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

In This Issue
Deadlines & Subscriptions
Congregation Meets Sunday to Approve New Senior Pastor
More Good News: 2018 Budget Adopted
In the Pulpit
Season of Prayer Continues
Five Cents a Meal Offering April 29
Fun for All Ages Next Wednesday Night
Spring Cleaning Day April 28
Claim Your Lost Items by May 6
Take Care! Shepherds Needed
How to Support Our Confirmands
VBS to be Held in the Cool of the Evening
Will Graham Celebration Next Weekend
Wycliffe Bible Translators Banquet May 10
Please Donate Pretzels for Pupils
Hear Bob Greene in Recital Next Sunday
Music Notes
Gifts to the Church
Pray for One Another
Elders and Deacons of FPC
Church Calendar
April 22
4th Sunday of Easter
Psalm 23
John 10:11-18
Christ Our Shepherd
Steve Playl
Brethren, We Have Met to Worship
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
O God in Whom All Life Begins
Wondrous Love
Last Week's Attendance
8:30: 90; 11:00: 90
Deadlines & Subscriptions
Deadline for contributions to Windows is the Monday of the week of publication. The newsletter is emailed a minute after midnight on Thursday morning. It is posted to our website later that day.

To have Windows delivered to your digital in-box, email the editor at the address below, giving your name and the email address you want to use for the purpose.

Windows is a publication of First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN. Please direct questions and suggestions to the editor, Kathy Acuff,


