August 12, 2021
Word from the Pastor:
Calm in the Storm

I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:11b-13

As you will see in this issue, and elsewhere in our public messaging, things are changing on the ground in regard to COVID-19 and all its variants. Of course, you didn’t need me to tell you that; it’s plastered all over the news.

What has been most alarming to the session and to me has been the skyrocketing numbers of those under the age of 12 who are being severely impacted by the virus, especially the delta variant. I don’t point this out to add to the noise but to say that we have before us a real concern, especially when it comes to protecting the health and well-being of our little brothers and sisters in Christ who haven’t been afforded the opportunities many of us have experienced.

So, as I outline in this article, we are adopting the strongest language we can to encourage everyone who comes to worship to mask up, practice distancing, and get vaccinated. We may take other measures at a later date, depending on the data, but for now, this is where we are.

I know that this may be disappointing news. I know that like many of you, I have really enjoyed the luxury of shedding the mask and being able to embrace others. I really felt there for a while that we had turned the corner. Yet, here we are. It is hard to rejoice over the prospect of pulling the masks out again and trying to make it a few more months until we can get this virus under control.

It is very, very easy to let these feelings of disappointment turn into frustration. I would be lying if I told you anything other than the bald truth: I hate them. I hate the masks. I hate the distancing. I hate the contention all of these public health and political discussions entail. I long for normal.

However, I don’t have the luxury of normal. None of us do. However, we do have a word from the Lord that we have the blessing of contentment despite our present challenges. Whatever our storm, our calm is to be found in the one who is our strength, and who leads us in his way. In Jesus Christ, we have all we need to meet our present challenge. He’s the secret that will lead us into a better future, we pray.

Cling to him, and turn the talking heads off. Let his love lead our decisions, personal and corporate, from today forward.

In Christ,
Pastor Sam

August 15
12th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 33:4–9
Proverbs 8
Get Wise
Sam Weddington
August 1: 9:00: In person: 120; Livestream: 34; Playback: 87
11:00: In person: 78;
Livestream: 17; Playback: 79
August 8: 9:00: In person: 140; Livestream: 29; Playback: 83
11:00: In person: 75;
Livestream: 17; Playback: 52
All worship services are also livestreamed.

Sunday, August 15
9:00 a.m.
Contemporary Worship
Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.
Sunday School
11:00 a.m.
Traditional Worship
1:00 p.m.
Churchwide Celebration
Doe River Gorge
Tuesday, August 17
10:00 a.m.
Staff Meeting
Room 123
7:00 p.m.
Finance Comm.
7:00 p.m.
Boy Scout Troop 3
Scout Hall
Wednesday, August 18
5:00 p.m.
Baby & Toddler Care
Rooms 34–37
5:30 p.m.
Fellowship Dinner
Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Night Kids
Middle School Gathering
High School Small Groups
6:15 p.m.
Adult Enrichment Study
7:00 p.m.
Praise Band Practice
Fellowship Hall
7:15 p.m.
Sanctuary Choir Practice
Room 202
Thursday, August 19
7:00 a.m.
Men’s Bible Study
Changes to Our COVID Protocol
At an emergency meeting on Sunday, the session heard evidence from officials and the COVID-19 subcommittee on the rising trend of COVID-19 infections in our area. According to communications from Ballad Health and its Emergency Operations Center, the delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire throughout our region. In the past two weeks, inpatient treatment for the virus has tripled, and Ballad Health expects hospitalizations to double every week unless everyone does their part to mitigate the spread. Moreover, this has had great impact on children under the age of 18, with a sharp increase in young children being hospitalized, some even being put on ventilators, and quite a few suffering “long-haul” symptoms most commonly seen in adults with the virus.

Given that children under the age of 12 are ineligible for the vaccine, the drastic increase in infections in this age group, and the more dangerous outcomes for the young and those who struggle with other medical conditions (given the realities presented by the variants), the session voted by an overwhelming majority to make the following changes to our current COVID-19 policies:

  1. The session strongly encourages everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors at the church.
  2. The session strongly encourages everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to practice social distancing.
  3. The session strongly encourages everyone to be vaccinated if they have not yet done so.

In carrying out this mandate, staff will all wear masks during worship and other indoor events at the church. The worship team will be tested for COVID-19 with the Abbot Labs rapid test every Sunday morning before worship so that they can sing unmasked. The same will be true of those who preach or are involved in liturgy. The choir will be in the balcony, sing spaced out, and wear masks when not singing. The time for the anthem will be changed to reduce the risk of transmission, especially to children. During the passing of the peace, we will ask people to stay in place. We also ask that people avoid clustering in any one area for too long. On Wednesday, we will reduce the number of seats available at each table, and we will have everyone served from a line rather than in the self-serve style of previous years.

