December 23 & 30, 2021
Worship with Us This Christmas
We are offering three worship opportunities this Christmas, all in our sanctuary. We hope to see you in person but are keenly aware of the necessity for fresh precautions as COVID-19 surges in our area, so all three services will be livestreamed.

We invite you to join us for one of our two candlelight worship services on Christmas Eve. Our 5:00 service will be child friendly; we will take communion during the 7:00 service. On December 26, the first Sunday of Christmas, we will have a combined worship service at 11:00. (Sunday School will not meet.)

For all these services, the sanctuary will be at less than half capacity because we will seat people at the recommended distance in every other row of pews. We have viewing rooms set aside for those who want to attend but are wary of exposure.

Our COVID Protocols
The session continues to strongly encourage masks for those not fully vaccinated, or at higher risk of COVID-19 complications. In line with CDC guidelines, the session continues to encourage everyone to consult their medical professional about being vaccinated and getting a booster.

Pray for the Majis
We ask that everyone please pray for the family of Rev. Dr. Nehemiah Maji. Their arrival in the US is delayed by at least a week. We are hoping that they will arrive safely on December 29 or 30. We will share more details as we have them.

New Members Class Begins Jan. 23
O come, all ye faithful ... you’ve been singing or hearing that a lot lately, maybe just in your own head! The beloved Christmas carol reminds us, encourages us, and even exhorts usand I’m using it to hook you. Forgive me. Nearly two years ago, before the pandemic, we started a New Members Class for folks interested in learning more about First Presbyterian Churchor what Presbyterian even meansand how they might fit into this community of faith. It’s time to offer it again, especially for those who joined the church during the pandemic.

While the primary purpose of the class is to meet and enjoy fellowship with other folks at FPC, we will ask and answer a few important questions: What is the history of the Presbyterian Church, specifically FPC? How is the church organized, nationally and locally? How can you plug in and serve? We’ll even take field trips and watch some videos, just as we did in elementary school. Please mark your calendars for the first class, which will meet in the chapel on Sunday, January 23, at 10:10 a.m. If you have any questions, Dave ( has the answers. /Dave Welch

Brazil Mission Exploratory Meeting
All those interested in the possibility of a mission trip to Felipe Camarão and Cidade Nova in Natal, Brazil, are invited to the chapel on Sunday, January 9, at 10:15 a.m. for a brief presentation about the goals for this trip and an overview of previous trips. You need not commit at this first meeting. Instead, we hope it will be an opportunity to explore whether God is calling you to get to know our brothers and sisters there and work with them to advance God’s kingdom.

December 26
1st Sunday of Christmas
Combined Service at 11:00
Psalm 98:1–6
1 Samuel 2:18–26
Colossians 3:12–17
Sam Weddington

January 2
2nd Sunday of Christmas
Psalm 147:12–20
Jeremiah 31:7–14
Ephesians 1:3–14
Sam Weddington
Attendance Dec. 19
9:00: In person: 144
11:00: In person: 83

Sunday, December 26
11:00 a.m.
Combined Worship
Monday, December 27
Church office closed
Tuesday, December 28
Church office closed
Wednesday, December 29
10:00 a.m.
Staff Meeting
Room 123
7:00 p.m.
Praise Band Practice
Fellowship Hall
Thursday, December 30
7:00 a.m.
Men’s Bible Study
Sunday, January 2
9:00 a.m.
Contemporary Worship
Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.
Sunday School
11:00 a.m.
Traditional Worship
Monday, January 3
Church office closed
7:00 p.m.
Board of Deacons
Room 123
Tuesday, January 4
10:00 a.m.
Staff Meeting
Room 123
Wednesday, January 5
6:15 p.m.
Handbell Practice
7:00 p.m.
Praise Band Practice
Fellowship Hall
7:15 p.m.
Choir Practice
Room 202
Thursday, January 6
7:00 a.m.
Men’s Bible Study
5:30 p.m.
Scout Roundtable
Fellowship Hall
Children Make the Most of the Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The children have been busy at FPC this holiday season. They enjoyed decorating gingerbread houses, creating snow and cinnamon ornaments at Drop and Shop, and making a joyful noise at the Christmas play! A huge thank you to all the volunteers, parents, and children for making this a festive and joyous time! /Lilly Osborne
Volunteer with BFIA
Bristol Faith in Action, an organization that meets needs in Bristol through partnership with churches and others in our community, needs volunteers. There are a number of helper positions open in reception, appointment setting, and the like. For more information, call the Director of BFIA, DeVonne Phipps, at (276) 466-8292, or email her at

