Newsletter: March 31- April 6, 2022

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

LOCATION Adjustment:

Due to the sound problems in the sanctuary, Administrative Council has moved the Sunday service to Tankersley Hall until the sanctuary sound equipment is updated.

A substantial memorial has been given by Peggy Callison for Russ Basham. This has been designated for the planned audio/visual upgrade in the sanctuary. 

In-person worship at 11:00a.m. Sundays in the Tankersley Hall (temporarily) 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.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

April 3, 2022

John 12:1-8

Stewardship Mary’s Way”

Rev. Brandon Berg

Last Sunday at First UMC

Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 27, 2022

Prelude He by Jack Richards; Phil Haga, pianist

Opening Hymn TFWS 2025 As the Deer

Old Testament Reading: Joshua 5:9-12

Responsive Reading: Psalm 32

Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Like Father, Like Son (Extravagance Begets Extravagance)

Hymn of Benediction TFWS 2128 Come and Find the Quiet Center
Postlude I Love to Tell the Story by Wm Fischer ;Phil Haga, pianist

Find the order of service here

and come pray with Rev. Berg here.


Russ Basham

     Peggy Callison – Audio/Visual Fund

     Sandy and Alan Gorrell – Audio/Visual

Richard Rollins

     Jennifer Price Smith and Charles R. Smith

     Sandy and Alan Gorrell – Audio/Visual Fund

Jeff Gorrell      

     Alan and Sandy Gorrell

Jim Hobbs

     Sandy and Alan Gorell – Audio/Visual Fund

Peggy Spangler

     Sandy and Alan Gorell – Audio/Visual Fund

Reba Elizabeth Johnson Lewis

     In remembrance by Creed Allan Lewis

Deadline to Register March 18 

May 2-4, 2022

Black Fox Lodge

3171 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN

Camp News

February 2022

Current Camp Needs

We are currently looking for used EMPTY Lysol wipe containers, they do not need to be the Lysol brand just the cylindrical containers. If you would like to help us accumulate these please let us know by contacting us at 423-349-8401. We appreciate your generosity. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes Value Pack, 75 Ct Each, Pack of 3  (Package May Vary) : Health & Household

Amazon wish list 

We have an Amazon Wish List that has been created for Camp Bays Mountain. There are multiple items on the list that we will need before summer camp gets started. If you are interested in purchasing something from our wish list please follow this link.

We are Hiring! 

If you are someone you know is interested in working at camp this summer please apply online. We are looking for counselors (18+ years old), support staff (16-18 years old), and adventure staff (21+ years old).

From the Pastor’s Pen
March 31, 2022

I’ve been walking through the story of Joseph recently in our cycle of texts for the Daily Office that I pray. If you’ve tuned into the Holston Conference Read Together offerings, you’ll have been encountering the same stories. It’s almost as if the daily readings are organized at least in part from that much older cycle, like somebody decided to use an old tool instead of reinventing the wheel.


But that’s not what I intend to point out. On Tuesday morning, I was struck by an odd image from that story.

Jacob calls to his bedside all his sons, but pulls Joseph aside for special instruction. He makes Joseph vow to bury him with his father and grandfather in Canaan, and Joseph, being good for his word, does that. But he doesn’t just take his brothers and some meager supplies for the journey:

With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. Both chariots and charioteers went up with him. It was a very great company. (Genesis 50:7b-9 NRSV)

The folks in Canaan have likely never seen anything like this. I’m not even sure I know how to compare that to something we might see, especially when we have such ready access to images of other cultures. It might just be like aliens landing in the middle of the community, having their own massive party for seven days, and then leaving without interacting with a soul.

Sometimes we have no idea what’s going on. We have no idea what somebody’s going through. And sometimes we never know.

Of course, we never can know if we don’t reach out. I wonder if any of the Canaanites tried that.

I don’t suppose I have any helpful revelations or reflections about that story. Sometimes the best I can do is marvel at how weird the stories are. I invite you to dig into it and see it, too. Let it make you wonder, like gazing at a Jackson Pollock painting.

What on earth am I looking at?

Maybe that’s enough.


Tips for April 2022

Refuse fast fashion allure and consumerism pressures. Reduce the amount

of clothing you buy. Reuse your garments for many years. Repair minor problems like a missing button or a loose hem. Recycle textiles responsibly. Remember the “lilies of the field” and Jesus’ assurance

(Matthew 6:28-33).

From our UM Social Principles: “We urge United Methodists to adopt sustainable habits and practices, including refraining from overconsumption, repurposing and recycling materials, avoiding products that pollute or otherwise harm the environment, and reducing the carbon footprints of individuals and families by reducing overall reliance on fossil fuels for heat, transportation, and other goods.”

Go thrifty; save the earth! When you purchase from a thrift or second-hand store, your choice uses fewer resources, generates fewer emissions and less waste, gives other people work, extends the life of the clothing, and keeps textiles out of the landfill. Try Thred Up, an online source, or one of the 4,245 Goodwill stores. Some churches also offer “nearly new” clothing at low or no cost. 