More changes may be voted on and implemented in the future, but this is where we start. Please, help us be part of the solution to this problem. /Pastor Sam
Sunday at Doe River, 2 p.m.

Come to Doe River Gorge this Sunday, August 15, for fellowship and fun at the lake! This event is free. The time for the event has been changed to 2:00 p.m. (from the originally scheduled 1:00 p.m.). You are invited to stay until 6:00 p.m. You can enjoy a sandy beach, blob, zip lines, obstacle course, and sports. The afternoon will conclude with baptisms in the lake (around 4:00) and dinner. If you would like to be baptized, contact Pastor Sam.

Bring your friends and family for a day of celebrating all God has done for us as a church family! We need a headcount for meals, so let us know how many people are coming with you and how many plan to eat dinner. Register here. Doe River Gorge is located at 220 Doe River Gorge Road, Hampton, TN.
Home Groups Start Sept. 6
We are inviting individuals and families to form Home Groups for fellowship and Bible discussion. On September 6 we will begin a 12-week Home Group study of the parables of Jesus, and we pray that you will commit to it. The parables study will be available on the church website and in the Home Groups Facebook group. Home Groups are open to all, and they can meet at any time and in any place. If you want to join, lead, host, or register a Home Group, please sign up here. Join the Home Groups Facebook group for resources and sharing.

How to Join Us Online
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the livestream of our early worship service and other activities. Just click here and hit “Subscribe.” You will receive notifications of new videos. To connect to us on Facebook, type in “FPC Bristol,” and several accounts will show up. “Like” the page, or ask to join a group.
Volunteers Needed as Wednesday Fellowship Returns

We will resume Wednesday night programming next week on August 18. We will gather at 5:30 for a common meal in the fellowship hall, followed at 6:15 by a program in the chapel. In response to the local surge in coronavirus variants, we will maintain the familiar pandemic-era levels of care. Given the need to practice distancing and hygiene, we will seat five or six people per table and ask that families and groups try to eat together.

Following the meal, we will gather at 6:15 in the newly renovated chapel for a program. On our first evening we will praise the Lord together with singing, prayer, and the reading of Scripture. On other evenings we may have special guest speakers. Starting in September, we will use this time to conduct a study using our Home Group curriculum. We especially encourage Home Group leaders to consider attending, as the study may provide additional insight for your group.

We are looking for volunteers to help with several meal-related tasks each Wednesday night. To minimize the number of hands on the serving utensils, we are changing from self-service to two volunteer-staffed service lines. For this, we need four to six people who can simultaneously spoon up food, plop it on a plate, and visit with our sisters and brothers in Christ. Servers will need to be in place by 5:25 for 5:30 meal service and able to stand for the duration of the food service. Youth are welcome to volunteer! Masking is strongly encouraged during serving.
Cleanup goes faster when more folks help. We would love a couple of volunteers to team up and work in either the fellowship hall or the kitchen. The fellowship hall team will wipe down the tables and shuttle things to the kitchen. We need two more volunteers to help in the kitchen by repackaging food that goes home as leftovers, operate the dishwasher and put dishes away, wipe down the counters and sinks, and sweep the kitchen. These kitchen tasks are a little more physically demanding, and the sensory experience includes heat, moisture, and noise. Sarah Gannaway will provide any training that is necessary for the hardy folks who volunteer for these tasks. Folks who help with cleanup get first shot at the leftovers! Anyone willing to volunteer for these tasks can email Sarah at

We also need volunteers to deliver meals on Wednesday evenings to those in our congregation who are unable to come to the church. Anyone interested in helping in this way can email Justin Miller at

Below are the entrees Sarah will prepare for our enjoyment through September. Except for the pizza. Sarah will be out of town then, but pizzas will appear, mannalike, in the fellowship hall.

August 18: pork loin
August 25: mac and cheese with ham
September 1: pineapple-soy glazed chicken
September 8: potato bar with chili
September 15: pizza night
September 22: chicken tortilla casserole
September 29: baked penne with Italian sausage
Successful Montana Indian Ministries Project

In July a team from First Pres, comprising Pastor Sam and Elder Randy Cook, joined Con Sauls and a team from northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia to work on several building projects on the Belknap Reservation. The week was a blessed one in which the team successfully completed the project of putting a metal roof on the Montana Indian Ministries’ new community building at Beaver Creek.

This ministry brings the Gospel message to Montana's Native American peoples while supporting and encouraging their rich heritage and culture. Be in prayer for this ministry to our brothers and sisters among the native peoples. You can learn more here.
Should We Stay or Should We Go?

