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First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
 March 8-14, 2018
Draw us together in your love, O God.  May our restless hearts not resist you,
but continue to search until they find their rest in you.
March 11, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Lent
John 3:14-21
The Truth that We Do
Rev. Brandon Berg
Sunday is
Girl Scout Sunday!
Join us as we celebrate the Girl Scouts of America, Inc. as they encourage young ladies to grow into women of excellent character - serving God and country, and helping others.
First UMC is pleased to host one of Bristol’s Girl Scout Troops on Thursday evenings, twice a month.
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
I grew up in Boy Scouts. I grew up camping and earning badges and camping and developing leadership skills and camping and playing Dungeons and Dragons and camping. When we couldn’t come up with anything else to do on a given month, we’d go camping.
That was most of what we did.
It made my sister jealous. She wanted to go camping, too. She joined a local Girl Scout troop and expected to go camping the next week. They didn’t.
It’s not because Girl Scouts don’t camp. It’s because she is four grades behind me. That troop didn’t camp at that age.
Girl Scouts have rules about things like that. Girl Scouts have rules about a lot of things.
I didn’t realize the Girl Scouts had all those rules until years later, when Buffalo Mountain Camp began organizing itself for its first accreditation through the American Camping Association. I became responsible for writing several Standard Operating Procedures for the adventure activities I was leading at the time. We put those procedures in place to make sure that what we were doing was uniform and uniformly safe for our campers and staff.
My Boy Scout troop didn’t have rules and procedures like those.
When I met Karoline, I discovered that the stuff I was organizing for Buffalo Mountain Camp had been in place for the Girl Scouts through Safety Wise for years. She had grown up with that. Those procedures and rules were organized at a national level, and every troop was trained and expected to follow them.
It’s all about keeping each other safe. At their best, that’s what most of our structures in the Church do, too. Jesus tells us that the ideal is to live by the simple rule of love, but most of the time we aren’t mature enough to handle that. So in our local United Methodist churches, we have contracts and Disciplinary regulations and Safe Sanctuaries policies to help us keep each other safe.
Sometimes, still, those structures fail. They are human institutions, after all. Sometimes the situations that those structures are designed for change or become obsolete. Sometimes those structures need to be rethought and reworked.
I hope that FUMC, Bristol, is a church that is limber and flexible enough to rethink and rework our structures when our context changes. I hope that we can continually evolve and adjust to remain a safe place for people to explore and grow their relationship with their Creator.
The Girl Scouts are constantly evaluating their standards and procedures to address a changing world. They are constantly trying to grow responsible young women into tomorrow’s leaders, and to watch Karoline, I think they’re doing a pretty doggone good job.
I think FUMC, Bristol, has a heritage of growing responsible followers of Christ. If we pay attention to our community and the world around us, and if we pay attention to the urging of the Spirit, I have faith that we can continue and even increase the fruitfulness of that heritage. We just have to make sure that FUMC remains a place safe for exploring our faith.
It seems to me we’re in a pretty good spot for doing that. Let’s see where God will lead us from here.

Feed the Hungry Offering
Our Feed the Hungry
offering this week is for
Family Promise
of Bristol

This program provides an opportunity for us to show God’s grace and Christ’s love to children with homeless families in the Bristol area.
Last Sunday
 John 2:13-22
The Covenant of Law: A People Purified by God
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?
~Isaac Watts, 1707
The Church Gratefully Acknowledges These Gifts:
In Memory of
Loetta Cornett
To the Memorial Fund by
Plantation Manor Garden Club, Carmen Young, Louise Carver,
Nancy and Donald Haas, Kenneth and Doris Alfrey,
Charles and Pauletta McKenzie, Mary Brumit, Dale and Joneen Sargent,
Helen Harkelroad, Sandra and Douglas Dunn, and Alan and Sandy Gorrell
To the Choir Fund by Leona Wyatt
To Help for Haiti Computers by Peggy Wilson
To Faith and the Arts by John and Kathy Mack
In Memory of
Jean Porter
To the Memorial Fund by
Barbara Lovins, and Dale and Joneen Sargent
In Children’s Church Last Week . . .
Ms. Kathy brought her breakfast in a box but, when she opened it, she had forgotten the most important part of her breakfast – the food! In the lesson, Mary’s sister Martha was busy preparing food for company, but Mary sat next to Jesus and dried his feet with her hair.
 Mary realized the important part was to honor Jesus. 
Luke 10:38-42
We talked about putting God first.
Wednesday Community Lenten Services
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.
Next Exciting Youth Adventure
Wednesday, March 14
6:30 p.m.
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
Bring it for the Sale
We are storing items in the former nurse’s office.
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.”
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Bristol Train Station
eliminating racism
empowering women
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!
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 8-14, 2018
Thursday, March 8     
         6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-The Upper Room
        6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room 
Friday, March 9        
         5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
         6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Saturday, March 10       
         9:00am-Simmer Down Catering (until 2pm)-TH
Sunday, March 11
         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
Monday, March 12     
         6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
         7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tuesday, March 13
          8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wednesday, March 14     
        11:50am-Community Lenten Service at Beech Grove UMC (John Roe, 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