Newsletter: February 16-22, 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 area as

 ORANGE (HIGH) for COVID-19 transmission this week, so:
> Masks are STRONGLY encouraged for gathering in person – please respect the safety concerns of others. Masks will be available if you forget to bring your own.
> Please sit with members of your household at a reasonable distance from others
> Sanitize the spaces you use
> 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

February 19, 2023

Scriptures: Isaiah 43:1-7; Mark 6:45-52

Sermon: Stuck in a Storm by Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving This Month


2/5 Dawn Shores

2/12 Sue Dietz

2/19 Jennifer Daniel

2/26 Alan Gorrell

*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

February 12, 2023

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Prelude: He by Jack Richards; Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise: 568 – Christ for the World We Sing

First Scripture: Psalm 103:1-13, 22

Second Scripture: Mark 2:17-28

Sermon: Breaking the Rules by Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: UMH 555 – Forward Through the Ages

Postlude: Heralds of Christ by Jordan Williams; Phil Haga, organist

Find the worship video and bulletin linked here:

Photo by Penny Hudson

Weather Reminder

As icy winter weather comes and goes, 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.

From the Treasurer … GIVING STATEMENTS

Giving statements were emailed last Thursday and are available in person at the church.  These will give your giving information for the 2022 year.  If you do not receive one and feel you should, please contact Sue Dietz.

United Women in Faith

We will be starting a book study along with our gathering times.

Life Together in Christ by Ruth Haley Barton

Please let Pastor Casey or Suzanne Rollins know if you need a book ordered for $21. 

Ash Wednesday Worship

6 PM, February 22

Join us in-person and online for contemplative worship as we seek forgiveness together.

From the Pastor’s Pen

February 16, 2023

Since the start of the new year, several United Methodist churches in our area have finished their discernment process and voted whether to remain or disaffiliate from the denomination. While this has always been an option for any congregation, the General Conference (governing body) and Council of Bishops approved a process for a shorter time frame for congregations to exit, which expires this summer. All this has done is allow a less expensive or a quicker transition for any congregations that are choosing a different way forward, whether that is due to a theological or a financial disagreement with the denomination.

First, I want to stress, this is not new. However, we are seeing a larger exodus due to the temporarily sped up process. Second, the UMC has not changed its stances or theology in any way. So in an effort to support you as you note our friends and neighbors working through these changes, I wanted to again provide resources for what is taking place.

The following links are all from a series of articles by the UMC detailing the processes, changes, theology, and answering FAQ’s from readers. Please take some time to peruse these materials to help with any questions. In Holston Annual Conference, all 2022-23 changes will be going before a special meeting (conference) in April for the final legal step.

FAQ Part 1

FAQ Part 2

FAQ Part 3

​​FAQ Part 4
Even as we experience changes and separations, “I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.” – Romans 8:38-39

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. 

Photo by Penny Hudson

Contact Sue Bryngelson or the church office with any questions.

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

February 16-22, 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

Sunday, February 19

4:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting

Wednesday, February 22

4:30 p.m. Help for Haiti Board Meeting

6:00 p.m. Ash Wednesday Worship

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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