We are moving fitfully through the fickle month of August, not sure whether to turn our eyes toward vacation or school, to water the lawn or pile sandbags. Steady Larry Connolly (August 11–14) is focusing on the job as he mows for August 15. JB Madison‘s (August 18–21) mowing slot opens on the first day of our fall program semester, leaving little room for ambiguity.

Give Safely
During the pandemic, we encourage you to use text, mail, or our website for your continued, faithful support of our ministries. 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. You can also mail your checks directly to the church.
Organist's Footnotes

Johann Ernst Eberlin (1702–1762) was a German composer and organist whose works bridge the baroque and classical eras. He was a prolific composer, chiefly of church organ and choral music. Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg, the leading German music theorist of the Enlightenment, claims that Eberlin wrote as much and as rapidly as Alessandro Scarlatti and Georg Philipp Telemann, a claim also repeated by Leopold Mozart, although Eberlin did not live nearly as long as either of those composers.

Eberlin's musical training began in 1712 at the Jesuit Gymnasium of St. Salvator in Augsburg, where Georg Egger and Balthasar Siberer taught him how to play the organ. He began his university education in 1721 at the Benedictine University in Salzburg, where he studied law but from 1723 turned to music.

His first breakthrough was in 1727, when he became the organist for Count Leopold von Firmian, the Archbishop of Salzburg at the time. He reached the peak of his career as the organist for Archbishop Andreas Jakob von Dietrichstein. By 1749 he held the posts of Hof- und Domkapellmeister (Court and Cathedral Chapel Master) simultaneously, an achievement which his successors Michael Haydn, Leopold Mozart, and Mozart himself were not to match. Leopold Mozart had a great opinion of Eberlin and sent his son some of Eberlin's keyboard pieces, his best-known works. The young Mozart tired of them, writing in a letter of April 20, 1782, that Eberlin's works were "far too trivial to deserve a place beside Handel and Bach."

Having played through much of his music, I find that Eberlin is rather fond of using repetitive patterns that move up or down by steps (sequence). At times his use of sequence goes almost too far. I can see why Mozart found his works less than inspiring. Nevertheless, his music is a joy to play and listen to. The “Prelude No. 1 in D Minor” and “Fugue No. 1 in D Minor” I am playing for the prelude and postlude are meant to be played together; I split the work in half to save time. Our offertory, “Sixth Toccata,” is a study in suspended harmonies and constantly changing tonalities. This beautiful piece finally lands safely in its home key of F Major. Enjoy!

Finally, I would like to comment on the hymn “Wisdom Cries Out in the Streets.” This hymn is an apt paraphrase of Proverbs 8, our scripture for Sunday. Written by Chris Shelton, pastor of Broadway Presbyterian Church in New York City, it speaks of God’s eternal truth (Wisdom) and warns us not to listen to the fears and lies with which we are bombarded every day. This hymn is one of 50 new hymn texts of Chris Shelton published in his book, “Sing No Empty Alleluias” (GIA Publications).
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:

  • Richard Bolick: to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill
  • David Gomola: to the Student Ministries Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill 
  • Ama Lorine Saddler Graham: to the Music Projects Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill
  • Bonnie Haskins: to the Music Projects Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill, from the Presbyterian Women of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
  • Betty Jo McGlothlin: to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill
  • Audrey Page: to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill
  • Bill Wade: to the Church Library Fund from Peggy Peters, from Carol Propst; to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill
Pray for One Another
Our love and sympathy are with Lilly Osborne and her family in the death of her uncle, Billy Joe Eades, August 10, and especially with her cousin, Andy; his wife, Heather; and their son, James.
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.
In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers the members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.

Jean Addison
Bristol Tennessee City Schools
Bud & Marg Branscomb
Becky Busler
Lynn Carter
Nicole Crockett
Randi Edwards
K.D. Forsha
Garrett Foster & family
DeeDee Galliher
Deborah Garritson
John Graham Sr.
Emma & Gina Grubbs
Sandra Grubbs
Lou Hebb
Eddie Hill
Porter Hillery
Kathy Hyde
Davan & Kristi Johnson
Kaduna State, Nigeria
Jim & Joan Keith
Marty & Kara Keys
Morgan & Josh King & family
Cole Lambert
Brenda Lawson
Nancy Lilly
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Alice Moore
John & Phyllis Morris
Doug Myatt
Abigail Myers
Breanna Necessary
Robin North
Ginny Osborne
Palestine & Israel
Nelson Pyle
Cora Lee Raccioppo
Brittany Salter
Joyce Samuel
Julie Schureck
Malcolm Sprinkle
Teacher & administrators as school starts soon
Jay Vanderventer
Margaret Wade
Michael Weller
Wendy White
701 Florida Avenue | Bristol, TN 37620 | 423-764-7176 |