Newsletter: Oct 27-Nov 3, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

Photo by Rebekah McGrady

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 5-8 PM

Wednesdays 5-8 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.

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.

Worship This Week

October 30, 2022

Scripture: Luke 18:1-8

Sermon: Pray Hard by Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving in October


10/30 Dawn Shores

Greeters and Ushers

Melila Preptit


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 23, 2022

20th Sunday after Pentecost

Prelude: Great is Thy Faithfulness by William M. Runyon; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise: 152— I Sing the Almighty Power of God

First Scripture: Psalm 28

Second Scripture: Joshua 5:13-6:5, 16-20

Sermon: Pray Big by Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: 451 – Be Thou My Vision

Postlude: I Love to Tell the Story by Wm. G. Fischer; Phil Haga, organist

Find the worship video and bulletin linked here

Missional Hub Events

As we work on what our shared ministry looks like, a few joint opportunities with South Bristol and Addilyn Memorial are coming up. Please mark your calendars and bring a friend!

  • 10/30 Trunk or Treat on the Parkway at South Bristol- 5-6:30 PM – Distribute candy, serve the free meal, or donate water bottles, chips, or candy. Sign up in worship or by emailing Pastor Casey. Join us also by encouraging the nearby businesses to set up a trunk!
  • 11/20 – Thanksgiving Community Worship Service
  • Bristol Area Advent Lunches
    • November 30 – Trinity UMC
    • December 7 –  TBA
    • December 14 – Beech Grove UMC
    • December 21 – First UMC

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

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. 

Trustees Church Improvement Day

When: Saturday, November 12– 10 a.m. until you need to leave

What: Anything that needs doing to make our church building more inviting

If you don’t have a project in mind, we have painting, cleaning, and wood refinishing you can do. Or come and fellowship and work on a space you’ve been waiting to update. Sign up in worship or email Tom Felty the hours you can be present.

From the Pastor’s Pen

October 27, 2022

Joshua 6 tells the story we heard in worship on Sunday, how the Hebrew people, encountering the barrier of the massive city of Jericho in the land they expected to settle in, did not know what to do. They thought this was their promised future, their new home. They had been waiting for decades for this promise from God to be fulfilled.

At first, most of them were terrified. They were ready to go back and be slaves in Egypt rather than lose a battle and become prisoners of war. Joshua even walked away to ponder what to do next. Then, he received bizarre orders for how to proceed. March in a circle for 6 days. Say nothing. Then march 7 times on the 7th day. End it all with a shout! My question would immediately be “How in the world will this make the city ours?” 

Our book for this sermon series sums it up well “God’s timing is impeccable… I believe there is a God in heaven who directs our steps, who prepares good works in advance, who causes all things to work together for good, who fights our battles for us!” And as the walls of Jericho fell, the battle was fought for the people and the promise of God was fulfilled.

How can we be praying for our Jericho’s to fall? What obstacle have you been waiting to see removed so God’s promise will be answered? Sometimes we know we’re praying for exactly what we should be, but God’s timing and process elude us. So I encourage you to keep praying to the one who times things for good, asking for the battle to be won. Pray BOLDLY with me in the coming weeks for ourselves, our church, and our community.

Pastor Casey

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.

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.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk 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

I echo Casey’s words this week.  Have the courage to pray boldly.  Praying for the simple things is not being bold.  Some things seem impossible.  Praying for those is bold.

I have three things that seem most impossible.  Only God could make them happen.  I’ve not had an answer yet, but I have faith there will be answers in God’s time.  That’s the hard part…God’s time.  It isn’t our time!  Join with me in praying with our pastor and wait for our answers.

Let’s march around the wall!


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 27-November 3, 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 30

5-6:30 p.m. Trunk or Treat on the Parkway at South Bristol UMC

November 12

10 a.m. Church Improvement Day

November 13

12:15 p.m. Administrative Board Meeting

November 20

4:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting

November 21

9:00 a.m.         Decorate for Advent

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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