Christmas Eve

Sunday, December 24, we will celebrate the 4th Advent at 10:30 am. Our Christmas Eve service will be at 7:00 pm.

Join Us for “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Day

Folks at Redeemer, Bristol will again partner with the Bristol Minnick School for our annual “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday. 

Now in its second year of operation, the Minnick School is for students who need a learning environment different from what they receive in a traditional public school setting.  Operated by Lutheran Family Services of Virginia, Minnick teachers use a best-practice, whole-child approach that opens the door to education and a more fulfilling life for their students.

Redeemer volunteers cleaned up landscaping and organized closets last fall.  This year, more outside landscape work is planned.  Everyone is welcome to pitch in and attend our work day on October 7, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. at the Minnick School which is located at 1225 Janie Hammit Drive in Bristol, VA.  For more information or to see how you can help, contact Ellen Leach at 410-370-0660 or

Join Us for Dinner and a Movie

Please join us this Saturday September 30 for a German dinner and movie as we continue our commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Sauerbraten, goulash, rotkohl, bratkartoffeln, and more will be on the menu.  Never heard of these?  No problem.  They’re delicious.  Come on out and enjoy the German cuisine and great fellowship.

Dinner will be served at 5:00 with Rick Steves’ Luther to be shown at 6:15.

An RSVP to the church office (276-466-2950) is appreciated but not required.  Invite your friends and neighbors and come enjoy food and fellowship as part of our celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

The situation:
Please stand by our neighbors as we begin the long road to recovering from Hurricane Harvey, one of the most catastrophic storms to hit the country in more than a decade.

Our church’s response:
Lutheran Disaster Response’s affiliate is actively present, collaborating with community leaders and officials to initiate the proper responses, particularly the long-term recovery efforts. Together, we have a strong history of working with disasters in the Gulf Coast area. Recovery efforts are expected to take years, and Lutheran Disaster Response will be there to accompany those affected through every phase of this disaster.

We invite you to stand by our neighbors on the Gulf Coast during this time. Your gifts ensure that our church will be able to provide help and hope for those left homeless or otherwise affected by this disaster for years to come.

Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response, designated for “Hurricane Response – United States” will be used entirely (100 percent) for this disaster until the response is complete. Together, we can help provide immediate and long-lasting support. Give today to support the needs in this response and others like it.

What you can do:

Please pray for the people who have been affected and are in the path of Hurricane Harvey. May God’s healing presence give them peace and hope in their time of need.

Gifts to “US Hurricane Relief” will be used to assist those affected by the hurricane until the response is complete.  Thrivent is currently matching gifts dollar for dollar.

To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response:
Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts.
Check the Lutheran Disaster Response blog.
Like Lutheran Disaster Response on Facebook and follow @ELCALDR on Twitter.

Worship at Sugar Hollow Park, Sunday, August 20

We will have a Lutheran gathering along with St. John of Abingdon at Sugar Hollow Park on Sunday, August 20, at 10:30am. We will come together to worship God, share in the Lord’s Supper, and sing praises to our Creator. Please bring a covered dish to share as we will have a meal together after worship to enjoy time in fellowship. We will gather at Lion’s Shelter (see map for details). The shelter is located at the back of the park, so we will have signs to guide the way.

Redeemer CURRENTS Plants Garden to Feed the Hungry

Continuing our church’s mission to provide food for the hungry, the CURRENTS group at Redeemer recently planted a community garden on the church grounds in order to provide fresh produce for the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry.  Redeemer Church has long supported the food pantry, supplying volunteers to staff the pantry on the first Friday of every month.

CURRENTS is the church’s fellowship group for 20- and 30-somethings.  This is the second year CURRENTS has planted a garden, and this year’s garden is even bigger than before.  Anyone is welcome to pitch in and lend a hand, weeding, watering, or harvesting our goodies to take to the pantry.

For more information on the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, see Patsy Tauscher.  For more information on CURRENTS, see Pastor Austin.

Join Us for Holy Week Services

This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week — the pinnacle of the church year.  The week begins with Jesus’ triumphant return to Jerusalem which was celebrated on Palm Sunday (April 9) at the 10:30 service of worship.  This time of triumph is then juxtaposed with the solemnity of Maundy Thursday and the sorrow of Good Friday.  The Easter Vigil on Saturday night before Easter morning is a beautiful service of darkness and light, symbolic of the return of the “light of the world.”

On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus’ dined with his disciples before assuming the role of servant by washing his disciples’ feet.  He did this to demonstrate his love for them and his willingness to be their servant.  He enjoins them (and us) to do the same by washing each other’s feet and, furthermore, he issues “a new commandment, that you love one another … as I have loved you.”  This command (mandatum in Latin) may be the origin of the Maundy in Maundy Thursday.  At Redeemer, we will celebrate the Maundy Thursday liturgy with Holy Communion and an optional rite of foot washing on Thursday April 13 at 7:00 p.m. At the conclusion of the Maundy Thursday liturgy, we leave in silence — no sending song, no blessing — only the rustle of clothes, the soft sound of footsteps, feet freshly washed and covered again, moving into the night.