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.
Returning Pledges
If you have not yet made your 2022 pledge, you can do so now by picking up a pledge card at the church or downloading a copy here. You can drop off the completed card at the church office or mail it in, or email your pledge directly to our business manager, Betsy Galliher.

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.
RMD, QCD, and Your Year-End Gift

If you are planning to make a year-end gift to First Presbyterian Church and are required take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from a taxable retirement plan, please consider talking to your financial advisor about a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD).

A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from your IRA, payable directly to a qualified charity as defined in the QCD provision in the Internal Revenue Code. Amounts distributed as a QCD can be counted toward satisfying your RMD for the year, up to $100,000. In addition, the QCD is excluded from your taxable income and lowers your adjusted gross income and income tax!

Gifts may be designated to church general operations to help fulfill our annual operating budget or to one of our current mission partnerships. A new option is to designate gifts to one of the recently established Legacy Funds: the General Legacy Fund (which provides the broadest impact for years to come) or one of several Designated Legacy Funds specific to various program areas in the church, such as Worship/Music, Christian Education, Missions, or Facilities. For more information, please call Betsy Galliher in the church office or email her at
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:
  • Birch Bullock: to the Memorial Fund from Joday & Bob Blevins
Organist's Footnotes

Sunday, December 26: Craig Phillips (b. 1961) is Director of Music at All Saints’ Church, Beverly Hills. Dr. Phillips holds the degrees Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music, as well as the Performers Certificate, from the Eastman School of Music. His Bachelor of Music degree is from Oklahoma Baptist University, and his early musical studies were at the Blair School of Music in Nashville. He resides in West Hollywood.

Phillips’s quiet meditation on CAROL (“It Came upon the Midnight Clear”) fits well with the First Sunday of Christmas. The familiar melody is played by the feet, while the hands supply gentle rocking figures. The peaceful musical setting belies the surprisingly harsh images touched upon in the hymn’s text (which we will sing). How badly our fallen world needs to listen to “that glorious song of old!”

H. Alexander Matthews’s (1879–1973) setting of “Angels, from the Realms of Glory” is suitably grand for a piece with such a title. Born in England, Matthews immigrated to the United States as a young man, married, and settled in the Philadelphia area, where he established himself as a teacher of organ, harmony, counterpoint, and composition.
Sunday, January 2: Ashley Grote’s (b. 1982) setting of THE FIRST NOWELL is succinct and impactful. Grote is Master of Music at Norwich Cathedral and a fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Grote grew up in Colchester and attended Eld Lane Baptist Church with his family, where he sang in the choir and first played the organ. He joined the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, at the age of eight in response to a newspaper advertisement for voice trials. He then attended Uppingham School and returned to King’s in October 2001 as an organ scholar. He won first prize in the 1999 Royal College of Organists’ Young Performers’ Festival. In 2000 he was the first organist ever to win a place in the keyboard final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition.

Since his daughter’s diagnosis with a brain tumor in 2014, he has regularly competed in the London marathon to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

M. Searle Wright’s (1918–2004) playful setting of GREENSLEEVES seems perfectly suited for the first communion service of the new year. Wright was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Binghamton, New York. As a teenager, he earned money playing the Wurlitzer at the Capitol Theater in Binghamton on weekends. He studied classical organ in New York City, with T. Tertius Noble, and composition at Columbia University. He taught at the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary, where he had earlier studied improvisation. He was the director of chapel music at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University; served a term as president of the American Guild of Organists; and later became Link Professor of Music at the State University of New York in Binghamton. Wright was a deeply religious man who created many choral works, writing in a style that was quite tonal and conservative.

