October 14, 2021
Word from the Pastor:
Least of These

“‘And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”
Matthew 25:39–40

I don’t want to embarrass her, but I have to say that Allison Brooks made my week. Her team is one of six that we have organized at the church to go every Sunday around 12:30 to the Highlands Juvenile Detention Center to minister to the young people imprisoned there. This week was unique in that there was also a young woman present. In my experience of this ministry we’ve only met with young men.

Here is what Allison wrote:

I wanted to let you know about the young lady I worked with today. She thanked me for being there and stated that she really appreciated our church doing this Ministry. She went on to say that a lot of adults just think the kids there have already ruined their lives and are useless. She said it was nice to know that someone cared. Just wanted to share that to say it is impactful.

Allison, if you read this, I want you to know that this was impactful in more ways than one. On a stressful Monday, you brought this pastor to tears.

Our lives, and especially the way we live our lives and relate and weave our faith into that living, can be incredibly complicated. In times of stress, we can feel that God is distant, while in other trials, we feel God closer to us than we often experience. We are coming off an incredibly hard time in our society as well as in our church. Distance and isolation and feelings of things being ruined and useless have occurred for many of us.

Yet, there on a Sunday afternoon in a prison cell, members of our body sat with a lonely young woman in an orange jumpsuit and made it a point to tell her that she is loved, that she is not forgotten, and that she belongs to a God who loves her.

Thank you. Thanks to all our visitation teams. Thanks to all our volunteers. Thanks to this community of faith.

We are in stewardship and nominating season, and there are tons of things going on around us. There are needs to visit the sick and bring them meals and the comfort of your presence. There are places you can serve and give, and we invite you to do that. However, whatever you do, don’t doubt for a second that the person who is the object of your love desperately needs that connection.

When we do this, when we care for the least of these in our church, in our community, and in the world, we are promised that we have done it unto the Lord.

Serve the Lord with gladness!

In Christ,
Pastor Sam
October 17
21st Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 10:10–14
Luke 16:19–31, 10:25–37
Parables of the Rich Man and Lazarus and the Good Samaritan
Sam Weddington
Last Sunday’s Attendance
9:00: In person: 78;
Livestream: 37; Playback: 98
11:00: In person: 63;
Livestream: 26; Playback: 57
Sunday, October 17
9:00 a.m.
Contemporary Worship
Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.
Sunday School
11:00 a.m.
Traditional Worship
4:00 p.m.
Evangelism & Outreach Committee
Room 123
Tuesday, October 19
7:00 p.m.
Finance Committee
Boy Scout Troop 3
Scout Hall
Wednesday, October 20
9:00 a.m.
Staff Retreat
5:30 p.m.
Fellowship Supper
Fellowship Hall
6:15 p.m.
Adult Enrichment
High School Small Groups
Student Room
Wednesday Night Kids
Education Wing
Handbell Practice
7:00 p.m.
Praise Band Practice
Fellowship Hall
7:15 p.m.
Choir Practice
Thursday, October 21
7:00 a.m.
Men’s Bible Study
How to Pledge

Our pledge goal for this year’s Stewardship Campaign is $676,344, about $21,000 more than last year’s. We encourage you to pledge your gifts in advance so that we can responsibly plan our yearly spending and operate from a balanced budget. On Sunday, October 31, we will dedicate our combined pledges to God’s service. As you consider your pledge for 2022, please reflect on all that we have accomplished together. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of the Stewardship Committee for answers to questions you may have about pledging and budgeting at FPC! You can also find more information about pledging in our stewardship videos at FPC Bristol on YouTube.

Please return your pledge card by Sunday, October 31; you may mail it to the church, place it in the offering plate at one of our worship services, or drop it off in the church office during business hours. You can download a pledge card here. If you prefer to make your pledge online, please refer to the instructions for online giving.
Fellowship Meals Resume Wednesday
Our Wednesday night fellowship suppers will resume next week. We will gather at 5:30 for the meal then break for programming at 6:15. Given the easing of restrictions, we will observe a few changes with serving and the number of chairs at each table. In line with our current church policies, we strongly encourage folks to wear masks when not eating, and to get vaccinated.

How to Join Us Online
You can watch the livestream of our worship services and other activities at FPC Bristol on YouTube. Click on the link and hit “subscribe” to receive notifications of new videos. To connect to our various Facebook sites, go to Facebook and type in “FPC Bristol.” Several accounts will show up. “Like” the page or ask to join a group.

