October 7, 2021
Stewardship Builds on Faith and Trust

As we study the parables together this fall, we are drawn to the Parable of the Talents and what it tells us about fearing the future and trusting our Lord. We too have struggled with uncertainties and grief in the past two years.

Unlike the fearful servant of the parable, though, we are blessed to know the true nature of our master, who is endlessly faithful and grants us collective strength. His power has allowed us to be “More Than the Sum” of our in-person attendance, our calendar of events, or even our individual efforts during a time when it has been hard to physically gather together. Yet, as so beautifully shown in our stewardship logo, God has guided the work of our hands so that we are still His church, reaching out to each other and our neighbors to bring His light and healing to a hurting world. In all our ministries God has knit our talents together in His church, and His gifts to us have multiplied into blessings we could not have foreseen.

Consider The Parable of the Growing Seed: “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how.” We may at times feel that we are barely making it through the day, trying to trust God a little at a time. But then we see His faithfulness and “know not how”! Despite uncertainties, FPC has faithfully continued to sow seeds, and God has blessed our community with growth in ministries we never imaginedby adding hands to the work through new members, volunteers, interns, and vital new staff like Jerry Swam Sidi and Justin Miller, who strengthen our worship and outreach efforts.

Though we “know not how,” in the midst of life’s uncertainties God still brings bounty. With God’s help we are moving forward through the fear of this season; and although we can’t see very far ahead, we can trust that His abundant grace is always leading us on the right path. /Stewardship Committee

How to Pledge

Our pledge goal for this year’s Stewardship Campaign is $676,344, an increase of about $21,000 over last year. As you consider your pledge for 2022, please reflect on all that we have accomplished together. For those new to our congregation, we encourage pledging your gifts in advance so that we can responsibly plan our yearly spending and operate from a balanced budget. 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.

You should receive your pledge mailer by Sunday. You can also download the pledge card here. Please return your 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 normal business hours. If you prefer to make your pledge online, please refer to the instructions for online giving. On Sunday the 31st we will dedicate our combined pledges to God’s service.
October 10
20th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 103:6–14
Matthew 18:21–35
Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Justin Miller
Last Sunday’s Attendance
9:00: In person: 80;
Livestream: 23; Playback: 61
11:00: In person: 76;
Livestream: 13; Playback: 52
Sunday, October 10
9:00 a.m.
Contemporary Worship
Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.
Sunday School
11:00 a.m.
Traditional Worship
Monday, October 11
7:00 p.m.
Building & Grounds Committee
Room 117
Worship Committee
Room 123
Tuesday, October 12
10:00 a.m.
Staff Meeting
Room 123

7:00 p.m. 
Boy Scout Troop 3
Scout Hall
Wednesday, October 13
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 14
7:00 a.m.
Men’s Bible Study
8:30 a.m.
Meals on Wheels
Fellowship Hall
Fellowship Meals Resume Oct. 20

The session has voted to resume meals at the church on Wednesday nights, beginning on Wednesday, October 20. 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 the meal, namely around those 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.
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.
Troop 3 Yard Sale Big Success

FPC’s Boy Scout troop had a very successful yard sale! Many thanks to our church family—you donated so many great items and came shopping! The event raised more than $2,500, which will be used to help pay for an array of Scout activities for many boys.

One shopper said that it was her favorite yard sale of the year. Another mentioned how delightful it was to see so many of the boys volunteering to help make the event a success. The boys greeted shoppers, organized stuff, counted money, and carried items to shoppers’ cars. They were at the church from 6:00 a.m. to past 2:00 p.m.

This yard sale was a blessing to many people in our community who were able to get great quality items for low prices. It was a blessing to our boys to earn money for their Scouting activities while practicing the skills needed to serve people patiently and cheerfully.

Thank you to First Pres from Troop 3! /Alison Meredith
Photo: Bristol Herald Courier

Meeting about the Landfill
As many of you may know (or have smelled), the landfill in Bristol, Virginia, has caused a great deal of suffering in our community and at our church. You are invited to a public meeting, organized by members of the community, to be held at the YWCA on October 12 at 7:00 p.m. You can read more about the problem by taking a look at the public FAQ sheet.

