Newsletter: September 29-Oct 5, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

Photo by Bruno Scramgnon 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 *YELLOW (Medium)* for COVID-19 community transmission this week, so:

> Masks are optional, but recommended if you are high risk for gathering in person – please respect the safety concerns of others. Masks will be available if you forget to bring your own.

> 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.

Email Prayer Chain

If you are interested in being a part of the email prayer chain, please sign up as you exit the sanctuary or email Pastor Casey. The messages will be distributed through our email lists on Realm.

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

October 2, 2022

Scripture: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

Sermon: Is there really any balm? by Rev. Valerie Ritter

Serving in September


10/2 Sue Dietz


10/16 Dawn Shores

10/23 Alan Gorrell


Greeters and Ushers


Alan Gorrell

Blake Irwin

Blake Irwin

Blake Irwin

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

September 25, 2022

16th Sunday After Pentecost

Prelude: As the Deer by Martin Nystrom; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise: 514 – Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

The Apostle’s Creed: UMH 882

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6-19

Sermon: One Life………Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: TFWS 2036 – Give Thanks

Postlude: More Love to Thee, O Christ by William Doane; Phil Haga, organist


    for Ernestine Blanton


    John and Len Hill

   Frances Coppedge

All Saints Day Remembrance

In preparation for the first Sunday of November, we would like assistance in listing the names of members and constituents who have passed away in the past year. With the change in pastors, we do not want anyone to be overlooked.

Please email their name and a photo if possible so we can faithfully celebrate the great cloud of witnesses from First UMC Bristol.

Photo by Lisa on

**UPDATED ** 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. Thank you to Rev. Susan Arnold and the participants from all churches for your prayers and presence. As we discern our shared ministry work, Pastor Ray and I will be setting up the next steps of shared work. In the meantime, please pray and dream of what ministries you would want to do together. Our goal is to connect in, fellowship, discipleship, and mission to bring God’s best to the people of Bristol, TN.

From the Pastor’s Pen

September 29, 2022

As we continue to hear the news that some UMC churches have been leaving the denomination, I have been listening to your questions and looking for credible resources to share what is occurring. On Monday, Bishop Wallace-Padgett was in our district sharing in worship and answering questions about the uncertainty. One of the things to note is that there is currently not a full denomination established that churches are joining. Rather, some churches are just leaving due to the timing of the opportunity offered, while some are joining the Global Methodists, who have some legal and theological steps already in place. Many churches are choosing to stay because the UMC is what it has always been– a denomination that encompasses a wide range of theological practices, but always returns to the same core principles. We believe that Jesus is Lord. We believe that God is one and over all. We believe in the transformation of the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.

If this sounds confusing, that’s because parts of it are. What has occurred in the UMC is to clarify the process we have always had for churches leaving the denomination. However, rumors have circulated to the extent that some very bizarre declarations about the future of the UMC have been made. Several conferences have put together excellent FAQ sites, including North Alabama with whom we share our Bishop. So today, to remain faithful people who follow Christ, let’s release the rumors and look into the information available. Let’s be people who speak wisely and kindly as we look to the future of our church.

The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.

– Proverbs 16:23

Pastor Casey

Church Yard Sale Updates

The Yard Sale for mission funding will be held Friday, September 30 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday, October 1 from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm

All proceeds go to support our Mission ministries, including Help for Haiti.  United Women in Faith will be coordinating the details through September to make the sale a success.

If you can donate your time and energy, please come by for however long you can to make this as successful as possible for our mission.

Altar Flower Sign Up

Share the beauty of God’s creation as a gift to God and our congregation.

Select your date, and  list your name and any details about the flowers. Examples – “in loving memory of _____”, “in celebration of _____”— or it can simply be a gift to the glory of God. 

  • Cost $50 for a professional arrangement.
  • Label your check or envelope as designated to the altar flower fund, with the date you signed up for. 
  • Deadline for sign up and payment is the Sunday before.
  • You may take the flowers after Sunday service or we will distribute them as we are able. 

Contact Sue Bryngelson or the church office with any questions.

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

Photo by on

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

It’s so good to be home.  Vacation was needed and enjoyed.  It was the first time for the whole family to be in the same housing for a week.  We made it in good form and plan to do it again next year.  When we returned things got wild:  runaway mower, broken clothes dryer, exploded diet coke in the freezer, flying half gainer in the sanctuary and a computer that decided to play tricks.  Yes, it’s good to be back to my church family but maybe not all the drama.  

I know we all have hectic lives.  It seems hard to find time to rest and rejuvenate, but we must.  Even short 20 or 30 minute times can do the trick.  Jesus knew the importance of “getting away” even as the crowds followed him and wanted his attention.  We have a big YARD SALE to run.  Many have already worked to bring things and set up this mission fundraiser.  Your help is needed on Friday and Saturday.  Please come and work with the others to make this a success.  Then remember to set aside some time to recoup and rest. Let’s meet Sunday morning at First at 11:00am.

Serve with Sunday Worship

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

First UMC is adding volunteers to serve on rotations for:

  • Liturgist– read the Sunday Announcements, Responsive Reading, or other speaking opportunities
  • 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
  • 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.

Giving to Ministries at First UMC

What can I give towards?

  • General Fund- monthly expenses for upkeep and ministries
  • Designated Gifts- towards a specific project or ministry
  • Missions Giving- to a specific mission or a general gift to be split among our mission partners

How often should I give?

  • Everyone manages their funds differently. Some give weekly when they attend worship. Other families give monthly when their income is deposited. Still others give at varying times to match a need or a project.

Our only request is that you prayerfully consider how God has called you to support the church and ministries with your fund. We challenge you to be good and faithful stewards of what is entrusted to you.

How can I give?

  • In person
    • Offering envelope booklets are available for you to take home. Each include 53 undated envelopes for weekly giving, or spread them out over time if you give on a different schedule. Please pick up yours from the rear of the sanctuary.
    • Offering envelopes have returned to the pews as well. If you forget yours, please take one for identifying your giving.
  • Digitally
    • ACH – contact us directly for a confidential form. This type of giving will automatically withdraw the amount your choose directly from your bank account
    • With online giving you can contribute from your checking account, or give with a debit or credit card. You also have the option to make your gift recurring.
      • Website: or any of the “Give Online” buttons
      • Text: from your cell phone, text FIRSTUMCBRISTOL to 73256. This will open up a link for you to choose how you give.

Calendar of Events

September 29- October 5, 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 30

8:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Church Yard Sale

October 1

8:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Church Yard Sale

October 2

3:00 p.m. District Charge Conference and picnic at Camp Ahistadi

October 9

4:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting

October 23

12:00 p.m. Worship Committee and Faith and the Arts Meeting

3:00 p.m. Charge Conference at Reynolds Memorial UMC

November 13

12:15 p.m. Administrative Board 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s