Give Safely
We encourage you to use text, mail, or our website to safely continue your faithful support of our ministries during the pandemic. You can give online by going to and clicking on “Give” in the upper right corner. You can send your pledge, offering, or special gift by texting “fpcbristol” to 73256, or mail your checks directly to the church.
Officer Nominations Continue
The FPC Nominating Committee invites you to prayerfully consider who would best serve in the important church offices of deacon, elder, and trustee. Maybe you feel the call to serve in this way, or maybe someone you know would be just the right fit for one of these roles. We will be accepting nominations through the end of October.

Nominating forms are available in the bulletin and on the tables outside the sanctuary and fellowship hall. Completed forms can be returned to the church office or the visitors’ card boxes (Connect) in the fellowship hall. Forms are also available on our website and here. You may also email your recommendations directly to the Nominating Committee.
Caring and Sharing
The weather for the next couple of weeks promises fair, or mostly, and we are on track, with fingers crossed, to share fellowship meals on Wednesday nights come October 20. (Pro tip: Uncross fingers before attempting to handle cutlery.) Roger Sikorski (October 13–16) and JB Madison (October 20–23) will cut the church lawn with their usual care and good taste. Buon appetito!
Katherine Paterson Here Monday

We are honored to partner with the King Institute for Faith and Culture in this year’s speaker series, Listen to Your Life. We are especially excited to host the Institute’s special evening with Library of Congress Living Legend Katherine Paterson this Monday, October 18, at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

Paterson is the award-winning author of more than 30 books; her newest, Birdie’s Bargain, has just been published by Candlewick Press. She has twice won both the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award. For the body of her work, she received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1998 and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2006.
Pumpkins and Pansies at FPC
Join us Sunday, October 24, at 2:00 p.m. for outdoor fun at FPC! We’re going to paint pumpkins for Halloween, plant pansies for the season, and enjoy fellowship all the while. Come on out! It’s free to all, for fall! /Lilly Osborne
Some of our volunteers at the mission last June.

Thank You for Sharing Christ!
Thank you to all our volunteers who provided food, took care of the preparations, and served (and cleaned up after) the Saturday evening meal! Once again we had more than enough to feed the patrons at Sharing Christ and were able to share our abundance with Haven of Rest residents! The next Saturday for service is December 4. Please save the date and plan to join the ministry effort! Contact Beth Flannagan or Becca Tate to volunteer.
Gifts to the Church

Memorials and honoraria are published in the newsletter only after the family has been personally notified by our business office. Today we gratefully acknowledge the following gifts in memory of:

  • Alice Moore: to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund from Ernie & Karen Pennington, from an anonymous donor
Organist's Footnotes

Alvin Derald Etler (pictured here with his wife, Nancy) was an American composer and oboist. A student of Paul Hindemith, Etler (1913–1973) is noted for his highly rhythmic, harmonically and texturally complex compositional style, taking inspiration from the works of Bartók and Copland as well as the dissonant and accented styles of jazz.

Though he played with the Indianapolis Symphony in 1938, he abandoned orchestral life shortly thereafter to focus on his increasingly successful compositional career (which earned him two Guggenheim Fellowships). In 1942 he joined the faculty at Yale University as conductor of the university band and instructor of wind instruments, where he began his studies with Hindemith. He also taught at Cornell University and the University of Illinois before accepting a position at Smith College, in Northampton, MA, which he held until his death.

Notable works include his two woodwind quintets (from 1955 and 1957), a bassoon sonata, the 1963 Quintet for Brass Instruments, and Fragments for woodwind quartet. Etler is also the author of Making Music: An Introduction to Theory, published posthumously in 1974. The piece I will play Sunday, Prelude and Toccata for Organ, was written in 1950 and published in 1963. It appears to be Etler’s only published work for organ.
Pray for One Another
In Our Prayers
Please also pray for the members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.

Jean Addison
Anna Arbo & family
Bill & Betty Bingham
Bud & Marg Branscomb
Bristol Tennessee City Schools
Blair Bullock
Becky Busler
Ariel Damasceno
K.D. Forsha
Garrett Foster & family
Ron Fox
DeeDee Galliher
John Graham Sr.
Emma & Gina Grubbs
Lou Hebb
Eddie Hill
Porter Hillery
Davan & Kristi Johnson
Jim & Joan Keith
Marty & Kara Keys
Morgan & Josh King & family
Nancy Lilly
Diana Mattison
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Kathy McGlothlin
Montana Indian Ministries
Abigail Myers
National & international leadership
Breanna Necessary
Palestine & Israel
Pastor Bruce Plummer
Cora Lee Raccioppo
Family of Elijah Hekeem Ramey
Michelle S.
Susan Solomon
Malcolm Sprinkle
Teachers & school administrators
Margaret Wade
Michael Weller
We want to pray for and celebrate with you! Send your prayer requests and glad tidings to
Deadline & Subscriptions
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701 Florida Avenue | Bristol, TN 37620 | 423-764-7176 |