Newsletter: Jan 12-18, 2023

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 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

January 15, 2023

Scriptures: James 1:2-5, Mark 1:12-14,  Matthew 4:1-11

Sermon: Into the Wilderness by Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving This Month


1/1 Sue Dietz

1/8 Dawn Shores

1/15 McGradys

1/22 K.B. Irwin

1/29 Alan Gorrell

Serving in February






*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

January 8, 2023

Baptism of the Lord Sunday

Prelude: Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise 250: Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

First Scripture: Psalm 29

Second Scripture: Mark 1:4-11

Sermon: Baptism of the Lord by Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: 347 — The Spirit Song

Postlude: Phil Haga, organist

Find the worship video and bulletin linked here:

Photo by Penny Hudson

Weather Reminder

As icy winter weather quickly approaches, please use your best judgment for driving to the church in this season. We have the opportunity to worship virtually with Facebook and YouTube recordings, an online bulletin, or a DVD of worship can be requested from Pastor Casey.

Any cancellation of services will be shared no later than 10 AM on our website and Facebook.

Jubilation Retreat 2023

April 24-26, the Holston Conference is hosting a retreat for older adults across the whole East TN and Southwest VA area. It’s a great time of humor, sharing, and growth in faith. A group from our congregation is organizing to go, so check out the linked information if you need a getaway!

Register online at

Click here to view pricing or print your own registration form, or pick one up from our information tables at the church. Contact Suzanne Rollins if you plan to attend or have any questions.

Missions Committee is re-forming. We are looking for people in the congregation who want to reach our local community and/or coordinate the planning and monetary resources. 

Our goal is to reach and support our community in the name of Christ.

Opportunities include:

  • Planning Committee
  • Fundraising
  • Networking
  • Advertising
  • Assembling Care Packages
  • Volunteering at Events

First decision-making meeting will be set based on participant availability. Please contact Pastor Casey with any questions.
Sign up via email or on the sign-up sheet in the sanctuary.

From the Pastor’s Pen

January 12, 2023

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

Philippians 2:1-7

We are so blessed to start the year with a team of new leaders, nominated by our church members. Last year we voted to simplify our administrative structures, allowing more people to serve in ways that connect with hands on ministries. So our structure may look a little different than in previous years. I invite you to celebrate the leaders listed below, pray for their guidance and leadership. 

If you see an opening for a ministry that matches your gifts or someone you know, please contact me directly. Many of our groups do not meet often, but assemble to do hands-on work or events. Many types of opportunities to serve in the name of Christ are available, and we can piece together more if you see a need. Thank you to all disciples for your faithful service!

Elected Leaders 2023

Administrative Board- Ad Council/ Finance/ SPRC

  • Chair- Alan Gorrell
  • Sue Bryngelson
  • Betty Curtis
  • Treasurer- Sue Dietz
  • Trinka Felty
  • Phil Haga
  • Leferne Preptit
  • Trustees Representative (rotating as needed)


  • Jennifer Daniels
  • Trinka Felty
  • TBD


  • Chair- Tom Felty
  • Cindi Carnahan
  • Ellen Mueller
  • David Swecker
  • Larry Wagner
  • TBD

Non-elected leaders

Worship Chair- Phil Haga

Faith in the Arts Chair- Mary Jane Bradbury

United Women in Faith Chair- Suzanne Rollins

Communications- Rebekah McGrady

Visitation/Homebound Committee

  • Sue Bryngelson
  • Dawn Shores

Help for Haiti Board

  • Leferne Preptit
  • Melila Preptit
  • Cindi Carnahan
  • Sandy Gorrell
  • Carol Wright

Sunday School

  • Alan Gorell- Shaw-Anchor Teacher
  • David Swecker- Shaw-Anchor Substitute

Pastor Casey


David and Beth Fleenor for Bill and Grace Fleenor to the Memorial Fund

David and Becky Luther for Ron Crockett to Haiti Children’s Shelter

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.

United Women in Faith

Last month, the women’s group had an enjoyable night together, sharing food and fellowship. One of the goals of the New Year is to connect better with all women in the congregation and any friends we might bring in to the fold. We are updating our contact list with current phone numbers and emails. If you’ve never joined us before, we’d love to connect with you! Contact the church or email Suzanne Rollins for more information.

Our next gathering is January 10 at 5:30 PM at the church.

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 Counting Teams- Teams of 2 people count the offering together each Sunday and log the results. Weekly or month rotations are available and record sheets are provided.
  • 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

January 12-18, 2023


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

January 15

4:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting

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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