Newsletter: September 1-7, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

Photo by Olga Divnaya 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

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.

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

September 4, 2022

Sermon: Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving in September



9/11 Alan Gorrell

9/18 Sue Dietz

9/25 Jennifer Daniel

Greeters and Ushers – Tom Felty (all of September)

Videographer – Blake Irwin

*Please make arrangements to trade with someone if you will be unable to serve in this way. Any emergency changes can be handled by those present at worship.

Last Sunday at First UMC

August 28, 2022

12th Sunday After Pentecost

Prelude: I Need Thee Every Hour by Robert Lowery; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise: 185 When Morning Gilds the Skies

Scripture: Luke 14:1, 7-14

Sermon: A Place At the Table – Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: 92 For the Beauty of the Earth

Postlude: Heralds of Christ, Who Bear the King’s Commands by G. W. Warren; Phil Haga, organist

Missional Hub Cooperative Ministry Training

We have opportunity, through a longstanding connection with South Bristol UMC and Addilyn Memorial UMC, to move forward with intentional partnering in ministry. As we discern our shared ministry work, Rev. Susan Arnold has offered to facilitate our process of developing our Hub in 5 Sunday afternoon training sessions. 

You can come to one or all of the sessions— September 4, 18, 25 and October 2, 9 — at Addilyn Memorial from 2:00-3:15 p.m. We have several church meetings and work coming up in September and October, so please see these as an opportunity, not an obligation. We hope you will consider at least one of the dates to join us. Our hope is to learn quickly how we can build sustainable ministry in Bristol, TN in the name of Jesus.

Short Overview of Training Sessions:

  • September 4, Module 1: Pre-Training Questionnaires and Introduction to Cooperative Ministry
    Partnerships.  Biblical Foundations and Group Discussion #1
  • September 18, Module 2: Historical Foundations and Group Discussion #2
  • September 25, Module 3: Theological Foundations and Group Discussion #3
  • October 2, Module 4: Interdisciplinary Foundations
  • October 9,  Module 5: Next Steps: Moving Toward Cooperative Ministry Partnerships
    Post-Workshop Questionnaires, and Covenant

From the Pastor’s Pen

September 1, 2022

Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.

 – John 4:35-36

Once, when Jesus was surrounded by crowds, the disciples tried to urge him to escape and take care of himself. “Go eat”, they said, seeing the crowd as a nuisance. Jesus however, replies with the Scripture above. Instead of food, he sees a full harvest of people interested in the mission and hungry to discover what his ways are all about. Jesus tells them to open their eyes and look… these people are your harvest, a harvest you didn’t plant and weren’t expecting.

As we look ahead into fall, many of us worry over our dwindling numbers and struggles to keep ministries afloat. Where are all the people to do this work? How will we keep up as each of us continues to deal with our own needs? Who do I even know to bring to the church?

Instead of being caught up in the negatives, what if we too prayed to see the harvest? Who is the person God is putting in your path to bring to kingdom life? What family are you connecting with that needs the love of the Lord? Is there a group that God has in front of your eyes that you can’t yet see as seekers? We pray together for our eyes to be opened, as we both sow and reap amongst people in our daily paths. 

God show us the harvest, the people who are waiting. Open our eyes for the sake of your work in the world. Amen.

Pastor Casey

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!
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. Contact Nancy Pierce at South Bristol with any questions. 

In light of the recent floodings, Clinch Mountain District needs your help for the

Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Program
We are currently collecting the following items for UMCOR CLEANING BUCKETS AND HYGIENE KITS 

*Laundry Detergent (liquid or powder)
*Any cleaning supplies including mops, brooms, and squeegees
*Air mattresses with either hand-or battery-operated pumps
* Canned food items that can be eaten without heat *Food/snacks that do not require refrigeration, i.e., nuts, peanut butter, chips
*Plastic spoons, forks, and knives
*Feminine hygiene products
*Baby diapers
*Baby food
*Blankets (New or gently used & laundered) 

Bring your items to collection boxes in the sanctuary by and we will deliver them OR
Drop them off directly at Pleasant View UMC-Abingdon 


Bristol Faith in Action

The Food Pantry is running low on supplies to serve the needs of our local community. Please consider donating:

  • breakfast items such as cereal, oatmeal, pop tarts,breakfast bars, grits, 
  • Peanut butter 
  • Jelly
  • saltine type crackers
  • canned fruit
  • instant potatoes
  • beef stew
  • Individual items for homeless that do not require can openers.

While food is our mission, we are always asked for hygiene items and cleaning supplies.

You can bring your donations to the First for collection boxes as you enter the sanctuary or drop your donations directly at Bristol Faith in Action

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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

Sue is on vacation! Prayers for her safe travels and a restorative break 🙂

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

September 1-7, 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

September 4

2:00-3:15 p.m.  Missional Hub Cooperative Ministry Training at Addilyn Memorial

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.

September 18

12:15 p.m. Administrative Board Meeting

2:00-3:15 p.m.  Missional Hub Cooperative Ministry Training at Addilyn Memorial

September 25

2:00-3:15 p.m.  Missional Hub Cooperative Ministry Training at Addilyn Memorial

4:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting

October 2

2:00-3:15 p.m.  Missional Hub Cooperative Ministry Training at Addilyn Memorial

October 9

2:00-3:15 p.m.  Missional Hub Cooperative Ministry Training at Addilyn Memorial

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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