Sir David Willcocks’s (1919–2015) “Postlude on MENDELSSOHN” has become a modern classic of the organ repertoire. Willcocks was a British choral conductor, organist, composer, and music administrator. He was particularly well known for his association with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, which he directed from 1957 to 1974, making frequent broadcasts and recordings. Several of the descants and carol arrangements he wrote for the annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols were published in the series of books Carols for Choirs, which he edited with Reginald Jacques and John Rutter. He was also director of the Royal College of Music in London.
Pray for One Another
We want to pray for and celebrate with you! Send your prayer requests and glad tidings to

Our love and sympathy are with Beth Flannagan and Rebecca Tate on the death of their mother, Mary Jane Luffman, December 16, and with Sara Gannaway, her granddaughter; and with John and Karen Vann on the death of their son Garrett Foster, December 19 in Knoxville, and with Wes Foster, his brother.

Foster Funeral
The funeral service for Garrett Ottenfeld Foster will be at Eastminster Presbyterian Church (4904 Asheville Highway, Knoxville) on Wednesday, December 29, at 5:30 p.m., with visitation to follow. A private family burial will take place Thursday, December 30, at 8:30 a.m. at the Veterans Cemetery in Knoxville.

Birthday Prayer Fellowship
for January
To help protect your personal data, we now publish an alphabetical list of the month’s birthdays, without dates of birth, in the Windows published on or just before the first day of the month.

Susan Abel
Bambi Akard
David Akard
Piper Arnold
Christopher Bechtold
Lucy Bechtold
Christopher Blankenship
Emma Booher
Sujean Bradley
James Buck
Amelia Cordon
Dale Davis
Ann Galliher
Helen Grace Gannaway
Amanda Hankins
Claire Hankins
Heidi Harkleroad
Phillip Hoffer
Pete Holler
Andrea Hyde
Dale Keller
Lizzy King
Matt Kingsley
Dick Ladd
Lisa Lundberg
Bebo McClain
Debbie McMillin
Alison Meredith
Nick Meredith
Camille Miller
Justin Miller
Adrianna Nelson
Kaemon Nelson
Charlotte Parker
Samuel Parker
Karen Pennington
John Peters
David Phelps
Leigh Beth Phipps
Drew Porter
Maria Poteat
Fritz Reuning
Margaret Rice
Scott Sams
Byron Schiesz
Nell Stigers
Ethan Webb
Grayson Webb
Jeremiah Webb
In Our Prayers
Please also pray for the members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.

Anna Arbo & family
Wayne Ausmus
Mendy Bechtold
Bill & Betty Bingham
Bud & Marg Branscomb
Bristol Tennessee City Schools
Becky Busler
Ben Cherry & family
Bill Coleman
Ariel Damasceno
K.D. Forsha
Tammy Fredrickson
DeeDee Galliher
John Graham Sr.
Emma Grubbs & Gina Roberson
Lou Hebb
Eddie Hill
Porter Hillery
Davan & Kristi Johnson
Kaduna State
Jim & Joan Keith
Marty & Kara Keys
Morgan & Josh King & family
Nancy Lilly
Family of Mary Jane Luffman
Diana Mattison
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Kathy McGlothlin
Montana Indian Ministries
Abigail Myers
National & international leadership
Breanna Necessary
Palestine & Israel
Roger Patrick & family
Pastor Bruce Plummer
June Prado
Don Pridemore
Claire Pruner
Cora Lee Raccioppo
Bob Rhea
Michelle S.
Susan Solomon
Malcolm Sprinkle
Pete Stigers & family
Teachers & school administrators
John & Karen Vann & family of Garrett Foster
Scott VanNostrand
Margaret Wade
Bill & Patsy Ward
Michael Weller
Deadline & Subscriptions
Monday is the deadline for contributions to Windows. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter by sending your name and preferred email address to the editor.
701 Florida Avenue | Bristol, TN 37620 | 423-764-7176 |