We return to continue the service of Tenebrae (shadows) on Good Friday (April 14) at 7:00 p.m. A distinctive aspect of this service is the use of what is called the Tenebrae “hearse,” the holder of lit candles which are extinguished, one by one, within the reading of the Passion according to John, the ancient gospel narrative for the day.  The Passion chronicles the events of Holy Week.  The descent into darkness and gloom is a representation of Jesus’ increasing sorrow as the events of Holy Week unfold.  Toward the end of the service worshipers may be a loud noise (strepitus) which symbolizes the closing of Christ’s tomb. The procession of the cross and adoration of the crucified Christ become the primary symbolic actions of this day.  The procession has an important connection to the procession of the paschal candle during the Easter Vigil.  The intercessory prayers extend intentionally and fully to all of humanity and all of creation, including prayers for those who do not believe in God, and everyone, everywhere, in any kind of need.   The liturgy ends with Christ exalted on the cross, an image from John’s gospel. Again we depart in contemplative silence, knowing the service continues at the Easter Vigil.

We begin the Great Vigil of Easter (April 15 at 7:00 p.m.) by lighting a new fire, visible from the church, the lawn and the highway.  The light is carried in procession into the church, lighting the way for those who follow.  With scriptures, psalms, and singing, as the light slowly increases, we recount our history in both Old and New Testament readings.   Through these readings and dramatic presentations we recount the significant events for all Christianity.  Important parts of the service are our reaffirmation of Baptism and the celebration of Holy Communion.




Palm Sunday Worship             Sunday April 9 at 10:30 a.m.

Maundy Thursday Worship     Thursday April 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday Worship               Friday April 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Great Vigil of Easter                 Saturday April 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Easter Breakfast                       Sunday April 16 at 9:00 a.m.

Easter Morning Worship         Sunday April 16 at 10:30 a.m.

Come, join us.  All are welcome!

Children’s Message with Pastor Austin

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”                   -Matthew 19:14

An Ash Wednesday Letter to God

Dear God,

I remember that in the beginning you created the heavens and the earth, you created everything, all that there is, seen and unseen.  You even created me, for which I feel eternally special; that you would get down on your knees and formed me from the dust of the earth.  I know I live because you breathed into me your breath of life.  I cannot thank you enough for not only making me, but creating me in your image.  Do you know that means I have seen your face?  In my neighbors, sisters, brothers, and even in a stranger, I have seen you, God.  Apart from you I am simply dust, but in you I am alive with life.

You would think I would do a better job following you, worshipping you, and being your child.  I am sorry for the times that I think I know what’s best for me.  The times I think I know what’s best for others.  I know I should always turn to you because you are the source of life for all living creatures.  I am sorry for the times, again and again, that I fall short of who you created me to be in this world.  I sure give thanks for your patience, because sometimes I am better at being worthless dust, than actually your child.

I apologize for not talking to you more.  You would think that I would want to talk to you every moment of every day, but I don’t, and I forget to pray and give you thanks for all that you do for me and your world.  There are so many things I need to thank you for, but I’m just dust, and not a very good child.

Here’s the thing, God, why do you love me so much?  You created me in your image, but I abuse this body with terrible habits.  You give me life, but I squander nearly every breath I inhale.  You guide me with your Holy Spirit, but I inevitably will take my own path, probably on the low road.  You loved me so much you gave me Jesus, but I nailed him to a cross to get him off my back and leave me alone.  Really, you need to know, I am better at being insignificant dust, than actually acting like the child you created me to be.

All the time, I come to you and confess that I messed up, again. I’m telling you, I am captive to sin and I cannot free myself.  I sin against you all the time in thought, word, and deed.  And it’s not just the things I have done, but also the things I have left undone.  I don’t love you with my whole heart, I certainly don’t love my neighbor as much as I love myself.  I’m selfish, a hypocrite, hatful, judgmental, and cruel.  I’m serious, God, leave me to just be useless dust, it’s easier than being your child, you surely don’t want me.

You’ve got to believe me, I’m a screw-up.  How many times have you caught me in the act?  Every time!  So why do you stick around?  Why keep forgiving me?  Why do you love me?  What’s in it for you?  My heart is telling me, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  That is what I want to be, dust, but I’m your child.

I guess tonight is my chance to openly acknowledge how weak I am, to admit my sinfulness, and that I’ll never clean up perfectly. In a world that often expects me to be perfect, tonight I want to freely confess that I fall short, all the time, and I’m going to do it again. I stand guilty before you God. Even though you created me, I am mortal and will someday take my last breath and experience death. In the end, what I am saying is, I need a Savior.

Your Dusty Child,


Ash Wednesday


Service of Holy Communion & Imposition of Ashes 

Wednesday, March 1 at 7pm

All Are Welcome to join us as we begin our Lenten journey to the Cross.