First Presbyterian Church  |  701 Florida Avenue  |  Bristol, TN 37620  |  423-764-7176  |

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
No Absence of Blessings
This Is a Scam. It Is Only a Scam. Again.
No Church Gatherings before April 30
Connect to Us on YouTube and Facebook
Communion while Apart
Take Advantage of Our Online Bible Studies
Join Us Online for Student Fellowship
Please Pray for All, Near and Far
Remote Giving Promotes Togetherness
If You Have or See a Need
You Can Call on Our Response Teams for Help
We Are Making (and Providing a Few) Masks
You Can Still Share with Your Reading Buddy
To Protect and to Serve
Gifts to the Church
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
April 19
2nd Sunday of Easter
Livestream Only (10:00)
Psalm 16
John 20:19-31
Dave Welch
Easter Attendance
Livestream: 151 households
Total online views: 551
Click here to livestream our contemporary service. You can also access past sermons and ministry videos on our YouTube account, "FPC Bristol."
Deadline & Subscriptions
Deadline for contributions is the Monday of the week of publication. To subscribe to our free e-newsletter, send an email with your name and preferred email address to


on First Presbyterian Church

April 16, 2020
No Absence of Blessings
Pastor Sam has been reminding us in our worship services to "be a blessing." The void created by not being able to gather with others has opened up space in which we can become very creative in being a blessing. Our response teams are leading the way. FPC teams have moved to fill significant gaps with the blessings of manpower, prayer power, and presence, in new and heartening ways.
Upon hearing that the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry needed volunteers to sort and box food and give the boxes to folks, our FPC response teams stepped in. For the past several weeks, the church has helped maintain the Food Pantry's ministry by providing as many as six volunteers three days a week. Upon hearing that there were families with questionable food security among our Fairmount neighbors, FPC and the response teams stepped in and provided nine families with fresh and shelf-stable food, and did so while maintaining the required social distancing and food delivery precautions. Way to go FPC!
If you become aware of needs, especially for prayer, food, or personal connection, please email or text one of the church staff, who will share the information with Sam and me. / Dave Welch

