Newsletter: December 15-23, 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.

> 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

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.

Fourth Sunday of AdventDecember 19, 2021

Luke 1:39-45

Rev. Berg

Last Sunday at First UMC

Third Sunday of Advent

December 12, 2021

Prelude What Child Is This by Stephen Cross; Phil Haga, Organist

Opening Hymn UMH 203 Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Advent Candle Liturgy: Sue and Dale Dietz and Melissa Wright

Gospel: Luke 3:7-18

On the Incineration of Waste by Rev. Berg

Hymn of Benediction UMH 213 Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
Postlude Hail to the Lord’s Anointed by Roger Whitmore; Phil Haga, Organist

From the Pastor’s Pen
December 16, 2021

Christmas is next weekend.

I hope that statement doesn’t send you into panic. It’s frankly a little too late to do big preparation at this point, unless you’re some sort of professional organizer. What’s ready is ready. What’s not won’t be ready.

And if you can’t fit in everything you need to do, it’s okay. If it’s an event that won’t get plugged in before December 25, don’t worry. You’ve got a whole season of Christmastide to celebrate it; twelve great big days, half of which are vacation days for the kids in your family. Take this as an opportunity to educate your loved ones about the actual Twelve Days of Christmas.

Or don’t. Their eyes might glaze over. Whatever.

Relax. There’s time.

And if there’s not time, there’s understanding. We’re all swamped and overwhelmed.

At this point, though, it’s probably best to settle into what is ready and put into motion. Have a realistic look at your to-do lists and cross some things off. It’ll feel good. Then take care of the rest one by one.

You can do this.

And you can enjoy this.

In the end, Jesus is still arriving in the poverty of the manger. The shepherds are showing up with no warning or preparation at all. The magi are on their way and are facing grave danger from Herod. Things could be worse for the rest of us.

It’ll be alright. That kid in the hay is about to conquer death and hell. Everything is going to be alright.


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.


The Preptits are most concerned about the missionaries and family members who have been kidnapped by a gang in Haiti.  This is another worry on top of so many for them.  Can you imagine if this happened in our country!  Please pray for the Haitian people and the Preptits and the missionaries.

The items collected for the Haiti earthquake are on their way to Haiti.  The Preptits took them to Memphis to start them on their way.  There is a person chosen to pick them up and save them until they can be used.  Right now the Preptits are not able to travel to Haiti. The situation is just too dangerous.

Please pray for the Haitian people and the Preptits.  This is a most difficult time.

A Note From Our Lay Leader 

As I write to you the sun is shining and the temperature makes me want to get out to walk. Then I think about all the suffering just in our country right now.  How could December tornados do so much damage to so many.  I’m sure the 23 Psalm was said many times that awful Friday night.  That psalm is one so many of us have memorized and used at various times.  At Bob Dole’s funeral I got a new look at verse 4 about the valley of the shadow of death.  It has always been a comfort.  But a minister said something new.  To have shadows one needs light.  I’d always thought of that valley as black.  No, it has light too.  God’s light.  He’s always with us even if we can’t see the light.  

The Feed the Hungry basket will be going to UMCOR US Disasters.  Have you ever thought of UMCOR as light? Methodists are first responders to dark valleys in lives.  UMCOR is light that we can help God give.  I’m glad to be a Methodist.  I’m glad to have UMCOR.

Sue Dietz

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

From the Finance Committee:

Red Number Report from Finance

As of October 30 we were -$32,253.74 in our General Fund.
As of October 31 we are  -$40,417.75 in our General Fund
Fall brings many annual expenses.  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.

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

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

Give Online

Calendar of Events

Dec 15-23, 2021

Sundays 6:08 pm

Bristol Hub Youth at Reynolds Memorial UMC

Thursday, Dec 16

8:00pm – AA

Dec 19

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

Fourth Sunday of Advent

4:00 p.m. Board of Trustees

Bristol Missional Hub Advent Services will be virtual this year, posted on Wednesdays during Advent.

8:00pm – AA

Tuesday, Dec 21

8:00pm – AA

Dec 24

6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Jan 6

Epiphany (observed on Sunday, January 9)

Jan 17

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

7:00 p.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson at Lee Street Baptist Church

Jan 18

10:00 a.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: Beauty from Ashes: A Purpose and a Call by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson at King University Memorial Chapel

Jan 24

9:15 a.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: George Floyd Could Have Been Me by Isaiah McKinnon at King University Memorial Chapel

7:00 p.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: Surviving in a Violent Society by Isaiah McKinnon at Central Presbyterian Church

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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