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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Deliver Us
Masks at Work
Please Give to Five Cents a Meal This Sunday
Spend Sunday Afternoon with Us at Doe River Gorge
We're Connecting an AV Team
Our Advent Devotional Needs You!
Please Deliver Confirmand Letters by Aug. 21
Face Masks as Community Outreach
King Library Needs Reference Assistant
We're Ready to Help
Back to the Office Safely
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
Study the Bible Online
Pray for the World
Mowers on the Job
Gifts to the Church
Organist's Footnotes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
August 16
11th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 51:12-17
Jeremiah 29:10-14
Acts 10:39-48
What the Holy Spirit Has Given
Sam Weddington
Last Sunday's Attendance
In person: 9:00: 43; 11:00: 26
Livestream: 73
Playbacks: 145
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

August 13, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Deliver Us
And do not bring us to the time of trial, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:13
During a difficult week, I found N.T. Wright's reflection on this line from the Lord's Prayer very helpful. I hope it will bless you as well. I also want our educators and parents to know that you are on my mind this week. For most of us, it looks like we are having to choose from a range of bad or seemingly impossible choices. May you find deliverance from evil, and strength to "hold the line for another moment" against all the craziness in our world:
This prayer, in its setting within the Lord's Prayer, keeps the proper balance. Jesus intends his followers to recognize not only the reality of evil but the reality of his victory over it. We need to examine both sides of the this balance.
Evil is real and powerful. It is not only 'out there,' in other people, but it is present and active within each of us. What is more, 'evil' is more than the sum total of all evil and actions. When human beings worship that which is not God, they give authority to forces of destruction and malevolence... 'The Satan,' 'the Evil One,' is not equal and opposite to God; but 'he,' or 'it,' is a potent force, opposed to God's good creation, and particularly to human beings whom God wishes to put in authority over his world. If all this were not so, the final petition of the Lord's Prayer would be an unnecessary anti-climax.
But Jesus' victory over evil is also real and powerful. It, too, is not only 'out there,' ... but it is available here and now for each of us. Where human beings turn from idolatry and worship the God they see revealed on Calvary, they are turning from darkness to light, from the Strong Man to the one who has bound the Strong Man. To pray 'deliver us from evil' ... is to inhale the victory of the cross, and thereby to hold the line for another moment, another hour, another day, against the forces of destruction within ourselves and the world. --N.T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer, pp. 71-72
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Masks at Work
We are all masked up and on the job!
To our church family,
I want to thank all of you for your continued prayers and support. Some have pointed out that a recent posting of ours showed us not wearing masks indoors. As the head of staff, this is my fault, and I take full responsibility for it. We are called to model behavior for our whole community.
For context, our staff has covenanted to follow internal guidelines to protect one another's health. We have even quarantined members of staff, when they have had contact with family from out of town, until they could be tested and get the right result. So that we can continue serving our church family every week, we don't travel outside a two-hour radius of Bristol. I could list other sacrifices.
My point here is that because we take these internal steps in the office, we often don't take the same measures with one another that we do when dealing with the congregation or the public. However, when we post online, we are called to model what we are asking others to do. In that post, we failed. Future posts will find us doing better.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Please Give to Five Cents a Meal This Sunday
We ask you to be generous in these days of widespread food insecurity, as we collect our quarterly Five Cents a Meal offering this Sunday, August 16, at both services and online. To give this offering remotely, go to our website,, and click on GIVE in the top right corner of our homepage. On the new page, click on the arrow on the Fund line, then scroll down and click on Five Cents a Meal. The suggested offering is $13.65 per person, or about a nickel for each meal in a three-month period. Feel free to round up! This offering for hunger relief will go to Bristol Emergency Food Pantry and Holston Presbytery Hunger Ministries.
Spend Sunday Afternoon with Us at Doe River Gorge
We hope to have our whole church family together for a glorious day of celebration at Doe River Gorge in Hampton, TN, this Sunday, August 16, from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. We will enjoy the lake and outdoor lounging until we gather at 4:00 for a lakeside baptismal service. After the baptism, we will move to the pavilion for dinner. Please remember to bring your own chairs, blankets, games, and picnic dinner or Doe River Gorge dinner vouchers! The voucher-buying window has closed, but you can still register for the event at If you do not have internet access, please call the church office to register.