Don't Hold That Tiger
As he takes the Tiger Cat out on the church lawn this week, Randy Olson (October 6–9) is helping to prepare for Sunday’s launch of our stewardship campaign. Roger Sikorski (October 13–16) will take over next week.

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.
We’re Volunteering for Sharing Christ This Saturday

FPC volunteers will be serving those in need in downtown Bristol this Saturday, October 9. Many other FPC folk have baked casseroles and made sack lunches ahead of time. We thank all the volunteers whose efforts make this ministry possible! If you want to participate in the future, please contact Beth Flannagan or Becca Tate,
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.

We Want to Hear from You

Help fuel our Stewardship campaign by sharing your stories of the part the church has played in your life in 2021. We are eager to hear how you and your family have experienced community and grace in our life together. Please send us an email telling your story or an experience you have had of God’s grace in our communal life. If you can, please include pictures and videos. Your story could be used by the Stewardship Committee in the upcoming campaign. You may, of course, ask to remain anonymous. Email your stories, pictures, and videos directly to the Stewardship Committee or link to the mailer.
We Host Katherine Paterson Oct. 18

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 on Monday, October 18, at 7:00 p.m. here at the church.

Paterson, King alumna ’54, is the author of more than 30 books, including 16 novels for children and young people. She has twice won the Newbery Medal, for Bridge to Terabithia in 1978 and Jacob Have I Loved in 1981. The Master Puppeteer won the National Book Award in 1977, and The Great Gilly Hopkins won the National Book Award in 1979 and was also a Newbery Honor Book. For the body of her work, she received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1998 and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2006. She was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000.

Paterson is a vice president of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance and a member of the board of trustees for Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is also an honorary lifetime member of the International Board of Books for Young People, and an Alida Cutts lifetime member of its US section, USBBY. She is the 2010–2011 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Her newest book, Birdie’s Bargain, has just been published by Candlewick Press.
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:

  • Ron Grubbs: to the Technology Fund from Vivian Calcote

  • Alice Moore: to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund from Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Crawford, from Ann Galliher, from Ann Nibloc, from Peggy Peters, from Frances Rowell, from Harold Rutherford, from Mr. & Mrs. William G. Smith, from Frank Winston
  • Alice & Charlie Moore: to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund from Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Gilfillin
  • Virginia Rutherford: to the Technology Fund from Vivian Calcote
Organist's Footnotes

OLD HUNDREDTH is a hymn tune in long meter from Pseaumes Octante Trois de David (the second edition of the Genevan Psalter, 1551) and is one of the best-known melodies in all Christian musical traditions. The tune is attributed to the French composer Louis Bourgeois (c. 1510–c. 1560). Although the tune was first associated with Psalm 134 in the Genevan Psalter, the melody receives its current name from an association with the 100th Psalm, in a translation by William Kethe titled “All People that on Earth Do Dwell.”

Henry Purcell (1659–1695) is generally considered one of the greatest English composers. Although he incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements, Purcell’s was a uniquely English form of baroque music. His short setting of OLD HUNDREDTH starts slowly but quickly picks up speed. His use of baroque ornamentation is tasteful and appropriate as he weaves his skillful counterpoint.

Piet Post (1919–1979; pictured) was so fascinated by the church organ at a young age that his parents decided to buy a harmonium and let him take lessons. His music is characterized by a moderately modern style. He described the idiom he used as “Not modern, at least not experimental. I like to paint and represent the content of the song in timbre. You could say an impressionist… Yes, working with colors, wonderful!”

A bit of that color can be heard in the middle section of his setting of OLD HUNDREDTH. The opening and closing sections have marchlike rhythms in the accompaniment. But the accompaniment in the contrasting middle section has soothing, 20th-century harmonies that float up or down with the rise and fall of the melodic line.
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.
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 |