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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
God's Gift of Life
Come Explore the Apostles' Creed
Final Rehearsal for Acolytes This Sunday
Count Yourself In with the Handbell Choir
Reading Buddies Orientation Here Tonight
Join Us for Wednesday Night Fellowship
Enjoy Parents' Night Out Sept. 6
Immersed in Beauty and Joy at Family Camp
There's a Call for You at the Front Desk
Let's Talk in the Kitchen
Mowers Make Hay, Sun or None
Confirmation Class Coming Sept. 8
Fusion Fun in the Sunday Sun
Mark Your Calendar for Trunk or Treat
Gifts to the Church
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
September 1
12th Sunday after Pentecost
Jeremiah 2:4-13
Luke 14:1-14
Hospitality Hijinks
Dave Welch
Now the Silence, Now the Peace
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 124; 11:00: 110
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 29 , 2019
God's Gift of Life
We have been awash in "Love" sermons for the past few weeks. The titles include "Loving Our Neighbors," "Loving Ourselves," "Loving Creation," "Loving Our Families," "Loving Our Enemies," "Loving One Greater Than Ourselves," and "Loving What God Loves." That's a whole lotta love!
But, God is a whole lotta love. He loved us enough to sacrifice his only son to redeem our sins. He loved each one of us enough to give you and me a precious and unique gift: the gift of life. God gave each of us a one-of-a-kind, personalized, custom-tailored, purpose-filled life. It is a package that includes good, bad, and ugly stuff. It is a set of challenges and opportunities, tests and rewards, successes and failures, joys and sorrows. It is a package deal. Roses and thorns.
It is easy to be grateful, to give thanks for the roses, for the joys, for those experiences that lift our spirits and give us pleasure, and for the love we receive. Who doesn't feel pleasure holding their newborn child, smelling the ocean mist, listening to the rain on the roof, or tasting strawberries and chocolate? Thanking God for the joys in life is easy.
Then there are the not-so-joyful parts of this gift of life: failed relationships, physical or mental illness, acts of violence, unexpected tragedies, or the feelings of loss and emptiness when a loved one dies. All of these experiences are a part of that same precious gift of life that is wrapped in God's love and presented to each of us. Loving God means loving and being grateful for His gift. If we treat this gift of life in a manner that reflects the love we have for the giver, then every part of it is precious.
Remember the story from Matthew 25 about the three servants who were given the responsibility for various sums of money from the master? We know how that went. As believers, we know that God loves us and that our love for him is shown in the way we handle the gift of life and by how we value the lives of others ... all others. We honor Him by being good stewards of our gift of life and by serving the needs of others.
We know how to finish the sentence, "For God so loved the world that He...." But do we know how to finish this sentence: "For I so loved God that ..."? / Jerry Poteat
You will find the video of this talk here.
Come Explore the Apostles' Creed

