Newsletter: August 4-10, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

Photo by Katerina Holmes on

Welcome to In-Person Worship Again….

If you are unable to join us for whatever reason, please tune in as we live-stream the service on Facebook.

The CDC has designated our local area as*ORANGE (HIGH)* for COVID-19 transmission this week, so:

> Masks are STRONGLY encouraged for gathering in person – please respect the safety concerns of others. Masks will be available if you forget to bring your own.

> Please sit with members of your household at a reasonable distance from others

> Sanitize the spaces you use

> If you are unwell, we hope you will stay home and join our fellowship virtually.

Church Office Hours:

Sundays 2-6 PM

Tuesdays 4-7 PM

Wednesdays 4-8 PM

In-person worship is at 11:00a.m. Sundays in the Sanctuary
AND can 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. Irwin on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram.

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

August 7, 2022

Scripture: Luke 12:13-21

Sermon: Rev. Casey Irwin

Photo by Bhargava Marripati on

Last Sunday at First UMC

July 31, 2022

8th Sunday After Pentecost

Prelude – Betty Curtis, pianist

Hymn of Praise: Now Thank We All Our God — UMH 102

Scripture: Luke 12:13-21

Sermon: Truly Rich ………Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: Take My Life and Let It Be — UMH 399

Postlude – Betty Curtis, pianist

From the Pastor’s Pen

August 4

Two exciting things are happening this week! 

First, we are thrilled to announce that we have enough sound working to move worship back to the Sanctuary. The congregation has been exceptionally patient through all the time in Tankersley, and we may still use it on the week the new equipment gets installed. However, Phil and my husband and I have all worked on sound equipment and setups to make sure we can hear well in-person and online. (When you see Phil, thank him immensely for all the time he spent this week cleaning and preparing the space!) And please join us for worship this Sunday for our first week back in the Sanctuary as we celebrate Holy Communion together. 

Secondly, stick around Sunday after worship, for a simple lunch and a church development opportunity through the Annual Conference called onboarding. According to Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, “Moving clergy and leaders in receiving churches are requested to participate in an onboarding
experience led by a trained facilitator… Onboarding is designed to help moving clergy and receiving leaders of receiving churches get acquainted quickly and well. It has been said that a one-day onboarding session can fast forward the relationship of a new clergy and receiving church by as much as a year.”
Rev. Susan Arnold will be joining us as a facilitator to help us ask the questions and work on the plans for God’s vision here at First. Please consider staying and sharing your discernment from 12-2 on Sunday.

It’s a wonderful week, church family! I will hold you in my prayers and I hope you do the same for one another. It’s my birthday today, so I’m praying for another blessed year ahead

Pastor Casey

Ernestine Blanton

November 6, 1926 – July 17, 2022

Please be in prayer for the Blanton family. Ernestine was loved by all at First UMC and her beautiful artwork continues to reflect her beauty of spirit.

There will be a Celebration of Life service for Ernestine L. Blanton on Saturday, August 13th at 1:00pm in our sanctuary. Visitation will follow in Tankersley Hall.

Help for Haiti Updates

Haiti is still devastated from disasters and political unrest. Help for Haiti currently houses children who would otherwise live in tent city, and pays their school tuition. The expenses continue to rise, but we trust that by God’s grace this ministry is making a difference one life at a time.

At the end of June, Leferne took a trip to fix up the home for the children being cared for. Here are some updates:

We had some repairs that need to be done at the shelter. I had one door replaced and the others fixed and repainted. We had to replace the doorknobs. If we did not fix the doors, Mr. Lasserne would not be renewed the rent. Before I went to Haiti there is a carpenter that asked $1,430 to do the Job. While I was in Haiti, I got it done for $745.00 for everything. May God bless you all!

Yours, Leferne Preptit

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

This morning I watched six fawns and two mamas walking beside King College Road.  One fawn was more interested in the munching  than following the others. He needed a mama to help him find the group. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone you could call or would call you with questions or prayer requests or checking on your health when you have been under the weather?  Those deer were traveling together.  We who are at First are traveling a road together and need each other at times.

Photo by Harvey Sapir on

Alan Gorrell talked about a shepherding program we could start at First.  Shepherds would each have a few people to keep in contact with.  A call a month to see if help is needed, how things are going, celebrate a special time in a life.  We are a family and like the deer can travel together to help each other.  This program is just being discussed by the Council.  If you have ideas or input please let a council member know or, even better, attend the next Council meeting on August 28 at 12:15. 

Meet the Pastor!


Meet the Pastor!

Pastor Casey would like to get to know you and your family. We have sign-ups available– through this Google Form or in-person on Sundays– to meet for coffee, a meal, a visit at your home or at the Pastor’s Office. We hope everyone connected to the church will choose a time and get to know our new Pastor.

Serve with Sunday Worship

What is God calling you to do? What ministries bring you joy?

First UMC is adding volunteers to serve once a month on a rotation for:

  • Liturgist– read the Sunday Announcements, Responsive Reading, or other speaking opportunities
  • Videographer – It’s easier than it sounds! If you’re not familiar with Facebook Live, Pastor Casey or another leader will have the account open for you– just click “Go Live” and rotate the tripod if we need a different camera angle
  • Attendance Cards – Set out and collect the cards or pew pads each week, and record who attends. Tracking online attendees is an added plus if you know how!
  • Administrative TasksChoose one or several areas to serve– proofread the bulletin, check the church voicemail, run DVD and newsletter copies weekly for shut ins, address church mailers.
  • Gardening and Weeding – You choose your schedule to maintain a beautiful and inviting environment at our building.

Reply here via email or check with Pastor Casey for more opportunities to use your gifts in God’s Kingdom.

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

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

Calendar of Events

August 4-10, 2022


9:30 a.m. Sunday School

11:00 a.m. Morning Worship –  We are following the CDC Guidelines for in person gatherings – we will publish the recommended precautions each week in this newsletter and on our facebook page.  

6:08 p.m. Bristol Hub Youth at Reynolds Memorial UMC

7:00 p.m. AA Meetings


7:00 p.m. AA Meetings


7:00 p.m. AA Meetings

August 7

12:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch and New Pastor Onboarding with the Annual Conference

August 9

5:30 p.m. Women of Faith dinner and meeting at Peggy Wilson’s home

August 13

1:00 p.m. Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Ernestine Blanton

August 21

12 p.m. Worship Committee and Faith and the Arts Meeting

4:00 p.m. Trustees

August 28

12:15 p.m.   Administrative Council Meeting

First United Methodist Church
Rev. Casey Irwin, Pastor
322 Vance Dr., Bristol, TN 37620 423-652-2811

Our Vision – Building A Community Where Anyone Can Become A Deeply Committed Christian

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