This Is a Scam. It Is Only a Scam. Again.
The internet and smartphone scammers who targeted us in January, and again earlier this month, are back. Posing as busy FPC staff, they contact you by text or through Facebook or a similar method and ask you to attend to an urgent matter for them. They tell you to buy a gift card (for Walmart, Target, Food City, etc.) for a credible recipient: a person or family in need, or perhaps a worthy-sounding ministry. They then instruct you to send the gift card codes to the phone number they have provided in their message. This is a scam. PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND or take any action. The staff of FPC will NEVER ask you to do anything like this! Learn more about scammers and gift cards here.
No Church Gatherings before April 30
In keeping with state guidelines, the FPC session has suspended in-person meetings, gatherings, and worship at the church until Thursday, April 30. All scheduled meetings will take place by remote conferencing, and a single worship service will be livestreamed at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. The service will be followed by prerecorded online programs for Marthina Chapel, the Friendship Class, adults, children, and students. You can join us for the livestream on our YouTube site, by the link provided on our Facebook page, or by the link in our e-newsletter.
Connect to Us on YouTube and Facebook
Although we must livestream worship and other activities for the time being, we need to stay connected. Remember to subscribe to our channel. Go to YouTube and type in "FPC Bristol." Click on the link and hit "subscribe." You will receive notifications when there is a new video. We also suggest that you connect to our various Facebook sites. Go to Facebook and type in "FPC Bristol," and several accounts will show up. Some are open to the public, while others are restricted. In either case, "like" the page, or ask to join a group if it is closed. Beyond this, keep an eye on your email for updates and our newsletter from Constant Contact.
Communion while Apart
We are apart in person, but we are still the one body of Christ. Nothing we do in worship communicates this more effectively than our sharing of the Lord's table. Therefore, for as long as we continue to livestream our worship, we will also observe communion. So, every Sunday until we can meet in person again, we ask that you prepare the bread and the cup at your home, and participate with us as we share Christ at the table. All you need is a piece of bread, a cracker, or the like and juice, water, or whatever you have at hand. We will give you instructions during worship.
Take Advantage of Our Online Bible Studies
With our new Bible study after worship on Sundays, we now have three adult studies available on our YouTube channel. The Sunday Bible study, Praying With the Psalms, looks at the Book of Psalms through the lens of prayer. No preparation is needed, other than to have a Bible and an open heart. We also post a short study every Tuesday and Thursday. If you subscribe, you will be notified when new studies become available.
Join Us Online for Student Fellowship
Students! We may not be together physically, but we are still gathering via Zoom! Student Fellowship is a time for games, worship, a message, and breakout discussions. Middle School Gathering and High School Devos study and discuss the Bible in small groups.
  • ID for Student Fellowship on Sundays at 7:00 p.m.: 435-749-455
  • ID for Middle School Gathering on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.: 196-217-088
  • ID for High School Devos on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.: 638-854-949
We need each other in this journey, so please join us on Zoom as we do life together from afar! / Katie Arnold
Please Pray for All, Near and Far
As we weather the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking you to spend more time in prayer for our church, our community, the nation, and the world. Pray for our leaders, first responders, frontline workers, and the vulnerable. We also ask that you pray for a swift end to this disease.
Remote Giving Promotes Togetherness
During the present crisis, we encourage you to give by way of our website or by text or mail. We must hold together, and your continued, faithful giving ensures that we will have the resources to continue our ministries. 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 (all one word) fpcbristol to 73256. You can also mail your checks directly to the church. Our address is 701 Florida Avenue, Bristol, TN 37620. Thank you, as always, for your generosity.
If You Have or See a Need
If you have a need, please call the church and let us know! We want to be a blessing to you and make sure that you have what you need. Our responders are prepared to bring essential supplies and make general wellness calls. And if you see a need, please let us know. We have medical personnel on call, for the time being, on whom you can call if you feel the need. You are not alone!
You Can Call on Our Response Teams for Help
We are pleased and grateful to announce that we now have eight response teams and three medical response teams. They stand ready to aid us safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate their heart to serve, while praying that we won't have to call upon them too often in the coming days. Please pray that God would use them in an effective and mighty way. If you are interested in joining us in the work, just email Dave Welch or Pastor Sam.
We Are Making (and Providing a Few) Masks
Because the need for protective masks is growing, we are reaching out to those of you who can sew. Ballad Health has invited us to help our community during the COVID-19 crisis by making masks for respiratory patients, so that medical-grade masks can be conserved for medical professionals. You will find the sewing pattern and instructions here. An FPC response team member will come to your home to pick up your finished masks for delivery. The contact person for this project is Peggy Hill, 423-956-0209 or
Members of our community who need a mask to help them when they go out in public should call the church office to let us know. We have a limited number created by members of our church who are responding to Ballad Health's request.
Please note: If you wear such a mask, you must still maintain six feet of distance from those outside your household when you go out to perform an essential task, such as buying food or medicine. This mask does not provide a shield from infection by others, but it may limit their exposure to your respiratory droplets. You can be infected without showing symptoms, so please take care.
You Can Still Share with Your Reading Buddy
Many of you are Reading Buddies at Fairmount Elementary School and have expressed a desire to stay connected with your buddy while maintaining a safe distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fairmount has informed us that you can continue your involvement by recording yourself reading your favorite children's book and then sending the video to Kelli Campbell. She will post recordings on the school website and invite the children to check them out. Her email address is
To Protect and to Serve
We are sheltering at home except to take care of certain necessary tasks, mindful of our health and that of others. We do so to protect ourselves, our homes, our community, and the larger world. Our mowing team takes care in every sense in their stewardship of the church lawn. Fred Harkleroad (April 15 -19) performs this service in this heaven-drawn week following the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord. David Moore (April 22 -25) takes over as gravity makes itself felt in the week that remembers both the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide but also finds hope in Earth Day's call to protect our shared home. We will do this, together.
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:
Michael Ehrie (Meg Rice's father): to the Memorial Fund from Barb Thompson
Vivian Hill: to the Christian Hands Ministry from William & Barbara Hennings, from Frances Rowell, from Barb Thompson; to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Barbara Duncan, from Bill & Margaret Wade
Jim Mayden: to the Technology Fund from Barb Thompson
Betty Ottenfeld (Karen Vann's mother): to the Brazil Mission Fund from Barb Thompson; to Bristol Faith in Action from Tom & Leigh King
Peggy Truman (Linda Welch's mother): to the Children's Ministries Fund from Barb Thompson; to the Memorial Fund from Ann Abel, from Dale & Molly Keller; to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Barbara Duncan
Herb Van Nostrand: to Boy Scout Troop 3 from Barb Thompson
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Joe Bell
Sujean Bradley
Brandi & family
Bristol Tennessee School System
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Jennifer Chang & family
Creasy family
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Community, nation & world
Cookeville & Chattanooga
Raymond Dickenson
Dorothy Dollar
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Trinka Felty
First responders & medical & infrastructure personnel
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
The Goddards (missionaries in Paraguay)
Rose Marie & Jim Goodrum
Grubbs family
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Lou Hebb
Pete Holler
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Danae Kreiss
Nancy Lilly
Amy Marion & family
Dot Mattison
Ashley McGill
Military companies returning from Afghanistan
Bob Millard
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
New Jersey & New York
Kayla Patterson
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Brittany Salter
John Scott
Solange & family
Betsy Turnbull
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Vicky Wood
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
April 19         Betty Kirksey, Jeff McMillin, Barb Thompson              
April 20         Manda Fox, Mike Longnecker
April 22         Peter Dotterweich
April 23         John Dabbs, Logan Streetman, Curtis Vann
April 25         Aaron Brooks, Betty Johnston, Donna Sikorski
Church Calendar
Sunday, April 19
10:00 a.m.     Worship, Livestreamed
Followed by Online Sunday School & Adult Bible Study
Tuesday, April 21
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, UberConference
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Class of 2022
Nancy Allerton
Ann Abel
Anna L. Booher
Rebecca Beck
Randy Cook
Bruce Gannaway
David Hyde
John Graham
Will Hankins
Jordan Pennington
Katie McInnis
Dottie Havlik
Jerry Poteat
John Vann
Laura Ong
Blake Bassett
Fred Harkleroad
Mike Cleland
Rhonda Comer
Matt Kingsley
Geneva King
Ron Fox
Lisa McClain
George Linke
Brenda Lawson
Drew Rice
Charlie Taylor
Barbara Thompson
Joyce Samuel
Peggy Hill
Jack Butterworth
Nancy Cook