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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 March 1-7, 2018
Loving God, as we journey through this holy season of Lent, may we be open to your presence.
Give us the strength to make the changes that are needed in our lives and the courage to take
on the work of transforming the world.
March 4, 2018
Third Sunday of Lent
Lamb of God stained glass by Art Chartier
 John 2:13-22
The Covenant of Law:
A People Purified by God
Rev. Brandon Berg
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
This week, the Berg girls are going to school in various components of bizarre clothing to memorialize Theodor Seuss Geisel and National Reading Week.
I suppose it’s safe to guess that quite a lot of us grew up reading about Mulberry Street and a striped-hatted cat and gentle Horton with his sensitive ears. Dr. Seuss taught us to love reading before we had a chance to realize how important a skill it is.
Maybe it’s even a skill we take for granted. We have been a literate culture for centuries now, so there is no generation that could remember what it was like to have to depend on oral traditions, or that knows how precious a book is in a world without the innovation of movable print. If we want to read something, we pick it off the shelf, borrow it from the library, or purchase it from Amazon. Most of what we want to read will cost us less than a meal at any restaurant downtown.
If I’m being responsible to my call to the pulpit, I should be handing to you tools to take the texts we share and celebrate and explore them on your own. Every resource I use to dig into our ancient stories and make them fresh and relevant is available to you, too.
In fact, I want to encourage you to do just that. When you hear something from me, or from one of your other favorite proclaimers of the Kin-dom of God, go explore it further. Unpack it. Dig in. Challenge it.
And if it makes you question or wonder, dig in even more. Don’t give up. Don’t let the challenge get the better of you. Beneath each divine mystery is more mystery. The power and wonder of God is far beyond our ability to fathom.
Go read and pray and question. That’s a big part of how the Spirit of God forms us as disciples. If you seek nourishment in your spirit and your intellect, God will be generous to feed you.
So on this National Reading Week, go read. Dig into the scriptures, dig into the plethora of words that have been poured forth about the scriptures, dig into the plethora of words about those words, and read the world in which God has located you to reveal the Word of Creation anew to you. Go explore, because
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So … get on your way!
Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry
offering this week is for
Bristol Faith in Action.

BFIA is a cooperative outreach ministry
of the churches of Bristol and the local community, formed to serve any persons whose circumstances leave them with significant physical, social, or
emotional needs.
Last Sunday
Mark 8: 31-38
Abrahamic Covenant: Not What You Were Expecting
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in every change God faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
to guide the future, as in ages past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.
~Katharina von Schlegel, 1752
The church gratefully acknowledges these gifts
in Memory of
Loetta Cornett
To the Choir Fund by the
Shaw-Anchor Sunday School Class
To the Memorial Fund by
Gary and Pamela Amos
Betty Curtis
Richard and Bev McCallum
Mary and Charles Burns 
Beverly and Russell Basham
In Children’s Church Last Week . . .
Mr. Mike taught a lesson on Jesus raising Japheth’s daughter. We made drums because our mission focus is Africa.
On February 14, we began the Season of Lent with an
Observance of Ash Wednesday
Almighty God,
You have created us out of the dust
of the earth;
Grant that these ashes may be to us
a sign of our mortality and penitence,
so we may remember that only by your gracious gift
are we given everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Wednesday Community Lenten Services
March 7 – Three Springs UMC - Clarence Dishman
March 14 – Beech Grove UMC - John Roe
March 21 – St. Luke UMC - Jack Stevens
March 28 – Addilynn Memorial UMC – Barbara Farmer
Friday, March 30 – Good Friday Service w/Holy Communion (tba)
Services are from 12 noon until 1:00 p.m.
Lunch is provided.
Join Us Sunday Afternoon
March 4
for Game Day 
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Tankersley Hall
Next Outstanding Youth Event
Wednesday, March 7
6:30 p.m.
Jesus’ message made modern
For more information contact John, Brandon, Andy, Rebekah, or Erica.
Haiti Computer Project
Our kids in Haiti are growing up and so are their schooling needs.
The Help for Haiti team is attempting to raise $1,000 to purchase laptops
and other related computer equipment for the children to have
internet access in order to do homework at their house. 
A State Street UMC Sunday School class has already kick-started the drive with
a $250 donation so we only have $750 left to raise to make the project happen.
Our goal is to have all funds raised by March 15 so shelter director
Leferne Preptit can have the equipment secured and set everything up
during his planned trip to Haiti in April.
Please indicate on any checks or otherwise alert the church that your donation
is designated for Haiti computers.
If you have questions about the project or how to donate please contact Leferne ( or Help for Haiti team member Nate Hubbard (
MAY 18-19
Save it for the Sale
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Spend a simulated month in the poverty experienced by our community’s individuals and families.
This interactive event promotes poverty awareness, increases understanding and inspires
local change. The simulation allows participants to encounter daily realities
of families living in poverty.
This is Not a Game.