Read the clothing labels. Avoid fossil-fuel-based synthetics (polyester, nylon, acrylic, spandex, lycra). Choose items made of natural fibers (organic cotton, linen, wool, silk, hemp), recycled materials and fibers (including polyester), or sustainable plant-based Tencel.

Have eco-friendly fun with friends. Host a party for passing along the clothes children outgrow so quickly or for exchanging outfits with friends of the same size. Set a stitch-it-up time for learning the how-tos of mending, getting the repairs done, and talking about caring for the earth and one another.

When you need to buy clothing, shop for the company not just the product. Support businesses that practice sustainability and fair worker treatment in their products and production. Here’s a list of 35 Ethical and Sustainable Clothing Brands.

Make your clothes last longer. Wash them in cold water, which is less damaging than hot. Wash a full load, which reduces the agitation’s wear-and-tear on the items. Add a few pinches of salt rather than color-“safe” chemical bleaches, which are hard on the materials. Choose other natural remedies for getting stains out.

Avoid the landfills. Charities, thrift stores, “upcyclers,” and selected manufacturing all benefit from your donations through Retold, a mail-in service for recycling not just clothing but also household textiles, such as blankets, towels, and so on)—even wedding dresses. Retold takes items in poor condition as well as those worthy of resale. By carefully sorting through donations, the company has already diverted 18 million tons from landfills.

Look at what you are wearing. Whose hands cut the fabric? Whose labor stitched the pieces? Were they safe in their working conditions? Were they paid a living wage? Pray and advocate for garment workers. When you dress, say a blessing for those who provide for you.

Nurdles (microplastics) leached from the wastewater of washing machines cleaning clothing made of synthetic (petroleum-based) fibers, end up in the water systems of the world. Untold numbers of fish and other marine life try to eat them and starve to death. Untold numbers of people eating fish are ingesting plastic. Switch to clothes made of organic fibers or use a GuppyFriend Washing Bag to stop microwaste.

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 Love Beyond Borders campaign aims to raise funds for the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. The initiative has emerged from First United Methodist Church, Boise, ID and seeks to engage The United Methodist Church in supporting COVAX alongside UNICEF, the key vaccine delivery partner.

All funds raised will be sent to UNICEF for this project. More information about Love Beyond Borders is here.

A Note From Our Lay Leader

Last Saturday and Sunday I attended a Clinch Mountain District workshop–Being the Church in a Post-Pandemic World.  It was presented by Kay Kotan 

     One point that resonates with me is the need for  Methodists to come together as churches and work together without losing their identity.  This missional hub concept has been used successfully by several Bristol Virginia churches.  We have started on our side of the state line too.  Did you know that?  The Lenten Lunches and Advent activities have been planned between our ministers. 

     I hope we laity will embrace the concept of the missional hub.  You will be hearing more as we emerge from what I think of as the Covid Coma.  As we learn to trust and understand working with other churches, our ability to address community problems will grow.  Our opportunities of being together to work and worship will present themselves. We at First have much to do. And family to reconnect with.  

If you’d like to watch videos of the Training, CLICK HERE

     We don’t all agree about all things! But we do agree on our love for Jesus and our desire to bring him to those who don’t know Him. Come on, let’s get started.


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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(First United Methodist of Bristol, Clinch Mountain District)

Calendar of Events

Mar 31-Apr 6, 2022

Sundays 6:08 pm

Bristol Hub Youth at Reynolds Memorial UMC

Thursday, Mar 31

8:00pm – AA

Sunday April 3

9:30am – Sunday School in the Shaw-Anchor room

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

8:00pm – AA

3:00 p.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: In Concert: Bill Linderman at King University Memorial Chapel

April 4

9:15 a.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: In Concert: Bill Linderman at King University Memorial Chapel

April 6

12:00 p.m. Bristol Missional Hub Lenten Luncheon at Saint Luke UMC

6pm The River Service

April 10

Palm Sunday

9:30am – Sunday School in the Shaw-Anchor room

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

8:00pm – AA

April 11

9:15 a.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: The Stewardship of Pain: A Case Study by Jeffrey Munroe at King University Memorial Chapel

6:00 p.m. Holy Monday Service

7:00 p.m. King University Faith and Culture Speaker Series: On Paying Attention: Frederick Buechner and the Art of Listening to Your Life by Jeffrey Munroe at Central Presbyterian Church

April 12

6:00 p.m. Holy Tuesday Service

April 13

12:00 p.m. Bristol Missional Hub Lenten Luncheon at State Street UMC

6:00 p.m. Holy Wednesday Service

April 14

6:00 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service

April 15

6:00 p.m. Good Friday Service

April 17

Easter Sunday

9:30am – Sunday School in the Shaw-Anchor room

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

8:00pm – AA

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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