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Windows is a publication of First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN. Please direct questions and suggestions to the editor, Kathy Acuff, firstname.lastname@example.org.
11th Sunday after Pentecost
Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim
Jesus Calls Us
Hear My Words
Last Sunday's Attendance
8:30: 96; 11:00: 122
on First Presbyterian Church
August 17, 2017
|A Message from Dave Welch
I have been thinking lately how best to communicate and encourage the congregation, in light of the recent pastoral change: the resignation of our interim pastor, Stuart Wilson. While there is a similar feel to that which we experienced almost two years ago with the Turnbulls' move, it is a much diminished echo. We have moved beyond October of 2015. I invite you to look back with me and first claim, and then proclaim, God's goodness for us and with us.
Two years ago, after Gordon shared with me his upcoming change, I thought to myself, "How will we continue as a church?" I was afraid to verbalize my fears in case others held similar thoughts; fearful that once uttered they would become reality. Instead, I tenaciously refocused my beliefs on one simple truth, "If this was the best that God had for Gordon and Betsy, then it had to be the best that God had for FPC as well." Another great pastor friend of mine states, "God never pits the best for one against the best for the other." Or to say it theologically, we affirm weekly in our worship, in our prayers, through our affirmations of faith, that there is only one living and true God, whom alone we serve, whom alone we worship, and whom alone we
trust. We serve God, worship God, and trust God because of who God is, not because of who we are. God has proved over, over, over, and over again, biblically, corporately, and personally that He is trustworthy! I have shared many times that for me a gift God offers is the invitation to look back through time and see how that truth has become evident. Two years later, we haven't stopped being the church! We are not just alive, we are active, we are vigorous, and dare I say it, even dynamic, filled with God's Holy Spirit. We proclaim these same facts every day as we work and serve God, as we worship, whether individually or as the body of Christ, every Sunday. You continue to proclaim God's love for all and the promise of new and purpose-filled life as you have continued to clean gutters, mow lawns, paint houses, worship with brothers and sisters in Brazil, serve a simple meal downtown, open your classrooms and your hearts to others, teach children, share meals together in the church and in your homes, sing praises, reorient your lives in confession and assurance; you continue to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit in word and deed, in worship and service, and yes, dare I remind myself, by trusting God and God's living Word. We are not who we were two years ago, praise be to God! Nor will we be the same next month or next year, praise be to God!
Here are three thoughts I want you to hear and to claim. First, our shared worship will continue, and that worship will be wonderful, magnificent, and faithful, as it always has been, to bring glory to God. We are blessed through the gifts of many, who make it happen every Sunday. The Worship Committee will continue to secure phenomenal men and women to speak from our pulpits; men and women who long to share God's word with us, indeed God's word for us. The Praise Team and the Sanctuary Choir, along with all who make music happen, will continue to lead us in extraordinary ways to sing of our praise to the one who has conquered death, who has risen from the grave. Our shared worship will continue giving voice to God's goodness and love, not just for us, but for all. Our prayers will continue to invite God into the broken places in our community and world, into the broken lives of loved ones and foreigners, to bring instead Shalom.
Second, the officers of the church will continue to pray for and follow God's Holy Spirit as they lead us and guide us, exercising their ordained governance of us. You are reminded to pray for them. You are also invited to seek them out, ask them questions, engage them in conversation, join with them in deliberation and in prayer. The Board of Deacons meets the first Monday and the Session of Elders meets the fourth Monday of every month. You are invited to join them any or every month. The Pastor Nominating Committee meets every week, currently on Wednesday evening, to pray for God's direction, review resumes, interview potential candidates, and listen for God's "still small voice" (1 King 19:11-13) to discern for whom God is preparing us.
My third point is this. I have intentionally used the word
continue, over and over. It serves to remind me that we are not stuck, we are not trapped. We continue, we are moving with purpose and direction, towards God's call. Our movement may be choppy, may be slow, even ponderous at times; our direction may be confusing or obscure, but we continue to follow God, because God is trustworthy, and God indeed knows where we are going.