Each phrase of the Apostles' Creed opens up profound theological vistas that invite us to reflect on the Good News of Jesus Christ. What does a statement of belief that has been in use by the church in its many forms since at least the fourth century say to us today? Participate in a short-term, video- and discussion-based class paralleling Sam Weddington's upcoming sermon series, and we'll explore it together. This adult class will meet in the chapel on Sunday mornings from 10:20 to 10:40, starting September 8. For more information, please see Pastor Sam or Dave Welch.
Final Rehearsal for Acolytes This Sunday
Our acolyte team will have their final preseason rehearsal this Sunday, September 1, at 12:30, directly after the traditional worship service. They will resume their role in the 11:00 traditional worship service the following Sunday, September 8.
Count Yourself In with the Handbell Choir
The Sanctuary Handbell Choir is counting on you to count with us! Our bells add an element to worship that can't be duplicated. We are looking for a few more regulars and a couple of substitutes. We practice from 6:15 to 7:15 on Wednesday evenings in room 212 upstairs, and we play for the late worship service about once a month. If you can read music, that's great, but we can teach you how. Some coordination and the ability to count are what matters. Please email or call Bob Greene (, 276-696-9091) to talk about joining this fun-loving group.
Reading Buddies Orientation Here Tonight
Don't miss the orientation for Fairmount Elementary School's Reading Buddies program at 6:00 tonight, Thursday, August 29, in the Fellowship Hall. The goal of the Reading Buddies program is to build a positive relationship with a child. No previous teaching experience is required. For more information, contact Kay Ward at 423-652-9251 or visit
Join Us for Wednesday Night Fellowship
Join us Wednesday evenings for our fellowship supper at 5:30 and stay for programs for youth, children, and adults. With the exception of special presentations, we worship on Wednesday evenings by praying, singing, and studying God's Word together in the chapel. Wednesday night Bible study will begin at 6:15 p.m.
Enjoy Parents' Night Out Sept. 6
The Children's Ministries will hold a Parents' Night Out from 6:00 to 8:30 on Friday, September 6, in the Education Wing. This event is for newborns through sixth graders. Please let Lilly Osborne know the number and ages of the children you will bring so that she can provide dinner and materials for all of them. To sign up, email Lilly at, call or text her at 423-383-5476, or use the Children's Ministries Facebook page.
Immersed in Beauty and Joy at Family Camp
A number of FPC families and staff spent August 23 -25 at the Young Life camp in North Carolina's beautiful Windy Gap, where some of us took a turn on the giant swing, rode horseback or piggyback, landed in the lake one way or another or pulled fish out of it, and all felt immersed in beauty, joy, and just plain fun. Lilly Osborne reports: "We had a fantastic time at family camp at Windy Gap this weekend. It was wonderful fellowship with our FPC family! Great food! Great fun! Great fellowship! Great worship!" See her photos, below.

There's a Call for You at the Front Desk

FPC needs a volunteer or two to answer the phone and the doorbell from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. We can work around your schedule, however, if you want to be here earlier, at 12:00 or 12:30, for example. If you can help regularly or even occasionally, or if you'd like more information, please call the church office at 423-764-7176. Thank you!
Let's Talk in the Kitchen

May we have a word in the kitchen? If you enjoy our Wednesday night fellowship dinners, we invite you to come over early and help prepare them. If you can lend a hand, please call our new fellowship dinner coordinator, Sara Gannaway, at 423-573-2680, and tell her you want to volunteer. Thank you!
Mowers Make Hay, Sun or None
By the time Labor Day arrives, Randy Cook (August 28 -31) should be relaxing after dashing in and out of the rain to mow the lawn for Sunday, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Fred Harkleroad (September 4 -7) will prepare the lawn for the events of the following week, which will introduce the first Parents' Night Out of the new program year.
Confirmation Class Coming Sept. 8

All seventh- to eleventh-graders are invited to enter the confirmation course that will begin two Sundays from now, on September 8. The course is a two-year journey, at the end of which you will be invited to confirm your faith and join the church. On the way, you will discuss hard questions about faith, God, and more, as you prepare for baptism or to confirm your baptismal vows.
You will find these two years to be a time of both personal growth and relational growth with your church family. You will play games, watch videos, and meet friends in new ways. In addition to your teachers, you will have two mentors, an adult and a high school student, to help you as you go through the process.
The class will be held on Sunday mornings from 10:00 till 10:45 in the big room in the youth wing. Each class builds on information from the previous week, so regular attendance is very important. If you miss a class, we can help you make it up, but we ask all confirmands to take this commitment seriously. If you are interested in participating, contact Katie Arnold at
Fusion Fun in the Sunday Sun
On Sunday a group of our Fusion kids (fifth and sixth graders) had a splashing good time in the pool. There could have been more sun, but we made our own! Thank you so much to T eresa and David Mills for hosting us! Parents and kids, stay tuned for information on our September outing!

