October 21, 2021
Word from the Pastor:
Christus Victor

The Son of God was revealed for this purpose,
to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8

There are many ways to understand Jesus and all he accomplishes for us in his preexistence (the eternal Logos, or Word of God), covenantal attestation (Law and Prophets), pre-incarnational presence (the Angel of the Lord), incarnation (Immanuel, or God with us), life (active obedience), death (substitute), resurrection (triumph over death and new creation), ongoing reign (ascension), and promised return (judgment, resurrection, and re-creation). That’s quite a list! If we got into the doctrinal particulars of each of those, our heads would probably begin to swim.

I prefer 1 John 3:8 as a simple entryway into such heady matters. Simply put, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, both fully man and fully God, was revealed to us for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil. Put another way, God created the world knowing we would mess it up (and if there was ever a doctrine of the church that was empirical, it would be sin: read the paper!) yet purposing from the foundation of the world to send Jesus to set the world to rights. The goal of the whole story, from beginning to end, is that God has always intended to redeem us!

As I often like to put it, “Our judge was from the very beginning our Redeemer.” It is for this reason that we can say, as we do in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, that our “chief end” is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. He made us for eternal fellowship, and so the Son has been revealed and sent so that we might have that fellowship, released as we are from bondage to the twin powers of sin and death.

I point all this out because we can get lost sometimes in our thinking about the life of faith, particularly the point of it all. Piety is wonderful, and as I said this past Sunday, we all ought to be praying, studying Scripture, gathering together to grow in the faith, worshiping and glorifying God together. But all these things serve the purpose of drawing us closer to God, and in Him closer together in fellowship so that God’s redeeming purposes might be accomplished in, with, and through us. We exist to bear witness to his triumph over evil and, where we are called to do so, to join him in the fight.

There is a lot of brokenness around us. Maybe you are experiencing it in your personal or family life, or in your community, or maybe there is a breach in our communion as a church. What, then, are we to do? If Jesus was revealed to destroy the handiwork of the evil one, then we are called to work with His Spirit and allow Christ to use us to accomplish His purposes. That means that we will fight (in a good, affirming, loving way) for one another, for our community, and for our church family.

Christus Victor: Christ is the Victor. It’s okay to act, live, and believe it.

In Christ,
Pastor Sam
October 24
22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Isaiah 55:8–11
Mark 4:1–9
Parable of the Sower
Dave Welch
Last Sunday’s Attendance
9:00: In person: 92;
Livestream: 32; Playback: 79
11:00: In person: 74;
Livestream: 24; Playback: 48
Sunday, October 24
9:00 a.m.
Contemporary Worship
Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.
Sunday School
11:00 a.m.
Traditional Worship
2:00 p.m.
Pumpkins & Pansies
Church Grounds
Monday, October 25
7:00 p.m.
Session of Elders
Fellowship Hall
Tuesday, October 26
10:00 a.m.
Staff Meeting
Room 123
7:00 p.m.
Boy Scout Troop 3
Scout Hall
Wednesday, October 27
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 28
7:00 a.m.
Men’s Bible Study
How to Pledge

As we strive toward our stewardship goal of $676,344 to fund our ministries in 2022, please reflect on all that we have accomplished together and pledge your gifts so that we can responsibly plan our yearly spending and operate from a balanced budget.

Please return your pledge card by Sunday, October 31, when we will dedicate our combined pledges to God’s service. You may mail your card to the church, place it in the offering plate during worship, 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.
Join Us for Fellowship Meals and More on Wednesdays
Wednesday suppers are back! We are gathering at 5:30 for the meal then breaking into age groups for programming at 6:15. We are observing a few changes with serving and the number of chairs at each table. In line with our current church policies, we strongly encourage you 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.
Officer Nominations Continue
We are accepting nominations through the end of October for the offices of deacon, elder, and trustee. 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.
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 our website 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.

Pumpkins and Pansies Sunday
Join us this Sunday, October 24, at 2:00 p.m. for free outdoor fun at the church. We will paint pumpkins for Halloween, plant pansies for the season, and enjoy fellowship all the while. Come on out!

Primed Canvases and Made Beds
When pumpkin painters and pansy planters converge on the church grounds this Sunday, they will find a well-prepared space in which to practice their métier. Practicing one of his own, JB Madison (October 20–23) will have seen to that. Not to be outdone, Randy Cook (October 27–30) will mow the church lawn for Stewardship Sunday, October 31.

Down Memory Lane to the Fairmount parking lot.

Trunk or Treat Oct. 28
We need a load of candy and a fleet of cars for Trunk or Treat at Fairmount Elementary School next Thursday, October 28! The event will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

You can participate in two ways:

  • Drop off a large bag of candy at the church office or in worship before October 28.

  • Decorate your car, dress in your Halloween duds, and give candy to kids at the event in the Fairmount parking lot. Please register by emailing Dave Welch.
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 gift in memory of:

  • Alice Moore: to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund from Joe & Leslie Haas
Organist's Footnotes

San Diego’s unique and historic Spreckels outdoor pipe organ was given by the Spreckels brothers on New Year’s Eve, 1914, for the free use and enjoyment not only of the people of San Diego but ”for the people of all the world.” In 1988 the Spreckels Organ Society was organized “to preserve, program, and promote the Spreckels Organ as a world-treasure for all people.” It is this vision of an organ for all people that inspired Morningstar Music Publishers in 1994, as part of the organ’s 80th anniversary year, to commission Michael Burkhardt (pictured below) to compose a suite incorporating traditional melodies symbolizing the rich diversity of the American people. Sunday’s organ prelude, “Theme and Variations,” based on the Shaker melody SIMPLE GIFTS, is one of the pieces in this collection.
Burkhardt (b. 1957) is internationally known for his innovative and inspiring hymn festivals and for his creative work with children. He is in frequent demand as a choral clinician, organ recitalist, and hymn festival leader.

Our postlude, “Harvest Thanksgiving March,” was composed by John Baptiste Calkin (1827–1905) an English composer, organist, and music teacher. Calkin is best known for his setting of the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”
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 |