We're Connecting an AV Team
The pandemic has pushed us to up our tech game, and that means more opportunities to serve during worship. If you are interested in serving with our audiovisual team, we would love to hear from you! No experience is necessary. We will train you to control the cameras, control the sound, or run the videos and graphics. Just contact the church office to join the team.
Our Advent Devotional Needs You!
We are asking FPC members to contribute a short devotional (300 words) to our 2020 Advent Devotional. We would love to have your reflections to help us all prepare in that season for the coming of our Lord. Please email Han Ong at or Candy Phelps at as soon as possible to tell us you will help, or to ask for more information.
Please Deliver Confirmand Letters by Aug. 21
On Confirmation Sunday, August 23, our confirmands will proclaim their faith to our church family and become members of First Presbyterian Church. If you know some of our confirmands, please consider writing them a message of spiritual support by card, letter, or email. Your message might include a story or memory, something about your own faith, how knowing this student has affected your life, or words of love and truth that will spur them on in their faith. We need your messages by next Friday, August 21. You may email them to, or mail or deliver cards or letters to:
First Presbyterian Church
Attn.: Katie Arnold
701 Florida Avenue
Bristol, TN 37620

2020 FPC Confirmation Class
Alex Akard
Micah Bechtold
Isabel Gross
Campbell Kent
Noah Ong
James Phipps
Joan Weddington
Face Masks as Community Outreach
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12
One of our appeals for 100% cotton fabric for face masks reaped a sizable donation of fabric by Selma Jennings. The megaload of fabric that she had on hand and turned over to us has already supplied a few hundred masks for our church, the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, and others, and we have made only a small dent in the donation.
Pictured above are some of the masks made from Selma's donation that now belong to a Fairmount neighborhood family with four school-age children. We met this family through our church's Christian Hands Ministry neighborhood outreach, when we completed several minor but much-needed projects at their house. We have stayed in touch and have been able to help them over some humps in the COVID crisis, thanks to God's blessings and the generosity of our congregation.
Yes, masks seem such a minor thing, but they are just one more hurdle for a family that struggles to put food on the table. When in-person classes resume, they'll be ready. "You are such a blessing," the parent writes. And you are, church family! Thanks and praise to God!
We invite you to participate in these blessings to our church family and neighbors, if you can:
  • Donate 100% cotton sheets (any color or pattern)
  • Wash and iron donated sheets and other fabric
  • Cut these sheets and other cotton fabric according to pattern
  • Sew some of the masks together (instructions and materials supplied)
If you feel called to help in any way, contact the church office (423-764-7176) or Peggy Hill (423-956-0209 or If you need a mask, call the church office or pick one up when you go by the church.
Note: We won't be reporting for a while, but we will still be sewing!
King Library Needs Reference Assistant
The King University Library is looking for a part-time (about 20 hours a week) reference assistant. This person would be responsible for opening the library at 7:30 on weekday mornings. Some weekend work may also be required. Interested persons can apply or find more information at
We're Ready to Help
You are not alone! 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 response teams are prepared to deliver essential supplies and make general wellness calls. We also have medical personnel on call. If you see a need, please let us know. If you want to help us in the work, just email Dave Welch or Pastor Sam.
Back to the Office Safely
FPC Picture
As part of our plan to get church functions back to normal, staff are returning to work in the church building on a limited basis. When you need to contact a member of staff, please do so by phone, email, or mail, if you can. We want to limit contact with others for everyone's safety. A later phase of our plan allows for more regular contact within the building, so please stay tuned for future announcements.
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
During the COVID-19 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.
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the livestream of our early worship service and other activities. Go to and type in "FPC Bristol." Click on the link and hit "subscribe." You will receive notifications of new videos. 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.
Study the Bible Online
We are continuing to offer two adult studies on our YouTube channel. The Sunday Bible study, Praying With the Psalms, looks at the Book of Psalms through the lens of prayer. All you need is a Bible and an open heart. We also post a short study every Wednesday. If you subscribe, you will be notified when new studies become available.
Pray for the World
As we weather the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking you to spend more time in prayer for our church, our community, our 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.
Mowers on the Job
As we ponder reopening schools, and work to devise ways to safely continue education, we come in mid-August to the Sunday dedicated in the PCUSA to Youth in the Church and World, August 16, swiftly followed by Public Education Sunday, August 23. Approaching the problem scientifically, cutting the superfluous material away and retaining only the essential, Larry Connolly (August 12-15) and JB Madison (August 19-22) will keep us out of the tall grass as we pursue the solution.