The Poverty Simulation breaks down stereotypes by allowing participants to step into
the real life situations of others.
Poverty is often portrayed as a standalone issue – but this simulation allows individuals to walk
a month in the shoes of someone who is facing poverty and realize the complex and
interconnected issues of poverty.
Until we walk in the shoes of another, we simply cannot understand what personal poverty is like.
•A single parent with limited resources and no transportation must find a way
to get to work and get their child to daycare.
•An elderly person must find a way to pay for both utilities and medication.
•A young adult must care for siblings while their parent is incarcerated.
•An elderly couple must raise their grandchildren and deal with their own
health and employment issues.
Pre-registration required. $10 fee per person.
To register please contact: Lorie Bradley, Email: or Phone: 423-969-4912.
Have You Registered?
April 30 – May 2, 2018

MainStay Suites, Pigeon Forge
A retreat for adults (50+) who desire to explore and enhance their relationship with Christ.
We have this hope as an anchor for
the Soul, firm and secure.
It enters the inter sanctuary behind
the curtain. Hebrews 6:19 NIV
Sponsored by Holston Conference United Methodist Church Foundation.
For details, go to the Jubilation website
Camp Bays Mountain
This year Holston Conference is excited to offer summer camp for children and youth, Grades 1 – 12, at Camp Bays Mountain.
Camp Director Jeff Wadley says, “The outdoor setting, camp activities and summer counselors are avenues for our campers to be introduced to Christ and to grow in faith. Our theme this summer is Here I Am! in which we will study God’s presence in our lives.This is the heartbeat of our camp curriculum.”
Every Christian knows the story of the Good Samaritan. But how many of us remember
the man on the side of the road who needs attention?
Our region is overwhelmed by people on the “side of the road” due to addiction to opioids.
We have a choice. Like the religious leaders who ignored the man on the “side of the road,”
we can walk on by and pretend the problem and the people don’t exist. 
Or, we can do something about it.
Christians who care about those “on the side of the road” will gather in May to learn
how to help those brothers and sisters who are dying of opioid addiction.
Please join us at The Holy Friendship Summit
Friday, May 18th from 9:00AM – 5:00PM and
Saturday, May 19th, 2018 from 9:00AM – 3:00PM
at Celebration Church in Blountville, Tennessee.
The Holy Friendship Summit is more than a conference or workshop.
It is a long term vision to produce networks, resource sharing opportunities,
and new publications. Clergy, clinicians, congregations, educators, non-profit leaders,
recovery program leaders, and neighbors are called and are coming together
in Holy Friendship.
The people “on the side of the road” are counting on us!
A Note of Thanks from Holston Children’s Home
Thank you very much for your gift to Holston United Methodist Home for Children. Gifts such as yours allow us to offer worship, education, work and recreation programming that are life changing for the children.
On any given day at Holston Home, more than 300 children and their families are served here on the hill and throughout our family service centers in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Because of you, we continue to share God’s love with children in need of hope and healing.
Please know how much we appreciate your being a member of the
 Holston family!
Thank You from
Bristol Faith in Action
Thank you for your generous contribution to Bristol Faith in Action. BFIA has been having a positive impact on families living in poverty and facing financial crisis since 2002 by assisting them with needed financial aid to avoid eviction, foreclosure, disconnected utilities and hunger.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 25:35
Send your photos and announcements 
for the Newsletter
or call Carol at 423.652.2811
M-Th, 9-2.
For each publication, information
is needed by noon on Wednesday.
Your Church Event and Planning Calendar
Week of March 1-7, 2018
Thursday, March 1     
         6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room  
Friday, March 2        
         5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
         6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, March 3       
         9:00am-Simmer Down Catering (until 2pm)-TH
      10:00am-Finance Committee-Library
      11:00am-Administrative Council-TH
Sunday, March 4
         9:30am-Sunday School Hour
         9:30am-The River Worship Service-TH
       10:00am-Common Ground Service-Chapel
       11:00am-Traditional Worship-Sanctuary
                             (Childcare is provided from 9:30am to 12:00pm.
                              Children may be picked up at any time.)
      12:15pm-Choir Rehearsal
        2:00pm-Game Day (until 6pm)-TH
Monday, March 5     
         1:00pm-Food Pantry (until 4pm)-Bristol Emergency Food Pantry
        6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
         7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tuesday, March 6
          8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-Library
          8:00am-Veterans Resources Training (until 11am)-TH       
Wednesday, March 7     
        11:50am-Community Lenten Service at Three Springs UMC (Clarence Dishman, Speaker)
         6:30pm-Youth Activity (Treasure Hunt)
            To make changes or additions to the calendar contact Alan Gorrell 423-652-7377
                                                   or Sandy Gorrell 423-652-1987.
First United Methodist Church
Rev. Brandon Berg, Pastor (276.237.6498)
 322 Vance Dr., Bristol, TN 37620
Our Vision
Building A Community Where Anyone
Can Become
A Deeply Committed Christian