everything is just fine.  I guess it was a time of medical catch after things reopened from shutdowns and I was overwhelmed.  For those of you who are facing medical things, prayers and love.  Keep friends informed so they can be your support.  Church friends are great.)

Sue Dietz

Send Your Pictures, News, and Announcements to Publish in the Newsletter

For each publication, information is needed by noon on Wednesday.

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Calendar of Events

Oct 6-13, 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, Oct 7

8:00pm – AA

Oct 10

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

8:00pm – AA

Tuesday, Oct 12

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 

October 17

Laity Sunday 

October 24

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

4:00 p.m. Board of Trustees

8:00pm – AA

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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