Newsletter: August 18-24, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

Flowers given by the Wagners in Memory of Ernestine Blanton; Photo by Penny Hudson

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

*Note- Pastor Casey will not be in-office on Tuesday, August 23rd.*

Pastor Casey’s position as a teacher has resumed – please leave a voicemail, text, or email anytime and she will contact you on breaks or after school as needed.

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.

Last Sunday at First UMC

August 14, 2022

10th Sunday After Pentecost

I Waited for the Lord by Felix Mendelssohn; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise – 396— Oh Jesus I Have Promised

Scripture: Luke 12:49-56 

Sermon: The Hard Truth – Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction – UMH 415— Take Up Thy Cross
Postlude – Come Thou Almighty King by Felice de Giardini; Phil Haga, organist

From the Pastor’s Pen

August 18, 2022

As I have been meeting with members of the church and talking with leadership, the overall sentiment is that it is increasingly difficult to find enough people who are willing and able to serve on the current committees or teams, for various reasons. There is an alternative structure that many UMC congregations are changing to, which is supported by the Book of Discipline. Over the years, it has been called “The Leadership Team” , “One Board Model”, “Simplified Accountability Structure (SAS)” This style of Leadership Team has been gaining traction in the past 15-20 years in churches of all sizes as it helps the church focus on mission and ministry instead of meetings. Several of our church members have already explored shifting to this model to relieve some of the administrative load carried by committee chairpersons.

Some points to highlight about this potential decision-making structure for the church:

  • The Board accomplishes the duties of the Council, Finance, and SPRC all in one meeting, while moving the rest of the work to seasonal or event based committees and work teams.
  • Instead of committing to a long term committee that may be focused on administration this allows us to free up some of our people of doing other work of mission and ministry by being on ministry teams for events they are interested in (such as the Rummage Sale or Mission Events or Card Ministry or Worship planning).
  • The only administrative committees that would be separate from the Board would be Nominations Committee (per Book of Discipline) and Trustees (which allows for building maintenance to continue and contracts to be vetted before Board approval).
  • Any work of the Board that requires additional time to prepare, such as the budget or a job/ministry description, will be assigned to a smaller group of Board members as a short-term task group.

Based on our current size and participation, we are proposing 8 total voting members in this new structure:

  • Chair
  • SPRC Lead
  • Finance Lead
  • Trustees Lead
  • 4 additional voting members

Please reach out to myself or our current Council Chair, Alan Gorrell, with any additional questions. You can view the detailed proposal and rationale here. This was introduced at the July 31 Council Meeting and will be presented for a vote at the August 28 meeting.

Join me in praying for God’s best for our shared ministry, and wisdom as we consider this plan for leading into the days ahead.

Pastor Casey


Many Thanks

To the Organ Fund for Richard Rollins by Kathy and Larry Wagner

To the Memorial Fund for Ernestine Banton by Kathy and Larry Wagner

Rummage Sale Updates

The Rummage Sale for mission funding has a plan! Early October, date TBA, we will host a sale of the items we began gathering pre-pandemic. United Women in Faith will be coordinating the details through September to make the sale a success.

September 7th at 5:00 PM will be our first workday and dinner.

The plan is to move all the larger items and heavier boxes when several of our strongest members and friends are available. So mark your calendars, and bring anyone who can lift along with you! Those who cannot lift can work on tasks such as organizing items or unpacking boxes. Everyone can be helpful!
Mark your calendars, more dates and details to come!

South Bristol UMC is hosting a Tuesday morning Women’s Bible Study open to any women in the area. Beginning September 6 at 9:30 AM

 Our study will be Beth Moore’s “James, Mercy Triumphs”.  Books will be available at the first gathering. Price TBD.

August 27 11:00am – 7:00pm – TriPride parade begins at 11am followed by the all day festival event at Cumberland Square Park. Anyone is welcome to attend in support and love for our LGBTQ+ community members. We did not register as a sponsor, booth, or marching group– just a presence from the church affirming that all people are loved by God. We will meet at the church at 10:15 for anyone who wants to go as a group. Tickets are FREE, but required for entry. Contact Pastor Casey with questions or for help with tickets. We will meet Safety procedures are similar to concerts and can be found here

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.

Help for Haiti Children’s Shelter expenses for the month of September 2022, 

Food, Water, Milk, Soap for laundry, transportation, barber, and other items such as cleaning supplies, toothpaste, toiletries, utility, barber, and candles $1,300.00

salary for employees $850.00

school transportation $75.00

school snacks/lunch $300.00

internet service $41.00

$6,865.00 for school tuition – The three students that had scholarship last year did not get it this year.

Technology and sport fees for 8 students for academic year 2022-2023.  

Grand total is $9,431.00 

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

The yard sale is coming! 

The yard sale is coming in October.  In case you haven’t heard there are rooms full of stuff.  Big stuff and small stuff.  First job on September 7 is to begin to move things out.  There will be jobs for both those who can handle big things and those who need to help in other areas.  There will be PIZZA for all who can help.  Did you bring stuff?  Why not consider coming to help?  You are needed.


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
  • Sunday Greeters– Welcome people to the building, and to the worship space. Weekly or monthly rotation as needed.
  • Sunday Ushers– Assist people before and after worship with seating and questions. Gather and bring forward the offerings to God. Weekly or monthly rotation as needed.
  • 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 18-24, 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 18

12 p.m. The Salvation Army invites everyone out to join them for a small lunch and take a tour of their programs. It is located at 137 Martin Luther King, JR. BLVD, Bristol, TN with Major Brooks Gilliam starting at 12PM.

August 21

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

4:00 p.m. Trustees

August 27

11:00 a.m.- 7 p.m. – TriPride event at Cumberland Square Park

10 a.m.- 3 p.m. All District Youth are invited to spend the day at Camp Ahistadi! There will be camp songs and fellowship, Creek Stomping, Survival Skills Training, and a Hike. You may want to bring an extra change of clothes, water shoes, hiking shoes (tennis shoes are fine), etc. Lunch will be provided. We will leave Reynolds at 9:00 and return at 4:00 that day

August 28

12:15 p.m.   Administrative Council Meeting

September 7

5:00 p.m. – ?   Everyone able to lift and handle large and heavier pieces is invited to assist with moving yard sale items to Tankersley Hall. If you can set up tables, open boxes, and sort and organize smaller things, please come too! Pizza will be provided.

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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