Newsletter: January 20-27, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

Photo by Simon Berger on

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.

Third Sunday after the Epiphany January 23, 2022

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

“Christ, The Body, and The Body that Is Christ’s Church”
by Melissa Wright

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

Last Sunday at First UMC

Second Sunday after the Epiphany

January 16, 2022

Opening Hymn UMH 437 This Is My Song

John 2:1-11

What Brings Us Together Today
Hymn of Benediction URW 385 Nunc Dimittis

Find the order of service here

and come pray with Rev. Berg here.

From the Pastor’s Pen
January 20, 2022

Some nifty things around the corner:

The River
We will be starting up Wednesday evening programming at the beginning of Lent. The River will get a brand new time and place on Wednesday evenings in the Chapel at FUMC. We hope you’ll join us for a contemplative pause in the middle of your week.

Book Club
I’ll be facilitating another virtual book club through the Southern Christian Coalition. The text coming up is Christians Against Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Nation and Our Faith by Obery M Hendricks. Information about how to sign up will be forthcoming, or you can follow the Southern Christian Coalition on Facebook or Twitter.

Yard Sale
If you’ve braved coming out of hibernation and wandering around the church a bit, you may have noticed that we’ve been collecting folks’ odds and ends since the last yard sale. That stuff needs a team of folks ready to organize it and publicize and run the sale. We’ve proven that we can gather safely. I’m confident we can hold sale participants to the same best practices we have in place for any other group in the church, and we can move all that stuff and raise some funds.

Sure, we’ve been doing this, but our audio quality, as we are frequently reminded, is lackluster. I’ve been personally putting a lot of effort into fixing it, but I’m no expert, so I’m asking around to experts to get estimates to fix our problems. Streaming worship is here to stay, and we want to do it as well as possible. Please be patient, stay tuned, and if the Spirit so leads you, lend a bit to the effort.

Bristol Recovery Road for Women was a life-transforming ministry of which Donna Camper was an integral part. A cascade of calamities caused it to close, but it is reopening with the support of Brothers for Christ, and we are very excited to partner with them to bring their residents back into hope and meaningful, fulfilled lives.
I’m particularly excited about that, but other missions like Family Promise are gathering steam again. Help for Haiti is still growing beautiful young people, but is in dire need of increased support since the cost of living is rising at a breakneck pace. All our local social aid resources are facing shortages juxtaposed with increased need. Opportunity to help is everywhere we turn if we’ll open our eyes to see it.

We have lots of exciting opportunities to grow in discipleship and share the love of Jesus. I hope you’ll get on board. I hope you’re finding creative ways to live into your covenant to fully participate in the ministries of Christ’s Church by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness. We are still transforming lives. We are still bringing the Kingdom of God.

We still need you.


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 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

The snow has given me time to cogitate on life and aging.  Then today my blogger talked about turning 65.  She talked about the importance of continuing to learn.  To try new things.  To be active.  She lives in Pennsylvania.  She and her husband have a no-kill farm and writes about life there.  It’s not an exciting life, but it is creative.  She has begun to paint.  She bakes her own bread.  She makes you love the animals through writing and pictures.  She and “Hubs” build gnome homes and put them throughout the woods to entertain their grandchildren.  

Her imagination and positive attitude impress me. As we come back to church in-person, let’s begin to use our God given imaginations and talents to build back First UMC into a vital partner in missions and the community.  Let’s look at what we have, not fret about what was.  We can with God’s help.


Photo by Sippakorn Yamkasikorn on

From the Finance Committee:

The year-end report is not good.  We finished with a -$41,348.27 balance.  This means we have borrowed that much from our restricted accounts. We owe that much to ourselves!  Also, you may remember we have had two PPP loans during the pandemic.  

We have some money left in the restricted accounts.  The Trustee Committee can free this money for other uses.  To date they have not had to do that.  We are getting rent from three sources. All of those involved in church work have done their best to hold down expenditures.

We are not alone in this financial position.  This has been the story for many churches.  What can you do or suggest to make 2022 a year we begin to build back?  We have a history of missions and community involvement.  Let’s come out of our Covid coma and know God is with us in this time of worry.

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

Jan 20-27, 2022

Sundays 6:08 pm

Bristol Hub Youth at Reynolds Memorial UMC

Thursday, Jan 20

8:00pm – AA

Jan 21-23

Resurrection: A Ministry to Youth at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge

Jan 23

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

8:00pm – AA

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

Tuesday, Jan 25

8:00pm – AA

Jan 30

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

8:00pm – AA

Feb 1

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

Feb 1

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

Feb 7-9

Ministers’ Convocation in Pigeon Forge

Feb 14

Feast of Saint Valentine

Feb 27

Transfiguration Sunday

Feb 28

9:15 a.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: In Concert: the Becky Fuller Band at King University Memorial Chapel

7:00 p.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: In Concert: the Becky Fuller Band at Birthplace of Country Music Museum

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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