Newsletter: Nov 11-17, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

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 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.
> Sanitize the spaces you use

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

November 13, 2022

Scripture: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-3

Sermon: Keep Circling by Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving in November


11/06 Sue Dietz


11/20 Alan Gorrell

11/27 Dawn Shores

Greeters and Ushers


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

November 6, 2022

All Saints Sunday

Prelude: O Spirit of the Living God by Ralph Vaughn Williams; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise: 711 – For All the Saints

First Scripture: Ephesians 1:11-23

Second Scripture: Daniel 9:1-10, 17-24

Sermon: Pray Hard – Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: 308 – Thine Be the Glory

Postlude:O Worship the King By William Gardiner;Phil Haga, organist

Find the worship video and bulletin linked here:

Photo by Penny Hudson

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!

  • 11/20 – Thanksgiving Community Worship Service
    • Sign up to bring cookies for refreshments as we host our 3 churches in worship.
  • Bristol Area Advent Lunches
    • November 30 – Trinity UMC
    • December 7 –  TBA
    • December 14 – Beech Grove UMC
    • December 21 – First UMC

Thank you to everyone who donated to the Trunk or Treat! We had a strong turnout and filled the parking lot at South Bristol with trunks! We passed out most of the donated candy, and met a lot of families. Thank you for reaching out to our community with such a fun opportunity.

The sky even dressed up – check out the rainbow behind the trees!

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

November 10, 2022

We’re coming to the close of our prayer worship series, and praying for God’s work to be done. We’ve been praying for our own needs, for our church, and for people all around us. So I want to wrap us up with a request and a story:

The request- to name the prayers God is giving you to pray, and the vision you are claiming as God guides your prayers. You can share these prayers anonymously, or put your name to them. Please respond by clicking here and sharing your words on the Form, or by writing down your prayers and vision to add to the congregation’s notes. We want to pray together for your vision, and celebrate the answered prayers together, by compiling the words of the congregation.

The story- From Draw the Circle Prayer Challenge, a devotional based on the book we’ve been working through.

“Toward the end of his life, Honi the circle maker was walking down a dirt road when he saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi questioned him. “How long will it take this tree to bear fruit?” The man replied, “Seventy years.” Honi said, “Are you quite sure you will live another seventy years to eat its fruit?” The man replied, “Perhaps not. However, when I was born into the world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees…. Even when we die, our prayers don’t. Each prayer takes on a life, an eternal life, of its own.”

So what is your prayer, your vision from God, that starts now and goes on for a generation? What is the prayer you pray now for a future you may not see? Share your prayer this week as we grow in faith together.

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

A Note From Our Lay Leader

I belong to a group which is trying to earn a little more money to help women seeking education.  We have jars we will use this year to collect money for this goal.  Below are some of the November questions.  As you look at them, think how you could use this idea to collect your coins to give to a needy cause and to realize how thankful you are.

If you have heat, put a coin in your jar. 

Can you read this? If so, drop a coin in your jar. 

Did you miss a meal this month because of lack of food? If not, please drop a coin in your jar.

Can you see our beautiful night sky? If so, drop a coin in your jar. 

Do your loved ones have season appropriate clothing? If so, drop a coin in your jar. 

If you can afford your medications, drop a coin in your jar. 

Think of a smell that sends you to a happy memory, then drop a coin in your jar. 

Do you have a safe place to sleep? Think of those who don’t and then drop a coin in your jar.

Do you take medication for a chronic condition? Drop a coin in your jar. 

Hum your favorite Christmas carol. Then drop a coin in your jar. 

Imagine the comfort of a warm shower or bath then drop a coin in your jar.


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

November 11-17, 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

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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