John Calvin's central, unifying theme, and foundational statement, "In life and in death we belong to God," reminds me that we are never outside or beyond God's presence. We are never forgotten, never abandoned; never left to our own chaos, but instead we are always loved, always sheltered, always enlivened. God has only good for us, and we remember that as we look back, and celebrate with anticipation of what is coming!
|Resignation Letter of Shannan Miller
August 13, 2017
To the Elders of the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, Tennessee:
I write this letter to tender my resignation from the position of Director of Early Worship at First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, TN. The last day that I will lead in worship will be August 27. Pastor Dave Welch has asked that I complete all 8:30 worship preparation aspects through September, including scheduling worship teams, completing set lists, and completing ProPresenter for each service (as I normally do when I am on vacation); therefore, my official last day will be September 30, 2017.
I am so grateful to have been a part of the ministry of the 8:30 service for 17 years, as both a member and leader within that ministry. I have had the opportunity to serve with some great pastors-Gordon Turnbull, Dave Welch, and Stuart Wilson. I feel extremely blessed to have served on the 8:30 worship team with so many amazing people over the past 17 years: some who are still members of the 8:30 worship team; some who are not currently 8:30 worship team members, but served faithfully through a season; some with whom I served who have moved away; and some whose names I cannot remember, but whose hearts to serve I cannot forget. All of these folks have given of time, talent, and treasure to serve and lead in the 8:30 service. The musicians with whom I have served have been gifted with amazing God-given gifts! The media and sound team members have offered themselves to learn new aspects of essential parts of the 8:30 worship service. Proclaim! team members have proclaimed the goodness of our God with great spirit, some overcoming fears of speaking in front of a group of people in order to serve our gracious God.
I am humbled and grateful for the encouragement that I have received from so many over these years. Thank you for loving and caring for me.
May God bless the ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, Tennessee.
In the love of Christ,
Shannan Riley Miller
|Farewell to Shannan
We are saying goodbye to
who is leaving us after 17 years as a vital presence in our early worship service. We will hold a reception to honor her after the 8:30 service August 27. We are also collecting a cash gift for her. If you would like to participate in the gift, please give your donation to
Wednesday, August 23
; do not give your donation to the church. Because this is a gift directly from us to Shannan, it cannot be tax deductible. You may give your contribution to either Scottie or Anne when you see her at church, or email
to make other arrangements.
|Next Wednesday: Martin Luther's Medieval Christian Life
This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's famous posting of the 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg. Join us next Wednesday, August 23, as Dr. Martin Dotterweich leads the first of six Adult Learning programs that will examine the background and significance of that event, take a close look at the document itself, and consider the ways in which it started a Reformation. We will begin by taking a look at Martin Luther's medieval Christian life.
A specialist in the Reformation in Scotland and the history of the Bible in English, Martin Dotterweich is Chair of the Department of History and Political Science at King University. He attended Wheaton College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and the University of Edinburgh, where he earned a PhD. Martin and his wife, Heather, have been members of FPC since arriving in Bristol in 2004. They have two children, Kathleen and Peter.
Don't miss our fellowship dinner of fried chicken, baked beans, slaw, and dessert, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The Adult Learning Program will follow at 6:20, and Student Small Groups and Wednesday Night Kids will meet separately at 6:00.
As you head for home, linger in the Fellowship Hallway to choose books from the wonderful array given to us. We have commentaries, devotionals, fiction, and nonfiction, all free to a good home!
|5th Quarter Tonight!
The first Tennessee High football game is tonight, August 17, at the Stone Castle! All high school students are invited to head over to Central Christian Church after the game for hotdogs, games, and hanging out. The fun will end at midnight.
|Sunday Deadline for Discount on Fall Student Retreat
Get a discount on fun at the fall student retreat by registering and paying your deposit by this Sunday, August 20. If you register with a deposit by then, you will pay only $150 for the entire trip and receive a T-shirt. After this Sunday, you will pay $160, and we cannot guarantee your shirt size will be available. Register at
. Turn your $75 deposit in to
, our Director of Student Ministries, or to the church office.
