Within the last couple years, the Berg kids have taken up bicycling as a serious interest. In Galax, we lived in the parking lot of one of our churches, and the kids would race around the building, especially during this past Spring and Summer when we finally had all three kids on only two wheels.
Now, y’all, I’m very excited to have kids learning to do new things, especially things outside that keep them active. I want to encourage that.
So I started looking for an opportunity to get back on a bicycle, myself. The last time I rode with any regularity was the Summer before I started seminary, twelve years ago, on a bicycle I rode through high school. It was bulky and ill-fitted, and it predates the era of indexed shifters. I never got the feel of those old friction shifters. That bicycle helped me develop a real distaste for the sport.
I sure wasn’t going to get back on that one.
But I remembered that my father had an old road bike, so I asked to borrow it.
Now, y’all, please understand that when I call this bike old, I mean that it is probably older than I am.
It is a heavy, steel machine with stem-mounted friction shifters. The brakes and wheels, I’m pretty sure, are original. So is the foam on the handlebars, which crumbles in my hand every time I ride it. I tried pumping up the tires to their recommended pressure, but I think I blew them out.
It would cost me more to fix that bicycle than a good used road bike would cost.
So that’s what I found.
A friend had a road bike he had replaced, so he sold it to me. It is light, it rides smoothly, it has indexed trigger shifters built into the handlebar-mounted brakes.
This is a bicycle I could grow into. Maybe, if I work up to it, I could even ride a triathlon with it.
It’s the right tool for the job.
And as a pastor, a person charged with the order (administration and organization) of the local church, that has me reflecting on the tools and skills we bring to bear for the job of being Christ’s Body in the world.
A lot of the time, we get that right. A lot of the time, we are in the right place and are providing the right skills that the Spirit is calling us to use.
But sometimes, we are that decades-old steel bike with locking brakes and dry-rotted tires. It has its place, and that place isn’t just locked in a shed somewhere, but it’s going to take a lot of tender loving care to get it roadworthy again.
What tool, what skill is God’s Spirit calling you to bring to the Body? I guarantee you that I, who have been part of this community for less than two months, don’t know how God has best equipped you to serve.
But I know God is calling you.
So I want to encourage you to pray about it; talk about it with your friends and your family, especially here at First UMC; come and have a chat and some prayer with me about it. I want to know. I want to learn your story. I want to hear how God’s Spirit is inspiring you now.
I want to see us grow together, just like I want to see my family bicycling together. I want to make sure we all have the right tools for the job.
God has great things in store for us. How are you going to be a part of what God is preparing for us together?
Last Sunday . . .
A Blessing of the Backpacks
for Our Children Returning to School
Matthew 14: 13-21
Message from God’s Word:
You Give Them Something to Eat
Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him,
who earnestly repent of their sin
and seek to live in peace
with one another.
“Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you. Do this
in remembrance of me.”
UMH Pg. 12, 14
Go now, to find the thirsty.
We will show them where the living water flows.
Go now, to find the hungry.
We will share from our abundance to feed them.
Go now, to find the stranger.
We will embrace them as sister and brother.
Go and give them bread for body, mind, and soul;
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
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.
A driver is needed for approximately 1 1/2 hours on the fourth Tuesday of each month to deliver Meals on Wheels.
For more information, contact Brenda Hobbs at 423.968.4391.
We, the Memorial Recovery Group of Alcoholics Anonymous, thank you for your continued support. Without the use of your facility we could not function.
All of our meetings are open to all alcoholics and their friends and family. If any of your parish members would like to know what an AA meeting is like, they would be welcome.
We are so pleased to introduce to you First United Methodist Church’s newest employee, our Events Coordinator, Hyacynth Barbera.
Hyacynth recently moved to Bristol from Van Nuys, California, where she worked as Events Coordinator for Electro Rent Corporation for twelve years. In that capacity, she researched, created, planned and executed events across the country.
Hyacynth received an Associate of Science Degree in Culinary Science from the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California. Her interests include dinner parties, catering, baking, gardening, hiking, kayaking, art, theatre arts. She has performed in three musicals, designed and created thirty costumes for a children’s performance of Peter Rabbit and Friends, and was Assistant Costumer and ASM for production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast performed by Theatre Bristol.
Hyacynth, we welcome you!
If you have interest in being an at-large member at the
2018 Holston Annual Conference (June 10-13), there is a form to complete,
See Pastor Brandon for details.
We are sad for us, but happy for Helen Johnson, to report that she passed into eternal life Wednesday morning.
Arrangements are being made with Akard Funeral Home, and the church will be notified when those arrangements have been completed.
Thank you for your prayers and loving support for the family of our friend, Helen.
Gene O. Lanier Jr., of Yorktown, VA passed away Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Gene was a beloved coach and teacher with the Bristol, Tennessee school system until his retirement. Gene and his loving wife of 51 years, Sheree, were long-time members of First United Methodist Church, Bristol, and were here during the early years of raising their two children, Matthew and Laura.
A funeral service was held on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at Providence United Methodist Church. Memorial donations may be made to the Providence United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, 113 Old Dare Road, Yorktown, VA 23692.
On July 30, the Children’s Sunday School lesson was about how
Namaan was healed of leprosy when he
submerged himself seven times in the river.
The children made “mud” out of chocolate pudding,
crushed oreos and gummy worms – and ate it!
Kelly Logan teaches men and women
of the Fellowship Class
during the 9:30 a.m.
Sunday School hour.
Come join an invigorating,
life-challenging study of
This seat is
reserved just for you!
First United Methodist Youth
August 2 was a beautiful evening for a hike to the dam and picnic.
(As a child, did you ever sing the hymn, “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear” and think you were singing about a cross-eyed bear named Gladly?)
And Now It’s Time for Disk Golf at Steele Creek
Wednesday, August 16, 6:30 p.m.
Got a friend? Bring em!
Pigeon Forge, TN
Yoga with Jean
I imagine some don’t think of our yoga class as part of the church. But we do. It’s loving, sharing, caring community. It’s connection to self in a more positive way. It’s connection to something bigger than you. Sometimes it’s even connection to the healing and blessings of animals.
It’s one of those things that can’t ever be described enough for someone else to “get it.” It is felt and learned only by doing each day you practice. You don’t have to be able to get on the floor, but you might be surprised to find you can after several months of playing with us on
Thursdays at 6 p.m. -Jean Bentley
If you are a Kroger shopper, consider attaching your Kroger card to the Community Rewards Program.
The church received a check last month for more than $81 from the purchases of nine FUMC families who were enrolled during second quarter. Third quarter begins in September.
For each publication, information is needed by noon on Wednesday.
Let your eyes become eyes for everyone.
And may Christ’s Vision be the Vision which inspires us all.
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PASS IT ON?
to a friend, neighbor
Share some good news today!
Calendar & Events Schedule
Week of August 10 – August 16
Thurs, Aug. 10: 10:00am-Homebound Team-Church Library
6:00pm-Yoga with Jean-Yoga Studio
6:30pm-Mankind Project-Youth Room
Fri, Aug. 11: 5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Sat, Aug. 12: 8:00pm-NA
Sun, Aug. 13: 9:30am-Sunday School Hour
9:30am-The River 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)
12:00pm-Worship Committee-Church Library
Mon, Aug. 14: 6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tues, Aug. 15: 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
Wed, Aug. 16:6:30pm-Youth Activity-Disk Golf-Steele Creek