on First Presbyterian Church

April 19, 2018
Congregation Meets Sunday to Approve New Senior Pastor
The congregation will meet this Sunday, April 22, at 10:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall to approve and accept the candidate being brought forth to be installed as the new Senior Pastor and Head of Staff, as well as the terms of call for this position. The candidate has already been examined and accepted by the Holston Presbytery Committee on Ministry. Please make plans to attend.
More Good News: 2018 Budget Adopted
As couples prepare for marriage, I am often engaged to ask them purposeful questions that invite sharing their thoughts, their hopes and dreams, for their upcoming life together. One of my standard questions echoes Matthew 25: "What would you do with a million dollars if it was given to you without any strings attached? How would you spend it? Would you invest, spend, buy, or dig a hole in the ground and put it in?"
I'm really more interested in understanding their motivation and thinking process than learning what they'd actually do. It seems to me that each of us leans into a place of comfort of which we are usually unaware. Typically, we are oriented towards either spending or saving, and the work of marriage involves communicating and understanding our orientation.
Now imagine that instead of just two people wrangling with this concept, there are 15. To further complicate it, each of these 15 individuals is also listening for God's Spirit for direction. This is the very purposeful and difficult task (preparing a budget) in which your Session has been engaged now for the past five months, and even the past three years.
Who are we? Who is God inviting FPC to become? What is the body of Christ to look like, care for, be engaged with, while answering the call of the Holy Spirit to be the stewards of all God has given to us? These are life-altering, ministry-defining, missional declarations that must be answered. Who are we, and who is God calling us to be next year, the year after that, the decade to follow?
God has invited this FPC community to wrestle with these questions for more than 150 years. The budget serves as a working blueprint that helps orient the congregation and the Session in response to these important questions. The budget then also motivates us to move in the direction God is calling, or pushing, us, through the work of the Session.
After many months of conversation, at a called meeting on Sunday, April 15, the Session adopted the 2018 budget, a blueprint for the remainder of this year. If you would like to see the budget, or have questions about it, please contact Betsy Galliher ( or Dave Welch ( Here are the most important highlights:
  • The budget is balanced, meaning that the forecasted expenses to do ministry (staffing, mission, worship, learning, and programs) are being met with the income you, the congregation, are pledging to give, along with other income streams. That is awesome news!
  • While there are inevitable staff changes to come, we expect, and are budgeting for, a new Installed Senior Pastor (don't miss the Congregational Meeting at 10:00 a.m. this Sunday, April 22!) and continuing the Pastoral Call of Dave Welch minimally through December, which is the fullest contractual length allowed (one full year) by the Book of Order for Temporary Pastoral positions (not installed). The Minister for Discipleship has always served only one year at a time, and this budget continues this position for 2018.
  • The average amount given by those who pledge has increased significantly. Praise God!
But, we're not done yet. The question still remains: Who is God calling us to be? The Spirit is moving, directing, enlivening, and urging us to be transformed people. There is a deep, deep desire by the Session to focus more outwardly, to express more and greater care for the community beyond our doors, rather than upon our inward and personal needs. "[F]or I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me" (Matthew 25:36 -36).
God is leading us in a new, exciting direction, and the budget is one avenue, one design, for how, what, when, and why that will come to fruition. The incredible, unbelievable, exciting news is that God is doing a new thing, loving us too much to remain complacent! / Dave Welch
In the Pulpit
The Reverend Steve Playl was born in Madisonville, Kentucky, and graduated from Western Kentucky University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Steve served as pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church for 28 years. He is currently the staff chaplain at Bristol Regional Medical Center, writes a weekly column for the Bristol Herald Courier, and teaches at King University as an adjunct instructor. He and his wife, Sammie, have lived in Bristol for 30 years; they have four children and many grandchildren. In addition to their ministries, Sammie and Steve enjoy being the caretakers of their vintage house in the Historic Fairmount neighborhood and traveling ... every chance they get.
Season of Prayer Continues through April
During the month of March, several elders and members met in the chapel on Sunday evenings for prayer and dialogue regarding the 2018 proposed budget and other church matters. Out of those meetings came a better understanding of church business and an appreciation for face-to-face communications with each other. As a result, the Season of Prayer will continue from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. each remaining Sunday in April. Anyone connected to FPC as a member, staff, officer, or interested party is encouraged to attend. Please spread the word and plan to be there. / Jerry Poteat
Five Cents a Meal Offering April 29
We will collect our quarterly Five Cents a Meal offering next Sunday, April 29, at both services. The suggested offering is $13.65 per person, which represents about a nickel for each meal in a three-month period. Your offering will provide hunger relief through both local and global ministries. Last year, in response to requests from the Five Cents a Meal offerings, FPC received grants from the Presbytery for Haven of Rest, Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, Ethiopia, and Brazil. Please be generous!
Fun for All Ages Next Wednesday Night
We will be celebrating next Wednesday evening with a fantastic supper followed by table games with prizes, and a craft painting event for all ages. Join us in the Fellowship Hall next Wednesday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. for a supper of BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, slaw, and cookies, then stay for the fun at 6:10. The evening promises to be a "Memory Maker," so don't miss it!
Spring Cleaning Day April 28
Spring cleaning help is on the way! Volunteers from the church will gather at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, in the Slater Center parking lot (to avoid the congestion of the King University graduation) and disperse to help members of the congregation clean gutters, change smoke alarm batteries and light bulbs, clear yard debris, and perform other rites of spring. It won't be fun without you! Volunteers are asked to bring ladders, gloves, rakes, and other tools they might need. To volunteer or to request assistance, please contact Dave Welch at
Claim Your Lost Items by May 6
It is time for our annual spring cleaning, and we are clearing out the items that have collected in our Lost & Found Department. If you think something you've lost may be found in our collection, please come to the next Wednesday night program (April 25), or to the Fellowship Hallway through Sunday, May 6, and find your lost item. After this date, items will be donated to Haven of Rest in hopes of finding new, more loving homes.
Take Care! Shepherds Needed
The goal of the Deacons' Care Shepherd ministry is to show Christian love and care to those of our church family who are in need. Opportunities exist to provide meals to those just home from the hospital, visit our shut-ins at home and in care facilities, and comfort those in distress.
