Newsletter: March 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

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
> 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

March 19, 2023


1 John 5:1-6 John 15:9-17

Sermon: Tough Love by Rev. Casey Irwin

Serving This Month



3/12 Sue Dietz

3/19 Dawn Shores

3/26 Phil Haga

Serving in April



4/9 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

March 12, 2023

Third Sunday of Lent

Prelude: In the Garden by Austin C. Mills;  Phil Haga, organist

Hymn of Praise: 298 – When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

First Scripture: 1 John 4:7-21

Second Scripture: John 15:1-8

Sermon: To Love and Be Loved by Rev. Casey Irwin

Hymn of Benediction: 361 — Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me

Postlude: O Jesus, I Have Promised by Arthur H. Mann; 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.


Memorials were given to the Audio/Visual Fund by Sandy and Alan Gorrell for 

Bill Olson   

Ernestene Blanton

Kay Frances Haga

Judy Wright

An Honorarium was given to the Audio/Visual Fund for the work done by Tom Felty and his Trustee Committee by Sue and Dale Dietz.

Photo by Evie Shaffer on

Easter Chancel Choir

Exciting news!!!  After almost 3 years, we are restarting the Chancel Choir at FUMC.  Our current plans are to have the choir do its first music presentation on Easter Sunday April 9th.  We are keeping things simple musically and aiming to have one music presentation per month to begin with and growing from there.

Currently we have the following rehearsal dates planned.

March 19th

March 26th

April 2nd

We will rehearse in the Sanctuary immediately following our 11am service,  Rehearsals will last less than an hour.

At this time we are recruiting our past choir members and look forward to adding new ones.  

Our first presentation will be simple but a great way for us to start to rebuild our choir.  The plan is to add more choir music in our services as we grow.

We will also premier our new choir robes on Easter Sunday, which were purchased just before the COVID pandemic began.  Yes—we never got a chance to wear them!

So if you have a love of singing and want to join us, now is the opportunity we have all been waiting for.

We know things will be small to begin, but as we have all heard many, many times…the start of any journey begins with that first step.  Won’t you take that first step with us?

Musical blessings,

—- Phil

United Women in Faith

Our next meeting is April 11 at 5:30 pm

We will introduce our book study, so come ready to share and grow together.

You are Welcome to Worship and Fellowship With Us!

Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m.

March 8: State Street UMC
650 Valley Dr., Bristol, VA
Speaker: Mr. Bill Hall, CLS

March 15: Addilynn Memorial UMC
3225 Avoca Rd., Bristol, TN
Speaker: Rev. Ray Amos Sr.

March 22: Reynolds Memorial UMC
1320 Mary St., Bristol, VA
Speaker: Rev. Doug Fairbanks

March 29: John Wesley UMC
311 Lee Street, Bristol, VA
Speaker: Rev. Jane Taylor

From the Pastor’s Pen

March 16, 2023

This past Sunday, we mentioned the pruning of our Church Budget and ministries to concentrate our efforts towards fruitful work. Some of this, of course, comes from a smaller congregation, fixed incomes, and the changes we all go through in available income due to inflation. However, God is good and can make miraculous growth out of very little. A lot of fruit can come from just a few vines, as we read in John 15 this Sunday. 

So as you consider how God is calling you to be more intentional in your pruning and growth, I want to remind you of the ways you can give and serve, some without any extra strain on your budgets:

  • Connect your Kroger account to support First UMC with every grocery purchase. Sign in to your account, then click Community Rewards. You can use our name “First United Methodist Church, Bristol, TN” or our ID # BE100 to designate your rewards earned through shopping.

  • Use iGive for online purchasing in your web browser or through their app (similar to Capital One cashback shopping). Follow this link to set up your account to give a percentage of your purchases to First UMC.
  • Donate your time or some supplies as you are able. Anything we can serve the church with is less strain financially. How do you fit into how this congregation serves one another and the community around us?
  • Give online when you aren’t able to worship in person. You can give anonymously or login to your Realm account (our online directory). You can even set up recurring gifts if you forget to give as often as you plan to. Click here to give it a try.
  • Find creative ways to fund ministry
    – Find a penny? Keep it for a missions gift.
    – Have stocks that need to be sold? Gift them to the church in honor of a loved one.
    – Selling a big ticket item? Consider tithing off the income.

As you let the Lord prune and regrow your life, consider God’s calling to serve others first as we bear the fruit of love. How can you be a part of funding the Kingdom work of God?

Pastor Casey

Click here to RSVP.
Volunteer opportunities will be posted soon, so mark your calendar to give and serve.

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.


Did you know that peppermint helps stimulate the brain?  

The Missions Committee is sponsoring a peppermint collection drive. We will give wrapped peppermint candy to Anderson, Middle and Tennessee High schools to show our support at an important time in the school year. Students receive a peppermint at every standardized test.

 Tissues are also needed for classrooms!

Please bring individually wrapped peppermint candy or boxes of tissues for the kids by Sunday, April 2nd. Want to help deliver? Just tell Pastor Casey or a Mission Committee member.

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

March 16-22, 2023


9:30 a.m. Sunday School

11:00 a.m. Morning Worship

7:00 p.m. AA Meetings


7:00 p.m. AA Meetings


7:00 p.m. AA Meetings

Sunday, March 19

12:00 p.m. Choir Rehearsal 

4:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting

Sunday, March 26

12:00 p.m. Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, April 2

12:00 p.m. Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, April 9

11:00 a.m. Easter Worship

Tuesday, April 11

5:30 p.m. United Women in Faith Meeting

Sunday, April 16

12:15 p.m. Administrative Board Meeting

Sunday, April 23

5:00 p.m. Help for Haiti Donor Dinner and Auction

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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