The retreat will be held Labor Day weekend, and all our seventh through twelfth grade students are invited. We're going to Look Up Lodge in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, where there will be lake fun, ziplining, a three-friend swing, a giant waterslide, a slopstacle course, and paintball. On top of all that, you can worship and bond with your church family. We will leave early on Saturday, September 2, and return around noon on Monday, September 4. Join us for a weekend of fun and fellowship with friends!
|Student Fellowship Series Explores Cravings
This week at Student Fellowship we will continue to take a deeper look at the things students truly crave in their lives in our series called
Craving. Beyond our temporary wants and desires, we all have deep-seated things that we crave. It can be difficult, especially as a teenager, to identify these, let alone figure out how to satisfy them. This series explores things that we are truly craving in this life and what we can do to keep from getting lost amid our temporary wants. The focus this Sunday is on craving
significance. Everyone wants his or her life to matter. How do we separate ourselves from the world's definition of success (constantly achieving more and more) and turn toward finding true significance and purpose? Come to the Youth Wing this Sunday evening and we'll talk! Middle school students meet at 5:00 and high school students at 6:00.
|Still Looking for Help with September Family Promise Visit
We need a few more volunteers to help with hospitality at the church for two small families in early September. Our Family Promise visitors will be with us from 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 3, until 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 10. We will have six people to feed, visit, and love with the love of Jesus!
Service opportunities remain for providing food for breakfasts and lunches, bringing in evening meals, serving as dinner hosts, and staying overnight. New volunteers are welcome! Please feel free to invite a friend to volunteer with you, especially if you choose to stay overnight or provide a meal. Some slots are filled, but there are plenty of other opportunities to serve:
Bring food for breakfast or lunch: Closer to the date, we will have a list of preferred foods to choose from. All you need to do is bring the food to the little kitchen, and you can do so ahead of time.
Provide a meal: Bring a simple dinner to the little kitchen for our six guests, plus the dinner hosts, at 5:30 p.m. on the day you've chosen. Homemade or store-bought meals both are welcome!
Dinner hosts: You and a friend, and/or your family, come to the parlor at 5:30 to eat with the families, direct cleanup, and stay until 8:30 p.m.
Overnight hosts: You and one other person arrive at 8:30 p.m., spend the night at the church, and see the families off at 7:00 a.m. Snacks and comfy beds will be provided, but bring your own linens.
Launder linens: The families use our sheets and comforters, which will need to be laundered and ready for the next time.
to see which opportunities fit your schedule. You can reach her by email at
or call or text her at 423-956-6747. Thank you!
|Art and Science at Work Together
We in Bristol will be able to see quite a bit of the celestial event that will occur Monday, August 21. How do we know?
Science, that boon to humanity and good fun besides! From our vantage point, the solar eclipse will peak at 2:37:09, when the moon will obscure 95.8 percent of the sun. We must be sure to wear protective eyewear if we plan to look directly at it, but more important, of course, is that the grass in the church lawn be at precisely the right viewing height. Fortunately,
David Moore plans to take care of that for us, so we need only look to our eyewear. Not to be eclipsed by a mere coincidence in the skies,
JB Madison, we suspect, will mow the following week for the sheer pleasure it will give to all who see a lovely, smooth lawn. Art for art's sake? No, there will be utility and, yes, science in his method. We stand back and admire.
We welcome men and women, adults and teens to sign up for our mowing team at any time of the year. Families too: younger children can move fallen branches and debris to the curb, and a parent or elder sibling can mow. It's easy, it doesn't take much time, and you won't have to mow more than three times a year. If you're unfamiliar with Scag mowers, Team Captain
will be happy to give you a lesson on our Tiger Cat. If you can mow even once during the growing season, please email Randy at
or call his cell at 423-956-1541. Thank you!
|Antique Stained Glass Window Reappears
Through the generosity of a North Carolina resident and with the help of
Dave Whitesides, a piece of FPC history has returned to us. Millicent Crawford of Newton has graciously given us a stained glass window she has treasured for 50 years. It is from the old church at 5th Street and may have been made in the late 1800s. It is on display in the church library. Stop in and see it when you're at the church again.
Sunday's music participants: Sanctuary Choir.