Volunteers serve one month at a time on a Care Shepherd team that ministers to the needs of the congregation for that month. Five deacons (Sujean Bradley, David Ginn, Brenda Lawson, Barb Thompson, and Ann Woods ) will each coordinate a team. We already have a team in place for April, but we are humbly seeking volunteers to serve in the remaining months of the year and in 2019. Please pick up a volunteer sign-up sheet during one of the worship services this week. Thank you!
How to Support Our Confirmands
Student Ministries invites the congregation to write letters of spiritual encouragement to the young people who will be confirmed in our church this spring.
2018 Confirmands
Davis Akard
Bailey Bechtold
Jon Blankenship
Zora Gross
Rachel Kent
Lily Rosser
Beckham Schiesz
On Sunday, May 13, these students will proclaim their faith before our church family and become members of First Presbyterian Church. As we prepare for this special day, we are asking their friends and families and members of FPC to send in cards and letters of spiritual encouragement for them. The kind words you share will not only encourage them as they prepare to be confirmed but also be kept for years as a reminder of the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds them and that will continue to love, guide, and encourage them as they continue to run the race (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Please send your message by May 11, to Katie Arnold, Director of Student Ministries, either by email to, or by mail or hand to First Presbyterian Church, Attn.: Katie Arnold, 701 Florida Avenue, Bristol, TN 37620.
Thank you for joining us as we celebrate this important and exciting time in the lives of our students! Please contact Katie, if you have any questions.
VBS to be Held in the Cool of the Evening
You can heave a sigh of relief as you mark your calendars for this year's Vacation Bible School! It will take place in the evenings from 6:00 to 8:30 beginning Sunday, July 8, and continuing through Wednesday, July 11. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Lilly Osborne at
Will Graham Celebration Next Weekend
A major Will Graham Celebration, sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has been scheduled for April 27 -29 in the Tri-Cities. FPC's Evangelism & Outreach Committee encourages each member of our congregation to attend one or more of these Christian evangelistic events and to prayerfully invite and bring with them any friends who do not currently have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The primary goal of this celebration is to lead nonbelievers to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and to help connect them with a church in their area.
Four big events will be held in Freedom Hall Civic Center, located at 1320 Pactolas Road in Johnson City. Admission to each event is free. No ticket is required.
  • Adults & Families: 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 27
  • KidzFest: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 28
  • Youth Night (Adults and families welcome): 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 28
  • Adults & Families: 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 29
Two other preparatory events for participants in the process will take place before the Celebration:
  • Final Prayer Gathering: Sunday, April 22. For all participants, University Parkway Baptist, Johnson City, 7:00 p.m.
  • Counselor Rehearsal: Thursday, April 26. For those selected to serve as counselors, Freedom Hall, Johnson City, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
For more information, see the Celebration website at, email, or call the Celebration office at 423-461-0057.
Wycliffe Bible Translators Banquet May 10
Pastor Jacob Ram
Members of FPC are invited to a Wycliffe Bible Translators banquet Thursday, May 10, at the Holiday Inn in Johnson City. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 7:00 p.m. The speaker will be Pastor Jacob Ram, who pastors a church in Botswana. Wycliffe is a worldwide Christian ministry dedicated to translating the entire Bible into the heart language of every major language group in the world. The evening's program will explain how technology is being used to speed up the process of translation, and how you can have a part in Bible translation.
We would like to encourage as many of you and your friends as possible to attend this free event. To make a reservation, please call Brent Nelson at 1-866-461-0197 or 1-615-415-1432, or send an email to The Holiday Inn is located at 101 W. Springbrook Drive.
Please Donate Pretzels for Pupils
We are collecting small pretzels or pretzel sticks for the students of our neighborhood school. The families of most of the children at Fairmount Elementary cannot afford to send snacks to school with them. That's why we collect donated snacks from our generous church family and our Christian Hands Ministry folks make sure they get to the school. Please bring your offerings of small pretzels to the Little Red House in the Fellowship Hallway to help the youngsters at Fairmount stay alert through the long afternoons. Thank you!
Hear Bob Greene in Recital Next Sunday
Come hear Spring: Gardens, Flowers, Birds, a recital of organ music composed by Jehan Alain, Samuel Barber, Robert Farley, Daniel Gawthrop, Gerald Near, Antonio Vivaldi, and the performer himself, Robert Greene, Sunday, April 29, at 3:00 p.m. in our sanctuary. Assisting him in this varied program will be baritone Mark Davis and flutist Charlotte Ellis. Admission is free, and the public is welcome.
Music Notes
Sunday's music participants: Pat Flannagan, Bob Greene, King University Symphonic Choir.
Sunday's music: We welcome the Symphonic Choir from King University in our worship Sunday morning. It has long been a tradition that the King Choir sings with us on the final weekend of the spring semester. The music they bring to us reflects some of the
Knut Nystedt in 2004
music that they have offered in worship throughout the year in various settings. The choral introit, "I Will Greatly Rejoice," is by Knut Nystedt (1915 -2014), a celebrated Norwegian composer. The text is adapted from Isaiah 61:10. The anthem for the morning is the familiar "Wondrous Love," arranged by Frank Pesci (b. 1974), an American-born composer now living in Cologne, Germany. The choral benediction, "Irish Blessing," was composed by Philip Stopford (b. 1977), an English composer who spent several years in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The text is a setting of the familiar poem sometimes attributed to St. Patrick and often used as a blessing at Irish weddings. The choir offers this work as a thanks and blessing for our Irish "sister," Nicola Anderson, who has sung with the choir this year and who will be returning to Ireland after the school year ends.
Organist's footnotes: All three organ pieces are based on Sunday's hymns. Our prelude is the tune RESIGNATION, an American folk melody that first appeared in print in Southern Harmony, 1835. Gilbert Martin's arrangement uses jazz-style harmonies with grand, sweeping phrases.
The offertory is the tune NOEL, a traditional English melody (probably one of the variants of the folk song "Dives and Lazarus"). Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900) adapted it by adding phrases of his own and recasting the melody in common meter double. It was first published in his Church Hymns with Tunes (1874). In that collection Sullivan set this tune to the Christmas carol "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." English composer David Thorne (b. 1950) has done a quiet chorale prelude setting, with the melody played on the Krummhorn, and light flutes accompanying.
Our postlude, HOLY MANNA, is an American folk melody that first appeared in Columbian Harmony in 1825, attributed to William Moore, about whom nothing is known. American composer Wilbur Held (1914-2015) has left us a lively setting that fits this lively old shape-note hymn well.
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 gifts made to the church in memory of the following individuals:
Graham Barr: to the Operating Fund from Bill & Billie Whisnant
Betty Mott: to the Memorial Fund from Dale & Molly Keller; to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Linda Darnell, and from Alice Moore
Sam Samuel:  to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Trevor & Landy Mathes
Pray for One Another

