Newsletter: Nov 24- Dec 1, 2022

First United Methodist Church of Bristol, Tennessee

Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule

Photo by RODNAE Productions 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 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 27, 2022

First Sunday of Advent

Scripture: Matthew 24:36-44

Sermon: Hope is Coming by Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving This Month


11/06 Sue Dietz


11/20 Alan Gorrell

11/27 Dawn Shores


12/4 Jennifer Daniel

12/11 The McGrady Family


*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 20, 2022

Christ the King Sunday

Prelude—My Jesus, I Love Thee By A.J. Gordon; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise: 157 – Jesus Shall Reign

First Scripture: Jeremiah 23:1-6

Second Scripture: Colossians 1:7-20

Sermon: King Over All by Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: 327 – Crown Him with Many Crowns

Postlude: Sing Them Over Again to Me By John Ribble; Phil Haga, organist

Find the worship video and bulletin linked here:

Photo by Rebekah McGrady

Missional Hub Events

Thank you to everyone who was a part of our Thanksgiving Evening Worship Service. We gathered with people from 4 congregations, including our Missional Hub Churches, and several who attended online.

The cookies and snacks were excellent and much appreciated. Thank you for supporting our shared events.

  • Illuminate, a contemporary worship time, will take place Sunday, November 27 and December 11 at 6 PM at Addilyn Memorial.

From the Pastor’s Pen

November 24, 2022

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.” – 1 Chronicles 16:34-36

Sunday night’s service centered on this scripture reading of praise, when King David led God’s people in singing this song of thanks. After many declarations of praising God, they reach this point of asking for protection before praising again.

Two events this week remind me of the plea in this text:

  • Thanksgiving is a time where we recognize all the ways we have been delivered. We thank God for the gifts of life, health, and daily blessings. We pray for the ways we need God’s further intervention. We remember with love the people who have been a part of our previous celebrations. Thanks be to God in this holiday season!
  • In Colorado, another shooting took place, as a hate crime targeted a LGBTQ+ community. As followers of Christ, we join in prayer, crying out on their behalf “save us, God our Savior”. As a congregation that has made a safe space for these brothers and sisters, we pray for protection and deliverance from violence against these people. We pray alongside the generations of Christians that all people can give thanks to God in all circumstances, but we pray that the worst of circumstances is not perpetuated.

May we be the singers of God’s blessings, and the ones who stand in prayer for God’s protection.

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

Advent Luncheon at First UMC

Wednesday, December 21, we are hosting the last of the 4 Advent worship and luncheons for Bristol area churches. A sign-up sheet is available on Sundays or contact Pastor Casey to provide part of the meal, desserts, or help serve.

This is a great opportunity to share with our local community and the offering for the 4 weeks will go to Help for Haiti ministries through First UMC.

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

We are praying for Sue and Dale, and others in the congregation and the local community, who have been ill over the holiday.

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. Weekly or monthly rotation as needed.

  • Offering Counters- Teams of two unrelated people count the offering immediately following worship and record the totals on the provided spreadsheet. Join in this simple task to be a part of keeping our finances healthy.
  • 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

December 4

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

December 11

4:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting

December 21

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

December 24

5:00 p.m. Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship

December 25

11:00 a.m. Sunday Worship

January 22

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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