Newsletter: Oct 6-12, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

Photo by rikka ameboshi 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 GREEN (LOW) for COVID-19 transmission this week, so:
> Masks are optional 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.

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

October 9, 2022

Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:8-15

Sermon: One Church by Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving in October


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

October 2, 2022

World Communion Sunday

Prelude: There Is a Place of Quite Rest by C. B. McAfee; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise-: 452- My Faith Looks Up to Thee

First Scripture: Psalm 4

Second Scripture: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

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

Hymn of Thanksgiving: 375 – There is a Balm in Gilead

Hymn of Benediction: 374 – Standing on the Promises

Postlude: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee by Ludwig van Beethoven/arr by E. Hodges; Phil Haga, organist

As we pray for the victims of the hurricane and the other disasters it has caused, consider how you can give to support the efforts of the UMC recovery teams that are on the ground providing relief. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

Give to UMCOR Disaster Relief Fund

Give to Florida Annual Conference’s Hurricane Ian Response Fund


Memorial to Help for Haiti

By Alan and Sandy Gorrell memory of Ron Crockett.

Photo by Evie Shaffer on

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

New Book Study Group at First

Anyone of any age is welcome join our new Wednesday night study! 

Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? Our book centers on the Jewish sage, Honi the Circle Maker, as well as the Biblical principles of praying boldly as a people of God. What do you need to circle in prayer? What can our church circle in prayer? What seems impossible to us, could be a calling from God for our community and our world. “God Honors Bold Prayers because Bold Prayers Honor God”

Bring your dinner along to share food together or join us at 6:30 p.m. for an hour of growing in faith as we reform our prayer life. Study guides will be provided, but the series is based on the book The Circle Maker by Pastor Mark Batterson. 

**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

October 6, 2022

Let me begin this week with a note of thanks for your prayers and support through my small procedure. You have been so gracious in sharing your prayers and support, as well as keeping the work of our church going in my brief absence. Thank you. This community of faith is such a blessing to our family. My recovery is basically finished, with just a couple lingering bruises from a minimally invasive procedure. However, it’s a wait-and-see at this point to learn if I will undergo a round two later this year. Again, thank you for holding my healing and my family in your prayers.

I am so excited for the connection and energy that accompanied our Church Yard Sale, and the next few events and ministries coming our way. Friends, we are turning a corner into the next phase God has for us. We are rebuilding relationships, and stepping out in faith, just by stepping out of our houses a bit more often. The Church building is not the Church, but it is joyful to have more faces connecting here. Keep praying with me and planning our next steps of faith.

Pastor Casey

Church Yard Sale Updates

Thank you everyone who contributed items and time and hard work to our yard sale!

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

Thank you to everyone who donated food in September. Your small gift makes a big difference in our local community in the name of Christ. Look at how much we were able to share!

Elk Garden Project

Calling all knitters and crocheters! A Christmas outreach of Elk Garden Community School is to include homemade dishcloths in the December food bags provided. Rev. Valerie Ritter is asking for volunteers or yarn donations. Any pattern will work.Contact Rev. Valerie or our church office with any questions.

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

Imagine a beautiful tall tree changing colors in the fall.  It is still full of leaves.  The sunshine on it makes it glow.  Then as you walk  you see that the entire back side is straight with no branches, just a few dead twigs.  What a shock.  That happened to me this morning.  As I thought about that tree, I wondered if it carried a message to us.  Were we to think about the whole of us?  Not just what we show on our “front” side?   

I went to the funeral for Ron Crockett last Sunday.  What an example of a “full tree.”  His love of our Help for Haiti Mission was mentioned more than once.  He was involved in community groups helping the poor and homeless. But, he had time to help monitor our mission also.  We along with so many others will miss this dedicated Christian.  

Is it time to take a look at your “tree” and make sure you are using the gifts God gave you to serve His Kingdom?

Photo by Griffin Wooldridge on

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

October 6-12, 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

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

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