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 in memory of:
Alice Morrow Caldwell (sister of Margaret Wade): to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Dot Mattison
Virginia Long (mother of Lilly Osborne): to the Children's Ministries Fund from John & Karen Vann
Virginia Rutherford: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Ann Abel, from Patty & David Browning, from Mrs. Robert Combs, from Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Gilfillin, from Virginia & Bob Gunn, from Julie King, from Dot Mattison, from John & Karen Vann
Organist's Footnotes
César Franck
Joy Briggs, organist at Central Presbyterian Church on the Virginia side of Bristol, told me recently that she has been working on César Franck's "Cantabile en si majeur." I realized that I had never played that piece, so I decided to investigate. It is gorgeous, Victorian-era music. It made me wonder how many other treasures lie undiscovered in my organ music library. So on Sunday I will play "Cantabile" (our prelude) along with two other French organ pieces by late 19th- and early 20th-century composers.
Franck (1822-1890) was born in Liège, in what is now Belgium (at the time it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). A formidable musical improviser, he traveled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. His "Cantabile" was one of three pieces he wrote for the opening of the organ in the Trocadero Palace for the 1878 World's Fair in Paris.
Alexandre Guilmant
The internationally renowned French organist, recitalist, and composer Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911) was instrumental in popularizing organ works in the 19th century through his many attractive compositions, such as Sonata No. 3 in C Minor, as well as highly acclaimed performances. In the second half of the 19th century the timely development of the Cavaillé-Coll organ, an instrument of unsurpassed quality and range, did much to establish a school of "symphonic" organ playing. I will play that sonata's "Preludio" as our postlude.
Guilmant's interest in Marcel Dupré (1886-1971) began when the latter was a child. Albert Dupré, father of the celebrated Marcel, studied organ with Guilmant for seven years prior to his son's birth. In Marcel Dupré's memoirs, he wrote
Marcel Dupré
that Guilmant visited his mother upon his birth and declared that he would grow up to be an organist. After frequent visits throughout his childhood, he began studying with Guilmant formally at age 11. From this time until his death, Guilmant championed the young virtuoso and did much to advance his career. Our offertory music Sunday will be Dupré's "How Fair and How Pleasant Art Thou" from Fifteen Pieces for organ founded on antiphons (Vêpres du Commun).
You can watch the video of last Sunday's worship here.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Regina Ambagis
Sue Barr
Joe Bell
Booher family
Sujean Bradley
Brandi & family
Bud Branscomb
Bristol Tennessee School System
Jane Brooks
Becky Busler
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Community, nation & world
Thomas Covington
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
First responders & medical & infrastructure personnel
DeeDee Galliher
Goddards (missionaries in Paraguay)
Rose Marie & Jim Goodrum
Bill Graham's family
Martha & John Graham
Gene Grindstaff
Ron Grubbs
Conor Haaser & squadron
Lou Hebb
Nate & Angela & newborn Higgins
John Holler
Lisa Holmes
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Richard Lee
Nancy Lilly
Dot Mattison
Kathleen McGlothlin
Bob Millard
Mott Mitchell
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
Doug Nelson's family
Martha North
Cheyenne Poteat
Maria Poteat
Caleb Revill
Mary Ellis & Paul Rice family
Harold Rutherford & family
Brittany Salter
Susan Solomon
Joe Strickland's family
Bill Wade
Maria Wagner
Patsy Ward
Karen White
Dave Whitesides
Our love and sympathy are with the family and friends of previous member Bill Graham in his death July 31 in Cary, North Carolina.
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Aug. 17     Jane Nickels, John Ratliff
Aug. 18     Riley McCracken, Jack Southerland
Aug. 19     Sherry Worley
Aug. 20     AJ Arnold, Jim White
Aug. 21     Katie Arnold
Aug. 22     Michael Cleland, Briggs Evans
Church Calendar
Sunday, August 16
9:00 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall & Livestream
                         Online Sunday School (following 9:00 service)
10:10 a.m.     Adult Sunday School
10:30 a.m.     Session Meets with Confirmands
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
1:00 p.m.       Churchwide Celebration, Doe River Gorge
Tuesday, August 18
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Finance Comm., TBD
Thursday, August 20
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Fellowship Hall
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
4:30 p.m.       Human Resources Comm., TBD
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