Mark Your Calendar for Trunk or Treat
One treat of a trunk from last year's event.
Please mark your calendars for this year's Fairmount Neighborhood Trunk or Treat. It will take place at Fairmount Elementary School on Thursday, October 24, at 5:00 p.m. Sam Weddington already has his costume, and Linda Welch is brainstorming new car-decorating ideas. Put on your thinking cap, don your witch's hat, put a bee in your bonnet. It's planning time!
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:
Louise Rutherford: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Dr. & Mrs. Raymond Feierabend
Barbara Thomas: to the Memorial Fund from Dr. & Mrs. Raymond Feierabend
Music Notes
Gerald Near
Sunday's music: Our anthem this week is "Now the Silence, Now the Peace" with music by Gerald Near (b. 1942) and lyrics by Jaroslav Vajda (1919 -2008). It explores the meaning of the Holy Eucharist and emphasizes the temporality of our experience. The first half is a series of phrases that begin with "now" and explain what happens as we take the elements. The second half contains phrases that all begin with "then" and explain what will happen after we receive, and how that process will transform us. It is a contemplative piece in the Neo-Romantic style with rich harmonies in the organ and a soaring descant in the sopranos.
Near was a composition student of Leo Sowerby at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and also studied composition at the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. He is now Choirmaster and Cantor at Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over the past four decades works by Near have been commissioned and premiered many times at conventions and events of the American Guild of Organists. Vajda was a Lutheran minister and hymnist known for writing and translating more than 200 hymns that appear in more than 65 hymnals worldwide.
Benjamin Culli
Organist's footnotes: Benjamin M. Culli (b. 1975) is a composer and church musician now serving as organist at Peace Lutheran Church in New Berlin, Wisconsin. He lives with his family in Milwaukee, where he is senior keyboard publications editor at Hal Leonard. Culli studied music education at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. Utilizing his experience directing high school and elementary school bands, a children's choir, and an adult handbell choir, he has composed music for organ, choir, chamber ensembles, and concert bands.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Wayne Ausmus
Durward Buck
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Ron Grubbs
Kristi Johnson
Marty Keys & family
Nancy King
Kwon family
Harriett Massengill
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Carl McGrady
Christine Mitten & family
Alice Moore
Pendley family
Sharon Potter's family
Don Preston
Bob Rhea
Larry Roberts (Greg's brother)
Virginia Rutherford
Stigers family
Ashley Thomasson
Barb Thompson & family
Jim White
Ann & Bill Woods
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Sept. 1      Sue Barr, Chuck Bolick
Sept. 3      Nancy Carter, Kinser Crutchfield
Sept. 4      Jess Beckner, Judy Slaughter
Sept. 5      Randy Cook, Jack Richardson
Sept. 6      TJ Abel, Margaret Wade
Sept. 7      Mary Ellis Rice, Patsy Ward
Church Calendar
Sunday, September 1
9:00 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School
10:30 p.m.     Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
12:30 p.m.     Acolytes' Final Rehearsal, Sanctuary
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship, Fellowship Hall
Monday, September 2
Church offices closed for Labor Day
Tuesday, September 3
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conf. Room
6:30 p.m.       Board of Deacons, Rooms 117 & 123
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, September 4
5:15 p.m.       Baby & Toddler Care, Rooms 34 - 37
5:30 p.m.       Fellowship Dinner, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Wednesday Night Kids
6:00 p.m.       Middle School Gathering
6:00 p.m.       High School Small Groups
6:15 p.m.       Adult Enrichment
6:15 p.m.       Handbell Practice, Room 212
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
7:15 p.m.       Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, September 5
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Friday, September 6
6:00 p.m.       Parents' Night Out, Education Wing
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Anna Booher
Nancy Allerton
Ann Abel
Lee Galliher
Rebecca Beck
Randy Cook
Pete Holler
David Hyde
John Graham
Han Ong
Jordan Pennington
Katie McInnis
Pete Stigers
Jerry Poteat
John Vann
Sujean Bradley
Blake Bassett
Fred Harkleroad
George Linke
Rhonda Comer
Matt Kingsley
Greg Roberts
Ron Fox
Lisa McClain
Nate Sproles
Brenda Lawson
Drew Rice
Bill Whisnant
Barbara Thompson
Joyce Samuel
Nancy Cook
Peggy Hill
Jack Butterworth