An extensive list of prayer concerns, "Pray for One Another," is available for pickup at the church each week.
In Our Prayers
DeeDee Galliher
Ron Grubbs
Blaine Hunigan
Don Moneyhun
Joan Sams (mother of Scott Sams)
Chuck Thompson
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
April 22         Peter Dotterweich
April 23         John Dabbs, Logan Streetman
April 25         Aaron Brooks, Betty Johnston, Donna Sikorski
April 26         Jake Regan
April 27         Lee Galliher, Annie Osborne
April 28         Zora Gross, Cora Lee Raccioppo, Bob Rhea
Elders and Deacons of FPC
PCUSA seal small
Church Officers
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Aaron Brooks
Anna Booher
Nancy Allerton
Randy Cook
Lee Galliher
Rebecca Beck
Debbie McMillin
Pete Holler
David Hyde
Stuart Parker
Han Ong
Jordan Pennington
Chuck Thompson
Pete Stigers
Jerry Poteat
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Adam Abel
Sujean Bradley
Blake Bassett
Nancy Butterworth
George Linke
Rhonda Comer
David Ginn
Greg Roberts
Brenda Lawson
Rett Stocstill
Nate Sproles
Barbara Thompson
Ann Woods
Bill Whisnant

Church Calendar
Sunday, April 22
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
10:00 a.m.     Congregational Meeting, Fellowship Hall
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
5:00 p.m.       Season of Prayer, Chapel
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship
Monday, April 23
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders, Room 123
Tuesday, April 24
9:30 a.m.       Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conference Room
6:00 p.m.       Venture Crew 3, Room 165
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, April 25
9:30 a.m.       Heart to Heart Bible Study, Coffee Klatch Room
5:15 p.m.       Baby & Toddler Care, Rooms 34 - 36
5:30 p.m.       Fellowship Dinner, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Pastor Nominating Comm., Room 117
6:10 p.m.       Fun for All Ages, Fellowship Hall
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir
7:30 p.m.       8:30 Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, April 26
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Saturday, April 28
9:00 a.m.       Spring Cleaning Day, Slater Center