This mission helps members of our church family and other immediate local mission needs.
From the Pastor’s Pen
It was early this year that Noah and I challenged each other to run the Bristol Half and Half. He had rocked his first season of Cross Country the previous autumn, and I thought he might need a goal to keep him motivated and fit in the off-season. We made ourselves a training plan of three runs each week, including increasingly long runs on Saturdays.
On April 8, he flew through the course, finishing with a time of 1:56:40. He ran his first half marathon, at ten years old, in less than two hours! We cheered, hydrated him, fed him carbohydrates, and were absolutely thrilled with what he had accomplished.
Then we decided to wander around Bristol for a while, have our picture made on one of the state line plates on State Street, have lunch at Cootie Brown’s. You know, do the touristy things. We enjoyed the beautiful day. We enjoyed the city. We had no idea there was more to Bristol than the Raceway.
And as we wandered, high on caffeine from the Blackbird Bakery, a few words slipped out of Karoline’s mouth:
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were appointed here someday?”
Someday. The operative word there was, “someday”.
Nineteen days later, as I was rushing to gather swim suits and towels and get out the door in time to pick up Sarah and Rebekah from school to shuttle them to swim practice, I answered a phone call from my Superintendent. She knew it was late in the process, and that we hadn’t requested a move this year, but she had an opening come up and the very first person who came to mind for this particular church was me.
I was trying to help Noah stay in shape.
We were just enjoying the day.
It was an offhand comment.
Someday, God. Someday doesn’t mean right away.
But God’s timing isn’t my timing.
God has amazing opportunities available for us. All we have to do is make ourselves available for them. All we have to do is open ourselves to the possibility that God might need us to do something different, something new, something we hadn’t expected.
My daily readings this week are bringing me through the story of Saul of Tarsus, a man who had his life completely in order, who knew what he was doing and why he was doing it, and who did it with zeal and conviction.
Until God knocked him off his horse and blinded him.
God had something completely different in mind for Saul.
God had something different in mind for me and my family.
God has something exciting in mind for you. I can’t imagine what it might be. It’s pretty likely that you can’t, either. God’s imagination is way beyond ours.
I want to thank you all for your welcome of me and my family, for visits, for box-moving and furniture-lifting, for meals, for organizing, for fellowship at last Sunday’s welcome meal, and for more ways than I can count that y’all have already made us feel loved and wanted. Thank you.
Now it’s time to get to work. Let’s see where God is leading us, and let’s open ourselves together to the surprises God has in store.
Sunday, July 9
Pastor Brandon’s message “Surprise!” was taken from
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30
Pastor Brandon teaching the children the concept of a “yoke.”
Holy Spirit, we welcome You into our presence.
Let our hearts be secure in this dual reality:
we are worthy recipients of love and support we can never earn,
and we are worthy providers of love and support
others cannot earn.
Leferne Preptit recently returned from a trip to Haiti. Below is his message to the First United Methodist Church family:
We want to thank everyone of you for your love and support. We would like all of you to know that your love and support is greatly appreciated.
We bought eight new mattresses for the shelter. All children have passed their classes. We will have six children in high school and three in elementary school.
May God continue to bless you all!
July 9, following the 11 a.m. worship hour,
we had a picnic to celebrate the arrival of our new pastor, Brandon Berg, his wife, Karoline,
and their children,
We are so glad they are here!
Hamburgers, Hotdogs, chili and dessert for everyone!
Teen Schedule – August 2017
Wednesdays 6:30 p.m.
July 19 Evening Hosting our Family Promise
guests — coloring, games, visiting
August 2 Hike to the dam
Rock skipping contest
Mini-picnic, ice-cream floats
Planning Luke 14:28-33
August 9 Rock Band (on the BIG screen)
Praise God, Psalm 150:1-6
August 16 Disk Golf – Steele Creek
Bible passage to think about every hole
August 23 Hide and Seek and the church
August 30: Game Night
How is life like a game?
Pigeon Forge, TN
Join over 12,000 youth and youth mentors who come together annually to celebrate the God of The Resurrection. See John Mack for details.
In Children’s Sunday School,
we studied Elijah.
Parents and Guardians, we need your help updating your children’s information sheets and photo permission sheets. Please don’t forget the visitors you bring. Help us keep our children safe.
We had harvest from the children’s garden. A love offering goes back into the garden fund.
Julia Grace Sietins
Born June 28, 2017
8 lbs. 1 oz.
Alexis and Jenny Sietins
Bob and Ellen Mueller
Congratulations, parents and grandparents!
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Calendar & Events Schedule
Week of July 13th – July 19th
Thurs, July 13 6:00pm-Yoga With Jean-The Upper Room Yoga Studio
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
8:00pm-AA- Education Wing
Fri, July 14: 5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Room
6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Room
Sat, July 15: 9:00am-Holston Quilters Guild-TH
8:00pm-NA- Education Wing
Sun, July 16: 9:30am-Sunday School for All Ages
9:30am-The River Worship-TH
10:00am-Common Ground Fellowship-Chapel
11:00am-Morning Worship Service-Sanctuary
(Child care is provided from 9:30am-12pm.
Children may be picked up at any time.)
Mon, July 17: 6:00pm-Belly Dancing-Yoga Room
7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation-Activities Room
Tues, July 18: 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wed., July 19:
To make changes or additions to the calendar contact
Alan Gorrell 423-652-7377 or Sandy Gorrell 423-652-1987.
Building A Community Where Anyone
A Deeply Committed Christian
First United Methodist Church of Bristol Tennessee, 322 Vance Drive, Bristol, TN 37620