Newsletter: Nov 18-24, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

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 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 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 20, 2022

Scripture: Colossians 1:11-20

Sermon: Keep Circling by Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving in November


11/06 Sue Dietz


11/20 Alan Gorrell

11/27 Dawn Shores

*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 13, 2022

Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost

Prelude—God of Grace and God of Glory by John Hughes; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise: 110 – A Mighty Fortress is Our God

First Scripture: Psalm 5:1-3

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

Sermon: Keep Circling by Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: TFWS 2284 – Joy in the Morning

Postlude: Forward Through the Ages By Arthur S. Sullivan; 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 at 6 PM @ First UMC
    • Sign up to bring cookies for refreshments as we host our 3 churches in worship

From the Pastor’s Pen

November 17, 2022

On Sunday, I issued an odd challenge– to write the vision, or the prayer, that God is calling you to circle and claim. Even though our lives all take different directions, I was struck by the similarity of our prayers. So rather than write a long Pastor’s Pen meditation, join me in praying through the prayers of our congregation.

Church Prayers


Personal Prayer

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

Trustees Church Improvement Day

Thank you so much for all the work we shared in together! 10 people showed up to beautify our spaces and work on several repairs. We are so thankful for your faithful service and grateful for everyone that worked in the building at a different time. Be on the lookout for the next date in the new year.

United Women in Faith

We had a wonderful meeting and dinner this past week with the United Women in Faith, formerly the United Methodist Women. The group made plans to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas support for local school families, and voted on support for Help for Haiti missions.

Our next gathering is December 13 at 5:30 PM.

A Note From Our Lay Leader

Well it’s almost that time…turkeys, gifts, celebrations.  Each year I vow to be ready for Advent to enable me to be calm and to dwell on the true reason we celebrate.  I’ve yet to be ready to do much contemplating.  But you know what,  Mary and Joseph sure weren’t sitting around contemplating either.  Maybe, just maybe, all these years I’ve been feeling just what all those people were feeling as they went to pay taxes.  The rush, the cost, all those people.  Isn’t that part of what we encounter in our Christmas rush?  I’ll still try to be ready, but now I’ll understand a little more about just what Mary and Joseph were feeling.  

Join me in the joyful rush.


Serve with First UMC

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 18-24, 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.

7:00 p.m. AA Meetings


7:00 p.m. AA Meetings


7:00 p.m. AA Meetings

November 20

4:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting

6:00 p.m. Missional Hub Thanksgiving Worship Service at First

November 21

9:00 a.m.         Decorate for Advent

December 4

12:15 p.m. Lunch and Christmas Caroling to Shut-ins

December 21

12:00 p.m. Advent Luncheon at First UMC

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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