Today's anthem is a text taken from Psalm 5 and is a petition for God's care in our lives. Stephen Paulus (1949-2014) was a prolific American composer of classical music. He wrote more than 600 works for chorus, opera, orchestra, chamber
ensemble, solo voice, concert band, piano, and organ, receiving premieres and performances throughout the world as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2015 and 2016, which he won in 2016. His music on
Stephen Paulus: Far in the Heavens
was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance in 2016, and
Stephen Paulus: Three Places of Enlightenment, Veil of Tears & Grand Concerto
won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium in 2016. His musical style has been described by
The New York Times
as "lush and extravagant." Paulus wrote more than 400 works for chorus ranging from his Holocaust oratorio,
To Be Certain of the Dawn
, recorded by Minnesota Orchestra on the BIS label, to the poignant anthem, "Pilgrims' Hymn," sung at the funerals of Presidents Reagan and Ford. Stephen Paulus died in October 2014 from complications of a stroke.
Organist's footnotes: Louis-Nicolas Clérambault (1676-1749) was a French organist and composer. While very young, he learned to play the violin and harpsichord. He studied the organ with André Raison, and studied composition and voice with Jean-Baptiste Moreau. Clérambault became the organist at the church of the Grands-Augustins. After the death of Louis XIV, he assumed duties as organist at the church of Saint-Sulpice and the royal house of Saint-Cyr, an institution for young girls from the poor nobility. He was responsible there for music, the organ, directing chants and choir, etc. It was in this post-it remained his after the death of Madame de Maintenon-that he developed the genre of the French cantata, of which he was the uncontested master. In 1719 he succeeded his teacher Raison at the organs of the church of the Grands-Jacobins.
His important published work includes a book of organ pieces in two suites (1710), in which melodic charm wins out over religious spirit. These two collections seemed destined to begin a cycle of pieces in all keys, but Clérambault never completed the cycle.
|Conform or Transform? That Is the Question
Join us in worship this Sunday, August 20, as the Reverend Elizabeth Patrick preaches a second time on these key verses from the book of Romans:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
We'll consider how the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the third chapter of Daniel illustrates the siren call of conformity and the daring power of transformation.
Our guest preacher this Sunday is a well-known member of our congregation, an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a graduate of Erskine College, Duke Law School, and Princeton Seminary. Elizabeth served as solo pastor of Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs, South Carolina, before moving to Bristol in 2008 to marry Dr. Bill Linderman, Professor of Mathematics at King University. Since then, she has served as pulpit supply at a number of churches in the Tri-Cities and beyond. Currently, Elizabeth spends most of her time building Lego creations, breaking up squabbles, and otherwise caring for sons Henry (age 4) and Ben (age 2).
|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
Jo Ann Hatcher
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
August 20 Jim White
August 21 Katie Arnold
August 22 Briggs Evans, Pat Hunigan
August 24 Jack Smith
August 25 Sam Shim, Roger Sikorski
August 26 Rose Rosser, Molly Shaw
We gratefully acknowledge recent gifts in memory of the following individuals:
Neil Ottenfeld: to the Brazil Mission Fund, from Chuck & Barb Thompson; to the Capital Campaign Fund/MEP, from Fred & Heidi Harkleroad, from Ernie & Karen Pennington; to the Memorial Fund, from Dale & Molly Keller
Alec Turnbull: to the Brazil Mission Fund, from Chuck & Barb Thompson
Sunday, August 20
8:30 a.m. Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m. Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Worship, Sanctuary
4:00 p.m. Evangelism & Outreach Committee, Room 117
5:00 p.m. Middle School Student Fellowship, Youth Wing
6:30 p.m. High School Student Fellowship, Youth Wing
Monday, August 21
4:45 p.m. Strategic Initiatives & Implementations Committee, Room 117
Tuesday, August 22
9:00 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, August 23
5:15 p.m. Baby & Toddler Care, Rooms 34-36
5:30 p.m. Fellowship Dinner, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m. Pastor Nominating Committee, Room 117
6:00 p.m. Wednesday Night Kids
6:00 p.m. Student Small Groups
6:20 p.m. Adult Learning Program, Fellowship Hall
7:15 p.m. Sanctuary Choir
7:30 p.m. 8:30 Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, August 24
7:00 a.m. Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m. Noon Bible Study, Room 117