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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor
Faithfully Focusing on Food (Fun)
Chalk on Pavement
Stay Safe from Scams
Connect to Us on YouTube and Facebook
Communion Every Sunday
Take Advantage of Our Online Bible Studies
Students Invited to Online Evening Activities
Please Pray for All, Near and Far
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
If You Have or See a Need
Need Help? We Will Respond
We Are Making Masks (and Have a Few for You)
April Growers Bring May Mowers
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
May 3
4th Sunday of Easter
Livestream Only (10:00)
Psalm 118:17-25
John 10:1-10
No Shortcuts
Sam Weddington
Last Sunday's Attendance
Livestream: 122 households
Total online views: 321
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 30, 2020
Word from the Pastor
In light of current state and federal guidelines, the session of First Presbyterian Church has determined the following:
  1. In-person worship is suspended this Sunday, May 3. Instead, we will livestream our service at 10:00 a.m. We will continue observance of the Lord's table, inviting you to prepare for communion at home with juice, water, crackers, or bread. Instructions will be given for the Lord's Supper during worship. Following worship, there will be special messages for the children's and student ministries.
  2. Every Sunday at 11:30 a.m., we will offer online classes. There will be an adult Bible study as well as special messages from Children's Ministries, Fusion Class, Student Ministries, Friendship Class, and Marthina Chapel. We will keep you informed about future worship opportunities.
  3. All nonworship events at the church are canceled through May 10. (This date is subject to change as federal and state guidelines are updated). Committee and session meetings will take place by conference call.
  4. Please subscribe to our YouTube page for the livestream and to our Facebook sites for future postings. (See instructions in "Connect to Us on YouTube and Facebook," below.)
The session has developed a plan for return, but per Governor Bill Lee's orders promising future guidelines for churches, we are waiting before we share it, so that we may take all possible precautions.
In these challenging times, we ask that you consider giving your pledges, offerings, and special gifts online or by mail. (See instructions in "Give Remotely to Keep Us Together," below.)
Continue to pray for each other, our community, the nation, and the world. With God's help, we will overcome.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Faithfully Focusing on Food (Fun)
Let's have a parade! May is Bristol Emergency Food Pantry Emphasis Month at FPC, and to aid the Food Pantry (and get out of the house for some fun while staying safe!), we will have a Food Pantry Drive-by Parade on two Wednesday nights in May. You are invited to drive up and drop off a bag of sorely needed food items into a designated shopping cart at the Food Pantry between 5:00 and 7:00 on May 13 and 27, then drive off. Volunteers will be present to receive your gift and restock the shelves. Any shelf-stable food item is welcome, but cans of tuna, small bags of rice, and small boxes of spaghetti noodles are especially needed. What a fun way to Be a Blessing! The Food Pantry is located at 21 Washington Street, next to the railroad track and First Baptist Church. / Dave Welch
Chalk on Pavement
Lilly Osborne sent us this three-minute  video showing what resulted when our children applied chalk to their driveways. Take a look! It speaks for itself.
Stay Safe from Scams
While we are all doing our best to protect ourselves and others from the spread of the novel coronavirus, we have another threat to watch out for. Internet and smartphone scammers posing as busy FPC staff are contacting members of our congregation by text or through Facebook or a similar method. They present a plausible reason then tell you to buy a gift card (for Walmart, Target, Food City, etc.) for 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 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 .
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 Every Sunday
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.
Students Invited to Online Evening Activities
Students! We need each other in this journey, so please join us on Zoom as we do life together from afar! 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. These are the Zoom IDs you'll need for access:
  • Student Fellowship, Sundays at 7:00 p.m.: 435-749-455
  • Middle School Gathering, Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.: 196-217-088
  • High School Devos, Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.: 638-854-949
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.
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
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!
Need Help? We Will Respond
We are pleased and grateful to announce that we have eight response teams and three medical response teams 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 Masks (and Have a Few for You)
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.
April Growers Bring May Mowers

Larry Connolly is out on the church lawn April 29 -May 2, a period of both gravity and charm. As we remarked last week, May 3 is Wills Emphasis Sunday. On a lighter note, May 1 is both May Day and May Friendship Day. (Query: may friendship what?) Pat Flannagan is responsible for mowing May 6-9, a period that includes the National Day of Prayer, May 7, and leads to Mother's Day, May 10.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Joe Bell
Zach Botheroyd
Sujean Bradley
Brandi & family
Bristol Tennessee School System
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
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
Roxanna Garcia & family
Diane Glymph
The Goddards (missionaries in Paraguay)
Rose Marie & Jim Goodrum
Grubbs family
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Lou Hebb
Nate & Angela Higgins & newborn
Pete Holler
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Nancy Lilly
Amy Marion & family
Dot Mattison
Ashley McGill
Kathleen McGlothlin
Bob Millard
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
New Jersey & New York
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Brittany Salter
John Scott
Solange & family
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Bill Whitesides & Bock family
Vicky Wood's family
Our love and sympathy are with Becky Rose in the death of her sister, Vicky Wood, April 23 in New Mexico.
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
May 3        John Vann
May 4        David Johnson, Mary Caroline Mumpower, Dave Welch
May 5        Bruce Gannaway
May 6        Frances Emerson
May 7        Allison Brooks, Morgan King
Church Calendar
Sunday, May 3
10:00 a.m.     Livestreamed Worship
Followed by Online Sunday School & Adult Bible Study
Tuesday, May 5
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